Penis, Palin, and Policy

UPDATE: Near the end of the video I mention the Republican 2012 Presidential campaign strategy (alleged).  It seems to be working…

Unless shares rally, they are on track for a sixth straight weekly loss — longest losing streak since the fall of 2002. The market’s last seven-week stretch of losses began in May 2001, as the dot-com bubble deflated.

Stocks have suffered this month after a raft of weak economic news dampened hopes for a speedy recovery. Traders fear that weaker hiring, industrial output, and a moribund housing market are reversing a bull market that lifted the Dow Jones industrial average 20% the past year.

The Dow is down 5% since June began.

Shares bounced back Thursday after a report that U.S. exports unexpectedly hit a record in April.

[full story]

It’s almost like there’s some underlying “uncertainty” in the market about whether or not the U.S. will default on its loans that is causing everyone do do weird things just in case.   For example…

Treasuries are considered the safest and most liquid, investments in the world. The U.S. is the world’s biggest debt issuer. It has $14.2 trillion of debt outstanding, while marketable Treasuries total $9.7 trillion. Central banks and other overseas investors own $4.48 trillion, or 46 percent of marketable debt.

The negative position reflected trades that would profit from a decline in Treasuries. Cash and equivalents, the largest component of the Total Return Fund, rose to 37 percent from 35 percent in April, under the revised categories.

Gross has been betting against U.S. debt through short sales, in which the Total Return Fund would borrow and then sell government bonds, hoping to profit by repurchasing the securities at a lower price in the future. The fund’s annual report showed that, as of March 31, it had sold short about $2.2 billion of Treasuries that mature in about 10 years and $5.8 billion of agency debt that comes due in 2041.

[full story]

That’s a whole lot of technical finance talk, but what it amounts to is this…

While the swaps are costly for the fund, given that it must pay out more than it takes in under the contracts, Gross would reap profits from the trades should long-term rates rise, causing Treasuries to tumble. Conversely, a decline in long-term rates would punish the fund’s returns.

The bet here is that there is very little chance long term rates will fall.  An unattractive dollar has to have higher rates to be more attractive…this is especially true when there is an open question about default (and a goodly portion of the people tasked with answering that question don’t  seem to understand  it).   These kinds of bets, and positions, are how a small crack in a dam becomes a total failure.   They are essentially acting as a lever, just watching for an opening to stick  in, and break the whole thing wide open.

Of course, simple and responsible lawmaking would make bets like this complete folly…but if you haven’t noticed lately, simple and responsible lawmaking is not very high on certain folks agendas.

UPDATE2: Quick reminder of what happened…

And what happened the next day...

Imagine the firestorm that would be raging on Republican propaganda outlets right now if the stock market had dropped 2.2 percent within 24 hours after Democrats had voted unanimously not to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

The entire right-wing noise machine — from Fox & Friends to Limbaugh, from Hannity to O’Reilly — would be singing the same refrain: The stock market has sent a clear message of disapproval over the Democrats’ irresponsible vote. Whether that assertion was true would not matter. They would make it true simply by unanimously agreeing that it was.

But because it was Republicans who voted irresponsibly, right-wing media sees no relationship between the vote and market drop.

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U.S. Citizen #237 Joins Bastion of Free Speech China in Banning Wikileaks

This comes with a very big 😦  (that’s “sad face” in English).

SHANE MCLEOD: Wikileaks says its founder Julian Assange is going to stay in hiding because he may be at risk of being assassinated.

A spokeswoman for the website says the Australian citizen will maintain a low profile amidst calls by some for his arrest and prosecution for releasing sensitive diplomatic cables.

The self-styled whistleblower is starting to suffer setbacks on another front.

It has been kicked off its servers in the United States run by web-host Amazon.Com.

Amazon hasn’t made any comment – but the decision has been applauded by the US Senator Joe Lieberman — who heads the Homeland Security Committee.

[fullish story…this thing is obviously still developing.]

