January 8, 2008 archive

AP busted — Internal memo — Everything Britney is “Big Deal”

Well if you were wondering exactly who decides that every move Britney Spears makes is newsworthy, look no farther than the GOP-worshipping Associated Press.  

An AP internal memo reads as follows:

From: Baker, Frank S.

Sent: Tue 1/8/2008 11:58 AM

To: News – Southern California Editorial Staff

Subject: Britney


Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal. That doesn’t mean every rumor makes it on the wire. But it does mean that we want to pay attention to what others are reporting and seek to confirm those stories that WE feel warrant the wire. And when we determine that we’ll write something, we must expedite it.



American Coffin Nails

Garfield County Colorado,  Tom Shiflett, 62, father of ten endures SWAT team raid, needs a new front door and was terrorized at gunpoint.

Why?  Because he refused medical care for his son.

How though did we get to this?  Well it’s a natural progression in this “the post 911 world”.

Calling all pet-lovers

I know that Docudharma is mainly a blog about the current state of national and international affairs, but one of the things I love about this place is that we talk about all kinds of things. I’m in the position of possibly having to make one of the toughest decisions I’ll have to make in a while and wondered if you good dharmainiacs might have any helpful words for me.

My springer spaniel Libby is 18 years old and is on her last leg. Here’s a picture of her that was taken not long after I adopted her.

Four at Four

  1. The New York Times reports a Record New Hampshire voter turnout is predicted. “In the Democratic and Republican primaries here, a large group of voters who are not registered in either party hold significant sway over the outcome. Those independent voters, 45 percent of the state electorate, are free to cast ballots in either primary… On a day that felt like springtime, with temperatures expected to reach 60 degrees, voters flooded the polls at a steady pace throughout the morning. The secretary of state, Bill Gardner, predicted that at least a half-million people would vote in the primary.”

  2. Spiegel asks Is America slouching towards protectionism? The article begins by describing the US-Mexican border crossing:

    The border crossing, in its coarseness, is reminiscent of the East German side of the former border between the two Germanys, except that the face on wall posters is that of George W. Bush and not of the former East German leader Erich Honecker. It isn’t exactly a welcoming sort of place, this border crossing with its posters cataloging the potentially dire consequences of breaking the rules — including the illegal purchase of parrots (“You’re buying yourself bird flu”) and human trafficking (“Death is only one of the ways of losing your life”).

    While certainly the description is a tad gratuitous, I thought it was too good to pass over. Continuing, the article explains the factory boom in Mexico as manufacturing jobs in the United States has plummeted in the era of free trade.

    Americans, Spiegel explains “were promised a modern service industry, but what they got instead were low-paying, unskilled jobs packaging and delivering products. Even after five years of economic recovery, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently wrote in a special report, real wages are now lower than they were in 1999… Many Americans have stopped believing that vigorous international trade promotes the wealth of nations… Only 28 percent of respondents agreed that globalization is a good thing. White-collar workers have now joined their blue-collar counterparts in rejecting the form of international trade in place today. For the first time, a majority in both political camps — 55 percent of Republican and 63 percent of Democratic voters — are convinced that globalization is bad for the country.

    The article continues to describe what life is like in “America’s poor backyard” — “surreal, hostile and, most of all, filthy” and “plagued by a high crime rate”. Then concludes with the impact on the United States.

    Nowadays America is both the world’s biggest borrower and its biggest importer. Many of the suppliers of days gone by are now competitors in their own right. Big US corporations may be reporting record profits and Wall Street may be awash in bonus payments, but workers — blue-collar and white-collar alike — are suffering.

    The American middle class is suddenly finding itself confronted with the conditions of the past, as wages decline and companies increasingly eliminate their contributions to their employees’ health insurance and retirement pensions…

    The gap between rich and poor has grown by leaps and bounds in America, far more so than in countries like Germany. One-fifth of Americans earn more than half of all wages and salaries. Ten percent of the population owns 70 percent of all assets.

    And according to The New York Times, even Bush admits economy faces challenges sucks.

Four at Four continues below the fold with deadly winter tornadoes in the Midwest and more…

What Obama Must Do Now…

that he’s won Iowa, already has won in Dixville Notch, and could win New Hampshire’s primary today is live up to his campaign slogan

“Change We Can Believe In.”

He would be doing this by assuming leadership regarding an issue on which the Bush Administration has not led.

