Thursday, March 31, 2011
Shalaby denied any of the Syrian allegations, saying her cousin had been living in Damascus for only nine months and hardly even had friends -- let alone contacts with any political movement there. She said Radwan has also never visited Israel.
Read story here
This image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System's innermost planet.
The moves that Facebook plans on making go well beyond getting lobbyists to protect their interests. Currently, Facebook’s only public-facing interest is control over basic Internet functions – pageviews, eCommerce, social influence, and access. Facebook is already exceptional at controlling pageviews.
Their eCommerce department is working feverishly (albeit stealthily) to embed Facebook as a centralized middleman for buying and selling through the Internet. Their social influence is unquestioned and nearly unchallenged. Access – new websites are born every day that encourage or require logging in through Facebook.
The elections of 2010 focused of jobs, the GOP ran on a lack luster economic recovery from the Republican induced recession. They won the U.S. House and gained seats in the U.S. Senate. Now that they have won, they are very timid about talking about the economy.
The latest GOP jobs plan aims to increase thousands of highly skilled former government workers into the already saturated private labor market in an attempt to drive down middle class wages. Rather than increasing real demand, which is the base of a healthy economy, the GOP wants to build a facade by lowering Americans’ wages.
Did Mike Huckabee just flush his presidential aspirations down the proverbial toilet? Well, if American mainstream media has an ounce of journalistic gumption remaining the answer most certainly would be “yes”. Huckabee has just been caught on video, at a Christian supremacist conference, stating that Americans should be forcibly indoctrinated at gunpoint.
The organization which hosted the “Rediscover God In America” conference, United in Purpose, has edited Huckabee’s comment from footage of his speech, but not before People For The American Way’s Kyle Mantyla captured the unedited footage, in which Mike Huckabee states, “I almost wish that there would be, like, a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced–forced at gunpoint no less–to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it.”
David Barton is the leading promoter of a brand of falsified American history altered to support the claim that America was founded as a Christian, rather than a secular, nation.
The disaster at Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is getting worse: Trace amounts of plutonium have been found in the soil outside the plant, the seawater outside the reactors has radioactive iodine-131 at levels 3,355 times above what's considered safe, and, according to former GE nuclear safety researcher Richard Lahey, Japan appears to have "lost the race" to save reactor 2 from a full nuclear meltdown.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The history of Free Republic brings new meaning to the word “tortured”. It’s had more purges than the brutal Communist dictatorship of Buliemia. As users have expressed intolerable, vile beliefs, like thinking Rudy Guliani would make a good president, they’ve been booted from the site, because nothing is more American than making people you don’t like go away to never be seen again.
Over time, it has, in theory, become a hotbed of the most extreme conservatives on the Internet, the kind of people who cry and masturbate to Glenn Beck crying and surreptitiously masturbating on air. Or is it?
The more you read the statements of Freepers (nickname of the denizens of FreeRepublic) the more you’ve got to wonder if they haven’t realized they had a huge audience of liberals engaging in some internet atrocity tourism, and are just playing to the crowds.
A disagreement over advertising is one of the main sticking points holding up the fifth season of the acclaimed AMC show that's set in an ad agency
Citing the WOR ratings in New York, Buckley said: "They weren't down, but they weren't up. We'd thought they'd go up. The other talk station in New York, WABC, had gone through a lot of changes and you would have thought consistency would have helped [Beck]. We'd have thought we'd see some movement, but we didn't see anything."
The paper predicts that cutting the number of public employees would send highly skilled workers job hunting in the private sector, which in turn would lead to lower labor costs and increased unemployment. But "lowering labor costs" is economist-speak for lowering wages -- does the GOP want to be in the position of advocating for lower wages for voters who work in the private sector?
During the 2008 presidential campaign one Fox News executive repeatedly tried to smear Barack Obama with charges of "socialism."
Liberal watchdog group Media Matters has uncovered audio that indicates Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon was just engaging in what he called "mischievous speculation."
Nearly half of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party movement, putting it in the same company as the Democratic and Republican parties, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that 32 percent of the public has a favorable view of the two year old anti-tax movement, which also calls for less government spending and a more limited role for the federal government in our lives.
The 32 percent favorable rating is down five points from December. Forty-seven percent of people questioned say they have an unfavorable view of the tea party, up four points from December and an increase of 21 points from January 2010. That 47 percent is virtually identical to the 48 percent unfavorable ratings for both the Democratic party and the Republican party in the same poll.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Syrian President Bashar Assad accepted the resignation of the government on Tuesday, Syrian state television said.
If demographics is destiny, then Republicans may have a major political problem on their hands. Why? Because numbers released by the Census Bureau late last week showed massive growth in the nation’s Hispanic population, a community that Republicans have struggled mightily to reach in recent years.
The numbers are eye-opening. Hispanics now account for more than 16 percent of the total population, making them the largest minority group in the country. More than half of all population growth in the United States over the past decade came from Hispanics.
Perhaps most amazing is that nearly a quarter — 23 percent — of all children age 17 or younger are Latino. That’s a major problem for Republicans, given that in the 2008 presidential election, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — far from the GOP’s most ardent advocate of stricter immigration laws — won just 31 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to exit polls.
Hours after declaring Sunday that he expects to be running for president within a month, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he's worried the United States could be “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” in the foreseeable future
Nearly 30% of U.S. nuclear-power plants fail to report equipment defects that could pose substantial safety risks, a flaw in federal oversight that could make it harder for regulators to spot troublesome trends across the industry.
