s skippy the bush kangaroo: April 2010

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, April 30, 2010

raising the bar, not arizona

the president of the aba sez the new arizona "paperz, pleeze" immigration law is most likely unconstitutional:
the president of the american bar association strongly criticized a controversial new arizona immigration law in a written statement today.

the law, which requires police to seek proof of an individual's immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally, is seen by many as targeting minorities for racial profiling. the law also makes it a misdemeanor to fail to provide proof, if asked, that the person is legally in the united states.

"this law encourages second-class treatment of individuals based on the color of their skin, and that is unacceptable," says aba president carolyn b. lamm, who in a statement calls the recently signed measure "draconian" and "likely unconstitutional."

specifically, it implicates equal protection and due process concerns, threatening nearly half a century of civil rights progress in our country, she continues. "it is, quite simply put, a law based on prejudice and fear, one whose purpose is to be divisive."
posted by skippy at 4:46 PM | 0 comments

gdp asap

via steve benen, the gross domestic product grew again last quarter for the third quarter in a row:
we now have three consecutive quarters of positive growth. it's not nearly strong enough growth to constitute a robust economy, but it's enough to look like an economic recovery.
the united states economy continued to expand in the first quarter, but economists cautioned that the pace of growth is still not nearly fast enough to recover ground lost during the recession.

national output grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2 percent last quarter, the commerce department reported friday, after growth of 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2.2 percent in the third quarter.

the steady growth has quelled fears that the downturn is not quite over.
we have taken steve's home-made chart and added color to differentiate between gop and dem administrations, but the numbers (or, at least, representational bar graphs) speak for themselves:

posted by skippy at 10:04 AM | 1 comments

the dark side of the arizona immigration bill

oh noes!


they got dora!
posted by skippy at 9:33 AM | 2 comments

tweet of the day

from the ever soft spoken @billmaher
"every asshole who ever chanted 'drill baby drill' should have to report to the gulf coast today for cleanup duty"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:03 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, April 29, 2010

had a good chuckle tonight

the capitol steps came to town.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:36 PM | 1 comments

quote of the day

found on twitter:

arizona: putting the az in crazy!
posted by skippy at 5:49 PM | 2 comments

boy oh boycott

here's a partial list of companies headquartered in arizona that you don't have to use any more (the companies, not the list; please, use the list!), at least until they rescind the draconian "paperz, pleeze" immigration law:

best western
best western international, inc.
6201 n. 24th parkway
phoenix, az 85016
(602) 957-4200

cold stone creamery
16101 north 82nd street
scottsdale, az 85260

dial soap products
15501 north dial boulevard
scottsdale, arizona 85260-1619
(602) 754-3425
fax: (602) 754-1098

go daddy
14455 n. hayden rd.
suite 219
scottsdale, az 85260

19601 north 27th avenue
phoenix, az 85027
(623) 580-6100
(800) 738-1385

2727 north central avenue
phoenix, az 85004-1158
(602) 776-3284

u.s. airways
111 w. rio salado parkway
tempe, az 85281
phone: 480-693-0800

the links take you to each corporation's contact page. please, feel free to write/phone them, but as always, be polite!
posted by skippy at 4:30 PM | 3 comments

how stupid are the repubbblicans?

they are so stupid, their new "paperz, pleeze" law in arizona is going to cost them a lot of brown votes. mistermix @ balloon juice:

i’ve got nothing, and it’s open thread time, so let’s talk about my mother. she’s 74 years old, brown (us citizen from mexican parents), and tough as nails. she spends her winters in a small town near tucson, a few miles from where she grew up.

since the arizona immigration law passed, i’ve been thinking about what’s going to happen the first time she’s pulled over and asked for her papers. the results of my thought experiment aren’t pretty. to say that she’ll be unintimidated by the local cops is a gross understatement. my concern is for the officer who pulls her over, as well as the police department and town that she’ll sue. life gets a little dull for the retired, and the family joke is that mom has a titanium grudge carrier, so i expect she’ll do her part to bankrupt her local municipality, and enjoy doing it.

mom’s a proud goldwater republican. she was happy with reagan, voted for bush ii in 2000 (but not in ‘04), and has long been active in the local republican party. but i can say with absolute certainty that she will not vote for a republican, for any office, ever again. she’s the proudest person i know—proud of her family, her achievements in life, and her mexican heritage. and, whatever else this new law is, it is profoundly disrespectful. i don’t know if this law will kill the republican party in arizona, but i can assure you that they’re already dead to her.
we think mistermix nailed it on the head when he wrote whatever else this new law is, it is profoundly disrespectful.

it's disrespectful to an entire race of people who want to live life as americans. there is no way in hell that america is about proving you are an american. that in itself is the very antithesis of liberty and freedom.

the gop has shot itself in the foot, and has hastened its demise by several years w/this law.
posted by skippy at 8:52 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

skippy looks at books: inside out

we recently discussed having found the work of barry eisler, a crackerjack mystery/thriller author who had the extra dimension in his book of using bloggers' names for minor characters.

we were fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of his next book, inside out, which mr. eisler graciously sent to us. we are happy to report that inside out is as taut, fast-paced and relevant to today's issues as his previous work fault line.


in this new book we still follow the adventures of ben treven, the hero of fault line. ben is a special ops, assigned to a super secret outfit of soldiers that are sent to do the dirty work of keeping democracy viable, with all the good and bad that such a position implies.

but ben (who had to struggle w/keeping his brother alex alive after his stumbling onto a secret software security package) is young and still forming his emotional core; he wrestles w/his own demons of right and wrong even as he carries out his orders from his commander.

the premise of inside out is one that every lefty in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) will relate to: abu ghraib. presumably another special forces black op kept tapes of all the the atrocities committed therein, and now wants to black mail the u.s. government w/them. it's up to ben to find this blackmailer and neutralize him.

in our minds, ben treven is like a younger, less mature (in that he's young and still forming himself) version of lee childs' wonderful jack reacher character. like reacher, ben is highly skilled and able, world-traveled and intelligent, and ready to be deadly if the situation calls for it. treven is partnered this time w/a beautiful fbi agent (are there any other kind in these books?) and must stay one step ahead of other operatives from various agencies who wouldn't mind killing ben and the feeb just to hang the mess on them.

again, mr. eisler writes with a great pace, and makes everything very plausible. as he used to be a covert operative with the cia himself, the details of surveillance, logistics and gunplay ring true. and the moral and philosophical questions that pervade the story-telling lift mr. eisler's work a notch above the usual bang-you're-dead kind of book usually found in this genre.

in fact, the ending of the story (which we won't give away here) is a shocking cold-water-on-the-soul wake up call to anybody living in this country, and certainly not what one would expect from a good-guy-v-bad-guy-shoot-em-up thriller.

we are quite pleased to report that inside out, which will be available in stores on june 29, is every bit as satisfying as fault line. plus, there are more inside-blogging references (did you know marcy wheeler was married? neither did we! lol!)

we look forward to finding and reading mr. eisler's previous work, as well as any new ben treven novels that are forth coming.
posted by skippy at 3:09 PM | 0 comments

i read the news today oboy

media matters has a listing of headlines from this week across the us which don't put the gop in a very favorable light:
more @ media matters
posted by skippy at 9:49 AM | 1 comments

it's a living

for those of you in the nyc area, our friend dana edelman will be performing @ googie's lounge (above the living room) on thursday nite @ 8:00
posted by skippy at 9:43 AM | 0 comments

brown skinned people didn't take away your job

white skinned men (and a smattering of women) in suits shipped your jobs overseas.

brown skinned people didn't tank your 401(k).... (see above)
brown skinned people didn't give their executives millions in compensation while firing thousands (see above)
brown skinned people didn't hide billions of dollars offshore in order to not pay taxes (see above)
brown skinned people didn't almost destroy the world's economy hedging bets on credit default swaps (see above)

see a pattern here? where should the real anger be directed?


posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:22 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

hell has officially frozen over

bill frist likes the healthcare bill...and is proud of this administration.


