Saturday, January 15, 2011

on the death penalty

Hullabaloo: "Illinois just outlawed the death penalty. And well they should, since they found out that their legal system was a corrupt failure and innocent people were being convicted left and right. But I want to highlight this other uplifting story because it's just so great --- and so tragic --- that it's worth putting in the same context."

Mike Lee on Child Labor Laws

ThinkProgress » Sen. Mike Lee Calls Child Labor Laws Unconstitutional: "Last week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) posted a lecture on his YouTube channel where he explains in great detail his views on the Constitution. As part of the lecture, which is essentially a lengthy defense of his radical tenther interpretation of the Constitution, Lee claims that federal child labor laws are unconstitutional:"

A Litmus test

I find that I can tell a lot about the way a person views the world by looking at the answer to two simple questions.

  1. Is it more important that every person that is eligible to do so be able or that no person that is ineligible to be able to vote.
  2. Is it more important that no guilty person go free or that no innocent person be convicted?

Martin Luther King Jr. - A Historical Examination: Jews, Communism and civil rights..

Martin Luther King Jr. - A Historical Examination: Jews, Communism and civil rights..
"The following is a Chapter from European American civil rights activist David Duke's ground breaking autobiography, 'My Awakening'. This chapter helps to shed light on many aspect of the so-called 'civil rights' movement that have never before been seen."

"European American Civil Rights Activist David Duke" is everything you need to know about this historical examination.

Founding Fathers, Not Deities

FreakOutNation » Tennessee Morphs Into Texas With Textbook Censorship Of Slavery:
“No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
Is this some sort of attempt at an idea of Founding Father Infallibility?

ZVTS - KY GOP's Priority

Zandar Versus The Stupid: The Cost Of Rounding Them Up: "I've talked about Senate Bill 6 before, it's flatly unconstitutional and would force Kentucky law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they encounter while on duty. It not only contains all the blatantly illegal parts of Arizona's bill (the parts that were promptly struck down) but several new, even worse provisions...all for dealing with an estimated one percent of the population."

Dogs and Cats Living Together

Novell's patents bought by Microsoft, Apple, EMC, & Oracle | ZDNet: "When CPTN Holdings appeared out of the blue to snap up Novell’s patent portfolio, the only thing anyone knew about them was that Microsoft was behind the group and that’s all Microsoft had to say about its Novell intellectual property (IP) purchase. Now, thanks to Germany’s anti-trust body, the Bundeskartellamt, we know that Microsoft’s CPTN Holdings partners were Apple, EMC, and Oracle."

just because Neibuhr said it doesn't make it right

Tree of Failure - "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope."
Bullshit. This is an excuse to do nothing.

Shooting rampage victim arrested at ABC-TV town hall meeting - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports

Shooting rampage victim arrested at ABC-TV town hall meeting - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports: "A Pima County Sheriff's spokesman told KGUN9 News that they charged Fuller with one count of threats and intimidation, and said they plan to charge him with at least one count of disorderly conduct. Humphries told KGUN9 News that he does plan to press those charges. "

Innovation != Patents

Let’s Compete on Innovation Rather Than Patents: "In the tech world, patents don’t foster innovation; they inhibit it. They are like nuclear weapons in an arms race, in that companies use them to hold competitors back or to extort license fees from companies that can’t afford the time and cost of litigation. These battles play out every week in Silicon Valley: among the behemoths—Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, and SAP—and between behemoths, startups, patent trolls, and large corporations. Startup entrepreneurs live in constant fear that behemoths or patent trolls will bankrupt them with frivolous lawsuits."

Find the Equivalence on the left

Daily Kos: Iowa GOP official agrees that state Supreme Court justices are "open enemies of God": "To those fine people in the traditional media who have been attempting to draw an equivalency between liberal and conservative political rhetoric, I offer a few simple questions: Can you identify any liberals in the broadcast media who are calling public officials 'open enemies of God'? Can you identify any officials of the Democratic Party who are openly agreeing that public officials are 'open enemies of God'? Is such an accusation but an acceptable and normal form of political discourse?"

Matt Sledge: Hacking the Kindle

Matt Sledge: Hacking the Kindle: "Choi isn't the only developer who questions Amazon's decisions on Kindle openness. Kovid Goyal, the lead developer behind the open source ebook management application Calibre, argues, 'it's not so much that they actively want to lock people into their devices, but more that they just don't recognize the value to their customers in opening up their device.'"

Mike Jones’ Kiss-Off Letter To Laid Off MySpacers: “We Can’t Continue On This Journey Together”

Mike Jones’ Kiss-Off Letter To Laid Off MySpacers: “We Can’t Continue On This Journey Together”: "And what exactly was that? Dressing up MySpace for a sale, and then getting rid of half the employees to make its declining financials look a little more appetizing? Yeah, special times."