First up let me say that US Senator Joe Lieberman is a jackass.   I think we can all, across whatever aisle you may choose to erect betwixt us, can agree that Joe Lieberman is a jackass and should be gone, just gone, from public life (I mean he should retire, not, you know be retired).

And speaking of veiled threats of assassination…what’s up with those?  The usual “don’t retreat, reload” retard is at it again and along with Mike “Wannabee” Huckabee is trying to go for the toughest of the toughy tough competition.  Assassination?  Really?  For revealing that, for the most part, the people who work for the U.S. are doing their jobs?  For communicating across secret channels their honest assessments of important events and people around the world?

Look it turns out it was a mistake to allow folks like PRIVATE [bolded, italicized, and capped for emphasis] Manning to have access to all the communique’s from everyone around the world, in the hopes that that he or some other low-level, super-genius (you know, like in freakin’ Transformers) would solve the terrorist puzzle, but it turned out he was more likely to think people should hear this shit, man.

Literally, that was his thinking.

Manning came to the attention of the FBI and Army investigators after he contacted former hacker Adrian Lamo late last month over instant messenger and e-mail. Lamo had just been the subject of a Wired.com article. Very quickly in his exchange with the ex-hacker, Manning claimed to be the Wikileaks video leaker.

“If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months, what would you do?” Manning asked.

But come out they did, and once the genie is out of the bottle in a free society, it gets to wander around and wreak havoc for a bit before being assimilated into the culture at large.

That’s how freedom works.  That’s the down- (for some, up) side to it.

Any way….(and I’ll get to my point here in a minute, you’ll have to bear with me hear, composing this led to a curious tangent…)

Any way…I read the homepage for the wikileaks cablegate page (currently you can’t, since Corporate Citizen #237 Amazon.com exercised his/her/its “free speech rights” and denied Wikileaks theirs) and it says…let me find it here (BTW, I downloaded the whole site zipped on a torrent.  I don’t just preach fucking censorship, I practice it.  For reals yo…cue longest parenthetical aside ever so far on RPN, where the P stands for PIRATE, duh….[feel free to TL;DR this, I’m just C&P’ing to make a point…]