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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:08 PM | 2 comments

arizona is absolutely crazy

and mean. has any one checked what is in their drinking water of late?
on saturday, “at the center for arizona policy family dinner before 1600 guests,” brewer signed sb 1305, the first-in-the nation bill that would prohibit insurers in the state- run health care exchange “from providing coverage for abortions unless the coverage is offered as a separate optional rider for which an additional insurance premium is charged.”

the new arizona law is a radical mini stupak. it prevents insurers from offering abortion services, except under the most extreme circumstances, even if only private money were used to pay for those services. most if not all women in the exchange would only be able to purchase coverage through an impractical, separate abortion “rider” or leave the exchange entirely and find coverage in the shrinking individual health insurance market. since it’s unlikely that many insurers will offer abortion riders or that women will purchase them in anticipation of needing an abortion — in fact, “in the five states where abortion riders are currently required, no insurance company offers them” — the arizona law will severely disadvantage poorer women who would likely have to pay out of pocket for abortion services. - wonkroom

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:03 PM | 1 comments


cnn reports that one gop senator will reverse his filibuster vote to let debate on finreg reform begin:
after senate democrats' second consecutive failed attempt tuesday to take up a financial regulatory reform bill, a moderate republican from ohio indicated for the first time that he is planning to switch his vote and support opening debate on the bill if a deal isn't reached soon between the top negotiators for each party.

the american people "want us to get something done," sen. george voinovich, r-ohio, said in explaining why he would eventually join democrats in insisting that the bill be debated on the floor.

voinovich, who is not seeking re-election in november, would not say exactly how long he would wait before switching his vote but said, "i have an idea of how much time it takes to cut a deal." he also said he expects "a whole bunch" of other republicans to make the same decision.
posted by skippy at 5:49 PM | 0 comments

separated at birth?

check up for chickens advocate sue lowden


laurie partridge?
posted by skippy at 4:23 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to prune juice media.
posted by skippy at 4:18 PM | 0 comments


harry reid is forcing the gop's hand on their filibuster of the financial reform. the hill:

a senior democratic aide said reid would schedule votes to end a republican filibuster of the reform bill on tuesday and wednesday of this week.

“we need to keep the pressure up to get a deal,” said the democratic aide.

reid held a live quorum call on monday evening to bring senators to the floor, interrupting their schedules and sending a message to lawmakers who voted to block debate of wall street reform.

reid also voted against the motion because of a procedural technicality that will allow him to bring up for reconsideration.

democratic aides said reid would call senators to reconsider the motion to begin debate of the reform bill on tuesday.

reid also plans to file a motion monday evening to end the gop filibuster. that would set up a third vote on wednesday to end the filibuster.

a second democratic aide said leaders wanted to focus public attention on gop “obstruction.”
posted by skippy at 9:27 AM | 1 comments

it's kentucky derby week

and to tout you a good winning tip, head on over to our bloggy buddy, left at the gate, to find out the "players" of the field....and pick some ponies to play.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:08 AM | 0 comments

Monday, April 26, 2010

matt taibbi vs. goldman sachs

the british version.

...morally, however, the goldman sachs case may turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered america sometime in the 80s – and in the years since has aped other horrifying american trends such as boybands and reality shows in spreading across the western world like a venereal disease.

...even if he stands to make a buck at it, even your average used-car salesman won't sell some working father a car with wobbly brakes, then buy life insurance policies on that customer and his kids. but this is done almost as a matter of routine in the financial services industry, where the attitude after the inevitable pileup would be that that family was dumb for getting into the car in the first place. caveat emptor, dude!

people have to understand this randian mindset is now ingrained in the american character. you have to live here to see it. there's a hatred toward "moochers" and "parasites" – the tea party movement, which is mainly a bunch of pissed off suburban white people whining about minorities consuming social services, describes the battle as being between "water-carriers" and "water-drinkers". and regulation of any kind is deeply resisted, even after a disaster as sweeping as the 2008 crash - the guardian

matt taibbi. marry me.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:43 PM | 1 comments

dumb cluck


send sue a letter
posted by skippy at 12:29 PM | 2 comments

proper textiquette

about a week and a half ago i was watching the cat in the back yard when i received a text message from my new ex-girlfriend whom i've never met. she was upset at me for not getting back to her after she wrote me after I broke up with her. then she was doubly upset because i didn't respond again. then i was a jerk and my new girlfriend, whom i've also never met, was a dweeb. finally she informed me that everyone says i was lucky she would even talk to me because she is such a sweet person and i am such a jerk.

mrs dbk* and i have had a few laughs over those messages. i didn't bother to tell my ex-girlfriend whom i've never met that i am a very married, very middle-aged man in minnesota (her area code is in massachusetts) and she had been texting the wrong number. i'd have texted her back to correct her error right away, but, with my cellphone plan, text messages cost extra and i didn't feel like spending the money. also, i was very entertained and was hoping to get even more messages. she stopped at five, though. i assume she was either over me or had figured out her mistake.

what is the proper textiquette in this situation? do you just ignore the messages or do you send a text to tell the other party that they're texting a stranger?

*skippy says all posts must have links so that they are proper blog posts, and the more links the bloggier it looks. that's not an actual photo of mrs dbk, but it's close enough.
posted by DBK at 7:39 AM | 7 comments

Sunday, April 25, 2010

For Want of a Step, the Battle was Lost

And thousands died, to be memorialized only by Anzac Day.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 6:52 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

that time again for those pesky little stories that you didn't hear on the talking head shows this morning.

