Monday, May 31, 2010
skippy's monday nite music club
tweet of the day
a day to stop and thank them for the freedoms they fought for.
dial 'm' for 'messed up'
first there was vladimir grashnov – the former ceo of bulgarian mobile phone company mobitel who died of cancer in 2001 at 48. there were rumors of murder from radioactive poisoning in the case.
the cursed number then passed to bulgarian mafia boss, konstantin dimitrov, who was gunned down by rivals in 2003 during a trip to the netherlands. he was 31.
the number then moved on to konstantin dishliev a businessman, who was gunned down outside an indian restaurant in bulgaria’s capital sofia. dishliev, an estate agent, had secretly been running a massive cocaine trafficking operation before his assassination in 2005.
now, if you call the number, you get a recording saying the phone is “outside network coverage.” way outside. (cue creepy music).
for the full story, click here.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
rip dennis hopper
and who could forget his prescient moment on petticoat junction?
rest in peace, dennis hopper.
tweet of the day
environmental news story sunday
- why aren't we working on energy efficiency?
- why aren't we talking about our infrastructure's dependency upon oil?
- why are we so dependent upon the ooey gooey stuff?
- where are the "drill baby, drill" folks now?
- why is offshore drilling here in the u.s. not ok for the u.s. environmentalists but they are silent when the drilling is offshore in other countries? shouldn't we be concerned about their environment too?
- how much oil is required to ship food all over the united states?
- why is bp more powerful than the u.s?
- why are activists arrested but oil company executives are not?
- why aren't people being questioned about what they would be willing to give up to lessen our country's dependency upon oil?
here in santa barbara i have been working on the campaign of das williams for state assembly. he has been, for years, asking some of these hard questions. he, himself, has given up some things to lesson his own oil need "footprint." he knows that we can't just shut down oil platforms "willy-nilly" but have to make plans to do so, safely. he has been working on alternative energy projects and on alternative transportation solutions. his opponent in the race, our current assembly member's wife, is slimming him with outrageous fliers and phone banking lies, especially in regards to santa barbara's history of oil spillage disaster. so, i guess another reason why i am not doing stories on the gulf oil gusher devastation is that i am in the middle of reliving the santa barbara's oily horror of 1969.
so...some homework for skippy readers. ask yourselves how much oil do you require in your daily lives? how will you wean yourselves from your dependency? and, most importantly, are you helping to get environmentally conscious politicians elected?
anyway...while the corporate media is fixated on the visuals of the oily underwater volcano of destruction, there are other stories of the environmental ilk. so...without further adieu.
is our demand for cheap food putting our health at risk? - at least 12 major diseases, which between them cause millions of people to suffer and tens of thousands to die around the world, can be blamed on factory farming, they claim. these include swine flu, bird flu, salmonella, e-coli and mad cow disease. - glasgow herald
relief as rains finally ease up. - the rain has stopped falling in flood stricken otago and hawkes bay, but the regions face a big, expensive cleanup and thousands of residents are on emergency water supply because many rural supplies have been shut down for fear of contamination by polluted floodwater - auckland new zealand herald
tainted chinese drywall concerns went unreported for two years. - a leading east coast homebuilder learned four years ago that the chinese-manufactured drywall it had installed in several florida homes was emitting foul odors, according to documents obtained by propublica and the sarasota herald-tribune. - propublica
west-side farmers clear water hurdle. - despite activist opposition, west valley farmers have cleared a key hurdle for a decadelong extension on the deadline to clean up tainted irrigation drainage going into the san joaquin river. - fresno bee
a special report on water: making farmers matter. - of all the activities that need water, far and away the thirstiest is farming - economist
a special report on water: enough is not enough. - if water has the capacity to enhance life, its absence has the capacity to make it miserable. water can dominate if not destroy lives, especially in poor countries. patients with water-related diseases fill half the hospital beds in the poorest countries, and dirty water and poor sanitation kill 5,000 children a day. - economist
gulf states face food crisis. - as populations expand while the amount of farmland and water supply shrinks, resource wars are expected to erupt across the middle east and africa in the decades ahead. - upi
split enviro groups ready to rumble over $11B water-bond referendum in california. - california environmental groups are split over whether to support an $11 billion water bond on the november ballot, setting up a family feud between activists who usually stand shoulder-to-shoulder against corporate interests. - greenwire
