Sunday, February 28, 2010

In Which We Made A Good Point

A point so good we decided to recycle it here.

No Mo' Mr. Nice Blog took on Frank Rich's latest, whose title, "The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged," though intriguing, wasn't inflammatory enough for us to type about. We scanned both pieces, twice each, & couldn't get to any conclusion as to Steve M.'s conclusion about Rich's conclusion. Both appeared to these jaded eyes to agree that those people are nutty loudmouths who could be trouble, but probably not much, Steve M. thinking not until/unless Obama is reëlected ("Remember, the Tim McVeighs of the world don't seem so angry when there's a Republican in the White House -- at least then they get what they want rhetorically from the Oval Office, and that seems to mollify them.") & Rich thinking any minute now, or not, maybe.

Our thinking, as commented at No More Mr. etc., is:

The Murrah Bldg. was attacked as a reaction to Waco/Ruby Ridge. If some gun-totin', freedom-lovin' patriots' guns are pried from their cold, dead fingers by Federal Agents under The Usurper, it's a whole new ball game.

And how long until something happens that will be hyped & escalated to the level of Feds killing religious, gun-loving (yet defenseless) children?

Unasked Question

Another "Why we are fucked" moment:

Braly's words are a reminder of the most important unasked question in the entire healthcare debate: What do we need insurance companies for, anyway?

The only way insurers can remain profitable at all is by selling healthy people on policies that don't offer much coverage at all, while squeezing older, less healthy people remorselessly so they either pay for most of their care out of pocket or get priced out of the insurance market completely (thus becoming a burden for taxpayers).

In short, this is an industry that acts as if it will have trouble making money unless regulators allow it to cover only injuries suffered by a young single male hit by an asteroid.

Meanwhile, however, it fritters premium income away on expenses generated largely by corporate initiatives having nothing to do with healthcare. WellPoint spent $2.6 billion repurchasing its own shares last year. This was such a good deal for shareholders that its board recently authorized spending an additional $3.5 billion for the same purpose. None of those dollars, it should go without saying, will be available for delivering healthcare to customers.

Laughing On The Road To Apocalypse

Nihilism, one yr. on: Just found this monument to truth; it's celebrating its first birthday today.
Here’s the prognosis for the 21st century, in case you still haven’t gotten the memo: we’re doomed. By "we" I’m speaking of all those who depend for their physical and mental health on the fruits of technological civilization, the Petroleum Age, the “long boom”, the flat world, global capitalism, dot-communism, industrial agriculture, etc. – in other words, pretty much anyone reading these words. As for the rest, well, most of them were doomed already, so I doubt they’d find the idea particularly interesting.
Of course even the hardest-core self-descibed realists won't admit that we're equally doomed, First & Third World (Again, wha' hoppen to the Second World?) just that we reading techno-fruit enjoyers live (& therefore suffer) longer, in greater physical comfort, & w/ better toys & distractions from our mortality than the living doomed of not-industrial not-democracy. Maybe he (We assume, ha.) just thinks being deprived of his Wii is a doom worse than death. No one's getting out alive, pilgrim.

Sex And The Right Wing Village

Oh, stop it already.
Crap, none of you sexually repressed (Don't worry, your First Amendment right to make idiots of yourselves isn't in danger.) reactionaries are even being "mouth-raped," let alone having to "bend over & grab your ankles" or getting "health care shoved down your throat."

This is not the first time these turns of phrase (Awfully odd as reactions to democracy & small-d democratic politics, aren't they?) have been remarked upon. Do your wing-nutty selves a favor & knock it off, both for your own good, & because it's triggering us.

Hockey: Nation Of Sheep Loses To Northern Giant In OT


Realizing the game was on, we interrupted our viewing of "The Greatest Show On Earth" two or three minutes before This Great Nation of Ours™ lost. You may thank us later, Canux.

28 February: Two Months Down; Gold Rush Real; DNA Noticed; Palme Plugged; Waco; NoHo Shoot-Out; Mr. Ed Goes To Stable In The Sky

