Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Stuff

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Hubert H. Humphrey - there was a great remembrance today in the New York Times by Rick Perlstein here (and I always liked this campaign ad for Humphrey/Muskie in 1968...amazing how timely it still is)...

...and hey, check this out...seems like Gov. Lex Luthor wanted to eject "liberal-looking" people from his budget-signing "private" event - sorry, can't dig that scene, so it sounds like "splitsville," daddyo; ya' think he was worried about people like this?...

...and happy birthday to Bruce Cockburn (wonder if he's also one of the people Scott was scared of?)...

...and here's something from this decade - best wishes for a nice long weekend to one and all.

Friday Mashup (5/27/11)

(Before I say another word, I should point out that posting is going to be highly problematic for about the next 7-10 days. I’ll let you know.)

  • To begin, I give you the following “Thumbs Down” from today’s Bucks County Courier Times (here)…
    To the personal attacks, including profanity, hurled at Pennsbury school board member Simon Campbell during a recent meeting.

    Campbell is a strident opponent of teachers' right to strike and has become a recognized spokesman on the issue across the state. Locally, he and his allies on the board have become a thorn in the side of the teachers union as negotiators try to ink a new contract.

    The success of candidates Simons supported in the primary election apparently piqued the emotions of some teachers, who attended last week's meeting. Foul language and other insults were tossed at a silent Simon, to the delight of applauding opponents. The board president, a Simon opponent, should have cut it off immediately.

    It was a classless and disturbing performance and also a horrible lesson for impressionable students in attendance.
    As one commenter noted…
    Regarding the insults directed at Simon Campbell at a recent board meeting.

    Not a single profanity was used and not a single student was present. The criticism came from residents, not teachers. It should be noted that one former teacher, a resident, did speak harshly.

    Campbell who literally has said he can 'take it' might have been caught off guard by the flow of honest emotion. It was all in reaction to his behavior and tasteless propaganda, and not due to some election results.

    Sadly his wife was in attendance that evening. I am sure she was stunned.

    But Campbell, ever the opportunist, uses that fact to call crying to the paper.

    And this paper dutifully carried his water.

    Please stop your bias, BCCT. The week prior Mr. Campbell held the meeting hostage with his classless attack on the school board president. Additionally a Falls township supervisor screamed that the school board president was a derelict.
    And as another commenter noted, the paper’s august editorial board had not one word to say when Campbell published the salaries and compensation amounts of Pennsbury school district teachers and other employees (though other residents have quite rightly expressed their outrage over Campbell’s stunt).

    And remaining with the Courier Times, J.D. Mullane wrote here about Huguette M. Clark, the New York benefactress who passed away this week at 104. Clark sought privacy to the point where inquiries have been made into her financial affairs (not a reflection on Clark, but only to ensure that her estate was managed properly – no criminal charges have been filed, according to Mullane).

    And as you might expect, Mullane used this as an excuse to dive into familiar territory (no privacy online or otherwise, people too nosey, rude, pushy, whatever – yawn), claiming that Clark sought to be “Boo” Radley in terms of seclusion from the world (a reference to a character from Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”).

    Though it’s a bit of a stretch, I suppose you could draw a parallel between Clark and Radley, though what the character represented in the book was a dark, mysterious force, and the kids (who are the central characters) try to show courage by running up onto his porch and taunting him by various means. When one of the kids comes face to face with actual evil as opposed to the make-believe kind, Radley emerges to save one of them, teaching an important lesson about growing up and making assumptions about people.

    Basically, I’m not sure what kind of a “compliment” it is to Clark to compare her to a mysterious, threatening (but ultimately benevolent) hulk.

  • Next, I give you last week’s Area Votes in Congress (here). And I’m going to save you the trouble of reading and tell you that the writeup comprises three typically stupid votes by Pat Toomey (everyone else from our area senatorial delegation voted in the opposite fashion, and correctly so IMHO).

    The first concerned oil-industry tax breaks…”Voting 52-48, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a Democratic-sponsored bill (S 940) to end several tax breaks for the five largest oil and gas companies, with the savings of $21 billion over 10 years applied to deficit reduction.”

    Toomey voted No.

