June 13, 2008 archive

Tim Russert, RIP

From the NY Times:

Tim Russert, the host of “Meet the Press,” and NBC’s Washington bureau chief, has died. He was 58.

Mr. Russert was a towering figure in American journalism and moderated several debates during the recent presidential primary season.

Tom Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC Nightly News, came on the air at 3:39 p.m. and reported that Mr. Russert had collapsed and died early this afternoon while at work. He had just returned from Italy with his family.

“Our beloved colleague,” a grave Mr. Brokaw called him, one of the premier journalists of our time. He said this was one of the most important years in his life, with his deep engagement in the network’s political coverage, and that he “worked to the point of exhaustion.” Mr. Brokaw said Mr. Russert was a true child of Buffalo and always stayed in touch with his blue collar roots and “the ethos of that community.”

Four at Four

  1. Flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa forces evacuations and closes roads, reports the Associated Press.

    Rising water from the Cedar River forced the evacuation of a downtown hospital Friday after residents of more than 3,000 homes fled for higher ground. A railroad bridge collapsed, and 400 city blocks were under water.

    Cedar Rapids was the hardest-hit city in Iowa, where Gov. Chet Culver declared 83 of the state’s 99 counties as state disaster areas and nine rivers were at or above historic flood levels. Elsewhere in the upper Midwest, rivers and streams tipping their banks forced evacuations, closed roads, and even threatened drinking water…

    Dave Koch, a spokesman for the Cedar Rapids fire department, said the river will crest Friday at about 31.8 feet. It was at 30.9 feet early in the morning. In a 1993 flood, considered the worst flood in recent history, it was at 19.27 feet. At least 438 city blocks in downtown were under water, Koch said. There was more flooding outside of downtown, but authorities don’t know what widespread it is.

    Does Cedar Rapids, Iowa remind you of any thing?

    The New York Times adds The city that ‘Would Never Flood’ goes 12 feet under. “They said this city would never flood. They talked about 1993, and 1966 and 1851, years when the Cedar River swelled and hissed but mostly stayed within its banks. They thought they were safe. They were wrong. Cedar Rapids is experiencing the worst flooding in the city’s history… 12 feet higher than the previous record, set in 1851”

    8,000 people have evacuated and 5,500 homes are without electricity. More rain is forecasted for the weekend. The AP reports I-80 is closed due to flooding between Iowa City and Davenport. Flooding has halted the California Zephyr in Iowa too.

    There is flooding across the Upper Midwest. “Violent thunderstorms Thursday and Friday brought widespread flooding to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula that authorities say left some roads and bridges unstable or impassable… In Wisconsin, amphibious vehicles that carry tourists on the Wisconsin River were used to evacuate homes and businesses in Baraboo, north of Madison.”

    As the flood waters flow down to the Gulf, communities along the Mississippi river are bracing for a “significant rise” that is expected on Wednesday.

  2. The New York Times reports Iraq says talks on pact with U.S. are at an impasse. Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, “explicitly detailed the main points of contention between the United States and the Iraqi government in the negotiations for the security agreement.”

    “Iraq rejects Washington’s insistence on granting their forces immunity from Iraqi laws and courts,” he said. “We reject Washington’s demand to have a free hand in undertaking military operations without cooperation with the Iraqi government.”

    He added: “We cannot give permission to the American forces independent right to arrest Iraqis or execute operations against terrorism. We cannot allow them to use the Iraqi skies and waters at all times.”

    The question of immunity for American contractors accused of killing a number of Iraqi civilians unprovoked is a particularly sensitive point with Iraqis who want to be able to bring the wrongdoers to trial in Iraqi courts.

Four at Four continues with stories about 4000 years and 2000 years.

Sucking on Tailpipes

So for the last little bit on Rush Limbaugh I’ve been listening to Jonathan from Rockwell Tx. (outside Dallas) who picked up a broken compact florescent in a storeroom even though Rush told him the Mercury was toxic.  Rush praised him for his self sacrifice like he had fallen on a grenade.

He felt faint and headachy so his boss filled out an accident report and called the (offsite) RN who had him 911 the paramedics that sent him to the emergency room where after a few hours and some Tylenol the headache went away (but make sure you keep monitoring says Rush).

The Loading Dock I worked on was roofed by reinforced concrete decking on steel beams all coated with spray asbestos insulation to meet fire code.  I smoked Kools at the time and we ignored the “No Smoking” signs because hey- it’s the Loading Dock and we make our own rules. (Security guy was a smoker too, which didn’t hurt).

Is this bad?  Let me tell you what we did for amusement.

