s skippy the bush kangaroo: January 2010

skippy the bush kangaroo

Sunday, January 31, 2010

environmental news stories sunday

yeah...i'm late because i was blinded by that big, bad bold "wolf" moon last night. it was so huge, i thought it might have been on steroids.

aging pipes force sewage into san francisco bay. - during the storms that howled through the bay area a couple of weeks back, a total of 630,000 gallons of raw sewage spewed into the bay at 47 spots. and that was small fry, according to environmental watchdog group san francisco baykeeper. - sfgate

what's old is new again: depression-era habits help the environment. - to save the environment, we’re told to grow our own organic vegetables, shop locally, use clotheslines instead of dryers, take public transit, recycle and don’t waste. been there, done that, say survivors of the great depression of the 1930s. - burlington free press

ed miliband declares war on climate change sceptics. - the climate secretary last night warned of the danger of a public backlash against the science of global warming in the face of continuing claims that experts have manipulated data. - london observer

fill 'er up in your own driveway. - if honda has its way, your home will soon be transformed into a service station. honda has developed a solar-powered hydrogen fuelling station in the us that can be installed in your home. - sydney morning herald

drought hits quarter of a million people in china's sugar bowl. - the southern chinese sugar-producing region of guangxi is suffering from a prolonged drought which has left almost a quarter of a million people without enough drinking water, state media said on saturday - reuters

put rainwater to work. - in southern california, storms are short and water shortages are long. and yet there have been few initiatives at either the local or state level to deal with storm water. now it's time for a more comprehensive approach - torrence daily breeze

climate change to hit public health hard. - climate change will have an adverse effect on public health -- particularly that of children -- including malnutrition, waterborne diseases, cholera, skin and eye diseases, and cardiovascular diseases, environmental health experts warned at a forum on saturday. - dhaka daily star

electric cars, the sequel: with 1,000 leafs on their way to san diego county, are evs here to stay? - the potential electric car future will get a reboot in december, when a thousand new cars are scheduled to arrive in the region, supported by the beginnings of a new recharging infrastructure - san diego north county times

hong kong pollution reaches dangerous levels. - hong kong was shrouded in smog friday as pollution hit potentially hazardous levels. - taipai china post

utahns urged to take 'clean air challenge.' - with increased efforts from utahns, gov. gary herbert and other government leaders believe the state's air-quality problems could be a thing of the past. - salt lake deseret morning news

another look at atrazine. - one of the most widely used herbicides in the u.s., atrazine, is being reevaluated by the epa. some scientists say the weed killer negatively impacts the environment and human health. but atrazine’s parent company syngenta stands behind its product - living on earth

uss stops tons of benzene from entering lake. - u.s. steel gary works treated and destroyed 10,000 pounds of benzene over three months in the fall as the company worked on preventing contaminated groundwater from leaking into lake michigan. - merrillville post tribune

the eco-warrior. - president obama has appointed the most progressive epa chief in history — and she's moving swiftly to clean up the mess left by bush. - rolling stone

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:29 PM | 1 comments

anti-choice broadcasting network

sign the petition to tell cbs not to air the anti-choice tim tebow ad , which, perhaps, is based on a falsehood to begin with:
the fight heated up yesterday when famed women’s rights activist and powerhouse attourney gloria allred [left] stepped up to slam the ad. obvs allred opposes the ads personally for anti-choice reasons, but she has an even more pressing concern, “will cbs still insist on running this anti-choice commercial if it turns out to be misleading advertising”?

see, the ad’s story features the mother of devout christian football player tim tebow, who claims she went against her doctor’s advisement during a difficult pregnancy in the phillipines to carry her pregnancy to term. she birthed tim, and now we are all able to witness the glory of tim running around on a turf with his football, which is very lovely. i believe the message is that you shouldn’t abort your fetus because what if he turns out to be a football player.

famed attorney gloria allred has questioned the veracity of mrs. tebow’s claim that doctors advised her to terminate her pregnancy, since abortion in the philippines has been illegal since 1930 and is punishable by a six-year prison term for both the doctor and the mother.
i know. crazy! that a conservative religious right-wing group would twist a story to promote their own agenda! it’s almost too wild to be true!

allred goes on:
[gloria allred] goes on to urge [nbc head les] moonves to think carefully on this matter, stating, “this is not just another ad. women’s lives are at stake. no woman should have to live in a country where abortion is illegal as it once was in the u.s. and was and is in the philippines.”

allred states definitively that, “no sugar coated religiously inspired ad which fails to give all of the relevant facts should be permitted to air on cbs or anywhere else.”
glaad has made the following statement:

“cbs’s decision to run a focus on the family ad during this year’s super bowl can’t and shouldn’t be considered in a vacuum. cbs spent years denying a platform to an lgbt-inclusive church that wanted to share a message of inclusion with a national audience. now, when it happens to be financially inconvenient for cbs to hold to the standard it had previously imposed, the network’s expediency benefits a virulently anti-gay organization whose advocacy on these issues is the antithesis of that of the united church of christ.”
sign the petition!
posted by skippy at 10:24 AM | 7 comments

the creep factor

brilliant @ breakfast echos our sentiments about the whole edwards debacle:

what bothers me most about l'affaire edwards, and what sticks in my craw most, is how john edwards bounded into a breakout session at yearly kos 2007 and the first words out of his mouth were "i just talked to elizabeth, and she's doing great" -- and the room erupted in cheers and applause. and he knew then it was a sham. and then i think about elizabeth edwards, standing on the stair landing in my house, talking about "john's vision for a better america" -- the vision that at that time neither barack obama nor hillary clinton was addressing, and i think "she knew even then, and she continued to campaign for him." and then i'm tempted to feel betrayed by her too, until i remember further how fast she was talking, as if she was in some kind of a race -- a race against time, a race against her illness, a race against the reckoning of the wreckage of her marriage that she knew she would inevitably have to face.
posted by skippy at 10:10 AM | 3 comments

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"chylest song ever"


posted by mahakal at 8:20 PM | 3 comments

possible earwig alert...

when's the last time you heard this one?

(i'm somewhat snowed in, and bored -- the hell with it...)


posted by Jim Yeager at 4:35 PM | 1 comments

from little acorns mighty liars do grow

the brad blog graciously sends us the harshbarger report detailing the results of former mass att gen. scott harshbarger's investigation into james o'keefe's "sting" operation of the acorn offices. it turns out those inflammatory videos were highly edited and manipulated:
the unedited videos have never been made public. the videos that have been released appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of mr. o’keefe’s and ms.giles’s comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which acorn employees are responding. a comparison of the publicly available transcripts2 to the released videos confirms that large portions of the original video have been omitted from the released versions. to date, the videographers have declined or ignored our interview requests.
worse, it was obvious, from reports given by acorn employees after the fact, that o'keefe was unable to get embarrassing moments from acorn in reality, and probably edited the videos to obtain the results he wanted. for example:
in san diego, the acorn employee who met with the videographers does not speak english as his first language. his colleagues usually converse with him in spanish. in the released video, his participation amounts mostly to nodding or saying “ok.” it is difficult to determine what this employee is responding to because the videographers statements are obscured by a voiceover inserted later. at one point during the meeting, the acorn employee attempted to call the police. at other points, he attempted to take pictures of the videographers with his cell phone. following the interview, he called a relative in the national city police department to report the incident. according to a statement released by the national city police department:
“on august 20, 2009, an acorn employee contacted his cousin, a national city police detective, to ask him general advice regarding information he had received about possible human smuggling. in response, the detective contacted a law enforcement officer serving on a federal task force that specifically deals with human smuggling. the task force officer said he needed more specific details to move forward. this message was related to the acorn employee. the acorn employee responded several days later and explained to the detective that police assistance was not needed because the information he initially received was not true and what had happened to him was a ruse.”
so, we're sure o'keefe's current brou-ha-ha w/sen. landrieu's phones is all a big misunderstanding.

