Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Go . . . .

Check out pale.

A picture really is worth a thousand words . . . .

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Out of Context" My A_s . . . .

So, according to the AP, Janet Napolitano is claiming her words on Sunday's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" regarding the airport security screening system were "taken out of context." Huh.

Here's the Secretary of Homeland (In)Security on the "Today Show" this morning:

And here on "Morning Joe":

Well, Gang. Here's the transcript:

(Georgie was off this week, so there was actually a decent reporter handling the show - Jake Tapper.)


TAPPER: I want to get your reaction to a comment from the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who said in a statement: "I am troubled by several aspects of this case, including how the suspect escaped the attention of the State Department and law enforcers when his father apparently reported concerns about his son's extremist behavior to the U.S. embassy in Lagos, how the suspect managed to retain a U.S. visa after such complaints, and why he was not recognized as someone who reportedly was named in the terrorist database."

Madam Secretary, how do you answer Senator Lieberman's questions?

NAPOLITANO: Well, I think, first of all, we are investigating, as always, going backwards to see what happened and when, who knew what and when. But here -- I think it's important for the public to know, there are different types of databases.

And there were simply, throughout the law enforcement community, never information that would put this individual on a no-fly list or a selectee list. So that's number one.

Number two, I think the important thing to recognize here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have. The passengers reacted correctly, the crew reacted correctly, within an hour to 90 minutes, all 128 flights in the air had been notified. And those flights already had taken mitigation measures on the off-chance that there was somebody else also flying with some sort of destructive intent.

So the system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days.

TAPPER: Well, let me ask you a question about intelligence-sharing. When the suspect's father went to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and said, I'm worried because my son is displaying extremist religious views, how was that information shared with other parts of the U.S. government, or did it just stay at that U.S. embassy?

NAPOLITANO: Well, again, we are going to go back and really do a minute-by-minute, day-by-day scrub of that sort of thing. But when he presented himself to fly, he was on a tide (ph) list. What a tide list simply says is, his name had come up somewhere somehow.

But the no-fly and selectee list require that there be specific, what we call, derogatory information. And that was not available throughout the law enforcement community. He went through
screening in Amsterdam as he prepared to board a flight to the United States.

The authorities in Amsterdam are working with us to make sure that screening was properly done. We have no suggestion that it wasn't, but we're actually going through -- going backwards, tracing his route.

But I think important for the traveling public recognize that A, everybody reacted as they should. We trained for this. We planned for this. We exercised for this sort of event should it occur.

And B, we have instituted additional screening in what we call mitigation measures that will be continuing for a while. And so we ask people perhaps to show up a little bit earlier at the airport during this heavy holiday season, and to recognize we're going to be doing different things at different airports.

So don't think somebody at TSA is not on the job if they're not doing exactly at one airport what you saw at another. There will be different things done in different places.

TAPPER: But, Secretary Napolitano, you keep saying everybody acted the way they were supposed to. Clearly the passengers and the crew of that Northwest Airlines flight did.

But I think there are questions about whether everybody in the U.S. government did.
And here's a question for you, how many of -- so many of us are subject to random security searches all the time, how come somebody who is not on a terrorist database isn't subject to more stringent security when they check in to a flight to the U.S.? Why does that automatically just happen?

NAPOLITANO: Well, if he had had specific information that would have put him on the selectee list or indeed on the no-fly list, he would not have actually gotten on a plane.

But those numbers pyramid down. And they need to, because again, there is lots of information that flies about this world on a lot of different people. And what we have to do in law enforcement is not only collect and share, but do it in the proper way.

Now once this incident occurred, everything went according to clockwork. Not only sharing throughout the air industry, but also sharing with state and local law enforcement, products were going out on Christmas Day, they went out yesterday, and also to the industry to make sure that the traveling public remains safe.

And I would leave you with that message, the traveling public is safe. We have instituted some additional screening and security measures in light of this incident. But again, everybody reacted as they should, the system -- once the incident occurred, the system worked.
As FoxNoise would say: "We report. You decide." Out of context or not?

(As a sidenote, does anyone else abhor the idea of joe LIE-berman having yet another excuse to have his Droopy Dawg mug in front of a camera? Gag, choke, gasping for fresh air . . . . )

Watch those "revisions," Janet. Might make it a bit difficult opening doors, using a tissue, applying makeup, etc.

Man, this "hope" and "change" stuff is workin' out just great, isn't it ? ? ? ?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Need a Job? Here 'Ya Go . . . .

Times are tough all over, and folks are in need of gainful employment.

How 'bout a job with lots of pluses?:

Travel opportunities;

Paid benefits;

Stress reduction techniques;

Multiple skill categories.

What more could you ask for?

Well, maybe not having to support the military-industrial-congressional complex for one thing . . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quite an Indictment . . . .