    The second concerned expedited oil drilling…”Voting 42-57, the Senate defeated a GOP-sponsored bill (S 953) requiring the Department of the Interior to act within 60 days on several dozen applications for deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these applications have been put on hold in response to last year's BP-Deepwater Horizon spill. The bill also sets deadlines for the administration to auction certain outer continental shelf leases in the gulf and off the Atlantic Coast that have been delayed because of the spill.”

    Speaking for everyone else but Toomey, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey opposed the bill, primarily for environmental concerns (also because it won’t do a damn thing now or later to lower the price of gas).

    Toomey voted Yes.

    The third concerned the filibuster of Obama judicial nominee Goodwin Liu (more on him shortly)…”Voting 52-43, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to end a GOP filibuster against the nomination of Goodwin Liu as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco. This was the first defeat of one of President Obama's judicial nominees.”

    Toomey voted No, which helped to kill Liu’s nomination.

    Toomey is proving to be every bit of the right-wing ideologue and utter embarrassment I believed he would be throughout his campaign for the U.S. Senate (and to think that the Courier Times favored him over Joe Sestak because they thought Admiral Joe was long-winded, or something…what a joke).

  • And to wrap up (sort of), I just happened to come across a bunch of items related to the Obama Administration in one form or another, and I just wanted to address them here.

    The first is this post telling us about the “Obama Scandal Indicator,” which makes the somewhat interesting observation that the teabagger “scandals” we all know about have diverted attention from some of the more legitimate ones (if not actual scandals, controversies at the very least) concerning Pfc. Bradley Manning, the recent renewal of the Patriot Act, continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and whatever our commitment is at the moment in Libya), etc. (and the line graph projecting the probability of scandal in a second Obama term is pretty funny, I have to admit).

    The next is this column at The Hill written by Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, who served in the military for 36 years and was, at one time, the head of U.S. CENTCOMM…
    The New START treaty was vigorously debated in the Senate, and was ratified with broad bipartisan support. This was because the treaty is in our national security interest, is supported by every former secretary of state, seven former Stratcom commanders and many other respected voices from both sides of the aisle.

    The treaty makes modest reductions to the U.S. deployed strategic arsenal, but more importantly it creates stability between the United States and Russia and allows the American military to inspect the Russian arsenal.

    Two controversial parts of the NDAA, sections 1055 and 1056, seek to constrain the ability of the President and military leaders to make strategic choices for our nuclear strategy.

    Section 1055 would prevent the reductions mandated under the New START treaty from taking place until the administration certifies that nuclear modernization is taking place. It would also withhold funds for the reduction of non-deployed and non-strategic nuclear weapons until two major facilities in the nuclear weapons complex are completed and operating, which will not take place until the middle of the next decade.

    Section 1056 makes any nuclear arsenal reductions below the New START treaty ceiling of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads contingent on assurances to Congress that the president will not change America’s nuclear targeting strategy. The formulation of this strategy has been a prerogative of every President since the end of World War II, so this provision amounts to a significant rewriting of the rules.

    Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) introduced the legislation responsible for these provisions on the grounds that “[w]e need to act now, to codify the promised ‘To-Do-List’ for modernizing our nuclear forces.”

    This is not the case. They are unnecessary, and run counter to the interests of American national security.
    It figures that those Republican knuckleheads in the House would do something like this to try and tie the hands of our Kenyan Marxist pre-zee-dint who was too busy killing bin Laden to show us his Hawaiian birth certificate (not drawing the lines of presidential prerogative at something as hugely important as nuclear deterrence, or anything else for that matter).

    Also, this column calls for President Obama to speak out more forcefully against Repug obstruction on his judicial appointments; the article also makes what I believe is a good point about the relative youth of conservative ideologues appointed to district courts versus the relative age of Obama nominees (one of the reason why Goodwin Liu’s nomination was targeted was because of his age).

    And on that subject, I give you the following from Texas Sen. John Cornyn in the New York Times today (here)…
    In your May 23 editorial “Breaking Faith,” you claim that I “falsely” accused Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s judicial nominee, of holding the view that the United States Constitution somehow guarantees a European-style welfare state. Yet in a 2006 Yale Law Journal article, Mr. Liu argued:

    “On my account of the Constitution’s citizenship guarantee, federal responsibility logically extends to areas beyond education. ... Beyond a minimal safety net, the legislative agenda of equal citizenship should extend to systems of support and opportunity that, like education, provide a foundation for political and economic autonomy and participation. The main pillars of the agenda would include basic employment supports such as expanded health insurance, child care, transportation subsidies, job training and a robust earned income tax credit.”