Namely New Orleans and Gulf Coast recovery, which need to be prominent in Obama’s campaign. Not only by front-paging it on his website, the first thing anybody including media people planning campaign coverage and debate topics sees, but also seizing this issue and making it his stand-out issue. While it is possible to find his rebuilding plan for that city and the communities devastated by Katrina and Rita, it’s buried below the fold.

Provocation in the Strait of Hormuz

Cross Posted at OOIBC and SanchoPress

If the Iranians attack a US ship in the gulf, or shut down the strait, it will be, in historical context, retribution and retaliation for US Foreign Policy and imperialism over the past century, and we will be as much or more to blame than they.

We get what we give. As we sow, so we reap.

Imperialism is coming home to bite us on the ass, bigtime. It has been coming for a long time…

In about a year, when there will probably be a Democratic President sitting in The White House, we’re going to have the same “Foreign Policy” we’ve had for the past nearly a century.

Nothing more, nothing less, and nothing changing.

Truth and Consequences: What Does the Future Hold, If We Don’t Hold the Present Accountable?

Originally posted over on ePluribus Media.

The story by Mike Corder of the Associated Press over on My Way (via TruthOut) began simply enough:

The Hague, Netherlands – The war crimes trial of Charles Taylor, Liberia’s former president, heard its first testimony Monday and saw video of victims telling of being sexually assaulted or dismembered by rebels who plundered West African diamond fields.

[Emphasis mine.]

That one sentence got me thinking, particularly when I saw the term sexually assaulted.

Not to play down the other horrors like amputation that the victims underwent, but — sexual assaults mentioned in the same sentence as “war crimes trial” caught my attention.

Once More Into The Breach, Impeach!….Impeach!!!

There can be no Peace without Justice.

There can be no unity without Justice either. Nor can there be meaningful change.

George McGovern, Representative Wexler, Jack frikking Cafferty…..It seems that the cry goes up anew among the rubble that Bushco has created!


For the children in Iraq, for the millions spied upon, for the Imprisoned in Guantanamo and around the world, for the Constitution and for the very concept at the heart of democracy, the cry goes out….Impeach!


from serendipity

The Primary Season, the Way of Politics


There are many things we encounter in the Primary Season. Too many to recount here.

So I will use the law of three, and recount three.

Opposition. Need. Reconciliation.

We encounter opposition, we generate opposition, we oppose others, sometimes we oppose ourselves.

We address needs, we point to needs, we have needs, sometimes we create needs.

We, eventually, consider reconciliation.

More, over the fold.

Pony Party, Soup

January is National Soup Month

from Garden and Hearth

Ten Reasons to Love Soup

It’s a great way to use leftovers such as vegetables, cheese, and pasta.

You can make an excellent tasting soup with low cost ingredients.

It’s a way to tenderize tougher, and yes, cheaper cuts of meat.

It’s easy to reheat and makes the ultimate dinner in a dash.

It’s a great food to have on hand for any time of the day, especially if you’re feeling under the weather.

Most soups…except for creamed ones freeze well.

Just about anyone can make soup.

It’s the ideal meal to make in a slow cooker.

It’s great for any season.

Put it together with bread and a salad and you’ve got a budget smart meal.

Before This Day Is Done

it is possible that the contest for the soul of the Democratic Party will be between conservatives and liberals rather than between genders and mythological races.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not forecasting that the Rapture is about to commence.  It is little more than a wan hope but I was surprised that even a sodden bastion of the MSM would spy such a wondrous mirage in the intellectual desert.  Newsweek asked if maybe the contest would be between Obama and Edwards after New Hampshire.

(I couldn’t immediately lay my hands on the article but try to believe me.  I saw it. I swear I did.  I had intended this entry as a critique when I started it. Maybe I am delusional. :-()

If any object that Obama is far from an ideal symbol of conservatism and maybe Edwards even less so as a stand-in for liberalism, I admit to the problem in advance.

Still the relative elitist against the mill worker’s son, the man who wants to get along for smooth sailing compared to the man who wants to make waves to rock the boat is a symbolism that only a Chris Matthews or Tim Russert could be blind to.

Could it happen?

“All things are possible,” says the Good Book.

Sometimes I wish I weren’t a committed heretic.

Best,  Terry

A poem

This poem started off on dailyKos….I added a lot of images, fixed some of the text, and put it all below the fold

Load more