Charles and David Koch both agree that President Obama is anti-business."He's the most radical president we’ve ever had as a nation,"… "And has done more damage to the free enterprise system and long-term prosperity than any president we’ve ever had.
Those poor little Rich boys.
Influencing our Politicians to further their billion dollar interests isn’t enough for them. Now they are the victims of a Marxist plot. We ordinary,(little) people should be kissing their filthy rich asses and thanking them for polluting the environment, not paying taxes and greatly contributing to making life miserable for the working-class.
Donald Trump made headlines earlier today when he provided what he said was a copy of his birth certificate -- but a quick check reveals it's actually not an official document.
The Obama administration has issued a gag order on data over the recent spike of dead dolphins, including many stillborn infants, washing up on Mississippi and Alabama shorelines, and scientists say the restriction undermines the scientific process.
Monday, March 28, 2011
For someone who holds himself out as a public intellectual, Gingrich comes across all too often as more glib than thoughtful — more interested in joining the fray than in expressing carefully worked-out ideas. When he takes a strong stand on a controversial issue, it’s never clear how much conviction and deliberation have gone into it.
He seems to think and speak at full gallop, tossing off opinions as fast as they come to him, less interested in being right than in being heard — and in taking shots at the opposition. Of course it is in the nature of American politics that Republicans criticize Democrats, and Democrats disparage Republicans, but Gingrich professes “to rise above traditional gridlocked partisanship.’’ And yet Newt the Republican combatant is a much more familiar figure than Newt the nonpartisan visionary.
Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain is not a first-tier presidential candidate. He is, however, actively running, and he does have real support. He won a straw poll at the Conservative Principles Conference in Iowa over the weekend, and last month won another straw poll at a conference organized by a tea party group.
That substantial support makes it all the more remarkable that Cain told Think Progress' Scott Keyes over the weekend that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet.
Congressional Republicans have made a big deal about slashing funds for Planned Parenthood and other family planning programs, claiming that these cuts are necessary to address the federal deficit. But one of those lawmakers has been pushing his own measure to provide additional federal funds to so-called crisis pregnancy centers—unregulated and uncertified clinics that try to deter women from seeking abortions.
Conservatives have said voter id laws are necessary to combat mass voter fraud. Yet according to the Brennan Center for Justice, Americans are more likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than commit voter fraud. And the Bush administration’s five-year national “war on voter fraud” resulted in only 86 convictions of illegal voting out of more than 196 million votes cast. Instead conservatives are employing an old tactic: using the specter of false voting to restrict the voting rights of minorities and the poor.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace groused about the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates had declined to appear on the show, “despite the fact we routinely have more viewers” than two of the other Sunday shows. Wallace didn’t explain what he meant by “routinely” or which two shows he was referring to, but as far as we can tell, Fox News Sunday usually places last in the ratings.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
With the rise of the right, the National Center for Constitutional Studies' bizarre version of U.S. history is gaining adherents.
Some US lawmakers say the ongoing assault on labor unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states are part of a mounting attack on workers' rights and the middle class Americans.
How is this even possible?
In lengthy interviews with a conservative magazine, the billionaire Koch brothers mounted an aggressive defense of their business and political interests, describing their liberal critics as “very, very extreme” and “very dangerous” and President Barack Obama as a “radical” with “Marxist” ideas whose success is owed largely to his “silver tongue.”
Do you have any idea how embarrassing this was? I was sitting there trying to explain to my lovely French wife why the US requires advertising to be honest, but not the news. I couldn't. No amount of sophistry or twisting my mind around this problem could allow me to get around the core issue that if news is allowed to lie and advertising isn't, something is seriously wrong in the US.
The White House today proposed sweeping revisions to U.S. copyright law, including making "illegal streaming" of audio or video a federal felony and allowing FBI agents to wiretap suspected infringers.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
In 1987, Jim Bakker’s sex scandal shocked the evangelical world. The husband of mascara-laden Tammy Faye was a super-televangelist with an average viewership numbering over 12 million and ministry contributions estimated at $1 million per week. Then came a litany of accusations, including the rape of 26-year-old Jessica Hahn and financial fraud. Twenty-three years later, his son, Jay Bakker, is causing another uproar among the faithful. This time, it’s over homosexuality.
In his new book, “Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self, and Society,” the younger Bakker makes the case that Christians should reconsider their position on homosexuality. Such views may find a hearing among young evangelicals who are shifting on gay and lesbian rights. If the Christian establishment fails to recognize this shift and adjust its rhetoric, leaders may find their young congregants departing, not defending, their churches.
Being a network with a lot of, even exclusively, conservative opining is a perfectly valid choice for Fox to make. There is nothing wrong with opinion journalism that openly proclaims itself to be just that. But pretending to do straight reporting while choosing stories and dishonestly presenting nuggets of information in order to advance a political agenda perniciously undermines the work of the entire press and ill serves American democracy.
Western military intervention in Libya—which began with air strikes over the weekend—has been described so far as an alliance led by the United States . It's a label the Obama administration appears anxious to hand off, as it faces criticism at home for launching the attack without congressional authorization and seeks to disprove fears that the intervention will become a protracted war without a clear exit plan.
Given the controversy and questions over U.S. involvement—and who's leading what—it’s worth taking a step back to look at exactly how the United States has been involved so far.