    I believe that the professor’s words speak for themselves, and that my characterization was fair.
    Actually, Cornyn’s characterization was ridiculous. Besides, as noted here, child care tax credit savings are higher in Republican states. Also, on the subject of “transportation subsidies” David Frum (hardly a liberal) wrote here in favor of subsidies for high-speed rail.

    In addition, as noted here, Cornyn doesn’t have room to lecture anybody about federal subsidies, considering that his state (under the direction of Gov. Rick “Goodhair” Perry) is running a $23 billion deficit and relies on about $12 billion in federal funds.

    (Also, I have a feeling Cornyn cropped that quote, but I’m not really able to investigate that at the moment.)

    Update: I meant to include this and this in support of Liu bad.

    And to conclude, I should note that former Bushie and Repug consultant/fundraiser Ed Gillespie said here that “Catholics were right to applaud” Orange Man Boehner when he recently spoke at the Catholic University of America.
    I understand why many Catholics measure compassion by how many Americans are on food stamps, and individuals and families in need of legitimate government assistance should get it. But many of us measure compassion by how many Americans can be moved from food stamps and other government programs to self-sufficiency through what Pope John Paul II called “the dignity of work.” Given the record of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress the past two years, if more federal spending created more jobs, we wouldn’t be stuck at 9 percent unemployment.
    Oh, cute.

    I’ll tell you what…check out this post from Matt Yglesias, in which we learn the following (about economic projections from 2001 by The Heritage Foundation, another Repug-simpatico outfit who no doubt have made common cause with Gillespie and will do so again)…
    (Heritage) Promised us that George W. Bush’s tax policies would lead the country into a brave new era of prosperity. In fact, by the end of 2009, payroll employment in the United States was back down to 2001 levels despite population growth.
    (There is also a link to a graph in the Yglesias post showing employment over the course of the last ten years or so that makes the case better than I can that Obama has turned the economy around from the free-fall that concluded Dubya’s sorry second term.)

    Besides, if the Bush tax cuts had been so bloody wonderful for job creation, wouldn’t we now have more jobs than we would know what to do with?

    Gillespie tells us that he’s a CUA alumnus, thus (in his mind) giving him the right to opine accordingly. However, based on this column, it’s obvious that, in his theological study, he somehow missed the lesson about bearing false witness.
  • Thursday, May 26, 2011

    More Thursday Stuff

    We were overdue for another righteous outburst from Dem U.S. House Rep Anthony Weiner, but he obliged here, to our good fortune...

    ...oh, and speaking of "pouting" and walking off the set, as noted here, I give you the following over basically the same issue...

    ...and maybe I'm crazy, but I think this kid has a better-than-decent shot at the Repug nomination for president (Mark Fiore is a damn genius)...

    ...and by the way, pleasant dreams everyone.

    Thursday Stuff

    Probably none of my stinky posts today :-), so here are some videos:

    Keep beating this drum, Congressional Democrats. All the way to November 2012. And don't let up (and by the way, remember this too)...

    ...and kudos to Dem U.S. House Rep Earl Blumenauer for "going there" on climate change and our recent horrific weather.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Wednesday Stuff

    Here is the testimony of Elizabeth Warren before asshat Patrick McHenry that I noted earlier; I think Warren’s shocked expression as McHenry calls her a liar speaks volumes, and if there’s any justice, his sorry ass will get voted out of office (though expecting many voters to remember this in November 2012 is a stretch, I’ll admit…guess it’s my job to make sure they do)…

    …and get a load of this; McHenry’s fellow House Repug Rob Woodall was all about having people do for themselves recently (here, at about :26 - God, and people actually applauded...I feel ill)…well, I guess he’s all about “them’s that got shall get” now based on the rest of this right after his applause line...kudos to that lady who put him on the spot; Woodall really is an idiot if he thinks his health care is "free"...

    …on literally a wholly other note, Miles Davis would have been 85 tomorrow (I believe this was broadcast on The Steve Allen Show in 1964, also featuring John Coltrane…not sure of the other musicians)…

    …and even though I stand by what I said last night about Bob Dylan, I was probably a bit dismissive, so here is another excerpt from his legendary body of work (no video).