Monday, 25 January 2010, 08:14
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000072
SIPDIS
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB
EO 12958 DECL: 01/25/2030
TAGS PGOV, PINR, EPET, EINV, KCOR, RS, CH, KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  MONEY AND POWER
REF: ASTANA 0061
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland: 1.4 (b), (d)
¶1. (S) SUMMARY: During a private dinner, KazMunaiGaz First Vice President Maksat Idenov named, in his view, the four most powerful gate-keepers around President Nursultan Nazarbayev: Chief of Administration and General Services of the President’s Office Sarybai Kalmurzayev, the President’s Chief of Staff Aslan Musin, State Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, and the tandem of Prime Minister Karim Masimov and Nazarbayev’s billionaire son-in-law Timur Kulibayev. According to Idenov, in Kazakhstan, market economy means capitalism, which means big money, XXXXXXXXXXXX. The following details are a single snapshot of one version of current reality. The significant point is that Nazarbayev is standing with Idenov, not Kulibayev, to maintain international standards to develop the massive Kashagan and Karachaganak hydrocarbon projects. END SUMMARY.
¶2. (S) On January 21, KazMunaiGaz First Vice President Maksat Idenov and the Ambassador had a one-on-one dinner in a nearly empty restaurant (times are still hard!) at the Radisson hotel in Astana. When the Ambassador arrived, Idenov was barking into his cell phone, “Mark, Mark, stop the excuses! Mark, listen to me! Mark, shut up right now and do as I say! Bring the letter to my office at 10:00 pm, and we will go together to take it to (Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, MEMR) Mynbayev at his house.” On ending the call, Idenov explained he was talking to British Gas (BG) Country Director for Kazakhstan Mark Rawlings who had missed the deadline to deliver a letter about arbitration on the Karachaganak super-giant oil-field project (reftel). Still clearly steamed, Idenov XXXXXXXXXXXX “I tell him, ‘Mark, stop being an idiot! Stop tempting fate! XXXXXXXXXXXX Idenov asked, “Do you know how much he (Rawlings) makes? $72,000 a month! A month!! Plus benefits! Plus bonuses! Lives in Switzerland but supposedly works in London. Comes here once a month to check in. Nice life, huh?”
¶3. (S) Idenov calmed down and said, “Let’s look at the menus.” Then he immediately started typing on his PDA and turned the screen toward the Ambassador, saying, “Let’s look at the ‘four courses.’” On the screen were four names: Kalmurzayev, Musin, Saudabayev, and Masimov-Kulibayev.” Idenov said, “The Big Four around Number One.” (NOTE: Sarybai Kalmurzayev, currently the head of Administration and General Services in the Presidential Administration, was, among other jobs, a former head of the Financial Police and, before that, in the 1990s, in charge of privatization. Aslan Musin is the current Chief of Staff for Nazarbayev. Kanat Saudabayev, a personal friend of Nazarbayev for nearly 40 years, is Minister of State and Foreign Minister. Karim Masimov is Prime Minister, and Timur Kulibayev is currently the favored presidential son-in-law, on the Forbes 500 list of billionaires (as is his wife separately), and the ultimate controller of 90% of the economy of Kazakhstan. END NOTE.) In response to a question, Idenov said that Masimov has a degree of freedom, but never acts without permission from “the hyphen” (Kulibayev). Then Idenov stood up abruptly and carried his PDA to a ledge about 20 feet from the table and asked the Ambassador to turn off his cell phone.
¶4. (S) Idenov said he wanted to explain why he has been less visible for at least the last half year. Starting last spring, all the “Big Four” (on the menu) began blocking him from seeing President Nazarbayev. In October, KMG President
ASTANA 00000072 002 OF 003
Kairgeldy Kabyldin told Idenov, “Kulibayev doesn’t want to work with you any more.” Idenov said he replied, “Fine,” immediately returned to his office, wrote his letter of resignation, and packed up his personal files and photos of his family.” He said Mynbayev immediately called and asked, “My dear friend, what are you doing?!” Idenov said he was fed up and was going to the Middle East to work -- “I want out of here!” PM Masimov called and said, “Nazarbayev wants to know how you’re doing. He’d really like to see you when you have time.” Idenov, who said he’d been trying to see the President for months but had been blocked by the “Big Four,” went to see the President and told him, “Kabyldin says Kulibayev doesn’t want to work with me any more.” Idenov said the President told him to calm down: “It’s probably just evil gossip. I’ll have Karim (Masimov) talk to Timur (Kulibayev). Then Idenov went to Masimov and told him, “OK, I’ll stay, but how do I deal with this?” Masimov said he’d talk to both Kabyldin and Kulibayev.
¶5. (S) Soon, intermediaries arranged an Idenov-Kulibayev meeting. Idenov said they both pretended to ignore the core problem -- Kulibayev’s, he alleged, avarice for large bribes.  Idenov averred he told Kulibayev, “Please watch your image and reputation. You have a real opportunity to improve your own image and the image of the nation.” Idenov said Kulibayev was “like a Buddha with a Paris manicure,” and both understood life would continue. Idenov said he believes he has, so far, the president’s protection. “But the games continue,” he said. Idenov alleged that both XXXXXXXXXXXX-- and Kulibayev is salivating to profit from them -- but, so far, Idenov stands in the way. “So long as Nazarbayev says he wants Kashagan and Karachaganak developed according to international standards, that’s what I’ll do.”
¶6. (SBU) (NOTE: Fugitive former CEO of BTA bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling over $1 billion, recently leaked “documentary evidence” to the international media that China’s state companies have bribed Kulibayev over $100 million in recent months for oil deals. END NOTE.)
¶7. (S) The Ambassador asked if the corruption and infighting are worse now than before. Idenov paused, thought, and then replied, “No, not really. It’s business as usual.” Idenov brushed off a question if the current maneuverings are part of a succession struggle. “Of course not. It’s too early for that. As it’s always been, it’s about big money. Capitalism -- you call it market economy -- means huge money.  Listen, almost everyone at the top is confused. They’re confused by their Soviet mentality. They’re confused by the corrupt excesses of capitalism. ‘If Goldman Sachs executives can make $50 million a year and then run America’s economy in Washington, what’s so different about what we do?’ they ask.”
OTHER TIDBITS
¶8. (S) MODEST WEALTH. Idenov alleged that MEMR’s Mynbayev is among the richest in Kazakhstan but “flies under the radar” because he is a relatively modest and very hard-working technocrat. His great wealth derives, in part, from his former ownership of KazKommerzBank -- “But he never flaunts it.”
¶9. (S) VULTURES. Idenov alleged that GazProm and China National Petroleum Company “continue to circle like vultures,” hoping that the Kashagan and Karachaganak consortia will implode, and then they can pick up the pieces.  “Won’t happen on my watch!” Idenov vowed.
¶10. (C) HOW TO ORDER LAMB. Idenov insisted the Ambassador order a bottle of wine for their dinner but then never touched his first glass. Instead, he gulped three cans of Coca-Cola while inhaling his food. When both he and the Ambassador ordered lamb chops, Idenov advised, “Well done,
ASTANA 00000072 003 OF 003
never rare -- this is Astana, not London!”
¶11. (S) COMMENT: Idenov is effusive, even theatrical, by nature. When he trusts, he spills his heart. Of course, there’s no doubt he also spins his own narrative, as we all do. And so, this dinner is simply a snapshot -- but, we would judge, a relatively accurate glimpse of one version of current reality. The significant point is that Nazarbayev is standing with Idenov, not Kulibayev, to maintain international standards to develop the massive Kashagan and Karachaganak hydrocarbon projects. END COMMENT. HOAGLAND