Representatives from 8 national, state and local organizations gathered at the statehouse to voice their outrage with St. Rep. Virgil Peck’s comments from March 14th , The advocacy groups delivered more than 54,000 signatures to the Kansas capitol on Friday calling for state Rep. Virgil Peck (R) to resign after he said unauthorized immigrants should be shot from helicopters.
Peck made the controversial comment last week during a hearing on how to deal with the state’s feral hog problem. After someone suggested shooting the hogs from helicopters, Peck quipped,
“If shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem.”
Friday, March 25, 2011
The Libya intervention debate has evolved at lightning speed this week. House Speaker John Boehner blasted President Obama Wednesday night, calling Obama's explanation of why the U.S. is bombing Libya "limited" and "sometimes contradictory," and saying it was "regrettable" that Congress wasn't consulted. Congress will likely hold hearings on the issue next week. But only last Sunday, Boehner insisted that the U.S. had a "moral obligation" to do something for the Libyan rebels. He's not the only one to switch.
Prominent Republicans began to urge military intervention in Tripoli to prevent the slaughter of civilians in February. Republican demands for decisive action felt unanimous to the extent that Matt Latimer, former chief speechwriter for Donald Rumsfeld, lamented in The Daily Beast this Tuesday that the GOP had become "the party of war." He complained that the GOP is is "always eager to deploy America’s sons and daughters to war zones, but who never do the fighting themselves."
Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the social conservative group the American Family Association, says that when it comes to Islam, the First Amendment is a privilege, not a right. "Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam," Fischer wrote today.
Barely hours after filing his intent with the FEC to run for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, Fred Karger stopped by Washington Unplugged to formally announce his decision.
Speaking with CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes Karger said, "I've filed to run for President of the United States." (watch above)
Explaining what brought him to this moment Karger said, "It was the culmination of a lifetime of political work. It was a very exciting moment."
This is the first time Karger has run for political office, but he has been a behind-the-scenes player for 35 years -- serving as an advisor to Presidents Ford, Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Karger says he's an "outsider" but has "political experience."
He is also the first openly gay presidential candidate. Cordes asked when so many of his fellow Republicans are opposed to gay rights and same-sex marriage why he would chose to run as a candidate of that same party.
"Being a gay Republicans is kind of an oxymoron," he said, "I have been a fighter in my party, I have always been on the more moderate side but I'm also a prot?g? of Lee Atwater. We need to open up this party and that's one of my reasons for running. The party should not be dominated by one faction or another. It should be open to all."
A group called Support Wikileaks Los Angeles has raised money and placed a billboard supporting the revolutionary website Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. The billboard is up at the southeast corner of Highland and Santa Monica Blvds.
The Tea Party favorite sends a strong signal Thursday that she's serious about a White House bid. Cue the repercussions...
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Twelve militants were killed in the raid near the border town of Liboi, Kenya's Standard newspaper reports.
Kenya supports the Somali government and has helped trained its forces but if confirmed, this would be the first time Kenyan officers have crossed the border.
Digg's best days may be behind it. Once one of the internet's most influential link-sharing social networks, the site has been overtaken by upstarts like Twitter and Reddit, and — as of this weekend — it has lost its founder, Kevin Rose. After a contentious redesign last year, Digg's traffic plummeted — from 18 million visitors a month to 12 million — and commentators suspect that Rose's departure may be the end. Is it time to bury Digg?
A new Pew poll released today contains some ominous omens for the Republican Party. As national support for the Tea Party declines, support of Republicans by Tea Partiers is also in decline. Only 19% of Americans support the Tea Party now, and within the Tea Party support for the GOP budget plan has dropped from 74% to 52%.
The latest Pew Research Poll has found that the American people are growing disgruntled with divided Congress’ inability to do anything, and they are blaming the Republicans for the lack of progress. The big problem that Republicans face is that they sold their supporters an ambitious and completely politically unrealistic budget and deficit reduction plan that they have not been able to deliver. After the 2010 elections 35% of Republicans supported their party’s deficit plan, support has now fallen to 22%.
Republican candidates used the Tea Party to gain control of the House of Representatives, but there are dangerous signs that these same voters have already grown impatient with the GOP. Support for the Republican Party’s deficit reduction plan among Tea Partiers has plunged from 75% just after the election to 52% now.
As the United States participates in a multilateral effort to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, the conservative media fearmonger that the Obama administration may use the "Gadhafi Precedent" to use military force against Israel. However, Obama has said "[t]he United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security" and his administration has repeatedly showed support for Israel.
State governments are grappling with massive budget deficits, overburdened social programs, and mountains of deferred spending. But never mind all that. For some conservative lawmakers, it's the perfect time to legislate the promotion of creationism in the classroom. In the first three months of 2011, nine creationism-related bills have been introduced in seven states—that's more than in any year in recent memory
A new report shows that the income gap between rich and poor in America is at an eight-decade high — the largest differential since the period immediately preceding the Great Depression. And economists fear that the education and job-creation programs that could bridge this gap are lacking in the recessionary economy.
Buried Provision in House GOP Bill Would Cut Off Food Stamps to Entire Families if One Member Strikes
All around the country, right-wing legislators are asking middle class Americans to pay for budget deficits caused mainly by a recession caused by Wall Street; they are attacking workers’ collective bargaining rights, which has provoked a huge Main Street Movement to fight back.
