Saturday, November 01, 2008


A terrible loss:
Studs Terkel captured the essence of Chicago in the pages of his best-selling oral histories, chronicling common people and celebrities alike.

Along the way he became an ageless master of listening and speaking, a broadcaster, activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Terkel died Friday at age 96.


No War on Drugs

Not in Bolivia, anyway:
Bolivia's president says he is suspending operations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as relations between the two countries worsen.

President Evo Morales accuses the DEA of involvement in regional anti-government protests. U.S. officials have denied promoting such actions.



McCain is an abject failure:
Few people have been more persona non grata than George Bush during this election season. Republican candidates have gone out of their way to avoid being seen with the president. In fact, Bush has raised $40m less for the Republican party and its candidates in the 2008 election than he did last cycle. However, John McCain is becoming equally as toxic. He is, in fact, becoming the next George Bush.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Very Bad

Congo is burning:

FIRING wildly, Congolese soldiers commandeered cars, taxis and motorcycles in a retreat from advancing rebel fighters, joining tens of thousands of terrified refugees struggling to stay ahead of the violence.

As gunfire crackled in Goma, the eastern provincial capital, the Tutsi rebels said they had reached the outskirts of the town and declared a unilateral ceasefire to prevent panic as the army retreats and residents flee.

Congo said Rwandan troops had crossed the border and attacked its soldiers - raising the spectre that neighbouring nations will again be drawn into Congo's war. Rwanda's Tutsi-led Government immediately denied the charge, but Congo turned to Angola for help defending its territory.

As the chaos mounted, the US announced its officials were leaving Goma and urged all US citizens to do the same.


Sad Desperation

McCain is increasingly pathetic:

JOHN McCAIN has hurled fresh allegations about Barack Obama's associates, saying the Democrat had fraternised with a man linked to the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the former Chicago academic Rashid Khalidi.

The Republican presidential candidate used an appearance on CNN to accuse the Los Angeles Times and its parent, the Tribune Company, of suppressing tapes damaging to Senator Obama.

He said the Times was sitting on a video of a reception attended by Senator Obama in 2003 for Professor Khalidi, now the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University in New York, in which anti-Israeli sentiments were expressed.


Things Fall Apart

The right-wing cannot hold:
Displaying a fracture that stands to become a clean break if John McCain loses the election next week, Republicans of all stripes and stature have broken with their party’s nominee and are not only supporting Democrat Barack Obama, but trashing the GOP in the process.


Selling Out the Future

One more reason to vote Obama:
Amid the economic turmoil, students and their families are getting little relief from rising college costs, which jumped 6.4 percent this fall, according to new figures out Wednesday.

And with states aggressively cutting budgets, big increases look almost certain next year, too -- if not sooner.
And on a related note:
New claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, remaining at the same elevated level due to the struggling economy, the government said Thursday.

The Labor Department said new claims for jobless benefits for the week ending Oct. 25 stood at a seasonally adjusted 479,000, the same as the previous week and above analysts' estimates of 475,000.


All Is Well

For Shell:

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell today joined the profits bonanza from record prices with a 71 per cent jump in third-quarter earnings.

The firm made a mammoth 10.9 billion US dollars (£6.6 billion) between July and September - a period when oil prices hit a peak above 147 dollars a barrel.

The news, which is likely to spark fresh calls for a windfall tax, comes two days after rival BP posted its biggest-ever quarterly profits of £6.4 billion.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


People in Georgia know how important it is to vote this year:
Voters in Clayton County, Georgia reportedly waited in line between eight and twelve hours on Monday, in some cases into early Tuesday morning. The county's election supervisor Annie Bright blamed the state for the delays, citing computer problems, while the Secretary of State's office lodged the blame back to the county.

"I feel good," said poll worker Beatrice Lyons, who was on her 18th hour, but excited to see the turnout. "They can just come on--stay all night long. I'll be right here."


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It Doesn't Stop

Bullshit and more bullshit:
The man who originated the rumor that Barack Obama was born a Muslim is now promoting an entirely different story, claiming that Obama is actually the son of a black activist who was suspected in the 1950s of Communist ties.

Andy Martin first launched the "Muslim" rumor in 2004, just two weeks after Obama gained national attention at that year's Democratic convention. His initial press release was picked up by the conservative website FreeRepublic, and from there the story snowballed on the Internet.

However, Martin now tells CNN that, as the result of a recent visit to Honolulu to investigate Obama's background, he concluded that "his father was Frank Marshall Davis." Martin offered no proof for this assertion and implied it was just a gut feeling.
Just fuck off already, please.


Our Military

A culture of rape:
For a soldier, the wounds of war can be felt long after a tour of duty ends, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports, and not all of them are inflicted by the enemy. Tuesday, researchers reported that an alarming number of female soldiers have sought treatment for sexual assault committed by fellow soldiers.

A Veterans Administration study found that one in seven female veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan seeking medical care from the VA suffered sexual trauma - everything from harassment to rape.

Medical records of 125,000 war veterans, both men and women, showed 15 percent reported sexual trauma. That works out to nearly 2,600 veterans, almost all women.



We're devolving rapidly:

Among the many harsh lessons for mortgage lenders in the housing bust is this one about evictions: Selling a house is far easier than taking it back. Clever opportunists and struggling families have figured this out, too, and the result is a rapidly evolving free-for-all coursing through the Washington region's worst foreclosure-racked suburbs.

