Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bill Clinton Does NOT Want An Economic Slowdown


“And maybe America, and Europe, and Japan, and Canada — the rich counties — would say, ‘OK, we just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.’ We could do that.

But if we did that, you know as well as I do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Mexico and Brazil and the Ukraine, and all the other countries will never agree to stay poor to save the planet for our grandchildren. The only way we can do this is if we get back in the world’s fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.”


"In a long, and interesting speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

At a time that the nation is worried about a recession is that really the characterization his wife would want him making? “Slow down our economy”?

I don’t really think there’s much debate that, at least initially, a full commitment to reduce greenhouse gases would slow down the economy….So was this a moment of candor?"
How moronic do you have to be to get that wrong? Either he's being deliberately misleading or Tapper is a pinhead. Of course, before you know it, everyone from The Drudge Report (pinhead)to Rush Limbaugh (fat pinhead) is off to the races with the twisted "truth." This after the fact that everyone, Democrat and Republican, has debunked the story; and even after all that, Tapper still claims to be uncertain about what Bill Clinton meant. How does this guy have a journalism job?

(H/T Carpetbagger and C&L)

Writers's Strike May Be Settled Soon

1010WINS: LOS ANGELES - A breakthrough in contract talks has been reached between Hollywood studios and striking writers and could lead to a tentative deal as early as next week, a person close to the ongoing negotiations said Saturday.

The two sides breached the gap Friday on the thorniest issues, those concerning compensation for projects distributed via the Internet...

Bill Clinton Knocks Ted Kennedy and Links Him To Bush

It's time for the Big Dog to either tone it down or for someone in the Hillary campaign to put a muzzle on him. Bill Clinton has criticized Senator Ted Kennedy twice in the last week and linked him to George W. Bush and the No Child Left Behind fiasco.

"I want you to think about this, and I have to say, this was a train wreck that was not intended. No Child Left Behind was supported by George Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy and everybody in between. Why? Because they didn't talk to enough teachers before they did that," said Clinton on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Obviously these statements come after the Massachusetts senior Senator endorsed Barack Obama and not Hillary Clinton. I can only assume that these comments would not have been made had Kennedy's endorsement gone to Hillary. What do you think?

Maybe Bill should have continued his diatribe and let his audiences know that the "everybody in between" included his wife. Hillary voted FOR No Child Left Behind. Or maybe someone in the Obama campaign will shed some light on that fact if the question is raised. That would be sweet.

Don't misunderstand, I think either candidate is going to make a good president, but since my horse has gone back to the stable, I'm putting my money on Obama. I suppose you can call this the official "Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania!" endorsement of Barack Obama which I am sure will propel him over the top and begin his landslide victory in the Democratic race and onto the White House.

And it only makes matters worse for Clinton to have her husband stumping the old-fashioned way: with mudslinging and half truths. Someone has got to control him, not only because it reflects poorly on the Clinton campaign, but it's really unbecoming of a former President. I almost feel embarrassed for him when I see him blow a gasket.

If that's what Hillary calls "change", I ain't buying it.

Montel Williams Cancelled After Fox & Friends Interview

I'm a couple of days late on this but just did some research after hearing about it on the Mike Malloy Show.

Montel Williams was being interviewed by the schlubs over at Fox & Friends to discuss the tragic death of Heath Ledger. What they got instead was unexpected. Here's the video.

What really pisses me off about this interview is the Fox idiot (I don't even know their names) trying to turn the tables on Montel by asking him to tell them about the soldier who died yesterday. In my opinion, the moron was trying to play the "gotcha" game with Williams and say, "See? You don't know either. Why are you putting us on the spot?"

And let's not forget that Montel Williams is a 22 year veteran of the Marines.

After the break, Montel Williams was not on the set. Four days later, after a number of Fox stations decided not to renew his television show for the next season, CBS announced that it would cancel The Montel Williams Show after 17 years. Not only that, it's not going to produce any new shows. CBS will air the "best of" Montel for the next full year. After all, they wouldn't want to give him a platform to shed light on what's been happening in the Middle East that 98% of the American population doesn't know about because we're being inundated with Ledger or Anna Nicole or Britney or Lindsey or Paris or O.J. or Mary Kate & Ashley or Jessica and Tony Romo... and the list goes on and on.