Now, a group of House Republicans is launching a new stealth attack against union workers. GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), Tim Scott (SC), Scott Garrett (NJ), Dan Burton (IN), and Louie Gohmert (TX) have introduced H.R. 1135, which states that it is designed to “provide information on total spending on means-tested welfare programs, to provide additional work requirements, and to provide an overall spending limit on means-tested welfare programs.”
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A suspicious package outside the main post office in Birmingham prompted authorities to shut down the building and block the surrounding streets downtown for hours.
According to Birmingham police, that suspicious package turned out to be nothing more than tennis shoes.
One of Hollywood's most legendary beauties, Elizabeth Taylor, died on Wednesday (March 23) at the age of 79 after spending two months in a Los Angeles hospital for treatment of congestive heart failure. One of the brightest stars in the history of the American movie business, Taylor starred in a string of hit movies in the 1950s and 60s, including "Giant," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Cleopatra," while becoming an international sex symbol and object of tabloid fascination for her string of love affairs with leading men.
An agreement between Google and publishers over the web firm's publication of books online has been blocked by a US court.
The web giant has scanned millions of books and made them available online via its eBooks platform.
Google had negotiated the deal to settle a six-year-old class action suit claiming infringement of copyright. But the New York court said the deal would "simply go too far", giving Google an unfair competitive advantage.
Jennifer Rexford, a BP-hired oil spill cleanup worker has been documenting her condition that is getting worse by the day. Filming herself and her coworkers, all American workers, all are DYING and BP is NOT taking responsibility!!!! Severe neurological damage, paralysis, internal bleeding, death!
Mike Huckabee says he’d “love to the world to be led by people who have a biblical worldview.” That is a statement we have to take a serious look at, because a biblical worldview is proven to be a worldview that is far from forgiving and far from benign. Twenty centuries of repression, persecution, and genocide is not an uplifting thing.
Starting last Friday, the Coast Guard has been investigating reports of a 100 mile long oil sheen as well as a 30 mile shore impact of fresh crude oil along the Louisiana coastline.
Today, Houston-based oil company Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners, LLC accepted responsibility for at least part of the reported oil impact. The company was plugging an abandoned well between last Friday and Tuesday of this week.
GOP House Judiciary Committee Votes to Put ‘In God We Trust’ on All 9,000 Federal Buildings – What Will That Cost?
Just four months ago the tea party Republicans won control of the House by campaigning on reducing the deficit and promising to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But in the 12 weeks since they officially took over, what they have shown is that, despite their new “tea party” branding, this current batch is no different from the GOP pols who ran Congress in the Bush and Gingrich eras.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The two crew members on the F-15E fighter jet both ejected, suffering minor injuries.
It is thought the F-15E fighter jet came to ground after suffering a mechanical failure.
The US military confirmed that one of its jets had crash landed but said that it had not been shot down.
The worst of times sometimes brings out the best in people, even in Japan’s “losers” a.k.a. the Japanese mafia, the yakuza.
Hours after the first shock waves hit, two of the largest crime groups went into action, opening their offices to those stranded in Tokyo, and shipping food, water, and blankets to the devastated areas in two-ton trucks and whatever vehicles they could get moving.
The day after the earthquake the Inagawa-kai (the third largest organized crime group in Japan which was founded in 1948) sent twenty-five four-ton trucks filled with paper diapers, instant ramen, batteries, flashlights, drinks, and the essentials of daily life to the Tohoku region.
Republican presidential candidates take note: the clout of far-right, evangelical conservatives is growing in politically crucial Iowa. And these activists are driving the debate here toward cultural issues – and away from the economy – just as the GOP sets out to find an opponent for President Barack Obama.
“They’ve gotten more involved in the party,” said Norm Pawlewski, a lobbyist for the anti-gay Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. “I’ve seen a change in the kind of people who are volunteering – and not only volunteering but working.”
With Obama’s re-election race looming next year, this constituency – composed of evangelical Christians who are intent on outlawing abortion and reversing society’s growing tolerance of LGBT people – will play a major role in choosing the winner of next year’s Iowa GOP caucuses. They’re seeking a repeat of 2008 when they coalesced around the underfunded former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to give the Southern Baptist minister a surprise first-place finish.
We’re talking about true legislative sadists looking to go medieval on America.
More than 30 people have been arrested outside a US marine base during a protest against the treatment of a detained army private accused of giving classified information to Wikileaks.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: On another related - unrelated matter - maybe it is related
– I want you to explain what you know about this suggestion Fox News reporting that you, a Reuters crew, some other journalists, were effectively used by Gadhafi as a human shield to prevent Allied fighter planes from coming in and attacking a certain position.
Explain what you know about this.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this allegation is outrageous and it's absolutely hypocritical. You know, when you come to somewhere like Libya, you expect lies and deceit from the dictatorship here. You don't expect it from the other journalists.
Why do I say that?
Because Fox News has said that they didn't send somebody on this trip last night because they said it was a quote, unquote, "propaganda trip."
They sent a member of their team. He was non-editorial. He was non-technical, not normally a cameraman. He was given a camera by the team and told to come out and come on - come on the bus with the 40 other journalists who were there, who were free to get on the bus, free to get on the bus when they wanted, told us, when he was on the bus, that even he - this member of this Fox team, was surprised that their correspondent and the normal cameraman weren't coming out, that he was being sent - this isn't his normal job - that he was being sent.
