••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, April 28, 2011

The right-wing media are deceptively suggesting that, in the words of The New York Post, President Obama is "focused on raising income -- and possibly payroll -- taxes on the wealthiest Americans" rather than making cuts in spending to fix the current deficit problem. In fact, Obama has proposed significant spending cuts, and experts say it is impossible to balance the budget without some tax increases.
governors' popularity

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a 64–16 percent job approval rating among registered voters, higher than the governors in any state polled by Quinnipiac University so far this year.

The next highest governor is New Jersey’s Christopher Christie, with a 52–40 percent approval rating in a February 9 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University. Governors in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio all had approval ratings below 50 percent, but these governors all are involved in unresolved state budget battles.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 39 percent of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job Tom Corbett is doing, while 37 percent disapprove.

In February the poll showed a disapproval rating of only 11 percent.

The poll has a 3 percent margin of error.
ted rall

Like Their Government, Americans Live on Debt

NEW YORK--During his State of the Union address President Obama repeated this ancient canard: "We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in," he said. "That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same."

Republicans have used this "families balance their budgets, so should government" line for years. Now Democrats are doing it too. Everyone is jumping aboard the pseudo-austerity bandwagon. (Why pseudo? Neither party really wants to balance the federal budget because it can only be done by bringing home the troops, shrinking the Pentagon by 90 percent, ending corporate welfare, and soaking the rich--i.e. major campaign donors--with higher taxes.)

The family budget talking point is a fascinating meme that reflects a rarely considered national blind spot. As with other cases of mass denial (we think we're generous do-gooders around the world, foreigners see us for the crazy mean torturers we also are), we give ourselves more credit than we deserve.

We Americans value thrift and personal responsibility. We believe we should live within our means. These cultural ideals stem from our Puritan history.

But we don't live up to our ideals. Not even close.

Americans are up to the ears in debt.

Four out of five individuals have at least one credit card. The average family has an outstanding balance of $10,700. It spends 21 percent of its monthly income to pay interest on that balance.

The average American family has assets: It owns a house worth $160,000. But it owes $95,000 to the bank. As the housing market continues to crash, equity shrinks.

Our average family's savings are virtually nonexistent: $3,800 in the bank, no retirement account whatsoever (for half of families, average retirement savings $35,000 for the other half), no mutual funds, no stocks, no bonds.

The claim that American families live within their means is a joke.

To be fair, it's not entirely their fault. The typical American family only earns $43,000. It's hard to buy much of anything, much less the house that embodies the American Dream, with that. And it's impossible to save.

So they/we borrow.

As grim as a life of indebted servitude may seem, imagine what the American economy would look like if families really did live within their means, spending no more than they earned. No debt. No credit.

What would you say to someone who told you that in order to save something, you’d have to kill it?

On April 15, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted, 235-193, to end Medicare for Americans who are currently under the age of 55. No Democrat voted in favor of the plan.

Paul Ryan, in an interview with CBS News, offers up the latest incarnation of his budget spin. Ryan is a very smooth front man, and has skillfully employed carefully crafted language worked out by a team of pollsters, but -- being in the position of defending wildly unpopular priorities -- he is offering up a stream of misleading and outright false claims.

A blue-ribbon report released ahead of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, to be held in Istanbul, from 9 to 13 May, says that these countries can break out of a decades-long poverty trap, with determined national action and international support.

The report shows upward progress in category after category of economic and human well-being indicators by developed and dynamic developing countries, while least developed country trends are close to flat-lining.

Pointing to the high incidence of conflicts in countries with extreme poverty and weak institutions, The Report of Eminent Persons 2011 says that “increasing marginalization of the LDCs is creating a future that we, as a global community, cannot afford.”

running for PRESIDENT?!
come on, get serious, will ya!

culled from wikipedia

Trump began his career at his father's company, the Trump Organization, and initially concentrated on his father's preferred field of middle-class rental housing in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. One of Donald's first projects, while he was still in college, was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for 5.7 million dollars in 1962. Donald became intimately involved in the project, personally flying in for a few days at a time to carry out landscaping and other low-level tasks. After $500,000 investment, Donald successfully turned a 1200-unit complex with a 66% vacancy rate to 100% occupancy within two years. The Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million in 1972.
By 1989, the effects of the recession* left Trump unable to meet loan payments. Trump financed the construction of his third casino, the $1 billion Taj Mahal, primarily with high-interest junk bonds. Although he shored up his businesses with additional loans and postponed interest payments, by 1991 increasing debt brought Trump to business bankruptcy and the brink of personal bankruptcy. Banks and bond holders had lost hundreds of millions of dollars, but opted to restructure his debt to avoid the risk of losing more money in court. The Taj Mahal re-emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50% ownership in the casino to the original bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates on the debt and more time to pay it off.