Our store occupied 2/3rds of a former retail space and they just left the basement filled with all kinds of fixtures (which we stole) and other exotic (not meaning “African Americans” Pat) leftovers which included boxes and boxes of standard florescents which it would have been unprofitable to pay us to check whether they still worked.

So instead we stood around on our smoking breaks and played Jedi light saber with them or pitched them into the Dumpster like spears.


All week long I have been talking about life after Bush….but before we get there, we have to beat McCain! It is a Youtube election. The power of using peoples own words…not just quoted, but coming out of their own mouth on the medium that the majority of America now mistakes for reality is vital…and VERY effective. If it is not on video…it didn’t happen. Well here “it” is…in all it’s glory.

Spread them around, post your own in the comments and remember that if you ever need them, they are here. Just type McCainTube into search and voila! Watch them and weep that this may be our future!

WAPO admits to Bilderburg


Jordan met Eric Schmidt at Bilderburg, that super secret organization between Davos and Bohemian Grove.

A mention in real mainsteam propaganda press that the Bilderburg Group does in fact exist.  Now to make it an American household word.  Every five year old should know what Bilderburg is and how that organization will adversely affect their entire life.

McCain and War: KO Special Comment

I was pretty blown away by Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment last night. Blown away because it is probably the most powerful statement I’ve heard yet about this Iraq War debacle and McCain’s duplicity. And that’s saying alot since we’ve all heard so much on these subjects over the last 5 years.

So if you missed it last night, here’s the transcript and here’s the video in two parts (a total of just over 12 minutes).

McCain and War: KO Special Comment

I was dumbstruck last night by Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment. Dumbstruck in the sense that it was one of the most powerful statements about this Iraq War debacle that I have heard – and we’ve all heard alot in the last 5 years.

So, in case anyone didn’t see it, here is the transcript and here is the video in two parts (a total of just over 12 minutes).

Party Discipline: A Modest Proposal

(crossed from DailyKos)

I have a modest proposal for dealing with Party idiots and apostates:

Eat their babies.  

No, just kidding.  This isn’t a Jonathan Swift-style recommendation.  It’s too late for that: the children have grown to adulthood and now stand at the gates of the “fourth estate” spouting the talking-points of the opposition.

Ye gads!  What to do?

If you’re thinking of picking up the ‘phone and chewing off their ear, or dashing off a fevered email of righteous indignations, allow me to offer this suggestions:  


Call the HammerHand.

Believe me, no one knows righteous rage any better than I do.  When I read this diary about Tennessee Democrat Fred Hobbs

“Maybe [it’s] the same reason I don’t want to – I don’t exactly approve of a lot of the things he stands for and I’m not sure we know enough about him,” Hobbs said when asked why he thought Davis wasn’t endorsing Obama. “He’s got some bad connections, and he may be terrorist connected for all I can tell. It sounds kind of like he may be.”

I was pissed.  And appalled that, at such a late date and in such a crucial year, a fellow Democrat would stoop to such tactics–for no good purpose.

The diarist helpfully supplied Fred’s email and offered that it might be a good idea to “reach out” (my paraphrase).  Good idea, I thought.  Then I began to read the comments.

I would like to know if this quote is accuratly yours?

“Maybe [it’s] the same reason I don’t want to – I don’t exactly approve of a lot of the things he stands for and I’m not sure we know enough about him,” Hobbs said when asked why he thought Davis wasn’t endorsing Obama. “He’s got some bad connections, and he may be terrorist connected for all I can tell. It sounds kind of like he may be.”

if so then i’m pretty disappointed  you calling yourself a democrate?

the what the fuck is there that you don’t know about our nominee?

get brain racist moron!

if you’re true democrate you’d get your ass in gear to get your party nominee elected

if you’re racist we don’t want your vote sucker!

OBAMA IS NOT A TERRORIST AND YOU DAMN WELL KNOW IT JACKASS. Wasn’t it your Tennessee Democratic Party that was railing against saying the same thing to raise money?

If you don’t want to support him, fine. If you pull shit like that people will notice. And we will take your moronic ass out in your next leadership election. Then again, maybe if you define terrorist as people who don’t put up with pathetic sleaze bags like you, then you might have a point. Get the hell out of our party, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I am going to file a complaint with the credentials committee seeking to pull your credential from Denver.

If you’re bored and looking for something to do, you might want to look into joining the KKK, a moron like you would fit in well there. Again, get the fuck out, you’re not a real Democrat if you believe that.

Oh, and the truth: www.fightthesmears.com–the truth, but something tells me a bigot and fool like you isn’t literate. Again, get the hell out of the Democratic Party and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Obviously harsh and not likely to be productive.  That objection, when raised, was often countered by something like this:

Wrong (7+ / 0-)

We’ve won, now it’s time to enforce some party discipline. Now, it’s time to unload on pieces of shit like this guy…

Party discipline.  Look, this is no more disciplined than he is–this is mob.