Today is Sunday, Feb. 28, the 59th day of 2010. There are 306 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 28, 1960, a day after defeating the Soviets at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif., the United States won its first Olympic hockey gold medal by defeating Czechoslovakia's team, 9-4.
On this date:
In 1784, the Methodist Church was chartered by John Wesley.
In 1827, the first US railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated by the state of Maryland.
In 1844, a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others.
In 1849, the California gold rush began in earnest as regular steamship service started bringing gold-seekers to San Francisco.
In 1854, about 50 slavery opponents met in Ripon, Wis., to call for creation of a new political group that became the Republican Party.
In 1861, the Territory of Colorado was organized.
In 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone.
In 1935, nylon was invented by DuPont researcher Wallace Carothers.
In 1940, college basketball games were first televised, by New York City station W2XBS, as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-27, at Madison Square Garden.
In 1942, Japanese forces landed in Java, the last Allied bastion in the Dutch East Indies.
In 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announced they had discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule that contains the human genes.
In 1959, American author and playwright Maxwell Anderson died in Stamford, Conn., at age 70.
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai issued the Shanghai Communique at the conclusion of Nixon's historic visit to China, a step toward the eventual normalization of relations between the two countries.
In 1974, the United States and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after a seven-year break.
In 1975, more than 40 people were killed in London's Underground when a subway train smashed into the end of a tunnel.
In 1982, the J. Paul Getty Museum became the most richly endowed museum on Earth when it received a $1.2 billion bequest left by Getty.
In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot to death in central Stockholm.
In 1990, the Soviet Parliament passed a law permitting the leasing of land to individuals for housing and farming. It was another radical change in the Stalinist scheme of a state-run economy.
In 1991, allied and Iraqi forces suspended their attacks as Iraq pledged to accept all United Nations resolutions concerning Kuwait.
In 1992, a judge in Rochester Hills, Mich., said euthanasia advocate Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian must stand trial for murder for helping two chronically ill women commit suicide. Also in 1992, a bomb blamed on the IRA ripped through a London railway station, injuring at least 30 people and shutting down the British capital's rail and subway system.
In 1993, a gun battle erupted at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to serve warrants; four agents and six Davidians were killed and a 51-day standoff began.
In 1994, NATO was involved in actual combat for the first time in its 45-year history when four U.S. fighter planes operating under NATO auspices shot down four Serb planes that had violated the U.N. no-fly zone in central Bosnia.
In 1996, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed to divorce after 15 years of marriage.
In 1997, in North Hollywood, Calif., two heavily armed and armored robbers bungled a bank heist and came out firing, unleashing their arsenal on police, bystanders, cars and TV choppers before they were killed. Also in 1997, former FBI agent Earl Pitts pleaded guilty to spying and became only the second FBI agent convicted of espionage. And, the Democratic National Committee said it would return nearly $1.5 million in contributions that may have been illegal or improper.
In 1999, guerrillas detonated two bombs beside a military convoy in southern Lebanon, killing a Israeli brigadier general and three other Israelis; Israel retaliated with air raids on suspected guerrilla hideouts.
In 2000, right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider resigned as head of the Freedom Party in an apparent bid to end Austria's international ostracism following his party's rise to power.
In 2001, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the U.S. Pacific Northwest, injuring 250 people and causing more than $1 billion in damage.
In 2002, a body found outside San Diego was identified as that of Danielle van Dam, 7, who'd disappeared from her bedroom about a month earlier; a neighbor was later convicted of her murder and sentenced to death.
In 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a ban on all forms of human cloning, setting up a Senate debate on what would be appropriate research.
In 2004, Iraq's US-picked leaders failed to meet a deadline for adopting an interim constitution. Six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program ended in Beijing with an agreement to hold more negotiations. The Bow Mariner, a tanker carrying ethanol, exploded and sank off the Virginia coast; three crew members died and 18 were left missing and presumed dead, while six men survived. Former Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin died in Washington D.C., at age 89.
In 2005, in Santa Maria, Calif., the prosecution and defense gave opening statements in the sexual molestation trial of Michael Jackson, who was later acquitted. A U.S. District Judge, Joan Humphrey Lefkow, discovered the bodies of her husband and mother inside her Chicago home. (An unemployed electrician confessed to the murders in a suicide note.) A suicide car bombing targeted at security recruits killed 125 people in Hillah, Iraq. Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister, Omar Karami, resigned amid large anti-Syria street demonstrations in Beirut.
In 2006, at least 25 people died in an explosion outside a Shiite mosque in Baghdad and 33 more were killed in three other bombings.
In 2007, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Diego declared bankruptcy, halting trials on about 150 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by priests. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. died at age 89.
In 2008, rivals in the bitterly disputed Kenyan presidential election signed a power-sharing agreement in an effort to end a violent two-month aftermath in which an estimated 1,500 people died and as many as 600,000 were displaced. Also in 2008, Prince Harry, third in line for the British throne, was pulled from the front lines in Afghanistan immediately after word got out that the prince was on army duty. He had spent 10 weeks in the war zone. The British media knew of the deployment but kept quiet until the story broke on a U.S. Web site. President George W. Bush told a White House news conference the country was not recession-bound; Democratic candidate Barack Obama said the economy was "on the brink of a recession" and blamed economic policies espoused by Bush and Republican presidential contender John McCain. [No, really? And who was correct? — Ed.] Defense Secretary Robert Gates told his Turkish counterpart that Turkey should end its offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq as soon as possible. Deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra returned to Thailand from 17 months in exile to face corruption charges.
In 2009, Paul Harvey, the news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of the nation's most familiar voices, died in Phoenix at age 90. Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith and former South Florida player William Bleakley died when their boat overturned in rough seas off the coast of Florida. Also in 2009, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accepted U.S. President Barack Obama's nomination as secretary of health and human services after former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle withdrew over a tax problem.
Today's Birthdays: Producer Saul Zaentz is 89. Actor Charles Durning is 87. Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin, is 84. Architect Frank Gehry is 81. Actor Gavin MacLeod is 79. Hall of Fame basketball coach Dean Smith is 79. Actor Don Francks is 78. Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 71. Hall of Fame auto racer Mario Andretti is 70. Singer Joe South is 70. Actor Frank Bonner is 68. Actress Kelly Bishop is 66. College Football Hall of Famer and retired NFL player Bubba Smith is 65. Actress Stephanie Beacham is 63. Actress Mercedes Ruehl is 62. Actress Bernadette Peters is 62. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is 62. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is 57. Football coach Brian Billick is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley is 55. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 55. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Adrian Dantley is 54. Actor John Turturro is 53. Rock singer Cindy Wilson is 53. Actress Rae Dawn Chong is 49. Football coach Ken Whisenhunt is 48. Actor Robert Sean Leonard is 41. Rock singer Pat Monahan is 41. Author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) is 40. Actress Maxine Bahns is 39. Hockey player Eric Lindros is 37. Actress Ali Larter is 34. Country singer Jason Aldean is 33. Actor Bobb'e J. Thompson is 14. (Stations: "Bobb'e J. Thompson" is correct)
Those Born On This Date Include: French essayist Michel de Montaigne (1533); American journalist and screenwriter Ben Hecht (1894); chemist and physicist Linus Pauling, twice winner of the Nobel Prize (1901); movie director Vincente Minnelli (1903); cartoonist Milton Caniff (1907); actors Billie Bird (1908) & Zero Mostel (1915).
Today In Entertainment February 28
In 1966, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles began their climb to fame, closed because of financial problems. The next day, dozens of people protested at the club in hopes of keeping it open.
In 1968, singer Frankie Lymon was found dead of a heroin overdose in New York. He was 25. As the frontman for The Teenagers, he had a hit song with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love."
In 1974, singer-songwriter Bobby Bloom shot himself to death in West Hollywood, California. He was 28. Bloom's biggest hit was "Montego Bay."
In 1979, "talking horse" Mr. Ed died.
In 1983, the final episode of "MASH" aired, bringing in the biggest TV audience of all time to that date.
Also in '83, the album "War" by U2 was released.
In 1984, Michael Jackson won a record eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for "Thriller." But, Jackson lost to Sting of the Police in the Song of the Year category, when "Every Breath You Take" won.
In 1986, singer George Michael announced Wham! was breaking up.
In 1993, actor Tony Curtis married his fourth wife, Linda Deutsch. Also in 1993, film actress Lillian Gish, a major star in the silents and whose career spanned more than 80 years, died at age 96; and actress/dancer Ruby Keeler, star of '30s musicals ("42nd Street"), died at age 82.
In 2000, the Pretenders played a concert in their hometown of Akron, Ohio, for the first time.
In 2008, singer-keyboardist Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five died of pneumonia in London, less than two weeks before the band was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Thought for Today: "In science, all facts, no matter how trivial or banal, enjoy democratic equality." — Mary McCarthy, American author and critic (1912-1989).
(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Feb. 28)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jam It!

