Hope y'all made it over the hump. Here's some sweet Seattle funk from the Seventies.
Archives for August, 2011
While we're still in the middle of watching the devastating flooding left in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene with the likelihood that President Obama is going to come out and push the Republicans for some spending on infrastructure to get Americans back to work and help repair some of the damage from this storm, what's the reaction on Fox?
Apparently toeing the line for Paul Ryan's budget proposal which contains massive cuts to transportation and infrastructure spending. Ryan's name was never used and his proposal was never mentioned here, but that doesn't matter much, because what they were doing is advocating for everything that's in it. From the DC Streets Blog which I've got more of below the fold:
The proposal would also radically shift the balance of federal transportation spending toward highways. It promises to eliminate all new intercity rail projects unless they can be established as profitable private enterprises, for example. It also blames the highway trust fund’s deficits on non-highway spending, with “bike trails” specifically singled out. Of course, the real cause of the trust fund shortfall isn’t the minuscule amount spent on bikeways but the declining revenues from a gas tax that hasn’t even been adjusted for inflation since 1993.
Fox's Cavuto and Sarah Palin fan-girl Kate Obenshain attacked the tolls being collected at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel and the Golden Gate Bridge and then immediately conflated the tolls being collected on those bridges to the gas tax and spending on infrastructure and transportation at the federal level instead of the state level, and claimed that those taxes weren't really being used on infrastructure, but instead being “wasted” on things like bike trails, maintaining our parks, historic preservation and mass transit, rather than paying to maintain roads and bridges.
As I already noted, more on what's wrong with these arguments below the fold, but first here's some of Obenshain's word-salad gibberish she ended the segment with (I think she's been spending a little too much time paling around with Sarah Palin).
OBENSHAIN: Well of course it doesn't. And you look at the President's priorities right now. That is the essence of the problem Neil. Instead of going to the government's responsibility, that's making sure that our roads and our bridges are safe, instead we've the President proposing $53 billion for the fast rail with no cost analysis benefit. This is government philosophy. Instead of focusing on the true, real, good purposes of government, and of our responsibility to provide for, just this kind of scenario, we're off helping build more bike trails with federal funds when we've seen unsustainable increases in transportation spending right now. We've just seen, I think we've just hit the $4 trillion dollar mark that the President has increased the debt by, and yet we're talking about adding to that?
How about focusing our transportation funds on what is real and necessary and right now, frankly, cutting out the stuff that we can put off until we've renewed the prosperity that the free market can bring about. But if we continue to think that just by pouring more and more government money into the problem, this is going to solve the issue, we're making a huge mistake.
The Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff's Department are investigating two gunshots that were fired through the window of U.S. Rep. Gene Green's (D-TX) office Tuesday.
Houston Police told Fox 26 that they were not ruling out the possibility the shots could have come from a BB or pellet gun.
The Capitol Police were also investigating the matter, according to Politico.
Thanks to a law signed by Gov. Rick Perry, Texans with concealed-carry permits can bypass the metal detectors when carrying weapons into the Texas Capitol building as of Thursday.
Earlier this year, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head outside a Tucson supermarket.
Nearly a year ago to the day, San Bruno spontaneously combusted. As attractive as it may be to blame Satan, the report issued by federal investigators places responsibility firmly on the shoulders of just about everyone at PG&E, past and present.
Via LA Times:
The National Transportation Safety Board also said PG&E exploited the lack of monitoring by regulators, who mistakenly placed "blind trust" in the utility.
The report Tuesday concluded that poor pipeline welds went undetected because of a lack of inspections by the company and inadequate monitoring by state and federal regulators. The utility also lacked a workable emergency response plan that board members said could have helped to prevent the devastation in the city of San Bruno.
"This represents a failure of the entire system — a system of checks and balances that should have prevented this disaster," said Robert L. Sumwalt, an NTSB board member. "The seam weld may have been the technical reason, but this was an organizational accident."
What's shocking, though, is how far back the failures go. In the report, the NTSB pinpoints faulty welds as far back as 1956. And of course, PG&E burned $46 million in the 2010 election to try and take over utilities maintained by municipalities, so they could make lots of money and not keep their pipelines maintained. Fortunately, they failed in that attempt.
