One of the best covers I have ever heard....
Check out their other stuff.. Phenominal group...
Tip of the old sombrero to Kolchak for turning me on to these guys. I was having a truly horrible day...and it just went away....
One of the best covers I have ever heard....
Check out their other stuff.. Phenominal group...
Tip of the old sombrero to Kolchak for turning me on to these guys. I was having a truly horrible day...and it just went away....
The only Christmas carol I can abide...
Of course I was immediately proven wrong about that as my bloggy buddy Neddie reminded all of us here.
"Bark us all bow-wows of folly" Ain't it the truth...
1. Namania Habib Koite
2. Toubala Kone Amadou Et Mariam
3. Here Salif Keita
4. Diaraby Ry Cooder & Ali Farka Touré
5. 7 Seconds Youssou N'Dour
6. Diablo Rojo Rodrigo Y Gabriela
7. Petit Pays Cesaria Evora
8. USA Akoya
9. Tessassategn Eko Bahta Gebre-Heywet
10. On verra ça Orchestra Baobab
11. Sunday Arak Balkan Beat Box
12. Uhiki (Pinye's Rmx) Hardstone
13. Massakè Habib Koite
14. N’Teri Habib Koite
15. Safarini Frank Ulwenya and Afrisound
16. Silent Moon Jia Peng Fang
17. Mouna Amadou Et Mariam
18. Ana Na Ming Salif Keita
19. Soixante Trois Tinariwen
20. Lasidan Ry Cooder & Ali Farka Touré
21. Mustt Mustt Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
22. Ndeleng Ndeleng Orchestra Baobab
23. Aicha (Version Mixte) Khaled
24. Orion Rodrigo Y Gabriela
25. Chan Chan Buena Vista Social Club
My decidedly old school recommendation wishlist for the new administration. I look forward with wonder and delight (and probable amazement) to President Obama's actual choices.
Agriculture: Kathleen Sibelius
Attorney General: Robert Kennedy, Jr.
Commerce: Michael Bloomberg
Defense: Wesley Clark (when he becomes eligible)
Director of National Intelligence: Jane Harman
Education: Graham Spanier
Energy: Amory Lovins
EPA: Al Gore
FEMA: Douglas Wilder
Health & Human Services: Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg
Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano
Housing & Urban Development: Ellen Sahli
Interior: Olympia Snowe
Labor: Andy Stern
National Security Advisor: Richard Clarke
Poet Laureate: Martin Espada
Special Prosecutor: Dennis Kucinich
State: Bill Richardson
Transportation: Susan Kupferman
Treasury: Paul Krugman
UN Ambassador: Bill Clinton
Veterans Affairs: Max Cleland
Just back from voting. At 11am I was number 526 to vote. In 2006, I was number 178 at 4 pm. 2004, around 425 at that same time. This is shaping up to be a VERY high turnout.
All going smoothly in my precinct except for the common error of dividing the alphabet evenly at j/k and expecting even length lines. From the personal experience of years of convention registration work I can tell you that American names are weighted very heavily to the first quarter of the alphabet. Dividing registration at E or even D will get you equal length lines in most groups. As a result, the a-j line had 50 people in it while I, being R surnamed, was behind 3 when I entered the building and voted quickly.
Another pleasant surprise, my county has completed the change back to paper scan ballots since last fall. No more Dieboltian vote swallowers here.
No McCain workers outside the polling place. 4 Obama workers and a lone sad looking supporter for the local Congressional candidate.
Update: Reports on local radio say that over 1000 Penn State students were in line before polls opened at one of the downtown State College precincts. Go Lions!
Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote
from my post to the Blatt on July 5th:
Obama will win by 323 to 215 electorial votes. The Dems will hold all the states they had in 2004 and add AK CO IN IA MT NM NV OH VA and possibly NC.
In the Senate, the Dems will pick up 10 seats in AK CO ME MN MS NC NH NM OR VA, leaving themselves one vote short of being fillibuster proof.
In the House, the Dems will have a net pick-up of 18 seats. They will give the GOP a strong run for our congressional district (PA 05), but will probably lose...it will depend on turn out in State College.