On November 2, 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel was forced to file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection plan after being unable to make its debt payments. Under the plan, Trump agreed to give up a 49% stake in the luxury hotel to Citibank and five other lenders. In return Trump would receive more favorable terms on the remaining $550+ million owed to the lenders and retain his position as chief executive, though he would not be paid and would not have a role in day-to-day operations.

By 1994, Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt and reduced significantly his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. While he was forced to relinquish the Trump Shuttle (which he had bought in 1989), he managed to retain Trump Tower in New York City and control of his three casinos in Atlantic City. Chase Manhattan Bank, which lent Trump the money to buy the West Side yards, his biggest Manhattan parcel, forced the sale of a parcel to Asian developers. According to former members of the Trump Organization, Trump did not retain any ownership of the site's real estate - the owners merely promised to give him about 30 percent of the profits once the site was completely developed or sold. Until that time, the owners wanted to keep Trump on to do what he did best: build things. They gave him a modest construction fee and a management fee to oversee the development. The new owners also allowed him to put his name on the buildings that eventually rose on the yards because his well-known moniker allowed them to charge a premium for their condos.
In 1995, he combined his casino holdings into the publicly held Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. Wall Street drove its stock above $35 in 1996, but by 1998 it had fallen into single digits as the company remained profitless and struggled to pay just the interest on its nearly $3 billion in debt. Under such financial pressure, the properties were unable to make the improvements necessary for keeping up with their flashier competitors.
In January 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a financial-reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., alleging that it had committed several "misleading statements in the company's third-quarter 1999 earnings release." The matter was settled with the defendant neither admitting nor denying the charge.

Finally, on October 21, 2004, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced a restructuring of its debt. The plan called for Trump's individual ownership to be reduced from 56 percent to 27 percent, with bondholders receiving stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt. Since then, Trump Hotels has been forced to seek voluntary bankruptcy protection to stay afloat. After the company applied for Chapter 11 Protection in November 2004, Trump relinquished his CEO position but retained a role as Chairman of the Board. In May 2005 the company re-emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.

* this is a bit confusing. according to wikipedia's list of recessions, there was none in 1989. the previous one ended november 1982 and the next began july 1990.
who would know a trumped up charge when he sees one
better than a trump? [that rhymes with chump!]

one question tho: where was the donald born? has anyone seen his birth certificate? [ok, 2 questions.]

politico: Trump's mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern -- along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate -- raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States.

npr: Fox News' Fox Nation blog has joined in, wondering "what is Trump trying to conceal?"

The Huffington Post puts sarcasm into its headlines:

— "Donald Trump Birth Certificate Released By Potential Presidential Candidate."

— "I Demand Proof That Trump's Hair Is His Own — And American."

And U.S. News' Robert Schlesinger wonders if "birther Donald Trump [is] a Democratic sleeper agent?"

fox again: A credit card receipt (at the bottom of this link) included in the paperwork provided by Trump shows he ordered the copy of the birth certificate on April 27th, 1999. The birth certificate shows it was issued the next day on 4-28-99. If Trump had already obtained this official document, then why did he offer up his Hospital Birth Certificate first?

daily news: The co-hosts on "The View" started by trashing Trump over his recent remarks suggesting Obama wasn't qualified to attend Columbia and Harvard universities.

"It's very racist," said Joy Behar Wednesday, noting Obama "wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth" like Trump. "He can't fathom that a black man could be that smart. That's what's behind this."

CBS News' Bob Schieffer echoed the sentiment.

"That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black," he said Wednesday. "This is an ugly strain of racism that's running through this whole thing."

Monday, April 25, 2011

mr president, isn't it time to freeze foreclosures yet?

from AP via NPR, today:

Many builders are waiting for the glut of foreclosures and other distressed properties to be cleared before stepping up construction. But with 1.2 million foreclosures forecast this year nationwide, according to foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc., a turnaround isn't expected for years.

The seasonally adjusted number of new homes for sale in the United States is the fewest since the summer of 1967.

