Saturday, October 08, 2011

Saturday Stuff

Paging Erin Burnett - why don't you finish up in makeup, darling, and then condescend to get your nails and your hairdo dirty by interviewing those untidy little "99 percenters" (here)...

...and here is more...

...oh, and let's not forget that super-duper deficit reduction committee also (based on this, Clyburn, Murray and Kyl should step down immediately)...

...and I'm cleaning out my "in" bin a bit more and just came across this neat tune.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Stuff

Five years ago today, Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered - here and here are related posts, and here she is speaking about our old buddy Vlad Putin; she warned the world about him, and paid for it with her life (and as noted here, there are actually new legal developments surrounding her death)...

Update 7/18/12: Maybe this will lead to the truth one day - maybe.

...and keeping with this harrowing theme, happy 60th birthday to John Mellencamp (I actually can take or leave most of his songs...not sure about this one yet...but his politics rock)...

...and changing up the mood more than a little bit, I should point out that Fix Noise started its infernal run on cable TV on this day in 1996; with that in mind, I thought the following particularly hilarious clip deserved another look...

...and RIP Bert Jansch.

Bringing The Pain, Part 8

(Time to end this - Part 1 including the setup is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here, Part 4 is here, Part 5 is here, Part 6 is here, and Part 7 is here.)

U.S. Virgin Islands

As noted here, the unemployment rate “jumped” to 9.5 percent in August. Also, from what I can find out anecdotally online, there seems to be a higher disproportionate amount of repetitive strain injuries and accidents in this territory due probably to lax enforcement of workplace safety regulations, as noted here (and the Isles owe the feds $38.5 billion for loans they took out to prop up their unemployment insurance initiatives based on this).


Turning to Mormon-land, the state cut unemployment insurance in April “as a motivation to get people back to work” (nice, as noted here), even though the unemployment rate has been stuck at 7 percent for the last 28 months (here).

Still, though, the state is ranked as one of the ten best for unemployment benefits (here), and this recent item tells us that fewer people in Utah and across the country sought unemployment benefits (indeed, the recent numbers show about 103,000 jobs added last month, as noted here…better, but let me know if and when it becomes a trend, OK?).

Concerning the state’s politicians, “Saint” Orrin Hatch wants to supposedly create jobs by repealing “Obama Care,” even though the evidence from the world of reality tells us that won’t happen (here), which I’m sure he said because of this. And Repug U.S. House Rep Jason Chaffetz (who was thought to offer a teabagger challenge to Hatch, though Chaffetz ended up declining) supports eVerify to supposedly create “millions of jobs,” as noted here (again, wonder if John Galloway in PA knows how much he’s of one mind with the “loyal opposition” on this issue?).


In the Green Mountain state, unemployment was 5.9 percent in August (here), and this gives details on the “One Away” program for workers 55 and older, aiming to find new jobs or keep existing ones. And on top of that, this tells us that “single payer” health care passed (and the world actually didn’t come screeching to a halt), with Dem Gov. Pete Shumlin claiming it will be a “huge job creator” (we’ll see).

This tells us that the state’s farmers oppose the “Secure Communities” initiative since it could be harmful to the dairy industry, which is a big deal (again, this is an argument for common-sense immigration reform including passing the DREAM Act, providing a “carrot” for people who do the right thing instead nothing but a bunch of sticks).

As far as the other politicians are concerned, Sen. Bernie Sanders helped mark the completion of that state’s National Guard solar project, one of the country’s largest solar installations (here), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (along with Shumlin and Sanders) managed to get housing for residents displaced by Hurricane Irene here (again, not completely relevant to jobs, but still noteworthy...might lead to construction jobs to rebuild from the damage).

(By the way, this also doesn’t have anything to do with jobs in Vermont, but it is the state’s fall foliage report…absolutely gorgeous up there this time of year.)


Welcome to the “Let’s Bash House Majority Leader Eric Cantor” Show! And why? Because he completely and utterly deserves it, that’s why…
- Here is Cantor’s supposed plan for job creation (no regulations for business, no taxes of course, and lots of “free” trade agreements).

