Monday, May 23, 2011

Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years - Get Ready!

I guess if I had to choose a perfect time to start these shenanigans again it would be now. Folks, we are just hours away from the release of the most anticipated literary document since… (fill in your choice here. If it happens to be the President’s birth certificate, please find the X in the corner of the page; this is not for you.)

Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years, the tell-all book compiled from thousands of Palin’s own emails promises to be an instant classic as well as the newest addition to both my library and e-reading gizmo.

The book comes at a time when the almost-governor of the great state of Alaska has decidedly decided to poke her overly-intrusive head back into the headlines. From weddings, to Fox News, to buying homes a without of view a Russia, Sarah has tried to re-insert herself back into the national spotlight. And thanks to the “lame-stream media” she’s got some light shining her way again. Wink. And just in time.

What better backdrop for the release of a book exposing the true Sarah than the Fox-News queen herself whining and griping about what amounts to a collection of her own thoughts. I cannot wait.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hillary to the Supreme Court?

After all of the dramatic denunciation of every credible candidate for the highest court in the land, conservatives are dealt this little twist. Hannity may just have a stroke, but it's going to be interesting to watch the right's assault on Clinton, and more importantly, our current Secretary of State. From CBS News:

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday morning that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been mentioned as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court.

"I even heard the name Hillary Clinton today, and that would be an interesting person in the mix," Hatch said on NBC's "Today Show."

The senator said he would not pre-judge whether any potential nominee would be an appropriate candidate to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, but he had general praise for the secretary of state.

"I happen to like Hillary Clinton, I think she's done agood job for the Democrats -- Secretary of State's position," Hatch said, "and I have high respect for her, and think a great deal of her."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama Takes On Big Banks

From the NY Daily News:

President Obama will propose limits Thursday on the size of the country's biggest banks as a means to reduce risk-taking, a seniorU.S. official said Wednesday night.

Obama, who is meeting today with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, will propose the new rules as a part of an overhaul of financial regulations, the official said.

"We've got a financial regulatory system that is completely inadequate to control the excessive risks and irresponsible behavior of financial players all around the world," Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

Volcker, who is chairman of the President's Economic Recovery Board, has criticized as "reform light" efforts by the financial industry to weaken financial regulation proposals in Congress.

Volcker and other policymakers have raised concerns about the risks and conflicts of large financial institutions investing their own money, as opposed to customers' money, in securities, commodities, derivatives, hedge funds and other financial products.

Jobless Claims Up

From the WSJ:

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week -- an increase a U.S. Labor Department economist said is partly due to an administrative backlog in processing claims.

Total claims lasting more than one week, meanwhile, declined.

Initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 36,000 to 482,000 in the week ended Jan. 16, according to the Labor Department's weekly report Thursday. The previous week's level was revised upward to 446,000 from 444,000.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a decrease of 4,000 initial claims.

The four-week moving average, which aims to smooth volatility in the data, also increased as well last week. The Labor Department said the four-week moving average increased by 7,000 to 448,250 from the previous week's revised average of 441,250.

An economist at the U.S. Labor Department Thursday said last week's numbers were higher then expected in part because the Christmas and New Years holidays created a backlog in some states.

"It is not an economic thing -- it is an administrative thing," he said.

In addition, he added that a total of seven states from Thursday's data had estimated claims figures because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Despite Thursday's increase in initial claims, the four-week moving average has been on a downward trend in recent months and economists have said the trend points to a slow-down in the pace of lay-offs. Questions still remain, however, about whether or not laid-off workers will be able to find new jobs anytime soon. The December jobs report found that U.S. job losses were higher than expected and unemployment still remained at 10%. Some have predicted that the unemployment rate may hold steady for much of 2010.

Pakistani Army Halts Operations Against Al-Queda

From the NY Times:

The Pakistani Army indicated Thursday that it would not launch any new offensives against extremists in the mountainous region of North Waziristan for at least six months, pushing back against calls by the United States to root out militants staging attacks along the Afghan border.