I don't know if the cancellation was in the works and Montel knew about it before his Fox interview, and therefore felt like he could put it out there without repercussion, or if he thought that enough is enough and really wanted to open a discourse of why the media isn't covering the loss of our military and the occupation and escalation in Iraq as diligently as it should. Either way, Montel said was has been desparately needed to be voiced for far too long.

(H/T to Manila Ryce at The Largest Minority)

Happy Groundhog Day

Click on the cartoon for some shadow dancing.

T Minus 353/352 Days

Released tapes prove that Enron, which was Bush's top career patron until 2004 and among his top donors in the 2000 election, was responsible for the rolling blackouts in California as part of a price-gouging scheme.

- The New York Times, February 3rd ,2005

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mets Finalize Santana Deal Neither the value not the length of the contract is known, but executives in the game had said since early Friday afternoon that they expected Santana to have a contract through 2014 worth $139 million. That figure would reflect annual salaries averaging about $22 million and a signing bonus of about $7 million that would increase the 2008 earnings of the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner to about $20.25 million. The average annual value of the deal would be about $19,587,000.

UPDATE: Santana and the Mets agreed Friday to a $137.5 million, six-year contract extension...

Krugman: The Edwards Effect

I was listening to John Edwards last year and what Paul Krugman summarizes is what I remembered. Over the course of the year, it became a little muddied in my mind. Who was initiating the bold ideas like universal health care that the Democratic candidates suddenly seemed to latch on to after sweeping it under the rug for so long?

Sure, Dennis Kucinich was for "Medicare for all" (HR 636) but unfortunately and as usual, no one in the mainstream cared to listen to what Kucincich had to say.

Luckily, Edwards was in the forefront just enough and had the populist message that many wanted to hear, and the rest of the pack had to follow because the message was so enticing . We have John Edwards to thank for what we are hearing from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton now.

KRUGMAN: ...Mr. Edwards, far more than is usual in modern politics, ran a campaign based on ideas. And even as his personal quest for the White House faltered, his ideas triumphed: both candidates left standing are, to a large extent, running on the platform Mr. Edwards built.

...Suddenly, universal health care became a possible dream for the next administration. In the months that followed, the rival campaigns moved to assure the party’s base that it was a dream they shared, by emulating the Edwards plan. And there’s little question that if the next president really does achieve major health reform, it will transform the political landscape.

...Unfortunately for Mr. Edwards, the willingness of his rivals to emulate his policy proposals made it hard for him to differentiate himself as a candidate; meanwhile, those rivals had far larger financial resources and received vastly more media attention.

...One thing is clear, however: whichever candidate does get the nomination, his or her chance of victory will rest largely on the ideas Mr. Edwards brought to the campaign.

Exxon Sets Record Profits Again

NY TIMES: Exxon Mobil delivered its strongest performance ever last year, earning a record $40.6 billion in net income because of surging oil prices, the company said Friday.

The figure, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, exceeded the company’s own record for profits at an American corporation, set in 2006, and is nearly twice what it earned in 2003.Exxon said its fourth-quarter net income rose 14 percent, to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share. That also made it
the company’s most profitable quarter ever.

...Exxon, like most oil companies, has benefited from a near-doubling of oil prices last year. In New York, oil futures rose from a year-low of about $50 a barrel in early 2007 to a peak of nearly $100 by the end of the year.


Who Let George Out?

Uh, oh. President Bush is talking about the economy again. It is now 11:52am EST and the Dow is up 35.04. I wonder how low it'll be before he finishes.

11:55am - Dow Jones at +24.06

12:09pm - Dow Jones at +20.48

4:27pm - Go figure. Microsoft bids on Yahoo for $45 billion shooting it up 48%, Massachusetts sues Merrill Lynch, Exxon's profits are the highest ever, and a whole bunch of other shit happened. But the most important thing? Bush stopped yappin'.
Dow Jones ends the day at +92.83.

T Minus 354 Days

"I think we need not only to eliminate the tollbooth from the middle class, I think we should knock down the tollbooth."

- The New York Times (as quoted by Gail Collins), February 1, 2000

Olbermann's Special Comment: Of FISA and the Telecoms

Our stalwart Commander in Chief wants the FISA bill as soon as possible to protect us from the evildoers. That is of course only if it includes retroactive immunity for the telecom companies. Otherwise, he'll veto it. Boy, I'm sure glad he's watching over us, aren't you?