A friend vacationing in Paris - France, that is - sent me this link he found while surfing the "InterTubes."

The Huffington Post contributor, Drew Westen, is a professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at a university just down the road from where I lived for many years. It appears he has hit the proverbial nail on the head describing my - and a lot of others, no doubt - feelings toward President Obama and his administration. It's long, probably 4,000 words, but the content is worth the read and analysis. One caveat, though: The author made the same
mistake Howard Dean and Joe Scarborough made in referencing the insurance industry's "52-year high" on Friday. Obviously, the reference should have been to a "52-week high." That said, here are a few excerpts:

Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches, Compromised Values, and the Quest for the Lowest Common Denominator

Drew Westen | Psychologist and neuroscientist; Emory University Professor
Posted: December 20, 2009 09:34 PM


Somehow the president has managed to turn a base of new and progressive voters he himself energized like no one else could in 2008 into the likely stay-at-home voters of 2010, souring an entire generation of young people to the political process. It isn't hard for them to see that the winners seem to be the same no matter who the voters select (Wall Street, big oil, big Pharma, the insurance industry).


What's costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.


Consider the president's leadership style, which has now become clear: deliver a moving speech, move on, and when push comes to shove, leave it to others to decide what to do if there's a conflict, because if there's a conflict, he doesn't want to be anywhere near it.


Like most Americans I talk to, when I see the president on television, I now change the channel the same way I did with Bush. With Bush, I couldn't stand his speeches because I knew he meant what he said. I knew he was going to follow through with one ignorant, dangerous, or misguided policy after another. With Obama, I can't
stand them because I realize he doesn't mean what he says -- or if he does, he just doesn't have the fire in his belly to follow through. He can't seem to muster the passion to fight for any of what he believes in, whatever that is. He'd make a great queen -- his ceremonial addresses are magnificent -- but he prefers to fly Air Force One at 60,000 feet and "stay above the fray."


Gays? Virtually all Americans are for repealing don't ask/don't tell (except for conservatives who haven't yet come to terms with their own homosexuality -- but don't tell them that, or at least don't ask). This one's a no-brainer. Tell Congress you want a bill on your desk by January 1, and announce that you have serious questions about the constitutionality of the current policy and won't enforce it until your Justice Department has had time to study it. Don't keep firing gay Arabic interpreters. But that would require not just giving the pretty speech on how we're all equal in the eyes of God and we should all be equal in the eyes of the law (a phrase he might want to try sometime). It would require actually doing something that might anger a small percentage of the population on the right, and that's just too hard for this president to do. It's one thing to acknowledge and respect the positions of people who hold different points of view. It's another to capitulate to them.


Am I being too hard on the president? He's certainly done many good things. But it would be hard to name a single thing President Obama has done domestically that any other Democrat wouldn't have done if he or she were president following George W. Bush (e.g., signing the children's health insurance bill that Congress is about to gut to pay for worse care for kids under the health insurance exchange, if it ever happens), and there's a lot he hasn't done that every other Democrat who ran for president would have done.

Obama, like so many Democrats in Congress, has fallen prey to the conventional Democratic strategic wisdom: that the way to win the center is to tack to the center.

There's lots more here, and Professor Westen makes a good case.

My biggest disappointment is it appears the huge numbers of youthful voters Obama was successful in bringing into the political process will probably be turned off for years, if not decades.

That does not bode well for any "hope" or "change" . . . .


UPDATE: Naomi Klein weighs in . . . .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hollow "Victory," Mr. President . . . .

Check out Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner on Bill Moyers Journal Friday night.

They explain the clusterf_ck in Washington for what it is: a sell-out to Corporate America. What a surprise, eh?

It's about 30 minutes, but well worth it. The dems and the "o-team" need to pay attention. S'pecially the comments regarding rahm.

I knew that guy was gonna be trouble, and guess what ? ? ? ?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Payback's . . . .

a bitch, ain't it, joe ? ? ? ?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bullsh_t . . . .

For lack of a better term, the post title says it all.

The Toronto Star reports from Copenhagen:

U.S. cuts deal with dairy farmers to lower methane gas emission

December 16, 2009 COPENHAGEN – The United States is counting on cows to help save the planet.

U.S. Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an agreement with the American dairy industry Tuesday to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions 25 per cent by 2020, mostly by convincing farmers to capture the methane from cow manure that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere. The plan requires more farmers to buy an anaerobic digester, which essentially converts cow manure into electricity.

"This historic agreement, the first of its kind, will help us achieve the ambitious goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions while benefiting farmers," Vilsack said at the U.N. climate talks. "(The) use of manure technology is a win for everyone."

Leave it to a government official to spread the sh_t around and make it smell like roses . . . .

I'm With Howard . . . .

"This bill, I think, is more likely to make the crisis worse"


"Joe loves the attention and to make Joe the issue I think is a mistake"

Truer words were never spoken . . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

Big Surprise. Not . . . .