north-west england 'could reach drought status in weeks.' - much of northern england faces a drought within weeks, according to new figures published this week. the combination of recent high temperatures, one of the sunniest aprils in a century and five months of below-average rainfall is the reason, the environment agency said. - the guardian
melt zone. - greenland's meltwater lakes, formed atop its glaciers as they melt, are prone to draining unexpectedly and quickly. scientists have documented the draining of a two-square mile lake- more than 11 billion gallons of water- in just 84 minutes, flowing faster than niagara falls. - national geographic
china-india water shortage means coca-cola joins intel in fight. - many in india and china face a daily struggle with tainted or inadequate water. it also is pitting water-intensive businesses such as intel corp.’s china unit and bottling plants of coca-cola co. against growing urban use and the 1.6 billion people in china and india who rely on farming for a living - bloomberg
transcanada oil pipeline nearly ready for crude to flow to u.s. - a major oil pipeline between canada and the u.s. seemed like a pretty good idea five years ago. crude oil prices were rising as global demand increased dramatically. - st. louis post dispatch
maldives president calls for direct action over climate change. - president mohamed nasheed of the maldives told a hay festival audience that grassroots "street action" was needed to change the focus of the debate on climate change in the u.s. - the guardian
king coal and big oil are in big trouble. - the true cost of fossil fuels is getting harder to ignore. it's time to level the playing field for cleaner energy by redirecting federal energy subsidies away from coal and oil and toward renewable energy - ashville citizen times
Saturday, May 29, 2010
tweet of the day
happy birthday mr. president
"we set sail on this new sea because there is knowledge to be gained." - jfk
environmentalists support das williams
and so do i.
harry truman's oft quoted statement "if you can't convince them, confuse them," came to mind as i visited my mailbox and unfurled a political attack ad sent out by susan jordan. in this ad, i read nothing about ms. jordan's thoughts on alternative energy opportunities nor even the fact that she is married to the current assembly member, pedro nava. all i saw was an attempt to use a disaster for personal political gain and to slime her opponent, das williams, with falsehoods. she has not been able to convince her fellow democrats that she is better qualified to take over her husband's seat, so she has taken the low road to confuse them. the get oil out and environmental defense center's negotiations with pxp provided that no new oil platforms would be built and that oil production from existing platforms would be shut down permanently off the coast of santa barbara. shut down.
das williams knows that being a leader, environmentally or otherwise, is about more than being a "one-trick" pony. he has grappled with balancing budgets, finding ways to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into city operations, encouraging public transportation and alternative energy creation. he has worked diligently on ways to wean us off the "gooey" stuff and move us forward to a more fruitful future. judging from ms. jordan's campaigning, she prefers the same type of wrongheaded rhetoric that has created the morass of non-movement in sacramento.
we need something better.
we need das williams in the assembly.
Friday, May 28, 2010
rip gary coleman
poor guy just couldn't catch a break. he suffered a head injury and died of intercranial hemmoraging.
no, we will not make a "different strokes" joke.
rip gary coleman.
comment post of the quarter, if not half-year
some great suggestions, some great puns, some great jokes, some posts are written great, and some have greatness thrust into them.
so now if we ask, ya gotta tell
maine republican susan collins joined 15 democrats in adopting the repeal plan as an amendment to the 2011 defense authorization act, which should receive a floor vote next month. sen. jim webb (d-va) was the lone democrat to vote 'no' with the republicans. the house is expected to adopt similar language later tonight or tomorrow.
but key republicans adamantly oppose the move, and are willing to take extraordinary measures to prevent the repeal from going through.
"i'll do everything in my power [to stop the repeal]," said sen. john mccain (r-az), who serves as ranking member on the armed services committee yesterday.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
apparently, according to carly fiorina, barbara boxer is solely repsonsible for the "big government." we didn't realize that one female senator was controlling the expansion of government reach for the past 28 years, but apparently that's the case.
but if we were carly's campaign manager, or at least her copywriter, we would have cautioned her against appearing on televison in her ads and saying these words:
carly is not served well by reminding the public about businesses being destroyed. it's well known that while running hewlett-packard, she cut over 18,000 jobs and evoked the wrath of both the hewlett and the packard heirs.