So that's why I say what Fox is saying is outrageous and hypocritical.
Moshe Katsav, Israel's former president, has been sentenced to seven years in jail for rape, Israeli media reported.
The judges also handed the former leader a two-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 shekels ($28,000).
The sentence was approved by two of the three judges at Tel Aviv district court on Tuesday, which was presided over by Judge George Kara.
Katsav was convicted in December of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice following a four-year scandal that shocked the Jewish state.
Monday, March 21, 2011
The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the U.S.-European bombing campaign in Libya and said Sunday that he would call a league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention.
Moussa said the Arab League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Moammar Gaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and was not designed to endorse the intense bombing and missile attacks — including on Tripoli, the capital, and on Libyan ground forces — whose images have filled Arab television screens for two days.
The House Republicans have killed the Select Committee on Global Warming, and now they’ve taken the next step: legislating climate change out of existence. Yes, that’s right: all our troubles are at an end. Who needs a magic wand when you have a House full of Republicans?
Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of "trophy" photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.
Senior officials at Nato's International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.
They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year.
The prison system in the United States is a profit-making industry.
Six corporations control virtually all American media.
The FBI admits to infiltrating & disrupting peaceful political groups in the United States.
In 1977 it was revealed that random American citizens were abducted & tortured for research by the CIA.
A plan to attack American cities to justify war with Cuba was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962.
Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar said today his soldiers would protect the protesters. Several other generals and diplomats have announced their resignation.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The U.S. ambassador to Mexico has resigned because of comments he made in leaked diplomatic cables criticizing Mexico's war against drugs, officials said. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Saturday night said she accepted the resignation of Carlos Pascual "with great regret," the Washington Post reported. In diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, Pascual called Mexico's army "risk averse" in dealing with drug traffickers.
Americans are beginning to understand that Republicans want everyone to share in the sacrifices except the wealthy and corporations. Conservatives traditionally force minorities to make sacrifices, but they have broadened the scope to include the poor, elderly, children, and now working-class families in an effort to spread the pain evenly.
For one thing, sacrifice means giving something up voluntarily and sharing denotes all parties giving equally. Republicans are forcing 98% of Americans to give up services their tax dollars pay for, but they are not asking the wealthy or corporations to make any sacrifices whatsoever.
More than 100 anti-war protesters, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested outside the White House in demonstrations marking the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The U.S. Coast Guard is currently investigating reports of a potentially massive oil sheen about 20 miles away from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion last April.
“Do you know what Republicans in Congress were working on this week? Two gym teachers named Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Steve King introduced a bill that would require that all government functions be conducted in English, because you let someone down at the DMV say si instead of yes, the next thing you know George Lopez is hosting The Tonight Show.”
After talking about Oklahoma passing a law against Sharia Law even though the state has no Muslims, Bill Maher said, “How can you explain the fixation with ACORN and voter fraud? Republicans are obsessed with people cooking up wild non-existent schemes to vote. Ignoring one important truth, this is America, no one wants to vote. What’s next jury duty fraud, washing the dishes fraud?”
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Fascism is a difficult word, because it comes with an iconography that touches the Nazi nerve and is abused as propaganda against America’s official enemies and to promote the West’s foreign adventures with a moral vocabulary written in the struggle against Hitler. And yet fascism and imperialism are twins.
In the aftermath of World War Two, those in the imperial states who had made respectable the racial and cultural superiority of “Western civilisation,” found that Hitler and fascism had claimed the same, employing strikingly similar methods. Thereafter, the very notion of American imperialism was swept from the textbooks and popular culture of an imperial nation forged on the genocidal conquest of its native people. And a war on social justice and democracy became “US foreign policy.”
In a stunning defeat to Senate President Russell Pearce, every immigration bill was voted down by his own senate today, even though Pearce defiantly declared immigration was a state issue, not a federal one. And for Pearce, he may have lost the battle, but the war over immigration in Arizona will continue to flourish.
Despite the fact that Arizona has the lowest crime rates in 40 years, Gov. Jan Brewer has joined Pearce in turning immigration troubles into Arizona’s own shock doctrine vehicle for their radical agenda.
A team of scientists in Angola have unearthed what they believe is an exciting archaeological discovery: The remains of what they say is a new type of dinosaur, and the largest plant-eating species ever
One of the major goals of the collider is to find the elusive Higgs boson: the particle that physicists invoke to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the collider succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time.
According to Weiler and Ho's theory, these singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.
Internet overseer Icann has given final approval to the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography. The move to create a top level ".xxx" domain - similar to ".com" and ".org" - ends a 10-year battle over the virtual red-light district.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Death toll rises as live rounds used in increasingly violent crackdown on nationwide protests
The 63-year-old Mr. Dennis has agreed to buy Mental Floss, a bimonthly magazine started in 2000 by Duke University students obsessed with trivia. Since its launch, Mental Floss has built an audience of over 100,000 who not only devour the magazine but also buy Mental Floss books, board games and T-shirts bearing slogans submitted by readers like "Thomas Aquinas: The original deep fat friar."
"I love their mix of businesses," said Mr. Dennis, perhaps best known for bringing Maxim magazine to the U.S. "I think this is the perfect fit here."
Mr. Dennis and the magazine's founders, Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, declined to disclose terms. A person familiar with the matter said the deal is in the midseven figures.
