Thursday, April 30, 2009

First confirmed case of swine flu in Arizona ...

The Tucson Citizen reports the first confirmed Arizona case of swine flu. The eight year old Phoenix boy has already recovered.
... England said it appears that this flu is no more virulent than other types. He said the boy recovered and had returned to school before the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed he had swine flu.

Don't know how Dr. Bob England, Maricopa County's health director, made that judgement from one Arizona case, but perhaps he's psychic.

Nevertheless, the boy's elementary school was closed.

New York, Texas, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Maine also have verified cases of swine flu.

According to this article:

Health officials said people should treat the swine flu strain like any other flu - contact your personal doctor, and stay home and cover sneezes and coughs to avoid spreading the virus. Patients should seek additional medical help if fever persists or spikes, breathing is difficult or other severe symptoms develop.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Glenn Greenwald gets frustrated ...

Read the comments to this post. Greenwald's explanations get more and more detailed and specific (and frustrated). It all rolls right off some very dysfunctional thinkers, like water on a duck's back.


I suppose the likes of Obama and Harry Reid approve, but ...

while Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter may be one of the better Republicans, he will make a very, very poor Democrat.
Specter switches parties, gives Democrats 60 votes, GOP irrelevance now official
Added: Sorta like Lieberman and Harry Reid. Specter doesn't believe in what Democrats stand for but being a Republican just isn't working out for him. So he's coming over to see if he can help move the covey of Democratic politicians further to the right.

Today's QUOTES:

I hope for their sakes that none of these Americans who think that torture should be "considered" ever find themselves in the grips of the legal system because allowing the government to ignore the constitution and disregard moral taboos against cruelty and barbarity can only logically lead to the same tactics being used at home.

If there is no further investigation of this terrible breach of American values and constitutional principles and this philosophy is allowed to become a mainstream, respectable way of thinking, we will have gone a long way toward making ourselves an elected dictatorship subject to the good intentions of our leaders. Personally, I'm not crazy about that idea. I've lived long enough now to know that even the best cannot be trusted with such power.
--Some Behavior Is Beyond The Legal System by digby, Hullabaloo
... [N]o matter how many times they are exposed as spreaders of absolute falsehoods -- as Ross, yet again, is so exposed today -- they continue to engage in the same behavior, rendering unavoidable the conclusion that such falsehood-spreading behavior on behalf of the government is what they are eager to do.
--Brian Ross spread the same falsehoods about the Khalid Sheik Mohammed interrogation by Glenn Greenwald,

Monday, April 27, 2009

More good environmental news ...

Western "Dust Bowl" possible

Republican careerism ...

Krugman writes:
... Careerism is what held the party together; an environment in which the party no longer has the patronage to reward all its loyalists, and may not even be able to protect apparatchiks who broke the law, destroys the whole system.
Well, Obama appears more than ready to help them out.

Today's QUOTES:

The trick is to make corporate sponsored nationalism seem like patriotism.
--Mass Murder Plots and Tea by Larisa Alexandrovna, at-Largely

This is a crucial and oft-overlooked fact in the debate over whether we should investigate and prosecute Bush crimes. The very same pundits and establishment journalists who today are demanding that we forget all about it, not look back, not hold anyone accountable, are the very same people who -- like Broder -- played key roles in hiding, enabling and defending these crimes. ...
--David Broder and media culpability for Bush crimes by Glenn Greenwald,

We can, of course, torture and claim to live in a democracy, like the former Soviet Union claimed to be a Republic. ...
--Torture and the United States of Alyssa Peterson by Glenn W. Smith,

If Team Obama will give torturers a free pass (a very small group that has nevertheless done tremendous damage to America's standing in the world), there is absolutely no way it has any appetite for exposing the massive fraud in the financial system. Obama does not do conflict, and his "Let's not dwell on the past" is tantamount to appeasement of the oligarchs and coddling of the worst practices of the Bush regime.
--On Pelosi's Duplicity and Apparent Sandbagging of Elizabeth Warren by Yves Smith, naked capitalism

... No faith worth its name requires someone to check their brain at the door, or absolves an individual of responsibility for their actions and beliefs.
--Atheism's Now Fit To Print by tristero, Hullabaloo

So Bobby Jindal makes fun of “volcano monitoring”, and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack.