Builders have struggled to compete with a wave of foreclosures and short sales when a lender agrees to let a borrower sell a home for less than its market value. High unemployment, tight credit and a lingering fear that prices will fall further have also kept people from making home purchases.

Residential construction has all but come to a halt. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, sank in the winter to their lowest level in more than 50 years before recovering somewhat in March. But that improvement was spurred by a more than 28 percent jump in permits granted for apartment and condo buildings. That suggests that builders are confident people are flocking to rentals, not homeownership.

A Jan. 1 state tax-credit deadline to sign a contract on a new-home purchase in California pushed up sales in December and January.

New-home sales rose in most regions of the country. Sales jumped nearly 67 percent in the Northeast, which was hit hard by wintry weather; by almost 26 percent in the West, which saw a surge in buying three months ago because of a Jan. 1 California state tax-credit deadline; and by nearly 13 percent in the Midwest. Sales fell 0.6 percent in the South, which accounts for the nation's biggest home-sale market.

Given the pace of new-home sales, it would take more than 7 months to clear them off the market. Economists say a six-month supply of homes is healthy.

but last october, tho many democrats wanted a freeze, the obama administration agreed with eric cantor in saying a foreclosure moratorium would destabilize the housing market and delay the economic recovery.

that was a flip-flop from what barack obama said as a candidate two years earlier.

looks like it's time for another 180. (i wish!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent

NEW YORK – Former chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei suggests in a new memoir that Bush administration officials should face international criminal investigation for the "shame of a needless war" in Iraq.

Freer to speak now than he was as an international civil servant, the Nobel-winning Egyptian accuses U.S. leaders of "grotesque distortion" in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, when then-President George W. Bush and his lieutenants claimed Iraq possessed doomsday weapons despite contrary evidence collected by ElBaradei's and other arms inspectors inside the country.

The Iraq war taught him that "deliberate deception was not limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators," ElBaradei writes in "The Age of Deception," being published Tuesday by Henry Holt and Company.

The 68-year-old legal scholar, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1997 to 2009 and recently a rallying figure in Egypt's revolution, concludes his 321-page account of two decades of "tedious, wrenching" nuclear diplomacy with a plea for more of it, particularly in the efforts to rein in North Korean and Iranian nuclear ambitions.

"All parties must come to the negotiating table," writes ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the IAEA in 2005. He repeatedly chides Washington for reluctant or hardline approaches to negotiations with Tehran and Pyongyang.

He is harshest in addressing the Bush administration's 2002-2003 drive for war with Iraq, when ElBaradei and Hans Blix led teams of U.N. inspectors looking for signs Saddam Hussein's government had revived nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs.

He tells of an October 2002 meeting he and Blix had with Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others, at which the Americans sought to convert the U.N. mission into a "cover for what would be, in essence, a United States-directed inspection process."

The U.N. officials resisted, and their teams went on to conduct some 700 inspections of scores of potential weapons sites in Iraq, finding no evidence to support the U.S. claims of weapons of mass destruction.

In his own memoir, published last November, Bush still insisted it was right to invade to remove a "homicidal dictator pursuing WMD." But the ex-president also wrote of a "sickening feeling" when no arms turned up after the invasion, and blamed an "intelligence failure" for the baseless claim, a reference to a 2002 U.S. intelligence assessment contending WMD were being built.

But that assessment itself offered no concrete evidence, and Bush and his aides have never explained why the U.S. position was not changed as on-the-ground U.N. findings came in before the invasion.

ElBaradei cites examples, including the conclusion by his inspectors inside Iraq that certain aluminum tubes were designed for artillery rockets, not for uranium enrichment equipment to build nuclear bombs, as Washington asserted.

The IAEA chief reported this conclusion to the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 27, 2003, and yet on the next day Bush — in a "remarkable" response — delivered a State of the Union address in which he repeated the unfounded claim about aluminum tubes, ElBaradei notes.

Similar contradictions of expert findings occurred with the claim, based on a forgery, that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger, and an Iraqi exile's fabrication that "mobile labs" were producing biological weapons.

"I was aghast at what I was witnessing," ElBaradei writes of the official U.S. attitude before the March 2003 invasion, which he calls "aggression where there was no imminent threat," a war in which he accepts estimates that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed.

In such a case, he suggests, the World Court should be asked to rule on whether the war was illegal. And, if so, "should not the International Criminal Court investigate whether this constitutes a `war crime' and determine who is accountable?"

