••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

By Ezra Klein

I'm very curious to know what the GOP -- or the tea partyers they're presumably pandering to -- think will happen when every piece of legislation requires "a statement from its sponsor outlining where in the Constitution Congress is empowered to enact such legislation." What's the evidence that this will make legislation more, rather than less, constitutional, for whatever your definition of the Constitution is?

Let's take an example: Most legislation doesn't currently include a statement of constitutional authority. But there's one recent measure that did: Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That is to say, the individual mandate.

generally speaking, i don't disagree with ezra klein, and if you've read much of this blog you know i'm for universal healthcare, but i suspect the individual mandate actually is unconstitutional, not because of the commerce clause but because of the due process clause. that's why obama and the dems shouldn't've dropped the public option.
& they talk of running this jerk for prez?
mississippi goddamn!

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's decision to commute the prison sentences of two sisters drew wide attention in part because their cause has been embraced by civil rights activists. But an unusual aspect of the arrangement is also drawing scrutiny: Barbour said his action was "conditioned on" one sister donating a kidney to the other.

The case involves sisters serving double life sentences for armed robbery convictions.
"The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society," Barbour said in the statement. "Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott's medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi. . . . Gladys Scott's release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidneys to her sister, a procedure which should be scheduled with urgency."
"If the sister belongs in prison, then she should be allowed to donate and return to prison, and if she doesn't belong in prison, then she should have her sentence commuted whether or not she is a donor," said physician Michael Shapiro, chief of organ transplantation at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and chair of the United Network for Organ Sharing's ethics committee.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, who met with Barbour about the sisters' case and has pushed for their release, said the governor's office has made it clear Gladys Scott will not go back to prison if her kidney is not a match. Both sisters will follow traditional parole release procedures.

"This is a shining example of how governors should use their commutation powers," Jealous said. "At the end of the day, the most important thing is that they are free and reunited with their families. This is a day when the right thing is being done."
The release of the Scott sisters, who are African American, had become an issue of social justice among civil rights advocates, who argue that they were given an extraordinarily long punishment for the crime. They were convicted of luring two men into an armed robbery that netted $11. Their alleged accomplices, three teenagers who hit each man in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets, have served their sentences and been released.

However, the state parole board had previously denied the Scotts' applications for early release. The governor's office said their applications to him, which mentioned the kidney donation, bolstered their appeal for release.

aw, c'mon, ben! if you don't call out racism when you see it, who will?!

what'm i talkin' 'bout? served 16 years of life sentences for luring men into an $11 robbery by perps who've already been released? so what? who cares? jus' par for the course, mon!
whaddaya bet it's the elastic clause?

They will read the Constitution aloud.

And then they will require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.

Call it the tea party-ization of Congress.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

host misses point

While controversy swirls around Fox's new game show "The Million Dollar Money Drop" after two contestants lost $800,000 despite answering a question correctly, the show's host says many people are missing the point: the duo legitimately lost the game on the next question anyway.
"This story is a moot point. They lost everything on the next question. It's a non-story." said Pollak. "There's one aspect of the story that hasn't been covered that much."

no, they only bet $80k on the next question. you don't know they would've bet everything and lost it all if they'd won what they should've won. you're assuming a hypothesis contrary to fact.

but what can we expect from somebody who works for fox (666)?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."

This latest revelation comes after Media Matters uncovered an email sent by Sammon to Fox journalists at the peak of the health care reform debate, ordering them to avoid using the term "public option" and instead use variations of "government option." That email echoed advice from a prominent Republican pollster on how to help turn public opinion against health care reform.
Too much fried fish may contribute to the high rate of stroke in America's "stroke belt," according to a new study.

The results showed that people living in the stroke belt — including residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana — were about 30 percent more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish every week than those living in the rest of the country, the researchers said.

And blacks who are known to have an increased risk of stroke regardless of where they live, were more than 3.5 times more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish per week than whites.
"The differences in dietary fish consumption, and specific cooking methods — frying — may contribute to the higher rates of stroke among those who live in the stroke belt and among African-Americans," Nahab told MyHealthNewsDaily.