What else did the right oppose recently? I just want enough information to take cover.

--Masters of disaster by Paul Krugman, NY Times

Friday, April 24, 2009

Well, we're all ignorant about something, but ...

... this guy appears to make a career out of it.
"Dry toilets are essentially outhouses brought indoors." Michael Fumento

"Yes, parts of the underdeveloped world have severe water shortages but have you been to Arizona lately? Word has it they have some mighty fine flush toilets there." Michael Fumento

"Further, while water is a natural resource it's not something that you can actually use up like ore or fossil fuels. Water always remains water; reusing it is just a matter of cleaning it." Michael Fumento

The Battle over Toilets for All by Michael Fumento, Scripps Howard News Service, January 15, 2004, Copyright 2004 Scripps Howard, Inc.
He writes books too! The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS is one. But what's really impressive: "He co-authored [a] monograph with Michelle Malkin, entitled Rachel's Folly: The End of Chlorine ..."

How so very Russian of them ...

From digby:
All day I've been seeing torture apologists all over TV frantically trying to block this particular line of inquiry. They know that it's potentially the most explosive revelation of all. If the White House ordered torture to try to get the prisoners to falsely confess to links between al Qaeda and Iraq ... well all bets are off.
'Pears Bushie-baby got a real good look at the ol' USSR's soul through Putin's eyes [...and enjoyed finding their true connection].

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rahm Emanuel believes in obstruction of justice ...

... and is at least amenable to torturing people. Else why would he not only tell

[ ] George Stephanopoulos of ABC's This Week that no field officers should be prosecuted over breaking the law when it comes to torturing prisoners, but [take] it a step beyond and [proclaim] that even the lowlife John Yoos and Jay Bybees shouldn't face any consequences for their actions.

Rahm Emanuel should be fired.

Releasing the latest torture memos was the right thing for Obama to do. It was a relief that he finally made that decision. But it's not enough. Obama's look forward spiel applies to some of the worst crimes that US government officials have ever committed. What Obama is saying is there will be no laws that those running the government can't break (specially if they are Republican). Even if Obama's administration keeps its word and does not torture Obama has made the decision to leave torture available to future administrations. I do not believe that Obama doesn't understand this.

First Obama should get all those who supported or participated in torture out of the government. Second, he should support the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into what crimes have been committed and pursue prosecution of those involved starting at the top.

It's very disappointing that Obama is keeping torture on the table for the US. Disappointing, humiliating, stupid ...

The media and show business' plasticised dolls, both male and female, pronounce Susan Boyle ugly ...

I guess I didn't get the message soon enough. I watched the clip of Susan Boyle because someone said her singing was powerful. And it was.

But the clip itself was not fun to watch.

The three plasticised people who behave as schoolyard bullies in the beginning of the clip did not redeem themselves at the end. They just showed themselves for what they are.

For years I favored BBC TV productions over US TV because the actors looked more like normal human beings than the plastic dolls, molded and modified to fit someone's ideal of human fakery, who became the norm in US productions. However, with time, American 'values,' invaded the BBC as well.

Susan Boyle is not ugly. With or without her talent, Susan Boyle is not ugly.

And if she had really been ugly to everyone in the world it shouldn't have mattered. Why was it OK to cruelly mock a contestant because she wasn't young and skinny enough for them? And if her performance had not been so good, what would they have done then?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A little bit of justice in nature ... ?

Hens eject sperm; roosters are clueless

Today's QUOTES:

... Whatever partisan chuckle you might get from re-invented posturing by conservatives, its main holding power is a distraction from noticing the way in which Democrats have taken a hold of the worst of the Bush agenda --corporate bailouts, abuse of executive powers, failed middle-east policy-- with insider ownership.
--Bailouts & Parties by Jerome Armstrong, MyDD

... Conservatives know that teenage pregnancy is bad. So it doesn’t really matter too much if they do it. But libruls don’t know it’s bad. That’s evil.
-- Why Bristol Palin is Different, Worry Wart

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't miss ...

Eilzabeth Warren On Daily Show

We are Republican ...

We say whatever we like, whenever we like because what we say is always right because we say it ...... so what if it was wrong yesterday...