yeah, right.
posted by skippy at 10:01 AM | 0 comments

two snowstorms in one season...

going on twelve years in the richmond/henrico area, i don't recall seeing this happen before. this is definitely the wintriest winter i've ever seen down here. i keep going downstairs to sweep the walkway clear of snow once an hour, but it's coming down at a solid clip now -- i may have to do this every half-hour for a while.

and i'm kicking myself. i've known, since the first half of the week, that another storm was on the way, i told myself i'd get a shovel at sears, and, lazy bastard that i am, i didn't do it. i know for a fact that almost no one else in this apartment complex bothers to go outside when it's snowing like it is, and, judging from the last storm we had, the maintenance people don't even know what a shovel is. i could have shoveled everyone's walkway after the storm had passed and raised enough money to host a party in the function room.

instead, i'm sitting on my ass, watching the snow come down and playing games at pogo in between sweepings. (truth be told, i suck at pai gow poker, but i can play scrabble like a m*%$@#f+!k%r.)

anyway, the snow is getting ridiculous now. later...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:07 AM | 0 comments

Friday, January 29, 2010

when it all comes down...


posted by mahakal at 7:20 PM | 0 comments

maybe someday, it won't just be a dream anymore...

{hat tip to bartkid for bringing this one to my attention...}


posted by Jim Yeager at 4:27 PM | 0 comments

scott roeder guilty

scott roeder has been found guilty on all charges, including murder of abortion provider dr. george tiller, in his trial.
posted by skippy at 9:05 AM | 2 comments

the time of your second life

our good friend alicia morgan can be heard playing her music real-time @ her ning.

we don't know what a ning is. it has somethign to do w/second life, and, as we are still trying to figure out our first one, we have avoided playing that online rpg.

but alicia (or idella, as she's knows in sl) has a schedule for her performances.
posted by skippy at 8:31 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, January 28, 2010

stop, stop, stop, stop...

stop, stop, stop, stop,
stop, stop, stop, stop,
stop, stop, stop...

you get the idea...


posted by Jim Yeager at 10:29 PM | 1 comments

that's water under the gate

the cast of bottle rocket four men arrested for phone tampering in sen. landrieu's offices, including acorn-foe james o'keefe, are not suspected of phone tapping.

but as commentor andrew a. gill, sls, over @ sadly, no! points out, they could still be in some pretty damn hot water:
as i mentioned yesterday, the language here seems to be tailored to get these geniuses on terrorism charges.

the affadavit:
on january 25, 2010, individuals entered and attempted to gain entrance to the office and telephone system of united states senator mary landrieu, located in the hale boggs federal building, room 1005, 500 poydras street, new orleans, louisiana 70130 for the purpose of interfering with the office’s telephone system. the individuals did so by falsely and fraudulently representing that the [sic] were employees of a telephone company.
18 u.s.c. 1036:
(a) whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter – (1) any real property belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the united states; [...] shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section. (b) the punishment for an offense under subsection (a) of this section is – (1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if the offense is committed with the intent to commit a felony; or (2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both, in any other case.
18 u.s.c. 1362:

whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any of the works, property, or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone or cable, line, station, or system, or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the united states, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions of the united states, whether constructed or in process of construction, or willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or use of any such line, or system, or willfully or maliciously obstructs, hinders, or delays the transmission of any communication over any such line, or system, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
and, as mentioned before, 18 u.s.c. sec. 2332b says that this such action is a “federal crime of terrorism.”
andrew "too old to write for 24" breitbart, the man who insists that paying a guy for work is not the same as employing him, took on david schuster today on msnbc, trying to set the record latent straight. however, he only succeeded in making himself look deranged:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(thx & a tip o' the kangaroo tail to bradblog for the video!)

breitbart is furious w/schuster for tweeting insulting stuff about the cast of bottle rocket o'keefe & his co-horts. msnbc is on record saying the tweets were "inappropriate," tho we wonder why, in light of the lack of any cries of inappropriateness toward acorn getting punk'd by o'keefe, as opposed to actual journalism.

speaking of not actual jounalism, media matters finds that faux news devoted less than 1/13 of the time to o'keefe's arrest than they did to the original acorn punk'd videos. while a lot of the hardly-ever-right wing is running away from o'keefe, the rest of them are downplaying his federal arrest for a federal felony committed on federal property against a the federal offices of sitting senator.

whatever punishment awaits this merry prankster in the future (please, no prison rape jokes, we're progressive), the most devastating sentence for a virile right-winger has already happened: the judge has ordered him to live with his parents.

"james, you can't got out and film yourself tricking poor people tonight, you've got to do the dishes! and take off that ridiculous pimp costume! "

"awww, mo-oom!"

(once again, thx & a tip o' the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for some of the links!)

update: in further o'keefe news, an exhibit of o'keefe's work is coming to the national cowgirl museum and hall of fame in santa fe.
posted by skippy at 5:50 PM | 4 comments

some good news is better than none...

it took about six weeks to get them, but this afternoon, i finally got the results from last month's blood work. my cholesterol is higher than it ought to be. everything else checks out, including my blood sugar level. that was my biggest concern -- it turned out to be perfect.

in other words, i'm not diabetic after all. so that's good to know. i guess i was just really stressed out for a while...


posted by Jim Yeager at 12:55 PM | 5 comments

january 28, 1969

the santa barbara oil spill

GOO 2 030
Originally uploaded by

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:17 AM | 1 comments

some came to sing, some came to pray...

some came to keep the dark away...

{the full version...}


posted by Jim Yeager at 12:33 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ipad, circa 2007...

mad tv was so far ahead of the curve this time, the ballpark hadn't even been built yet...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 11:39 PM | 1 comments

a people's historian

passes into the history books. farewell, dr. howard zinn. you were an inspiration to me to question the "status quo" and to really look at history in a total different way.

howard zinn, the boston university historian and political activist who was an early opponent of us involvement in vietnam and whose books, such as "a people's history of the united states," inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the american experience, died today in santa monica, calif, where he was traveling. he was 87.