- This tells us of the Holiday Inn in that state that kicked out progressive groups gathered for a jobs rally (see, that sleazy weasel Cantor was scheduled to speak at that location, and “the rabble” had to be dealt with).

- Here, Cantor called the unemployed a “distraction” and refused to meet with them (of course).

- Oh, and Cantor also says here that the U.S. House won’t vote on the “entire” Obama jobs bill (just the parts Cantor likes, I suppose, which is probably tax cuts and nothing else).
And in case you were wondering, Repug Guv Bob McDonnell is no better on jobs, as noted here…

Looking for good news? Well, based on this, it looks like the upcoming movie on Lincoln will be filmed in VA (kind of interesting since our 16th president really did not have a connection with that state, though his family did). Also, this tells us that the state’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in August (and as noted here from July 2010, that supposedly “zero-job-producing” stimulus funded broadband development through 8 VA counties…I see a few “D”’s supporting it, including U.S. Senators Mark Warner and the departing Jim Webb, but no “R”’s of course).


Gosh, are the residents of this state lucky! It seems that Sen. Patty Murray will serve on the super-duper-Gang-of-6 committee between the U.S. House and the Senate that will bring us sunshine, lollipops and rainbows every day, as noted here (of course, Pat Toomey of PA will also take up space there also – maybe Murray can cancel him out somehow). Murray also deserves credit for funding job retraining programs, as noted here (and as noted here, the state’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent in August).

And heading through the looking glass once more, this tells us that “Lonesome Rhodes” Beck was cited here for his incendiary language that got this nut case named Charles Wilson all stirred up to the point where he threatened Murray and was stalking fellow Dem U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (and why am I not surprised that Billo has embraced this lunacy also, as noted here?). Again, I know this isn’t related to jobs, but I think it deserves to be mentioned.

So what of work matters, anyway? Well, Cantwell supports the BEER Act to provide excise tax relief to small breweries in the state in the hope of job creation, as noted here (I’ll drink to that – too easy). And here is news of a “Working Washington” protest aimed right at this state’s thoroughly execrable Repug U.S. House Rep Dave Reichert (who is apparently considering a run for governor based on this).

West Virginia

Congratulations to Dem Earl Ray Tomblin, who defeated Repug Bill Maloney and became the governor of the state for real (he had been “keeping the seat warm” after former governor Joe Manchin took over the U.S. Senate seat of Robert Byrd when he passed away). This tells us more about Tomblin’s jobs agenda, which includes lower business taxes (yes, I know it’s corporate blackmail, but I don’t have a better idea at the moment…and by the way, as noted here, the Governor-elect needs to have a chat with “The Big Dog” on the environment).

This post from February, though, tells us about unemployed coal miners in the state installing rooftop solar panels (a step in the right direction), and this tells us that the state could be looking at a “mixed bag” of intermittently rising and falling unemployment over the next year (the state’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August).

The Times West Virginian story also tells us the following...
Most of the job gains have come in the service-providing sectors, like health care, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Employment growth is also evident in natural resources and mining, and manufacturing jobs have begun to grow again, (Dr. George Hammond, associate director of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research) said.

“So for West Virginia, the unemployment rate is down from its peak in part because we’ve seen a bit of a rebound in job growth and partly because we’ve seen the labor force decline,” he said.

Hammond explained that some individuals who were employed have dropped out of the labor force. The decline in the labor force isn’t a particularly good sign and is a factor that must be taken into account.
The contingent of U.S. Senate Democrats includes Manchin, who is absolutely odious, truth be told (remember his campaign ad where he shot a gun at a target that had what was supposed to be regulations from the Obama Administration attached to it?), though he definitely stood out against Repug John Raese in the election for Byrd’s former seat last year (with Raese bringing us such slap-your-open-palm-against-your-forehead moments like this). And this tells us how Manchin, his fellow Dem U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and U.S. House Dem Nick Rahall all helped to secure a $5 million federal grant to help unemployed workers find jobs.


At long last, we come to Hosni Mubarak Walker-istan. And to recall how we got to where we are currently at, I give you the following two videos: the first features Ed Schultz with two Wisconsin school teachers and the statement about Walker making public sector workers pay more (along with Ohio and elsewhere)...