Discovered during intensive research for the item below, an Englishman we'll let live:
Paul Weller has never been a man to mince his words, but the ex-Jam frontman found that even the pithiest of insults wouldn't suffice when it came to his arch nemesis Sting. Weller truly crossed the line from Mod renegade to tramp, when he "gobbed" on a picture of Sting at the Royal Albert Hall- apparently the words "f***ing t***" weren't enough to convey his hatred of the Police frontman.
This charming display prompted the Mirror to highlight the "vitriolic hate campaign" Weller has been orchestrating against Sting, which includes him telling "a magazine" that "he's a f***ing horrible man. Not my cup of tea at all. F***ing rubbish." They have ever more evidence to back up their character assassination of the Gob father (ho ho): Weller has said in previous interviews that he'd rather eat his own bad-word-for-feces than duet with James Blunt, told Bob Geldof to "f*** off and responded to the news that the late Freddie Mercury once wanted to bring ballet to the working classes with the words, "what a c**t". Is anyone else starting to really like Paul Weller?

Must This Englishman Live ...

We have always thought of Der Stingle as a limp-dicked & derivative affront to rockin' & rollin' world-wide. Not evil, not really a whore, even. Some are just born to be middle-brow, & if it sells, great for them, & don't mind us, we'll just stew quietly about it here in the bunker.

But we thought we should note that Mr. Sumner has completed the transition to evil whore that he started w/ those Jaguar commercials.
The services of Sting - whose personal fortune is estimated well north of £150m - were engaged by Gulnara Karimova, the daughter and anointed heir of dictator Islam Karimov. To explore Islam Karimov's human rights record in full would take too long: suffice to say he is condemned approximately every 10 minutes by organisations from the UN to Amnesty, accused of such delights as boiling his enemies, slaughtering his poverty-stricken people when they protest, and conscripting armies of children for slave labour. Oh, and the Aral Sea on which his country sits - once the world's fourth biggest lake - has lost 80% of its volume, partly as a result of Karimov siphoning it off to intensively irrigate his remote desert cotton fields.

Whether he is a perfect fit for self-styled eco-warrior and humanitarian Sting is a matter for you to decide: what is beyond dispute is that in October, the former Police frontman agreed to travel to Tashkent and effectively headline Gulnara Karimova's alleged arts festival.

Unfortunately, people have now found out about the jaunt, and so many of them have misunderstood the reasoning behind it as financially motivated that Sting has been forced to issue a statement.

"I played in Uzbekistan a few months ago," he begins. "The concert was organized by the president's daughter and I believe sponsored by Unicef."

You can believe it all you like, Sting, but it's absolute cobblers - Lost in Showbiz has checked it out with Unicef, who tactfully describe themselves as "quite surprised" by your claim.

Larger version of the photo of Sting & The Dictator's Daughter, & more assaults on Gordo:
A commenter suggested a boycott of Sting's music. I was going to agree, but on reflection it would take an enormous effort to track down someone who listens to it, before we could ask them to stop.

Head For The Hills!

Preliminary forecast model energy map

The Angry Earth

Series of Small Earthquakes Strike Central California as Huge Quakes Rock Japan and Chile

Microquakes have been shaking the Coso Junction area of Eastern Central California all week, but it wasn't until tonight when more noticeable ones struck. A light 4.1 earthquake struck at 10:22 p.m., followed by two minor shakers--a 3.8 at 11:10 p.m. and a 3.4 at 11:21 p.m.

Meanwhile, today has been subject of two much stronger quakes. A 7.0 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Okinawa, Japan in the Ryukyu Islands around 5:31 a.m. Saturday local time, or 12:31 p.m. Friday Pacific Standard Time. There have been no reports of major damage or injuries.

Then at 10:34 p.m. PST, an 8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Maule, Chile, causing buildings to collapse and power outages in the Chilean capital Santiago. "My mom and little brother lost everything but their lives. Thank God!" said a relative living in Southern California. "When morning comes over there we will know more about the damages."

In 1960, Chile experienced a 9.5 magnitude quake that left 1,655 people dead.


One Yr. Ago

DATELINE: New York 27 Feb 2009Same guy who claimed to have sold one for a cool mill earlier this month. We'll go so far as to assume that the one televised above ended up going for $317,000.00 in 2009.