"Schindler's List 3-D," Anyone? The Problem With Hollywood's 3-D Addiction | Fast Company

"Schindler's List 3-D," Anyone? The Problem With Hollywood's 3-D Addiction | Fast Company: "At last week's CES, for instance, we heard about how director Baz Luhrmann might shoot his Leonardo DiCaprio-topped version of The Great Gatsby in 3-D--as if we couldn't live without Nick Carraway's West Egg adventures in eye-popping visuals. Michael Mann also chimed in at the showcase with a nod toward the technology, saying he wants to shoot a 'pure dialogue drama' in 3-D--cause nothing says 'pure dialogue drama' like enhanced imagery. If only Eric Rohmer were still around."

Woman fights bank fees, missed final house payment - Yahoo! News

Woman fights bank fees, missed final house payment - Yahoo! News: "PHILADELPHIA – An elderly New Jersey woman billed $5,800 after missing the final payment on her 30-year mortgage can pursue her lawsuit against the debt collectors."

Schwarzenegger says governorship cost him $200 million - Yahoo! News

Schwarzenegger says governorship cost him $200 million - Yahoo! News:
"VIENNA (Reuters) – Serving as California governor cost Arnold Schwarzenegger at least $200 million, the bodybuilding star turned actor and politician told a newspaper in his native Austria, insisting 'it was more than worth it.'"

How much did it cost the State of California?

You Can Have My Double Space When You Pry it From My Cold, Dead Hands - Megan McArdle - Culture - The Atlantic

You Can Have My Double Space When You Pry it From My Cold, Dead Hands - Megan McArdle - Culture - The Atlantic: "I love you guys, but you're crazy. On questions of aesthetic preference there's no particular reason that normal people should listen to a bunch of geeky obsessives who spend orders of magnitude more time on these issues than average. It's like how you probably shouldn't listen to me when I tell you not to use .doc files or that you might want to consider a digital audio player with Ogg Vorbis support. I strongly believe those things, but even I know they're pointless and arbitrary for everyone who doesn't consider 'Save As...' an opportunity for political action."

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Stupidinews! What A Headache Edition

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Stupidinews! What A Headache Edition: " Acetaminophen, which is most commonly known for being in Tylenol but appears in a wide spread of medicines, will be limited in the future. It is also the base for many painkillers, for example, oxycodone or codeine. 'Acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. and sends 56,000 people to the emergency room annually. About 200 of them die,' the article above explains."

about those clinton leftovers

Yglesias » Doing It Differently: "Ezra Klein observes that the Obama administration is mainly staffed with veterans of the Clinton administration since that’s the only administration there are veterans of:"

Senate tea party caucus aka the three stooges?

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "Mike Lee has been off most people's radar because he didn't have a competitive race in November, but he's probably going to be one of the most annoying senators in living memory. It's interesting that Tom Coburn isn't a member of the Tea Party Caucus. I wonder why Dr. No declined to be associated with them. Maybe he is like everyone else and thinks Jim DeMint is an asshat."

Evil Obama controls captions

Little Green Footballs - Wingnut Blogger Jim Hoft Mistakes Closed Caption for Applause Prompt at Tucson Memorial:
"Today’s entry in the “Hoft Chronicles of Sheer Stoopit” has him trying to claim that the White House prompted the audience to applaud at the “Together We Thrive” memorial (with his usual taste and class, Hoft calls it a “pep rally”): If White House Was Surprised by Applause at Tucson Pep Rally… Why Did They Ask For It On Jumbotron?"
Stupidity knows no bounds.

Andrew Sullivan is waiting

Caldwell's Unfairness - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"It's important to push back against untruths as much as against incivility. And so when Christopher Caldwell writes the following in the Financial Times, I have to to ask him for actual evidence:"

Andrew will likely be waiting a long time. It is not the norm for conservatives to admit error. Let's see what happens.

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism : The New Yorker

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism : The New Yorker: "“Simply put: There was no Twitter Revolution inside Iran."

RNC vote shows limits of John Boehner's reach - Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns -

RNC vote shows limits of John Boehner's reach - Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns - "Members of the Republican National Committee sent a clear message Friday to the rest of the GOP when they elected Reince Priebus as their new chairman: There’s at least one corner of the Republican Party that’s beyond House Speaker John Boehner’s reach."

which country does the NRA live in?

NRA: Anti-High-Capacity Clip Bill Just A Scheme To Impose 'Gun Ban' | TPMMuckraker:
"The most widely publicized is the proposal by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) to re-impose the 1994 ban on new manufacture of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and to criminalize the transfer of existing magazines between law-abiding gun owners. These magazines are standard equipment for self-defense handguns and other firearms owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding private citizens choose them for many reasons, including the same reason police officers do: to improve their odds in defensive situations."

If I am ever in a "defensive situation" where I need a 30 round clip for my handgun I am in the middle of a firefight in a war zone. What country does the NRA live in? It sure isn't the same America I live in.

