Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tea Partiers launch Birther SuperPac.


selling crazy:

Believe it or not, the so-called birthers are back. As if the post Citizens United world of campaign finance wasn’t sketchy enough, along comes a new super PAC created specifically to regurgitate racist conspiracy theories claiming President Obama is not a natural-born American, and thereby supposedly barred from holding the presidency.

The group has already started running ads.

The new super PAC, the Article II Political Action Committee, claims to be “dedicated to the development and organization of a virtual army of patriots whose mission is to ensure that all citizens and elected officials clearly understand the true intent and meaning of the presidential eligibility clause in Article 2 Section 1 of the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land.” The PAC launched on December 8 and was registered with the Federal Election Commission on December 13, 2011.

Release of the Obama birth certificate last year didn’t deter this group even a bit. They’ve repeatedly claimed that many of Obama’s documents, including his certificate of live birth, are forgeries and they’ve developed a long list of new rationales for their racism.

…Aggressive moves by the Article II PAC group have generated dissention in the birther ranks. Orly Taitz, once a close ally to several of the Article II figures (and a member of Tea Party Nation), openly trashed the group and called on her followers to stay away from it and any blogs that advertise for the group. Taitz wrote on her blog, “Even though I’ve been working on this issue for 3 years and have done 99% of the work in this area, I never received 1 single cent from this group. Not only that, several member of this group engaged in vicious defamation of my character. None of these bloggers is an attorney.

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Unqualified climate denier teaches college class in Ottawa.

An energy industry public relations man and lobbyist with no background in climate science has infiltrated Carleton University in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, teaching a course on climate change denial that other Carleton professors describe as “a source of embarrassment to the institution.”

Tom Harris, who originally trained as a mechanical engineer, has been a strategist for the climate change denial industry for at least a decade. A favourite presenter misrepresented as a PhD at the Heartland Institute’s regular climate change denial conferences, Harris has worked directly for companies like the international PR giant APCO Worldwide or for energy industry lobby firms such as Toronto’s High Park Group. More recently, he has launched or led at least three phony “grassroots organizations” – energy industry front groups that promote confusion or denial in climate science.
….
Guest Blogger on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Bogus climate course “a source of embarrassment to the institution”

– Richard Littlemore, in a DeSmogBlog repost

An energy industry public relations man and lobbyist with no background in climate science has infiltrated Carleton University in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, teaching a course on climate change denial that other Carleton professors describe as “a source of embarrassment to the institution.”

Tom Harris, who originally trained as a mechanical engineer, has been a strategist for the climate change denial industry for at least a decade. A favourite presenter misrepresented as a PhD at the Heartland Institute’s regular climate change denial conferences, Harris has worked directly for companies like the international PR giant APCO Worldwide or for energy industry lobby firms such as Toronto’s High Park Group. More recently, he has launched or led at least three phony “grassroots organizations” – energy industry front groups that promote confusion or denial in climate science.

…..
Harris’s ridiculous claims have been laid bare in a new report by the Canadian Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS), which has gone through videotapes of lectures from Climate Change: An Earth Sciences Perspective (ERTH2402), identifying 142 errors, exaggerations or outright prevarications.

The existence of this course represents a coup for the climate change denial movement, which as documented with the release of internal documents from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, has been trying to infiltrate the U.S. school system with a K-12 curriculum promoting the notion that climate change is not real, not caused by humans or just too confusing to understand. (Heartland, a prominent proponent on behalf of its tobacco industry sponsors, has, in fact, been promoting climate disinformation in schools for many years.)

Notwithstanding, Harris has proved to be a popular teacher, who readily gives out high marks to the students who most willing to parrot the denier line that he and his (often industry-associated) guest lecturers promote.

One of the biggest problem that CASS reported in trying to assess the content in Harris’s course is that he generally does not refer to primary sources – to references in peer-reviewed literature against which his contentions can be tested. Instead, he constantly tells students that he has been in personal or email contact with prominent scientists who have given him information – the vast majority of which is dubious, outdated, unsupported by science or simply wrong.

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Romney claims memory of Michigan event that happened before he was born

Does Mitt have a flux capacitor?


Shakin my head. The man is sick. Nobody normal lies like this guy.

DETROIT—When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.

And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.

Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.

“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.

The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.

And it took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born.