This is probably the best Special Comment I've seen from Keith Olbermann.

The eavesdropping provisions of FISA have obviously had no impact on counter-terrorism, and there is no current or perceived terrorist threat, the thwarting of which could hinge on an e-mail or a phone call going through room 641-A at AT&T in San Francisco next week or next month.

Because if there were, Mr. Bush, and you were to, by your own hand, veto an extension of this eavesdropping, and some terrorist attack were to follow, you would not merely be guilty of siding with the terrorists, you would not merely be guilty of prioritizing the telecoms over the people, you would not merely be guilty of stupidity, you would not merely be guilty of treason… but you would be personally, and eternally, responsible.

And if there is one thing we know about you, Mr. Bush, one thing that you have proved time and time again under any and all circumstances, it is that you are never responsible.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

FCC Fines ABC Big Do-Re-Mi?

Who are the idiots heading up the Federal Communications Commission? Some nitwit at the FCC has decided that an episode of NYPD Blue that originally aired on February 25, 2003, five fucking years ago, is subject to a $1.4 million fine for indecency because it "depicts sexual organs and excretory organs - specifically an adult woman's buttocks."

I remember watching this particular episode and was pleasantly surprised at viewing Charlotte Ross' "buttocks" for about .2 seconds. (Okay, I just found the video and the total amount of nudity time is about 5 seconds over a 42 second clip.) But maybe someone should remind the geniuses at the FCC of their own definition.

Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1464, prohibits the utterance of “any obscene, indecent or profane language by means of radio communication.” Consistent with a subsequent statute and court case, the Commission's rules prohibit the broadcast of indecent material during the period of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. FCC decisions also prohibit the broadcast of profane material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
They're going after NYPD Blue, a show that's been off the air since 2005, and aired its episodes from 10p.m. to 11p.m., outside the FCC's own "indecency" time guidelines. Here's the YouTube clip in its entirety.

For this, the FCC wants to fine ABC $27,500 per affiliate (52 in total) for a jackpot of $1.4 million. Luckily, ABC is fighting back. " 'ABC feels strongly that the FCC's finding is inconsistent with prior precedent from the Commission, the indecency statute and the First Amendment, and we intend to oppose the proposed fine,' the ABC network said in its defence."

But the real moron seems to be FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, who apparently can't trust America's parents to judge or police the television content their children watch.

"Our action today should serve as a reminder to all broadcasters that Congress and American families continue to be concerned about protecting children from harmful material and that the FCC will enforce the laws of the land vigilantly," Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate said.

We can't let our children watch this kind of filth on television because it'll prevent them from developing normally, cause them to go on sex rampages and become sexually deviant Republican politicians. Initially, ABC argued against the FCC's contention that buttocks are a "sexual organ", but the FCC rejected that argument apparently because they have anal sex on the brain.

If they really want to prevent children from watching something harmful, why do they keep allowing those damned Republican debates on the air?

Non-existent Homeless Vets Fight O'Reilly

When this story started emerging a few weeks ago, I knew something like this would happen. I wonder how Bill O'Reilly and Fox News will (or won't) cover it.

John Edwards, who until bowing out of the campaign, was making poverty and homeless veterans a staple of his stumping, was being lambasted by O'Reilly when he would let the American people know the truth and point out the fact that over 200,000 veterans of our Armed Forces are sleeping on the streets on any given night.

As recently as January 16, O'Reilly took to the airwaves to rain ridicule upon Edwards, saying, "Well, we're still looking for all the veterans sleeping under the bridges, if you find anybody, let us know." As we reported two days later, Robert Greenwald and his crew at Brave New Films did exactly that.

Now, a group from Fitzgerald House, an "organization representing homeless veterans," plans to bring their fight for recognition to Fox's doorstep. They plan on visiting the Fox News Channel Studios today at 3:00 pm, and will come carrying a petition signed by 17,000 people demanding an apology from O'Reilly for his ignorance and abuse.

Leave it to Robert Greenwald, slayer of all things Fox, to take this head on and expose Bill O'Reilly as the egomaniacal misinformationist that he is. Take a look at the video.

CDC Suppressed Toxic Trailer Warnings

FEMA, oh FEMA... is there nothing you can't fuck up?

An exclusive CBS report reveals that the Center for Disease Control suppressed warnings of dangerously toxic levels of formaldehyde in the trailers that have been used for displaced persons from New Orleans provided by FEMA for two years, unless they've been evicted that is.