An Army spokesman described Pakistan’s position as the United States secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, arrived here for an unannounced two-day visit. Mr. Gates said that he planned to urge top Pakistani military officials to pursue extremist groups along their border, and that ignoring “one part of this cancer” would threaten the entire country’s stability.

But the Army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, told American reporters at the headquarters of the Pakistani Army in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that Pakistan had to contain some of the extremist groups in the wake of offensives against Taliban fighters last year. General Abbas said it would be six months to a year before any new operation began, and said the situation was not as “black and white” as Mr. Gates described.

Mr. Gates, who is on his first trip to Pakistan in three years, was to meet on Thursday with the Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, as well as the director of the country’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha.

John McCain's Family Backs Gay Marriage

From the Washington Post:

Cindy McCain, the wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, and their daughter Meghan have posed for photos endorsing pro-gay marriage forces in California.

Mrs. McCain appears with silver duct tape across her mouth and "NOH8" written on one cheek in a photo posted Wednesday to the Web site of NOH8, a gay rights group opposed to Proposition 8. The ballot measure passed by California voters in 2008 bans same-sex marriage.

The McCains' daughter Meghan, who has been outspoken in her support for gay rights, has also endorsed NOH8. She appears with silver duct tape across her mouth and "NOH8" on a cheek in a photo on her Twitter site.

Cindy McCain contacted NOH8 and offered to pose for the photo endorsement, the Web site said.

John McCain's office said in a statement that the Arizona senator respects the views of members of his family but remains opposed to gay marriage.

"Sen. McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman," the statement said.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Israel Cracks Down On Protesters

From the Washington Post:

Israel is arresting a growing number of prominent opponents to its policies toward the Palestinians, say critics who are accusing the government of trying to crush legitimate dissent.

In the most high-profile case yet, Jerusalem police detained the leader of a leading Israeli human rights group during a vigil against the eviction of Palestinian families whose homes were taken by Jewish settlers.

Since the summer, dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists have been picked up, including those organizing weekly protests against Israel's West Bank separation barrier as well as others advocating international boycotts of Israeli goods.

Some of the Palestinians were released without charge only after weeks and months of questioning.

In the West Bank, troops fire tear gas, stun grenades, and live rounds - even midnight arrest raids - to disperse anti-barrier protesters. Israel says the protests are illegal, and the harsh tactics are a response to stone-throwing and violent rioting.

In east Jerusalem, police have arrested some 70 demonstrators during marches in recent months, according to Israeli rights groups. At Friday's protest, police arrested 17 Israelis, including Hagai Elad, head of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

They were released 36 hours later by a Jerusalem court, which found the gathering to be illegal, but the arrests unnecessary.

Elad said the arrests represent a "dramatic increase in attempts to silence dissent" that he believes began during last year's offensive in Gaza, when Israel arrested hundreds of anti-war protesters, mostly Arab citizens of Israel.

Jon Stewart Sums Up Dem Strategy in MA

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mass Backwards
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

FBI Phone Searches Break Law

From Reuters:

The FBI collected more than 2,000 records on U.S. telephone calls by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or by persuading phone companies to provide them, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

FBI officials issued approvals afterward to justify their actions in collecting the phone records between 2002 and 2006, the newspaper said.

"This practice ceased in 2006 and never involved obtaining the content of telephone conversations. Additionally, steps have been taken to ensure similar situations do not occur in the future," FBI spokesman Michael Kortan told Reuters.

FBI officials issued approvals afterward to justify their actions in collecting the phone records between 2002 and 2006, the newspaper said.

The Post said it had obtained emails that showed how counterterrorism officials did not follow procedures aimed at protecting civil liberties.

FBI officials confirmed a Justice Department inspector general's report due this month is expected to conclude the FBI frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, the newspaper said.

FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni, in an interview with the Post, said the FBI technically violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

"We should have stopped those requests from being made that way," she told the Post.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hero of the Day: Lilly Coyle!

Absolutely right on. From NPR.ORG:

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action.

But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.
Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"?
If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll.
You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.
Best, Satan