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Mitt, Mitt…. C’mon. ya lie like a rug about contraception. Good thing the bishops don’t seem to notice.

a reader at Andrew Sullivan observes:

Here’s an interesting question re: exposing the partisanship of the Bishops. So, at the most recent debate, Romney stated that it was completely voluntary as to whether Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts had to provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims. Yet, it appears that it isn’t voluntary, that there is no conscience exemption. So, this raises two important questions that speak directly to the partisanship of the Bishops, and in this case, specifically of Cardinal O’Malley in Boston:

Why would O’Malley not express the same outrage toward Romney’s policy in Massachusetts as he has toward Obama’s policy at the national level? And why wouldn’t O’Malley feel required to correct the public record re: Romney’s statement, since that statement leaves the impression with voters that it is Cardinal O’Malley who is choosing to provide emergency contraceptives?
It appears that he has done neither to date. It seems that there’s no answer to these two questions except the political partisanship of the Cardinal.

then there’s this:

Mitt Romney misled a voter in Shelby Township, Michigan about President Obama’s rule requiring insurers and employers to provide contraception coverage to employees during a town hall Tuesday afternoon. Romney grossly misrepresented the measure, claiming that under the new requirement, “the Catholic Church had to provide for insurance that provided contraceptives, sterilization, morning after pills to the employees of the Church.” But as Romney himself has previously admitted, both the original provision and the modified language specifically excludes houses of worship and nonprofit organizations that primarily employ people of the same faith from providing birth control coverage.

Commander in chief material? I don’t think so.

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Guinness Book of World Records recognizes new Biggest Jerk

actual photo of the new champion, standing over the unconscious woman

Rich bully in Louisiana knocks out daughter of woman he was smearing, after she pulled down a banner. The Rude Pundit on 2/27/12 has the back story: A radiologist got pissed off at a newspaper for running a story about an absurd tax break he was using. So he began a smear campaign against the publisher, putting up billboards, etc. Then he smeared her with a float in a Mardi Gras parade. When the publisher’s daughter pulled off one of the banners, the radiologist jumped off the float and “allegedly” cold cocked her. Then he “allegedly” stood over her unconscious body and photographed her. The colossal jerk could lose his medical license. That would be a shame, since he seems to believe in all those important doctor things, what are they called, oh yes, the Hippocratic Oath, helping people, all that.

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Keystone XL Pipeline opens the eyes of conservative midwesterners

“Republicans could give a rats ass about the people out here.”


The proposed XL pipeline is a giant toxic Love Canal across America’s heartland. The Canadian corporation that wants to build it is bullying landowners in its path, threatening the use of condemnation proceedings, and the sheeple aren’t taking it lying down:

The effect of it today is to place people like Randy Thompson on an unfamiliar side of the divide between conservatives and environmentalists; and business and liberal political activists. He even testified this month against TransCanada as a witness for Henry Waxman’s minority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I’m a little ashamed to say that maybe if it hadn’t come across our land, I wouldn’t have gotten involved,” he told me. “I’ve gained a great deal of respect for people who do care about our environment I’ve become much more aware of environmental issues. I have to admire them for being concerned about our environment.”

“Republicans,” he said, by contrast, “could give a rats ass about the people out here.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, global warming/environment, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Steny Hoyer: isn't he really a Republican?, Supreme Court, Wordpress Political Blogs

Clarence Thomas for president!!

The Man with the Can

Adam Winkler is perhaps the first person to come up with this solution to the dismal field of GOP candidates for the presidential nomination. For the life of me, I don’t see why this was so long in coming. In contradistinction to his days as a sexual harasser, Thomas is famous for never saying anything while on the Supreme Court, so he can’t be accused of flipflopping on every single issue, like Mitt Romney. And, unlike Rick Santorum, his name is not synonymous with a gross concoction of bodily fluids (although, of course, he will always be associated with the image of the Coke can with pubic hair). Plus, being African American, he would undoubtedly appeal to the liberal section of the pubic, oops I mean public.

Importantly, Thomas seems willing. According to Winkler,

The idea of Thomas running for president was floated two years ago by two legal bloggers, David Lat and Kashmir Hill. They noted that when Thomas was first nominated to the bench, he expressed hesitation about the solitary, sedate environment that comes with the black robe. “I can’t see myself spending the rest of my life as a judge,” Thomas said.

I think a lot of Americans would agree with that sentiment.

Most importantly, Thomas comes cheap:

ThinkProgress uncovered three briefs that AEI filed in Thomas’ Court after Thomas received their $15,000 gift. Thomas recused from none of these three cases, and he either voted in favor of the result AEI favored or took a stance that was even further to the right in each case:

Riley v. Kennedy: AEI filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision preventing a change in Alabama’s voting law from going into effect. Justice Thomas did not recuse, and he joined the Supreme Court’s decision reversing the lower court.

Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1: AEI filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision upholding a local school district’s desegregation plan. Thomas joined the majority opinion reversing the lower court’s decision, and he filed a lengthy concurrence defending that result.