“most business commentators consider fiorina's tenure at hp to be a disaster,” packard continued. “the stock price dropped by 50% only to rally 10% on the announcement of her firing. she fired 28,000 people before she herself was fired, departing with the 21 million dollar golden parachute that is financing her campaign.”
all of that definitely does not need to be brought up in the minds of the california voters, but we think carly's commercial does just that.
meanwhile, back at the governor's race, meg whitman is beating steve poizner in the polls, but still runs behind the dem's choice, an old guy from the 70's. seriously.
poizner and whitman's tv spots are numerous and actually are beginning to blend together. they both accuse each other of being more liberal; whitman sez poizner drives cars into houses, and supports partial-bush abortions. poizner sez meg whitman likes mexicans, and barack obama. (also, it doesn't help that steve's name sounds like he likes to poison people.)
it's unfortunate for meg that she's taken this tact, because she is alienating independent voters who might have otherwise considered voting for her, as opposed to jerry brown, who is even less relevant today than linda ronstadt. but whitman's constant use of "liberal" as a perjorative has completely turned off the skippy international field poll respondents (ie, mrs. skippy) who 100% agree that
in short, it looks like barbara boxer may have some work to do if she wants to keep her seat, but the california governorship may revert back to democratic hands for the first time since...well, since jerry brown, that ol' desperado.
show us the crazy
it's simply a site where people can share their ideas about government, the country, and soceity, and then vote on each other's ideas.
but of course, the great thing is, most of the ideas are bat-guano insane.
for instance, the one on the top of the "values" category:
equal justice for all
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
oils well that ends badly, part ii
2) declare british petroleum in violation of its lease and kick them off the site. threaten to seize all American assets of bp-america immediately if they do not assist in setting up a claims system which will be administered and overseen by the u.s. and paid by bp. (hire all those poor sallie mae folks who were going to lose their jobs because of student loan reform for this purpose. /snark)…
4) threaten to kick ken salazar to the curb if he doesn’t not immediately have every one of the 15+ deepwater offshore drilling sites reevaluated; every evaluation must be on potus desk inside 15 days from the date the executive order. and we want the evaluations made public — no more of this bullshit opacity the white house calls transparency. no excuses; all this stuff should have been submitted when bp and the other oil industry firms applied for the leases to begin with…
6) approach florida state university (which now owns the former scripps’ harbor branch oceanographic institute and its submersibles) along with mississippi state (which has an oceanography program) and ask them to work with niust to develop models of the plume’s distribution, along with identifying the impact short and long-term on the ocean bottom and the ecosystem above it.
7) suck up the arrogance and pride and ask the elder statesman of the environment to be the face of this effort. ask al gore to do the legwork with the corporations and educational facilities whose cooperation is needed. tell him this is to be used as an example of what people can do for the larger environment if they focus on this problem first. if they can solve this, they can solve the big problems.
8) tell the catfood commission (read: presidential deficit commission) to find a way to shoehorn in funding for an alternative energy apollo program or marshall plan. if you have to find a front man, go to al gore because this was his idea back in 1992. jeebus, catch a clue and use the resources you have already; gore wrote it all out for you in 1992.
addendum: left i on the news points us to the seize bp! petition.
double addendum: follow michael whitney tweeting from louisiana on twitter,
quote of the day
for those late to the story (which dbk discussed here), south carolina gubernatorial candidate nikki haley is finding herself embroiled in a sex scandal (what is it about the south carolina governership and illicit affairs? was she "hiking the appalation trail," so to speak?).
only this time, the sex scandal is with...wait for it...a blogger!!
the messages, covering a nine-day period earlier this month before conservative blogger will folks went public with his accusation against the republican hopeful, were posted wednesday morning on his website, fitsnews.com.
"i'm telling you man, we keep this under wraps and nh is going to win," reads one text message from haley campaign manager tim pearson to folks on may 15.
pearson and folks swap worried messages about different reporters chasing the story, and one exchange suggests there may be a newsworthy photograph of haley and folks.
pearson confirmed to cnn the authenticity of the text messages.
mad about panning palin
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
not to put too fine a point on it, but, we're right
"the images shown during the end credits of the 'lost' finale, which included shots of oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news," an abc spokesperson wrote in an e-mail tuesday.
that means, losties, that we were not supposed to think that christian shepherd (john terry) is a liar. what christian told his son, when they were reunited at the church, should serve as guidance for our interpretation of the series' ending.
so let's review: christian told jack that he was dead and everyone else in the church was too — some had died before jack, as we already knew, and some died long after. the sideways flashes then were a step in everyone's after-lives, a way to reconnect before moving on permanently. while there still may be unanswered questions related to that religious and spiritual conclusion to the "lost" story, the photographs were really just a nostalgic, transitional touch added by abc executives — and not executive producers damon lindelof and carlton cuse.
ergo, our interpretation was correct; the events on the island happened; people survived and traveled thru time and fought the others and the other others and the other other others and exploded a bomb and faced down the smoke monster, the end.
the alt-universe, where everyone met up before going to heaven, was far in the future, if even in time at all, and had nothing to do w/the original narrative, or w/ingenuous and thoughtful story-telling, for that matter.