)

…this will not be silenced, just saying.)

Any way…I read the homepage for the wikileaks cablegate page and it says said…

This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington – the country’s first President – could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today’s document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US Government has been warning governments — even the most corrupt — around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures.

Which I find a bit high-handed.  I don’t think you would find more than one or two countries in the world that don’t engage in any diplomacy at all.  That’s what “state diplomacy” is, at a certain point.   Lying to one’s friends and being honest with one’s superiors.     I do think this thing is awful embarassing, but worthy of assassination?  Come now, let’s be civil and just talk badly about people behind their backs (which is the other side of what diplomacy is, although some times, rarely, you talk up another).

Seriously though, I don’t deserve to be hunted down like Al Qeada now, do I, Mrs. Palin?   I’m doing something kind of like that skinny, white-haired Australian dude, and can go a bit further, if necessary.    But hunted down like terrorists?  Really? With drones and shit?  During weddings and everything?  That’s a bit much, Sarah, even for you.

I think SecDef Robert Gates got it much closer to the truth

But at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday, Mr. Gates, who plans to retire next year, responded to a question about Wikileaks’ disclosure of 250,000 diplomatic cables by meandering down a different path.

Here is some of what he said:

“Let me just offer some perspective as somebody who’s been at this a long time. Every other government in the world knows the United States government leaks like a sieve, and it has for a long time. And I dragged this up the other day when I was looking at some of these prospective releases. And this is a quote from John Adams: ‘How can a government go on, publishing all of their negotiations with foreign nations, I know not. To me, it appears as dangerous and pernicious as it is novel.’

BTW, I can’t not hear that in Paul Giamotti’s voice, which makes it even funnier.

“Now, I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets. Many governments — some governments — deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most because they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, the indispensable nation.

“So other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another.

“Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.’’

And that, my friends, is pragmatism.   I’m glad to see some more of it.  This willy nilly running around banning this and assassinating that is foolish.

As someone who’s read more than a few of these cables can attest, most are about dealing with the real world as it is, not as some would wish it to be.