What Digby said - Part 2365

Hullabaloo: "And I don't think the founders were too worried about social engineering and collectivism in their time. They were worried about tyrannical monarchy, which I suspect the Tea Partiers would have no problem with as long as the King promised to lock up all the people they hate too. (They never seem to be too worried about the authoritarian state when it comes having a couple million people in jail, illegal warrants, a corrupt justice system or any of the other things the Founders actually were worried about.)"

On getting some judges confirmed

Daily Kos: State of the Nation: "The situation has gotten so bad that Chief Justice John Roberts sharply criticized the Senate in his State of the Judiciary report [pdf] released last week, though he kept his criticism bipartisan, of course. 'Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes,' he wrote."

On Sarah Palin's interview with hannity

alicublog: "I understand Palin is going to address the nation on Martin Luther King Day. I fully expect her to sing 'We Shall Overcome,' and to refer to her Fox News desk as the new segregated lunch counter and to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow as the new Bull Connor and Lester Maddox. Hell, maybe she'll complain that liberal censors prevented her from completing her tribute of Dr. King by performing in blackface."

on internet death threats

Eschaton: "Once upon of time I received lots of nasty email, though not so much anymore. But I don't think I ever received anything resembling an actual death threat, because most people aren't that stupid. A death threat is something that gets you a nice visit from the FBI, at the very least. Sure I got a lot of 'I hope you die' kind of things, but 'hope you die,' while a bit menacing perhaps, isn't close to being a death threat."

Or Maybe Your Profit Levels and Bonuses Are Simply Obscene? | Emptywheel

Or Maybe Your Profit Levels and Bonuses Are Simply Obscene? | Emptywheel: "Note, too, that Chase is one of the national leaders in contracting with states to provide debit cards for state unemployment benefits. I wonder if JPM will forgo these big state contracts and captive consumers as part of its “unbanking” plans?"

It was inevitable: New tea-partying Republican senator thinks child labor should be legal | Crooks and Liars

It was inevitable: New tea-partying Republican senator thinks child labor should be legal | Crooks and Liars: "The reality is that these people don't want to 'restore America' to its 'constitutional' roots -- they want to remake it into an oligarchy."

Duncan Hunter, defender of dadt

Hunter tries to slow 'don't ask' repeal - Jen DiMascio - "A Republican congressman is working on a bill that would slow, or perhaps stop altogether, the Pentagon’s ability to implement the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gays serving openly in the military."

Palin to deliver address at gun convention - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Palin to deliver address at gun convention - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Palin will speak Saturday, Jan. 29, to the Safari International Club (SCI) in Reno, Nev., according to the group's website. The organization bills itself as 'the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.'

After her complete incompetence at hunting was shown to the world you would think she would have the sense to stay home. What am I saying, this is Sarah Palin. On the upside, she does have a great opening act

Don't retreat, reload!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Can 'Buy American' For The Miltary Boost The U.S. Solar Industry? | TPM LiveWire

Can 'Buy American' For The Miltary Boost The U.S. Solar Industry? | TPM LiveWire: "Hannis noted that over the past three years, global manufactures have actually begun to locate plants in the United States to be closer to the US domestic market. Companies like SolarWorld, Schott Solar, and SunTech have moved factories from Europe and China to the United States in that time."

on false equivalencies

Instant Rage | Angry Black Lady Chronicles: "All this talk of false equivalence and both sides do it bullshit–I’m fed up. I’m ready to call their bluff. I will stop using all violent rhetoric including go DIAF. I will even give up fucking people with my trusty rusty pitchfork. Hell, I’ll stop swearing if it means that all the violent rhetoric on the right ceases. How’s that for a deal? No, wait, you know what? Fuck that shit. It never works to try to appease a bully. So. I will not back down. Swearing like a sailor does not do any actual harm to anyone nor am I actually advocating violence with it. Even my rusty pitchfork is metaphorical rather than actual. I will not fall into the false equivalence trap because not it’s simply not true."

Daily Kos: Hannity to free Palin from liberal muzzle on Monday

Daily Kos: Hannity to free Palin from liberal muzzle on Monday: "The interview will be rebroadcast at midnight ET on Fox News Channel. Nobody can force you to watch it, but if you don't, you'll be muzzling the former half-term governor of Alaska."

Justice Department Defends The Defense Of Marriage Act | TPMMuckraker

Justice Department Defends The Defense Of Marriage Act | TPMMuckraker: "'The Department of Justice has long followed the practice of defending federal statutes as long as reasonable arguments can be made in support of their constitutionality, even if the Administration disagrees with a particular statute as a policy matter, as it does here,' government lawyers write. 'This longstanding and bipartisan tradition accords the respect appropriately due to a coequal branch of government and helps ensure that the Executive Branch will faithfully defend laws with which an Administration may disagree on policy grounds.'"

NFL to sell tickets for fans to stand outside Super Bowl XLV - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL -

NFL to sell tickets for fans to stand outside Super Bowl XLV - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - "The NFL will sell fans tickets to an exterior gameday festival adjacent to Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV next month. Those with tickets will not have access to the inside of the stadium, but will be admitted into the perimeter of the stadium and can watch the game on giant monitors."