The depth and breadth of the errors enumerated in this report reminds me of Rick Perry's ridiculous call for President Obama to place a moratorium on all regulations, if elected. Sure, that's what we need.
We’re calling today on the president of the United States to put a moratorium on regulations across this country, because his regulations, his EPA regulations are killing jobs all across America.
Actually, no. Lack of enforcement is killing people all across America, and if Rick Perry had his way, that would be just fine. That many fewer people to govern, I suppose.
After watching the ever widening list of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, and hearing that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may again consider throwing his hat into that ring, Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's Last Word proceeded to shred Giuliani for his handling of the crisis on 9/11 and went after the BIG LIE on what happened that day.
Counter to our media's general narrative on the topic, Giuliani actually cost the lives of firefighters with his mismanagement of the disaster. O'Donnell noted Wayne Barrett's article on the topic and was pretty well reading from part of it. There's a whole lot more there, so go read the rest, but here's part of the article on BIG LIE number two that O'Donnell discussed during the segment in the video above.
2. 'I don't think there was anyplace in the country, including the federal government, that was as well prepared for that attack as New York City was in 2001.' This assertion flies in the face of all three studies of the city's response—the 9/11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), and McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm hired by the Bloomberg administration.
Actually, Giuliani didn't create the OEM until three years after the 1993 bombing, 27 months into his term. And he didn't open the OEM's new emergency command center until the end of 1999—nearly six years after he'd taken office. If he "assumed from the moment I came into office that NYC would be the subject of a terrorist attack," as he told Time when it made him "Person of the Year" in 2001, he sure took a long time to erect what he describes as the city's front line of defense.
In retrospect, this particular August day in 1982 probably had more historic relevance than was imagined at the time.
The ongoing evacuation of PLO forces and the withdrawal of Syrian troops continued, but not without a dogfight over Beirut involving a Syrian MIG and an Israeli Airforce jet. Syria claimed it was photo reconnaissance and Israel doubted it. Defense Minister Ariel Sharon did say he expected Peace negotiations to have a positive outcome, despite the flap. Poland was bracing for the Second Anniversary of Solidarity and the government were taking no chances, stationing troops at just about every street corner in Gdansk and in just about every other metropolitan area in Poland. The UN Peacekeeping mission in South Korea wanted to talk to defector/captive Pfc. Joseph White, who showed up in North Korea. White's mom said he was a rather gung-ho sort of kid not prone to defecting to Communist countries. Pyongyang said "not necessarily so". The controversy lumbered on.
The school year opened with 4 school districts in Michigan alone going out on strike, with rumors of more throughout the country. President Reagan threatened sanctions again a second Scottish company accused of selling compressors and other parts for a Natural Gas pipeline being built by the Soviet Union. A study found that women over 40 had a higher likelihood of bone loss, or Osteoporosis, than men of the same age.
And Sony introduced an interesting little record player that didn't play records the usual way. Instead of the customary "needles" or styli, the player used a laser beam and the sound was rumored to be pretty good. Skeptics rolled their eyes, hearkening back to the VHS versus Beta fiasco (Betamax being a Sony idea), and industry watchers were wondering what the fate of those black chunks of vinyl were going to be since the "records" in question were a lot smaller.
The rest, as they say, is history. News for August 31, 1982 as presented by the ABC Radio Network and their ABC World News This Morning.
Police in Westchester County, New York Tuesday arrested about 15 members of the Muslim community after a scuffle broke out over a ban on headscarves on some rides at Rye Playland amusement park.
Park officials blamed a "misunderstanding" that occurred when some Muslim women were asked to remove their hijabs to ride certain rides, according to MyFoxNY.com.
A statement from the Westchester County Executive's Office claimed that two park rangers were injured "[i]n the course of restoring calm" after a disagreement broke out between some of the Muslim men and women.
But the version of events park patrons described to Patch was significantly different.
They say that police used excessive force by tackling and beating one of the women with batons as she lay on the ground. Others defending the woman were also beaten.
"I don't give **** about your culture," one female officer reportedly told one of the Muslim women.