Defaulting homeowners are taking advantage of banking chaos to live mortgage-free for six months or longer, dragging out the eviction process, according to lenders and real estate agents. Unscrupulous landlords are collecting rent but withholding mortgage payments, leaving a rude surprise for their tenants when repossession comes. And banks are so eager to avoid the hassle of eviction that they are paying occupants $5,000 or more simply to hand over the keys and move out without a fight.

Then there are the illegal squatters, appliance thieves and miscellaneous animals -- wild and domestic -- that abound amid the disorder.



Even McCain's workers can't stomach his vitriol:
Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

"They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."

The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. "It was like at least 40 people," the daughter said. "People thought the script was nasty and they didn't wanna read it."

A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that "at least 30" workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.


Crashing and Burning

Farewell, US auto industry:
The U.S. auto industry's downward spiral has accelerated dramatically in recent weeks. In a desperate bid for solvency, General Motors Corp. is seeking a merger with Chrysler. Chrysler has talked with Renault and Nissan about partnerships. And now Ford Motor Co., GM and Chrysler -- backed by Michigan lawmakers -- are lobbying Washington to give them cash, implying that failure to provide a bailout could doom the industry to bankruptcy.


Monday, October 27, 2008


Sadly, many other racist morons will, in fact, find this deranged plot to be an inspiration:
Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.

In all, the two men whom officials describe as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people — 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, "shooting at him from the windows," the court documents show.

"Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt," the court complaint states. "Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt."


Scary Black President!

If Obama is elected, we are doomed! DOOMED!
Terrorist strikes on four American cities. Russia rolling into Eastern Europe. Israel hit by a nuclear bomb. Gay marriage in every state. The end of the Boy Scouts.

All are plausible scenarios if Democrat Barack Obama is elected president, according to a new addition to the campaign conversation called “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America,” produced by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family Action.

The imagined look into the future is part of an escalation in rhetoric from Christian right activists who are trying to paint Obama in the worst possible terms as the campaign heads into the final stretch and polls show the Democrat ahead.


Booming Economy

For certain sectors, anyway:
Americans have cut back on buying cars, furniture and clothes in a tough economy, but there's one consumer item that's still enjoying healthy sales: guns. Purchases of firearms and ammunition have risen 8 to 10 percent this year, according to state and federal data.


Dragging On

No relief in sight for the soldiers:
The Army's use of involuntary extensions of combat duty will likely continue through 2009 despite pledges earlier this year by top military officials to reduce reliance on the policy known as stop loss.

In September, 12,204 soldiers were affected by stop loss, a policy that forces them to remain in the Army after their service commitment has expired. The same number likely will be affected each month through 2009, Army Lt. Col. Mike Moose said last week.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Too Bad, Palin

Your homestate newspaper doesn't want you to win:
The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.

The newspaper said Sunday the Democrat "brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand."


Attack on Syria

Borders mean nothing to us:
U.S. military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as "serious aggression."

A U.S. military official said the raid by special forces targeted the foreign fighter network that travels through Syria into Iraq. The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area because Syria was out of the military's reach.

"We are taking matters into our own hands," the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.

Echoes of Cambodia...


"Because I Rigged the Machines Myself"

McCain knows he's going to win:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he can “guarantee” a win on Nov. 4 in a squeaker victory that won’t be clear until late that night.

McCain spoke amid signs of a tightening race, and reports of renewed determination among his staff, which is badly outgunned in both money and manpower.

“I guarantee you that two weeks from now, you will see this has been a very close race, and I believe that I'm going to win it,” McCain told interim "Meet" moderator Tom Brokaw. “We're going to do well in this campaign, my friend. We're going to win it, and it's going to be tight, and we're going to be up late.”


Shouldn't They Save the Money...

for pedophile victims?
A diocese in southern Germany plans to spend 100,000 euros (130,000 dollars) on a birthday bash at the Vatican for the Pope Benedict XVI's elder brother, a magazine report said Sunday.


McCain and Sex

Two words I really don't want to think about at the same time, but we do what we have to do. Greta Christina has the round-up:

John McCain’s record on birth control and abortion rights is so bad, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund gave him a zero percent rating. Zero. He opposes requiring health care plans to cover birth control. He opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women. He supports the global gag rule, which bans overseas family planning organizations that receive US funding if they provide abortions . . . or if they even provide information about abortions. He thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned. He has voted against a woman’s right to choose 125 times.

John McCain is a strong supporter of abstinence- only sex education in the schools — a program that has been shown to be loaded with gross misinformation, and totally ineffective to boot. And he voted against programs to help prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.

John McCain voted to prevent people living with HIV and AIDS from permanently immigrating into the United States.

John McCain supports blocking libraries from getting federal funding unless they block access to sexual material on their computers. He supports — in fact, he sponsored — a law that would essentially require Internet service providers to become porn police . . . and that would slap them with a $300,000 fine if they fail to report images on their sites that the Department of Justice decides are illegal.

John McCain’s record on gay rights is consistently dismal. He has opposed every single gay rights measure of recent years. He opposes same-sex marriage, and supports the Defense of Marriage Act. He even opposes domestic partnerships and any sort of recognition of same-sex partnerships. He is opposed to gays serving in the military. He opposes adoption by same-sex couples. He thinks employers should be allowed to fire people simply for being gay.