there's no "plan b" for what to do with nuclear waste. - the environmental protection agency estimates that spent fuel stored at new jersey's four nuclear power plants will remain dangerous to humans for at least 10,000 years. but the problem of storing spent fuel continues to plague lawmakers. - atlantic city press

livestock waste found to foul sierra waters. - after 10 years of fieldwork and 4,500 miles of backpacking, derlet has learned – after analyzing hundreds of samples dipped from backcountry lakes and streams – is that parts of the high sierra are not nearly as pristine as they look. - sacramento bee

water tests too costly, n.m. says. - the christie administration has backed off plans to require testing and treatment of drinking water for perchlorate, a chemical in fertilizer and rocket fuel that has been found in some private and public wells in north jersey and poses health risks for pregnant women and infants - bergen county record

biotech crops go before supreme court this week. - the u.s. supreme court is considering genetically engineered crops for the first time, in a case that has divided conventional and organic farmers - des moines register

settlement falls short of addressing kalamazoo river pollution problems. - a federal bankruptcy judge on friday signed off on a settlement between the u.s. government and lyondell chemical co., relinquishing the houston-based petrochemical giant from any future cleanup liabilities at the kalamazoo river superfund site. - kalamazoo gazette

california free to ban downer cows in food supply - for now. - it's been two years since a covertly recorded videotape of non-ambulatory cows being abused at a slaughterhouse led to the largest beef recall in the nation's history, but the scandal is still having repercussions. - bakersfield californian

icij names winners of 2010 daniel pearl awards for outstanding international investigative reporting. - a gutsy, collaborative series by four european news outlets about toxic waste dumping in africa was one winner of the 2010 daniel pearl awards for outstanding international investigative reporting - center for public integrity

morocco leads the green revolution. - the moroccan government has a plan to take on air pollution, climate change, and other environmental challenges. it is a multi-billion dollar series of projects that will set new standards and restrictions on pollution, and for the first time implement so-called "green taxes" for violators - al jazeera

rooftop farming booming in new york. - urban farming is a growth industry in new york city's concrete jungle, and with little open land free agriculturalists and beekeepers have taken to the rooftops to pursue their passion. - afp

barge explodes in mississippi river. - the united states coast guard – already battling an oil spill off the louisiana coast – responded to an unrelated tank barge explosion saturday approximately 72 miles up the mississippi river from new orleans - afp

vog smothering big isle. - it has been 27 years since kīlauea started erupting and two since a new vent at halema'uma'u crater opened, doubling the amount of emissions and changing life for the thousands who live in pāhala and other rural communities downwind from the volcano. - honolulu advertiser

green surge as main parties try to attract eco-vote. - environmental issues will be pushed up the agenda in the last 10 days of the election campaign, as Britain's major parties scuffle to attract the eco-vote, and the greens remain on course to return their first mp to parliament. - london independent

how much radiation can we take? - scrap dealer devair ferreira was intrigued by the blue glow of the radioactive caesium chloride salt. he kept it in his dining room and invited friends and family to daub it on their bodies like glitter. within a month, ferreira's wife, niece and two of his employees had died and 249 people were contaminated - new scientist

bishop, chaffetz join water fight in congress. - currently, the clean water act allows federal regulation only for waterways that are "navigable." but that word would be removed by a bill introduced wednesday by house transportation and infrastructure committee chairman james oberstar, d-minn - salt lake deseret

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:45 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, April 24, 2010

arizona's "immigration" law

will hopi and navajo police officers be able to stop anyone they think is in arizona illegally?


posted by George at 8:59 AM | 8 comments

Friday, April 23, 2010

All Politics are Local, Health-Care Edition

I don't have a subscription, either, but my former local paper has an accurate lede,even if it is in a Letter to the Editor:
It’s official, "Visteon retirees have lost their health care benefits due to corporate greed." In wake of that announcement, we had Rep. Mike Pence and senatorial candidate John Hostettler make a visit to our nice community. What was the one thing they both had in common? They both believe the new health care reform bill should be repealed if the GOP is able to regain control of Congress.

I was working in the Wall Street area at the time of the Visteon IPO in mid-2000. They spent piles on the party, and gave freebies away to anyone who came by. (Not cars or car parts; caps and memorabilia like that.)

Strangely, an IPO for a car parts company where 99.44% of its business was to a company that made no secret of its need to cut costs wasn't considered strange ca. 2000-2001. (In fact, by that point Delphi was already down around 20% from its IPO price.) No one could have imagined that it would end badly.

For the employees, that is. The senior executives who dumped their stock into the IPO is another story.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 4:59 PM | 0 comments

tweet of the day

@rudepundit isn't paying a doctor with a chicken called "voodoo"?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:55 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 22, 2010

rightnetwork...is not all right because it is "all right" (wing)

oh, good god. kelsey...get thee back to cafe nervosa instead of venturing off into cafe nervous becklike breakdown.
first there was conservative talk radio. now there is a new cable television network planned that will bring conservative programming to the tv screen.

it's called the rightnetwork, and actor kelsey grammer is the spokesperson for the new ultra-conservative channel. - nbc

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:43 PM | 2 comments

if you look up the definition of evil in the dictionary

wellpoint just might be listed....along with the names of the rethuglicans they own.
neither of these women knew about the other. but besides their similar narratives, they had something else in common: their health insurance carriers were subsidiaries of wellpoint, which has 33.7 million policyholders -- more than any other health insurance company in the united states.

the women paid their premiums on time. before they fell ill, neither had any problems with their insurance. initially, they believed their policies had been canceled by mistake.

they had no idea that wellpoint was using a computer algorithm that automatically targeted them and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer. the software triggered an immediate fraud investigation, as the company searched for some pretext to drop their policies, according to government regulators and investigators.

once the women were singled out, they say, the insurer then canceled their policies based on either erroneous or flimsy information. wellpoint declined to comment on the women's specific cases without a signed waiver from them, citing privacy laws. - reuters

healthcare companies kill more americans than osama bin laden. why are these terrorist organizations still around?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:37 PM | 1 comments

happy earth day

give earth a hand today....and tomorrow...and.....

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:43 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a republicans take on how to pay for healthcare

pay them in chickens!

call her and ask if you can donate some chickens to her campaign (since they are just the same as dollars.) - toll free number: (800) 983-6896

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:34 PM | 4 comments

Republican Budget Control

More funds for cronies, less for schools:
There are nearly twice as many people making $100,000 or more per year in Gov. Chris Christie's administration than under his predecessor, according to an analysis by The Associated Press, which the governor's office disputed Monday.

The AP analysis found that while Christie, a Republican, is proposing laying off 1,300 state workers, he is spending nearly $2 million more on annual salaries than his predecessor, former Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat.

Believing that Republicans support small government and fiscal responsibility:

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posted by Ken Houghton at 5:05 PM | 2 comments

is she an anti-environmentalist? i dunno, alaska!

you can sign a working assets petition calling for former half-term governor sarah palin to not get her own nature show on discovery networks. credo action tells us:
it’s one thing if fox news gives sarah palin a platform. but when discovery communications – home to the discovery channel, the "planet earth" series, the science channel, animal planet, and treehugger.com – gives a show to sarah palin, it undercuts everything the discovery brand has come to represent.

anti-environmentalism has no place in the discovery communications lineup. demand that the company cancel "sarah palin's alaska" before it airs.

the former partial-term alaska governor is reportedly getting paid $1.2 million per episode to host a television series called "sarah palin's alaska," to be broadcast on tlc, one of discovery communications' channels. and if palin runs for president in 2012, a show that provides her the opportunity to greenwash her environmental record on a mainstream, eco-friendly channel is downright dangerous.

here’s what sarah palin’s real alaska is:

  • she accelerated alaska's cruel aerial wolf-hunting program while in office, introducing a $150 bounty for each slaughtered wolf's forelimb.

  • she made a personal appeal to alaska voters to oppose a ballot measure that would have stopped the immense pebble mine operation from dumping cyanide and mining waste into streams that make their way to bristol bay, home to the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world.

  • when president bush finally agreed to list the polar bear as a threatened species in 2008 because of global warming's effects on its habitat, the governor sued to challenge the listing.