27 February: Justice-To-Be Hugo Black Born; Reichstag Fire; U.S. Wins Hockey (Not Miracle?); Wounded Knee Occupied

Today is Saturday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2010. There are 307 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 27, 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)
On this date:
In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.
In 1807, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine.
In 1844, the Dominican Republic granted independence from Haiti.
In 1860, former Illinois Congressman Abraham Lincoln delivered a widely acclaimed speech in which he argued against the expansion of slavery into the western territories, telling listeners at Cooper Union in New York that "right makes might."
In 1861, in Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland; five marchers were killed.
In 1902, author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, Calif.
In 1922, the Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote.
In 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.
In 1939, the Supreme Court, in National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., outlawed sit-down strikes.
In 1942, opening salvos were fired in the Battle of the Java Sea, during which 13 U.S. warships were sunk by the Japanese, who lost two.
In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.
In 1964, the Italian government asked for suggestions on how to save the renowned 180-foot Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling.
In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)
In 1974, the first edition of People magazine was published.
In 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)
In 1982, Wayne B. Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young people whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period.
In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved telecasts of its debates on a trial basis.
In 1990, the Soviet Parliament approved creation of a U.S.-style presidential system that gave Mikhail Gorbachev broad new powers and established direct popular elections for the post. Also in 1990, a federal grand jury in Anchorage, Alaska, indicted Exxon Corp. and its shipping subsidiary over the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern time.
In 1994, the 17th Winter Olympic Games ended in Lillehammer, Norway.
In 1997, divorce became legal in Ireland. Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect.
In 1998, Britain's House of Lords agreed to end 1,000 years of male preference by giving a monarch's first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as a first-born son. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8,545.72, the first time it closed at more than 8,500.
In 1999, Nigeria's transition to civilian rule was nearly completed with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military leader, as president. The Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, was convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers. (Lyons, who served nearly five years in prison, was released in 2003.)
In 2000, Texas Governor George W. Bush's campaign released a letter to New York Cardinal John O'Connor in which the Republican presidential candidate said he deeply regretted "causing needless offense" by making a campaign appearance at Bob Jones University, a South Carolina school whose leaders had espoused anti-Catholic views.
In 2002, a mob of Muslims set fire to a train carrying hundreds of Hindu nationalists in Godhra, India; some 60 people died.
In 2003, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein denied Baghdad had any connection with al-Qaida or its leader Osama bin Laden and that Iraq would set fire to its oil fields and blow up its dams in response to a U.S.-led invasion. Also in 2003, Amnesty International reported that the Ivory Coast's main rebel group slaughtered dozens of Ivorian policemen and their children during an October rampage.
In 2004, America's top Catholic bishop, Wilton Gregory, declared the days of sheltering sex abusers in the priesthood were "history" as two studies commissioned by the U.S. Roman Catholic church showed at least 4 percent of priests were involved in child sexual abuse from 1950-2002, with the peak year 1970 in which one of every 10 priests eventually was accused of abuse. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked the state's top court to stop San Francisco from issuing same-sex marriage licenses until the justices could decide whether the weddings were legal. (The justices halted the weddings the following month.)
In 2005, Pope John Paul II made a surprise first public appearance after surgery, appearing at his Rome hospital window. The Iraqi government announced the capture of Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, Saddam Hussein's half brother and former adviser. The United Nations took a first step aimed at curtailing worldwide smoking by announcing its tough tobacco control treaty had gone into effect.
In 2006, more than 1,300 Iraqis were reported killed in sectarian violence since the bombing of a major Shiite shrine in Baghdad.
In 2007, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, identified as the target by the Taliban, escaped injury when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside U.S. Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Twenty-three people were reported killed in the attack.
In 2008, William F. Buckley Jr., the author and conservative commentator, was found dead at his home in Stamford, Conn.; he was 82. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was considering lowering interest rates despite rising inflation and a record low dollar. Civil rights leader John Lewis dropped his support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in favor of Barack Obama. A judge in Canton, Ohio, sentenced former police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. to life in prison with a chance of parole after 57 years for killing his pregnant lover, Jessie Davis, and their unborn child.
In 2009, President Barack Obama told Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. that he would end combat operations in Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010 and open a new era of diplomacy in the Middle East. He added that as many as 50,000 troops would remain there for smaller missions and to train Iraqi soldiers. The Rocky Mountain News ceased publishing after nearly 150 years in business. Also in 2009, revised data indicated the U.S. gross domestic product, the measure of a nation's total economic activity, shrank 6.2 percent during Oct.-Dec. 2008, biggest drop since 1982.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 80. Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 78.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 76. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 75. Actress Barbara Babcock is 73. Actor Howard Hesseman is 70.
Actress Debra Monk is 61. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 56. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 53. Actor Timothy Spall is 53. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 50. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 50. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 49. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 49. Actor Adam Baldwin is 48. Actor Grant Show is 48. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 45. Actor Donal Logue is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 39. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 37. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 32. Chelsea Clinton is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 30. Singer Josh Groban is 29. Actress Kate Mara is 27.
Those Born On This Date Include: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black (1886); David Sarnoff, RCA board chairman and father of American television (1891; soprano Marian Anderson (1897); actress Joan Bennett (1910); former Texas Gov. John Connally (1917); actress Mary Frann (1943).
Today In Entertainment February 27
In 1967, Pink Floyd recorded its first single, "Arnold Layne."
In 1971, Jefferson Airplane was fined $1000 for using profanity onstage at a concert in Oklahoma City.
In 1977, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones was arrested in Toronto for drug possession. He later was found guilty.
In 1980, "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers won the Record and Song of the Year Grammy Awards. The Album of the Year was "52nd Street" by Billy Joel.
In 1991, James Brown was granted parole and set free in Columbia, S.C. He had been serving time for leading police on a high-speed chase through two states.
In 1992, Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her 60th birthday by closing Disneyland for an elaborate private party with her celebrity friends.
In 1993, silent film actress Lillian Gish died at her New York home at the age of 99. Her movie career spanned 75 years.
In 2003, Fred Rogers, better known as children's entertainer Mr. Rogers, died of stomach cancer in Pittsburgh. He was 74.
In 2005, Academy Awards went to "Million Dollar Baby," director Clint Eastwood, star Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.
Thought for Today: "There is no inevitability in history except as men make it." — Felix Frankfurter, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1882-1965).

Friday, February 26, 2010

John Birch Values Return To Mainstream Right-Wing Extremism, WFB Spins In Grave

D-K Wangchuck brought to our short attention span a dose of denseness from America's Shittiest Website® in which, among other crap, NRO typists Lowry & Ponnuru claim that public transit is, somehow, "un-American." The Dragon-King noted reaction from leftish web loggers:
Matthew Schmitz ably handles the allegation that mass transit is a “socialistic program” or “infringement on our liberty” by asking compared to what?
Presumably they think this because mass transit is built and administered by the government and supported, quite often, by taxes. But the exact same thing is true of highways. Would Lowry and Ponnuru denounce the Interestate system as socialistic on the same grounds?
which reminded us of something we'd read (kindly preserved by concerning a John Birch Society summer camp:
A lot of what's taught is standard conservative rhetoric - but always with a sinister twist.

Mass transit, for instance, is a mistake not because freeways are more cost-effective, but because it will allow the government to control the movement of its citizens. By getting rid of cars, "they'll be able to restrict where you go," director Bearly says.
That's right, if you can take the bullet train to Vegas, you'll turn into a Frenchie!

We're forced to conclude that there's no longer any point in using deduction or logic to determine why the reactionaries have issues w/ something. It has nothing to do w/ what passes for logic on the other side of the aisle. They're all Birchers now.Remind yourselves of the title of the piece in question, lefties:
An Exceptional Debate
The Obama administration’s assault on American identity
How can you convince someone that's not happening? (Let alone that it might not be a bad idea?)

Picture: Welch Or Lake?

From The New York Times. (The paper of record.)

Inside What Passes For The Right-Wing Mind

The very premise is a crock:

Stop Apologizing for the Crusades!

Perhaps a better title would be something like Don't Allow the Crusades to be Thoughtlessly Added to a Parade of Christian Horribles without Knowing More about It, but I wanted to get your attention.

See, it worked!

The typist then goes on, not to point out why the Crusades were a wonderful thing, & absolutely nothing to apologize for, but to excuse them. Why? Because they weren't successful.

What becomes clear is that the Crusades failed for three reasons.

First, despite the fact that the westerners regularly decimated their Muslim rivals in combat thanks to superior tactics and technology, they were always on the wrong end of a numbers game. The western armies arrived in the Holy Land already diminished from disease and harrying attacks along the way. They never had large enough armies to begin with. And whenever they secured their objectives, a substantial number of troops and/or nobles would return home leaving ridiculously small numbers to hold on, which amazingly, they did for decades at a time.

This is the Shinseki excuse: "We just didn't send enough troops to the land of Holy Oil."