Looking back, it seems that I was too conservative on the EV count. Obviously I am wrong about AK, but I still feel pretty confident about the rest. I'm moving NC to a win and adding MO and IN as strong possibles. Weak possibles are WV, GA, MT and ND.
O 346 to M 192 5.8% spread in popular vote
In the Senate, I am certainly wrong on ME, I stand on predicting wins in AK CO MN NC NH NM OR VA and add GA and MS as strong possibles, meaning there is a shot at being rid of Traitor Joe.
In the House races, I now think 18 is too few, but I am not sure how many more...say a total of 32 seats picked up...
Glenn Thompson (R-unqualified idiot) will win in our local Congressional race, but Mark McCracken will do a lot better than the average someone who has spent less than $1 for every $6 of his opponent does. I say an 8% spread
All the local State House and Senate incumbents will win handily.
The water system finance bond will pass easily.
The Dems will continue to hold all the State row house offices (Auditor General, Attorney General, Treasurer, etc)
via Doghouse Riley over at Bats Left/Throws Right:
The Republican National Committee paid more than $150,000 for clothing, makeup and accessories in September that apparently went to Gov. Sarah Palin and her family, according to an article on Politico.com.
That included $9,447.71 to Macy’s, $789.72 to Barneys New York, $5,102.71 to Bloomingdales; $49,425.74 to Saks Fifth Avenue and $4,902.45 to Atelier.
In one heavyweight shopping trip in early September, $75,062.63 was spent at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, a host city of the Republican National Convention.
The expenditures were listed on the R.N.C.’s monthly financial disclosure forms.
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
Obama is as white as he is black.
And he is neither as well.
This song hits exactly the right tone about something that has always baffled me about the subject of race in America. Oh I understand the "reasoning" about a "drop" of the fatal blood and all that. But if being white is so superior you'd think that well, the "good" would overcome the "bad'. Seems to me.
Of course that doesn't stop someone who has a cousin who dated a woman who once kissed an Irishman from claiming that that makes him Irish as well.
Oh and by the way, you fucking racist asshats coming out to Gov. Palin's rallies..
KISS MY MIXED RACE BEHIND!
These are the people Sarah Palin is bringing out. My God. If I were McCain I'd hang my head in shame that I'm depending on them for their votes. Unbelievably foul human beings.
And all McPalin can talk about is Bill Ayers, a former radical activist who is now a Distiguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois in Chicago. A man who has worked closely with that known bunch of radicals The Annenburg Education Foundation (snark). A man who was named "Chicago Citizen of the Year" in 1997.
The economic world is crashing down around us largely because of the policies championed by McCain and his chief economic wiz, Phil Gramm.
And all they can talk about is this meaningless gossip.
It is to weep.
Ode to Sean Hannity
by John Cleese
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Fox Noise insanity
You’re a profanity
Feel the Love.
John McCain voted to support Bush over 90% of the time.
Has your life gotten better under Bush?
Has the country been made stronger?
John McCain, the original Bush Baby.
Go ahead George, you can burp him now.
Bring out the fatted neocons. Line up innocent conservative students so that their lives, spirits, and careers may be properly crushed by inappropriate leftist mental touching. Fire up the zamboni. Let the merrymaking begin.
Michael Berube, Penn State's own member of David Horowitz's axis of academic evil and the ONLY person who has ever been able to make it possible for me to both understand a discussion of critical theory and to then have me believe that it in any way matters, has restarted his superlative blog.
The political whirlwind is now in full storm.
At some point, when faced with a particularly hard hitting point from Mr. Biden, Ms. Palin will quietly begin to cry. Brushing away her tears she will then make a speech about how much she loves America and that she trusts in God to show her the way.
This will not be an accident. It is standard Rovean politics.
Mark my words.
Bad news for McSame who needed a clear win in the debate that was about his supposed strong suit, foreign policy.
Obama responded with quiet strength when attacked. McSame looked like a chipmunk on meth at some points and as if he was falling asleep at others. He never looked at Obama, averting his gaze in a most curious manner. Obama always turned toward him and looked at him when answering him.
