Monthly Archives: November 2007

urban heat islands, weather stations, and global warming deniers

Those who have some profit motive or just plain whacky resistance to the fact of global warming have taken a fancy to taking/posting photographs of weather stations across the country and making much of nearby possible heat sources. I guess we are supposed to believe that these photographs prove that egghead climate scientists are stupid, or that there is a conspiracy, and that anyone with a grain of sense can see that. Of course, these  deniers present no data or analysis or science.

The fact is that scientists know about their data collection, and they have studied these questions for a long time and made the appropriate adjustments. Go read this. That is really water under the bridge. Even old Fred Singer agrees that the planet is warming.

Please, could the warming deniers go back to the Kennedy assassination or whatever it was they were doing 5 years ago?

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Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Politics, science: not a very Republican thing to do

Congress…an actual part of our government?

TPM: 

No, he hasn’t forgotten. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) took a step today towards contempt proceedings against Karl Rove, two of his former aides, and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten for not complying with subpoenas related to the U.S. attorney firings.

There hasn’t been much movement since this summer, when Leahy issued the subpoenas. The administration claimed executive privilege for all documents and testimony sought, and said that Rove didn’t need to even show up for a hearing. Rove’s aides Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings appeared, but refused to discuss the firings. A subpoena for documents was sent to Bolten, and the White House refused.

Today, Leahy ruled that the claims of executive privilege and immunity were not legally valid, a necessary step toward issuing contempt citations in the committee. He didn’t say when he might do that.

The timing for this might have something to do with what’s going on in the House, where leaders have said they plan to schedule a floor vote to find former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Bolten in contempt for ignoring subpoenas there. That vote has been repeatedly delayed and is currently expected to take place next month.

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Filed under Alberto Gonzales:boob or simpleton-you decide, Congress, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, James Comey, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, US Attorneys

Mormon Romney wants to be president, discriminates against Muslims.

You’d think he could figger this one out,  being a Mormon and all.  The Mormons were the only religion in American history to have been occupied by the US Army.  Fort Douglas, Utah.

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Filed under Uncategorized

The costs (?) of illegal immigrants

link

“In Texas, for example, nearly seven percent of the state’s population was comprised of undocumented immigrants in 2005. The state’s health care costs for undocumented immigrants that same year were a mere $58 million. Yet state revenues collected from undocumented immigrants exceeded what the state spent on social services provided to these immigrants such as health care and education by $424.7 million.

“Immigrant contributions to social services are similar across the country. The National Research Council concluded that immigrants will pay on average $80,000 per capita more in taxes than they will use in government services over their lifetimes.

“Additionally, in March 2005, more than seven million undocumented immigrants were in the workforce yet received few public services for their labor and tax contributions. The Social Security Administration, for example, reaps an enormous benefit from the taxes paid by undocumented immigrants. It estimates that workers without valid social security numbers contribute $7 billion in Social Security tax revenues and roughly $1.5 billion in Medicare taxes annually, yet elderly immigrants rarely qualify for Medicare or long-term care services provided through Medicaid.

“In 2001, the Social Security Administration concluded that undocumented immigrants “account for a major portion of the billions of dollars paid into social security that don’t match SSA records,” which payees, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, can never draw upon. As of July 2003, these payments totaled $421 billion.”

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Filed under economics, FEMA/Homeland Security, Politics, Racism, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

What is up with tasers, stun guns? is this torture? why are all these people dying?

Link

Since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the United States
after being subdued with stun guns, according to Amnesty
International, which has called for police departments to suspend use
of the devices pending study of their possible risks.

The UN isn’t pulling any punches:

TASER electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America.

“The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,” the UN’s Committee against Torture said.

“In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,” the committee of 10 experts said.

Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

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Filed under gadgets, Torture: you're next

The Decider, v. 1.2

William Pfaff:

Sarkozy is much too intelligent to be compared with George W. Bush, but he makes one think of Bush’s joy at becoming “a decider.” Bush is happy deciding, even though he knows nothing. Sarkozy knows far more, but still gives an impression of someone for whom the most important thing is to be the decider.

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Filed under Bush blunders worldwide, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Middle East, Politics, Wordpress Political Blogs

Condi Rice: once the Pope tells you to get lost, it’s really over, isn’t it?