Formidable political and legal barriers would seem to rule out such an investigation. But ElBaradei, citing the war-crimes prosecution of Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic, sees double standards that should end.

"Do we, as a community of nations, have the wisdom and courage to take the corrective measures needed, to ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again?" he asks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

tweeted a haiku and an epigram for poetry month on npr's tell me more (#TMMPoetry):

cars roaring along
splashing through shallow puddles
drown the sound of rain


when u
feel low
like a victim
whole world out 2 get u
eat the flesh right off ur bone
jus remembr
even carnivores
r made
of meat


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Mike Huckabee on Thursday criticized fellow Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck for calling the former governor and potential White House hopeful a "progressive" for supporting first lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity efforts.

Beck on Tuesday referred to Huckabee as a "progressive," a term that Huckabee said Beck has likened to cancer and Nazis. Beck singled out Huckabee's support of the anti-obesity initiative.

"He is a progressive," Beck said. "Look at his record, he's a progressive"

Beck also called Huckabee someone who doesn't want to "disrupt big government."

"I think Mike Huckabee is a guy who's had Michelle Obama on and said 'you know what? I think your fat kid programs, they are great,'" Beck said.

here is huckabee's statement of his claims favoring the "fair" tax.

here is wikipedia's article on the "fair" tax, laying out both sides, including the fact that it's not a 23% tax rate but 30%, and indirectly showing that, while it proposes to abolish the IRS, the plan would require another enormous bureaucracy, both to collect and enforce the tax and to send monthly rebates to every household in the country, which critics say would amount to the largest entitlement program ever.

and here is factcheck.org's critique, which contains this remark: "We found that while there are several good economic arguments for the FairTax, unless you earn more than $200,000 per year, fairness is not one of them." the analysis includes objections sent by americans for fair taxation and factcheck's responses.

i'm for letting huck and beck duke it out. the bloodier they both get, the better off america will be.

When Barack Obama, then a senator, ran for president the first time, Republicans took out ads calling him a celebrity. But Donald Trump doesn't run away from that epithet — he embraces it. One of his NBC TV shows is called Celebrity Apprentice, for crying out loud. And all the powerful, no-nonsense business acumen he brings to kicking actor Gary Busey off the show right in front of Meat Loaf, he says he'll bring to, say, conflicts with the Saudis over oil. As he recently told ABC News, it's "all about the messenger."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More than 3,200 oil and gas wells classified as active lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, with no cement plugging to help prevent leaks that could threaten the same waters fouled by last year's BP spill, The Associated Press has learned.

These wells likely pose an even greater environmental threat than the 27,000 wells in the Gulf that have been plugged and classified officially as "permanently abandoned" or "temporarily abandoned." Those sealed wells were first tallied and reported as a major leaking threat in an investigative report by the AP in July.

The unplugged wells haven't been used for at least five years, and there are no plans to restore production on them, according to the federal government. Operators have not been required to plug the wells because their leases have not expired.

As a result, there is little to prevent powerful leaks from pushing to the surface. Even depleted wells can repressurize from work on nearby wells or shifts in oil or gas layers beneath the surface, petroleum engineers say. But no one is watching to make sure that doesn't happen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

democracy now!

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached a last-minute budget deal on Friday, narrowly averting a government shutdown. The deal would cut roughly $38 billion from a federal budget expected to exceed $3.7 trillion this year. We speak to Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. "Many of us who supported President Obama just feel that he’s abandoned the field," Sachs says. "He’s left it to the right wing, which wants nothing more than taxes cut for the rich, whereas the American public is saying very clearly, in every opinion survey, one after another, if you want to close the deficit, go after taxes for the rich, raise them, cut military spending, cut the excess profits in the insurance industry and healthcare, do things that would really make a difference—don’t punish the poor."
[read, listen, or watch]
radio times

Last week Republicans and Democrats were at an impasse over how much and what to cut from the federal budget while a potential government shutdown loomed. At the last minute Friday night they reached a deal to cut $38.5 billion in spending. So what will this new budget mean for the economy? This hour we get economist DEAN BAKER’s take on the new budget, the federal deficit, and the general state of the economy. Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. We'll also talk to him about the federal debt ceiling and Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan for 2012, "The Path to Prosperity," which proposes deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to control the nation’s deficit.
mother jones

The Dems' Deficit Reduction Balancing Act
The president's reported embrace of deficit-cutting recommendations Democrats once attacked leaves his party scrambling to adjust.
— Suzy Khimm

