I'm starting on the last room in the remodel. Looks like I'll have everything closed up before vacation.
And, for your listening pleasure, that "Limey guit-ar picker" (as Gord calls him) and his boys:
Oh, by the way, the current flap going on with Russia?
Yeah, SHINY, ain't it?
Ask yer neighbors how they are doing.
The foreclosure rate in California,ALONE, is ONE THOUSAND, THEE HUNDRED, PER DAY.
As a new report forecasts that the 190,000 private contractors in Iraq and neighbouring countries will cost U.S. taxpayers more than 100 billion dollars by the end of 2008, an under-the-radar Florida court case suggests that U.S. President George W. Bush -- a staunch contractor supporter -- is preparing to throw security contractors such as Blackwater under the political bus.
As John McCain and the Republicans trumpet their election year boldfaced lie–drill now so we can lower prices at the pump today–they continue to ignore a looming energy disaster with lives hanging in the balance.
Currently, eight million homes rely on heating oil during the winter months, and last winter’s prices forced too many citizens to choose between heat, food, and medicine.
According to the New York Times, heating oil prices are now 36 percent higher than they were last winter and bills will be up to $1500 higher than they were last year. As for the 54 million households heating with natural gas, prices are expected to be 67 percent higher this winter. Current funding for the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is below 1980’s levels–”a time when fuel prices were just a tiny fraction of what they are now,” The Timberjay newspapers point out. In fact, last year’s $2.5 billion in LIHEAP funding allowed just 16 percent of eligible recipients to receive aid. Congressional representatives of New England states have sought as much as $6.5 billion in additional LIHEAP funding to meet the anticipated needs of the upcoming winter. With both lower-income and middle-class people now unable to afford this basic necessity–a requirement for security in one’s own home–newspapers in the Northeast are sounding a clarion call to head-off the impending disaster.
Indeed, the crisis has gotten the attention of Democrats–and some Republicans–in Congress, but an effort to respond was thwarted by yet another GOP Senate filibuster. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tried to increase LIHEAP funding all the way back in November, while President Bush proposed cutting it by $379 million. In March, Sen. Sanders offered a budget amendment that would have rescinded the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest three-tenths of 1 percent of taxpayers and increased LIHEAP funding by $4 billion. Last month, he was the lead sponsor of the Warm in the Winter and Cool in the Summer Act which would double LIHEAP funding, adding $2.5 billion to the program (less than one week’s funding in Iraq). Although President Bush threatened a veto (no surprise there, he has also proposed cutting the weatherization program that helps lower-income families reduce energy consumption over the long-term), there were fifty-two co-sponsors, including thirteen Republicans. Sanders called it a “tripartisan bill” with the majority of Congress, the nation’s governors, AARP and others on board.
But when it came time to vote on the legislation on July 26, there were only fifty votes to end a Republican filibuster–ten shy of the sixty needed to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. The GOP wanted “a vote on legislation that would open up the continental shelf to oil drilling.”
“I understand the games that are played in Washington, but it doesn’t make the obstruction tactics any less revolting,” Sanders said following the vote. “This is life or death. People are dying in the summer heat. People will freeze to death this winter.”
While Republicans continue to push drilling as their election year elixir, real pain, real lives, and real security are ignored.
Christmas came early this year for Vladimir Putin.
In a letter written in 1648, Swedish statesman Axel Oxenstierna, chancellor to both King Gustavus Adolphus and Queen Christina, counseled, "Know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed."
Neiwert goes on to describe what happens to these kids. Think the worst and you would be right.
It's just as awful in its own way when they "keep the families together" --- in prison camps:
... "Jerome Corsi is a discredited liar who is peddling another piece of garbage to continue the Bush-Cheney politics he helped perpetuate four years ago," ...
Maliwan Clinton recalls her first taste of America with a shudder. In this fabled land of the free, she was enslaved behind razor wire and around-the-clock guards in an El Monte sweatshop, where she and more than 70 other Thai laborers were forced to work 18-hour days for what amounted to less than a dollar an hour.
The El Monte case drew international attention, blazed new paths in immigration and labor law, led to legislation offering visas for victims of human trafficking and became the subject of an exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution.