...as he wrote in his autobiography, "you can't be neutral on a moving train" (1994), "from the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. i would try to be fair to other points of view, but i wanted more than 'objectivity'; i wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. this, of course, was a recipe for trouble." - boston.com

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:53 PM | 1 comments

pharaohs spin the message 'round and 'round the truth...

they could have saved a million people --- how can i tell you?


posted by Jim Yeager at 12:28 PM | 2 comments

mad about barack hussein hoover

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 9:47 AM | 1 comments

happy 4th blogiversary

to vidiotspeak!
posted by skippy at 9:47 AM | 0 comments

if corporations are people

why can't we put them in jail for criminal behaviour?

novartis will plead guilty to violating u.s. laws relating to potential off-label marketing and promotion of an epilepsy treatment and pay a $185 million fine, it said on tuesday.

the swiss drugmaker said its pharmaceuticals unit had been cooperating with parallel civil and criminal investigations by the u.s. attorney's office for the eastern district of pennsylvania into trileptal marketing and promotion.

the edpa was also investigating certain payments made to healthcare providers in connection with trileptal. - reuters

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:13 AM | 5 comments

hey corporate shilling media infotainment outlets..ask this question

why is nelson ok with using reconciliation for tax cuts for millionaires but not for health care for americans?

following the election of sen. scott brown (r-ma) in the massachusetts special election, democrats have been discussing ways to pass a comprehensive health care bill that will not be killed by a gop-led filibuster. one idea that has been floated is for the house to pass the senate’s health care bill and also immediately amend the bill to make it more progressive and acceptable to members in the house via a reconciliation bill, which requires only a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass.

sen. ben nelson (d-ne) rejected this path, telling the politico that he does not support the reconciliation process and that the health care bill should be broken up and voted on “a piece at a time, as opposed to a comprehensive approach.”

...nelson voted to use reconciliation to pass bush’s follow-up tax cuts for the wealthy in 2003. the senator was one of only two democrats who voted for the the jobs and growth tax relief reconciliation act of 2003, which contained an additional $330 billion in tax cuts. the tax cuts would not have passed without nelson’s vote. [5/23/2003] - think progress
and could you infotainment geniuses ask earl benjamin about his past employment history and how that could be, well, a little explaination of his j**ka** attitude about failing to want to fix the ailing american pay or die system?

nelson's early career as assistant general counsel for central national insurance group of omaha was followed by service as nebraska's state insurance director before he returned to central national insurance as an executive vice president; he eventually became the company's president. - wikipedia

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:58 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

block that meme!

try to stop this one before it gets started:

the hardly-ever-right wing is trying to establish that james o'keefe wasn't really tyring to "wiretap" sen. landrieu's phones, or @ least, there's no evidence thereof.

however, the asspress disagrees:
a federal law enforcement official said one of the suspects was picked up in a car a couple of blocks away with a listening device that could pick up transmissions. the official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not part of the fbi affidavit.
besides, the cast of bottle rocket young men aren't charged w/wiretapping, they are, as of now, charged w/"entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine."

good luck, boys!
posted by skippy at 10:30 PM | 1 comments

massachusets doesn't have progressive props any more

but oregon solididifed theirs.

oregon voters have approved two measures raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy, averting budget cuts legislators said would have meant larger classes in the schools and less help for the poor and the elderly.

voters in tuesday's special election approved measure 66, which raises rates on people earning well above six figures, and measure 67, which increases business taxes. - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:14 PM | 3 comments

quote of the day

from don millard on twitter:

wonder which story fox will cover less? earthquake in haiti or o'keefe's arrest? maybe they'll have a telethon for him.
posted by skippy at 5:48 PM | 3 comments

it's hard out here for a pimp

we've always suspected that all we really need to do to discredit the hardly-ever-right wing is just leave them alone; sooner or later they will show themselves to be the raving lunatic fools that they are.

case in point: head acorn "investigator" james o'keefe, the man who made the youtube films showing under-trained employees getting tricked by stereotypes that would have embarrassed the writers of laugh-in, has been arrested on incredibly serious federal charges. n'awlins times-picayune:
alleging a plot to tamper with phones in democratic sen. mary landrieu's office in the hale boggs federal building in downtown new orleans, the fbi arrested four people monday, including james o'keefe, 25, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at acorn field offices severely damaged the advocacy group's credibility.

also arrested were joseph basel, stan dai and robert flanagan, all 24. flanagan is the son of william flanagan, who is the acting u.s. attorney for the western district of louisiana, the office confirmed. all four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.
apparently james, under the (perhaps incorrect) assumption that his pimp costume wouldn't blend in so well in the senator's offices, convinced his buddies to dress as telephone repairmen, with the intent to screw w/the phones in the federal building. not a good idea, if you plan on staying out of prison.

details of the plan, if one can call it such, can be found in the affadavit of the arresting feeb.

thinkprogress points out that faux news, which relentlessly hawked o'keefe's youtube escapades, is not taking this well:
fox news aired a report about the arrests shortly after the news broke. however, reporter tim vaughn tried to downplay the news:
vaughn: [it's a] very weird story that probably needs a lot of context and a lot of looking into, which is what we’re going to do here. i just wanted to get it on the record with it right now.

shep smith: so, they’re saying basically, they’re in there — it sounds as if what they’re saying is, they’re looking for some acorn hanky panky and they try to tap into mary landrieu’s telephone to get it.

vaughn: that could be one way of looking at it, yes.
yes, that could be. another way could be that they are all morans.

(thx and a tip o'the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the links, and the best news progressives have heard in a week!!)

addendum: we are reminded by digby to remind you that the original acorn youtubes were doctored before they ever hit the mighty wurlitzer...

double addendum: found via twitter:
there's a lot we still don't know about the four men implicated in the alleged attempt to bug sen. mary landrieu's phones yesterday, but a little-known organization called the pelican institute appears to be key to the story.

located at 400 poydras st. in downtown new orleans -- half a block from landrieu's office at 500 poydras st. -- pelican describes itself as a state policy think tank dedicated to advancing "sound policies based on the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government."


another of the charged men, robert flanagan, works for pelican, his attorney told the times-picayune. flanagan allegedly dressed up a telephone repairman to infiltrate landrieu's office.


what appears to be his linkedin profile says flanagan was an intern for rep. mary fallin (r-ok) in washington last year. fallin spokeswoman kathryn bruns tells tpm that flanagan was a "helpful guy." he attended rhodes college in memphis.

the wall street journal opinion page published a glowing profile of pelican and its leader, kevin kane, in august 2008[.]

in yet another possible connection to the landrieu case, kane also blogs at big government, the andrew breitbart site.

big government is where o'keefe's acorn sting videos were posted, though breitbart has said, "we have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving james o'keefe at senator mary landrieu's office."
posted by skippy at 3:40 PM | 4 comments

Don't Give Up, Just Give

The first round of response has been positive, but blogtopia can do more.

Quoting in its entirety from Lance Mannion:
Gary Farber, of Amygdala, has serious health problems and no insurance and an angry landlord, so he’s asking for some help. Please go on over to his place and do what you can for him.