Egypt's Supreme Military Council should take urgent steps to end torture, investigate all cases of abuse against peaceful demonstrators, and stop prosecuting civilians before military tribunals.
Libya has announced it will halt all military operations in the country following a decision by the United Nations Security Council to back a no-fly zone over the country.
Moussa Koussa, the Libyan foreign secretary, said his government was interested in protecting all civilians and foreigners in a statement televised on Friday.
"We decided on an immediate ceasefire and on an immediate stop to all military operations," he said, adding "[Libya] takes great interest in protecting civilians".
Koussa said because his country was a member of the United Nations it is "obliged to accept to UN Secutiry Council's resolutions".
Democracy can be better served by randomly selecting representatives, argue Italian researchers.
Political Correction and other fact-checking organizations have previously debunked Republican arguments embellishing President Obama's contribution to the deficit, specifically noting that the projected FY 2009 shortfall was $1.2 trillion before his inauguration and the main drivers of deficit growth are the Bush tax cuts, two wars, and the recession — all of which Obama inherited.
The top corporate income tax level in the United States is 35 percent. In the United Kingdom, it's 28 percent. But in Ireland, it's only 12.5 percent, and in Bermuda there's no corporate income tax at all. That means multinational companies that shift their earnings through Ireland or Bermuda can save billions of dollars in taxes each year.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
More evidence emerges all the time to suggest that fearmongering by the conservative media has helped create a permanently paranoid voting bloc. Last year, a shocking number of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, said they believed President Obama had raised their taxes, which isn't anywhere near to being true. And still others believed that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was a terrible failure, which is not accurate either. But today's new poll from Public Policy Polling trumps both of those paranoid delusions.
Thirty-one Republicans on the House Energy And Commerce Committee -- the entire Republican contingent on the panel -- declined on Tuesday to vote in support of the very idea that climate change exists.
Jefferson County's 2009 occupational tax law was passed unconstitutionally, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision that dealt a devastating financial blow to a county considering bankruptcy.
A bill that would strip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions moved forward Tuesday toward a full vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 Tuesday on a 34-19 vote, with all Republicans and three Democrats in support. At the same time, Senate Republicans attached duplicate legislation to an upcoming small business bill.
The world's largest technology company lost about $14 billion of value on Wednesday after JMP Securities' Alex Gauna downgraded the stock, pointing to a sharp pullback in sales growth at Apple's largest Asian contract manufacturer as a sign that business was also slowing at the iPhone and iPad maker.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
House Republicans are holding an emergency meeting of the Rules Committee on Wednesday to take up legislation that would block funding to NPR in the wake of James O'Keefe's hidden camera prank on the news organization.
The current leadership of the GOP is the most dangerous threat to America in the history of this country. Hyperbole? I wish it were. But the evidence clearly demonstrates that the GOP has mounted a concerted effort to circumvent the American people and install a modern-day feudalism that effectively abolishes the will of the people and their elected officials to allow our cities and states to be run by corporate-like CEOs – and there’s no telling where it will go from there.
Ignore the "realists." If we do nothing, the situation in Libya can only get worse.
Japan was warned more than two years ago by the international nuclear watchdog that its nuclear power plants were not capable of withstanding powerful earthquakes, leaked diplomatic cables reveal.
With attention heavily focused on Japan, the situation in Bahrain has gotten much nastier.
The No. 1 cable news channel suddenly faces the same problem as its competitors — a shrinking primetime audience. Is Fox's winning streak over?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
"I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said 'is there a school in this area.' She said 'not now, but just wait.'"
"Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."
"I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute.'"
Sarah Palin stirred up a hornet's nest of controversy when in the aftermath of January's deadly shooting in Tucson she posted a video on Facebook accusing the media of "blood libel" for linking her political rhetoric to the massacre.
But it turns out the video may have been more than just a political misstep for Palin. Her decision to speak out may have also alienated one of her key patrons, Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who had urged his employee to keep quiet about the debate.
Saudi troops and police from UAE deployed to Gulf neighbour to help protect government facilities after weeks of unrest.
Someone go find the dunce cap.
Michele Bachmann tackled American history again in public, and once again gave America good reason to laugh at Minnesota.
NPR is being attacked by Republicans because NPR is objective news. Republicans know that extremist policy based on lies can't survive for long in a society in which a free media holds public officials of each party equally accountable. Thus, the Republicans have spent the good part of two decades trying to play the media refs, and if that doesn't work, destroy the mainstream media and replace it with their own propaganda org, aka Fox News.
John McCain accepted the endorsement of Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee in 2008, the result was a PR disaster. After critics pointed to Hagee's incendiary views on gays (whom he held responsible for Hurricane Katrina) and Catholicism (which he described as a "false cult"), the Arizona Republican called Hagee's views "crazy and unacceptable" and renounced the endorsement.
But three years later, Hagee is once more involved in Republican presidential politics. Later this month, he'll host former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a 2012 aspirant, at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. For the candidate and the pastor, the summit is a chance for two controversial figures to help each other back into the spotlight—though a Hagee spokesman says the pastor has no plans to endorse Gingrich.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The Arab League asked the U.N. Security Council Saturday to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from air attack by forces of Moammar Gadhafi's embattled government, giving crucial backing to a key demand of the rebel forces battling to oust the Libyan leader.
Foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab bloc, meeting in Cairo, also left the Libyan leader of more than 40 years increasingly isolated, declaring his government had "lost its sovereignty."
In a little-heeded warning issued at a 2009 conference on the subject, experts outlined a range of mechanisms by which climate change could already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity. "When the ice is lost, the earth's crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis," Bill McGuire, professor at University College London, told Reuters.
Melting ice masses change the pressures on the underlying earth, which can lead to earthquakes and tsunamis, but that's just the beginning. Rising seas also change the balance of mass across earth's surface, putting new strain on old earthquake faults, and may have been partly to blame for the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia, according to experts from the China Meteorological Administration.
So much for the wonders of technology and medicine, for all our advances, human mortality rates are on par with chimps.
Bahraini police and protesters have clashed in several areas of the capital, Manama, in some of the worst unrest for weeks.
Momentum in the monthlong conflict has shifted toward Qaddafi, who has recaptured the oil port of Ras Lanuf, the nearby town of Bin Jawad and the western city of Zawiyah. His forces have used armor and planes to drive back the insurgents, who are calling for Western support to end Qaddafi’s four-decade rule
A Minneapolis blogger was ordered on Friday to pay $60,000 in damages to an ex-community leader who lost his job because of the blogger's reporting -- even though that reporting was accurate. John Hoff connected Jerry Moore, who was employed by the University of Minnesota to study mortgage foreclosures, to a mortgage fraud. Even though the accusations turned out to be true, the jury ruled against Hoff in a suit and awarded Moore $35,000 in lost wages and $25,000 for emotional distress.
It was a bad day for the First Amendment.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The clip in the edited video implies Schiller is giving simply his own analysis of the Tea Party. He does do that in part, but the raw video reveals that he is largely recounting the views expressed to him by two top Republicans, one a former ambassador, who admitted to him that they voted for Obama.
A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to two and a half miles into the air, a local official said.
Muammar Gaddafi's air force has struck at Libyan rebels as their leaders gained support from the Arab League, including a no-fly zone to help their battered fighters.
Seif al-Islam, Gaddafi's son, told Italian newspapers he's confident government troops will defeat rebels, adding they have already retaken control over "90 per cent of the country".
He swore there will be no negotiations with the rebels, calling them terrorists and saying there will be a "war to the end"
An Al Jazeera cameraman has been killed in what appears to have been an ambush near the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya.
A new Bloomberg poll released today illustrated just how far Sarah Palin has fallen since her heady pit bull with lipstick days of the 2008 presidential campaign. Palin only registered a 28% approval rating in the poll. To put this in perspective, Wall Street, you know the guys who wrecked the global economy, get a 30% approval rating from the American people.
Since 9/11, right-wing extremists including neo-Nazis and other white supremacists have been involved in 63 domestic terror plots.
Officials said the decision was agreed by a ministerial committee on Saturday.
The announcement comes a day after the murder of five members of a family in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
An Israeli government official said the construction would take place in settlements that Israel expects to retain control of in any possible peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Palestinian officials condemned the move.
Clogging the Wisconsin Capitol grounds and screaming angry chants, tens of thousands of undaunted pro-labor protesters descended on Madison again Saturday and vowed to focus on future elections now that contentious cuts to public worker union rights have become law.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Fascism is the ultimate manifestation of social change and moral revolution, and glorifies nationalism. Sound familiar? It should. Republicans are all about culture wars and preach morality and how great America is. Fascists, like Republicans today, reject democracy and liberalism. Many Republicans called for violently overthrowing the government if the 2010 midterm elections didn’t go their way and have viciously attacked liberalism. Fascists also reject internationalism and pacifism and support militarism and war. Republicans have been calling for the United States to pull out of the United Nations since the 1950′s and have since 2001, been the party of war as evidenced by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the calls to attack Iran, North Korea, and most recently Libya. Fascists also promote heroism, vitalism and violence. Ever notice how Republicans promote themselves by chopping wood or firing guns or some other “manly” activity? They are trying to prove how tough they are. And the examples of violence are aplenty. Just look at the shooting in Arizona and the calls to shoot liberals in the forehead and the threats of “second amendment remedies” among many others. Republicans have ALL of these traits.
The party's plan is to find some way to take credit if prosperity takes hold — or find a way to make sure it doesn't
A Gallop Poll released March 11 indicated a mere 18 percent of Americans approve of the job their congress is doing. Results indicated independents are the most displeased with their leaders – just 15 percent of those identified as independent approve of Congress, a decline of 7 percent since February.
Back in February 2009, Republicans found a lot of risible spending in the stimulus bill. In his response to the State of the Union, Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., derided the stimulus for including "$140 million for something called volcano monitoring." The gripe was mostly that the funding, mostly for U.S. Geological Survey upkeep, wasn't stimulative. (This is a pretty good argument.) But Democrats honed in on that comment to decide that Republicans were going to try to cut funding for natural disaster monitoring.
This isn't wrong. The continuing resolution passed by the GOP House, the one that just failed in the Senate, reduces funding for the federal agencies that monitor and react to disasters.