  • armed with her "drill, baby, drill" catchphrase, palin called for opening the arctic national wildlife refuge and the cook inlet to oil and gas drilling.
if you're against hypocrisy in general, sign the petition.
posted by skippy at 12:03 PM | 1 comments

gun pried from heston's cold, dead hands

a little more than two years after his death, vandals broke into charlton heston's mausoleum last night and pried the gun from his cold, dead hands. police speculate that it wasn't very hard to do since his bones had become fairly brittle even before he died.
posted by DBK at 8:59 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

skippy's tuesday night music club

continuing on with our celebration of musicians who left the worldly stage far too early. tonight....

robert leroy johnson (8 may 1911 – 16 august 1938)

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:56 PM | 0 comments

sludge report

our bud allison hart of hartsongs sends us this petition to help stop the use of toxic municipal waste as fertilizer up in the bay area.
scientific evidence has confirmed that municipal sewage sludge contains hundreds of dangerous pathogens, toxic heavy metals, flame-retardants, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, pharmaceutical drugs and other hazardous chemicals coming from residential drains, storm water runoff, hospitals, and industrial plants.

sewage sludge contains everything the sewage treatment plant was able to remove from the sewage - plus every new chemical and pathogen formed in the mad synergy of this chemical soup, including virulent, antibiotic-resistant bacteria created through horizontal gene transfer.

san francisco public officials have helped the toxic sludge industry score a major victory in the bay area, where they've been able to convince hundreds of regional (non-organic) farmers to spread the hazardous material on farm land and pasture, and have actually been able to get city residents to take hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic sludge and spread it over their backyard and community gardens.
be sure to sign the petition.
posted by skippy at 11:56 AM | 0 comments

stewart and colbert 2012!

they'll be running, but, unfortunately not for the presidential ticket...but on comedy central.
the network has signed the two hosts – who both attract more young viewers than even the late-night shows on the broadcast networks – to new contracts that will keep them in the 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. weeknight slots through the next presidential election in 2012. - nytimes
i, for one, am so pleased that these two "real journalists" will be on the job...taking on the tough issues and asking the tough questions where others fear to tread.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:43 AM | 1 comments

the drug addled gasbag (rush limbaugh)

says that the icelandic volcano ("eyjafjallajokull") is "god's reaction" to health care.

you know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law obama ran around all over the country saying, “hey, you know, i’m looking around. the earth hadn’t opened up. there’s no armageddon out there. the birds are still chirping.” i think the earth has opened up. god may have replied. - think progress
i'm thinking that its iceland taking revenge on europe (and the u.s.) for destroying their economy.

the 2008–2010 icelandic financial crisis is a major ongoing economic crisis in iceland that involves the collapse of all three of the country's major banks following their difficulties in refinancing their short-term debt and a run on deposits in the united kingdom. relative to the size of its economy, iceland’s banking collapse is the largest suffered by any country in economic history - wiki
with all corporations losing money left and right with the grounding of airplanes, perhaps it's just ashy payback time

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:34 AM | 2 comments

Monday, April 19, 2010

skippy's monday nite music club

celebrating the lives of musicians who left this stage far too early. tonight....

steven paul "elliott" smith (6 august 1969 - 21 october 2003) - "waltz #2"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:31 PM | 0 comments

the geeks shall inherit the earth

pardon our geekdom, but we love matt smith as the new doctor who

even mrs. skippy, who disdains sci-fi, enjoys matt smith (& karen gillan as the new companion). high praise, indeed!
posted by skippy at 4:57 PM | 7 comments

there's no 'i' in 'team,' but there's two in 'idiot!'

brilliant @ breakfast has decided to proclaim this american idiot week, w/gov. bobby jindal getting the honor of the first award for scoffing @ the idea of volcano monitoring (how's having no volcano monitoriing working out for iceland these days, bobby?), and the onery bastard also puts in his 2 cents worth about the gov.
posted by skippy at 12:37 PM | 4 comments

Sunday, April 18, 2010

skippy's sunday nite music club

celebrating those artists who left the wordly stage, well, a bit too early....although some say our choice this evening is still alive and hanging out in denny's somewhere in america.

the king.
elvis aron presley (8 january 1935 – 16 august 1977) tonight, he's performing "in the ghetto", one of my favorite songs of his.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:00 PM | 1 comments

environmental news stories sunday

a bit abbreviated version today as i will, again, be off volunteering to "man" booths at the 40th celebration of santa barbara's earth day. might i say that pilgrim, the turkey, is a big hit with kids and the kids at heart....he's been chasing and gobbling at everyone who walks by. anyway... onward....

a lawmaker's brainchild, earth day turns 40, having spawned environmental movement. - one u.s. senator and a core of young organizers turned april 22, 1970, into the day the environmental movement was born - mcclatchy

operation green. - on the first earth day in 1970, american soldiers were returning from war and struggling to readjust to life at home. veterans today are also returning from foreign wars, and many find environmental work and activism helps them make the transition - living on earth

congressman denies knowing his wife lobbied for landman group. - at the same time liberal upstate new york rep. maurice hinchey, championed strict control over gas drilling in the marcellus shale, his wife lobbied for a texas-based landmen association whose members represent gas drillers securing leases from new york property owners. - dcbureau

arab-israeli water feuds get worse. - israel's feud with the palestinians over dwindling west bank water resources stymied an eu effort this week to secure a water management strategy for the mediterranean region where 290 million people face shortages by 2025 - upi

is this the end of migration? - climate change is affecting bird behaviour at a staggering rate; some 20 billion have already changed their flight plans. scientists insist the consequences of rising temperatures have barely begun to scratch the surface of birds' behavioural patterns. but changes are becoming increasingly dramatic, with radical population shifts just one known effect. - london independent

gore takes cash for water campaign from chemical firm. - al gore has some explaining to do after his environmental organisation took money to raise awareness about the need for clean water from a controversial chemicals company involved in the aftermath of one of the world's worst pollution disasters. - london independent

growing concern in the water. - alarmed by latest research, the obama administration is conducting a broad review of the toxic weed killer atrazine that could lead to tighter restrictions on its use - chicago tribune

health insurers make big bucks from big macs. - a new study has found that $1.88 billion from the health and life insurance industry is backing the top five publicly traded fast food chains. - scientific american

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:12 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, April 17, 2010

skippy's saturday nite music club

celebrating those artists leaving the stage too early. tonight....

marvin pentz gay, jr. (2 april 1939 – 1 april 1984) aka marvin gaye. "heard it through the grapevine live at montreux"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:03 PM | 1 comments

release the kagan!

huffpo wants elena kagan to be on the scotus:
yet influential blogger glenn greenwald -- who courageously rallied lawyers opposing torture -- has made preventing the nomination of kagan his personal mission. he bases his attack on what he believes kagan should have done rather than what she actually has done. the core of his complaint is that kagan did not speak out louder against the bush (and now obama) policies on waging war against terrorists, rather than coddling conservatives on the faculty at harvard law school, where kagan was dean from 2003 to 2009. she now serves as the first female solicitor general of the united states, a traditional stepping stone for supreme court nominees.