Rob Farley at LG&M also pushed the cause. It's a good one.


posted by Ken Houghton at 9:12 AM | 6 comments

i've never been a democrat or a republican...

but john cole, a republican-turned-democrat, wrote something the other day that summed up the way i've been thinking and feeling for a long time now, yet could never seem to express it this clearly and effectively:

...why is it that all the people who claim to be the base turn out to be self-serving, self-promoting jackasses who have very narrow agendas and love to inform us that if the obama administration does just what they want them to do right when they want them to do it, they will “keep the base.” otherwise, if they don’t fulfill their agenda right then and there, they will “lose the base "...


the “base” doesn’t abandon their president after a few months. the “base” doesn’t issue public threats in the middle of negotiations. hell, this president didn’t even have a honeymoon with his self-anointed “base”- he was being beaten up 24/7 before the inauguration over rick warren. it just went downhill from there.

and just for good measure...

the past couple of months, i’ve hated democrats more that i ever did when i was a republican.

i've written some angry lines over things obama has (and hasn't) done myself. one year into his presidency, i ain't impressed with the guy, i won't lie to you. but still, it's only been one year, and obama must have the worst occupation in the country right now, given what he inherited from bush the lesser and how uncooperative his fellow dems (particularly those in the senate) have been. there isn't some user's guide to the presidency he can leaf through -- he's still going through on-the-job training.

i don't envy him. i certainly don't hate him. i just wish he'd kick that "fierce advocate" aspect of himself he talked about repeatedly during his campaign into gear already. other than that, i don't really have any beef with obama, at this time.

the democratic legislators and card-carriers and the so-called progressives, on the other hand... sometimes i think that, deep down, they all much prefer being in the minority, where they can do what they apparently do best -- bitch and complain about the republicans. they get about as much done that way as they do when they're actually in control of congress.

thank heaven they have good intentions... :-/

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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:23 AM | 8 comments

mad about weak-kneed democrats

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 2:46 AM | 1 comments

Monday, January 25, 2010

if you promise the veterans something

could you make freak'n sure you have someone to answer the phones? come on....what the h**l is going on in dc dem's minds? if you can make robo calls to ask for moolah for a candidate, you make damn sure you have someone helping a vet out on the other end of the line. where the hell is general shinseki?
if you have had trouble getting your question about gi bill benefits answered when you call the veterans affairs department’s education benefits call center, you are not alone.va officials acknowledged almost 90 percent of calls to the muskogee, okla., center never connected between october and december. they either got a busy signal or a message that the call could not be completed.

for those who did get through, about 30 percent of the calls were terminated before their question was answered, either because the caller hung up or was disconnected.- armytimes.com

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:43 PM | 0 comments

what you won't hear

on corporate corrupted entertainment media outlets...
you are witnessing a debt crisis play out in slow motion across the entire united states. california is going down first, then the dominos will start to fall. you don't think there is a crisis brewing in states like michigan when detroit has an effective unemployment rate of 50%? the implosion is coming- it's only a matter of time. - expected returns

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:30 PM | 0 comments


call, or preferably, fax, your reps and senators.

tell them to pass the damn bill.

steve benen is doing it. mark kleiman is doing it. kevin drum is doing it. bob cesca is doing it. and, via the league of ordinary gentlemen, even facebook is doing it.

pass. the. damn. bill.
posted by skippy at 6:40 PM | 8 comments

find the lord

who dwells within yourself.



posted by mahakal at 5:10 PM | 0 comments


we expect nothing less.


posted by mahakal at 4:47 PM | 1 comments

hollywood stars and manhatten socialites...terrorists?

according to this headline...."officials fear toxic ingredient in botox could become terrorist tool", oh, my....
terrorists, on the other hand, have long been drawn to the toxin as a way to inflict widespread casualties through contamination of food or water supplies. the japanese doomsday cult aum shinrikyo experimented with a botulinum weapon in the early 1990s. an al-qaeda training manual discovered in 2001 advocated the use of botulinum toxin in terrorist attacks. - wapo
will we be searching for possible terrorists on "awfulplasticsurgery.com" will we now have a "war on botox?"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:51 AM | 0 comments

interior ken salazar

shows he's got "a pair" and not afraid to use them.

after months of doing battle with the oil and gas industry, the typically cautious salazar lost his cool in a media call jan. 6, blasting companies for acting like they were "kings of the world" and treating the country's public lands as their own personal "candy store."

if energy companies didn't know it already, the bush era of free-wheeling oil and gas drilling across the west was officially over.

a year into his tenure as the 50th secretary of the interior, salazar has surprised both fans and critics. proved bold, ambitious and more willing to directly confront foes than accommodate them.

...he is virtually rewiring the dna of a department once focused almost exclusively on fossil fuels by pushing it to develop renewable energy on millions of acres of public lands. he has instituted new ethics regulations; raised the profile of american indian issues; and reined in the galloping oil and gas leasing that was the hallmark of the previous administration.

"salazar is a larger figure than i would have expected," said charles wilkinson, a university of colorado law professor and expert on the west's public lands. "you have to show you've got some spine, and he's done that." - denver post

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:45 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, January 24, 2010

scott brown in 2012

yes, that's my prediction of the likely republican nominee.

he drives a pickup truck, i hear.


posted by mahakal at 11:45 PM | 4 comments

who d'at?

need we say more. congrats new orleans. now...go party. it's fat sunday.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:31 PM | 3 comments

environmental news stories sunday

rain rain went away...for the moment but water is still needed version

despite downpour, drought still with us. - the recent downpours have temporarily brought the state back from the dusty brink, but officials with the california department of water resources claim much more rain and snow will have to fall if the golden state is going to pull out of its drought - sfgate

' a lack of political will.' - malta's fresh water reserves are drying up. at the moment, the country is already depending on reverse osmosis plants for 57 per cent of its needs. yet 11 million cubic metres of water are still over-pumped from the aquifers annually. how long will the supply last? - valetta times

california's central valley: the appalachia of the west. - the central valley of california is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the world. but this status is at risk because water is increasingly scarce - economist

zimbabwe: acute water shortages hit capital. - acute water shortages have returned to haunt large parts of harare over the past two weeks, leaving residents apprehensive about the possibility of outbreaks of cholera and other diseases - herare herald

'peak water' could flush civilisation. - early civilisations prospered by taming rivers, but as water gets scarce in some regions, populations rise and lifestyles remain the same, we might not be far from warring over water. - dublin irish time

india warned of sustained food price rises. - despite having the highest ratio of arable land to land mass in the world and abundant rainfall, india is losing the battle through poor ground water management and a lack of irrigation - london financial times

power cuts in venezuela lead to traffic gloom. - venezuela is in the midst of an electricity rationing program caused, according to the government, by acute water shortages at the main hydroelectric dam. added to the economic effects, the blackouts are also affecting the quality of life in the region - bbc

chile water authority fears future water shortages. - water shortages in one of chile’s prime agricultural districts have local fruit growers and government officials concerned. tierra amarilla and alto del carmen communities in Huasco have not experienced a drop of rain for over a year - santiago times

paris could become another venice with next flood. - one hundred years ago, the river seine burst its banks and filled the elegant boulevards of paris with torrents of muddy water. a similar flood these days would affect around a million inhabitants and cost 15 billion euros - reuters

state water glass 5 percent full. - with local officials bracing for rains that threaten to match the el niño deluges of 1982 and 1992, it’s surprising to learn that long-term water supplies for the south coast may be facing some serious challenges - santa barbara independent

debate over fracking continues. - wider use of hydraulic fracturing will help the united states increase its domestic energy supplies even as the practice draws concern about its possible impact on drinking water, exxon mobil corp. chairman and chief executive rex tillerson says - mcclatchy newspapers

disney draws plan for battle, - the walt disney co., one of l.a.’s biggest and most revered firms, is under attack in a half-dozen lawsuits claiming its toxins have seeped into a neighborhood park. - labizjournal

copper pipes could cause heart disease and alzheimer's. - copper pipes could cause people over 50 to contract alzheimer's disease and heart disease, a study has found. - london daily telegraph