...and the second features Rachel Maddow on Scott Walker and Wackenhut (the clowns in Afghanistan), hired to take care of security at the state capitol after Walker canned the public sector security guards, and she connects the dots between the Repugs attacking unions and their support of Democrats (and this may have been Rachel Maddow's finest commentary, by the way).

Continuing, this recent post tells us of 200 school unions in the state that have applied for recertification; this means that those unions would be able to bargain on behalf of their members, but as the post tells us, recertification won’t be easy (and even if a union doesn’t recertify, it will still exist, but it won’t be able to bargain on behalf of its members…to which I say, why exist at all, which definitely is part of the Walker/ALEC/Koch Brothers strategy…also, here is a site containing all manner of articles related to the protests at the state capital earlier this year).

Oh, and lest we not forget, this tells us that Repug U.S. Senator Ron Johnson not only got his business up and running with government help (the same government he now decries when it tries to support the economy), but he staffed his business with prison labor instead of hiring law-abiding constituents from his state and paying them a livable wage.

For anyone who needs a history lesson, there is a reason why the Repugs targeted this state first in their war on workers, and that is because Wisconsin is the state where the progressive movement pretty much began, as noted here. And by the way, the state unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in August (here).


In case you had any doubts about where Repug U.S. Senator John Barrasso stands on the issue of working men and women, this should answer your questions (and as noted here, the state’ s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in August – not bad, but I wonder if that’s partly due to a dispersed population also?).

Also, this tells us that Barrasso and fellow U.S. Senate Repug Mike Enzi have claimed that building up the Powder River Basin coal reserve will create jobs, when in fact the coal has already been sold to China (nice).

In addition, I know this doesn’t directly relate to jobs, but Repug U.S. House Rep Cynthia Lummis declared here last November that the estate tax is causing her constituents to kill themselves, or something (to which K.O. replied, “well then, wouldn’t a better form of protest be to do just the opposite?” or something).

And for good measure, Bushco’s former Minerals Management Service director Johnnie Burton, who is apparently now a congressional staffer for Lummis, is noted here for the shenanigans that went on during her watch (again, not directly related to jobs, but noteworthy as far as I’m concerned)

Update 1/13/12: And it looks like there are some unresolved workplace safety issues in the state, as noted here.


There you have it; I set out to go across the country and look at unemployment in all of our states and territories in an effort to pay more attention to this issue, and I hope that I’ve been successful and maybe, just maybe, spurred some type of positive action on this issue by the politicians who are supposed to represent us. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I have to say that I couldn’t think of a way to wrap this up as I would have liked, but I did manage to come across this item which, I think, helps to reinforce everything I’ve tried to do here. It’s not a real upbeat tune, but given everything going on particularly with the “Occupy Wall Street” and “99 Percent” movement, it might be timelier than we realize.

Update 10/8/11: And this is a reminder as to who "has our back" and who doesn't.

Update 10/20/11: What else could we have expected from the Teahadists (here)?

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words (At Least)

From here...

Update: By the way (for those keeping score at home), there won't be an Area Votes in Congress writeup this week; the House took a break from its non-jobs agenda and only the Senate was in session, and they didn't do much.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thursday Stuff

(Yes, I know Steve Jobs is dead, and I’m sorry about that, but I don’t have anything to say about it.)

I know I mentioned former presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter earlier; on this day in 1976, Gerald Ford said the following during this debate, which, along with his pardon of Nixon (and the primary challenge from Reagan) may have cost him the election (Ford wasn’t a dope, though he was portrayed that way, and yes, I laughed at Chevy Chase too back then…by today’s Repug standards he’d look like FDR, and as I’ve said before, he was truly heroic in the South Pacific during World War II – I think what Ford meant was that the people in those countries refused to knuckle under to Communism; we’ve all had enough time to parse this over the years, and that’s my guess)…

…returning to the present day, here is K.O. reading the declaration from Occupy Wall Street (and it sounds like “New York City’s Finest” aren’t so “fine” at the moment)…

…and here’s a typically well-done report on raising taxes on the “pay no price, bear no burden” bunch (part of what the “Occupy” crowd is trying to accomplish, and those zany Teahadists want it also, believe it or not) from Rachel Maddow (oh, and by the way Senate Dems, it’s waay past time for some of you people to get on board also – here)…

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

…and I thought this item was a good excuse to revisit this vid, so here it is.