Obama scored his biggest points during the Iraq section, telling McSame that "he was wrong" to take his eye of the ball in Afghanistan, wrong about the WMDs, wrong about our troops being greeted as liberators and wrong about there being no great enmity between the Sunnis and the Shites.
McSame made some strong points during the section on Russia but once again spewed forth the lie that the Russians started the Georgia crisis.
All in all, a credible performance by Obama who clearly looked "presidential', whatever that means.
He scored well with Independents and Democrats. MsSame scored well with the ill-informed and the brain dead.
Now on to Sarah "I can see Russia from my porch" Palin.
An excerpt from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric to be aired later tonight on the CBS Evening News:
PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.
You just can't make this stuff up...
Sarah Palin, the gift that keeps on giving....
McSame was a central figure in the first major Republican buyout to save their rich buddies' asses. I guess that's what he means by using his expertise to solve this crisis.
And for the record, McSame has made exactly one vote in the Senate this year. He wasn't present for the GI Bill vote nor for the economic stimulus package vote. What makes this vote so special?
My guess, he wanted to get the debate moved to next week so that they could finese the VP debate off the table. Ms. Palin is clearly not ready for prime time. Her "interview" on CBS was so lightweight that I thought I was watching a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. Nobody in national politics could actually mutter that mealy mouthed bilge with a straight face and mean it, right?
“Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.” — John McCain
My God, the man hasn't a clue.....
The multiple melanoma McCain has been treated for is one of the most life threatening types of cancer. Yet he refuses to allow his medical records to be scrutinized. How can we determine his fitness for office? If the cancer were to reappear, the treatment he would have to undergo is so debilitating he would become unfit for office. That makes Sarah Palin's lack of qualification for office even more critical.
McCain has allowed a small group of reporters only 3 hours to view over 1000 pages of records covering only the last 10 years of his life. What is he hiding?
Here's the list of the McCain aides and bundlers who have worked for the high-finance greed-mongers McCain has pledged to take on. So far, it seems, none of them have been cast out of the campaign. If McCain were serious about his outrage, he might throw these money-changers out of his own temple.
Much like Number Six himself, I'm back in the Village.
Production has started on the remake of The Prisoner, the cult classic TV show from the 1960s, and, so far, even a hardcore fan like yours truly can't find much to complain about. There are still some questions that need to be answered--which is only fitting for The Prisoner, I guess--but the producers of the new show may actually know what they're doing.
Hey, it could happen.
The original "Prisoner." for the record , is a British television series from the late 1960s, which also ran here in America. It starred Patrick McGoohan, who also co-created the show and wrote several episodes. Over the course of 17 episodes, the show went from being a weird variant of the then popular spy shows to a surrealistic parable about paranoia, identity and the misuse of technology. My first post about The Prisoner here at the Blatt was back in April, and it looks like I'm going to geek out again. But don't worry: I'll wash my hands afterwards.
The new "Prisoner" is a co-production of ITV in Britain and AMC. It will run for six episodes on AMC in 2009. It will star Jim Caviezel as the title character, Number Six, and Ian McKellen as Number Two, Number Six's jailer and the man trying to break his spirit. As one website put it: it's Jesus versus Gandalf.
I've not seen Caviezel in anything, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this (though I have to wonder whether going from Jesus to Number Six qualifies as typecasting).
I think Caviezel may have benefited from some old-school networking, for whatever that's worth. McGoohan worked with Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart, and during the promotional drive for that movie, McGoohan said that Gibson would make an excellent Number Six. If they're still friends, it's easy to imagine Gibson recommending Caviezel for the part.
This isn't really on-topic, but I can't resist mentioning it. I went to the Internet Movie Data Base and called up The Passion of the Christ, in order to double check the spelling of Caviezel's last name. There are a number of pre-set categories in IMDB's basic listing for each movie and one of them is "Plot Keywords." The first words under this heading were "Spoiler Alert!" The story of the crucifixion needs a spoiler alert?
As for McKellen , I've no doubt he'll do a fine job as Number Two. His casting, though, does represent an interesting departure from the original. In the original series, a different performer played Number Two every week. The only exception to this rule was Leo McKern, who appeared in three episodes.
