Saturday, January 30, 2010

President Obama's House Republican Conference Remarks

Enjoy the smackdown.

(C-SPAN has disabled embedding for this particular video, so clicking on the photo will send you to their site where you can watch the full conference remarks and the questions and answers that followed.)

Must Reads

Bob Cesca: Progressives vs. The President

David M. Herszenhorn: Fact Check: Obama and House Republicans

Howard Zinn: How I Want to Be Remembered...

Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman: Justice Official Clears Bush Lawyers in Torture Memo Probe

driftglass: Where Yesterday Has Been Exiled

Matt Taibbi: Populism: Just Like Racism!

Eric Boehlert: So who's going to fact-check PolitiFact?

Norman Lear: Dear Rush...

Home of the Brave, My Ass

ter⋅ror⋅ism  [ter-uh-riz-uhm] – noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
The reluctance and pitiful backtracking of political figures opposed to having the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York is proof that the terrorists have already won. Cowards like NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who beat his chest not two months ago in favor of having the trials in Manhattan, Senator Chuck Schumer, and countless others citing the cost and inconvenience as a factor is an ass covering tactic.

And those worried about the financial cost of the trial to New York City should petition that part of the tab be picked up by the federal government.  Besides the fact that in my opinion, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's expensive plan including rooftop snipers, random vehicle checkpoints and a virtual shutdown of lower Manhattan is over the top and only breeds fear in those who were running scared to begin with.
The story of how prominent New York officials seemed to have so quickly moved from a kind of “bring it on” bravado to an “anywhere but here” involves many factors, including a new anxiety about terrorism after the attempted airliner bombing on Christmas Day.
...“This will be one more stroke for Al Qaeda’s propaganda,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University.
No one whined about the cost of the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. No one complanied about the inconvenience in the Richard Reid case. But now the KSM fiasco, which began with simpering masses of flesh not wanting Guantanamo detainees "setting foot on US soil", as if they had some kind of magical powers to break out of supermax prisons, has escalated to ridiculously epic proportions and ultimately, money did the talking.
...New York real estate executives were raising concerns with the Obama administration, according to Mr. Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York.
Mr. Spinola said he had received calls and e-mail messages from the board’s members. Residential real estate brokers were “going berserk,” as he put it, worried that they would no longer be able to sell apartments downtown.
Commercial brokers feared they would not be able to lease office space.
Screw justice if it's going to affect the bottom line, right? Patriots indeed.

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 30, 2010

Reining in Budget Deficits

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger Dies at 91

"There is a marvelous peace in not publishing," J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

NY Times: J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died on Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

Fuck You, Michael Bloomberg


“I support the Obama Administration’s decision to prosecute 9/11 terrorists here,” Bloomberg said. “It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered. We have hosted terrorism trials before, including the trial of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”
Bloomberg expressed no concerned that the trial will make the city a bigger target for terrorists.
“I have great confidence that the NYPD, with federal authorities, will handle security expertly. The NYPD is the best police department in the world and it has experience dealing with high-profile terrorism suspects and any logistical issues that may come up during the trials,” Bloomberg said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has changed his mind about holding terror trials in his city, saying they should be conducted in a more secure location.
..."It's going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people," Bloomberg said at a news conference Wednesday. "My hope is that the attorney general and the president decide to change their mind."
You fucking coward.

You know what? I'm not even going to excuse Bloomberg with cowardice. This is political CYA right after this fuckball was elected to a third term (by changing the term limits law)  and spending $108 million on his re-election campaign when he has absolutely no real skin in the game. The cost of extra security will be completely forgotten once Khalid Sheik Mohammed is convicted and shows proof positive that our justice system works.

As a New Yorker, I want to see KSM tried at the scene of the crime. It would be an appropriate and  fitting end despite way 9/11 has been handled so far, with Osama Bin Laden "wanted dead or alive" debacles, invading a country that had nothing to do with the worst terrorist attack on US soil, interminable delays on the construction of a new complex at Ground Zero, and even the remains of 9/11 victims possibly being used to fill potholes because of the haphazard way the clean up took place, thanks to Rudy Giuliani.

So fuck you,  Mike Bloomberg for being a snivelling, little, poll watching coward.

Off The Rails

Jesus H. Christ, Chris Matthews!

Matthews: You know I was trying to think about who he was tonight and it's interesting... he is post-racial by all appearances. You know I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know he's gone a long way to become a leader in this country and passed so much history in just a year or two. I mean it's something we don't even think about. But I was watching him and said "Wait a minute, he's an African American guy in front of a bunch of white people and there he is President of the United States and we've completely forgotten that tonight". Completely forgotten it.
Obviously he hasn't forgotten about it or he wouldn't have brought it up. And what the fuck difference does it make? What an ignoramus. No wonder Pat Buchanan has a seat at the table all the time.  They jack off to this shit.

