"Listen, Mr. Cohen, if you want your ball-sack bac when you leave the studio, just let my producer know, but all of America has just witnessed you taking it up the ass."
Story and video at HuffPost.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Beck - Not So Mellow Gold|
"When people buy into the fear and flock into one thing, it's only a matter of time before it turns," said Matt Zeman, a metals trader at Chicago-based LaSalle Futures Group. Indeed, since last week's high of $1,218, gold had dropped Tuesday to $1,143, Zeman noted, adding: "I think the wheels could really come off the gold bandwagon."
You cannot imagine the shitstorm Nicholas Copernicus started when he stated that the sun was the center of the universe with planets revolving around it. All of a sudden, holy fuck, not only was the Earth no longer the big astronomical cheese, but the fuckin' terra firma was moving. [...]
The point here is not to mock poor Christopher Clavius for being a Jesuit tool for his German religious overlords. But one imagines that if at the time, with the wealth of the church behind him, had there been an internet and Fox "news" and a compliant media who believe that facts are mutable, Clavius would have been cited repeatedly in order to smack down that asshole Copernicus for daring to fuck with our sense of our place in the universe. And the uneducated masses, not knowing anything more than what the church told them, would have mostly agreed, "Fuck that Copernicus. What does he know?" We would still be arguing over it now, calling out Copernicus-deniers.
The Rude Pundit thought of Clavius when he read Sarah Palin's idiotic editorial in the Washington Post and then saw that she was daring to take on Al Gore over climate change. Truly, while he is not threatened possible sanction by a powerful church, it is sad to see Gore have to answer constant questions on whether or not climate change is real, to have to address every conspiracy theory that comes up, to have to talk to people as if an observed, confirmed fact is not such.
Clavius never completely gave up on geocentrism. But Galileo visited him in 1611, just before his death, and allowed him to use the telescope. Observing for himself such things as the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter, Clavius realized that what he believed about the order of the universe could not stand up to such scrutiny, and one of the last things he wrote was, "Since things are thus, astronomers ought to consider how the celestial orbs may be arranged in order to save these phenomena."
Clavius died the next year. Imagine Clavius in that moment, knowing his time was passed; knowing that everything he defended, all those centuries, all those theories, was now up for grabs; knowing - he had to - that he was wrong. The Rude Pundit would like to believe that we live among people who have the capacity for such enlightenment, but he fears that we are in an age where unbelief is, to rephrase, too convenient for truth.
According to an Angus Reid poll, 53 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalizing marijuana. A further 68 percent of respondents said that the war on drugs has been a “failure.”
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. David Paterson said Wednesday that New York has run out of cash and he's directing budget officials to reduce state aid payments to schools, local governments and nonprofit service providers until things improve.
"I am directing the Division of the Budget to limit payments so that we will have the cash to pay our debts at the end of December," Paterson said. "I will continue to withhold payments until this economy is leveled off."
"Now New York has run out of cash," he said. "You can't spend money that you don't have."
The top military commander in Afghanistan - Stanley McChrystal - says that getting Bin Laden is the key to defeating Al Qaeda.
Getting Bin Laden sounds fine to me. But apparently the Bush administration couldn't have cared less about him.
The oldest - and second-largest - French newspaper claims that CIA agents met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11, when he was already wanted for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Sibel Edmonds (the former FBI translator, who Department of Justice's Inspector General and several senators have called extremely credible, and some of whose previous claims have been confirmed by the British press) makes similar allegations. Bear with me, the rest of this essay is less speculative. If true, then the CIA could have nabbed Bin Laden before 9/11 (my em).
On October 14, 2001, the Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted bombing gave the Taliban evidence of Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11. As the Guardian writes:
The Guardian subsequently points out:
A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.
For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.
So the U.S. could have had Bin Laden led away in handcuffs in October 2001.
According to the U.S. Senate - Bin Laden was "within the grasp" of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in December 2001, but that then-secretary of defense Rumsfeld refused to provide the soldiers necessary to capture him.
In addition, French soldiers allegedly say that they easily could have captured or killed Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but that the American commanders stopped them.
President Bush also shut down the CIA operation trying to capture Osama bin Laden. And let him escape in Tora Bora.
If they care about capturing the man who actually attacked us on 9/11 and killed nearly 3,000 Americans, they have a funny way of showing it.
A retired Colonel said that the U.S. could have killed Bin Laden again in 2007, but didn't:
We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence — that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers — Seal Team 6 — nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it ....Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.
What did they know about bin Laden that they did not share with the public? Were they confident, for undisclosed reasons, that he posed no threat? Why are there no expressions of concern about his whereabouts?
If capturing or killing Bin Laden is so important, why didn't we do it in early 2001, or October 2001, or December 2001, or 2007?
The canon of Hanukkah songs written by Mormon senators from Utah just got a little bigger.
Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a solemn-faced Republican with a soft spot for Jews and a love of Barbra Streisand, has penned a catchy holiday tune, “Eight Days of Hanukkah.”
The video was posted Tuesday night on Tablet, an online magazine of Jewish lifestyle and culture, just in time for Hanukkah.
“Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do,” Mr. Hatch said in an interview before heading to the Senate floor to debate an abortion amendment. “Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says.”
At one point, Mr. Hatch unbuttons his white dress shirt to expose the golden mezuzah necklace he wears every day. Mezuzahs also adorn the doorways of his homes in Washington and Utah. Mr. Hatch keeps a Torah in his Senate office.
“Not a real Torah, but sort of a mock Torah,” he said. “I feel sorry I’m not Jewish sometimes.”
PS: Yes there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats. One has no heart and the other has no spine. But they both work for the same crime syndicate.