Second, Crusading was expensive. Although it has been suggested the Crusades were about wealth, nobles didn't get rich on them. They borrowed, scraped, and imposed heavy taxes just to be able to afford equipping, paying, and feeding their armies. When they captured an area, the land was not revenue-producing in the same way their European farm land was.

The Crusaders were unable to get any money out of their conquests, even though they kept the debt off the books, so it's OK! We aren't there for oil!

Third, the Byzantines never came through with the help they promised. Crusaders regularly expected help from the Comnenus family of rulers which began the Crusades by appealing to the pope for help. But the help was virtually never forthcoming. Had the Byzantine empire allied itself with the Crusaders, the Holy Land might still be in Christian hands today.

Never trust your allies. Dirty Euro-trash. If they'd come through, that would be Christian oil to this day!

As one might imagine, this was not an original thought on the part of typist "Hunter Baker," but a review of a book.

Read for yourself. I found the book highly enjoyable. Rodney Stark has reached the point to which many academics aspire. He writes about things that interest him for a mass audience with the aid of a major publishing company (Harper). And the books come to us rather than sitting staidly in university libraries.

We can add laziness to why the Jesus freaks didn't take & hold the "Holy" Land. Imagine having to go to a library to get a book! No decent Christian conservative would go into a university library under his own power.

More Climate Nihilism

Massive Iceberg Could Affect Ocean Circulation Patterns
An iceberg the size of Luxembourg broke off into the Southern Ocean recently and scientists are concerned that it might slow the rate at which dense, salty water reaches the bottom of the ocean, altering global climate patterns.
Read original story in Reuters | Friday, Feb. 26, 2010

26 February: Lisbon Earthquake; Nappy On The Loose; Luftwaffe Takes Off; Brits Get Nukes; Reagan Cuts & Runs In Lebanon; First WTC Attack Only Kills Six: Better Luck Next Time; Robert Novak Remains Dead

Today is Friday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2010. There are 308 days left in the year. The Ant Farmer's Almanac. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 26, 1940, the United States Air Defense Command was created.
On this date:
In 1531, an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed an estimated 20,000 people.
In 1802, French literary giant Victor Hugo was born in Besancon. [How tall was he, Johnny? — Ed.]]
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte and 1,200 men left his exile on the Isle of Elba to start his 100-day campaign to regain France.
In 1846, frontiersman-turned-showman William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was born in Scott County, Iowa.
In 1848, the Second French Republic was proclaimed. [What are they on now, their Fifth? — Ed.]
In 1870, an experimental air-driven subway, the Beach Pneumatic Transit, opened in New York City for public demonstrations. (The tunnel was only a block long, and the line had only one car.)
In 1907, Congress created the Dillingham Commission to examine the impact of immigrants on America. (The panel later recommended curtailing immigration from southern and eastern Europe.)
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Seventy-five years ago, in 1935, Germany began operation of its air force, the Luftwaffe, under Reichmarshal Hermann Goering.
In 1945, a midnight curfew on night clubs, bars and other places of entertainment was set to go into effect across the nation.
In 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.
In 1979, a total solar eclipse cast a moving shadow 175 miles wide from Oregon to North Dakota before moving into Canada.
In 1984, the last U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force left Beirut. Some 250 of the original 800 Marines lost their lives during the problem-plagued 18-month mission in the war-torn Lebanese capital.
In 1986, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Robert Penn Warren was named the first "poet laureate" of the U.S. by the Library of Congress.
In 1987, the Tower Commission, which probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
In 1991, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that he had ordered his forces to withdraw from Kuwait.
In 1992, a U.N. report accused Iraq of systematic human rights violations including "brutal torture" and "widespread arbitrary and summary executions" during its occupation of Kuwait.
In 1993, a bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of New York's World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.
In 1994, 11 members of the Branch Davidian religious cult were acquitted of murder and conspiracy charges stemming from the 1993 federal raid and siege at the compound near Waco, Texas.
In 1995, Barings PLC, Britain's oldest investment banking firm, collapsed after a securities dealer lost more than $1.4 billion by gambling on Tokyo stock prices.
In 1997, the Israeli Cabinet approved development of a large Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, a traditionally Arab area.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton, outlining foreign policy goals for the final two years of his administration, urged continued American engagement in the quest for peace and freedom abroad during a news conference in San Francisco.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II, concluding a three-day trip to Egypt, visited Mount Sinai, where he prayed for religious tolerance in a garden under the peak revered as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
In 2001, a U.N. tribunal convicted Bosnian Croat political leader Dario Kordic and military commander Mario Cerkez of war crimes for ordering the systematic murder and persecution of Muslim civilians during the Bosnian war.
In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted its nationwide ban on protests that interfere with abortion clinic business. Also in 2003, a Colombian army Black Hawk helicopter searching for guerrillas crashed in the northern Colombia mountains, killing all 23 people aboard.
In 2004, two church-sanctioned studies documenting sex abuse by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy said that about four percent of clerics had been accused of molesting minors since 1950 and blamed bishops' "moral laxity" in disciplining offenders for letting the problem worsen. Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash in southern Bosnia. The U.S. Senate approved a measure requiring child safety locks be supplied with most handguns sold in the United States.
In 2005, fifteen months after Japan's last liftoff ended in a spectacular fireball, an orange and white H-2A rocket blasted off from a remote southern island, carrying a weather and navigation satellite. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered his country's constitution changed to allow presidential challengers in an upcoming fall election. A fragment of granite bearing the name "John" — all that remained of a memorial to the six people killed in the 1993 terror attack on the World Trade Center — was installed as the central piece of a new post-9/11 memorial. Former Time magazine editor and U.S. ambassador to Austria, Henry A. Grunwald, died in New York at age 82. Bank of America acknowledged it lost computer tapes containing account information on 1.2 million federal employee credit cards, including those of some U.S. senators. Also in 2005, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he wanted his parliament to change the constitution to allow multiple candidates in presidential elections.
In 2006, the Winter Olympic Games ended in Turin, Italy. Germany won the most medals, 29, of which 11 were gold. The U.S. team won 25 medals, including nine golds. Canada, Austria and Russia came next.
In 2007, the death toll from a fire aboard an Indonesian ferry that later sank rose to 48 with scores of people missing off Jakarta.
In 2008, a power failure later blamed primarily on human error plunged large parts of Florida into darkness. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting Beijing, won a verbal assurance from Chinese officials to use their influence to jump-start the stalled process of dismantling North Korea's nuclear programs. The New York Philharmonic performed an historic concert in North Korea before the communist nation's elite. Former Israeli military chief Dan Shomron, the paratrooper who commanded the famed 1976 hostage rescue at Entebbe airport in Uganda, died in Tel Aviv at age 70. As U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., moved closer to clinching the Republican presidential nomination, a USA Today/Gallup Poll indicated it would be a tight race for the presidency no matter whether Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., or Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., won the almost dead-heat Democratic contest.
In 2009, President Barack Obama laid out his first budget plan, predicting a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion. General Motors Corp. posted a $9.6 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2008. The Pentagon, reversing an 18-year-old policy, said it would allow some media coverage of returning war dead, with family approval. Former Chicago Bulls player Norm Van Lier died at age 61. Also in 2009, the Bangladesh military was called in to put down a mutiny by border guards, who staged a violent, wide-spread rebellion, reportedly over money. Officials placed the death toll at 77.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Fats Domino is 82. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 67. Actor-director Bill Duke is 67. Singer Mitch Ryder is 65. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 60. Singer Michael Bolton is 57. Actor Greg Germann is 52. Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine is 52. Bandleader John McDaniel is 49. Actress Jennifer Grant is 44. Rock musician Tim Commerford (Audioslave) is 42. Singer Erykah Badu is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 38. Football player Marshall Faulk is 37. Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson is 37. Baseball player Mark DeRosa is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 35. Rock musician Chris Culos (O.A.R.) is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 31. Country singer Rodney Hayden is 30.
Those Born On This Date Include: British playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564); Levi Strauss, who created the world's first pair of jeans (1829); surgeon and cornflakes developer John Kellogg (1852); Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887); actors William Frawley (1887); Robert Alda (1914); Jackie Gleason (1916); Tony Randall (1920) and Betty Hutton (1921); singer Johnny Cash (1932); and political commentator Robert Novak (1934).
Today In Entertainment February 26
In 1932, country musician Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland, Ark.
In 1966, the Rolling Stones released the single "19th Nervous Breakdown."
In 1970, the Beatles album "Hey Jude" was released in the US and Canada. It was made up of singles that were previously unavailable in the US.
In 1977, bluesman Bukka White, also known as Booker T. Washington, died in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 70. His guitar-playing influenced B.B. King and many others.
In 1990, singer Cornell Gunter of The Coasters was found shot to death in Las Vegas. Authorities said he was found in his car, shot twice. Gunter had joined The Coasters in 1957.
In 1993, police in Augusta, Ga. fined singer Bobby Brown $580 for pretending to have sex with one of his backup singers during a concert. She also was fined $580.
In 1998, a jury rejected a lawsuit filed by Texas cattlemen against Oprah Winfrey. The suit accused her of disparaging them on her talk show by implying US beef was unsafe.
In 2004, Rosie O'Donnell and girlfriend Kelli Carpenter were married at City Hall in San Francisco.
Thought for Today: "There is one thing more powerful than the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." — Victor Hugo (1802-1885).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Here We Go