    Wednesday Mashup (5/25/11)

  • This tells us that CNBC business news anchor Mark Haines passed away last night – my sympathies to his family and friends.

    And by the way…
  • As noted here, Haines “provided a false analogy in order to mock a new rule that will reportedly require banks to pass a test before they can repay TARP funds.”

  • Here, he helped to propagate the lie that GM workers made $70 an hour (using that rigged formula for computing benefits and adding that amount to hourly autoworker compensation…wonder what Haines’ hourly compensation was using that formula?).

  • Here, he verbally attacked fellow CNBC reporter Erin Burnett in a sexist way while they disagreed over the awful call by umpire Jim Joyce that robbed Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Gallaraga of his perfect game (oh, but Haines was just joking – sure he was).

  • And here (in a bit of a similar incident), he went “weirdly postal” on Arianna Huffington for saying that equity holders in the banks receiving TARP funds should have to fend for themselves, more or less (which I agree with, seeing as how they received taxpayer funds to cover their losses).
  • Just sayin’…

  • Continuing (with the theme of Men Behaving Badly), I’m not sure how many people out there are aware of the verbal abuse that Elizabeth Warren endured recently at a House oversight committee hearing chaired by Repug Patrick McHenry (noted here), but here is an excerpt…
    Warren, a Harvard professor hand-picked by President Obama to set up the new bureau, and whom some Democrats hope will run in 2012 against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), was angered after McHenry, who chaired the hearing of a House Oversight subcommittee, requested she stay for additional questions. Warren said she had been told she could leave after an hour.

    McHenry maintained no such arrangement was made, which set off a round of bickering between the two in the packed hearing room.

    “That was never the pledge,” said McHenry.

    In response, Warren accused Republicans of making repeated changes to the schedule late into the previous day.

    “Congressman, when you asked to change the time four times in the last 12 hours, including waking people up at home last night to change the time again ... ” she began.

    McHenry interrupted, saying, “Let me be direct with you: I never made a single phone call about this.

    “I never heard you had to leave at 2:15,” he added.

    “Congressman, you might want to have a conversation with your staff,” Warren responded.

    McHenry then refused to recess the hearing as members left for votes, maintaining that GOP staff never promised Warren she would be free to leave after an hour, and would merely try to accommodate the request.

    “I’m not trying to cause you problems, Miss Warren,” he said.

    “Congressman, you are causing problems,” she responded. “We had an agreement. ... I committed to you based on representations of your staff.”

    “You had no agreement,” responded McHenry.

    “We had an agreement,” she rebutted.

    “You’re making this up, Miss Warren,” said McHenry.

    At that point, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the full committee, interjected.

    “Mr. Chairman, you just did something that — I’m trying to be cordial here — but you just accused the lady of lying,” he said.

    Warren then offered to respond to the remaining questions in writing, so they could be entered into the public record.

    McHenry agreed to allow Warren to do so, and permitted her to depart from the hearing as the panel recessed.
    In response, I would ask that you name a single politician, appointee or public figure of any type or occupation (or political affiliation) who has had to endure comparable treatment at a congressional hearing.

    Go ahead, I’ll wait.

    With this in mind, allow me to point out how utterly scared shirtless the Repugs are of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Warren would head up, and McHenry’s thoroughly despicable treatment is part of an effort to harass her to the point where Warren will just say the hell with it and walk away from everything (which I sincerely hope she does not do, and I know I have a lot of company on that).

    And that is even more of a reason to sign this petition from Senator Al Franken calling for President Obama to name Professor Warren as a recess appointment, putting an end to these childish theatrics.

    All of this is typical for McHenry, though, who, as noted here, flip-flopped in a truly putrid fashion on the CAFTA vote along with Mikey the Beloved. Also, McHenry once called a member of the Iraq coalition forces a “two-bit security guard” here; this person had the temerity, apparently, to tell McHenry he couldn’t work out at a gym in the Iraq “green zone” (probably trying to keep from getting McHenry’s sorry ass shot off…McHenry apologized, as well he should); also, the Pentagon told McHenry he couldn’t re-air a video he'd shot in Baghdad after accusations surfaced that McHenry breached operational security in detailing enemy rocket attacks (here).