Thursday Mashup (10/6/11)

  • I have a bit of a backlog to get to after being down for a bit, so let’s get started with J.D. Mullane here (concerning our financial meltdown)…
    Who created the conditions in which the money men in the financial sector gave mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, touching off economic calamity that gave us “Dodd-Frank” reform? Why, it was the federal government, with its Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA requires banks to make mortgages available in poor neighborhoods, where risk of default can be quite high.
    As noted here by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the CRA did not contribute “in any substantive way” to the economic crisis.

    Of course, as Mullane is quick to remind us, it’s his column and he can write what he wants, however fact-free it may be, nyaah-nyaaah (and the Bucks County Courier Times will continue to compensate him for it).

  • Also, John “Hallucinogenic Drugs” Harwood of the New York Times told us the following recently here (arguing that President Obama will focus on social issues instead of the economy since Number 44 is supposedly vulnerable on that subject, which is specious at best when you consider this)…
    It didn’t work in the 2009 race for governor of Virginia. Democrats tried to cast the Republican nominee, Bob McDonnell, as an extremist on social issues; Mr. McDonnell, now governor, focused relentlessly on the economy.
    (By the way, here is an example of McDonnell supposedly campaigning on the economy from his contest with Dem Creigh Deeds.)

    So what was the first thing McDonnell did after he was sworn into office in January 2010 (him being so “relentlessly focused” on the economy, supposedly)? He told state law enforcement to allow people to bring loaded guns into Virginia’s parks (and let’s not forget HATING TEH GAY too).

    (And here is still more on McDonnell's supposed relentless focus on the economy.)

    (Yes, I know; lather, rinse, repeat - sigh...)

  • Staying with the New York Times, this editorial today tells us the following…
    By a 6-to-6 vote last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit cleared the way for a legal challenge against a dubious legacy of the George W. Bush administration: the wiretapping of Americans’ international communications without a warrant or adequate judicial supervision in antiterrorism investigations.

    The tie decision, which allowed an earlier ruling to stand, was a well-deserved setback to the Justice Department’s accountability avoidance strategy. This Catch-22 says that because the wiretaps are secret, no one knows for certain whether they have actually been tapped, and that means no one has a right to sue the government.

    We hope the Obama administration does not appeal to the Supreme Court, and allows the legal challenge to go forward. Given its dismal record on this matter, we are not holding our breath.
    Neither am I – I’m concerned also for the following reason…
    The most troubling opinion I (in favor of surveillance) was filed by the court’s chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, but joined by none of his colleagues. Judge Jacobs launched into a gratuitous attack on the plaintiffs and their lawyers, whom he charged with bringing the “frivolous” case “to act out their fantasy of persecution, to validate their pretensions to policy expertise, to make themselves consequential rather than marginal, and to raise funds for self-sustaining litigation.” He likened the suit to a plaintiff’s claim that the C.I.A. was controlling him “through a radio embedded in his molar.”

    Judge Jacobs has expressed similar contempt before. He embarrassed the appeals court he is supposed to lead and cast serious doubt on his judicial impartiality.
    Indeed – as noted here, his court issued “a bad reading of federal law” when they let gun manufacturers off the hook in response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s lawsuit, and they also let former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman “skate” as well, ruling that she could not be held liable for assuring residents near Ground Zero that the air was safe to breathe (overturning a verdict against Whitman issued by U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts, who stated that Whitman’s actions “shocked the conscience”).

    And Jacobs has also ruled that Medicaid funds could be denied to disabled people, even though he knew that this, in his words, could be “a death sentence for some patients.” And he also thinks free speech claims from a student newspaper are “silly.”

    So the best the Obama Administration can do on the issue of warrantless surveillance with a court as staunchly conservative as this one is a tie. If that isn’t a message that they’re on the wrong side here, I don’t know what is.