I think they should've kept this system. If nothing else, the parade of Number Twos in the original series could be interpreted as a victory of sorts for Number Six, which was much needed, since he clearly wasn't escaping. Still, that may not be needed in a shorter series.
I'm a little more concerned about the casting of a woman named Hayley Atwell for the remake. She's describing her role as Number Six's "love interest", and the original series did quite well without giving Six a love interest. Oh, there were women in the original show.There were even women serving as Number Two, which was a fairly progressive idea for the time. There wasn't much in the way of traditional romance, though. I'm hoping the phrase was slip of the tongue on Atwell's part. But we could be in for an unpleasant surprise there.
On the other hand, there was a pleasant surprise concerning where the new "Prisoner" is being filmed. Originally, the role of the Village, the bizarre town where Number Six is held captive, was played by Porteirion, a resort in Wales. The Victorian design of Portmeirion made a striking contrast with the surveillance and mind-control technology operated by the overseers of the Village.
Okay, we're back. When I googled the name, though, I quickly learned that Swakopmund is a resort town, settled by the British and many of the buildings have a pronounced Victorian look to them.
I'm still not positive as to why the show is being filmed there. Money is the usual reason, but is really cheaper for a British production company to go to Africa than it is to Wales? In any case, I was pleased to see that the creative staff is respecting the look of the original series.
AMC is promoting the show through a blog at www.amctv.com/originals/theprisoner. There is also a site called www.seekthesix.comwhich is probably going to lead to some sort of game or viral promotion. If anyone can unlock the first image, let me know, will you? I haven't had any luck so far.
from Lawyers, Guns and Money:
This story is getting better all the time.
It's pretty clear from the interview that McCain is a very tired old man who was having trouble concentrating, while being interviewed by a native Spanish speaker with an accent who was speaking pretty fast. And even though she asked him four separate times if he would invite Zapatero to the White House, and helped him out a couple of those times by mentioning that Zapatero is the head of the Spanish government, McCain was confused about who Zapatero was (even though he was doing an interview with a Spanish radio network).
But instead of owning up to this, the McCain campaign, using their standard operating procedure, decided to think up a lie and think one up quick, to wit: McCain was fully intending to say that he would refuse to meet with the head of the government of a NATO ally -- a country we are by treaty required to defend with military force if they're attacked (by someone other than us I suppose). As Kevin Drum and others are pointing out this is a fairly insane position to take, but the campaign people have clearly calculated it's less damaging than to admit that he was just out of it.
From Boing Boing:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies today on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. The five individual plaintiffs are also suing President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance.
The lawsuit, Jewel v. NSA, is aimed at ending the NSA's dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and holding accountable the government officials who illegally authorized it. Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.
Undoubtedly a futile gesture given the Roberts Supreme Court will have to agree that the suit is even possible, but maybe it will keep the heat on their lying thieving asses through the election...
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 449 points, or 4% and fell to the lowest level since November 2005. The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) index lost 4.7% and fell to its lowest point since April 2005. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) lost 4.9% and ended at its lowest point since August 2006.
*John McSame - 9/15/2008
That's nearly a 9% drop in stock market value in 3 days.
During the last week, the McCain campaign has unabashedly engaged in the active spreading of mistruths and falsehoods.
It said that Barack Obama supported “comprehensive sex education” for children in kindergarten (“dishonest” and “deceptive” said The Washington Post);
that Mr. Obama used the colloquial expression “lipstick on a pig” to describe Sarah Palin (G.O.P. Senator Orrin Hatch labeled the charge “ridiculous”);
that Ms. Palin never accepted earmarks as governor of Alaska; (this is patently false, she actually requested $450 million in earmarks as governor);
that Mr. Obama will raise taxes on middle-class families (his plan would actually give a tax cut to 80 percent of Americans);
that his health care plan will force families into a government-run health care plan; (a public health expert quoted in this paper called that “inaccurate and false”);
that Ms. Palin told Congress “thanks, but no thanks” on the Bridge to Nowhere (she initially supported the bridge and kept the Congressional funds earmarked for the project);
that Ms. Palin visited Ireland and Iraq (her airplane refueled in the former and never crossed the border into the latter).