That, in and of itself, might be a game-changer for the U.S.’s perception of both itself and our many friends, allies and enemies.

So I’m helping keeping the cables up, as much as need be.   Making 251,287 blogs is the work of a good script and an afternoon.  Making 100,000 copies of each might take a day or two.  Censorship is foolish, silly, and Un-American.  It’s cheap, and tricky, like the Chinese (yea, I said it..they do it).

More on this one as it goes forward.  There’s going to be months of this, and since 2 of 5 of The Fox News Party’s presidential candidates are already playing tough ‘guy’ on this issue, expect to hear quite a bit more about it.

And if Assange can follow through with the 5 GBs of Bank of America emails he’s alleged to have sitting around on a jump drive somewhere, and they prove to be a’spicy meat-a-ball, he’ll go so quick from Public Enemy #1 to Hero of the Day #4452 it’ll make your head spin so fast it’ll jump clean off and head into orbit.

Should be fun to watch.

Sacred Strip Clubs? Yes! Sacred Buildings? No!

Nice piece on this subject, covers most of the arguments I’ve made about the thing.


There are actually a couple of adult entertainment venues that show up on Google ( GOOGnews people ) Maps if you search around the former site of the World Trade Center. Internet reviewers seem to like New York Dolls best, due to its sexy, disproportionately Russian staff, mirrored stage and purportedly high-quality lap dances.

As yet, I haven’t heard anyone wonder why our political class is silent as the sex industry operates on sacred ground. It would be a bizarre complaint: It’s Manhattan, where you can find anything mere blocks from a given location. The closest strip club to Ground Zero happens to be two blocks away, a fact that has nothing to do with our reverence for the place where so many Americans were killed by terrorists. As you’ve probably noticed, it doesn’t even make sense to call it The Ground Zero Strip Club.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/22/ground-zero-mosque-religion-terrorism-opinions-columnists-conor-friedersdorf.html

UPDATE: Best quote from the piece…

Moreover, the writer Jeffrey Goldberg, as staunch an opponent of radical Islamists as you’ll find, posted recently on the controversy over this cultural center, having interacted with the folks who are attempting to build it, and reported that they are peace-loving people intent on marginalizing extremists inside their religion. “One of the ways to prevent future Ground Zeroes is to encourage moderation within Islam, and to treat Muslim moderates differently than we treat Muslim extremists,” he writes. “The campaign against this mosque treats all Muslims as perpetrators. This is a terrible mistake, for moral and strategic reasons.”

Opponents of this project are judging people they’ve never met on the basis of their religion, treating all Muslims as enemies of America, and allowing emotional prejudice to dictate their opinion when prudent reflection would serve everyone better. Forbidding houses of worship from being built is something done in foreign autocracies, not a country founded by people fleeing religious prejudice.

I can’t stand most of Goldberg’s stuff, but even he can see how the Palin’s [1] (and Gingrich’s [2]) of the world are dead wrong on this one.

—-

As to [1], the quitter wrote, “”to build a mosque at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks.”  This is insane.  So insane, in fact, it got enough people to flag it as offensive it got deleted by Facebook.  This “blame *them* all” attitude of Palin’s is just wrong.  And then, of course, she doubled down on the crazy, “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”    Hey, jackass, the peaceful muslims ARE THE ONES BUILDING THE MOSQUE.  Not only that, but the “heartland” wasn’t even attacked by Muslims.  Ever.  New York was.  You know that place, right?  Why not leave the decisions on how to heal to them, rather than an unemployed politician from 4,000 miles away.  The only thing that makes her looks slightly rational is when compared to [2]. 