Rare Batman Comic Book Sells For Over $1 Million
LAST UPDATED: 2/25/2010 7:59:52 PM
Dallas, TX -- Heritage Auction Galleries says a 1939 comic book in which Batman makes his debut has sold at auction in Dallas for more than $1 million -- setting a record for the amount paid for a comic.
The rare copy of Detective Comics No. 27 from 1939 went for $1,075,500 Thursday. A Heritage official says it was sold on behalf of an anonymous consignor and the buyer wished to remain anonymous as well.

Barry Sandoval, director of operations of Heritage's comics division, says that the consignor bought the comic in the late 1960s for $100.

On Monday, a copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold for $1 million in a sale between a private seller and a private buyer. The comic was a 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1.
On the Net: Heritage Auction Galleries,
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 2010
Private buyers & sellers, our ass. This is just auction houses trying to get ink in the depressed economy.

This Month's Crazy Stupid Of The Wk.

You wonder what goes through their minds.
Even as the administration has lately made a show of rushing less capable sea- and land-based short-range (theater) missile defenses into the Persian Gulf in the face of rising panic there about Iran’s actual/incipient ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities, Team Obama is behaving in a way that — as the new MDA logo suggests — is all about accommodating that “Islamic Republic” and its ever-more aggressive stance.

Watch this space as we identify and consider various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team. Readers are encouraged to offer examples of their own to
Above from Big Boss Breitbart's Big Government. Yes, the Big Boss who recently went off on fellow right-wing media mogul Joseph Farah about "birtherism" being a waste of time. And this is what, then?

Also stupid: FOX News, which will repeat anything it's told.

Latest Colorado High School Shooting Overview

The A. G.:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers told a conference on school safety Thursday that there have been more than 250 school-related violence deaths nationwide, half of them shootings, since Columbine.

Suthers insisted there is no way to stop a determined gunman, including the 53-year-old man who killed student Emily Keyes at Colorado's Platte Valley High School in 2006, the man who killed 33 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 and the faculty shooting deaths of three people this month at the University of Alabama.

Anonymous tips to a phone bank set up after Columbine allowed officials to prevent 28 planned school attacks in Colorado, respond to more than 400 threats of violence and seize 200 weapons from schools or school buses, Suthers said. But he noted that school staff – not police – were involved in most of those cases.

"This week's incident at Deer Creek Middle School, and the heroism that was displayed by teachers and staff, underscores that fact
," Suthers declared.
Sounds like another terrist-lovin' 'Murka-hater to me. And he don't sound skeered enuff to be no Att'y. Genrul.

The shooter (Sean Penn, Jr.):
Eastwood's Colorado arrest record dates back to 1996 and includes suspicion of menacing, assault, domestic violence and driving under the influence.

In 1996, Eastwood was charged with felony menacing after a roommate reported Eastwood put a gun to his head and said, "If you ever take anything from me again or piss me off, I'll kill you," according to an arrest affidavit. Eastwood pleaded guilty to third-degree misdemeanor assault and received three years of probation. He had to complete anger management counseling.

Also in 1996, he allegedly threatened two people with a knife at a mall. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and served a 10-day jail term.

Eastwood moved in with his father five years ago and fed horses on his ranch. Eastwood's basement bedroom held DVDs, videotapes, CDs, magazines, three Denver Broncos baseball caps, a Broncos team photo, a few G.I. Joe action figures, a job application for a movie theater and a clock shaped like the cartoon character Garfield's head.
The Smart-Asses:
Near Deer Creek Thursday, a group of eighth graders from the school were hanging out on a lawn. Russell Fugitt, 13, said he's not concerned about returning to school.