Now there are even reports that the McCain campaign fabricated crowd estimates for a recent rally in Virginia.
Some more of the howlers from McSame/Palin:
If McSame and his friends had had their way, it would be your Social Security money that would be going down the tubes in the Stock Market today. The market that they all deregulated with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
That's the Phil Gramm that says we are a bunch of whiners and that the recession is all in our heads. The Phil Gramm who is the architect of McSame's economic policy. And the Phil Gramm who is still one of McSame's closest advisors and FRIENDS.
Robert Kennedy Jr. via Huffington Post:
Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."
It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list.
Pegler was a rabid Joe McCarthyite who loathed F.D.R. and Ike and tirelessly advanced the theory that American Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe (“geese,” he called them) were all likely Communists.
Perhaps she could use some of Pegler's other bon-mots such as his assertion in November 1963 (at the height of the civil rights movement) that it is "clearly the bounden duty of all intelligent Americans to proclaim and practice bigotry" or his proposal for "smashing" the AF of L and the CIO by having the state take them over. "Yes, that would be fascism," he wrote. "But I see advantages in such fascism."
So are the Fascists are being overt now. Not even hiding their roots this time... It is to weep.
He made some flubs in accepting the nomination.
We checked the accuracy of McCain’s speech accepting the Republican nomination and noted the following:
Since the McCain campaign apparently didn't even bother Googling Sarah Palin before picking her to join the Republican ticket, we've taken it upon ourselves to compile some important -- and terrifying -- revelations about Palin.
Yesterday AlterNet ran a piece titled "Top Ten Most Disturbing Facts and Impressions of Sarah Palin." And in only 24 hours, almost as many exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright lies have reared their ugly heads. If you already read yesterday's piece, here's the next installment:
1: Palin Tried to Ban Books From Local Library
Thanks to Bush, the Republican Party is not strongly associated with intellectualism. But Sarah Palin has apparently taken the conservative derision for book-learnin' to a whole new level: Time reports that as mayor of Wasilla, Palin asked the town librarian how to go about banning books from the local library. News reports from the time show that the librarian, who, strangely enough, was opposed to a tactic commonly employed by totalitarian regimes, had her job threatened for not giving her "full support" to the mayor.
The People for the American Way have issued a statement condemning Palin's actions and demanding an explanation from her:
People can disagree about a lot of things, but censorship is completely beyond the pale. Our democracy was founded on the belief that government shouldn't tell people what kinds of books to read or what kind of beliefs to hold. No one with that kind of history should be anywhere near the White House. Sarah Palin needs to clarify her stance on freedom of speech immediately, and John McCain needs to explain why he chose a running mate with so little regard for the Constitution.
So far the McCain campaign has been quiet about Palin's attempts to legislate what books people should be allowed to read.
2: Palin Apparently Doesn't Put "Country First"
A central and integral part of the McCain campaign's message is "Country First." McCain is a POW who has always put country before personal gain, as he and his handlers have reminded the public time after time after time. So if the vetting process of Palin was as thorough as McCain's people (and McCain himself) have been claiming, how is it that they missed this:
Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which since the 1970s has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.
And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."
Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, tells ABC News that Palin and her husband Todd were members in 1994, even attending the 1994 statewide convention in Wasilla. Clark was AIP secretary at the time.
"We are a state's rights party," Clark -- a self-employed gold miner -- tells ABC News. The AIP has "a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law."
"Alaska First -- Alaska Always." Huh, I don't suppose there's an unless-you-are-nominated-to-be-vice-president clause, is there? No, probably not.
3: Palin's Love Affair With Earmarks
McCain, when introducing Palin on Friday in Ohio, praised her as a champion for "reform to end the abuses of earmark spending." When it was Palin's turn to speak, she mentioned her claimed opposition to the famous pork barrel project, "the Bridge to Nowhere," as an example of her tough stance on earmarks. Well, we all know now that she was actually for the bridge long before she was against it. Apparently her love affair with earmarks doesn't end there:
… under her leadership, the state of Alaska has requested 31 earmarks worth $197.8 million in next year's federal budget …
But hey, it was her first shot at being governor of Alaska. Maybe things were different when she was mayor?