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:16 PM | 2 comments

santa barbara got an influx of prostitutes

of the rethuglican type.

when republican state legislators decided last month that they needed to escape sacramento and kick back in a more relaxed environment to hash out issues, they headed for a luxury beach resort in santa barbara.

such sojourns don't come cheap, so oil and tobacco firms and other companies that are pressing an agenda in the capitol funneled $120,000 to a group that picked up much of the tab. about 25 republican senators and assembly members and a dozen aides attended the retreat at fess parker's doubletree resort.

the three-day event featured a budget briefing and included a tour of the nearby ronald reagan ranch, gift bags worth up to $299 each, gourmet meals and a cocktail reception where lawmakers mingled with a dozen lobbyists. senate republican leader dennis hollingsworth of murrieta solicited the $120,000 from 11 trade groups and businesses including anthem blue cross, tobacco company altria and oil firms chevron and plains exploration & production. another contributor was the pechanga band of luiseño indians, which operates a casino in temecula under a compact with the state.

...plains exploration would have been the major benefactor of a bill last year to open the door to more oil drilling in the tranquillon ridge field off the coast of santa barbara county. fourteen of the 15 republicans in the state senate voted for the legislation. the bill failed, but the proposal is back in schwarzenegger's proposed budget for the next fiscal year.- latimes

hmmmm...you think the oil companies are going to get special treatment for handing over oodles of money to those sacramento ho's? hmmmm..... isn't prostitution illegal? shouldn't some folks be going to jail?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:51 PM | 4 comments

football playoffs open thread

as the denver broncos folded early (again) this playoff season**, we don't have a dog in these fights today.

but many of you might. predictions? comments? snark? consider this an open thread.

** how do you make a denver omlettte? throw two eggs just past the skillet...
posted by skippy at 10:08 AM | 2 comments

down the penrose lane


more @ penrose on politics!
posted by skippy at 10:07 AM | 1 comments

say hello

to texas oasis.
posted by skippy at 10:03 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, January 23, 2010

when the honorable senator from vermont speaks

people should listen. bernie sanders cuts through c**p and pens an opinion.
"...in my view, the democrats--including the president--have absurdly continued to stumble along the path of "bipartisanship" at exactly the same time the republicans have waged the most vigorous partisan and obstructionist strategy in recent history.

instead of making it clear that the first two years of the obama administration would be about digging the country out of the incredible mess that bush's eight years left us in, (deep recession, financial collapse, record-breaking deficits, disintegrating healthcare system, two wars, lack of respect from the international community, neglect of the environment), obama, incredibly, has enabled tens of millions of americans to now believe that bush's failures are his as well. - the nation

if only the democrats had a backbone like this socialist democrat from the great state of vermont.

go, bernie go!

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:07 PM | 5 comments

contact your senator now!

yes, politics is all about them. the gutless dems were going to reinstall aWol's fed choice even after he testified about his desire to gut social security. due to coakley's loss some are finally questioning the politics of rubberstamping obama's disaster capitalism nominee. 
i am america and so can you. now is the time to write your senators  to help stiffen their spine.  tell them you don't want this plutocrat who steals from americans and gives to the banksters. urge your senators to reject bernanke's confirmation.

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posted by George at 8:56 AM | 5 comments

iraq is a toxic quagmire

and the iraqis are bearing the brunt...physically and emotionally.

more than 40 sites across iraq are contaminated with high levels or radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found.

areas in and near iraq's largest towns and cities, including najaf, basra and ­falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. the joint study by the environment, health and science ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around gaghdad and basra contain high levels of ionising radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted uranium used in munitions during the first gulf war and since the 2003 invasion.

...the guardian reported in november claims by local doctors of a massive rise in birth defects in the city, particularly neural tube defects, which afflict the spinal cords and brains of newborns. - the guardian

imagine how americans would feel if our country was invaded and devestated by ecological and environmental disasters and people would suffer and die slowly...painfully. why should iraqi's feel any differently?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:51 AM | 6 comments

Friday, January 22, 2010

the only blood that need be shed


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posted by mahakal at 11:31 PM | 0 comments

revolution for fun

i feel the time has come

like a remedy.


posted by mahakal at 10:34 PM | 0 comments

and now, jimmy needs a rush fix...

not here, though. over here.

a lot of skippy's readers (perhaps even skippy himself) seem to think i'm some kind of flake for loving this band. fair enough. i tend to think the same of them for hating rush. one of the reasons i love rush is because their lyrics often place heavy emphasis on individual freedom. what's not to love about that?

could someone please explain to me why rush is to be hated so much? i've never understood that. clue me in...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:29 PM | 11 comments

biodiversity and bees

seems they have a connection.

bee decline linked to falling biodiversity. - the decline of honeybees seen in many countries may be caused by reduced plant diversity, research suggests. bees fed pollen from a range of plants showed signs of having a healthier immune system than those eating pollen from a single type, scientists found. - bbc

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:22 PM | 0 comments

when subtlety fails

it must be explained.

if you nominate idiots who deserve to lose, they will lose.


posted by mahakal at 11:55 AM | 8 comments

free speech's just another word for nothin's left to lose

does the supreme court citizens united vs. fec decision piss you off?

go to free speech for people and get involved!

sign the petition!
posted by skippy at 10:16 AM | 4 comments

sole man

mr. & mrs. skippy have given their old shoes to soles 4 souls, specifically for use in the haiti disaster:

soles4souls inc. has announced project haiti, a grassroots campaign to engage the general public in collecting footwear and funds for victims of the 7.0 earthquake that devastated the western hemisphere's poorest country. participants can create a customized page on the charity's website to raise footwear and funds that will be designated for haiti relief projects.

"we have fielded thousands of phone calls and emails from people around the country wanting to roll up their sleeves and help mobilize their communities," said wayne elsey, founder and ceo of the shoe charity. "project haiti is designed to do that by encouraging people to clean out their closets and donate gently worn shoes to one of our many collection partners," he said.
w/all the debris on the ground, and especially because the haitians were incredibly poor even before this disaster hit, it is imperative to get footwear to people there so they can move around more freely.

go here to find a location near you to take your old shoes.
posted by skippy at 10:04 AM | 0 comments

big banks are going to make their own rules

no matter what the president says...no matter what the country needs...no matter what our populace are demanding.... they are going to do it their way and find loopholes to benefit themselves. country be damned.
big banks have already begun poking the holes in obama’s new rules—holes they expect their banks to pass through basically unchanged.