[2] “But Gingrich was not content to have the Mama Grizzly conducting the conservative Crazy Train. He wants to forbid the location of a mosque at Ground Zero until there are churches and temples allowed in Saudi Arabia.” [full article]   I mean, really?  Gingrich wants to take religious tolerance cues from Saudi Arabia?  And here I was thinking the U.S. was slightly better than that.  It’s very similar to a number of conservatives who defended Arizona’s crazy laws by pointing out Mexico’s even worse laws.   And these are the same people who constantly bray about the U.S. being the best thing since Jesus.  And yet…they want to take cues on how to govern from some of the worst offenders in the world.  The mind, sometimes it boggles.

[On] Palin Progaganda on Fox

Talk show host Sean Hannity and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin came together for what Fox News Channel promoted as an exclusive interview.

But, in truth, what viewers saw was a carefully staged display of partisan political theater — from the executive-office backdrop to the non-stop stream of smiley-faced softball questions Hannity served up with great servility.

In TV terms, the imagery was impressive, with an American flag over her left shoulder, a richly appointed china cabinet off to the side and thick carpeting throughout. Every table had flowers in a fine vase. It was all supposed to remind viewers of the White House while sending the message: Look how comfortable and natural she looks here.

Typical of their staged conversation was the following exchange:

Hannity: “Senator Obama yesterday was attacking Senator McCain for saying the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Do you believe the fundamentals of the economy are strong?”

Palin: “It was an unfair attack on the verbiage… because he (McCain) means our work force, of course, and that is what’s strong… So, that was an unfair attack.”

[ed. yes…it’s unfair to attack people for what they say….wait, what? And also…as you seemed to have missed the question…this kind of stuff is considered “fundamentals of our economy“. Our “work force” is aging and uneducated. Luckily that’s only one piece of the puzzle.]

Z on TV: Hannity all smiles and servility in Palin interview – Sun critic David Zurawik writes about the business, culture and craziness of television – baltimoresun.com.

They had a few of these questions on the Daily Show last night (e.x. “Two part question, why are your opponents so scummy and why are you so awesome and beloved?”)

Whenever I see Fox trip over completely into propaganda mode I kind of chuckle. I chuckle because I know throughout history that various governments have used powerful propaganda to get their people to move against their own interests and do horrid and evil things.

I chuckle because I always thought that if I was in one of those countries, I could point out the lies and show the proof and the people would rejoice, see the light, and “catapult the propaganda“.

I chuckle because I’m reminded of Zbig talking about how the Chinese Communists have studied, and copied, Fox for their national channel.

And I chuckle because I know how futile it is to talk to those who drink of the font of knowledge that is Propaganda (capitalized). They don’t see the world the same way because they have been taught it is different. They don’t have the skills to process information because it is always processed for them. They don’t have the desire to change a system that, the news says, is working great for them and has their best interest at heart.

They are so committed to their lifeblood of world knowledge, and watching it makes them feel so right about the world, as it constantly re-inforces their worldview., to challenge the whole of it would be unthinkable.

And now they have their hero. The ultimate Fox Girl (minus the blond hair).

No real knowledge of the world, but daaamn, she can read good and think a bit and look incredible on camera. That sense of humor and stell just flies right through the lens. It’s like she’s been trained to be in front of a camera. She so good at it, it’s almost like she learned about it in college. Maybe even six of ’em.

Being on camera is much more fun that learning about icky polices and “how government works” and boring stuff. It’s much more fun to go with the “people love me and I love them” mode of governing that worked so swimmingly in that movie I saw the other day.

So I chuckle.

It keeps me sane.

Also, and on a wider note, it’s hilarious (I’m getting more than a chuckle) watching McCain and Palin all of sudden try and look like Big Government Regulators that Interfere with THE HOLY MARKET and Are the Root Of All Evil (according to standard Republican dogma). What they are trying to avoid from becoming general public knowledge is that the guy who wrote the legistation that deregulated the banks was McCain’s former chief economic advisor.

That would have been some “change” sending Phil Gramm back to Washington to finish the job, wouldn’t it?

UPDATE: I was looking for a transcript of the interview and I found this transcript generator. It can be used to generate an interview for each loyal viewer. Awesome.