Along the Gulf Coast, the marketing blitz for spring break is rolling out as the oil from the BP blowout 11 months ago continues to roll in along with increasing numbers of dead infant dolphins, in numbers completely without precedent. The beaches remain polluted with toxic oil and dispersant even as local politicians and government officials insist everything is fine and the oil miraculously gone. Thousands of pounds are collected each day from the few areas that remain under scrutiny, all of those being in highly visible resort areas. In one zone on Ft. Morgan beach in Alabama, a record 17,000 lbs was collected in one day after a winter storm rolled through. Along the beaches of Alabama in areas not frequented by media or guests, dead infant dolphins are left uncollected in the sand. Current plans by mayors of resort communities along the Gulf Coast will have thousands of vacationers, including at-risk populations, once again making sandcastles and sunbathing on toxic, polluted beaches.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thousands of people have been evacuated from the coast in Hawaii as it braces for a series of tsunamis in the wake of the Japanese earthquake.
There is no guarantee that the risk to Republicans will be confined to Wisconsin; national polls also suggest that the Republicans’ position is somewhat unpopular.
Premise: White people in America are oppressed. Problem: If white folks are losing, I can’t even begin to imagine who is winning.
Speaker John Boehner's laser-like focus on anything other than creating jobs continues, as he's decided to open up yet another front on the culture wars.
US soldier held on suspicion of leaking state secrets speaks out for first time about experience
Authorities said at least 40 people were killed and 39 missing after the magnitude 8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami. The quake was followed by more than 20 aftershocks for hours, most of them of more than magnitude 6.0. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of the disaster.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
A series of controversial hearings into the "radicalisation of the American Muslim community" is starting in the US. The Republican congressman holding the hearings says some Muslim leaders are not co-operating enough with the police and FBI. But many US Muslims say they are being unfairly singled out, and some fear the hearings will only increase Islamophobia in the US.
There has been a large increase in the number of civilians killed in the war in Afghanistan for the second year in a row, according to a UN report. More than 2,700 civilians were killed in 2010 - up 15% on the year before.
The UN blamed the Taliban and other insurgents for the rise, saying 75% of all deaths were down to them. The Taliban called the report "one-sided". The numbers killed by Afghan and Nato forces fell, accounting for 16% of civilian deaths, the UN found.
At last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a student from the group Youth for Western Civilization at Liberty University asked members of a panel titled “The Shari'ah Challenge to the West”: “Are we going to see a rise of Islamic Europe, and America just sits there on its own... are we actually going to win?” Another audience member asked, “what recourse does America have as a country... to deal with that problem with a completely won Islamist population? What recourse do we have at home and abroad?”
That these questions were treated as legitimate lines of inquiry at a conference that serves as a dog and pony show for Republican presidential candidates demonstrates the success of a cottage industry of anti-Muslim fearmongers—politicians, religious groups, ministers, self-styled national security experts, former government officials, retired military officers, pundits, and writers—who have cultivated a wide-ranging conspiracy theory that totalitarian Islamic radicals are bent on infiltrating America, displacing the Constitution, and subverting Western-style democracy in the U.S. and around the globe.
The Dalai Lama announced Thursday on his website that he plans to relinquish his power as the head of the exiled spiritual movement. "Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power," he wrote. "Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect." He said he would work with the government in exile to begin the process of ceding authority.
something very different is going on on the right, and I think we need to understand what that is. Why is climate change seen as such a threat? I don't believe it's an unreasonable fear. I think it's unreasonable to believe that scientists are making up the science. They're not. It's not a hoax. But actually, climate change really is a profound threat to a great many things that right-wing ideologues believe in.
Apparently, Glenn Beck can call the president of the United States a racist on national television and keep his job, but if you’re an NPR executive who says the same thing privately about a bunch of nameless Teabaggers — you’ve gotta go.
Nearly a year after the oil disaster began, Gulf Coast residents are sick, and dying from BP's toxic chemicals.
Most nations, including virtually all of Europe, have abandoned the death penalty. Among the 58 that still use it, according to Amnesty International, are the United States, China, Thailand, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Japan.
Twenty people have been freed from death row after evidence surfaced to show they were innocent or had been convicted improperly. Then-Gov. George Ryan halted executions in 2000 rather than risk killing an innocent man. The state's last execution took place in 1999
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
It seems that in 2008, Monroe County Sheriff's Detectives Doug Brannon and Pat Henry actually posed as a federal defense attorney in an attempt to get incriminating information out of suspect John Edward Dawson, who was in jail on a host of charges, including theft and drug distribution. Not only that, but in doing so, they also talked Dawson into refusing to cooperate with his public defender and to plead guilty to the charges against him. They communicated with Dawson via a jailhouse informant.
Dawson's public defender was so taken aback by his assurances to her that he had a "federal lawyer" who had worked out all of his charges, that she actually asked for a psychiatric evaluation. When all this came to light, Dawson's (real) attorney asked for a continuance in his case so she could assess the damage. Remarkably, Tennessee Tenth Judicial Judge Amy Reedy refused the request, ruling that Dawson made "a real dumb decision" and that he had "picked his poison."
Nebraska’s new abortion law forced Danielle Deaver to live through ten excruciating days, waiting to give birth to a baby that she and her doctors knew would die minutes later, fighting for breath that would not come.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The Pakistani Taliban said they carried out the attack, saying it was to avenge the death in custody of one of their members.
The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February, a $223 billion shortfall that put a sharp point on the current fight on Capitol Hill about how deeply to cut this year’s spending.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The Weekly Standard's William Kristol has taken Beck to task for his stance on Egypt. Some say it's a sign that the Right is fed up with one of Fox News' most vivid personalities