but it's precisely her experience at harvard that most qualifies her for the current supreme court vacancy. surely a woman who can tame the fierce passions of warring conservative and liberal factions at harvard law can help mold a cohesive majority at the supreme court -- something even justice john paul stevens was rarely able to do. part of this, as stevens noted, is because the court has veered rightward, but it is also because the justices as a whole have not remembered their own institutional interest in restrained decisions. at harvard, kagan reminded the combatants that they were ultimately taking the school down with them. she built a reputation as an honest broker who identified common interests and advanced the ball.

like harvard, the supreme court has been damaged as an institution by perpetually dissolving into warring camps. a string of 5-4 decisions on either side of an issue merely prolongs the dispute and creates more work for lawyers and political fundraisers. how can americans have any hope that the constitution actually stands for something if its interpretation constantly varies with the election results?

this is not the president's first appointment, nor likely his last. but it is the appointment that could most influence the success of his health care initiative, which is about to go whizz-bang from the states to the supreme court. it's exactly for this kind of case that some conservatives on the court have been sharpening their teeth, for decades. they want to reverse constitutional law a century and return to an era when state and federal legislation protecting health and workers rights was uniformly struck down as unconstitutional. as reported by jeffrey rosen in a 2005 article for the new york times magazine, there is a "constitution in exile" movement that aims to dismantle the regulatory state and return to the social darwinism embodied in the court's 1905 decision, lochner v. new york, which struck down maximum working hours for bakers.

it is precisely at such a constitutional turning point that someone with the social intelligence (read: political smarts) of an elena kagan can make a huge difference. the best example of this, ironically, is earl warren. a conservative governor nominated by a conservative president, chief justice warren worked the justices like a seasoned pol to unify the court in unanimous or near-unanimous decisions on some of its most controversial cases: desegregation, court-appointed counsel for accused felons, and school prayer. contrary to its reputation, the warren court was not so much liberal as national: it wanted the bill of rights to apply equally to all americans in all states.

as for critics of kagan's nomination like greenwald, who find her too cozy with national security absolutists, they should remember that earl warren himself oversaw the internment of japanese americans from california during world war ii. some constitutional scholars believe it was precisely because warren had participated in such executive actions during wartime that he became even more devoted to protecting the rights of minorities. perhaps elena kagan's experience crafting the obama administration's wartime response to terrorists will help her draw a clearer line in protecting the constitutional rights of individual citizens against a natural security leviathan.
business week thinks she's got a good chance, because she's a consensus builder:
as dean of harvard law school, elena kagan won over conservative colleagues by supporting jack goldsmith, a former lawyer under president george w. bush, for a faculty position. the hiring helped ease ideological strife on the campus.

as an aide in president bill clinton’s white house, she crafted an agreement with republican senator john mccain on legislation to let the food and drug administration regulate tobacco.

with president barack obama considering kagan for a supreme court nomination, her reputation as a bridge builder may be a selling point. the 49-year-old solicitor general, the administration’s top supreme court lawyer, would succeed retiring justice john paul stevens, the chief tactician of the court’s liberal wing.

“if you are able to get along with the harvard faculty, you can probably tame a den of lions,” said miguel estrada, a washington appellate lawyer and classmate of kagan’s at harvard law in the 1980s.

consensus-building skills will be a priority for obama in selecting a supreme court nominee, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity. obama is planning to meet with a bipartisan group of senate leaders next week to discuss the vacancy. the white house declined to comment on kagan’s prospects, and she declined to be interviewed.
but the bosglobe points out that the left thinks her consensus-building goes a little too far sometimes:
a chief complaint from liberals stems from her statement during her 2009 confirmation hearing to be solicitor general, during which she agreed with a republican senator, lindsey o. graham of south carolina, who said the government could hold suspected terrorists indefinitely without trial.

fighting such detentions has been a major cause of many legal scholars, rights groups, and democrats. she also is paying the price for positions taken by the obama justice department, which has continued to defend bush administration legal positions on warrantless wiretapping, detainees, and government secrecy.

“they’re upholding all these reprehensible bush antiterrorism policies that have been condemned by every human rights and civil liberties organization in the country,’’ said francis boyle, a professor of international law at the university of illinois. “there has been no retreat by kagan. she could have backed off on all these bush positions and she refused.’’
she's on the short list of scotus-nominees, so nothing's even been decided yet.
posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 1 comments

it's earth day weekend

we here in santa barbara are celebrating 40 years of fighting for mama earth. the oil spill here in 1969 was said to be the inspiration for creating earth day. we take this "tree hugging" stuff seriously.
this weekend, take some time to hug a tree...smell some flowers...plant a veggie. be kind to mama nature. we need her healthy.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:28 AM | 0 comments

if the earth and the environment aren't cooperating

it could put a little damper on economies. like, duh!

virtually all of europe's major airports remain closed as a huge plume of volcanic ash drifts south and east across the continent from iceland. - bbc

you think some folks would start wondering what to do when cities are under water due to climate change?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:06 AM | 0 comments

Friday, April 16, 2010

skippy's friday nite music club

by popular demand on this week of celebrating musical artists who passed too early...
lowell thomas george or lowell george (april 13, 1945 – june 29, 1979)

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:47 PM | 1 comments

what do we want? deep fried snickers bars! when do we want them? now!

via eclectablog's dkos diary about the tea baggers @ mich u in ann arbor:

which one? the fat one?
posted by skippy at 7:31 PM | 4 comments

jag off

the caaflog is a legal blog by lawyers in the military which discusses various military court cases.

here's a aggregation of their posts concerning the nutty lt. col. who refuses to be deployed to afghanistan because obama hasn't "proved" he's a citizen and therefore the lawful president. you'll notice that these military lawyers think the guy is a, quote, guano-crazy birther, unquote:
suppose for a second — and i can’t believe i’m writing this — that the birthers’ guano crazy theories are true. why would that justify ltc lakin in disobeying all orders? under the de facto oficer doctrine, it wouldn’t. as the supremes explained in the military justice case of ryder v. united states:
the de facto officer doctrine confers validity upon acts performed by a person acting under the color of official title even though it is later discovered that the legality of that person’s appointment or election to office is deficient. norton v. shelby county, 118 u.s. 425, 440, 6 s.ct. 1121, 1124, 30 l.ed. 178 (1886). “the de facto doctrine springs from the fear of the chaos that would result from multiple and repetitious suits challenging every action taken by every official whose claim to office could be open to question, and seeks to protect the public by insuring the orderly functioning of the government despite technical defects in title to office.” 63a am.jur.2d, public officers and employees § 578, pp. 1080-1081 (1984) (footnote omitted). the doctrine has been relied upon by this court in several cases involving challenges by criminal defendants to the authority of a judge who participated in some part of the proceedings leading to their conviction and sentence.