"We didn't expect it to happen the first time; we're not too scared that it's going to happen again," Fugitt said.
From the suckers at The AP. Yeah, it's pronounced "few-jit." Heh.

Annals Of Freudian Oedipal Analysis: Family Values Means "Screwing Female Relatives & In-Laws"

Almost-bastard ("Newt Gingrich was born Newton Leroy McPherson, on June 17, 1943, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to nineteen-year-old Newton Searles McPherson and sixteen-year-old Kathleen Daugherty, who were married in September 1942. His mother raised him by herself until she married Robert Gingrich, who then adopted Newt.") son of white-trash Newton Leroy Gingrich "married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old. She was seven years his senior at 26 years old. They had two daughters, and he pressured her for a divorce in 1981, while she was recovering from cancer surgery." Wikipedia will back us on the above facts.

Looks as if Georgia's GOP is on MILF patrol, where the "M" stands for "Mother-in-law." Yuck!!:
Meet newly minted Rep. Daniel Stout.

His campaign Web site touts his conservative, pro-family bona fides. "I believe Paulding County wants someone who will stand strong for the conservative principles we've always believed in ... lower taxes, limited government, personal responsibility, and valuing Life from the womb until natural death," he says.

But, as the writer Tom Crawford of Capitol Impact noted this week, Stout "has been compelled to address a personal incident from 10 years ago: he had an affair with his first wife's mother while his first wife was pregnant with their daughter. Stout and his first wife subsequently divorced."

In a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stout apologized and said, "This humbling experience changed my life dramatically."

He also said the relationship with his mother-in-law "was stopped short of 'sex.'"

"I did not have sexual relations w/ that woman ... my mother-in-law. Uh, depending on what your definition of sex is."

Hypocrisy is truly the greatest evil your species commits. A close second is voting for hypocrites; plain old stupidity comes in a close third.
Last December, Paulding County lost its representative in the Georgia House when he resigned in a high profile sex and conflict-of-interest scandal.

Glenn Richardson, the family-values Republican who represented the county and was speaker of the house, stepped down after his ex-wife publicly accused him of having "a full-out affair" with a lobbyist while he was married.

So when Paulding County voters went to the polls for a special election Tuesday, they selected ... another family-values conservative who had admitted to an extramarital affair!

Drawing & quartering would be too good for any of these people, pols & voters. Could get the economy going again too. While our first desire would be to bulldoze the executed into unmarked pits, if funeral homes promise to hire more people, we can see letting the evil dead have their own graves.

Good Thing: We Only Advocate Murder, Terrorism & Violent, Anarchic Nihilism Here, Not That Icky Homo Stuff

Free Market Wrap-Up:
You would think he would be the kind of customer Citi would want — but Citi decided otherwise after a compliance officer reviewed his site and decided that a social networking application for gay men was “objectionable.”

Without notifying Goldberg or anyone at Fabulis, Citi shut down their bank accounts for objectionable content on Fabulis’ blog, though it refused to specify which content.
Does the Saudi prince who runs the Saudi Royal Family's investment arm still own a big chunk of Citi?

Good News For Those Opposed To Humanity's Continuing Inhumanity

News one can enjoy upon awakening:
  1. Global Trade Falls a Devastating 12 Percent
    Due to the recession, demand fell across all world economies last year, culminating in the fastest contraction in global trade since World War II.
    Read original story in The Guardian | Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010
  2. World Continues Warming, Scientists Say
    Despite blizzards across the country, this past January was the hottest January ever recorded and this past November the hottest November.
    Read original story in Reuters | Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010
Fuck you all, Worldwide Assholes.

And Suck Our Web Logging Dick While You're At It!!

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
"If you think it's a socialist plot, then please drop out of the federal employees health program."

-- Sen.Richard Durbin (D-IL), to Republican lawmakers at today's health care reform summit.

Memory Lapse?

Maybe the McCourts just forgot to pay their taxes.

Oh, no, it was our memory lapse. We saw the headline yesterday, but we were so distracted we never got to the inside of the fish-wrapper to follow up on this. ME, however, was on the ball.
Robert Schooley sent me a link to this article by Michael Hiltzik, which is kind of a follow-up to the piece here the other day about rich folks paying little or no taxes. It's about how the now-divorced couple that owns the L.A. Dodgers made $108 million over a recent five-year period and paid zero state and federal taxes.

This was something that drove my late father to distraction. He worked for the Internal Revenue Service and hated his job for many, many reasons. One was just seeing how unfair was the spreading-around of the tax burden. He would come home from work some day, shaking his head over the inequity ... how some poor guy living off minimum wage and struggling to feed his family would be hit with a huge tax bill while some zillionaire got away without paying a nickel. Too often, it was like famed hotel magnate Leona Helmsley said: "We [the rich] don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."
To everyone who claims that our wealthiest citizens pay more than their fair share of income taxes and we should cut them a break because they're the ones who, you know, create jobs in our economy, I have four words for you:

Frank and Jamie McCourt.

The McCourts, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers (so she says; he says he's the owner and she's not), jointly pocketed income totaling $108 million from 2004 through 2009, according to documents Jamie McCourt recently filed in the couple's divorce case in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

On that sum, they paid zero federal and state income tax. Jamie suggests that some tax breaks will apply this year too.

This reminds me of the old line about how true scandal lies not in what's illegal, but what's legal. It's certainly an edifying window into the lengths some people will go to avoid paying taxes.
Does a nation that accepts & (though a supposed democracy) allows this perpetual inequity deserve to survive? We type a firm "NO!" The experiment is over, it's always been a lie (true democracy will never be allowed in this world of shit & pain) so bring it to an end now. Maybe we should just have an election for "swellest rich guy" & appoint him King of America. You fucking sheep would like that, wouldn't you?

25 February: We Were Watching The Fights & A Hockey Game Broke Out; Cassius Clay Is Champ; "Soy Bomb"; Killer Cops Go Free (Why Can't We?)