On Mental Health Funding in Pima County

Daily Kos: Mental health services severely cut in Pima County, AZ in 2010: "WASHINGTON -- In the past year, Pima County, Ariz., where Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others were shot Saturday, has seen more than 45 percent of its mental health services recipients forced off the public rolls, a service advocate told The Huffington Post."

Navy Blocks Retirement Of Admiral Over Video Flap | TPMMuckraker

Navy Blocks Retirement Of Admiral Over Video Flap | TPMMuckraker: "The investigation continues, focusing now on Honors' superiors at the time. That includes Rear Adm. Larry Rice, who was the Enterprise commander from 2004 to 2007 and Honors' superior. Rice, who is now director of strategy and policy for U.S. Joint Forces Command, was scheduled to retire on Feb. 1. But, according to the Navy Times, that's been postponed."

nanoscale views: This just in: a Nobel in medicine does not imply knowledge of basic physics.

nanoscale views: This just in: a Nobel in medicine does not imply knowledge of basic physics.: "One of the 2008 Nobel laureates for medicine is the lead author, and he claims that simply having certain kinds of DNA in water (1) creates electromagnetic waves at very low frequencies, like 7 Hz; (2) those waves are sufficiently strong that a simple pickup coil of copper wire can be used to detect them inductively; and (3) somehow those waves continue to self-propagate in a weird way so that repeated dilution of the solution preserves the 'imprint' of those waves. Wow. The science here is so unbelievably bad, it's hard to imagine that this is serious."

Zandar has a chilling thought

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Last Call: "The same desire for change that put Obama in the White House could very well put Palin there too. Keep that in mind as we move forward."

IBM's Watson wins Jeopardy practice round: Can humans hang? | ZDNet

IBM's Watson wins Jeopardy practice round: Can humans hang? | ZDNet: "IBM’s Watson supercomputer won a practice round against Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter and raised a lot of questions about the capabilities of artificial intelligence."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On The Plight of Health Insurers

Don’t Worry, Private Health Insurers Will Be Just Fine | FDL Action: "Frankly, I don’t know how private insurance companies wouldn’t be able to find a way to capitalize on this opportunity. They now have the government forcing Americans to be their customers, they are going to receive hundreds of billions in government subsidies, and the removal of even the weak public option from the final law alone will result in the private health insurance industry receiving $300 billion in additional revenue over the next decade."

2010 ties 2005 as warmest year on record, researchers say

2010 ties 2005 as warmest year on record, researchers say: "Last year has tied 2005 as the warmest year on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies announced Wednesday."

ZVTS: High Noon On The House Floor

Zandar Versus The Stupid: High Noon On The House Floor: "GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert wants firearms on the floor of Congress and is proposing legislation that would allow members of Congress to carry."

John Cole on Market Psychology

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Market Is a Basket Case: "But a more important thing to me is that it really, really bothers me that our Galtian overlords on Wall Street can’t simply base their financial decisions on empirical evidence, but instead jump like my cat when I turn on the vacuum when someone employs some pretty boilerplate political rhetoric."

Five Emotions Invented By The Internet « Thought Catalog

Five Emotions Invented By The Internet « Thought Catalog: "A sudden and irrational rage in response to reading an ‘@-reply’ on Twitter. The reply is not especially insulting and might be simply a little bit facile, or flippant, or even overly friendly. It is essential that the substance of the ‘trigger’ is not actually upsetting or offensive in any comprehensible way; for example, a total stranger with a particularly goofy Twitter ‘avatar’ might tweet at an individual ‘hope you are staying safe in the snow, [name!] ’ in a totally reasonable and friendly fashion and the recipient instead experiences a sudden flash of negative sentiment like ‘who is this person and what makes someone randomly wish for the safety of a stranger, they are probably a loser, I am offended by the attention of this obsequious weirdo.’"

Yet another reason to think The Third Way is bad

Daily Kos: Third Way's foreclosure fraud "solution" a gift to the banksters: "And as Marcy convincingly argues, they think there should not be any consequences for the banksters who have been illegally seizing people's homes. For the Third Way, the rule of law just doesn't apply to everybody."

Boehner Didn't Really Snub Obama, Tucson Memorial | TPMDC

Boehner Didn't Really Snub Obama, Tucson Memorial | TPMDC: "Boehner's also getting knocked around a bit for what he decided to do while in DC: he attended an organizing event for Maria Cino, whom he's supporting to chair the RNC. But though that may have entailed chatting up donors over cocktails, Steel says he spoke for three minutes and left the event in time to watch Obama's speech on television. And while he plausibly could have made it out to Tucson separately in time for the service, Boehner would most likely have had to charter a military plane, to which he has access as Speaker. Republicans criticized former Speaker Pelosi for traveling via military air during her tenure, and Boehner has committed to commuting to his Ohio district on commercial flights."