Whitman v. American Trucking Association: AEI joined a brief asking the Supreme Court to allow the EPA to consider the costs of implementing new air quality standards before it issued them. Thomas’ concurring opinion went much further than AEI asked him to go, suggesting that the law authorizing EPA to issue these standards is unconstitutional.

Turns out that was the tip of the cashberg:

Thomas appears to have “knowingly and willfully” filed falsified Financial Disclosure Forms which withheld disclosure of nearly $700,000 his wife received from the rightwing Heritage Foundation for the better part of the last 20 years. Only once it was pointed out publicly this year did Thomas bother to file “self-initiated amendments” to the forms he had signed just above the legal warning in bold and all caps which reads: “NOTE: ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FALSIFIES OR FAILS TO FILE THIS REPORT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS (5 U.S.C. app. § 104)”

In short, Clarence Thomas is the perfect GOP candidate for President of the United States.

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Mitt Romney introduces new backward American flag at Comerica Park in Detroit.

click to enlarge


The trees in Michigan are just right for Mitt Romney, but the American flag…. well, not so much.

Maybe the backward flag represents the Republican wish to go back in time to the ’50’s, before the pill, the internet, civil rights, gays coming out, Hawaiian statehood, and George W. Bush. Maybe Romney just wanted to fire something, and the American flag was close at hand.

Anyway, I’m in favor of it. I like a man with ideas.

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Romney, Santorum, Gingrich lie about Iran, would start another Bushoid war

Who's going to die or become disabled in your war, Mitt? None of these.


Juan Cole:

All [of the GOP candidates] but Paul virtually promised the US public that they would go to war with Iran if elected. As Paul pointed out, the US has no money for such a war and it would be illegal and unconstitutional for the President just to launch it.

Newt Gingrich was the first to take the Iran question. He criticized Gen. Martin Dempsey for saying that the Iranian regime is “rational actors.”

Gingrich said, “The fact is, this is a dictator, Ahmadinejad….

One problem is that Ahmadinejad is not a dictator. The presidency in the Iranian system is like the vice presidency in the United States. Ahmadinejad has lost fights with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and even with parliament over appointments. The Wikileaks cables say that a Revolutionary Guard officer even slapped him.


Gingrich continues, calling Ahmadinejad a dictator yet again, and accuses him of saying that he wants to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth.
…. he makes a false assertion. Ahmadinejad once quoted an old speech of Ayatollah Khomeini’s from the 1980s, in which Khomeini said, “this occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” “mahv shavad” or vanish is intransitive, so transitive verb like “eliminate” is incorrect as a translation. It was not a threat to destroy Israel through military action, but a prediction that the occupation regime would collapse rather as the Soviet Union had. The occupation regime over Gaza, after all, has in fact collapsed.

Gingrich says that Ahmadinejad wants to “drive the United States” out of the Middle East. While Ahmadinejad is an anti-imperialist, he has not threatened to attack the United States, as Gingrich implied. Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has repeatedly said that Iran has a “no first strike policy” and will not be the first to initiate hostilities.

….

In fact, Gingrich cannot refute Gen. Dempsey’s assertion that Iran is a rational actor by reference to Ahmadinejad, who does not make military policy.

Gingrich also errs in not taking account of Iran’s military weakness and inability to attack or destroy Israel. Iran has no air force to speak of, whereas Israel has the best air force in the region. Iran does not have a big tank army. It is far from Israel and could not send tank columns through Turkey or Iraq or Jordan. Besides, the Israelis would just destroy the tanks. And Israel has 400 nuclear bombs, which would deter Iran from attacking it even if Iran had that capacity, which it does not.
….
Romney said, “Ahmadinejad having fissile material that he can give to Hezbollah and Hamas and that they can bring into Latin America and potentially bring across the border into the United States to let off dirty bombs here. I mean — or — or more sophisticated bombs here, this — we simply cannot allow Iran to have nuclear weaponry.”

This is Propaganda with a capital ‘p’. Romney is appealing to an argument that stacks the cards. No nuclear country has ever given bombs to terrorist groups and there is no reason to think Iran would either. Iran does not, of course, even have such a bomb. Hizbullah and Hamas could not in fact carry a nuclear bomb (they are heavy, complicated and dangerous) around Latin America and up through Mexico to the US because Mexican authorities would detain them. Assuming there were Hamas in “Latin America,” which there mostly are not. Romney is just making sh*t up with which to scare us.

He has to do this because Iran is far away from the US, is militarily weak, and poses no threat to the American mainland. By inventing radical Muslim fundamentalist Mexicans with a nuclear bomb miraculously supplied by an Iran that doesn’t have one, Romney brings a sense of danger to an American audience.