As mayor of the small city of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin appears to have made use of the system she now decries, hiring a Washington lobbyist, Steven Silver, to represent the town.
After he was hired, the city obtained funding for several projects, including a city bus facility that received an earmark valued at $600,000 in 2002. That year a local water and sewer project received $1.5 million in federal earmarks, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog organization.
Hmmm, Steven Silver, why does that name sound familiar? Talking Points Memo is quick to remind us:
… Silver appears to have additional ties that could further undercut Palin's image as a squeaky-clean reformer. According to Senate lobbying disclosure reports examined by TPMmuckraker, from 2002 to 2004 Silver listed as a client Jack Abramoff's lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig. On Greenberg's behalf, Silver lobbied the federal government on "issues relating to Indian/Native American policy," "exploration for oil and gas" and "legislation relating to gaming issues" -- the very issues that Abramoff headed up for Greenberg at the time. In other words, Silver appears to have been a part of "Team Abramoff.
So this is the breath of fresh air that McCain wants in Washington? Earmarks aplenty and links to the infamous Jack Abramoff? If that's a step in the right direction, I don't want to see the step in the wrong one.
4: Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms
Not many pregnant teens are as privileged as Bristol Palin. And for those who are not, Sarah Palin made things a little harder a few months ago when she used a line-item veto to cut funding for a transitional home for teen moms in Alaska. According to the Washington Post:
After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.
According to Passage House's Web site, its purpose is to provide "young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."
(It certainly doesn't sound like the teen moms were joyriding in Cadillacs on the government's dime, but you never know.)
In classic "compassionate" conservative fashion, Palin opposes programs that teach girls how not to get pregnant, lobbies against their right to decide whether to have a child, then kills social programs that exist to cushion the impact of those policies. She then has the gall to trot out her own pregnant daughter as a symbol for "family values."
5: Crazy Reverend, Crazy Church
From the age of 12 and for most of her adult life, Sarah Palin attended the Wasilla Assembly of God. Apparently, Sarah Palin's God was a vengeful God -- one that made Himself helpful to the Bush administration from time to time by damning critics of the president, Democrats and other irredeemable sinners. The Huffington Post writes that the church's preacher, Ed Kalinins:
… preached that critics of President Bush will be banished to hell; questioned whether people who voted for Sen. John Kerry in 2004 would be accepted to heaven; charged that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and war in Iraq were part of a war "contending for your faith;" and said that Jesus "operated from that position of war mode."
Kalinins also offered a nuanced view of foreign policy, preaching that 9/11 and the Iraq war were part of a greater struggle over Christianity, with Jesus playing an important role as a very exacting general:
"What you see in Iraq, basically, is a manifestation of what's going on in this unseen world called the spirit world. … We need to think like Jesus thinks. We are in a time and a season of war, and we need to think like that. We need to develop that instinct. We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. … Jesus called us to die. You're worried about getting hurt? He's called us to die.
It can't necessarily be assumed that Palin agrees wholeheartedly with her former pastor. But in an address to the church three months ago, Palin also used disconcertingly religious language to frame the conflict in Iraq:
"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending (U.S. soldiers) out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
Considering how much flak Obama got for the statements of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, this is an issue Palin needs to address.
6: McCain Picking Palin Reeks of Sexism
The McCain campaign is already doing its best to deflect all the negative stories that are coming out about Palin by calling Democrats sexist, and by claiming that they are the party that values women's rights. Of course, Dems had a woman on the presidential ticket in 1984 (Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro), so Republicans aren't breaking glass ceilings here but are actually 24 years late to the party. When it comes to sexism, it seems the party that isn't for equal pay or for a woman's right to choose should take a quick look in the mirror before accusing others of sexism. In fact, McCain's idea that women will vote for the McCain/Palin ticket just because Palin has a vagina is incredibly condescending, as Ann Friedman at the American Prospect writes:
Palin's addition to the ticket takes Republican faux-feminism to a whole new level. As Adam Serwer pointed out on TAPPED, this is in fact a condescending move by the GOP. It plays to the assumption that disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters did not care about her politics -- only her gender. In picking Palin, Republicans are lending credence to the sexist assumption that women voters are too stupid to investigate or care about the issues, and merely want to vote for someone who looks like them. As Serwer noted, it's akin to choosing Alan Keyes in an attempt to compete with Obama for votes from black Americans.