    So I suppose having the “bravery” to attack a woman and an esteemed professional in her field testifying before his committee is about par for the sorry course.

  • Update 7/18/11: Why am I not surprised (here)?

  • In conclusion, I give you three instances of wingnuttia – the first is from Laura Ingraham here (chiding President Obama for having the temerity to hoist a pint of Guinness while the south and the Midwest endure horrific weather problems – kind of plays into this).

    Really, wingnuts, do you want to go there? And by the way, Obama has already said he'll tour Joplin, Missouri on Sunday when he gets back from overseas.

    Update: What Think Progress sez here - come on, Ed, you know better than that!

    Update 5/26/11: Better...

    Next, Burt Prelutsky whines as follows here…
    Why, as a business owner, would I vote for a guy or a party that wants to raise my taxes, in part to pay the salaries of federal employees, the only segment of the American workforce that’s continued growing — 11,000 new jobs in the first quarter of 2011 — in the years since Obama was elected?
    As noted here, Obama signed the largest middle class tax cut in history into law through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. And as noted here, this country just added the most private sector jobs “in years” (though we have far to go on that score, I’ll admit), while public sector jobs are on the decline (here).

    And with that in mind, Mark Halperin wanked as follows here…
    While it is impossible to predict with certainty, it is clear that like much swirling about in politics today, the outcome of the 2012 election (for both president and control of Congress) will be determined in large part by whether there is a grand bargain on deficit reduction (including Medicare changes), and, if there is such a bargain, what the terms of it are.
    As noted here in a Gallup Poll from a couple of weeks ago…
    General economic concerns (35%) and unemployment (22%) are the specific issues currently at the forefront of Americans' minds. The percentage mentioning the economy in general is up significantly from 26% in April, while unemployment is up just slightly from 19%.
    And the debt polled at 12 percent.

    Only brainless pundits like Halperin and the rest of the Beltway blowhards care about the deficit, and only for reasons of political bloviation. The only thing the rest of this country cares about is jobs.

    Those last two sentences should be so concise and to the point that even Halperin can understand them.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Tuesday Stuff

    Here is something to cry about for real, Orange Man (and congratulations to U.S. House Representative-Elect, Democrat Kathy Hochul from NY-26)...

    …and I’ll be honest; I was going to go “all in” and work on some enormous post about Bob Dylan in honor of his 70th birthday, but I thought what he said recently about folk music, calling it “music for fat people,” as well as totally ignoring human rights issues in China when he recently performed there, were both pretty crappy (as noted in this fine column by Maureen Dowd; I couldn’t think of anything to say about it last month when it appeared, but better late than never I guess).

    There were a lot of performers who gave up a lot in the way of commercial success and even risked harm to themselves by standing up and performing songs about what they believed in (Pete Seeger, for example). However, I suppose Dylan really doesn’t believe in much of anything when you get down to it (I’ve mentioned the book “John Lennon: The Life” by Philip Norman a few times in the past, and the former Beatle more or less dismissed Dylan’s supposed religious conversion in the late ‘70s in a fairly snide manner, for the record).

    So, for now, happy birthday, Bob. Congratulations on achieving iconic status as one of the most famous artists of easily the last 50 years.

    But as far as I’m concerned, you’re still a real jerk.

    Tuesday Mashup (5/24/11)

  • Note to the “webmaster” of the Bucks County, PA Courier Times and – concerning your online survey question "Should firearms be permiited in Bucks County parks?," since when is 54 really 82 (I wish, though, that it really were the latter number, given the subject of this survey).

  • Futher, as noted here, it looks like the New York Times has a new Op-Ed columnist, and it is (drum roll, please)…Frank Bruni!

    As noted here…
    …Bruni tailed (George W.) Bush obsessively on the campaign trail (in 2000), filing more than 200 dispatches. But he never once referenced in print the Globe allegations (of a one-year gap in Dubya’s National Guard service). (Just try to imagine the Times' reaction if, during the 2000 campaign, the same Boston Globe had reported on Page One that Gore's discharge papers from Vietnam showed he rigged his wartime duty and orchestrated an early exit by simply refusing to report for duty during the final two years of his commitment.)
    And as noted here, Bruni complained about a “date night” for the Obamas in 2009.

    So Frank Bruni will be the next political pundit for the Times.