if you're going to steal, steal from the best
here's a devastating video, as cut together by state senate candidate lucas baumbach.
or don't. whatever.
to continue. ward's plagiarism doesn't stop w/the president's words:]
* we originally said ward came from ohio; mustang bobby corrects our mistake in the comments, thx bobby!
mad about robin ghivan
Monday, May 24, 2010
banned from nevada polls
voters dressed in chicken costumes won't be allowed inside nevada polling places this year.the garb may be ousted, but if they are voting republican, they are still dumb clucks.
state election officials on friday added chicken suits to the list of banned items after weeks of ridicule directed at republican senate candidate sue lowden. - msnbc
is it monday? then there must be another republican sex scandal
if it's tuesday, this must be belgium. if it's wednesday, this must be rome. if it's monday, this must be another republican sex scandal.
mad about the rand-wagon
the lost finale
j.j. abrams and damon lindelof suck monkey balls. if i see they have a new production coming out, i'm skipping it.
editors' addendum: while we disagree** w/dbk's interpretation of the ending plot resolution of the lost finale, we strongly agree w/his disgust w/the incredibly lazy writers' device "and then they were all dead, the end."
(** we believe all that happened on the island really happened, and all that happened in the alt-universe was the "purgatory" for the dead souls of the characters waiting to be reunited before moving on to "heaven," "nirvana" or whatever you call it. we read (on another blog which we can't locate at the moment, sorry) how the alt-universe described as a "flash way forward," when all the characters have died, at separate times.)
ioho, lost spent far too much time on the alt-universe to simply make it "it was all a dream, albeit the dream you have when you die." there were only two episodes this season that did not spend at least half the time in the alt-universe, and the effort desmond spent in both universes trying to get the characters to realize and acknowledge the other reality seems like we, the audience, were being asked to invest faith and intelligence in the device, when it turned out to be nothing more than, as we said above, bobby ewing telling victoria principal "it was all a dream."
please. an occurence at owl creek bridge may have been startling and thought-provoking in its day, but its day was 1890 (or, at least, the 1960's). audiences have become just slightly more sophisticated by now.
we liked that characters in the alt-universe suddenly remembered the island events when meeting their significant others from that 'verse; sun getting a sonogram from dr. juliet; juliet meeting sawyer @ the candy machine, locke feeling his legs for the first time as dr. jack stands over his hospital bed.
if that sort of thing happened in each 'verse, then we expected desmond and alt-desmond to arrive at some sort of spot of huge energy (ie, the glowing cave of urine on the island, and, we suppose, the church in alt-universe, or maybe eloise hawking's party). by getting all the characters to tune their awareness to the other reality, and maybe with a little c-4 thrown in for a kicker, the two universes then would collide, healing the wound and bringing everything back to the island, and, also killing (or forever sealing up) the locke monster at the same time.
yes, our ending is pretty cheesy, but it's way less cheesy (and full of more sci-fi gobbledy gook) than what lost gave us. what, did lindelof and cruse study the michael o'donahue school of how to write good? (see lesson two)
as to jimmy kimmel's alternate endings, we called the bob newhart appearance last week on another blog. just sayin'...
author giving argument to the editor's addendum: no, it really was a cheat and abrams and lindelof really do suck monkey balls.
editors' note to author: dbk, did you read what we wrote? we agree w/you, 100%! helloo-ooo??
also: via io9, here's j.j. abrahms insisting that lost doesn't take place in purgatory:
author responding to the editor's note to author:oh, so now you're really looking for a fight, eh? agreeing with me? you can't get away with that. palm fronds at ten paces at dawn, sir. my seconds will bring the potato salad.