Texas Sen. Hutchison Won't Run Again In 2012 | TPMDC

Texas Sen. Hutchison Won't Run Again In 2012 | TPMDC: "When Hutchison announced that she was staying in the seat, several Republican candidates had already been lined up to run in the special election that never was, such as state Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, and former Secretary of State Roger Williams. Indeed, Hutchison might have faced a primary from the right had she run again -- but as it is, some of these former almost-candidates might be coming out of the woodwork once more."

ZVTS: Ted Williams Continues To Climb

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Ted Williams Continues To Climb: "After appearing on Dr. Phil, Ted has decided to enter rehab to fight his dependency and put his life back together again.  There is no guarantee of success, but with all my heart I hope this sticks and that all this good karma is not wasted.  Like so many people out there, there is a huge talent wrapped in a sad story.  I'll keep this up as long as they release updates."

Memo To Kathleen Parker on ‘Father Sky’ Reference in Tucson Memorial | Religion Dispatches

Memo To Kathleen Parker on ‘Father Sky’ Reference in Tucson Memorial | Religion Dispatches: "You may find that it's helpful to know something about a subject before you start talking about it. Just a suggestion."

Ezra Klein - Policy uncertainty rears its head

Ezra Klein - Policy uncertainty rears its head: "In other words, the health-care industry is having to balance investments that it wants to make against the concern that Republicans will repeal the bill and yank away those opportunities. Before the election, John Boehner said employers 'are afraid to invest and hire in an economy stalled by ‘stimulus’ spending and hamstrung by uncertainty.' Now he's the guy stringing the hams."

Palin was Reaganesque?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 « End of Day Report: "

This morning, Sarah Palin released a seven-minute video responding to the media’s vicious smear campaign that attempted to blame her and other conservatives for the Tucson shootings. She shames “journalists and pundits” for manufacturing “a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.” Palin’s speech was very Reaganesque. You can watch it here.
via Right Wing Watch

Tim Pawlenty shows he is serious about running

Pawlenty To Bryan Fischer: I'd Support Reinstating DADT | TPMDC: "In an interview with anti-gay, anti-bear activist Bryan Fischer, potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said 'I would support reinstating' Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Accused Rapist Found Working As Contractor In Iraq | TPMMuckraker

Accused Rapist Found Working As Contractor In Iraq | TPMMuckraker: "So the police contacted NCIS, which investigates crimes for the Navy and Marine Corps, to search the many military bases in and around Norfolk. They didn't find him -- but they did find out the name of the company he worked for."

AFA: Boehner Leading "War" Against "The Powers of Evil" | Right Wing Watch

AFA: Boehner Leading "War" Against "The Powers of Evil" | Right Wing Watch: "In a new fundraising letter asking for help to “restore our nation to its Christian roots,” the American Family Association asks its supporters to pray for House Speaker John Boehner, who AFA says is leading a war against the “powers of evil” – meaning pro-equality and pro-choice members of Congress."

Karma's a bitch

TMZ Sports | "Lebron James believes the SHALACKING that the Lakers put on the Cleveland Cavaliers last night was an act of 'Karma' ... for all the anti-LeBron trash talk he endured back when he left the squad."

Mark Cuban sues UFL

TMZ Sports | "Mark Cuban is suing the United Football League for allegedly stiffing him on a $5 million loan -- the first big sign the minor football organization you never knew a damn thing about ... might go belly up."

Brett Favre's Sister Brandi Favre Arrested in Meth Bust |

Brett Favre's Sister Brandi Favre Arrested in Meth Bust |
Brett Favre's younger sister was arrested in Mississippi today when narcotics agents busted a meth lab hidden in a condo.
via Bon The Geek at Zandar vs The Stupid

Ed Brayton On Frum

Frum: Blame Pot! : Dispatches from the Culture Wars:
That's too stupid to bother with responding to with anything other than derisive laughter.

About that map and the crosshairs

One of my readers offers up this explanation of the crosshairs ...

But what were those symbols? To answer that, I did a little research. Something you would think the media could have done, should have done, but didn’t. And come to find out, according to map legends provided by U.S. Geological Survey, the symbols are indeed regulation map symbols, used on every map created by the USGS.

why didn't Gov Palin say this back when they first came out? she was called out about the imagery when it first happened (including by Rep Giffords) and she said nothing about it NOT being crosshairs. Most ordinary people see that and say "crosshairs".

Disingenuous doesn't even cover this attempt at re-writing history.