Huffpo reports:

Rahm Emanuel Personally Pressed Reid To Cut Deal With Lieberman: Sources

Updated: 12-14-09 07:24 PM

Rahm Emanuel visited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his Capitol office on Sunday evening and personally urged him to cut a deal with recalcitrant Sen. Joe Lieberman, two Democratic sources familiar with the situation told the Huffington Post.

Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff, has long been identified as leading a faction of White House advisers who have been pushing the Senate simply to pass any health care bill, no matter how weak.

His direct message to Reid (D-Nev.), according to a source close to the negotiations: "Get it done. Just get it done."

Politico reported Monday morning that the White House had pressed Reid to cut the deal after Lieberman (I-Conn) insisted the Senate drop a provision, which Lieberman himself has long favored, to allow those 55-64 to buy in to Medicare. Lieberman is threatening to join a Republican filibuster of the bill if the provision isn't dropped.

The White House denied the report. "The report is inaccurate. The White House is not pushing Senator Reid in any direction. We are working hand in hand with the Senate Leadership to work through the various issues and pass health reform as soon as possible," White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer wrote in an e-mail to the Plum Line.

The report, however, according to the two sources, was entirely accurate. "We're long past time for these kinds of games," one source said.

It would be easy to put all the blame for this on the sleaze-bag emanuel, but remember who hired his a_s.

No bill would be a better than the watered-down version they're heading toward. All they have now is a forced payment to insurance companies with nothing in return.

$$$ win over people once again . . . .

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

You Go, Rachel . . . .

Check out the definition of "journalist" in Webster's.

Surely there's a picture of Rachel Maddow in the listing.

Watch her destroy this "cure the gay right out of you" charlatan:

Looks like we won that round . . . .

Believing in Change Yet ? ? ? ?

Matt Taibbi on business as usual in DC and on Wall Street:

Wall Street = 1, Main Street = 0 . . . .

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Protecting "Traditional" Marriage . . . .

Let's put this whole gay marriage thing to bed (so to speak).

"You're not dead yet."

That oughta do it . . . .

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Smoke 'Em if You've Got 'Em . . . .

Quite the interesting contraption, would you not agree?

Used extensively in Ottawa, Victoria and Washington, DC.

(Click to enlarge)
Gives a whole new meaning to "Let's go outside and light up a butt," eh ? ? ? ?

H/T "drf"

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tales from our Former 'Hood . . . .

More vindication of our decision to vacate our former Florida locale for a somewhat more civilized Vancouver, BC, Canada:

Police: Burglar showers, tells residents ‘Obama let him in'

November 28, 2009

_________ - A man accused of breaking into a ________ home and taking a shower reportedly told residents who showed up “President Obama let him in” the house.

According to a ________ Police Department report, St. Petersbug resident Donald Leon May, 48, entered a home in the 400 block of East Railroad Avenue Nov. 18 through an unlocked back door and took a shower.

While in the shower, two juvenile children who lived at the house entered with a friend. Thinking their dad was home, one of the children entered the bathroom and “saw a male in the shower who was not his father,” the report states.

“The male in the shower stated ‘Obama let him in’” and told the boy to “get out,” the report continues.

The children ran to a neighbor’s house and called police. When they arrived May was still in the house with nothing on but a “towel wrapped around his lower body,” the report states.

May declined to comment when interrogated by police other than to say, “The Yellow Brick Road brought him to __________,” according to the report.

Three days before the incident, May was arrested for trespassing and failure to leave the premises at another property.

He was released from the ___________ County Jail on the trespassing charge two hours before his Nov. 18 arrrest.

May is is charged with felony burglary to an occupied dwelling and petty theft.

Looks like he may have been the Scarecrow without a brain on that Yellow Brick Road.

Counting the ways we are fortunate to have escaped.

Counting the ways . . . .

H/T "drf"

Dying to Look Sexy . . . .

It's amazing to me how vanity can take over one's life - and death, apparently.

Today's Toronto Star reports:

Beauty queen dies for 'firmer behind'

December 01, 2009

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina–
A 38-year-old former Miss Argentina has died from complications after undergoing cosmetic surgery on her buttocks.

Solange Magnano, a mother of twins who won the crown in 1994, died of a pulmonary embolism Sunday after three days in critical condition following a gluteoplasty in Buenos Aires.


Fashion designer and friend Roberto Piazza said the procedure also involved injections, and the liquid "went to her lungs and brain."

"A woman who had everything lost her life to have a slightly firmer behind," he said.


Juan Carlos Seiler, former president of the Buenos Aires Association of plastic surgeons, told the Times of London that the doctor who performed the procedure might not have been "a real professional."

Firm butt and dead.

How's that for a trade-off ? ? ? ?