The case marked the first time in federal court that garment workers successfully held manufacturers and retailers responsible for the actions of their labor contractor.
It was the shocking nature of modern-day slavery in such a nondescript American neighborhood that so riveted the nation, Su said.
Ultimately, law enforcement officers arrested eight operators of a Chinese Thai garment sweatshop in an early morning raid in August 1995 and freed 72 Thai immigrants, some of whom had been held captive for at least four years.
Clinton and the Chuai Ngans said that whatever travails they endured here, their American journeys have been well worth taking.
Is it just us or are Graham and Lieberman the Larry and Curly to McCain's Moe?
But considering that one of the main lines of attack Republicans are pushing against Obama these days is that he’s presumptuously declared himself president before Election Day, it’s a little curious that the GOP nominee thinks sending campaign surrogates to visit the war is a good idea.
John McCain today said that his opponent Barack Obama is "too smart to be president".
"We don't need another wise guy like Bill Clinton to balance the budget and make the economy grow.
What America really needs is four more years with a backslapping clown like me winking and schmoozing with all my Washington insider pals like David Broder, Cokey Roberts and Wolf Blitzer.
My reporter buddies don't give a rats ass about my connections to the oil industry, my nine mansions or my $800 pair of Bruno Magli shoes with the solid gold taps.
All they care about is being invited to those exclusive cocktail parties with all the powerbrokers.
If the Washington insider press was really on the ball they might figure out who the real elitists are," said McCain to a standing ovation by the Washington Press Corps.
Meanwhile, McCain himself was sent out to pose in front of working oil rigs, to testify to his thirst for pulling more black gold from the earth. The message couldn't be plainer: See that itty-bitty, little tire gauge? If you vote for Obama, that's how big your penis is. If you vote for McCain, on the other hand, your penis is as big as this rig, thrusting its gigantic shaft in and out of the ground! Real men think keeping your tires inflated is for weenies.
Goddamn, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is such a cunt. [...]
If the Rude Pundit had been asked, as Goodling did, "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?" he'd have answered, "He smells like lime and coca leaves."
For reporting that is an embarrassment to the profession of journalism, and for being beholden to corporate paymasters rather than the citizens of America.
Cokie Roberts went on attack this week, trying to portray Sen. Barack Obama's vacation to the state in which he was born and raised, and where close family members still live, as seditious. Instead, we think she came off looking like a bigoted tool of the RNC, which more than qualifies her to be this week's Media Putz.
The great irony, of course, is that this was supposed to be the epoch of the Pax Americana. Ooops.
Meyerson calls attention to what he calls the masterstroke of the opening Olympic ceremonies; the decision to feature the little hero of the earthquake, the boy who went back to save his schoolmates because he was hall monitor and it was his duty. Meyerson points out that this "cuddly capitalist-Leninism, already much beloved by our major banks and corporations for its low-wage efficiency, poses a genuine economic challenge to the messier, unsynchronized workings of democracies. A nation that can assemble 2,000 perfectly synchronized drummers has clearly staked its claim as the world's assembly line."
Once again, I'm struck by how much the neocons and their fellow travelers are similar to those they purport to hate. They too are nationalists, who would be proud to have Americans marching in lockstep to the tune of a (properly conservative) government on the world stage. (The Randians would naturally prefer that the ceremony be sponsored by a multi-national corporation, for "freedom's" sake.)
Meanwhile, McCain is milking this for all he's got and it looks like we're about to see if he can persuade the American people that we are a proud warrior race who will smite evil and darkness wherever we see it (while eating Big Macs and watching TV, naturally.)
"She's a bit of a fool that's the only thing you can say," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie. "Don't forget Cokie Roberts and the whole Washington crowd live in a kind of an incestuous relationship to one another, they talk to one another, they see one another, they know nothing about ordinary people."
"If you can’t keep a promise to your family, can’t keep a promise to your wife, you’re having an affair, you’re lying about the affair repeatedly. Why should the American people trust you when you say you’re not gonna lie to them? Why should we trust you?"