Later in the day, about 50 members of the Muslim community prayed outside the gates as they waited for news about the others that had been arrested.
"Just yards away outside the park's entrance gate, a row of Westchester County police stood in helmets and protective vests," Patch's Renea Henry reported. "More than 40 law enforcement vehicles, cruisers and SUVs, even canine units, from municipalities across the county, lined the entry road to the amusement park. Even more law enforcement officers blocked park access roads in all directions."
Rye Playland is the only government-owned amusement park in the country.
I would be delighted to be surprised -- but I know I won't be. President Obama talks big dreams, but gets bogged down in the daily grind of political realities. Psst, Mr. President? "Getting something done" is not the same as doing the right thing. I hope he wakes up soon:
As the White House prepares to roll out its new jobs package, President Obama is under intensifying pressure from his political base to come out with an ambitious plan that puts a real dent in the unemployment rate.
The White House prefers an approach that stands a chance of winning bipartisan support. But the left isn't persuaded by this strategy. There are two ways to sway votes on Capitol Hill: lobbying members privately behind closed doors, or shaping a bottom-up consensus in the broader electorate.
The president's base believes that a substantial jobs package – one that puts people to work right away even if it comes with a high price tag – might create a public groundswell that Congress can't ignore.
That's not how Obama has been operating over the past year. He has instead looked for elusive common ground with Republicans, putting forward ideas that square with Republicans' economic doctrine.
The reporter is too polite to say it, so I will: He's validating every damned crazy right-wing tea party fantasy. And they hate him anyway. Great strategy, huh?
Fearing that Obama will go down this road again when he delivers his jobs speech next week, his liberal base is pushing him to take a more confrontational stand. They want Obama to channel FDR, not Coolidge.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an interview that Obama needs to stand up for a jobs plan that is adequate to the moment.
Unemployment is now 9.1%. And the jobs report that comes out Friday is expected to show the U.S. didn't create enough jobs in August to keep up with population growth.
"Who knows what's politically achievable until we try?" Trumka said. "The president should articulate a solution of the size and scale necessary to solve the problem. We have a jobs crisis. … If you do only what you think the other side and the 'tea party' will agree to, then they control the agenda."
I don't know what's the big deal with the climate change thingie. Massive blizzards, record-breaking heat and drought, powerful hurricanes -- it's just weather. Why are these tar sands people so upset?
If you received fundraising emails from Barack Obama or campaign manager David Plouffe in 2008, it probably comes as no surprise that Obama and Plouffe didn't write all of them. They began with "Friend --" and included links to credit-card donation forms. The campaign regularly blasted them out to millions of people.
Elijah Zarlin, the author of many of these emails as part of Obama's new-media campaign team, was arrested today outside the White House during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed oil conduit from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast. Zarlin was one of Obama's primary fundraising-email-writers, according to Zarlin and Stephen Geer, a new-media staffer on Obama's campaign payroll.
Obama must personally approve the Keystone plan, first offered in 2008. The State Department recently concluded its final assessment, recommending approval of the plan.
Zarlin now works on environmental campaigns for CREDO Action, a progressive group that helped recruit attendees at today's event.
"The Keystone pipeline, if he approves it, is going to cast a huge shadow over our future," Zarlin told me over the phone during the protest, shortly before his arrest. "It's his decision, and this is the type of thing that when he was on the campaign trail and telling staff at headquarters that we literally had to work nonstop over the next four months, that this was a must-win election, this was one of the issues we wanted to make an impact on -- climate change."
Darryl Hannah was arrested, too.
Well yes, they really are making an impact. He just didn't specify it would be a positive impact.
Our own John Amato spent some time talking to Ring of Fire's Mike Papantonio this Monday (who subbed for Ed Schultz) discussing former Vice President Dick Cheney's latest bit of revisionist history.
Dick Cheney is back in the headlines and making the cable news rounds talking about his new memoir. In this upcoming book, he tells us that if he had his way, the US would have been involved in even more unwinnable wars, and that most of the problems with the Bush administration can be blamed on anyone but Cheney.
For anyone that didn't read it, here's John's latest post on the topic which he and Pap talked about here -- Dick Cheney Claims He -- Not Bush -- Was The Decider.