...the nation's top public health agency, suppressed repeated warnings from one of its top scientists, raising questions about whether the CDC bowed to pressure from FEMA to conceal the long-term health risks of formaldehyde in the trailers it distributed to hurricane victims - health risks like cancer and birth defects...

...Dr. Christopher De Rosa, director of the CDC's Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine, told his superiors "there is no safe level of exposure" to formaldehyde in trailers. That warning never made its way into any public report about the trailers...

...two of his staff members had been directed by FEMA officials to not "address longer term health effects" of formaldehyde in this February 2007 report... In fact, it wasn't until October 2007 - after eight months and pressure from congressional investigators that the CDC revised its February report and finally issued warnings about cancer and other long-term health risks of formaldehyde.

We all know that FEMA has been a dismal failure when it comes to basically anything they are involved in, from the response to Hurricane Katrina, to the fake news conference regarding the California fires last October. The whole department is a microcosm of the unethical cronyism and broken bureaucracy that has permeated this government to the core under the intrepid leadership of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney; and now we find out that this corrupt administration has so systematically and thoroughly destroyed every governmental agency and department that even the CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL has been treated like a crack whore by the pimps in the White House.

This is unconscionable. There are about 40,000 families still living in formaldehyde-laced trailers that have been forgotten not only by the government, but by all of us. They've been displaced for over two years, breathing in toxic, cancer-causing fumes, left to rot while Bush and all his buddies raze low income housing in New Orleans that was only slightly damaged by Katrina in order to cleanse the city of these "undesirables" and dole out the land for high income hotel and construction projects. And now comes word of a CDC report that came out in February of 2007 omitting vital health threatening information but is revised eight months later only after pressure from the Homeland Security Committee?

These criminals should be taken into the main square and shot.

T Minus 355 Days

Since today's calendar "quote" isn't really a quote at all, but a description of Google's "miserable failure" link bomb that would link directly to the White House website bio page on Herr Bush, I've decided to take a quote from Bush's latest State of the Union address. Can you tell who he's talking about?

"The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists -- evil men who despise freedom, despise America, and aim to subject millions to their violent rule."

- State of the Union Address, January 28th, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards To Drop Out of Race Today - UPDATED

The only remaining candidate to run an honorable campaign thus far is bowing out of the bid for the presidency. John Edwards will make his announcement at 1pm today.

The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement. Both candidates would welcome Edwards' backing and the support of the 56 delegates he had collected.

Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better-funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis. In a dramatic news conference last March, the couple announced that the breast cancer that she thought she had beaten had returned, but they would continue the campaign.

Let's face facts. The only remaining candidate willing to take on corporate interests and insurance companies, and whom corporations viewed as the most dangerous of the three top Democratic candidates, was John Edwards. He also played a major role in the Democratic debates and on the campaign trail, focusing the discourse on the issues rather than on backbiting. Edwards will be sorely missed.

You can call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but you have to believe that the mainstream media shut Edwards out because of his message. He was the only candidate consistently talking about poverty, the saving of the middle class, corporate greed and lobbyist corruption. The MSM is owned by corporations and therefore ignored him completely even after beating Clinton in Iowa and being outspent by his opponents 9 to 1.

...The strategy at first seemed shrewd: build on Edwards' surprisingly good showing in Iowa in 2004 and make his native South Carolina his firewall while garnering union support. It was designed to take on the establishment candidate that everyone knew was going to run: former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

What no one, not Clinton or Edwards, was prepared for was the insurgency candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. Suddenly Edwards was running against a version of himself in 2004: the young, fresh, optimistic face, the Washington outsider with a thin resume but lots of charm, ruffling some feathers as he jumped the line. Except this version was an African American celebrity candidate with a cult-like following. Big and small donors flocked to Obama, the freshman senator from Illinois, as did the endorsements, and suddenly Edwards seemed like a third wheel.

...Edwards leaves the race having made a big impact on the two remaining candidates. His populist rhetoric forced his rivals to compete for union support, and he was the first out of the gate with detailed plans for universal healthcare and education, putting pressure on the field to match him. The former trial lawyer arguably won a majority of the debates, time and again challenging his opponents to refuse money from lobbyists and speed up their plans for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq.

Mets Land Santana

Today, I'm a happy Mets fan. I hope it holds.