Felix Salmon asks a good question

Why do we have a debt ceiling? | Analysis & Opinion |: "Can someone please explain to me why we have a debt ceiling at all? Its existence seems to violate every tenet of risk management and good governance."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

President Obama's remarks at tucson victim's memorial

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
At a Memorial Service for the Victims of the Shooting in Tucson, Arizona
University of Arizona, McKale Memorial Center
Tucson, Arizona
January 12, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery—
To the families of those we’ve lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.
There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through.
As Scripture tells us:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders – representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation’s capital. Gabby called it “Congress on Your Corner” – just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.
That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman’s bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday – they too represented what is best in America.
Judge John Roll served our legal system for nearly 40 years. A graduate of this university and its law school, Judge Roll was recommended for the federal bench by John McCain twenty years ago, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and rose to become Arizona’s chief federal judge. His colleagues described him as the hardest-working judge within the Ninth Circuit. He was on his way back from attending Mass, as he did every day, when he decided to stop by and say hi to his Representative. John is survived by his loving wife, Maureen, his three sons, and his five grandchildren.
George and Dorothy Morris – “Dot” to her friends – were high school sweethearts who got married and had two daughters. They did everything together, traveling the open road in their RV, enjoying what their friends called a 50-year honeymoon. Saturday morning, they went by the Safeway to hear what their Congresswoman had to say. When gunfire rang out, George, a former Marine, instinctively tried to shield his wife. Both were shot. Dot passed away.
A New Jersey native, Phyllis Schneck retired to Tucson to beat the snow. But in the summer, she would return East, where her world revolved around her 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 year-old great-granddaughter. A gifted quilter, she’d often work under her favorite tree, or sometimes sew aprons with the logos of the Jets and the Giants to give out at the church where she volunteered. A Republican, she took a liking to Gabby, and wanted to get to know her better.
Dorwan and Mavy Stoddard grew up in Tucson together – about seventy years ago. They moved apart and started their own respective families, but after both were widowed they found their way back here, to, as one of Mavy’s daughters put it, “be boyfriend and girlfriend again.” When they weren’t out on the road in their motor home, you could find them just up the road, helping folks in need at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. A retired construction worker, Dorwan spent his spare time fixing up the church along with their dog, Tux. His final act of selflessness was to dive on top of his wife, sacrificing his life for hers.
Everything Gabe Zimmerman did, he did with passion – but his true passion was people. As Gabby’s outreach director, he made the cares of thousands of her constituents his own, seeing to it that seniors got the Medicare benefits they had earned, that veterans got the medals and care they deserved, that government was working for ordinary folks. He died doing what he loved – talking with people and seeing how he could help. Gabe is survived by his parents, Ross and Emily, his brother, Ben, and his fiancĂ©e, Kelly, who he planned to marry next year.
And then there is nine year-old Christina Taylor Green. Christina was an A student, a dancer, a gymnast, and a swimmer. She often proclaimed that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her. She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age, and would remind her mother, “We are so blessed. We have the best life.” And she’d pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate.
Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken – and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness.
Our hearts are full of hope and thanks for the 13 Americans who survived the shooting, including the congresswoman many of them went to see on Saturday. I have just come from the University Medical Center, just a mile from here, where our friend Gabby courageously fights to recover even as we speak. And I can tell you this – she knows we’re here and she knows we love her and she knows that we will be rooting for her throughout what will be a difficult journey.
And our hearts are full of gratitude for those who saved others. We are grateful for Daniel Hernandez, a volunteer in Gabby’s office who ran through the chaos to minister to his boss, tending to her wounds to keep her alive. We are grateful for the men who tackled the gunman as he stopped to reload. We are grateful for a petite 61 year-old, Patricia Maisch, who wrestled away the killer’s ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives. And we are grateful for the doctors and nurses and emergency medics who worked wonders to heal those who’d been hurt.
These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned – as it was on Saturday morning.
Their actions, their selflessness, also pose a challenge to each of us. It raises the question of what, beyond the prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?
You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations – to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, “when I looked for light, then came darkness.” Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.
For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.
So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.
But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.
After all, that’s what most of us do when we lose someone in our family – especially if the loss is unexpected. We’re shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?
So sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.
That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed – they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis – she’s our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America’s fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.
And in Christina…in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.
So deserving of our love.
And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other’s ideas without questioning each other’s love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.
That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.
I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.
Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called “Faces of Hope.” On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child’s life. “I hope you help those in need,” read one. “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles.”
If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.
May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in restful and eternal peace. May He love and watch over the survivors. And may He bless the United States of America.

On GOP gun legislation

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » I’m Sensing a Potential Conflict: "I’m sensing a conflict here, but there is the possibility that we could call all the Republicans to the floor of the House and have them citizens arrest each other at gunpoint."

Teahadists at work

Gabrielle Giffords' Arizona shooting prompts resignations: "In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday's massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: 'Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman...I will make a full statement on Monday.'"

why conservatives hate big government

Brown: Cut off AIDS funding |
: "State Rep. Larry Brown said during a discussion of his legislative goals for the year that the government should not spend money to treat adults with HIV or AIDS who 'caused it by the way they live.'

although to be fair ...
Asked how he would feel about the government paying for diseases caused by smoking, Brown said he felt the same as for HIV because smokers "choose to do that on their own."