Santorum brings up the rear arguing that US funding for anti-regime elements in Iran would have allowed the overthrow of the Khamenei government. But a few tens of millions of dollars cannot bring down a government, and open association with the United States is the kiss of death in Iranian politics.

This squalid performance by three of the leading lights of the GOP is a very troubling development. All seem reckless and willing to risk war with Iran. None seems terribly interested in the outcome. It is almost as though they were working for big munitions corporations.

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Filed under Barack Obama, bigotry and prejudice, Bush blunders worldwide, Countdown to attack on Iran, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, perpetual war: fascism in disguise, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Uncategorized, USS Ronald Reagan

Removing My Web Search from your Firefox navigation bar in Windows.

I hate this sucker and I know you do, too.


This is a bitch. I hate this extension. It displaces the Google search box in the Firefox navigation bar (upper right) with a crummy search (“powered by Google;” yeah right) that finds commercial sites instead of information. To use a real Google search you have to use put Google in your Bookmark toolbar and punch it everytime you want to google. And My Web Search slows down your searches and your computer. Where did it come from? You probably installed it without knowing it when you installed some funny face program that melts images. You want to get rid of it. I’ll show you how. These instructions are based on a 64 bit Windows computer, and I use Firefox and Windows 7 Home Premium.

Intro:
There are two or three places you have to go to remove this steaming mess from a Windows computer.
1) your computer’s “uninstall” program aka “add/remove programs” aka “programs and features”; takes two minutes.
2) about:config in Firefox: 5 minutes
3) regedit program on your computer; this step also will require finding, installing and running a free program called Spybot. May or may not be needed, takes 90-120 minutes

Let’s roll…
First, go to your uninstall program or “add or remove programs”, which you reach from the start button and control panel, depending on your version of Windows. Remove/uninstall anything that says My Web Search. That won’t complete the job.

Next, open Firefox and type about:config in the navigation space at the top left side of the browser and hit return/enter if it doesn’t go there automatically. When the page comes up, punch the consent button that says yes, I promise to be careful.
Find the filter space, and there type myweb (“filter” basically means “find” or “search.”)
Several entries should come up. Put your cursor over each item in turn, do a right click, and select reset on all of the items in the list.
Restart firefox. if My Web Search is still there, go back and do the same thing again; this time try filtering for Myweb or mywebsearch or myway or Myway etc etc until you find the last culprit. Reset it as before.
Close and restart Firefox.
If the search box is still showing My Web Search, you have another couple of hours of work ahead.

Third and last: regedit/Spybot
Go on the internet and find and download Spybot Search and Destroy (free) and install and run that. It will take 15 or 20 minutes; go do some pushups, brush your teeth, order a pizza. When it finishes, Spybot will show you the 30 or so registry keys associated with My Web Search. You have to expand the Spygot window and the partition of it so that the complete character sequence (‘string”) of each bad key/file can be seen. Do not close Spybot or this window. You will need this list to tell a program named regedit which keys/files to delete.

Finding regedit (REGistry EDIT, get it?): click the start button and enter regedit in the “find” box just above the start button, and then hitting return/enter. That will open regedit and show an enormous list of files/registry keys, each of which is identified by a “name” or “string” of about 20 characters. You are interested only in certain files/keys contained in a directory/folder named Hkeys_classes_root. Within that directory, you have to find the Interface subdirectory/folder. All of the My Web Search registry keys are in this subdirectory.

How do you know which files/keys?

You have to look at the bad key list you generated with Spybot, and then find each of these in regedit, one at a time. So you want to have two windows: one shows the list in Spybot, the other showing regedit, so you can easily go back and forth.

There is a trick to this. Regedit is not very good at searching. You have to help it by directing it where to search ie select the Interface directory/folder as previously indicated. Select that directory/folder each time you search for a key/name/string.

You don’t have to copy the entire name/string from Spybot into regedit to find each bad key; entering a string of any 6 consecutive characters from each entry on the Spybot list of bad keys, into the regedit search/filter box will be enough. Then regedit will highlight a file/key that has a matching 6 character string; it will PROBABLY be the file you are looking for but you have to verify carefully by crosschecking to see that it matches the one in Spybot’s list. Then delete it. It will ask you if you want to delete the key and all its subkeys. Click yes. To delete 36 bad keys will take you a good hour or more.

That should have eliminated My Web Search. Close Spybot. Restart your computer and your browser. If My Web Search is still there, run Spybot again to make sure you got all the keys. If Spybot shows that you missed one, go back to regedit and get rid of it. If they are all gone, but My Web Search is still in your Firefox navigation search box, then you missed something in about:config. Go back to that and try different strings in the filter box, using caps, etc. until you find the culprit. Reset it as you did with the others, close Firefox, and reboot your computer.

Keep at it. It’s worth it.

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