Whether it is for the 170,000 troops stuck in one of the Bush/Cheney sandtraps or any of the other thousands of US military personnel away from home and family, do something to show your support for the troops beyond a cheap, made in China bumper magnet.
Britain's Labour government slapped a one-off levy on bank bonuses on Wednesday and said it would hike income tax for all but the poorest in 2011, delaying action to tackle a record deficit until after an election it is expected to lose.
I hope Dems in Congress take a moment or two to think about the politics of health care reform. Once it passes they will own all of it, not just the reforms. Republicans will turn every health insurance horror story in a story about how the Dems' HCR is a tremendous awful horrible failure, whether or not it has anything to do with specific reforms enacted.
All of this is my subtle way of suggesting they'd better pass something that people like and that works, because otherwise every insurance company dick move will be their fault.
The cruise industry is basically a duopoly, with two players--Carnival, which owns Cunard, Holland America, Princess and Seabourn, among others, and Royal Caribbean, which also owns Celebrity and a few international lines--controlling 70% of the market. There are three segments: contemporary, at $200 and under per day; premium, $250 and up; and luxury, at $300 and above. Royal Caribbean and Carnival operate mostly in the contemporary segment.
[...] Robin Farley, an analyst at UBS, says only 5% of vacationers opt for cruises each year, "just larger than the number of people who go to Branson, Mo."
To cruise lines, every passenger is a potential ATM, which is why they'll do anything to avoid leaving with empty berths. A full ship is important to the atmosphere, and to employees' pockets, as tips are an important income boost. If you board, you might buy drinks, spa treatments, snorkeling excursions or even airbrush tattoos. And gamble. So the 103% occupancy rates RCL has maintained through the recession have been worth the deep discounting. "It's been a frustrating time," admits Goldstein, "but in this downturn it's critical to satisfy our customers and hope they'll come back and pay a higher price."
Your ticket accounts for more than 70% of revenue--Royal Caribbean had sales of $6.5 billion last year, with $574 million in earnings--and ancillary charges, easily paid with a swipe of your onboard ID, made up about a quarter of those revenues. In the past 10 years, the ships have added acupuncture, personal trainers, spinning classes and premium restaurants. One line even offers Botox treatments. The bigger the boat, the more opportunities, which is why Kochneff, for one, expects cruise companies to introduce more sea monsters like Oasis.
According to Yesawich, Oasis is tailor-made for first-timers--hence the park, the golf, the shows. "Getting them on the ship is the big hurdle," says Brown. "So the way to get a ton of them up the gangplank is to make it as much like land as possible." Apparently, irony floats.
You'd think that somebody with a direct line to the Almighty, and tapped by Jesus to save mankind on Earth, would be able to come up with a better business plan for running a daily newspaper. But, alas, after nearly three decades of unrelenting financial losses, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a federal tax cheat, accused cult leader, and founder of the Unification Church, has decided to pull out. Actually, according to news reports, it's more like Moon's U.S. college-educated sons, as part of an internal family power struggle, have decided to finally cut off the endless stream of Asian church cash that's kept the Times afloat.
With the announcement that 40 percent of the Times' staff is getting pink-slipped, and that the daily's no longer even going to bother with traditional who/what/where/when/why reporting, instead publishing an opinion-heavy publication that will be free of charge at a diminished number of local outlets, Times owners look like they're angling to be a Weekly Standard wannabe, churning out lots of predictable GOP Noise Machine opinion prattle. (Paging Andrew Breirtbart!) What is clear is that the daily's days as a functioning newspaper are now over.
And this: Moon claims to have communicated with God, Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed. Moon also claims to have freed Adolf Hitler from hell, and that 36 former U.S. presidents have all endorsed him from beyond the grave.
What that kind of brazen nuttiness ever had to do with conservative values remains a mystery. But the Moonie checks were cashed all over town as Beltway conservative activists embraced Moon and his largesse, which for decades poured into right-wing think tanks. It paid for elaborate anti-communism conferences; it lined the pockets of high-profile guest speakers; and of course sustained a newspaper that could not otherwise sustain itself.
It kept alive a newspaper that utterly failed in the marketplace.
And no, I can't say I'm going to miss The Washington Times.
Reporting from Washington - The Transportation Security Administration is investigating a breach in which a manual detailing sensitive airport screening procedures appeared on a government website, officials said Tuesday.
Even as the U.S. military scrambles to support a troop surge in Afghanistan, it is donating passenger vehicles, generators and other equipment worth tens of millions of dollars to the Iraqi government.
Some of the items that commanders may now leave behind, including passenger vehicles and generators, are among what commanders in Afghanistan need most urgently, according to Pentagon memos.
International drug cartels have abandoned the US dollar for high denomination euros to launder millions in illegal profits, Europol has revealed. The gangs no longer use $100 bills because €500 notes – the largest denomination of euro – take up less room when transporting large amounts of cash across the world.
In the still of the night
Do you laugh, do you cry?
Do you try not to remember?
Written and performed by Sheryl Crow. From Home of the BraveThree soldiers struggle to readjust to life at home after returning home from a lengthy tour in Iraq.
As someone who has spent time in Afghanistan, Howie pointed out that the thing that nobody seems to want to admit about Afghanistan is that it's not actually a country, its a bunch of tribes. And everybody's stoned --- their culture is organized around growing opium and they have the best hash in the world.
This is not a value judgment. It's just an observation of a strong, thousand year old culture and thinking US soldiers can change it in a "couple, three years" is so absurd you just know they aren't even remotely serious about doing it.
But hey, maybe that's what they've got the DEA doing over there. After all, it's been such a roaring success here in the US.