    I assume, then, that Andrew Malcolm was unavailable.

    And while I’m on the subject of media idiocy, allow me to point out that Mark Hemingway of The Weakly Standard is alleging some of that dreaded liberal bias from The Washington Post; see, the paper just debuted a blog on think tanks, and the person running the blog is named Allen McDuffee (here)…
    From the Post bio…(McDuffee) is a New York-based politics writer. Part reporter, part investigative journalist, part blogger, Allen has written for The Nation, Huffington Post, AlterNet, Raw Story, New York Observer, In These Times and Truthdig, among others.

    Emphasis added. The Nation? AlterNet? Raw Story? Truth Dig? Those are decidedly left-wing outlets. Can you imagine the post hiring anyone from, say, World Net Daily? Because that's about the right-wing equivalent of some of those publications.
    So, then, what does this alleged left-wing commie hippie blogger come up with in one of his first posts? A collection of links to the following: an L.A. Times opinion column by The Doughy Pantload telling Paul Ryan to run for president, three links to columns in the National Review, two to the New York Post, and one to the American Enterprise Institute.

    The phony umbrage act is really, really old at this point, wingnuts (and I’ll ignore Hemingway’s typically childish slam at the four worthy news sources he mentioned for now).

  • Next, this letter appeared over the weekend in the New York Times…
    To the Editor:

    “Going Back on the Deal” (editorial, May 16) concludes that “there are better ways” to help the unemployed than the Jobs Act, and that changes to the unemployment program go back on a December deal between the administration and Congress.

    The only thing the Jobs Act “goes back on” is the tired notion that more Washington spending is the only way to help the unemployed.

    Washington, May 17, 2011
    (Note: The reason I didn’t include the last paragraph of Camp’s letter is because I’m tired of getting zinged by people who complain that I use all of their content for my own nefarious schemes as far as they’re concerned – and yes, I realize that I could easily be running afoul of someone else’s legal protection, regardless of the fact that I’m not earning one dime for their labors.)

    Basically, Camp is all in a huff because the Times dared to criticize his scheme to use unemployment funds to reduce business taxes at a time when the national rate is 9 percent. This is perfectly typical for Camp, who once claimed that a reduction in spending decreased unemployment after World War II here (actually, unemployment increased slightly, and at that time, both major political parties pretty much subscribed to Keynesian economics, meaning that government spending was the best form of stimulus…so, today’s “pain caucus” wing of the pundit class is wrong on U.S. history, among many other things).

    Also, as noted here, Camp voted to protect outsourcing, voted about a year ago here against extending unemployment benefits, and claimed incorrectly here that money in the “stim” was earmarked for ACORN, which of course is now defunct.

    And as far as I’m concerned, Camp is yet another Republican politician who gives Roman Catholics a bad name.

  • Finally, Claudia Rosett blames Obama for giving food to North Korea today here…
    Millions of North Koreans face horrible deprivation, not only of food but also of heat, light and freedom. Before sending another dime's worth of food to North Korea, why shouldn't the Obama administration sum up the real problem, with budget estimates attached -- and let Radio Free Asia and its cohorts broadcast that illuminating information into North Korea?
    As noted here…
    On July 13, President Barack Obama signed into law a legislation that provides permanent authorization to Radio Free Asia…

    This is good news to the Tibetan service of RFA. Prior to this bill, the authorization for funding Radio Free Asia would not have been available after September 30, 2010.
    Also, this tells us about the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, which is trying to put into place “Ten Practical and Specific Measures for Advancing Human Rights in United States Policy toward North Korea.”

    Could the Obama Administration do more on this issue? I’m sure the answer is yes, but I’m also sure you could say that about every one of his predecessors in office (and you’ll probably be able to say that about his successors also).

    Besides, the measure I use when it comes to North Korea is whether or not they’ve been firing off any missiles lately or making threats involving nuclear material, and since matters have been quiet on that front and hopefully will remain that way, I’m inclined to give the Obama Administration some credit (which Rosett and her ilk are loathe to do, of course, claiming here that Obama should have pretty much just kept his mouth shut about bin Laden…uh huh; imagine what Obama’s predecessor would have done – he would be enshrined in corporate media lore forever).

    Oh, and as noted here, Rosett also demeaned the very serious story of the 2007 World Toilet Summit.