Do you wonder how the Pentagon used its military analyst program to spin military operations in Afghanistan, the Guantanamo Bay detention center or another issue? Are you curious whether a certain group or person -- say, Vets for Freedom or John McCain -- is mentioned in the Pentagon documents? Now you can easily search through the more than eight thousand pages of Pentagon pundit records.
Exposing the workings of the Pentagon's military analyst program isn't merely an academic pursuit. Citizen-driven investigations can help achieve real accountability. Without outside scrutiny, the ongoing investigations of the program -- by the Defense Department's Inspector General, Government Accountability Office and Federal Communications Commission -- may remain in limbo, where the only effect they have is to deflect further calls for action. Or, if the investigations are closed when no one's paying attention, their findings may easily be watered down or never acted upon.
Democracy needs its own "force multipliers." Can you help?
It’s touching how American neoconservatives who have no regard for international law when they want to invade some troublesome country have developed a sudden reverence for national sovereignty.
While major U.S. news outlets may be comfortable wearing blinders that let them see only wrongdoing by others, the rest of the world views the outrage from Bush and the neocons over Russia as a stunning double standard.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A gunman entered the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters Wednesday and shot the party chairman, who was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
She said the secretary described the man as in his 40s and white and drove off in a blue truck.
This begs the question whether Bush had returned, in full, to his Frat boy days at Yale, including getting high on the sauce. Wonkette, for one, asked the question, "Was Bush Falling Down Drunk At Olympics?"
Bush's behavior at the Olympics should have been a national scandal, but big media just shrugged it off as jocular good fun.
As for Laura and George's marriage (and her much rumored short stay at the Mayflower Hotel last year), only time will tell if George, the self-avowed alcoholic, has returned to his old ways.
In the meantime, if you want to even consider the possibility that George is downing liquor, the only place, apparently, you will be allowed to openly read about it is in the tabloids.
Of course, tabloid fodder about Britney, Brangelina, Paris, Rosie, and the like regularly seep up the feeding chain into the corporate press, but Bush's personal life is off limits.
The question is why?
Isn't he the one still answering the 3 AM phone calls?
Actually, probably not. They just go directly to Dick Cheney. He's only drunk when he is out shooting friends ... uh, we mean pheasants.
The national embarrassment that is our president once again raises its reddened face. In photographs from the Olympics in China, it appears that recovering souse, George W. Bush, is relapsing.
In one picture his face is flushed, his eyes droop, and his expression is dopey. In all fairness, that may be his normal expression. However, the bloody scrape on his arm suggests that he has recently taken a less than normal fall.
In the other picture, Bush appears to be having trouble remaining upright without considerable help. It takes three men to prop up the wobbly boozer-in-chief.
Don’t it make ya feel proud?
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama unveiled a group of disaffected high-profile Republicans on Tuesday who he hopes will help him win the support of Republican voters in swing states.
"This is simply not a time for politics as usual," said Jim Leach, a former congressman from Iowa who endorsed Obama on Tuesday.
Leach, one of "Republicans for Obama" effort, said he thought that Obama would return the presidency to a less partisan style that looked to more international cooperation and was "rooted in very old American values."
Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) showed such courage Friday when they announced their support for attorney-general nominee Michael B. Mukasey. Both are members of the Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Mr. Mukasey's nomination. It is likely that their support salvaged Mr. Mukasey's nomination, imperiled because he would not state outright that the interrogation method known as waterboarding, or simulated drowning, is illegal. While we, like Mr. Schumer, Ms. Feinstein and others, would have wished for such an answer, supplying it would have put Mr. Mukasey in conflict with Justice Department memos that likely allow the technique -- memos that those who may have carried out or authorized waterboarding relied on for legal protection. Both Mr. Schumer and Ms. Feinstein cited Mr. Mukasey's intellect, his stellar qualifications and his reputation for being straightforward and independent as reasons to support his nomination.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced today that no Justice Department employees are likely to be prosecuted on charges that they allowed political considerations to influence department hires.
This, despite a pair of recent inspector general reports that concluded that at as many as six justice officials illegally allowed the political views of prospective employees to be factored into hiring decisions.
I have this little question I ask about the candidates every political season. I ask myself which candidate I would trust enough to turn my home over to for one month? If I went away for a month, who would I trust with my checkbook to pay the monthly bills? Who would I trust to care for my house, pets, plants and the general everyday running of my home?