In case you missed Sean Hannity’s interview with Sarah Palin, you haven’t missed much. You can generate a close approximation of the transcript of the interview using this simple generator:

Step 1) Sean Hannity states typical right wing talking point (fill in yourself).

Step 2) Hannity says, “Don’t you agree Sarah.”

Step 3) Palin agrees, repeats same talking point

Step 4) Repeat Step 1

[full post]

The World This Week by Wah : September 14, 2008

Here is part 1 (and 1.1)  and 2 of last weeks roundup. Below you will find the links for each story mentioned.

Part 1.1

Part 1.2

Part 2

Read more for story links and details…

Part 1:

Executive Experience in Alaska

Info-Graphic Convention Coverage

Military Industrial Complex Shuts Down Olbermann and Matthews on MSNBC (owned by GE)

Bloons Tower Defense 3

Pot Kills Staph

A bit more on Pakistan

Another Upside of Global Warming

Russia, Georgia, Southpark

Tigh Visits Walter Reed

Game Review : PC : Spore 

Part 1.1:

Water Bears May Be Fruit of All Life

Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the world yet?

Part 2:

A Southpark Metaphor For McCain’s Speech

Palin to Right of Republicans on Climate Change

Sarah Palin is to Harriet Miers…

John McCain’s Funny Joke

A Second Theory as to Why John McCain Tapped Sarah Palin

Oh Yeah, and Obama Gave Some Speech

The John McCain “I’m a Victim” Express

A Simple Guide to Biased Reporting (re: Lipstick bullshit and Bonney Kapp)

On Joe Biden : 20 Years Ago

Anderson Cooper : 360 Degrees Of Suck

Lipstick on an Economy

McCain Makes New Pledge to American People

Wall Street Journal Joins News Censorship Game

What Talking About Issue Looks Like (Joe Biden)

“You can actually see Russia from Alaska” – Sarah Palin on her “international experience”

NOTES: A couple quick notes…I have another 20 minute or so of suff. Because of the time limits on YouTube (and Google doesn’t seem to be liking me) I think I’m going to shoot for a 20 minute limit next week. This was more of a proof-of-concept. Let me know what you think. If you absolutely have to see the rest, let me know and I’ll throw it up.   I should also have a much quicker turnaround next week, as my editing skillz just about doubled this last week.

More on Palin Book-Banning Attempts

Shortly after taking office in 1996 as mayor of Wasilla, a city of about 7,000 people, Palin asked the city’s head librarian about banning books. Later, the librarian was notified by Palin that she was being fired, although Palin backed off under pressure.

Palin’s alleged attempt at book-banning has been a matter of intense interest since Republican presidential nominee John McCain named her as his running mate last month.

Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said Thursday that Palin asked the head librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, on three occasions how she would react to attempts at banning books. He said the questions, in the fall of 1996, were hypothetical and entirely appropriate. He said a patron had asked the library to remove a title the year before and the mayor wanted to understand how such disputes were handled.

Records on the city’s Web site, however, do not show any books were challenged in Wasilla in the 10 years before Palin took office.

GOP campaign downplays Palin book-banning inquiry – Yahoo! News.

Can someone please follow up with Taylor Griffin and point out his factual error and ask them to come up with another rationalization.   Please?

I think this is important because it illustrates exactly what kind of “executive decisions” Palin has made.

Note: we all know that list being circulated is false, it’s a strawman in this discussion.

UPDATE: Nice video on the situation.  Unfortunately, it’s a vicious, sexist attack because it highlights facts.

Executive Experience in Alaska

Dividend Amounts

State of Alaska > Departments > Revenue > PFD Division > Dividend Amounts

Yearly Dividend Amounts

Year Amount Increase (Decrease)
2007 $1654.00 49.42%

2006

$1106.96

30.55%

2005

$845.76

-7.82%

2004

$919.84

-16.95%

2003

$1107.56

-28.12%

2002

$1540.76

-16.73%

2001

$1850.28

-5.78%

2000

$1963.86

10.96%

1999

$1769.84

14.86%

1998

$1540.88

18.85%

State of Alaska – Permanent Fund Dividend Division.