515 u.s. 177, 180-81 (1995). (note that ultimately, however, the supremes rejected application of the de facto officer doctrine in the ryder case.)

it looks like the orders that ltc lakin has expressed his intention to disobey (available in redacted form here) were issued for the commander, walter reed army medical center. i don’t see why those orders would be invalid even if the birthers’ guano crazy theories were true. even a service secretary appointed by the current president would seem to fall within the de facto officer doctrine — indeed, the kind of chaos that would result from saying that no order issued to anyone in the military is valid is precisely what the de facto officer doctrine is designed to prevent.
posted by skippy at 8:24 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, April 15, 2010

skippy's thursday nite music club

honoring those musicians who passed too soon....

kurt donald cobain
20 february 1967 – 5 april 1994
he forever captured the teen spirit.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

building a bridge to the 19th century

the texas observer documents some unfortunate racism still alive and well down in paris texas:
the eeoc report said that the turner industries workers had been subjected to "unwelcome racial slurs, comments and intimidation, racial graffiti, nooses in the workplace and other symbols of discrimination," according to the eeoc findings. anyone who complained, including white employees, were retaliated against by turner management.

the dallas morning news has more:
"i've been called colored boy, coon, monkey," said dontrail mathis, 33, a painter's helper at the plant in paris who began highlighting racist conditions in december 2006. "when obama won, they went off. my superiors said 'if he ain't white, it ain't right.'

"i saw nooses, swastikas on the wall," said mathis, a father of three. "it was horrible."

he said that despite the abuse, he still works for the company to help support his family, even though his sister and mother have been threatened.

in all, eight employees had their complaints upheld by the eeoc last month. their attorneys say they have identified discrimination, harassment and threatening behavior in turner's other texas facilities.


the abuse in east texas is nothing new, said the rev. peter johnson, a dallas civil rights activist who spoke at the news conference.

"east texas is mississippi 50 years ago," he said. "i've been doing this 40 years, and it's frustrating to have to keep fighting discrimination."

jason milligan, who is white, said he was fired from turner in august after he refused to sign a false affidavit that claimed one of the employees who had complained about the company was stealing at work.

"not all the employees there were bad," said milligan, a 37-year-old father of three. he said that since he was fired, he has had to take a job out of state to support his family.

"as a company, they need to stop living in the 1950s," he said. "these people all have families, and it doesn't matter what color they are.

"enough is enough," he said.

there are several pictures of disturbing racial epitets on the blog piece.
we are not saying that anybody in paris, texas, is a tea bagger, but if the sheet fits, wear it!
posted by skippy at 6:07 PM | 2 comments

mad about republican "patriots"

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 9:40 AM | 0 comments

beck to where he once belonged

glenn beck, according to eric boehlert @ media matters, is hemorrhaging viewers:

based on the numbers i've been surveying, it looks like beck hit his (non-vacation) 2010 low last week, on april 9, when nielsen tagged his audience at 1.96 million. by way of comparison, during late january, beck was averaging more than 3 million viewers each night. and since september of last year, beck had been averaging approximately 2.5 million-plus viewers each night. but recently, in the wake of the health care reform passage, those numbers have been heading south. fast.

based on the nielsen numbers, here's a look at beck's average daily rating over the last month.

you'll note that aside from a temporary spike that came on march 22, the monday after the historic health care vote, glenn beck has spent the last four weeks with between 2.5 million and 2.0 million viewers, which represents a downward trend. (you'll also note a low of 1.76 million viewers on march 31, but beck was off on vacation that night.)
posted by skippy at 9:31 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

skippy's wednesday nite music club

day two of honoring musicians who passed far too early.

i remember crying for weeks after hearing of john lennon's assasination.

john winston ono lennon, mbe
9 october 1940 – 8 december 1980

"instant karma"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:18 PM | 4 comments

i've pulled a texas textbooker

i forgot to mention the birthday of good ol' "what's his name" yesterday.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:12 PM | 0 comments

quote of the day

alan grayson, via the plum line:

it turns out populism is really popular!
greg sargent muses on why grayson is making such a name for himself amongst the dem base:
grayson singled out rep tom perriello, who has also had astonishing fundraising success in the wake of his aggressive efforts to contact as many constituents as possible and persuade them the health reform law is good for them. he said he and perriello had recently discussed their “brand,” which they describe as “congressmen with guts.”

“people want a congressman who stands up and speaks out,” grayson said. “people have come to think that a democratic congressman with guts is a mythological creature, like a unicorn.”

there’s little doubt, obviously, that grayson’s appeal partly turns on the fact that he does rattle off outrageous quotes regularly and is almost a political performance artist. but to ascribe his appeal to this alone — or to cast him as an extreme left wing version of bachmann — is to miss the point.

rather, his appeal to dem base voters resides in the fact that he’s not afraid of gop attacks, that he doesn’t let republicans own the debate, that he makes his case as aggressively as he can and hopes for the best — in short, that he fights. perriello is cut from this mold, too: even though he represents a “marginal” district, he has argued widely and aggressively in favor of the health law, rather than shrink from an argument over his vote, even if it risks ending his career.

rank and file dems across the country have grown so fed up with watching their leadership cower in the face of gop attacks that they reward this kind of feistiness when they see it — and even regard him as their representative, grayson says.

“people around the country say, `i regard you as my congressman because you’re telling the truth,” he says. “you’re saying what i’m thinking.”
would that there were more dem reps like him.
posted by skippy at 1:27 PM | 0 comments

help mexicali

while the mainstream media is all over the earthquake in china and was all over the haitian earthquake, the one in mexicali seems to have gone unnoticed, but it was huge (7.2 on the allen richter scale) and has produced enormous misery, including a lot of starving people.

while you're helping out all those other people, help them out down in mexicali, too, would you? if you'd like to help out, go through border angels. and thank you. anything you can spare would help.
posted by DBK at 11:24 AM | 2 comments

racist pervert gubernatorial candidate now making up stories about bomb threats

carl "zoophiliac" paladino, the man who sent racist and pornographic images via email to a large number of his business, religious, and political associates (some of the latter emails involving bestiality...ewwwwww) claims his new york campaign headquarters received a threatening phone call from a member of a "black militant" group.

okay, so first, what is it with republicans and bestiality (ewwwwww)? rick "bottle baby" santorum's obsession with man on dog sex and neal "hee haw" horsley's admitted love affair with a mule show that the recent revelations about gop parties at lesbian-bondage strip clubs are the more vanilla of their personal pecadillos (and no, "pecadillo" does not refer to sexual contact between a republican pecker and an armadillo, though i wouldn't be surprised if that hasn't taken place).

second, is there any such thing as a "black militant" group anymore? does the republican calendar still show the year as 1968?

finally, have the police at least checked the phone call and figured out where and when it was placed? unlike in 1968, phones now have caller id and all kinds of record-keeping technology. what's the dope on this dopey, hard to believe claim?
posted by DBK at 8:02 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

skippy's tuesday nite music club

this week...i'm thinking of honoring musicians who passed far too early.

we'll start off the week with one of my all time favorites....

stevie ray vaughan
october 3, 1954 – august 27, 1990

"texas flood"

who are you musically missing?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:39 PM | 8 comments

congrats mark fiore

one of our favorite "cartoonists" for winning a pulitzer!
mark fiore, whose animated political cartoons appear on sfgate.com, the web site of the chronicle, won the pulitzer prize for editorial cartooning monday. it is the first time since the category of editorial cartooning was created in 1922 that the pulitzer has gone to an artist whose work does not appear in print. the pulitzer jury said fiore's "biting wit, extensive research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for an emerging form of commentary" - online video cartooning. - sfgate

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:15 AM | 3 comments

Monday, April 12, 2010

skippy's monday nite music club

last night of "pop songs that aren't so sucky after all" week.
hope my choices didn't suck... :-)

duran duran - "girls on film"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:32 PM | 0 comments

my scotus picks

since everyone is putting their picks in like it's the derby.

although i know my future husband, keith olbermann, might not like it, i think that jonathan turley would be a good scotus pick. (as a member of the supremes, i don't think that dreamy keith would be able to interview mr. turley.)

another choice of mine is a man that i have on my future husband list, the honorable senator from rhodes island, sheldon whitehouse. i think that the rethugs in the senate might be a little hesitant about pulling their cr** on him....you know that senatorial "decorum"....

my third choice is one that i think would really send the rethuglicans' heads to 'splode....former ny governor (and the one that wall street loves to hate), eliot spitzer! ha! can you just hear the "ka-boom....splats" now?