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Contemplates Secession by Brian Beutler - April 16, 2009, 12:25PM

Monday, April 13, 2009

boggled minds ...

When reality is labeled unthinkable, it creates a kind of sickness in an industry. Leadership becomes faith-based, while employees who have the temerity to suggest that what seems to be happening is in fact happening are herded into Innovation Departments, where they can be ignored en masse. This shunting aside of the realists in favor of the fabulists has different effects on different industries at different times. One of the effects on the newspapers is that many of their most passionate defenders are unable, even now, to plan for a world in which the industry they knew is visibly going away.

Oh, my.

The details differed, but the core assumption behind all imagined outcomes (save the unthinkable one) was that the organizational form of the newspaper, as a general-purpose vehicle for publishing a variety of news and opinion, was basically sound, and only needed a digital facelift. As a result, the conversation has degenerated into the enthusiastic grasping at straws, pursued by skeptical responses.

Shunting aside of the realists? Isn't that what we are doing in government and claiming it is pragmatism?

Note -- everyone should read the entire article: Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable -- It's chock full of information, organized, concise and penetrating.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Maybe science IS against us ...

Inhalation of Childbirth Hormone Bolsters Trust

Researchers say people are more likely to trust others if they inhale a chemical called oxytocin. In an experiment, volunteers who inhaled oxytocin, a hormone involved in childbirth, were far more likely than to trust someone else with their money than people not exposed to the hormone.
Essence of trust now bottled to help bring out your own inner Elmer Gantry.

(via Liquid Trust”: the Perfect Scent for Liars)

Parable ...

The Great City - Chapter 44 - Departure of Shabu
“Finally, we must present the new prince with a problem so big that no other problem seems important and so difficult that there exists no acceptable solution. Then, when he takes power we can mock him from every corner of the Great City both for what he does and for what he does not do. And we can mock him regardless of the choices he makes.”
Worry Wart's prior post ( What’s Wrong With the Media? Why Care? ) leads into the parable:
... Hate speech, trash talk, language that tribalizes America, however, needs to be banned because it shreds the fabric of society. A free society cannot endure it for long. And once it is shredded, only one thing can put it back together: a terrible, repressive regime. We might have learned this from the disintegration of Yugoslavia. But we didn’t. We might have learned it from the disintegration of Iraq. But it seems we haven’t yet. Let us hope we can learn it before their fates have become ours.
Don't know about taking the disintegration of Iraq as lesson, though, since the US actively worked to make it happen ... we can't even face the torturers among us or even oppose the abuse we go through in order to fly in a commercial airplane. Where would we get the courage to face our culpability in destroying Iraq.

Where's the tipping point? Most days my 'gut' tells me the US has already passed it ...

Today's QUOTES:

It's important to underline the fact that the newspaper model that is collapsing is not the model that kept newspapers healthy for hundreds of years, but the "modern" model that has been destroying more than just the newspaper industry - it's the high-flyer model of newspapers as just another "business" whose sole purpose is to make money.
--On paper, in black and white, The Sideshow

... If the administration continues to validate this idea that the United States is so "exceptional" that it's exempt from human rights treaties, the Geneva Conventions, and it's own constitution it will be impossible to ever recapture even the (mostly unrealized) ideal of a country of laws and not men.

--Pragmatic Princples by digby, Hullabaloo

This last statement is Swagel’s snide way of saying that both the Bush administration and the Obama administration operate on the belief that the only way out is to subsidize the rich. Apparently, no one has the moral character to make their friends and supporters eat their losses.
--Paulson and Market Participants: BFFs by masaccio,

... “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model. ...
--Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable by Clay Shirky

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Intrinsic goodness ...

But these actions -- these contradictions between what he said and what he is doing, the embrace of the very powers that caused so much anger towards Bush/Cheney -- are so blatant, so transparent, so extreme, that the only way to avoid noticing them is to purposely shut your eyes as tightly as possible and resolve that you don't want to see it, or that you're so convinced of his intrinsic Goodness that you'll just believe that even when it seems like he's doing bad things, he must really be doing them for the Good. ...
What intrinsic goodness could there be in attempting to firmly establish the right of kingship for US presidents. Even if Obama were intrinsically good, a condition for which there is no evidence of at this point, his successor, like his predecessor before him, may not be.

Absolute power and secrecy -- that's called tyranny, not democracy.