By eating more non-fried fish, especially fatty fish that have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, or taking fish oil supplements, some cases of stroke could be prevented, [Fadi] Nahab [of Emory University in Atlanta] said.

The study is published online today (Dec. 22) in the journal Neurology. The work was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services. General Mills provided funding for coding of the food-frequency questionnaire completed by study participants.

Pass it on: While fish are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, frying fish may reduce levels of these nutrients. Consumption of fried fish may contribute to the increased risk of stroke in the U.S. stroke belt.

Monday, December 20, 2010

grisly mama grizzly

let me see if i got this right: the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick, but apparently a hockey mom is the same as a mama grizzly, so that must mean a grizzly is really a dog with lipstick.

wait. that can't be right. let me start over.

a female bear is a sow, and if you put lipstick on a pig you still got a pig. but that's not palin. she's a pit bear with lipstick, not a dog, and nobody calls her pork, let alone a pig in a poke, tho she's a con, isn't she?

i mean...um....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strikingly, these constitutional forays would repeal some of the greatest advances in democracy. A movement born as a populist squall seems oddly uncomfortable with the very mechanisms that give ordinary citizens the loudest voice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

well, now i begin to see how they got around the constitution: they retitled and amended another bill already passed by the house.

originally H.R. 4853 was called the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III. it was introduced on march 16, passed by the house the next day, sent to the senate, and passed by the senate with some changes on september 23. the differences were never resolved by the conference committee, so the bill was in limbo. the senate took it back, changed the title to the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, and added all the stuff about tax cuts and unemployment we've been hearing about in the news.

that's how they got past the constitutional requirement that revenue bills must start in the house.

it's either arcane or byzantine or both, i'm not sure which, and it means the framers wasted their time writing article i, section 7, clause 1.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

just two points on washington's complaints about wikileaks:

1. in spite of the freedom of information act, scholars and journalists trying to get access to overclassified material have been stonewalled by the government for years, so it was inevitable that someone would eventually resort to skulduggery.

2. diplomats and decision makers ought to know by now that "diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means." why would anyone send unencrypted strategic cables?
in other words, i agree with kevin rudd.
kids learning something after all

WASHINGTON – America's teens are using more marijuana and less alcohol, according to an annual government study of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders across the country.

Some 6.1 percent of high-school seniors reported using marijuana this year, up from 5.2 percent in 2009, according to the Monitoring the Future survey released by the National Institutes of Health.

Marijuana use by 10th-graders climbed from 2.8 percent to 3.3 percent, and for eighth-grade students it edged up from 1.0 percent to 1.2 percent.

"These high rates of marijuana use during the teen and preteen years, when the brain continues to develop, place our young people at particular risk," said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

On the other hand, binge drinking is on the decline. While 23.2 percent of high school seniors reported having five or more drinks in a row, that's down from 25.2 percent a year earlier. The binge rate for this age group peaked at 31.5 percent in 1998.
he got it when you came in the door

"Derrick Rose may have your number," President Obama lightheartedly jabbed at Kobe Bryant as the team posed for a photograph after presenting the president with an autographed replica 2009-10 championship banner, like the one that hangs at Staples Center.

Without skipping a beat, Bryant made a similar transition from gracious guest at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, where the Lakers participated in a series of community service projects, to a proud player protecting his spot at the top of the pecking order.

"I said, 'If he calls that number, I'll be sure to pick up after the fifth ring,'" Bryant quipped back -- referring, naturally, to the five championship rings he has.

yahoo thinks that's a "snappy response," but a far snappier comeback would've been "looks like mitch mcconnell has yours!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy Mark
How the Republicans fleeced President Obama in tax-cut poker.
By Jacob Weisberg
uh, one (other) small problem*

Senate passage, expected within a day or two, would set up a final showdown in the House between Obama and liberals in his own party who want the White House to scale back the billions the bill includes in relief ticketed for the rich.