Oh, and by the way, "who he was" last night was Barack Obama. I'm getting a little tired of trying to find similarities and comparisons with previous presidents.

(H/T Crooks & Liars)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn Dies at 87

Seattle Times: Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist whose leftist "A People's History of the United States" sold millions of copies to become an alternative to mainstream texts and a favorite of such celebrities as Bruce Springsteen and Ben Affleck, died Wednesday. He was 87.
Zinn died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, Calif., daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn said.

A Happy Compromise

About three weeks ago, I wrote a quick post on Weatherproof using a purchased AP photo of President Obama on the Great Wall of China wearing their product on a Times Square billboard. I have no idea what has transpired since then, but the billboard was changed today.

"Fit For A President." Pretty clever.

Human Bed Warmers... What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!

According to an article from Reuters, Holiday Inn will offer a trial human bed-warming service at three British hotels this month.
“If requested, a willing staff-member at two of the chain’s London hotels and one in the northern English city of Manchester will dress in an all-in-one fleece sleeper suit before slipping between the sheets.”
Apparently, the ” ’innovative’ bed-warming method” is a response to Britain’s recent cold weather, and the human is meant to act like a giant hot water bottle.
Guest: I'd like to request a bed warmer please.

Housekeeping: Will that be snoring or non-snoring?

(H/T to the wifey for bringing this creepy article to my attention.)

Yeah, but...But ACORN... But... ACORN!!!

This story just warms the cockles* of my heart.

NY Times: Federal officials charged four men on Tuesday with plotting to tamper with the telephone system in the New Orleans office of Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana. One of the men was a conservative activist who gained fame last year by secretly recording members of the community group Acorn giving him advice on how to set up a brothel.
...[One of the men] was James O’Keefe, 25, who has gained renown in conservative circles by poking fun at the left through pranks and undercover video. In the Acorn videos, Mr. O’Keefe and an associate, Hannah Giles, posing as a pimp and a prostitute, secretly filmed themselves seeking and receiving financial advice for a brothel from Acorn workers.
Sometimes you just should leave well enough alone, huh, O'Keefe? I can't wait to see his next video, "Conservative Dipshit Ass Reamings in Cellblock H."

* Heh... I said "cockles."

Ed Thigpen, Jazz Drummer, Dies at 79

NY TIMES: Ed Thigpen, a drummer whose tasteful and understated style made him a favorite accompanist of some of the best-known performers in jazz, died on Jan. 13 in Copenhagen, where he had lived since 1972. He was 79.
...Mr. Thigpen was most famous for his tenure with the pianist Oscar Peterson’s trio, one of the most popular small groups in jazz, from 1959 to 1965. He was the first drummer to work with Peterson, whose trios up until then had consisted of piano, bass and guitar, and he earned raves for his supportive playing and especially for his deft use of brushes.
After leaving Peterson, he spent five years with Ella Fitzgerald. He then moved to Copenhagen, where he became an in-demand sideman for visiting and expatriate American jazz musicians.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Quick Thought on the "Spending Freeze"

When I first read the chyrons "Obama Proposes Spending Freeze" I thought, "Uh-oh. Here comes 1937 when we haven't even gotten to 1936." But after watching The Rachel maddow Show last night and her interview with Jard Bernstein, I thought of the scene from Dave when Kevin Kline playing the fake president goes line by line in the budget during a committee meeting to find $550 million to save some children's program, complete with long hand math including all the zeros in the millions saved.

The problem is the phrase "spending freeze" and comparing it to McCain campaign plan. His plan was a spending freeze across the board, whereas Bernstein explained on Maddow that there were going to look for places where they could cut and in some cases, increase certain programs. I mean, hell, what's the point of a new jobs bill if you're not going to fund it? There's likely billions in wasteful spending that they can cut were it not for special interest lobbyists on all sides. The problem lies in what Congress will do with this plan once it's in their greedy little hands.

This also seems like populist talk and maybe it's designed with some spin to pick up a couple of points in the approval polls.

I'm sure we'll here more about it tomorrow in President Obama's first State of the Union Address (who's taking bets on what Republican is going to embarrass him/herself?).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fair and Balanced

Do we really have to deal with these idiots day after day? There is plenty with which to criticize President Obama if Fox was a serious news organization instead of right wing National Enquirer.

The horror that this man would dare put his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office! How dare he! Who the hell does he think he is disrespecting the office in such a way?


And what does the story link to, by the way? Wingnut Hot Air Pundit. But this is a serious "fair and balanced" news organization.  I don't what's sadder, the fact that they have a voice or the fact that millions upon millions of rubes fall for this shit.

(H/T Bob Cesca)