That Pope thing must have stung, but of course Ms. Rice lied about the humiliation. I’m sure it was the same after her academic book got panned back in the 80′s.  I hear she is proud of her website, thinks that’s a pretty great thing to have spent three years on. I can’t say for sure how great it is or isn’t, I’m not a techie. I did notice this on the moving ticker, about “clearing landmines and saving lives.” I’m sure Ms. Rice reads the papers: we furnished cluster bombs to Israel to drop in Lebanon. Maybe she should include some apology for that in her fancy tickershit.

But the website, I’m sure, will produce more than this ridiculous “summit” to which she has invited everyone connected with the Middle East except, predictably, Hamas. According to the Economist (not exactly a leftie rag):

[Bush] botched Iraq, dropped his democratic “freedom agenda” when the Arabs started voting for the wrong people [Hamas], and has spent most of his two terms more or less ignoring Palestine…..This is a party nobody is thrilled to have been asked to…the administration appears to see Annapolis as a way to roll out the customary pieties on Palestine and so make it easier for America to line up its Arab friends against Iran.

There isn’t even any agreement between Abbas and Ohmert.

That’s likely to make some headway, isn’t it?
Thanks, Ms. Rice. For all the great things you haven’t done for America. Did you ever wonder why you were chosen by George Bush’s handlers? think about it.

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Filed under Bush blunders worldwide, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Middle East, Politics, Wordpress Political Blogs

GOP chooses between pseudohunter Romney and gun controller Rudy

Willard “mitt” Romney tried to sneak some shit past the gunners, not real successfully. I hope Rudy has some good ‘splainin’ about his stance on gun control. Those NRA types don’t like to be flimflammed. Makes their trigger fingers get itchy.

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Filed under Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Politics, Rudy Giuliani: NYC doesn't even like him, Wordpress Political Blogs

On the use of pop Christianity by our military

Eric Horner is a “pop Christian” rock star who seems to have increasing ties to the increasingly “christianized” military.

leevank at dkos:

As a Christian, I’m appalled; as an American

I’m outraged.

Jesus spent much of his ministry fighting against ostentatious displays of public piety that cheapen genuine, deep religious faith. In the words that immediately precede the Lord’s Prayer, he admonished his followers not to pray loudly and in public like the hypocrites, but to pray privately, where they were alone with God. And in countless ways, most notably the Parable of the Good Samaritan, he preached that there is no “other” — that those who don’t share one’s faith or ethnicity may be more one’s true neighbors than those who do.

It constantly strikes me how fundamentally UN-Chrisitan, and perhaps even ANTI-Christian, the overall message and approach of many of these people is. Jesus never shoved his message down anybody’s throat. And he certainly would have been appalled at the constant intertwinings of secular and religious messages that these people push.

And one can only imagine the consternation that most of the Founding Fathers, many of them Deists, would have felt about this.

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Filed under bigotry and prejudice, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Politics, public corruption, religion, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Supreme Court, Wordpress Political Blogs

More toxic toys from China: our government sucks

Our taxes are supposed to be used to do things for us; to protect us from toxic products, for example.  The US Consumer Product Safety Commission might as well not even exist any more.  State governments are having to pick up the pieces, with little in the way of resources.

More than 500,000 pieces of children’s jewelry are being recalled for excessive levels of lead paint after a dozen retailers, including Michaels Stores, Big Lots and Family Dollar Stores, agreed to a settlement with the New York state Attorney General’s Office, federal and state officials said Wednesday.

Michaels does not have to pay a fine, through some of the others retailers will, including Big Lots, which agreed to pay a $1,000 penalty under the settlement.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall includes 29 jewelry items, including a total of 200,000 pieces sold at 950 Michaels Stores. The items, such as butterfly charms and toggle bracelets, were supplied by Pure Allure in Oceanside, Calif.

Despite recent recalls of millions of hazardous and lead-contaminated children’s jewelry and toys, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and national consumer groups urge parents to be diligent over the holiday season because unsafe items remain on store shelves. Lead can be toxic and can cause developmental problems in children.

Bush and GOP congress spent record amounts of money, there have been record deficits, the national debt is ballooning, people are wondering about Social Security….  yet we get no meaningful service from our government.
Where did the money go?

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Filed under Bush blunders worldwide, China: "junk" is not just a boat, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, election fraud, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, healthcare, Iraq, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, science: not a very Republican thing to do, Wordpress Political Blogs