As mentioned previously, one of the biggest decisions attributed to the Governor of Alaska is presiding over how much money the Government sends to each Alaskan. I’m trying to verify if this is an addition to the $1,200 check Palin sent out, and the $600/person check Bush sent out.

$3500 free dollars from the oil companies a year ain’t too shabby. No wonder they have such a meth problem.

But such are the pitfalls of government welfare.

This common welfare payment went up in dramatically 2007, after the passage of a Windfall Profits Tax…in Alaska. As many economists point out, this tax was just transferred to consumers. In the rest of the country. The “lower-48” as they call ’em up North.

Here’s what McCain said about such things…

Posted by The Associated Press June 17, 2008 12:29PM

Categories: Breaking News

SAN ANTONIO — Republican Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama’s call for a windfall profits tax on the oil industry on Tuesday, despite leaving the door open to the same idea last month.

McCain criticized Obama, his Democratic rival, repeatedly in excerpts of a speech planned for delivery Tuesday evening. He cited Obama’s advocacy of a tax on excess oil industry profits as well as the Democrat’s vote for President Bush’s energy legislation in 2005.

McCain reserved his sharpest words for the windfall profits tax.

“If that plan sounds familiar, it’s because that was President Carter’s big idea, too. … I’m all for recycling, but it’s better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the 1970s,” McCain said in the excerpts.

[full story]

…but then again McCain doesn’t have any executive experience.

In Alaska.

And what’s with the divisive Previous-President bashing. I thought we were bringing each other together.  Oh wait, that’s the new thing. I’m sorry for expecting consistency in a campaign.

Kind of got spoiled watching Obama, being all mature and shit.

And having one with a rational concept of science is particularly refreshing.

Fox and CNN Suckage (and the Palin Joke)

Woke up a bit fired up this morning.  Watch the video to see why.

As a general note…it’s not a surprise that Fox is making scurrilous allegations against [Democratic Politician], it’s pretty standard fare over there.  They’ve been doing it consistently for the last 8 years+.

I did want to make the point about the hurricanes.  This is a good reason why many people are uninformed in the U.S. and that’s a big part of the reason.  Not hurricanes, but cheap, empty news.  It’s expensive to make good news.  It takes time and effort and money.  It’s not a thing, if dont right, that is usually profitable.  It used to be considered something of a public service.

Now, things are so bad, they’ll spend 15 minutes talking about where a hurricane might hit, and then come back 2 hours later with a different projected path.  It’s not that big a deal, except there is actual news going on somewhere, but it cost money, which hurts profits.  So we get weather news in front of TV screen and a generally uninformed populace.

I guess it’s better than a misinformed populace, but it seems to be we are getting a two-for-one deal on that.

And the Hypocrisy Grows…

…I dunno about you, but I’m noting dangerous levels of hypocrisy coming from a certain direction. No, not the Whitehouse. I’ve already detailed the stench emanating from that direction. This stuff is flowing down from the North, not the East.

Read more for the examples…

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A Letter From Wasilla

This one has been making the rounds. It’s from someone who has known Sarah Palin since 1992. If you are still on the fence on this one, please read on and inform yourself. You have to love the Internet for bringing us stuff like this.

Read on for more…and there’s a lot more…

UDPATE: This has been confirmed by Snopes. Read on…

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9 out of 44 (Palin’s VP Acceptance Speech)

It turns out, according to this lady I’m watching on the Colbert Report, that nine out of forty-four Vice-Presidents have become Presidents, either through assassination, death of natural causes, or resignation.

Which means we’re starting with a base 20% chance of losing any President.  It’s also been a while, which doesn’t raise the odds, but seems to.  And since McCain would be the oldest President ever elected (for a first time) we can kick that up to an even 50%.

So…is this sarcastic, smart-ass person 50% of a President?

read more, and the fact-checking after the jump…

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