the oil leak
meanwhile, drilling continues without pause.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
environmental news stories sunday
last rites in salmon country? - as california's water war grinds on, salmon fishermen gear up for a risky season. this year could not only leave them in the red, but may also jeopardize the future of struggling salmon populations. - high country news
ready to ship in hawaii: 20,000 tons of garbage. - what was supposed to be a quick fix for disposing of hawaii's garbage has turned into a long-running problem after the company that was hired to ship the trash failed to get necessary permits from the federal governmen - nytimes
two centuries of environmental woes. - as argentina celebrates the bicentennial of its first independent government, the country's natural resources are severely depleted. forests, soils, water sources, flora and fauna are all threatened to some degree - bueno aires herald
cracking down on the ocean's pirate fishermen. - the oceans are being emptied of fish. a forthcoming united nations report lays out the stark numbers: only around 25% of commercial stocks are in a healthy or even reasonably healthy state - time magazine
experts tout use of energy monitor. - americans would have an easier time conserving energy at home if they had some type of "speedometer" for their power use, energy experts said last week in phoenix. displays in all homes could show how much energy is used at particular times, such as when their air-conditioning is blasting or when drying clothes - phoenix arizona republic
tesla and toyota go for green market. -two big auto companies are nearly ready to launch electric vehicles for the american market: gm's chevy volt debuts in november, nissan's leaf rolls out a month later; but is american ready to make the transition from gasoline-fueled cars to ones powered by electric batteries? - marketplace
obama expands bid to cut vehicle emissions. us president barack obama on friday mandated a new national policy on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing fuel efficiency for pollution-spewing trucks - afp
descanso gardens overhaul has water conservation at its core. - descanso has a mission, which includes irrigation of its 150 acres with locally harvested water, capturing storm water with bioswales, generating enough solar power to take descanso facilities off the electricity grid and composting all its own green waste - latimes
local colleges using biodegradable caps and gowns for graduation. - for graduates who want to leave a mark but not a carbon footprint, harper college is offering biodegradable caps and gowns - chicago tribune
slug-killing pellets blamed for scottish water contamination. - drinking water in the northeast of scotland has been contaminated by a toxic pesticide in breach of safety limits. thousands of consumers in the peterhead area have been drinking water containing hazardous levels of metaldehyde, a compound widely used by farmers to kill slugs - glasgow herald
digital era will send millions of tvs to the dump. - electronic waste is increasing three times faster than any other kind of rubbish, according to the federal government's waste management report, released last week - sydney morning herald
report: 1 in 8 swimming pools closed for code violations. - a new report from the centers for disease control and prevention says many public swimming pools are dirty. according to the report, one in eight swimming pools in 13 states in 2008 were closed after inspections for code violations - marketplace
toxic beauty. - speaking recently at a gathering of the women's business network of southeastern massachusetts, kristi marsh's focus was cosmetics and personal care products, alternatives and how to become a more vigilant consumer - attleboro sun chronicle
wisconsin lacks coal, oil, natural gas, but not biomass. - the wisconsin bio industry alliance brought its media campaign to the fox cities last week, spreading the word that green fuel isn't just a passing fad - appleton post crescent
water suppliers may need to consider the health of mussels. - the u.s. fish and wildlife service may decide by the end of the year whether 11 species of mussels are endangered. If the answer is yes, the state's river authorities might have to recalculate how much water they can distribute to industry, farmers and growing cities - austin american statesman
my posts might be light until june 8th as i have been working diligently on an environmentally friendly politicians campaign for state assembly, das williams.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
tweet of the day
stoplossing private ryan
you can't randle the truth!
joe scarborough, someone with whom we rarely agree, told think progress, "if a politician can't handle an interview, they can't handle congress."
rand paul: who needs facts when you're a libertarian?
trouble is, we searched far and wide for a single instance in which a private employer was successfully sued under the ada for failing to provide an elevator, or was compelled by a lawsuit to do so, and we came up empty. we searched the case law, contacted ada experts -- both proponents and opponents of the law -- the justice department, and the equal employment opportunity commission. not one of them knew of any case involving the government-ordered installation of an elevator. it looks like rand paul is either peddling a myth or spinning some vanishingly small number of elevator installations we've yet to hear of into an epidemic big-government overreach.
that's because, while the ada does impose a burden on employers and business owners to make their facilities accessible, it also contains reasonable restrictions on what owners and operators of existing buildings can be forced to do.
paul's bizarre worldview is troubling enough; is it too much to ask that he read up on the issues he claims to care about?
Friday, May 21, 2010
rand paul: i'm not a racist, but i play one on tv
by thursday afternoon, after dr. paul's answers about his position on rachel maddow's program on msnbc and in a national public radio interview had ignited a political and media furor, his camp issued a statement that dr. paul does support the power of the federal government "to ensure that private businesses don't discriminate based on race."
dr. paul's retreat is welcome, though it is unclear whether it represents his genuine personal beliefs or an effort to stop the political hemorrhaging.
what can be said is that his initial assertions were appalling coming from a candidate for major office in 2010.
many of dr. paul's right-wing followers, of course, do believe that people should have the right to carry firearms into restaurants and bars, but never mind. that's dr. paul's problem, and he can explain to the gun lobby what he means. the bigger issue -- one that voters should weigh carefully -- is that he sees a linkage between gun laws and guarantees of equal rights…
assertions of gun rights, on the other hand, derive from the second amendment, which many constitutional scholars believe is a guarantee of collective (militia) rather than individual rights. but even among those who believe it protects individual gun ownership, there is generally consensus that the amendment is muddy and is the least understood of the amendments enunciated in the bill of rights.
in any event, gun ownership isn't related to equality. u.s. senators should know that. to attempt a linkage between the second and 14th amendments is to demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the constitution.