  • Returning to our beloved commonwealth, Repug Governor Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett has apparently decided to punt on the issue of taxing the natural gas drillers, promoting instead a plan from Repug state house reps Gene DiGirolamo and Tom Murt to do that “allow(ing) counties to impose an impact fee for up to 10 years to help pay for the regulation of drilling and fixing damage to the environment” (here).

    This is chicken-hearted non-governance at best, considering that, as noted here, such a tax is favored by 65 percent of the residents of this state (when you consider how much Corbett has received from the natural gas industry, though, as noted here, this is merely “return on investment”).

  • Another “parking lot” item I had was to note that we’ve either already passed the 10-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan or we will do so shortly – here is some reading on this thoroughly depressing (to say nothing of profoundly wasteful) subject.

    Update 10/7/11: Good for the Dems calling to end this insanity here.

  • In addition (returning to local area politics in Bucks County), I give you the following from Gene Dolnick, president of the Pennsbury School Board (here)…
    There is a concerted effort to discredit and demonize the current board majority of Goldberg, Sanderson, DiBlasio, Palsky, and myself as being left-wing, union panderers who are not responsive to the needs of the community. This effort is being undertaken by “Better Pennsbury” and certain elements within the Republican Party. The champions of the effort to take control of the school board are Simon Campbell and Allan Weisel. They have actively recruited Steven Kosmorsky, Chris Cridge, and Dorothy Vislosky to unseat incumbents. If only two of their candidates win, they will, with the help of Zawacki, take control of the school board. Their organization has mounted a campaign attempting to portray an image of inadequacies, of secrecy, of deceit, and have recruited a cadre of people to accentuate their agenda at board meetings.
    Dolnick goes on to make his case as to the fact that the charges faced by the current majority of the Pennsbury school board are utterly manufactured and typically ridiculous.

    We must do all that we legally can to support Goldberg, Sanderson, DiBlasio, Palsky and Dolnick and oppose Campbell, Kosmorsky, Cridge and Vislosky; if any two of the latter bunch wins, the kids in our school district will surely lose (increased class size, less time for teacher/student review, tighter budgets which usually means fewer textbooks, etc., etc., etc.). And that doesn’t even consider the rabid right-wing agenda that usually follows also when these cretins take over.

    Also keeping with local area politics, please click here to support Diane Marseglia and Det Ansinn for Bucks County Commissioners (here is more on their development plan for the county), and click here to read about Ken Seda/Ron Schmid who are running for Lower Makefield Township supervisors.

  • Finally, today marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and with that in mind, I give you the following excerpt from “The Unfinished Presidency” by Douglas Brinkley (about former President Jimmy Carter)...
    Carter was working in his Plains study on October 6, 1981 when a reporter called to ask his response to the attempted assassination of Sadat. The former president broke out in goose bumps. This was the first time he had heard about the hail of automatic gunfire at a military parade in Cairo that left eleven dead and forty wounded. Reassured that his Egyptian friend had “only suffered minor injuries” in the shooting, Carter gave the reporter a short statement denouncing terrorism, then quickly ended the conversation so he could try to reach Sadat in Cairo. Unable to do so, Carter talked to the American ambassador in Egypt, who reassured him that Sadat was alive and that the failed assassins – an Egyptian army major and two enlisted men – had been apprehended. Carter monitored CNN news reports all that afternoon, expecting to hear upbeat updates, when suddenly the tragic news of Sadat’s death was announced, the assassins having been identified as religious fanatics opposed to Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel and his recent ordered arrest of 1,500 Coptic and Muslim extremists. Carter sat alone in his study and wept. “It was a great personal loss for me and a severe blow to the prospects for peace in the Middle East,” he lamented.

    Shortly after the grim announcement, Sadat’s widow Jehan called Jimmy and Rosalynn and invited them to stay at her Cairo home for the funeral. The Carters were, after all, close to Sadat’s entire family, including his children and grandchildren. Shortly thereafter, however, the State Department called. On the grounds that government security agencies deemed it “too dangerous” for (then President Ronald) Reagan and (Vice President George H.W.) Bush to make the journey to Egypt, State officials formerly requested that Carter join ex-presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the official U.S. delegation to the funeral.