Can a Tea Partier "Primary Boehner"?
Furious over the budget deal, Tea Party Nation's Judson Phillips threatens to unseat John Boehner in 2012.
— Stephanie Mencimer

What the Union Fight is Really About:
Defunding the Left

The GOP's new three-part plan to starve the Dems.
— Kevin Drum

Friday, April 08, 2011

jumping the gun

The War of Secession, The War of the Secession, The War to End Slavery, The War to Free the Slaves, The Late Unpleasantness, The Lost Cause, The Second American Revolution, The War of the Second Revolution, The War Between The States, The War of the Rebellion, The Rebellion, The War to Preserve the Union, The War to Restore the Union, The Civil War, and The American Civil War, etc....

states began seceding from the union on december 20, 1860, about a month and a half after lincoln's election and two and a half months before he took office. the attack on ft sumter began less than a month and a half after the inauguration. (i'll just mention in passing the similarity to buyers emptying gun store shelves the day after obama's election and the rise of the tea party less than a month after his inauguration.)

if you deny that slavery was an issue, you've been brainwashed, but the war wasn't an act of slavery. it was an act of treason.

i don't for a moment think the tea partiers are traitors, but you're deluded if you don't think their movement is based on greed and racism.

[more photos]

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Trump--the billionaire real estate tycoon and reality TV figure who is flirting with a 2012 presidential run--again sought to suggest that Obama was not born in the United States. "Birther" activists on the right have circulated the unsubstantiated claim in an effort to depict Obama's presidency as the outgrowth of a shadowy, constitutionally illegitimate conspiracy.

The birther position has been thoroughly debunked, and it hasn't gained traction within the journalistic mainstream. But Trump has nonetheless been on a media blitz in recent weeks promoting it.

When the issue came up on "Today"--which airs on the same network as Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"--Vieira didn't exactly hold his feet to the fire.

"His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth," said Trump, reiterating a claim that has been proven false, as Vieira sat by silently. (You can watch the exchange in the clip above.)

Critics took note.

"Trump simply steamrolled over her challenges, for instance, on Hawaii's policy as to what birth documents it makes available," writes Time's James Poniewozik. "But she also let him make the claim that Obama's grandmother said she saw him born in Kenya--an old, and long-debunked, chestnut of birthers that ranks up there with the fake Mombassa birth certificate--without questioning it. So now millions of Today viewers are invited to take it as fact."

A spokeswoman for the "Today Show" did not respond to a request seeking comment on whether Vieira felt that she had adequately pressed Trump on his claims. But judging by how some of her peers in TV news have handled Trump in the same situation, she appears to have failed.

Take, for instance, conservative Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who had Trump on his prime time show several weeks ago, and was well prepared to spar with his guest on the birther issue.

"There were two announcements the week [Obama] was born [in his native Hawaii] in both Honolulu newspapers saying that he was born. That is impossible to make happen if he had not been born in the hospital," said O'Reilly, incredulously. "What is he, baby Jesus? There was a sophisticated conspiracy to smuggle that baby back into the country?"

More than 400 Fox advertisers told the company they did not want their commercials on Beck's show. Beck's advertisers were dominated by financial services firms, many touting gold as an investment.

Ailes dismissed the financial impact of the boycott but expressed some frustration with it.

"Advertisers who get weak-kneed because some idiot on a blog site writes to them and says we need to stifle speech, I get a little frustrated by that," he said.

One of Beck's most prominent critics — David Brock, founder of the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America — said that "the only surprise is that it took Fox News months to reach this decision."

"Fox News Channel clearly understands that Beck's increasingly erratic behavior is a liability to their ratings and their bottom line, and we are glad to see them take this action," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorofChange.org, which organized the advertiser boycott.

Beck was a lightning rod for other critics, as well. The Jewish Funds for Justice organized a petition drive last fall to get Beck fired for what it called his misuse of Nazis and the Holocaust phrases against political opponents.

Viewers had begun turning away. Beck's 5 p.m. ET show averaged 2.7 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, and was at just under 2 million for the same period this year, the Nielsen Co. said. His decline was sharper among younger viewers sought by advertisers.

Increasingly, the show began to be dominated by Beck standing in front of a chalk board giving his theories about the world's troubles.

However, Beck has built a powerful brand for himself through a daily radio show, best-selling books and personal appearances. Mercury Radio Arts is expanding and a key Fox executive, Joel Cheatwood, is joining the company later this month.