Today's QUOTES:

What's more interesting to me is that the right is managing to work the refs on this and get them to adopt this premise that it's Obama's fault that Republicans are assholes. That we are dealing with this question just a couple of months after the inaugural lovefest just shows how quickly the worm can turn. And I also suspect they are aiming some of this rhetoric at Obama himself, trying to provoke him into bending ever more to the right in order that nobody see him as being too partisan --- hoisting him with his own post-partisan petard. Let's hope that's not going to have any effect. (Clinton had a bad habit of contining to seek their approval even after they went into full character assassination mode --- and it got him the second impeachment in American history.)
--Polar Bores by digby, Hullabaloo

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Excuse me, but ...

... why should one be "a very loyal Democrat."
Some of the Obama policy stances I disagree with—Afghanistan, Wall Street enabling, torture obfuscation—but on the whole I remain very supportive of President Obama. There is real tension and conflict in deciding how critical and in what style to be, readers may not know it but I am a very loyal Democrat, and there has to be a point where one is too critical, I have no idea where that tipping point is but it’s there. I never mindlessly criticize major Obama initiatives, and there is a real duty to support the Party and President. I do my part—bitching all the way, perhaps—but I do it.
I can see why a politician might think they should at least appear to be a loyal party member (Lieberman excepted). But why should a citizen be a loyal party member?

And why is it that
1) Republicans keep stepping over the line, then
2) Citizens put more Democrats in office, and then
3) The Democrats go further than the Republicans in turning our country into a renegade and lawless country with serial Kings.

And now we're supposed to accept (believe?) that wanna-be king Bush's successor is only taking on the wanna-be king mantle so he can keep the CIA loyal and working for the US? That would mean the CIA are a bunch of traitors ...

If this is the case then the CIA is threatening the President (and thereby threatening the country and the constitution) directly or indirectly. Add to that the very direct threats from the financial industry traitors to destroy the country if they don't get their way. Apparently President Obama is going to give up on the Constitution in order to keep as much peace with these threats to our democracy as he can. In other words the Democrat who was elected to stop the Republican giveaway of our country is going to continue on course like a good little bought and paid-for politician.

Again, why would a citizen be a loyal party member? Shouldn't that loyalty be going in the other direction?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Go Michelle. But Barack's the lil'Bush ...

Michelle Obama shines in style, and apparently confidence as it does not look like the media blowhards have dissuaded her from being herself where ever she goes. She's impressive.

If her other half had half the integrity that Michelle has style the US might be headed in a good direction. However Barack Obama might as well be called lil'Bushie, as he is leading us down the same road economically that BushCo started us down. I sure wish he had more integrity and guts.

Today's QUOTES:

In the run-up to the election, I pointed out that the enormous amounts of money the President raised from ordinary people could well mean that we might have an administration attuned to the problems of ordinary people. Well, I was wrong.
--Summers Feeds at Hedge Fund Trough by masaccio,

Another Glenn Greenwald must read ...

Read and weep: Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Wall Street's ownership of government

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Republican ...

Update below.

Giffords may have run as a Democrat [AZ-8], however she's as irresponsible and obtuse as a Republican. Another DINO in wall street's pocket.
Democrats Who Joined with Republicans to Pass Bean Amendment on TARP Bonuses
Amazing how much better Ed Pastor looks after Giffords joined the 'democrats' in Congress.

Not to leave the only other Democrat from Arizona in Congress out of this post: Raul Grijalva appears to be the genuine article to me ... a competent Congressman who actually works at his job. I use the word 'appears' because politics is such a disappointing arena, given to much deceipt and corruption and the Americans we have hired for Congress have, on the whole, been mean, little, corrupt people. And we have left them there even after the worst has become obvious. We Americans have not done a very good job in selecting and monitoring our representatives. These people still nominally work for us and are actually quite afraid that we may use our power at the ballot box. Until then, they may be as corrupt at they wish. Still I don't think Grijalva is one of the bad guys ...
UPDATE -----
Ooops. I completely forgot about Rep. Mitchell, Harry [D AZ-5]
And then there's Rep. Kirkpatrick, Ann [D AZ-1] who replaced Renzi when I wasn't looking.
Arizona’s Representatives - Congressional District Maps