    (I’ll have to “leave it there,” people – as I said, this is a serious issue, but still, I’m sure you can come up with a scatological reference for Rosett here at least as well as I can.)
  • Monday, May 23, 2011

    Monday Stuff

    Paging President Hopey Changey - maybe you should look into this (assuming he's not ultimately in on it too, I realize)...

    ...and this is a kickass little tune - sorry, no video.

    More Lies From Mikey The Beloved’s Energy Escapade

    It seems our Repug PA-08 U.S. House Rep took time from meeting with business leaders in an attempt to spur job creation (of course, God forbid Mikey would stop at a job fair and talk to people living through the hell of unemployment to learn their perspective) long enough to concoct more dreck willingly published by his PR service, otherwise known as the Bucks County Courier Times (here)…
    The need for energy independence is both an economic and national security issue and America must break its addiction to foreign oil and prioritize domestic energy development, now. We have had our wake-up call.
    As noted here, Fitzpatrick voted against funding clean energy development five years ago.

    We know that no single energy source will power our nation and our economy in the decades to come. We also know oil has kept America's economic engine running through our most prosperous eras and it will continue to play a vital role in our energy strategy, although, alone, oil is not enough.
    And speaking of oil not being enough (or whatever), Fitzpatrick also voted against including alternative fuels in our strategic energy reserve here.

    Subsidies for big oil were bad policy then, and they are bad policy now.
    Uh, Mikey, I hate to break the news to you, but as noted here, you voted to continue those very subsidies along with every other House Republican a few weeks ago.

    While President Bush's energy policy picked winners in the energy game, President Obama is attempting to pick the losers.

    Upon taking office, the president imposed a de facto moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, cancelled 77 onshore leases in Utah, and is pushing expansive new EPA regulations that do little to protect our environment while amounting to a massive job-crushing energy tax.
    This tells us that energy experts claim that it is “not credible” to blame Obama for the rise in oil prices, particularly since production has increased under his watch. Also, the cancellation of the 77 onshore leases in Utah occurred because a federal judge ordered the original sale of the land during the Bush era to be put on hold because of discrepancies in the way the contracts were awarded (Improprieties during Dubya’s sorry reign? Color me shocked!), pending the current review by the Obama Administration (here). And the last I checked, it was Mikey’s playmates in the House who were trying to strip the EPA of the ability to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, not the Obama Administration (here).

    And when it comes to “crushing jobs,” by the way, Fitzpatrick claimed during a debate last year with former Rep Patrick Murphy that the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) “turned a $1.6 billion trade deficit into a $6 billion surplus” here (this was in response to Murphy’s claim that the deal “cost Bucks County 5,300 jobs”). Well, this claims that CAFTA will likely end up jeopardizing “tens of thousands” of jobs across the country (I think someone needs to take “a basic economic class at the community college,” Congressman, but it’s not Patrick Murphy, as you once claimed).

    In his 2012 budget, the president went further and proposed more than $60 billion in new taxes and fees on American energy production.
    I honestly can’t find any sourcing of this claim anywhere, though it is noted all over the place at the web sites of Republican politicians and conservative-friendly media. I would only say in response that, as noted here, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips are on track to reap as much as $200 billion in profit from the $4-and-up price of gas this year, so it’s really hard for me to take their blackmail about “$60 billion in taxes and fees will kill jobs” seriously.

    …the Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act is aimed at lifting the president's ban on new offshore drilling and establishes a production goal of 3 million barrels of oil per day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2027.

    Finally, the Energy Tax Prevention Act stops the EPA from imposing excessive and costly regulatory burdens that would increase the cost of filling your tank and heating your home.
    As noted here, President Obama lifted the offshore drilling moratorium last October. And as noted here, the so-called Energy Tax Prevention Act should have been called the Stopping The EPA From Regulating Greenhouse Gases That Will Make Us Sicker For Now, Ultimately Kill Us And Melt Our Planet Act.

    Such a cavalcade of misinformation is appalling even by Mikey’s already low standards. Just add this to the ever-growing pile of evidence to that fact that our U.S. congressional rep is nothing but a puppet for the corporatist malefactors who pull his strings.

    Update: By the way, Mikey also criticized Obama for calling for Israel's agreeing to return to its pre-1967 borders of course (here), even though the following should be noted from here.