Beck's company created and operates a news and opinion website, TheBlaze.com. For $9.95 a month, he offers fans access to "Insider Extreme," a website that beams documentaries, Beck personal appearances and a video simulcast of Beck's daily radio show, with an extra hour featuring Beck cohorts.

Beck said ratings for his television show were not an issue, noting that "we have buried the competition in every sense." His supporters believe that the recent decline is more a reflection that ratings were abnormally high early last year.

"Call CNN and MSNBC and ask them if they'd like to have Glenn's ratings at 5 in the afternoon," Ailes said.

Ailes emphasized that Fox and Beck will continue to work together.

"We like each other," he said in a dual interview with Beck. "We're not drawing pictures of each other on the walls, having staff fights and stealing each other's food out of the refrigerator or any of that stuff."

Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol earned a whopping $262,000 for her teen pregnancy prevention work in 2009.
let's see now, she qualified for the job by getting pregnant as a teen?

no. that can't be it....

Monday, April 04, 2011

WEST PALM BEACH — As of noon, about 80 demonstrators had gathered outside the Palm Beach County Convention Center to protest Gov. Rick Scott’s budget-cutting proposals as part of a national day of union-organized rallies tied to the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

Scott is scheduled to speak to an economic conference at the convention center sometime after 1 p.m.

Unions and other groups organized “We Are One” rallies around the U.S. today, primarily in reaction to measures to limit or end collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin and Ohio. They selected the anniversary of King’s 1968 assassination because the civil rights leader was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers at the time he was killed.

“If Dr. King were with us today, he would undoubtedly be marching against injustice in Madison, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Ohio, and on Capitol Hill, just as he marched against injustice in Memphis in 1968,” said Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President Wade Henderson in a conference call with reporters this morning.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

read a few poems sunday before last & today. first was INFoVERLoAD and TRADITIONL FAMLY VALUES at big blue marble. today read GETTING IN THE WAY at springfield library.


no no ny mag rag
y'got it
beats not back(nor real
beat bard star childs
funky antifolk antipoets
postatomic overload culture warriors
eco bio desperados
misled blankedyblank degeneration
outraged unregenerate outlaw generation
seekersofthekeepersoftheflame generation
downwind livin'-on-the-edge outsider generation
anarcholectric timedeep genepool sprung
coldwar & urbanstorm born
liberty&justiceforall sucked
rockrhythm tv beast weaned
smokesoaked & acidtested
racistomp copriot assassinslashed
maozedong fidelche hochiminh'd
jimcrow apartheid kkk'd
jfk lbj mlk'd
bayofpigs quarantine boatlifted
goodman cheney schwerner'd
segregate integrate miscegenated
disinform doublecross miseducated
malcolm x & h rapp browned
tonkinconned mekongdelt mylaifried tetoffended
blastababy fragalooey burnabuddha'd
wood stocked & alta mounted
jackson hampton newton cleaver sealed
papadoc babydoc marcos sukarno suharto'd
lumumba allende aquino'd
ayatollah yassirfat'd
hippie yippie yuppied
bhopal lovecanal 3mileisle chernobiled
sexrevolved & aidsrevolted
raygunned bushwhacked slickwilled
starwar newoldodor famlyvalu potatoeed
qaddafied saddamized yeltskinned
vietnumbed grenadiered panamated
water iran contragated
acidrain cfc toxicwasted
sandinista aristide doherty'd
kinder gentler readmyfingered
noflyfried balkanized somalied
tailhook st.johns glenridged
atticattacked movequed korashed
algaebloom globalwarm ultraviolated
beameupscotty dilithiumcrystal demonicimpressive
fed up
woke up
open eyed
hungry angry joyful
moltengoldsoft diamondhard nuclearbright
looking for light
but can't remember what dormouse
said(tho i lose my
"i wasn't asleep"



fog rolls & swirls
round us all
who look for light
& sometimes think we see
so boldly claim to own truth
but never know for sure

yet in us rests a bit of
touched by warmth
struck by light
licked by fire

shadows come,shadows go
night follows night
days mix more shade with a little light

sleep comes,sleep goes
death follows death
mind mixes death with a little life

moondark creeps,eats daysun
earthshade creeps,eats moonface
moonnight hides sunlight sight
earthnight hides bright moonlight