* "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."
— US Constitution, Article I, Section 7, Clause 1
see why you need a public option?

"An individual's personal decision to purchase — or decline to purchase — health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause," said [U.S. District Judge Henry E.] Hudson, a 2002 appointee of President George W. Bush.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

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every now and then i hear someone say we have a republic, not a democracy. they don't seem to listen when i say that in today's world there's no real difference. here's wikipedia's take on it:

In the United States, James Madison defined republic in terms of representative democracy as opposed to direct democracy, and this usage is still employed by many viewing themselves as "democrats". Montesquieu included both democracies, where all the people have a share in rule, and aristocracies or oligarchies, where only some of the people rule, as republican forms of government. In modern political science, republicanism refers to a specific ideology that is based on civic virtue and is considered distinct from ideologies such as liberalism.

Most often a republic is a sovereign country, but there are also subnational entities that are referred to as republics, or which have governments that are described as "republican" in nature. For instance, Article IV of the Constitution of the United States "guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government." The Soviet Union was a single nation composed of distinct and nominally sovereign Soviet Socialist Republics.

Niccolò Machiavelli described the governance and foundation of the ideal republic in his work Discourses on Livy. These writings, as well as those of his contemporaries such as Leonardo Bruni, are the foundation of the ideology political scientists call republicanism.

madison's version is in federalist 10.

i sometimes wonder if a federal court might find that california's extensive use of ballot measures strays beyond what article iv calls "a republican form...."
December 8, 2010

Amid all the reminders of the death of John Lennon 30 years ago — who he was, and why he mattered so much to so many — host Neal Conan thought it might be nice to hear one of his songs, all the way through. He selected "In My Life."


Amid all the reminders of the death of John Lennon, 30 years ago today, who he was and why he mattered so much to so many, we thought it might be nice to hear one of his songs all the way through.

THE BEATLES: (Singing)

There are places I remember
all my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
with lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
in my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
there is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
when I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
for people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
for people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

CONAN: John Lennon, "In My Life," from the Beatles' "Rubber Soul."

This is NPR News.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Yesterday, Fox Business host and Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano revealed himself as a believer in the conspiracy theory that the government is lying about the attacks on September 11. Speaking on a leading conspiracy show, Napolitano said that it's "hard for me to believe that" World Trade Center Building 7 "came down by itself" -- a central tenet of 9-11 conspiracy theories -- and claimed that "twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."
commission's final deficit report

here's an idea:

how 'bout if we just tax according to ability to pay for a change?

to clarify: payroll taxes are regressive. they tax low and middle incomes way more than high incomes. if we just paid for social security and medicare out of general income tax revenue using a high standard deduction with no loopholes, those who can afford to pay more would pay more.

the usual objection to doing that is that the rich would never get it all back, so it wouldn't be fair. my heart bleeds! what about all the poor folk who die too young to get it all back? ever think of them?

i doubt it.
"Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act."- Time Magazine

WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices.

WikiLeaks relies on its supporters in order to stay strong. Please keep us at the forefront of anti-censorship and support us today. You can also read more about WikiLeaks, our mission and objectives.


Cablegate: 250,000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables

On Sunday 28th Novembre 2010, Wikileaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into the US Government's foreign activities.

War Diary: Iraq War Logs

The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

War Diary: Afghanistan War Logs

From here, you can browse through all of the documents that have been released, organized by type, category, date, number of casualties, and many other properties. From any document page, clicking on the green underlined text will open a popup that links to other documents that contain those phrases, making it possible to see important search terms and connections that you might not otherwise notice.

Video: Collateral Murder

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The leaders of President Obama's fiscal commission released a final report Wednesday that is full of political dynamite, recommending sharp cuts in military spending, a higher retirement age and reforms that could cost the average taxpayer an extra $1,700 a year.

raise retirement age, eh? & where you gonna get jobs for all those 65+ year olds who don't retire?