At a seemingly reasonable price -- swift outfielder Carlos Gomez and young pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra -- the Mets have satisfied the Twins. Now, they have until 5 p.m. ET on Friday to satisfy Santana, who, armed with a no-trade clause potentially as effective as his world-class changeup, can veto the trade if the Mets don't make him happy.

Margaret Truman Daniel (1924-2008)

NY TIMES: Margaret Truman Daniel, the president’s daughter who achieved renown in her own right as a concert singer, radio and television host, and author of best-selling biographies and mysteries, died on Tuesday in Chicago. She was 83 and had lived until recently on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

T Minus 356 Days

Let's not forget Dick Cheney's birthday today. So here's a myriad of quotes from the man who shoots the faces off of his hunting buddies.

"Except for the occasional heart attack, I never felt better." –June 4, 2003

"I had other priorities in the sixties than military service." –on his five draft deferments, April 5, 1989

"There are a lot of lessons we want to learn out of this process in terms of what works. I think we are in fact on our way to getting on top of the whole Katrina exercise." --Sept. 10, 2005

"Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." –April 30, 2001

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." --March 16, 2003

"We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." --March 16, 2003

"In Iraq, a ruthless dictator cultivated weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. He gave support to terrorists, had an established relationship with al Qaeda, and his regime is no more." –Nov. 7, 2003

"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." -- on the Iraq insurgency, June 20, 2005

"Go fuck yourself." --to Sen. Patrick Leahy, during an angry exchange on the Senate floor about profiteering by Halliburton, June 25, 2004

And let's hope he's finally right on this one: “The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of anti-Western hatred are over.”

White House: Troop Cuts? ...Nevermind

President Bush is rethinking cutting troop levels in Iraq after announcing that he would do just that this past September.

Four months after announcing troop reductions in Iraq, President Bush is now sending signals that the cuts may not continue past this summer, a development likely to infuriate Democrats and renew concerns among military planners about strains on the force.

Mr. Bush has made no decisions on troop reductions to follow those he announced last September. But White House officials said Mr. Bush had been taking the opportunity, as he did in Monday’s State of the Union address, to prepare Americans for the possibility that, when he leaves office a year from now, the military presence in Iraq will be just as large as it was a year ago, or even slightly larger.
Well, well... did we really expect any different from the reverse King Midas? Everything this lazy, dim-witted bastard has ever touched has turned to shit. His only successes throughout his entire life are those that his family has handed to him; his failures covered up by bailout after bailout. And now it's up to the next President to clean up this man's murderous mess.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McCain Wins Florida - Rudy's Out

While announcing and analyzing McCain's win in Florida, MSNBC and others confirm with two separate sources that Rudy Giuliani will drop out of the race tomorrow and endorse John McCain at the Reagan Library. Talk about irony! Is this a good thing for McCain?

...given Rudy's stands on abortion, guns and gay rights, his endorsement of McCain would also add some ballast to Romney's central argument going forward -- that of the two remaining contenders for the GOP nomination, he is the more conservative.
Looks like we won't have Rudy Giuliani to kick around anymore... and it was becoming one of my favorite pastimes.

As of this writing, Hillary Clinton has won the raw vote over Barack Obama in Florida, but no delegates were awarded due to the stripping of Florida's delegates after breaking party rules and holding their primary early.

Although Michigan (which is in the same boat) and Florida have been stripped of delegates, the Clinton campaign is challenging the Democratic National Committee's ruling.

"Nothing has changed," a party source said. "Florida will still have zero delegates. The party has booked no rooms for them at the convention."

T Minus 357 Days

"The War on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."

-Grand Rapids, MI, January 29, 2003

Back From Toronto - Address Predictions

Okay, I've been almost completely devoid of the political scene for the last three and a half days (except for a couple of hours of CNN on Saturday watching Obama win the primary in South Carolina) and before I watch Raisinbrain's State of the Union Address, I'll make a couple of predictions on what I might hear:

  • Economy is stable but Congress needs to push through those tax cuts ASAP and make the previous cuts permanent.
  • We are winning in Iraq because the surge worked.
  • Congress needs to cut earmarks... the Democrats I mean.

I'll have to catch up with the rest of what happened at a later date. If I can stomach the SOTU tonight, I'll have a little critique later.

PS Our trip was relaxing (ahh...). The show was fun and Monica was great.