...but sources at three banks tell us that they are already finding ways to own, investment in and sponsor hedge funds and private equity funds. even prop trading seems safe.

a person familiar with the operations of one big wall street bank said it expects that new regulation will affect less than 1% of its overall business.

the key phrase is “operations unrelated to serving customers.” the banks plan to claim that much of the business in which it engages is related in one way or another to serving customers. even proprietary trading for instance, can become related to customer service if it is done through internal hedge funds in which some outside clients are permitted to invest. - clusterstock

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:16 AM | 2 comments

think the week from hell is over for the dems?

ha! think again. hmmm....who to get to keynote the white house correspondents dinner? try finding the comedian who seems to be on everyone's s**t list.
white house correspondents association has picked this week's most unpopular stand-up comic jay leno be the keynote speaker at this year's white house correspondents dinner. - wapo

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:08 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, January 21, 2010

internet killed the video star

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posted by mahakal at 9:22 PM | 2 comments

off the air america

this sucks.

air america, the long-suffering progressive talk radio network, abruptly shut down on thursday, bowing to what it called a “very difficult economic environment.”

the chairman of air america media, charlie kireker, said in a statement that the company would file under chapter 7 bankruptcy “to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.” - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:19 PM | 4 comments




posted by Jim Yeager at 7:41 PM | 4 comments

is it hot in here, or are the denialists just crazy?

via oliver willis, it looks like last decade was the warmest on record. ever. in the history of the world. the end:

january 2000 to december 2009 was the warmest decade on record. looking back to 1880, when modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present, although there was a leveling off between the 1940s and 1970s.

in the past three decades, the giss surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.36 degrees fahrenheit (0.2 degrees celsius) per decade. in total, average global temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees fahrenheit (0.8 degrees celsius) since 1880.

"that's the important number to keep in mind," said giss climatologist gavin schmidt. "the difference between the second and sixth warmest years is trivial because the known uncertainty in the temperature measurement is larger than some of the differences between the warmest years."
oh, you say, but what about the huge mother-father snow storms that crippled the eastern seaboard, thus disproving any sort of global warming conspiracy?

there's an app for that:

the near-record global temperatures of 2009 occurred despite an unseasonably cool december in much of north america. high air pressures from the arctic decreased the east-west flow of the jet stream, while increasing its tendency to blow from north to south. the result was an unusual effect that caused frigid air from the arctic to rush into north america and warmer mid-latitude air to shift toward the north. this left north america cooler than normal, while the arctic was warmer than normal.

"the contiguous 48 states cover only 1.5 percent of the world area, so the united states' temperature does not affect the global temperature much," hansen said.
next week: the earth is not the center of the universe...
posted by skippy at 2:05 PM | 3 comments

fun with google

we wondered how we got onto the results page for the google search meghan mccain sexualtiy - is she gay or straight, until we saw which post of ours was listed.
posted by skippy at 1:57 PM | 0 comments

josh marshall gets letters

and some letters they are...
....the worst is that i can't help but feel like the main emotion people in the caucus are feeling is relief at this turn of events. now they have a ready excuse for not getting anything done. while i always thought we had the better ideas but the weaker messaging, it feels like somewhere along the line members internalized a belief that we actually have weaker ideas. they're afraid to actually implement them and face the judgement of the voters. that's the scariest dynamic and what makes me think this will all come crashing down around us in november. - tpm

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:11 AM | 1 comments

death of political freespeech

for living, breathing human beings who don't have a boatload of money. the supreme court just handed down the deathknell for actual individuals to have their voice heard. these voices will now be squashed through the big money that will now come pouring through to further advance the agendas of corporate masters.

the supreme court on thursday opened wide new avenues for big-moneyed interests to pour money into politics in a decision that could have a major influence on the 2010 midterm elections and president barack obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

...another conservative justice, clarence thomas, filed a separate opinion that mostly concurred with the majority, but made the case for going even further by striking down disclosure requirements. - politico
"could have a major influence?" hello...

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:00 AM | 4 comments

mad about joe "vote 60? no mo" lieberman

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 2:06 AM | 3 comments

a little late nite music (on the east coast, anyway)...

it's after 3am here. really, i should be in bed right now. sure, i've been working nights for most of the last ten years, and i'm used to this. but i'm at home, not work.

i guess i'm a glutton for extra punishment...


posted by Jim Yeager at 12:23 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

cheer up, you're not dead yet


posted by mahakal at 8:00 PM | 1 comments

the times, they are a chargin'

well, look for far less links to the nytimes @ this humble space. because, if you want to read maureen dowd the gray lady more than a few times, it'll cost ya:

starting in january 2011, a visitor to nytimes.com will be allowed to view a certain number of articles free each month; to read more, the reader must pay a flat fee for unlimited access. subscribers to the print newspaper, even those who subscribe only to the sunday paper, will receive full access to the site without any additional charge.

executives of the new york times company said they wanted to create a system that would have little effect on the millions of occasional visitors to the site, while trying to cash in on the loyalty of more devoted readers. but fundamental features of the plan have not yet been decided, including how much the paper will charge for online subscriptions or how many articles a reader will be allowed to see without paying.
of course, the question is, how many visits is "more than a few times?"

we'd leave a comment on their site to ask them, but we're afraid they'd charge us.

(ps. as steve benen points out, "the paper's last experiment on this didn't go well.")
posted by skippy at 7:27 PM | 2 comments

'tis the season

we imagine you're all getting your w-2's right about now...

barack obama - taxman

from our good buddy rx @ the party party!
posted by skippy at 6:49 PM | 3 comments

singing in the flood channels

as skippy international gets soaked from a second of several california el nino storms, mrs. skippy sent us an email which, as it turns out, contains information which is currently transversing the interwebs:

this is where things get even more interesting, though. the models are virtually unanimous in “reloading” the powerful jet stream and forming an additional persistent kink 2000-3000 miles to our southwest after next sunday. this is a truly ominous pattern, because it implies the potential for a strong pineapple-type connection to develop. indeed, the 12z gfs now shows copious warm rains falling between days 12 and 16 across the entire state. normally, such as scenario out beyond day seven would be dubious at best. since the models are in such truly remarkable agreement, however, and because of the extremely high potential impact of such an event, it’s worth mentioning now. since there will be a massive volume of freshly-fallen snow (even at relatively low elevations between 3000-5000 feet), even a moderately warm storm event would cause very serious flooding. this situation will have to monitored closely. even if the tropical connection does not develop, expected rains in the coming 7-10 days will likely be sufficient to cause flooding in and of themselves (even in spite of dry antecedent conditions).

in addition to very heavy precipitation, powerful winds may result from very steep pressure gradients associated with the large and deep low pressure centers expected to begin approaching the coast by early next week. though it’s not clear at the moment just how powerful these winds may be, there is certainly the potential for a widespread damaging wind event at some point, and the high sierra peaks are likely to see gusts in the 100-200 mph range (since the 200kt jet at 200-300 mb will essentially run directly into the mountains at some point). the details of this will have to be hashed out as the event(s) draw closer.

in short, the next 2-3 weeks (at least) are likely to be more active across california than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory. the potential exists for a dangerous flood scenario to arise at some point during this interval, especially with the possibility of a heavy rain-on-snow event during late week 2. in some parts of southern california, a whole season’s worth of rain could fall over the course of 5-10 days. this is likely to be a rather memorable event. stay tuned.
or rather, stay dry!

and watch out for tornados in los angeles!