    This was Alexander Haig’s brainchild, and Carter refused. Incensed that Reagan was afraid to make the journey, he was determined to go to the funeral on his own. The State Department mounted a relentless campaign to change his mind: “Ed Muskie and Cy Vance and Jody Powell and Hamilton Jordan and financial contributors to my campaign all called to say I should go with the official delegation,” Carter recalled. “So after about the tenth call I decided I would go with Nixon and Ford. I was really aggravated about it, though.” Reagan did apologize for staying home at an interfaith memorial service for Sadat at the National Cathedral, where the Reverend John T. Walker, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, eulogized the Egyptian president as a “great prophet” for global peace. Before attending the service, Reagan had signed a proclamation instructing all American flags on government buildings, embassies and naval ships to be flown half-staff. The only foreign citizens previously accorded such an honor were U.N. Secretary Dag Hammarskjold in 1961 and Winston Churchill in 1965.
    (By the way, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the former U.N. Secretary General’s death in a plane crash; I read the following remembrance recently, which I thought was well done.)
    Stricken with grief, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter flew to Washington, D.C., where they met Nixon and Ford for a helicopter ride at dusk to the South Lawn of the White House. Once inside, they traded stories about Sadat with President Reagan in the Blue Room for more than half an hour. “We had a short but necessary meeting with Reagan.” Ford recalled. “It was a very wise decision on his part to have us former presidents attend the funeral as a display of continued American support of Egypt.” Reagan, in a low-key mood, wished his three predecessors good luck with a toast: “Ordinarily I would wish you happy landing, but you’re all Navy men, so I wish you bon voyage.”

    Carter was impressed neither by the occasion, by Reagan’s remarks, nor by his own return to the White House. “The only reason Reagan greeted us was to have a photo of four presidents together,” Carter quipped. And the shot would be a rarity: this was the first time in the twentieth century that three former presidents had meet with an incumbent. What’s more, not since Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and then-vice president Lyndon Johnson attended the funerals of former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn in 1961 and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1962 had so many presidents appeared in the same frame.

    It was clear who was in charge on the flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Cairo: Alexander Haig, the official leader of a delegation that included a handful of congressmen and senators, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, ambassador to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick, army chief of staff Gen. Edward Meyer, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Motown singer-composer Stevie Wonder, and a fourteen-year-old boy from Liberty, South Carolina who had become pen pals with Sadat. Haig claimed the large compartment in the front of the plane for himself, leaving the three former presidents, Rosalynn, and Kissinger to fight for elbow space in the small press compartment.

    Nixon noticed that there was some initial tension between Carter and Ford, so he played the icebreaker. “We were all former presidents who served our country well, so there was no reason for any residual bad blood between us,” Ford recalled. “Nixon brought us all together.” As for the incumbent administration, throughout the flight Reagan’s chief of protocol, Lee (Mrs. Walter) Annenberg, continually interrupted the former presidents’ conversations and naps with firm instructions from Gen. Haig as to his rules once they arrived in Egypt. “One of the instructions was that when we arrived in Cairo, no one was to get off the plane before Secretary of State Haig,” Carter recalled. “He was to get off first, and he was the only one to speak to the news media. It was ridiculous. He treated us like children.”
    Why am I not surprised to read this about Al "I'm In Charge Here" Haig, by the way?
    Upon landing Haig strode off the plane like Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines and addressed the press pool assembled at the airport as the three former presidents stood muzzled on the tarmac. When he was finished, Haig waived the former commanders-in-chief into armor-plated limousines flown in from Washington, which whisked them first to their hotel and then to meet Hosni Mubarak at the Al-Tahara Palace. Cairo was quiet, its streets empty due to the four-day feast of Eld al-Adha, a traditional Muslim observance that not even Sadat’s assassination could disrupt. At the palace Mubarak assured the American presidential delegation that he would carry out Sadat’s policies, including the Camp David peace accords. Carter felt fully confident of Mubarak’s ability to govern Egypt and his own mission to create a Palestinian homeland, as determined at Camp David, in memory of “Brother Anwar.”
    As Wikipedia tells us, Sadat was the first Arab leader to visit Israel officially when he met with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and spoke before the Knesset in Jerusalem in November 1977. He then participated in the Camp David Accords with Carter and Begin, which led to the 1979 peace treaty (and as I recall from reading the Brinkley book, Carter expressed his frustration with Begin on numerous occasions for not moving forward as prescribed by the Accords, which ended up driving Carter towards Yasir Arafat and the PLO…as much as I respect Carter, I think he was wrong to help elevate the profile of a thief and demagogue like Arafat, though I can understand the former president’s frustration).