WASHINGTON - Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.
The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.
Q [NBC's Bob Costas]: But given China’s growing strength and America’s own problems, realistically how much leverage and influence does the U.S. have here?
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I don’t see America having problems. I see America as a nation that is a world leader, that has got great values. [my em]
Another picture came to mind. Does it occur to Bush that he is sitting in the country that bought all of the red ink that he and his criminal administration could supply? Has Bush or any of his minions given any thought as to what we could use for collateral, I wonder?
I have. The highest debt ever, we thought at one time, was "charged" up by the Reagan/Bush Number One administration, but again, another Republican administration this time, outdid them all. We Americans cannot afford Republicans (my em).
Debt, death, and destruction and people want to argue or even think about who to vote for? Why are those three "D's" not considered as dishonoring the US flag?
Most of us Americans look to our US flag as a symbol of freedom and the unity of the states of this nation, one brotherhood, neighbor to neighbor ... life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for one and all. A living, breathing democracy. How is that possible for those Americans who put their trust in US leadership and US military, when they are either losing their jobs, their homes and livelihoods, losing their lives, or after serving this country, are homeless, without benefits, and living on the streets?
How is that possible for Americans who are constantly being harassed through Bush GOP legislation? Through constant privatization and constant deregulation ... the killing off of everything our flag symbolizes. A slow death of what every American wants to believe in. And, do we hear Americans complaining? Voicing their anger? Their rage? Not loud enough!
None of this is being headlined, except on the Internet. The big guy media treat Bush as if he was really somebody, not as the head of a branch of government that needs to be pursued for crimes against humanity, as if the lives of over 5,000 innocent Americans are not worth that ... as if the spent lives of over a million innocent men, women, and children are not worth seeking justice for them. It's called accountability for Afghanistan, Iraq, and New Orleans, and anyone in government who supported the Bush regime. Anyone and everyone.
In the five-year struggle to finish the war in Iraq, military leaders and their troops have said a particular weapon is among the most effective in their arsenal:
Soldiers walk the streets carrying thousands of dollars to pay Iraqis for doorways battered in American raids and limbs lost during firefights. Sheiks appeal to commanders to use larger pools of money locked away in Humvees and safes at military bases for new schools, health clinics, water treatment plants and generators, knowing that the military can bypass Iraqi and U.S. bureaucratic hurdles.
Army documents show that $48,000 was spent on 6,000 pairs of children's shoes; an additional $50,000 bought 625 sheep for people described in records as "starving poor locals" in a Baghdad neighborhood. Soldiers ordered $100,000 worth of dolls and $500,000 in action figures made to look like Iraqi Security Forces. About $14,250 was spent on "I Love Iraq" T-shirts. More than $75,000 sent a delegation to a women's and civil rights conference in Cairo. And $12,800 was spent for two pools to cool bears and tigers at Zawra Park Zoo in Baghdad.
The tactic was similar to the way Hezbollah operates in Lebanon, said Koenig, who was an adviser to one of the Marine generals in charge of large-dollar CERP projects. "Hezbollah shows up after an Israeli airstrike with cash and fixes the neighborhood," he said. Iraqi insurgents, including al-Qaeda in Iraq, "never did that," he said. "They would come in and take charge of an area, but they didn't come back and say, 'We're going to help you out here.' "
Prisoners in the U.S. Marine Corps brig at Camp Lejeune, N.C., are helping train service dogs to assist Marines wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Under a program overseen by Carolina Canines, based in Wilmington, N.C., the dogs stay with the prisoners as the dogs learn up to 70 tasks, such as turning off lights and picking up clothes. Each dog, such as the one above, gets about nine months of training, sleeping next to the cot of their trainer-prisoner.
"We messed up," a prisoner explained to WHQR in a report on National Public Radio. "But at least we can do something productive with our time while we're in here."
Bush administration undercuts endangered species act to prevent "activists from using the Endangered Species Act as a legal lever to force controls on greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming." The Bush legacy: working to make all creatures extinct before their time.