[ed. note: a commentor over @ brad delong's site points out that the above email was generated early last week, so this prediction of "two weeks" of nasty weather is almost over.

as you were.]
posted by skippy at 5:46 PM | 0 comments

I Think My Guru Said Something Like This about the Raelians

From the Blog for Students sponsored by Paul Romer's Aplia:
Finally, Bernanke’s critics need to understand that macroeconomics is not a true science....We will never know with any respectable precision what might have happened if it had not been for Bernanke’s bold leadership.

Yes, those are the beginning and the end of the same paragraph.

Pat Robertson can only wish he had that good a publicity machine working for him.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 5:44 PM | 3 comments

hey, it wasn't our fault, we live in california

we have avoided the interwebs today, simply because we didn't want to be subjected to hardly-ever-right-wing gloating about brown's victory last nite.

but now that we've logged on, we might as well link to nate silver's excellent analysis over @ 538: let's play the blame game!

overall, we have a 31-point swing in the vote to explain: from barack obama's roughly 26-point victory in november 2008, to martha coakley's roughly 5-point loss today.

at a bare minimum, 10 of those points must be assigned to the national environment. generic ballot polling suggests that the democrats' position has worsened by a net of 10 points since november 2008, from winning the house popular vote by 10 points in 2008 to being dead even with republicans today.

also at a bare minimum, 11 points of blame should be assigned to coakley. that represents the difference between the 58 percent of vote that she received at her high-water mark in the polls to the 47 percent she received on election day. a fairly large number of voters, it appears, actually turned away from coakley; it was not just a matter of undecided ones turning toward brown.

that leaves us with 10 more points of blame to assign; let's just dole those out as evenly as possible, giving 3 more points to coakley, 3 more points to the national environment, and 4 to massachusetts-specific special contingencies -- it gets the extra point because it hadn't received any yet.

that would make the final score: national environment 13, coakley 14, special circumstances 4.

if you follow through on the math, this would suggest that coakley would have won by about 8 points, rather than losing by 5, had the national environment not deteriorated so significantly for democrats. it suggests that the democrats would have won by 9 points, rather than losing by 5, had the candidate been someone other than coakley. and it suggests that the race would have been a 1-point loss (that is, basically too close to call), rather than a 5-point loss, even if coakley had run such a bad campaign and even if the national environment had deteriorated as much as it has, but had there not been the unusual circumstances associated with this particular election.

obviously, this is a rather imprecise and unsophisticated exercise. but each of those implications feels about right to me. maybe you'd do the math a little differently. but don't be sparing with your blame; there's plenty of it to go around.
personally, we believe that if martha coakley had bothered to campaign after winning the nomination, she would be massachusettes' next senator (elect) right now.

even w/her terrible gaffes (curt shilling, saying out loud she didn't want to stand in front of fenway park in the cold shaking hands), if she actually did stand in front of fenway park shaking hands, put in some face time w/the constituency she wanted to serve, she would overcome the deficit.

obama's (and congress's) mis-steps on health care (plus the refusal to close down gitmo and the willingness to escalate the afghan conflict) would certainly have hurt coakley, but they would not have been fatal, in our opinion.

but what do we know? we just write a blog.

addendum: we like brad blog's take: martha coakley injures several staffers in her rush to phone in concession!
posted by skippy at 5:28 PM | 7 comments

silver lining?

you know, now that the dem jackasses only have fifty-nine seats in the senate (technically, anyway -- in practice, it don't quite play out that way, but humor me for this one post), joe liebermann's penchant for being the spiteful little attention whore in his team's starting lineup (uniform number: 60) doesn't mean quite so much anymore. does it?

i hope harry reid gets wind of this. not that it will make a damn bit of difference either way, but i'd enjoy it nonetheless...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 12:55 PM | 6 comments

you know, lanny...s.t.f.u.

the d.l.c. wing of the party should look in the freakin' mirror.

lanny davis, a former white house counsel under president clinton, pens an op-ed in the wall street journal arguing that “the left” is to blame for the massachusetts results. “bottom line: we liberals need to reclaim the democratic party with the new democrat positions of bill clinton and the new politics/bipartisan aspirations of barack obama,” he writes. - think progress
it was arrogance that lost this past election.

it's the arrogance of certain members of the democratic party that showcased the reason why teddy's seat was lost. it was the arrogance to think it was a "slam dunk" to retain the seat. it was arrogance to think that young voters would turn out in droves like they did for obama. it was arrogance to think that the independent voters would automatically vote democratic. it was arrogance to think that everyone in ma loves their healthcare system and wants to see the same thing shoved down the country's throat. (oh, btw...they wanted a public option in the state, too....but no...couldn't actually have something in place that saved lives.) it was arrogance to try to push through the notion that the d.l.c. is the only legitimate wing of the democratic party. i, personally, belong to the paul wellstone wing.

we "liberals" have been trying to reclaim the party. clinton didn't have democratic positions a good portion of the time...may i remind you of two of the worst pieces of legislation rolled on in during the big dog's presidency. the telecommunications act and nafta. those were the furthest thing from democratic positions. they were corporatist positions.

so..lanny...take your lobbying big bucks self out of the corporate owned media spotlight and just s.t.f.u. so we can take back our party.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:17 AM | 7 comments

health care reform question of the day...

are the democrats finished with all their f&#k%#g around now?


posted by Jim Yeager at 4:50 AM | 4 comments

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On Massachusetts

I am saddened that Martha Coakley lost in Massachusetts. But I am already cringing at the thought of what news stories will arise from this- from both sides. I will leave the Republicans, and their Overton Window pushing, aside for the moment.

What does this mean for the Democrats? Basically, what we decide it means. Having 60 votes in the Senate didn't matter much when one of the votes belonged to Joe Lieberman, who will scurry to whichever ship he thinks is sinking slower (and is currently doing so), and another to Evan Bayh, who said today, "Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country — that’s not going to work too well.”

The most pressing agenda at the moment is health care. Paul Waldman outlines in the American Prospect how it could still happen:

The first path would be for the House -- where they have this strange tradition in which the majority rules -- to simply pass, as is, the bill that already passed the Senate. Obama would sign it, and the infrastructure of reform would be in place. Then [they THE HOUSE?] could attempt to correct some of the Senate bill's weaknesses in the reconciliation process, which only requires 51 votes (though it does limit which parts of the bill can be addressed).

The other path -- and the preferable one, from a policy perspective -- would be to get the bill done before Brown is sworn in. Keep in mind that the White House and congressional leaders are nearly done hammering out the differences between the two chambers' bills. Though reports about what is in this version are sketchy, it looks to be a considerable improvement on the Senate bill. They have to get a score from the Congressional Budget Office, which takes a few days. Then depending on how the bill is offered in the Senate, a vote could come within a few days after that. In other words, no matter what happens in Massachusetts, if Democrats decide to move things through quickly, we could get a vote on health care within 10 days.

Paperwork and formalities could make it up to two weeks before Brown is officially in. And that's without the Democrats pulling any fast ones, à la the Republicans and Franken. Do I think either of those scenarios will play out? Probably not. But it is important to keep in mind that they could have at least been attempted, regardless of Brown's win. And a failure on that front will be a greater loss than the Massachusetts seat.
posted by Brandy Betz at 11:01 PM | 8 comments

39,000 words

these pictures from zuma are worth at least that much.


posted by mahakal at 9:15 PM | 0 comments


now you have to pass health care reform under budget reconciliation. let's get a public option now.