within dark grows point of light
within death grows point of life

babyhand grips fistful of life
fights off body of death

lost my way again
took a wrong turn again
tried t'get back
in the race

can't help feeling bad
or just getting mad
too many folk
on my case

want to make'em sad
want to treat'em bad
put my fist
in their face

it's fall again
& i fall again
not in love
but from grace

river flows
always changing
never same

now fast
now slow
sometimes high
sometimes low
over rock
round driftwood
rippling or calm
under tree or open sky
in sun or dark
it curves
goes straight
curves again

big fish eat little fish

little fish better be many
& fast

break not this bough of hope
that hangs o'er raging flood
that sweeps away firm shore
neath feet of throngs who cling
& washes them downstream
thru rock & ice blue water
frothing white & streaked with red

you divided & conquered us
scourged us,crucified us
drew us & quartered us
beheaded & burned us
turned our hearts to ashes
bled us tinder-dry
like a prairie in july
when it just takes a spark
to start a fire

another war lost
worn down,ground up
time to throw in the towel
& get ready to rebel tomorrow



Friday, April 01, 2011

geez, i hope that jobs report was no april fool joke....
[just a few, no time for more now, but will add to list.]

Terry Jones

Donald Trump defends ‘birther’ claims

SC Gov. Nikki Haley explains her hospital pay

What John Bolton, former UN ambassador, would bring to the GOP presidential field

Muammar al-Gaddafi

Laurent Gbagbo

Bashar al-Assad
missed radio times today but read its online program summary.

here's some of what it says on hour 1's guest:
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER has returned to Princeton University, where she was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School before joining the State Department as its first female policy planning chief. And since leaving, Slaughter has become one of the more outspoken critics of the Obama Administration’s delayed decision to intervene in Libya. Slaughter wrote an influential op-ed in The New York Times on March 13th titled, “Fiddling While Libya Burns.”
looked her up on wikipedia and found this:
In 2003, Slaughter publicly defended the impending Iraq invasion as "legitimate," apart from the question of whether it was illegal. Slaughter later advocated moving past the earlier debate on the Iraq invasion, a position criticized by some who opposed the war as self-serving.
one of those critics (in 2008) was glenn greenwald, who compared her unfavorably to andrew sullivan, who he said "deserves credit for being one of the earliest and most candid acknowledgers of error with regard to his war advocacy." greenwald added that sullivan "has re-thought and repudiated some of the core premises that led him to endorse the invasion" of iraq and cited a couple paragraphs of evidence:
[Saddam] was a monster, as we discovered. But what I failed to grasp is that war is also a monster, and that unless one weighs all the possibly evil consequences of an abstractly moral act, one hasn't really engaged in anything much but self-righteousness. I saw war's unknowable consequences far too glibly.

Granted, this is still a utilitarian calculus (war is justified when the benefits outweigh the costs, and I erred by assigning insufficient costs to war), but at least it acknowledges and expresses remorse for one of the central failures of war advocates: namely, the failure to regard war with horror (due largely to the lack of personal costs incurred by most war advocates) and thus to oppose it reflexively except in those extremely rare instances where it is necessary for self-defense, because of how monstrous it is and because of the virtual certainty that, at best, it will only replace one evil with another.
at first my eyes zoomed in on "war is justified when the benefits outweigh the costs...." then i got hung up on "oppose it reflexively except in those extremely rare instances where it is necessary for self-defense,..." eventually i concluded that pretty much the whole paragraph is problematic.

it reminds me of a pendulum swinging back and forth. it passes thru the equilibrium position at the midpoint of every swing, but it never stops there. it keeps going till it runs out of energy, turns round, and heads back toward equilibrium once more.

sullivan, in his self-criticism, first misses the mark then tries to recover then overshoots again and again. even when he talks about "those extremely rare instances where it is necessary" he adds "for self-defense" and thus limits necessity itself. what about defense of those too weak to defend themselves?

ethics is so complicated. [if you want a good fictional illustration of how complicated it can get, try the philosopher's apprentice by james morrow.]

what slaughter and sullivan and probably greenwald (and, yes, you and i) forgot is that when we speak abstractly about war we are talking about human beings.

is that fitting for april 1?

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
George Washington

Each nation feels superior to other nations. That breeds patriotism — and wars.
Dale Carnegie

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.
Bill Vaughan

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.
Mark Twain

Patriotism is as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen.
Ambrose Bierce

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
George Bernard Shaw

[more quotes]

this post is no prank, but it makes me suspect we're all fools, and the joke's on us.