But is this any better?

My email to Mr. Hobbs (14+ / 0-)

Good morning Mr. Hobbs,

I was unpleasantly surprised to see the quote below attributed to you this morning in the press.  Having been misquoted myself by the 4th estate I understand very well what it is like to say one thing, and read them quoting you as having said another.

So, in the interest of clarity, here is the quote I read that the press is claiming you said.  I hope it is inaccurate and you can clarify your statement.


Well, it’s certainly more polite.  But I’m not sure it’s any more effective.

Here’s my proposal: Unless this guy is in your district or you’re one of his constituents, don’t write to him.  

Write to Howard Dean.

Discipline comes from above.  Write to Dean, or write to your own Party Rep, urging them to help get this guy in line.  The only people The Hobbs of the world are beholden to are the people who put them where they are and the people above them in the Party Hierarchy.  

The higher-ups really need to hear how the rank and file feel, and they need to know that we’re paying attention.  They need to feel the avalanche of our outrage, because that is what will give them the courage — and the justification — to do something about it, and shut this guy up.

Hobbs isn’t going to listen to you.  In fact, by saying something like this in the first place, he’s telling you: “I don’t care what you think.  I’m an unreconstructed racist who thinks the DLC was already a little too far to the left.”  He. Doesn’t. Care.  


If you want to bring the hammer down on this guy, talk to the hammerhand: Dean.

I don’t expect many of us will have the self-control to not send a letter or make a call.  But at least try this:  If you feel you have to “reach out and touch” Mr. Hobbs, at least make it a double-dip and call the Doctor, too.

We may have the power, but it’s Dr. Dean who holds the whip.

Of course, I guess there’s always this:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy [DINO] well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”

Eyes on the Maobadi: 4 Reasons Nepal’s Revolution Matters

An interesting article by Mike Ely via dissidentvoice.com: http://www.dissidentvoice.org/…

McCain on the value of human — er, American — life

John McCain insensitive to the human cost of the war in Iraq?

Au contraire.  He’s very sensitive:

“Nothing is more precious than Americans, and I know that it has caused great heartache and pain,” he said, “but I also want to tell you that I believe in the conflict in Iraq with this new strategy, we are succeeding.

“Every American is precious, every casualty is someone that pains and grieves us, no one more than a veteran,” said Mr. McCain, who spent five years as a prisoner of war during Vietnam. “But the consequences of failure would be chaos and genocide in the region.”

Maybe that’s why we don’t even bother to count the number of Iraqis killed, while estimates range in the hundreds of thousands, even a million.

Every American is precious.

Iraqis’ lives are cheap.

And it’s really “not too important” when the killing stops.

Fighting the Army – “NOW”

On PBS NOW Tonight 6-13-08

Of the thousands of U.S. troops getting discharged from the Army each year, many who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries aren’t getting the vital care they need. The Army claims these soldiers have pre-existing mental illnesses or are guilty of misconduct. But advocates say this is a way for the Army to get rid of “problem” soldiers quickly, without giving them the treatment and benefits to which they’re entitled.

This week, NOW travels to Fort Hood in Texas to meet traumatized soldiers fighting a new battle, this one against the army they served. Are soldiers being wrongfully discharged for honorable service?

Liberal Media Bias? Paul Revere:”The British are Liberal, The British are Liberal!”

We continue to hear from the strains of Right Wing Hate Radio programming to the musings in conservative rags such as the Washington Times that the media has a Liberal Bias to the stories they cover.  

The Neo-Con’s whine and cry and complain that the New York Times (to a conservative, synonymous with George Soros’ personal newspaper), CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, BBC News, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on and on, are nothing more than the mouthpieces of the dangerous liberal movement in our country!  The Wingnut set decries these media outlets for only giving us one side, TEH LIBERAL SIDE, of any story.

I say, Old Dharmite Chaps!  The blokes on this side of the Pond commonly referred to as Wingnuts do so hate many things that are not of US origin.  Like, anything French.  We all remember the silliness of Representative Walter Jones (NC-03) and the FREEDOM FRIES! don’t we?  

Well, one other thing they hate, hate, hate (have you ever noticed that wingnuts do a lot of hating) is any MEDIA from Over There that actually tells the truth.  Their favourite media outlet to hate on then would be the so VERY LIBERAL DNC-BBC!  

Yes, even though you may not have known this little tidbit of information, we have been told that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) actually has a pipeline directly to the BBC which colours all of the so-called NEWS broadcast by the BBC.  

This of course makes the DNC-BBC part of the hated Liberal Media!

Today we will take a look at a story from the DNC-BBC entitled:

Load more