(to be technically fair, what dr. paul said was that the government should have no right to ensure that private organizations didn't discriminate on basis of race):
but amananda marcotte is having none of it. she says if you look at rand paul's overall philosophy, then, yes, he is an exclusionist:
but i’m bothered more by the way that some liberal pundits approach libertarian arguments as if we’re all in some debate club or in a court of law at worst, and this is a matter of everyone presenting arguments to be judged on their supposed rigor and the implications of which don’t fall on the person making the arguments. conservatives particularly benefit from this mindset, which is why all of them come fully equipped with a willingness to scream “ad hominem” the second you suggest that making asshole arguments is evidence that the person making them is an asshole.
a racist by any other name would still smell.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
indiana souder and the temple of abstinence
running around like chickens with their heads cut off
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
the tea party movement is a wave, and it's waving good-bye
observers in both parties considered the race something of a bellwether. democrats ran mark critz, a former murtha staffer, against businessman tim burns, who touted his "outsider" status and association with the right-wing tea party "movement."
it was the race republicans felt like they had to win, and the rnc boasted repeatedly that a victory in pennsylvania's 12th would foretell significant gains in the midterms. it didn't work out the way they'd hoped.
though democrats dominate in the district, its voters are blue-collar conservatives and it is exactly the type of swing district carried by senator john mccain in the 2008 presidential race that republicans must win if they are to reach their goal of taking control of the house in november. the loss dealt a blow to republicans, who have been raising expectations for the fall.
"if you can't win a seat that is trending republican in a year like this, then where is the wave?" asked tom davis, a former republican congressman from virginia, who said republicans will need to examine what went wrong.
but as steve benan goes on to point out:
once the results were in, politico added that "republicans failed spectacularly, losing on a level playing field where, in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.... the district itself couldn't have been more primed for a republican victory."
in the only house race that really mattered to both parties—the special election to replace the late democratic rep. john murtha in pennsylvania’s 12th district—republicans failed spectacularly, losing on a level playing field where, in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.
given the resources the gop poured into the effort to capture the seat and the decisiveness of the defeat—as it turned out, it wasn’t really that close—the outcome casts serious doubt on the idea that the democratic house majority is in jeopardy and offers comfort to a democratic party that is desperately in search of a glimmer of hope.
the district itself couldn’t have been more primed for a republican victory. according to one recent poll, president barack obama’s approval rating in the 12th was a dismal 35 percent, compared to 55 percent who disapproved. his health care plan was equally unpopular—just 30 percent of those polled supported it, while 58 percent were in opposition…
still, democrat mark critz managed to pull off an eight-point victory, 53 percent to 45 percent, over republican tim burns in a district that john mccain narrowly won in 2008—the only one in the nation that voted for john kerry in 2004 and mccain four years later.
(thx & a tip o' the kangaroo tail to meme-orandum for the links!)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
sleestak defeats specter!
it's all over except the dinosaurs! nbcphilly:
"a win for the people, over the establishment, over the status quo, even over washington d.c.," sleestak declared as he delivered his victory speech tuesday night.
beaming ear-to-ear, sleestak thanked a packed room of supporters at his election night headquarters inside the valley forge military academy in wayne, pa.
"thank you pennsylvania...this is what democracy is all about," he said. "i'll never forget that it was the people of pennsylvania that made this happen."
I Finally Figured It Out
But I think I've figured out the Christian, "family values," heterosexual, having-an-affair set.
They got confused and decided that this song really is the way to get "Halfway to Heaven."
Or, at least, I can't come up with a more reasonable explanation.
mad about maine mishagas
your cheatin' heart will make you weep
souder refuses to talk about the affair with a member of his staff, but the details will probably emerge. we still don't know if the staff member was a minor, and you never know with these republicans, so we'll just have to wait.
wouldn't you know it, he's dragging his religion into it. he's going to have the time now, in his own words, to focus "upon repairing my marriage, earning back the trust of my family and my community, and renewing my walk with my lord." so he's taking a walk with his lord. how precious.