I understand now why conservatives hate big government. they know that they are assholes who would try to control your life and so they figure that everyone else is too.

Sarah Palin can STFU about Blood Libel

Blood libel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Blood libel (also blood accusation[1][2]) refers to a false accusation or claim[3][4][5] that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims have–alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]"

Clyburn: Palin Intellectually Unable To 'Understand What's Going On' | TPMDC

Clyburn: Palin Intellectually Unable To 'Understand What's Going On' | TPMDC: "'You know, Sarah Palin just can't seem to get it, on any front. I think she's an attractive person, she is articulate,' Clyburn said on the Bill Press radio show, according to The Hill. 'But I think intellectually, she seems not to be able to understand what's going on here.'"

That Gun Don't Make You No Hero, Mister - First Draft

That Gun Don't Make You No Hero, Mister - First Draft: "Guns aren't magic. Guns don't make heroes. Heroism does."

Obsidian Wings: commonwealth

Obsidian Wings: commonwealth
It's fallen from favor, but the idea that the well-being of the people as a whole, and the interests of the people as a whole, are of equal importance with the liberties and privileges of individuals is an idea that predates this nation.  It is an idea that was familiar to the folks who started this country.  It's an idea that has motivated much of the best thought and action in the nation's history.
And it is an idea that should be brought back to the public square for discussion

On The Social Contract

Liberal Says: How can we help each other? Conservative Says: I have mine, now go away.

Yves Smith on Banks

Barclays’ Bob Diamond to Non-Bankers: Drop Dead « naked capitalism: "The reality is that banks can no longer meaningfully be called private enterprises, yet no one in the media will challenge this fiction. And pointing out in a more direct manner that banks should not be considered capitalist ventures would also penetrate the dubious defenses of their need for lavish pay. Why should government-backed businesses run hedge funds or engage in high risk trading, or for that matter, be permitted to offer lucrative products that are valuable because they allow customers to engage in questionable activities, like regulatory arbitrage or tax evasion? The sort of markets that serve a public purpose should be reasonably efficient and transparent, which implies low margins for intermediaries."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What’s Missing - Erick Erickson's Brain

What’s Missing | RedState:
"Through it all though, well meaning people on both sides of the ideological and partisan divide are not talking about the one thing that should be talked about — a saving faith in Jesus Christ."

Gabrielle Giffords is Jewish.
Erick Erickson is a moron.

On the Political demise of Sarah Palin and GOP2012

After the horror show that was her reality series and her complete failure at walking back any of her over the top rhetoric after the shootings in Arizona i think that it is clear to just about everyone that Sarah Palin is a just not ready for the big stage. Now i think that it should have been clear to most people with a working brain a long time ago but ... The question now becomes, who is the heir apparent? Is it really Michelle Bachmann? John Thune? Tim Pawlenty? Romney is a non-starter as is Barbour. My personal prediction is that the next GOP candidate will not be anyone that I have named in this post. I have no idea who it will be though.

The Essential Fraud of Sarah Palin : Dispatches from the Culture Wars

The Essential Fraud of Sarah Palin : Dispatches from the Culture Wars: "For those who are actually paying attention, Sarah Palin's reality TV show essentially puts the last nail in the coffin of her credibility. Despite a massive PR effort to make her out to be an Alaskan mama grizzly out there huntin' and fishin' just like Joe Six Pack -- and total control of the editing process -- what that show ended up demonstrating is that she is a basic suburban dilettante who is completely clueless in the great outdoors."

On Serious Discussions

Assigning Blame: Footsoldiers and Generals of Extremism « Submitted to a Candid World: "We need to have a serious discussion about political morality in this country. If this tragedy provides the opening, then at least something good will have come from it. But by actively hindering a necessary, cathartic discourse, Republicans and conservatives alike will do nothing but ensure that the next time tragedy strikes, they may not be as easily able to avoid direct blame. At the least, they’ll forfeit whatever seriousness and moral authority the movement ever had."

ZVTS - Tinkering at the edges of gun control

Zandar Versus The Stupid: A Loaded Question: "Can't even consider how Loughner got a handgun, and extended magazine or two, and ammo.   Congress is only tinkering around the margins at best."

Zandar Versus The Stupid: From Dancing With The Stars To Serving Behind Bars

Zandar Versus The Stupid: From Dancing With The Stars To Serving Behind Bars: "Of course, DeLay will be out on appeal soon and probably won't be actually serving his time anytime in the near future.  Men like DeLay simply don't go to jail, you see.

Convicted felon has a nice ring to it however."

On Handguns

I honestly do not understand the allure of handguns. There is precisely one use for such a weapon that doesn't involve shooting at paper targets at the range on Sunday afternoon (and i seriously do not believe that every, or even most, handgun owners set foot on a range more than once a year) and that is self defense. Is America seriously that dangerous a place that we need to be armed at all times? The crime stats simply do not bear that out. Someone please explain it to me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I have a 15 year old daughter too

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "My fifteen year old daughter was crying last night.
It was my fault. She was in the room with me when I watched the news about the attempted assassination of of Congresswoman Gifford by Jared Lee Laughner. She also heard that the same killer had murdered a Federal Judge, John Roll. She heard that this madman killed a nine year old girl, Christina Taylor Green, a member of her elementary school student council."