Eliot Spitzer-1
Originally uploaded by azipaybarah

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:26 PM | 4 comments

church fights sex abuse law change

the connecticut state legislature is considering a law to remove the statue of limitations on sex abuse cases. currently, the law has a 30 year statute of limitations past the age of 18 for victims of child sexual abuse. roman catholic bishops in connecticut have contacted the members of their parishes to urge them to contact their state representatives and voice opposition to dropping the statute of limitations. the church is worried about "frivolous lawsuits", you see. they're not worried about actual cases of sex abuse. nope, not that.

remember, the church is there for you and your children...especially for your children.
posted by DBK at 10:49 AM | 3 comments

dow tops 11,000...wall street journal says nothing about obama policies

on march 3, 2009, the wall street journal online published an article about how the dow had dropped badly since obama took office (six weeks earlier) and went to some lengths to imply that it was obama's fault that the bush recession had become worse, even though no obama policies had been implemented and some of them had only been announced.

it is more than a year after that article was published and the dow, which stood at 6763 on march 3, 2009, passed 11,000 today.

where's the wall street journal online article saying how obama's economic policies had saved the economy and caused the dow to jump by 63% in just thirteen and a half months?

yeah, that's what I thought.
posted by DBK at 10:26 AM | 0 comments

mad about inflammatory fleming

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 9:22 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, April 11, 2010

skippy's sunday nite music club

night six of "pop songs that aren't so sucky after all" week.

george michael (the wham glam boy) - "careless whisper"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:23 PM | 1 comments

matt taibbi rocks...again...and again....

boy this guy has stones. no wonder he's not allowed on too many of the corporate owned media-themed outlets. david brooks is on his journalistic verbal karate chopping block...again.
....but then you come to this last line of his, in which he claims that “for the first time in history, rich people work longer hours than middle class or poor people,” and you find yourself almost speechless.

i would give just about anything to sit david brooks down in front of some single mother somewhere who’s pulling two shitty minimum-wage jobs just to be able to afford a pair of $19 mossimo sneakers at target for her kid, and have him tell her, with a straight face, that her main problem is that she doesn’t work as hard as jamie dimon.

only a person who has never actually held a real job could say something like this. there is, of course, a huge difference between working 80 hours a week in a profession that you love and which promises you vast financial rewards, and working 80 hours a week digging ditches for a septic-tank company, or listening to impatient assholes scream at you at some airport ticket counter all day long, or even teaching disinterested, uncontrollable kids in some crappy school district with metal detectors on every door.- matt taibbi

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:28 AM | 1 comments

i "heart" alan grayson

wonder if he'll accept my proposal of marriage. (oh...he's already married....i'll battle stephanie louise miller for addition on my imaginary future husband list then....)
rep. alan grayson (d-fl) paid a visit to an audience that wouldn't be a natural venue for a fiery liberal such as himself: a meeting of the local orange county republican executive committee.

grayson told the orlando sentinel that he was attending a local home-owners association meeting in the same restaurant, and then went over to the republicans to express his displeasure about a flier promoting a recent infiltration by republicans of a local pro-obama group.

"that's political dirty tricks," grayson said. "i went over to find out what their side of the story was, and whether they approved of that." - talking points memo.

(h/t to mememememe at the great orange one)

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:17 AM | 3 comments

environmental news story sunday

there really is one environmental story to highlight today. paul krugman's take on things "green" published today in the nytimes. "building a green economy"

but, as a. siegel points out over at the great orange one, there are some important things missing from his piece.

this truly excellent piece, however, has several serious weaknesses. there is, of course, the base problem that the 'costs' of climate change are -- even in his work -- seriously underestimated. but, krugman is an economist building on the work of other economists. In that community, he is not on the optimistic side in terms of climate change's impacts even if he is likely too optimistic against what the real impacts will be.

more importantly, the nobel-prize winning krugman fails to call out the economic community and economic analysis for incredibly stove-piped analysis of climate change issues and the potential positive value of climate change mitigation.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:39 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, April 10, 2010

skippy's saturday nite music club

night five of "pop songs that aren't so sucky after all" week.

the spice girls (yes...the spice girls) "never give up on the good times"
(i dare you to sit still during this....)

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:48 PM | 1 comments

quote of the day

from steve, commenting on greg sargent's blog:
a functioning political party in a democracy is one that is a good faith participant in the project of governance, regardless of whether it is in or out of power. the repubicans have long since ceased to be such a party. since the 90s, they’ve degenerated into a band of circus clowns and nihilists. they’ve long since lost the capacity to lead, rather than be led by, the most ignorant, hateful segment of their rank and file.

the modern republican has no actual understanding of policy, no desire to understand policy and, indeed, believes that attempting to understand policy is proof of treason to the sacred principles of clown nihilism.

they are no longer serious people with serious opinions that deserve to be taken seriously. the fact that they are no longer serious people is a grave threat to the republic. and yet, our imbecilic msm persists in treating them like they’re still the party of eisenhower and howard baker. they don’t even percieve the problem. for people like stephenopolis or tapper, it’s because they’ve never known anything but the clown nihilists and they assume thus was it was and always will be. it’s less forgivable from the surviving old hands, people like cokie roberts or sam donaldson who should recall days when there were still republicans who believed government should govern and the point of dispute between the parties was merely “how much” rather than “whether.” for them, i think, the problem is the old one of the frog in the pot whose temperature is brought to a boil so slowly, they don’t ever see the need to jump out of the pot.
posted by skippy at 10:47 AM | 2 comments

this american life and pro-publica

bring you an angering (yet intriguing) story of wall street greed, corruption and keystone cop behaviour.

read the story here.
in late 2005, the booming u.s. housing market seemed to be slowing. the federal reserve had begun raising interest rates. subprime mortgage company shares were falling. investors began to balk at buying complex mortgage securities. the housing bubble, which had propelled a historic growth in home prices, seemed poised to deflate. and if it had, the great financial crisis of 2008, which produced the great recession of 2008-09, might have come sooner and been less severe. at just that moment, a few savvy financial engineers at a suburban chicago hedge fund [1]
helped revive the wall street money machine, spawning billions of dollars of securities ultimately backed by home mortgages. - pro publica

listen to it here. (available in full form sunday)
a hedge fund named magnetar comes up with an elaborate plan to make money. it sponsors the creation of complicated and ultimately toxic financial securities... while at the same time betting against the very securities it helped create. planet money's alex blumberg teams up with two investigative reporters from propublica, jake bernstein and jesse eisinger, to tell the story. jake and jesse pored through thousands of pages of documents and interviewed dozens of wall street insiders. we bring you the result: a tale of intrigue and questionable behavior, which parallels quite closely the plot of a mel brooks musical. (40 minutes) - this american life