Monday, May 17, 2010
when the islama-fascists take over beauty contests, the terrorists have won
– right wing pundit and fox contributor michelle malkin ranted that “fakih’s cheerleaders are too busy tooting the identity politics horn to care what comes out of her mouth” and that “the miss usa pageant didn’t want to risk the wrath of the open-borders mob.” [5/16/10]
– conservative author daniel pipes, who was briefly appointed by former president george w. bush to the u.s. institute of peace, opined that “this surprising frequency of muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action.” [5/16/10]
– fox news’s gretchen carlson complained that woolard’s “informed opinion” may have cost her the crown, and said that fakih may have won because we live in a “pc society.” [5/17/10]
with the long-running texas history textbooks standards fight scheduled to end with a final vote by the state board of education friday, arch-conservative board member don mcleroy is proposing a new set of changes that read like a tea party manifesto.
the new amendment (.pdf), which is expected to get a vote on thursday, would require high school history students to "discuss alternatives regarding long term entitlements such as social security and medicare, given the decreasing worker to retiree ratio" and also "evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine u.s..
sovereignty." - tpm muckracker
Sunday, May 16, 2010
skippy's sunday nite music club
it is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering
happy birthday robert fripp.
three strikes you're out
great, but where do you find his address?
luckily for you, skippy has found a website w/the names and addresses (and some phone numbers) of most arizona companies, including major league baseball (which techinically isn't an arizona company, but is dealing w/arizona now).
arizona-boycott.org has most of the info you'll need!
environmental news story sunday
high lead levels hurt learning for dps kids. - more than half of the students tested in detroit public schools have a history of lead poisoning, which affects brain function for life, according to data compiled by city health and education officials.
the data also show, for the first time in detroit, a link between higher lead levels and poor academic performance. about 60% of dps students who performed below their grade level on 2008 standardized tests had elevated lead levels. - detroit free press
obesity, a chemical reaction?- studies are showing increasing evidence there may be a link between certain chemicals and obesity. a new study found overweight young girls had significantly higher levels of phthalates than the general population of children. phthalates are found in plastics and can be hormone disruptors. - latte times
30 years after mount st. helens blew, the volcano reveals its secrets. - at 8:32 a.m. may 18, 1980, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake triggered an enormous landslide. the world changed. fifty-seven people died in the eruption. devastation stretched for 230 square miles. ash circled the earth in 15 days, lowering global temperatures - portland oregonian
study links mobile phone use to brain tumours. - a major international study has found a link between mobile phone use and certain brain tumours. leading scientists have called for restrictions on children's access to mobiles. - edinburugh scotsman
lawmaker takes aim at epa rules in budget amendment. - a measure tucked into the state budget could prevent kansas from implementing dpa rules on greenhouse gases. - lawrence journal world
climate change link to lizard extinction. - climate change could wipe out 20% of the world's lizard species by 2080, according to a global-scale study. - bbc
surface mines could convert to solar. - former surface mine sites could become locations for solar power plants. - charleston gazette
scientists forecast decades of ash clouds. - the icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect the whole of europe for decades, scientists have warned. - london times
river jordan, deep and wide once more? - jordan and israel are both building sewage treatment plants for the water that flows into the jordan river. friends of the earth warns that diverting this water for agricultural irrigation will cause the jordan to dry up by 2011 or increase its salinity, causing even more damage to the river's ecosystem - haaretz
town in search of water. - there's a sense of urgency in lexington mayor bobby mcguire's voice when he talks about efforts to find another water source for the town and its 1,000 customers - florence times daily
senators talk 'green' but votes say different. - alabama's two senators are calling for stronger protections against future oil spill disasters, but their votes on environmental issues in 2009 say something else, according to an environmental group that rates congressmen on their votes. - florence times daily
interactive map shows lead levels in detroit neighborhoods over time. - the points on the map identify the detroit public schools with the highest percentage of students with histories of lead poisoning. In these schools, 35% or more of the students have confirmed histories of high lead. - detroit free press
gulf spill impacts ecosystem services. - ecosystems like marshes and wetlands help filter water and protect land from storm surges. researchers have calculated the costs of damage from the spill in the gulf of mexico to these ecosystem services. - living on earth
nitrate remedies take time, money. - solving the groundwater problem will take imagination -- and a lot more money than the state is spending - riverside press enterprise
environment group plans to sue u.s. over oil permits. - u.s. interior secretary ken salazar improperly approved offshore oil operations in the gulf of mexico without regard to possible harm to marine mammals, an environmental group said on friday in a legal notice - reuters
mineral management service asleep at switch. - and now we know what the minerals management service does. or rather, didn't do. once again, we are in crisis because regulators didn't do their job. - scripps
silent spring water tests reveal contamination. - a study released this week by a newton breast cancer research foundation found traces of pharmaceuticals, personal care products and flame retardants, among other chemicals, in a majority of wells tested across cape cod. - cape code times
Saturday, May 15, 2010
skippy's saturday nite music club
yet another beef recall. 53,000 lbs. of the stuff
meanwhile....from the usda...