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posted by mahakal at 7:57 PM | 1 comments

rip robert parker

one of the premiere mystery writers of our time, robert b. parker, has died:

robert b. parker, 77, a popular and prolific author of hard-boiled american crime fiction, best known for the 37-book spenser series which became an abc television show in the 1980s, died jan. 18, at his writing desk at home in cambridge, mass. a cause of death was not immediately known, but his longtime agent, helen brann, said it appeared to have been a heart attack.

mr. parker helped revive the detective fiction genre with his wise-cracking, street-smart and surprisingly literate boston private-eye spenser (no first name and with an "s" not a "c"). the character -- an ex-boxer and ex-state policeman -- is also a gourmet cook who grapples with his complex relationships with a witty female companion, an african american alter ego and a foster son. named for edmund spenser, shakespeare's contemporary, the character and series became a favorite of the literati who enjoyed crisp, witty prose.

mr. parker's work was notable for its quick pace, evocative descriptions, sharp dialogue and concentration upon themes that included the troubled status of adolescents, and of women in contemporary society. his protagonists, however, were tough guys, prone to violence, who nevertheless were true to a moral code as they protected a lesbian writer in "looking for rachel wallace" (1980), chased after international terrorists in "the judas goat" (1983) and investigated drug smuggling in "pale kings and princes" (1987) and "pastime" (1991).
well, we wouldn't call hawk an "african american alter ego," he's an actual character who sometimes helps spenser solve the mysteries (usually by looking menacing).

we'd also like to put in a word for one of mr. parker's other great characters, jesse stone, who is an ex-lapd cop (and alcoholic) that takes over the chief of police job in a small massachusettes town. stone is more complex a character than spenser, and therefore the books are more interesting, in our opinion.

and tho we enjoyed both robert urich and, later, joe montegna, as spenser on television, we always watch every episode of tom selleck as jesse stone.

the mystery/detective genre has lost one of its greats. we can only hope that, like mr. parker, we also pass off this mortal coil doing what we love to do.

rest in peace, robert b. parker.
posted by skippy at 3:23 PM | 2 comments

apparently steve benen is listening to his own private fat lady singing

hey steve benen, we love your stuff, and love political animal, but jeez, couldn't you at least wait until the election is called to talk about "even after brown is sworn in"?

at least pretend to be on our side, please!

addendum: on the other hand, we're happy to see the bosglobe call the election for coakley some 8 hours before the polls even close!!
posted by skippy at 1:48 PM | 1 comments

jon stewart

absolutely brilliant and cutting through the bull***p and telling it like it is.
"let me see if i have this straight. you need to replace perhaps the most beloved liberal in the history of the senate with a candidate that believes curt schilling is a yankee fan. because if this lady loses, the health care reform bill that the beloved late senator considered his legacy will die....and the reason it will die is because if coakley loses, democrats will only have then an 18-vote majority in the senate. which is more than george w. bush ever had in the senate when he did whenever the f**k he wanted to do." - tpm (has the video. 10 minutes well worth the time)

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:07 AM | 6 comments

Next Year in Jerusalem?

Via Patrick's Twiiter feed (apparently, he got it from John Scalzi), proof that, while the Beatles were more popular than G-d, it didn't cause them a crisis with the Big Guy:

Or something.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 9:54 AM | 0 comments

will vancouver be a bang?

comments from left field wonders if there's some possible terrorism brewing for the 2010 vancouver olympics:

i would not be surprised if you were unaware of this story. there has been next to no press about it since the 2 tons of ammonium nitrate, twice that used in the oklahoma city bombing, showed up missing from a shipment bound for north vancouver.

with less than a month until the world’s eyes are b.c., mounties are still trying to account for missing ammonium nitrate.

two tonnes of the chemical compound, which has been used in several terrorist bombings, was originally reported missing to the rcmp on jan. 6.

kinder morgan, a pipeline and energy-storing company, had been transporting 6,000 bags of material from alberta to north vancouver when two bags could not be accounted for days before christmas.

the discrepancy was discovered when the shipment was moved by a third-party trucking company to a facility...
i have two questions at this point.

1) could this be a threat to the safety of the 2010 olympics which are only a couple weeks away?

2) why the hell is this story not all over the news?
well, it's all over this blog, at least.
posted by skippy at 9:41 AM | 1 comments

sarah, palin tall...but not president

stop the presses (duh!)...the majority of americans don't want sarah palin to be president:

cbs news

a new cbs news poll finds that a large majority of americans say they do not want former alaska governor sarah palin to run for president.

specifically, 71 percent say they do not want the former republican vice presidential nominee to run for president, while 21 percent say they do want her to run.

when the results are split out by party, 56 percent of republicans say they do not want her to seek the office and 30 percent do. meanwhile, 88 percent of democrats do not want her to run. among independents, 65 percent do not want her to run and 25 percent do.

the poll also finds that more people view palin negatively than positively and that her book tour did not improve overall views of her. however, she is a little better-known now than she was last fall, and both favorable and unfavorable ratings of her have increased slightly.
interestingly enough, even a majority of conservatives don't want her to run:

conservatives are the only ideological group that holds net positive views of her -- just under half do, while a quarter are unfavorable and a quarter of conservatives are undecided.

but while favorable toward her, most conservatives say they do not want to see palin run in 2012 – 58 percent of conservatives say she should not run.
we aren't worried ourselves. if she decides to run, she'll probably quit halfway thru.
posted by skippy at 9:34 AM | 6 comments

Monday, January 18, 2010

forget the golden globes

Rachel Alexandra
Originally uploaded by Rock and Racehorses
the awards of "real" importance were held this evening. the eclipse awards.

congrats to the new horse of the year - rachel alexandra!
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:32 PM | 0 comments

its been storming up here in santa barbara

Originally uploaded by kevinalanbaum
something so sad about a beached boat.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:35 PM | 2 comments

who would jesus kill?

via oliver willis, we find an american munitions company that is secretly inscribing coded biblical quotations on their weapons sold to the u.s. military for use in the middle east:

coded references to new testament bible passages about jesus christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the united states military by a michigan company, an abc news investigation has found.

the sights are used by u.s. troops in iraq and afghanistan and in the training of iraqi and afghan soldiers. the maker of the sights, trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the marine corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the u.s. army.
u.s. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in iraq or afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the u.s. was embarked on a religious "crusade" in its war against al qaeda and iraqi insurgents…

trijicon confirmed to abcnews.com that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the u.s. military. tom munson, director of sales and marketing for trijicon, which is based in wixom, michigan, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not christian." the company has said the practice began under its founder, glyn bindon, a devout christian from south africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash…
we're not so sure how "not illegal" all of this might be...

"it's wrong, it violates the constitution, it violates a number of federal laws," said michael "mikey" weinstein of the military religious freedom foundation, an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.

"it allows the mujahedeen, the taliban, al qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they're being shot by jesus rifles," he said.

weinstein, an attorney and former air force officer, said many members of his group who currently serve in the military have complained about the markings on the sights. he also claims they've told him that commanders have referred to weapons with the sights as "spiritually transformed firearm[s] of jesus christ."
posted by skippy at 1:22 PM | 7 comments