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:23 AM | 0 comments

those so-called fiscally conservative rethugs

they just love running up the taxpayers' and other folks' charge accounts for their follies.

she was a 25-year-old junior staffer when the florida republican party gave her an american express card.

over the next 2½ years, nearly $1.3 million in charges wound up on melanie phister's amex — $40,000 at a london hotel, and nearly $20,000 in plane tickets for indicted former house speaker ray sansom, his wife and kids, for starters. statements show thousands spent on jewelry, sporting goods and in one case $15,000 for what's listed as a month-long stay at a posh miami beach hotel, but which the party says was a forfeited deposit. - st pete's times
$1.3 mil. that's quite a price, phister. what a drip.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:08 AM | 1 comments

Friday, April 09, 2010

skippy's friday nite music club

fourth night of "pop songs that aren't so sucky after all" week.

dido - "here with me" (this version performed live)

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:46 PM | 0 comments

the baggers shall inherit the wind

tea party jesus
posted by skippy at 2:18 PM | 3 comments

bachman-quitter overdrive


we can see it now...

posted by skippy at 10:53 AM | 1 comments

tweet of the day

from @vanityfairmag

gossip pack: tiger woods stroking away at couples at the masters http://is.gd/blEsv

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:56 AM | 0 comments

the racist and the torture lover

are apparently headed with a whole bunch of other hate mongerers to santa barbara.
the david horowitz "freedom" center cordially invites you to attend
the santa barbara retreat will be held april 23 – april 25, 2010, at the beautiful bacara resort in santa barbara, california. the david horowitz freedom center extends an invitation for you to participate in this important west coast gathering of prominent authorities on topics ranging from the 2010 elections, the economy, the middle east, homeland security and the jihad and more. thus far we have confirmed as speakers, victor davis hanson, allen west, andrew mccarthy, john yoo, john eastman, congressman ed royce, andrew klavan, ralph peters, robert spencer, michael reagan, pat caddell, frank gaffney and senator jim (we will break him) demint.
why do these hate mongerers continue to use the word "freedom" in all their promotional cr** when that's the first thing they want to take away from americans?

the area will have to be scrubbed down after they leave from all the filth they always leave behind.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:11 AM | 3 comments

mad about unreal american stories

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 4:41 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 08, 2010

skippy's thursday nite music club

third night of "pop songs that aren't so sucky after all" week.

tonight....billie myers "tell me"

so....tell me what are pop songs that are sticking in your mind?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:38 PM | 58 comments

if by "grassroots" you mean corporate network sponsorship, then, yes

thers, over @ whiskey fire, sez it all about the tea baggers (w/quite a lot of biden-esque language thrown in):
of course, having an entire fucking news network plugging your bullshit sure does fucking help with the "getting attention" thing, no matter how "talented" you might be otherwise, and i think we all know what that means. shit.

i wax fucking nostalgic.

back in ought-two & ought-three, i went to antiwar protests in nyc and dc. and there were lots of people there -- six times as many as ever bothered with any fucking tea party bullshit. these protests were sponsored by answer, a group i still know nothing and give less of a shit about, as did/do 99% of the people who showed up at that shit.

at the risk of generalizing, and fuck you for giving me shit about generalizing, the 99% of us who went to those antiwar protests knew two things, namely, (1) the iraq war was a fucking stupid idea, and (2) protesting it by marching wouldn't fucking stop it or even fucking slow it down.

but what the hell else was there to do? or, to be more precise, where the hell else was there the public space to say that the war was fucked? …

and that's what kills me about the tea baggers. they have a major news network behind them. they drive the agenda of one of the major american political parties. they have the infrastructure of, well, this sort of shit:

specifically in washington, freedomworks.org, the group founded by former house speaker dick armey (r-texas), is holding a 9 a.m. “liberty summit” at the ronald reagan building ampitheatre and a 6 p.m. rally at the washington monument. in between, the group plans to lobby members of congress. a promotional bus tour called the tea party express also plans an event on boston on april 14 — featuring former alaska gov. sarah palin (r) — and is scheduled to be in washington the next day.

grass-roots my taut n' perky ass. say what you want about answer, and again, who the fuck are they, come on, there is balance here?

and even with all that pr, all that fox news flogging, all those wingnut celebrity endorsements, they still can't draw more than a sixth of what we got, ordinary americans who were fed up, only in regards to a pointless and bloody war, and were, you know, proved fucking right.
posted by skippy at 4:27 PM | 2 comments

matt taibbi is gonzo-riffic

he goes and does it again. showcases the real criminals in america....the banksters.
....birmingham became the poster child for a new kind of giant-scale financial fraud, one that would threaten the financial stability not only of cities and counties all across america, but even those of entire countries like greece. while for many americans the financial crisis remains an abstraction, a confusing mess of complex transactions that took place on a cloud high above manhattan sometime in the mid-2000s, in jefferson county you can actually see the rank criminality of the crisis economy with your own eyes; the monster sticks his head all the way out of the water. here you can see a trail that leads directly from a billion-dollar predatory swap deal cooked up at the highest levels of america's biggest banks, across a vast fruited plain of bribes and felonies — "the price of doing business," as one jp morgan banker says on tape — all the way down to lisa pack's sewer bill and the mass layoffs in birmingham.

once you follow that trail and understand what took place in jefferson county, there's really no room left for illusions. we live in a gangster state, and our days of laughing at other countries are over. it's our turn to get laughed at. in birmingham, lots of people have gone to jail for the crime: more than 20 local officials and businessmen have been convicted of corruption in federal court. last october, right around the time that lisa pack went back to work at reduced hours, birmingham's mayor was convicted of fraud and money-laundering for taking bribes funneled to him by wall wtreet bankers — everything from rolex watches to ferragamo suits to cash. but those who greenlighted the bribes and profited most from the scam remain largely
untouched. "it never gets back to jp morgan," says pack. - rolling stone
isnt' this story more important to our country's survival than the tiger woods' sexscapades? where is the rest of the "media?" why aren't these banksters in jail?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:28 PM | 2 comments

palin brings the stupid to minnesota

sarah palin came to minnesota, bringing her national joke status to the upper midwest in support of our local joke, michelle bachmann. here's sarah palin talking to the crowd and displaying her understanding of the federal government and election law:
"what do you say, minnesota? will you do the rest of the nation a favor and re-elect michele bachmann? we have so much work to do to get our country back on track."

um, sarah? "minnesota" doesn't vote for representatives. representatives are elected by individual districts. one district elected bachmann to congress and another minnesota district elected keith ellison. minnesota has eight representatives in the house and five of them are from the democratic farm labor party and three are republicans. in statewide elections, a majority of minnesotans voted for john kerry in 2004, barack obama in 2008, democratic senator amy klobuchar in 2006 and democrat al franken in 2008 (yeah, it was very close, but the recount came in for al). i wouldn't count on minnesota to give the party of no a big push in 2010.

sarah? call me if you need further clarification. i'm here to help.
posted by DBK at 6:54 AM | 0 comments