montclair meat co., Inc., a montclair, calif., establishment is recalling approximately 53,000 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with e. coli O157:H7, the u.s. department of agriculture's food safety and inspection service (fsis) announced today.
the products subject to recall include:
- various pound packages of "montclair meat co. ground beef"
- various pound packages of "montclair meat co. all beef patties"
why are some democrats urging a yes vote on 16
big tip o the kangaroo tail to attorney at arms post up over at calitics for the image and the heads up.
proposition 16 is solely sponsored by pg&e and never was vetted by the assembly or senate in sacramento.
with its arrogance and size, pg&e chose to bypass the legislative process and go straight to the voters with a state constitutional amendment. pg&e's playing card is to stir up voters' emotions by the use of inflammatory phrases like "the voters deserve to have the final say about how public monies are spent."
in comparison do present pg&e customers know that their very own utility company will spend $35 million of its customers' money on a campaign to help eliminate its competition? - merced sun star
Friday, May 14, 2010
offshoring the offshore spillers
transocean, ltd, the company that operates the deepwater horizon oil rig which recently exploded in the gulf, is the “world’s biggest offshore drilling contractor.” the ap reports today that transocean, after moving its headquarters from the u.s. to zug, switzerland, two years ago, paid a paltry 16 percent on its corporate income last year, less than half of the current american corporate income tax rate of 35 percent.where is the "tea bagger" ourtrage over this antiamericanism?
...only a dozen of transocean’s employees are physically located in zug — more than 1,300 are based in houston, texas. - think progress
change.org begins with you!
you can click to sign any of 5 petitions for progressive causes (click on the arrow in the upper right corner to change petitions). the sponsors of the petitions include such progressive stalwarts as the sierra club, credo action, mayors against illegal guns and amnesty international.
pls. sign one or all of the petitions today!
oils well that ends badly
at npr's request, experts examined video that bp released wednesday. their findings suggest the bp spill is already far larger than the 1989 exxon valdez accident in alaska, which spilled at least 250,000 barrels of oil.
bp has said repeatedly that there is no reliable way to measure the oil spill in the gulf of mexico by looking at the oil gushing out of the pipe. but scientists say there are actually many proven techniques for doing just that.
steven wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at purdue university, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry.
a computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving. wereley put the bp video of the gusher into his computer. he made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 barrels a day — much higher than the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.
the method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent.
mad about why i'll never be a supreme court justice
Thursday, May 13, 2010
glenn beck has nazi tourettes
daily show correspondent lewis black was surprised last night that glenn beck had criticized those who have compared arizona's immigration law to nazi germany. "this is a guy," said black, "who uses more swastika props and video of the nuremberg rallies than the history channel." - tpm
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's|
the governator will be the death panelist
arnold achwarzenegger is proposing to eliminate health care for the elderly and for kids - risking the health and, ultimately, risking the lives of these people. and for what purpose? so that he can avoid raising taxes on the rich.
he believes that it is more important to keep taxes low on the wealthy than to ensure that old folks and children have the health care they need.
such a proposal is beyond outrageous, it is inhuman. sacramento democrats should reject it outright. californians do not agree with taking health care away from people who need it just to give the wealthy another tax break. - calitics
take me out of the ball game
and, it seems to be having some affect:
"major league baseball has a strong history of supporting minorities and civil rights in america, which began when jackie robinson became the first african-american baseball player in 1947," the letter says.
"as you are well aware, over a quarter of all major league baseball players are latino, and almost 40% of your players are people of color. in this moment of crisis, these players - and baseball's millions of latino and immigrant fans - deserve a loud and clear message that the league finds this law unacceptable. we strongly urge you to relocate the 2011 all-star game from phoenix and to pressure teams to pull all winter and spring training games from arizona while this un-american law is in effect."
the letter notes that the players association has already condemned the new law.
selig didn't comment when asked by milwaukee's wisn-tv about the calls for mlb to cancel the phoenix all-star game.
"we're a social institution, and i'll rest my case on the fact that baseball has been remarkably socially active over the last 50 years," selig said.
signatories include john amato, the founder and president of crooksandliars.com, markos moulitsas zúñiga, founder and publisher of daily kos, julio pabon of the bronx-based latinosports.com, people for the american way president michael keegan, richard trumka, president of the afl-cio, eliseo medina, international executive vice president of the service employees international union (seiu).