On the anonymous GOP Senator

Profile In Courage Watch - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan: "We elect them for this?"

Learning the wrong lesson

Carolyn McCarthy readies gun control bill - Shira Toeplitz - "Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia, told CNN that he also plans to take legislative action. He will introduce a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to use language or symbols that could be seen as threatening or violent against a federal official, including a member of Congress."

Grayson to challenge Obama in 2012? - Orlando Political Buzz |

Grayson to challenge Obama in 2012? - Orlando Political Buzz |
"So will Alan Grayson challenge President Obama in 2012? The jury is still out. While there are strong signs and a lot of media created buzz, we have yet to hear the words straight from Mr. Grayson's mouth. Even though Grayson will not be visible, the Progressive community will be following him closely for the next couple of years; waiting for a positive affirmation that he is ready to step to the plate. It's all there; he has the monetary resources and he has the support of the people. Now all we need is for Alan Grayson to step up and take the mantle of leadership."
I pray that Grayson is politically more astute than some of his more excitable supporters.

If you want to have President Thune, this is the way to accomplish it.

Monday Drive in Atlanta should be fun

Looks like less snow but more sleet, freezing rain |
The first snow should start falling between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday and will continue until just before sunrise Monday. Sleet is expected Monday morning and it will soon turn into freezing rain that could last into Tuesday."

On overheated political rhetoric

The Cloudy Logic of 'Political' Shootings - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic
So the train of logic is:
1) anything that can be called an "assassination" is inherently political;
2) very often the "politics" are obscure, personal, or reflecting mental disorders rather than "normal" political disagreements. But now a further step,
3) the political tone of an era can have some bearing on violent events. The Jonestown/Ryan and Fromme/Ford shootings had no detectable source in deeper political disagreements of that era. But the anti-JFK hate-rhetoric in Dallas before his visit was so intense that for decades people debated whether the city was somehow "responsible" for the killing. (Even given that Lee Harvey Oswald was an outlier in all ways.)

That's the further political ramification here. We don't know why the Tucson killer did what he did. If he is like Sirhan, we'll never "understand." But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, including SarahPac's famous bulls-eye map of 20 Congressional targets to be removed -- including Rep. Giffords. It is legitimate to discuss whether there is a connection between that tone and actual outbursts of violence, whatever the motivations of this killer turn out to be. At a minimum, it will be harder for anyone to talk -- on rallies, on cable TV, in ads -- about "eliminating" opponents, or to bring rifles to political meetings, or to say "don't retreat, reload."

Video - Marshawn Lynch Touchdown Run

Politico Comment of the day

Some random Fucknut said
I have a little piece of advice for the people in congress.. 
Get rid of all of your crooked people and we wouldnt have this problem. 
The Problem is in our Governement and what they are doing to the American People. Stop this.. and there will be peace on earth.. 
Until then... well expect a nut or two to crawl out and try and take matters in their own hands.. Not saying it's right, but definantly not saying its wrong either. The number one thing to fight for is our Constitution and Freedom, obviously this guy believed that is what he was doing. 
We dont really know what these Democrats were doing or planing. Maybe this guy had inside informaiton who knows. Only a court can decide.

On The False Equivalence to come

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The killing of that child breaks my heart: "The Left in America has never matched the violence of the Right in word or deed. And yet, we are suppose to pretend there is a balance. Fuck that."

A Conservative shopping list

Cute Aprons
Tote Bags
Bumper Sticker

Michele Bachmann, You are the problem too

On cap and trade - March 2009
I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.
On Health Insurance reform - August 2009
“This cannot pass,” the Minnesota Republican told a crowd at a Denver gathering sponsored by the Independence Institute. “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.”
To the Capitol Hill Tea Party - November 2009
"You came. And you came to your house. And you came for an emergency house call," said Bachmann. "And are they going to listen? Oh yeah, oh yeah, they're going to listen. It was Thomas Jefferson who said a revolution every now and then is a good thing. What do you think?"
On HCR Repeal - December 2010
“If they don’t,” said Bachmann, “I think there needs to be an insurrection here in Washington, D.C against our own leadership--because that is the message that’s come loud and clear out of this election: a full scale repudiation and rejection of the federal government takeover of private industry.

Pima Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Calls Out Vitriolic, Hateful Rhetoric | Crooks and Liars

Pima Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Calls Out Vitriolic, Hateful Rhetoric | Crooks and Liars: "In one of the most remarkable press conferences I've ever seen, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik called out for an end to the violent rhetoric that leads to acting-out by people who are 'unbalanced' not once, but three times."