Today is Thursday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2010. There are 309 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 25, 1940, a hockey game was televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS, as the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-2, at Madison Square Garden.
On this date:
In 1791, the First Bank of the U.S. at Philadelphia became the first national bank chartered by Congress.
In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt patented his revolver.
In 1870, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Miss., was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African-American to sit in Congress.
In 1901, United States Steel Corporation was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.
In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Philander Chase Knox.
In 1919, Oregon became the first state to tax gasoline, at one cent per gallon.
In 1948, communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.
In 1951, Buenos Aires played host to the first Pan American Games.
In 1964, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach.
In 1967, U.S. warships began shelling Vietnam.
In 1986, President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.
In 1990, Nicaraguans went to the polls in an election that resulted in an upset victory for the alliance opposed to the ruling Sandinistas.
In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. As the ground assault continued, Iraq ordered its forces to withdraw from Kuwait. Also in 1991, the Warsaw Pact nations signed an agreement to dissolve their alliance after 36 years.
In 1994, 32 Muslim worshippers were killed by American-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein, who opened fire with an automatic rifle inside the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank town of Hebron. He was overpowered and beaten to death by vicious, murdering Muslim "worshipers."
In 1996, a bus bombing in Jerusalem killed 25 people.
In 1997, documents revealed U.S. President Bill Clinton endorsed rewarding Democratic contributors with such perks as golf games with him or overnight stays in the White House.
In 1999, a jury in Jasper, Texas, sentenced white supremacist John William King to death for chaining James Byrd Jr., a black man, to a pickup truck and dragging him to his death. Israel's Supreme Court blocked the extradition of American teenager Samuel Sheinbein to the US to face charges stemming from a grisly slaying in Maryland.
In 2000, a jury in Albany, N.Y. acquitted four white New York City police officers of all charges in the Feb. 1999 shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo in the Bronx.
In 2003, as the possibility of war loomed, the chief U.N. weapons inspector said Iraq was showing new signs of cooperation in dismantling its weapons arsenal.
In 2004, The Supreme Court ruled states didn't have to underwrite the religious training of students planning careers in the ministry.
In 2005, municipal employee and church leader Dennis Rader was arrested for the BTK ("bind, torture, kill") serial slayings that had terrorized Wichita, Kan. (Rader later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 life prison terms.) A suicide bombing killed four Israelis outside a Tel Aviv nightclub, shattering an informal truce. Amnesty International founder Peter Benenson died in Oxford, England, at age 83. Hall of Fame basketball coach John Chaney was suspended for the rest of the regular season by Temple for ordering rough play by one of his players during a game against Saint Joseph's. The Walt Disney Co. agreed to sell the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to billionaire Henry Samueli and his wife, Susan, for $75 million.
In 2007, Iran claimed to have fired its first rocket into space. Iran reportedly had relied on Russia to put its satellites into space in the past.
In 2008, Ford Motor Company urged workers to accept buyout offers in a reported effort to pass along jobs to lower wage employees and reduce losses. An Associated Press photograph of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wearing traditional local garb during a visit to Kenya in 2006 began circulating on the Internet. The New York Philharmonic arrived in North Korea to perform a concert, the same day Lee Myung-bak was sworn in as South Korea's first conservative president in a decade.
In 2009, President Barack Obama introduced former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as his nominee for commerce secretary after two earlier choices dropped out. A Turkish Airlines jetliner crashed near Amsterdam's main airport, but nearly everyone on board — 126 people — survived; the nine dead included the pilots. Also in 2009, a second day of fighting between Islamic militants and Somali government troops backed by African Union peacekeepers shook Mogadishu. At least 35 civilians died and about 130 others were reported injured.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Ralph Stanley is 83. Actor Tom Courtenay is 73. CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 73. Actress Diane Baker is 72. Actress Karen Grassle is 66. Humorist Jack Handey is 61. Movie director Neil Jordan is 60. Rock musician Dennis Diken (The Smithereens) is 53. Rock singer-musician Mike Peters (The Alarm) is 51. Actress Veronica Webb is 45. Actor Alexis Denisof is 44. Actress Tea (TAY'-ah) Leoni is 44. Comedian Carrot Top is 43. Actress Lesley Boone is 42. Actor Sean Astin is 39. Singer Daniel Powter is 39. Latin singer Julio Iglesias Jr. is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Justin Jeffre is 37. Rock musician Richard Liles is 37. Actor Anson Mount is 37. Comedian Chelsea Handler is 35. Actress Rashida Jones is 34. Actor Justin Berfield is 24. Actors Oliver and James Phelps ("Harry Potter" movies) are 24.
Those Born On this Date Include: French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841); Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso (1873); U.S. statesman John Foster Dulles (1888); actor Herbert "Zeppo" Marx, the "sane" sibling of the early Marx Brothers movies (1901); actor Jim Backus (1913); tennis player Bobby Riggs (1918); producer/writer Larry Gelbart (1928); former Beatle George Harrison (1943).
Today In Entertainment February 25
In 1950, the variety series "Your Show of Shows," starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris, debuted on NBC-TV.
In 1957, Buddy Holly and the Crickets recorded "That'll Be The Day," their first and only No. 1 hit.
In 1963, Vee Jay Records released the first Beatles record in the US, "Please Please Me" backed with "Ask Me Why." At the time, the single went unnoticed by the record-buying public.
In 1973, the Stephen Sondheim musical "A Little Night Music" opened on Broadway.
In 1981, singer Christopher Cross was the big winner at the Grammy Awards, picking up an award for best album for his self-titled debut album. His hit "Sailing" was named best song and best record.
In 1983, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams was found dead in his New York hotel suite. He was 71.
In 1992, Natalie Cole won seven Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for "Unforgettable." Bonnie Raitt and R.E.M. each won three.
In 1993, Marshall Tucker Band founder Toy Caldwell was found dead at his home in South Carolina. He was 45. A coroner later ruled that Caldwell's death was cocaine-related. Also in 1993, actor Dick Van Dyke got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But at the star's unveiling, Van Dyke was shocked to see that his last name had been engraved as one word instead of two.
In 1995, singer Lyle Lovett broke his collarbone in a motorcycle accident while practicing for a segment for "Moto World" on ESPN.
In 1996, actor Dr. Haing Ngor was shot to death outside his home in Los Angeles. He was 45. Ngor won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in "The Killing Fields" and was a real-life survivor of the Khmer Rouge death camps.
In 1998, Bob Dylan won his first Best Album Grammy for "Time Out of Mind," his 42nd album. His performance was interrupted by a dancing man with "Soy Bomb" written on his chest. At that same ceremony, singer Shawn Colvin's acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper ODB, who upstaged her with a rant about his clothes.
In 2004, "The Passion of the Christ" opened nationwide.
In 2006, Emmy-winning comic star Don Knotts, best known for his Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show," died of lung cancer. He was 81.
In 2007, Martin Scorsese won his first Oscar, for directing "The Departed."
Thought for Today: "Open-mindedness is not the same as empty-mindedness. To hang out a sign saying, 'Come right in; there is no one at home' is not the equivalent of hospitality." — John Dewey, American philosopher and educator (1859-1952).