As ordinary guy and America's American American straight talking maverick John McSame takes every weekend off to kick off his $500 shoes at one of his eight homes, demonic, flesh-eating zombie Cokie Roberts labels b. HUSSEIN Beezlebub
OsamaObama an elitist snob for taking a vacation in Hawaii where his Grandmother lives instead of some place common people go, like Myrtle Beach, SC.
Matthew Yglesias asks of Kagan’s World War II analogy: “If we launch a war with Russia — which would seem to be the point of busting out the analogy — then how are we going to find the time to launch wars with Iran and China?”
Victory in Iraq Almost Certain
Declares President Ahmadinejad.
Study Suggests Dogs Have Empathy for Humans
Most other animals think we're assholes.
Wal-Mart Issues Dire Warning to Workers About Democrats
Predicts Obama win would force them into psychologically confusing higher tax bracket.
Archeologists Unearth 1900-Year-Old Chariot in Bulgaria
Amazingly, it still runs.
Obama greeted the cheering crowd with a loud "Aloha! How's everybody doing today? Howzit!"
Obama said "most importantly, that when you come from Hawaii, you start understanding that what's on the surface, what people look like, that doesn't determine who they are.
"And that the power and strength of diversity, the ability of people from everywhere, whether they're black or white, whether they're Japanese-American or Korean-American or Filipino-American or whatever they are, they are just Americans, that all of us can work together and all of us can join together to create a better country.
He told the crowd that his trip to Oahu is mostly for vacation, to visit his tutu, relax, adding that he plans to get a plate lunch. "I might go to Zippy's. I might go to Rainbow Drive-in. I haven't decided yet.
"I'm going to get some shave ice. I'm going to go body surfing at an undisclosed location," he said, adding that he plans to spend a lot of time watching his daughters play on the beach.
Sen. John McCain, speaking to disabled veterans Saturday in Las Vegas, attacked his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, for his foreign policy record, while also proposing a program that would allow veterans to acquire health care at private hospitals and not just through the Veterans Affairs Department.
The veterans, at Bally’s for their national convention, gave him a tepid reception, especially considering McCain’s life story. The Arizona senator was a Navy pilot shot down over Vietnam, tortured and held as a prisoner of war for 5 1/2 years.
Just one of 14 veterans interviewed by the Sun after his speech said he is a certain McCain voter, and the nonpartisan group’s legislative director expressed concerns about McCain’s proposed "Veterans’ Care Access Card." [my em]
Cokie Roberts said today that Obama shouldn't be going on vacation anywhere that has the "look of a foreign exotic place" and should go to Myrtle Beach instead. Apparently, Hawaii isn't quite American enough for Cokie and her provincial pals in the beltway, even though it's one of the 50 states.
The Clash's version is more familiar but this is before-Clash. The song is originally recorded by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets.
What amazes me is how no one ever wants to discuss how to cut back on our energy use without affecting our lifestyle. Instead, the conversation is always the same: Drill more, drill now, drill here – and by the way, let’s never be dependent on foreign oil again.
First, what do we really mean when we say that we want to stop our dependence on foreign oil? Does anyone really care that we get millions of barrels of oil a day from Canada? After all, that qualifies as foreign oil; and just last week ConocoPhillips announced a $7 billion pipeline project to bring even more Canadian oil to U.S. refineries as far south as the Gulf Coast. Alternatively, does anyone really care that we receive oil from Mexico? Probably not.
Basically, when there is some public outcry that we should quit importing foreign oil, that’s really code for "We should quit importing Middle Eastern oil. And just for fun, let’s stop importing oil from Venezuela too."
Lately we’ve heard plenty of pundits screaming that we should be drilling as many likely locations for new oil supplies as we can in the Gulf of Mexico. However, locating those oil hot spots requires a specific type of oil-drilling ship. As of this week, not only are all of those oil ships spoken for, but if you ordered a brand new one today you might be able to take delivery of it in 2012 – 13. They’ve all been presold until then. So, should you stumble upon a huge new oil field 30,000 feet under the Gulf, realistically it might be somewhere around 2016-17 before your local refinery could turn its contents into gasoline.
Cayamo cruise 2008 "Even her cough is beautiful"
Poor Patty was sick but still put on a fantastic show.