    The treaty, however, galvanized Arab opposition to Arafat, which led to his murder (also noted in the Brinkley excerpt…on top of that, it didn’t help that Sadat quite rightly referred to Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni as a “lunatic”). And for that reason, we should take a minute or two today and recall heroism on the part of a world leader the like of which we may not see again in our lifetimes.
  • Wednesday, October 05, 2011

    Wednesday Stuff

    I've been in and out of sick bay over the last few days - hopefully things are turning around...

    In the meantime, what else could we have expected (here)...

    ...and what other tune is more appropriate in response?

    Tuesday, October 04, 2011

    Tuesday Stuff

    (I'll try again to post tomorrow...)

    Happy 150th birthday to acclaimed U.S. artist Frederic Remington - here is a tribute...

    ...and I wonder what Remington would have thought of "Goodhair" Perry...

    ...and by the way, I think K.O. and Louise Slaughter mean Silent Clarence Thomas here, not Scalia; they're right all the same, though, especially on the "retroactive recusal" thing...

    ...and speaking of those zany teabaggers (on behalf of whom Thomas's wife has cleaned up), here's a tune just for them.

    Monday, October 03, 2011

    Monday Stuff

    Once again, the eternal George Carlin explains everything, bad words and all (I wouldn’t go so far as saying “forget the politicians,” though – for all their faults, I believe the Dems are the only shot we have, which is sad I know…here)…

    …and this gentleman is definitely someone our “keepers” want for “running the machines,” even though he makes waay too many thoughtful statements for their liking – kudos to him (and this is thoroughly unsurprising)…

    …and speaking of Fix Noise, I wonder if they would have edited this from their beloved hero also?...

    …and happy 60th birthday to Keb’ Mo’ (takes a few seconds to get going, but it's worth it - you win 50 bonus points if you guess his real name).

    Some Random Thoughts On Amanda Knox

    I usually don’t post about stuff that’s as topical as the Amanda Knox case, of course, in which she and her boyfriend are now free from an appeal of the guilty verdict in Italy that originally convicted them both of the rape/murder of Knox’s roommate. However, I’m just going to say a word or two partly because I happened to be in the vicinity of CNN when the verdict was handed down, and also because I probably won’t have time today to post about much of anything else.

    Also in the background was the radio, and I heard Smerky commenting on the case, having cut off his pundit bloviation so everyone could hear the verdict live. He must have been watching a cable news feed also, since he offered the following utterly witless observations, saying that the courtroom in Italy reminded him of the trial in “The Godfather Part 2” (particularly brainless since the “trial” in the movie was a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.), and our intrepid pundit also said “Did you notice the crucifix behind the judge’s bench” or words to that effect (uh, we’re talking about Italy, where the Catholic Church has just a bit of a presence, you nematode).

    If Knox and her boyfriend are truly innocent, then I’m happy for them both. I’m also sad for the family and friends of the victim, who now have to go through this horrific cycle of despair all over again.

    And finally, as I watched the coverage, I couldn’t help but think that, had the same level of examination and adherence to Italian law and investigative procedure been applied in Georgia, Troy Davis would still be alive.

    Sunday, October 02, 2011

    Sunday Stuff

    Yeah, what the hell - according to Andrew Ross Sorkin, there are only about "80 people" involved, so what does it matter, right (here)?

    Does this look like "80 people" to you?

    Oh, and as noted here, the New York Times interviewed individuals from "Occupy Wall Street" who said that the police didn't tell them they couldn't march in traffic lanes across the Brooklyn Bridge. Too much trouble to be proactive, I guess...

    ...and happy 60th birthday to Sting (and here is the story behind the song).