A candidate should be chosen because they are qualified for the job, not because of their gender. Any hardworking woman who has been passed over for a promotion could have told the McCain campaign that.
7: Palin Can't Even Run a Car Wash
Many politicians have a strong background in business: CEOs, executives, business presidents, self-made millionaires, etc. The thinking is that a businessperson is economically savvy, has executive experience, and can make tough calls and quick decisions. Well, Palin has some experience in the private sector: While she was mayor of Wasilla, Palin had time to open up a car wash in Anchorage. Good for her, nothing wrong with a little public service cushioned by some private business while raising a family. But by the time Palin was governor of Alaska, her business had run into trouble, as Matthew Mosk reports for the Washington Post:
State records show the business ran into trouble with Alaska's division of corporations business and professional licensing after Palin became governor of the state in 2006.
A Feb. 11, 2007, letter to the governor's business partner advises that the car wash had "not filed its biennial report and/or paid its biennial fees," which were more than a year overdue.
The warning letter was written on state letterhead, which carried Palin's name at the top, next to the state seal.
On April 3, 2007, the state went further and issued a "certificate of involuntary dissolution" because of the car wash's failure to file its report and pay state licensing fees.
The least you can accuse Palin here is of mismanagement (of a car wash!); at worst, she was abusing her political clout by trying to cut corners. Either way, Palin doesn't come off as the kind of executive you'd want running your business, let along your country.
8: Lied About Foreign Travel
In an attempt to inflate her nonexistent foreign policy credentials, Palin's spokespeople stated shortly after her nomination that she had traveled to Germany, Kuwait and Ireland: you know, the three countries most likely to give rise to catastrophic national security emergencies in the next four years.
But not only is Palin's travel history unimpressive, it was also being blatantly misrepresented. According Jim Aravosis, an Irish blogger has just revealed that Palin was in Ireland for a brief refueling layover.
And as Aravosis argues, Palin's lack of travel experience outside of "duty-free diplomacy" has major implications:
… John McCain, who is 72 and has had 4 bouts of cancer, (has) picked Sarah Palin to replace him as commander in chief should he die or be incapacitated in office.
Gustav disrupts McCain's Republican convention
(Poor Baby. Of course a couple of million 'evacuees'/refugees might argue about who is having what disrupted)
(Much to McSame's relief we might add)
(Well the country is better off for that at least)
(But only Republicans. The rest of us can go fish (probably along the new Gulf shore just south of Memphis))
My little meditation on another September day a few years back....
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
-- The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
The whole country is a "free speech zone". Get it NeoThug assholes?
Supposedly police intimidation of legitimate protest only happens elsewhere, or so we were led to believe by all the tut-tutting during the Olympics.
And to those who say that "well, something must have been behind it" I say, the police showed no warrants, forcibly entered homes in armed gangs, made unreasonable seizures of personal property, intimidated journalists, and arrested lawyers ... so how is this any different from what went down in China?
The NeoThugs are so afraid of answering for their behaviour that they ran from the very idea that a group of college kids might protest them. I guess McSame and the Rezident might have their feelings hurt or something if they realized someone disagreed with them.
What a bunch of totalitarian imbeciles.
from Glenn Greenwald: Conclusive evidence of Federal involvment in the raids in Minneapolis.
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying. (more)
This kind of police intimidation has become a staple of cities hosting the Republican National Convention. It was rampant in NYC in '04 and done in plain view in Miami in '00. Apparently the mere idea of protest is now a crime as most of those being arrested are being charged with "conspiracy to riot" simply for being at meetings where protests were being discussed. This is a rather novel interpretation of the First Amendment's guarantee of the right to peaceably assemble. My guess is that the NeoThugs think that right applies to model building or something.
More from Glenn Greenwald of Salon, including video. Police have been seizing computers, personal papers, flyers, diaries....
..and he still owns a large block of stock options in the scum.
A Nepalese man and relatives of 12 others who were killed in Iraq four years ago are suing American firm KBR on charges of human trafficking.
The men were recruited in Nepal to work in a hotel in Jordan, but were later told they would have to work at a US air base in Iraq, their lawyers said.
Twelve of the men were kidnapped and killed by Islamic militants while being transported inside Iraq.
The 13th man was made to work against his will at the air base, lawyers said.
The execution-style killing of the hostages was recorded by the extremists and posted on a website.
The incident sparked riots in Nepal with angry demonstrators targeting a mosque, some government buildings and offices of employment agencies.
At least two people were killed in the protests.
The lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday alleged "that the illicit trafficking scheme... was engineering by KBR and its subcontractor", identified as Daoud & Partners.
The men, between the ages of 18 and 27, were recruited "to work as kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants in Amman, Jordan", said a statement from Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, one of the law firms handling the case.
Some recruitment agencies are blamed for sending workers to Iraq
But once they arrived in Jordan "they were not provided the expected employment," the statement said.
Their passports were seized, and they were told they were being sent to Iraq "to provide menial labour" at the Al-Asad air base, it added.
"For 15 months, the 13th man Buddi Prasad Gurung, was held in Iraq against his will, before KBR and Daoud allowed him to return home to Nepal," the statement said.
"It doesn't appear that any of them knew they were going to Iraq," news agency Reuters quoted attorney Matthew Handley as saying.
KBR would not comment on the lawsuit, but in a statement, the company said it "in no way condones or tolerates unethical or illegal behaviour".
Nepal banned its citizens from going to Iraq to work there in 2003 because of safety concerns.
But a lack of employment opportunities back home meant that private recruitment agencies continued to send Nepalese workers to Iraq through countries like Jordan and Kuwait.
China's state-owned oil firm CNPC has agreed a $3bn (£1.63bn) oil services contract with the government of Iraq.
The two parties renegotiated a 1997 deal to pump oil from the Ahdab oilfield, the Iraqi oil minister said.
Under the new deal, output from the oilfield will be 110,000 barrels per day, up from the 90,000 barrels forecast in the original deal.
The deal is the first major oil contract with a foreign firm since the US-led war in Iraq, reports say.
As security improves, Iraq - which has some of the biggest oil reserves in the Middle East - is trying to bring in foreign oil companies to boost crude output.
It needs billions of dollars of investment after years of war and sanctions.
Other foreign oil companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, are also negotiating deals with the Iraqi government.
The Iraq government says its aim is to increase crude oil production from the current 2.5m barrels per day to 4.5m by 2013.
Production is set to begin at the Ahdab oilfield three years from now and the contract will run for 20 years.
"Finally we have reached an agreement," Hussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi oil minister told Reuters.
"The total investment of the project is expected to be about $3bn."
CNPC would own 75% of a joint venture to be set up for the contract, with the remainder held by Iraq's Northern Oil Company.
The field is located in Wasit province, 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of Baghdad, in a Shiite-dominated area that has seen sporadic violence.
Mark Serreze, a scientist from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado was quoted by Reuters:
Serreze also told the AP that:
We could very well be in that quick slide downward in terms of passing a tipping point. It’s tipping now. We’re seeing it happen now.
The same article quoted NASA ice scientist Jaw Zwally as saying that within 5-10 years the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer. He added that this also means that:
McCain said in 2006 that he would repeal Roe v. Wade.
His campaign website calls for overturning Roe, returning the issue of abortion to the states, and then building "the necessary consensus to end abortion at the state level."
"I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies," he told Pastor Rick Warren this month.
Planned Parenthood and NARAL have both given him a zero rating on abortion issues. According to NARAL, of 130 congressional votes by McCain related to reproductive freedom, 125 have been against abortion. "I've got a consistent zero from NARAL throughout all those years," he trumpets.
On other reproductive health issues, McCain toes the right-wing line, having voted against requiring health care plans to cover birth control, comprehensive sex education, public education for emergency contraception, and restoring Medicaid funding for family planning for low-income women.
"The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn," McCain told the New York Times in March 2007, referring to the vociferously anti-abortion Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
McCain has also supported anti-women's rights judges such as Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.