March 12, 2009 archive

C Bomb Exports Permanently Banned!?

I received this yesterday, on the 11th, from the Friends Committee on National Legislation and was going to post it around but couldn’t get the links to load, they’re fine now, So Please Use Them!

Sane Canadians Seek to Bar Bush

Via Raw Story

Even out of power and away from the White House, former President George W. Bush seemingly cannot get away from calls for his prosecution.

The latest outcry comes from a Canadian attorney with Lawyers Against the War, who said she will file a suit against Bush and bar his entry to Canada over alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Former President Bush plans a visit to Canada on March 17 for a speaking engagement at Calgary, on invite from the city’s chamber of commerce.

“In a letter to the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] war crimes section and copied to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and other federal ministers and opposition MPs, the Lawyers Against the War group claims that Bush is ‘inadmissible to Canada . . . because of overwhelming evidence that he has committed, outside Canada, torture and other offences’ as detailed in Canada’s War Crimes Act,” reported

Change has come to the White House?



LOL – just couldn’t resist.

h/t to Baratunde at Jack and Jill Politics

Quote for Discussion: All My Friends

Spring is nearly here!

Dare I say my transformation started only with clothes

I cashed in young and bought full catalogues, I was seasonally robed

You fear I’m swallowed, know that I’m the one who sips at their cup

Drink down this business spirit, now I found I’m the first to have grown up

Dare I say my education was less than I hoped it would be

Is it unfair to say my mind is more weathered from one less degree

Anonymously writing all your work while perfecting my form

I’m charged to master all these demons, dear, so it shall be done

Providence clearly smiled on me

My name is Andrew I tower with the trees

Left rock for God and I won’t turn back

My name is Lazer all my friends call me Max

My presence went unnoted till I spoke up when I was 16

The plastered walls, like clarion calls, the parochial brats followed me

My private school uprising fooled my way to faux martyrdom

This windy city blows my hopes and dreams in the hopes that they’ll come

My head still grew though I was full grown

My name is Andre I was raised on the Rhone

I’ve learned just about everything

My name is Leonard all my friends call me King

Let’s not forget about our two beloved foreigners

The Russian and the Persian who spend all their time in stoned corners

Daniel’s well prepared to settle down and wed at his lady’s whim

And Edmond is believed lost because his mother’s searching for him

When I was young I did the Ricky Vaughn twice in one summer

We raised in soft surroundings needed to be harder somehow

I found the sweetest angel, years went by before I broke down her front

Before she left, that angel beat me so bad, I swore it was Altamont

And now your stories will not fill what I led slip through my hands

I will not drink a drop, but raise a glass to all of my friends

I found a way to remain 19

My name is Jonathan I’ve just kissed a dream

Bred since birth to be chief Primate

My name is Levi I’m leading the apes

These doctors put me in such a rut

My name is Michael all the chicks hate my guts

I’ve learned just about everything

I am Ignatius, all your friends call me king

Four at Four

  1. The Guardian reports Severe global warming will render half of world’s inhabited areas unliveable, Steven Sherwood, a climate expert at Yale University, told a global warming conference in Copenhagen today.

    “Parts of China, India and the eastern US could all become too warm in summer for people to lose heat by sweating – rendering such areas effectively uninhabitable… People will not be able to adapt to a much warmer climate as well as previously thought.”

    “There will be some places on Earth where it would simply be impossible to lose heat,” Sherwood said. “This is quite imaginable if we continue burning fossil fuels. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t end up there.”

  2. The NY Times reports President Obama issues his first signing statement, “reserving a right to bypass dozens of provisions in a $410 billion government spending bill even as he signed it into law.”

    “One of the budget bill’s provisions that Mr. Obama said he could circumvent concerns United Nations peacekeeping missions… He also raised concerns about a section that establishes whistle-blower protections for federal employees who give information to Congress.” The “majority of the challenged provisions are those allowing money to be reallocated to a different program only with the approval of a Congressional committee.”

  3. McClatchy reports the Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush sentenced to 3 years. “An Iraqi court Thursday sentenced television journalist Muntathar al Zaidi to three years in prison for throwing his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush… Zaidi’s immediate family wept on hearing the sentence. His brother Udai accused the court of being Americanized. ‘This was expected from an Americanized court,’ he said. ‘We don’t feel sorry for Muntathar, we only feel sorry for Americanized Iraq.'”

  4. The Houston Chronicle reports Space debris threat forces temporary evacuation of the space station. “The three American and Russian astronauts aboard the international space station took shelter in their Soyuz escape capsule briefly today to wait out the close approach of debris from an old U.S. commercial rocket stage, NASA said today… The debris, about 4 inches long, whizzed within three miles of the orbital outpost… causing no damage.”

    Back on the ground, the lauch of the space shuttle Discovery is postponed because of a leak in a hydrogen fuel line and NASA’s future is unclear. The LA Times reports President Obama says a ‘Sense of drift’ ails NASA.

    President Obama said Wednesday that NASA was an agency afflicted by “a sense of drift” and that it needed a “mission that is appropriate for the 21st century.”

    During an interview, Obama said the first priority of a new agency administrator — whom he promised to appoint soon — would be “to think through what NASA’s core mission is and what the next great adventures and discoveries are under the NASA banner.” …

    “Shaping a mission for NASA that is appropriate for the 21st century is going to be one of the biggest tasks of my new NASA director,” he said. “What I don’t what NASA to do is just limp along. And I don’t think that’s good for the economy in the region either.”

A Farce in the Making? Holder’s Task Force on Interrogations and Detention

According to the New York Times, Obama administration Attorney General Eric holder announced today he would appoint a new “special envoy” on Guantanamo, former assistant secretary of state for European affairs in the Bush Administration, Daniel Fried.

Also on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. named two government lawyers with national security experience as staff directors of task forces set up by President Obama to analyze detention issues.

J. Douglas Wilson, a senior federal prosecutor in California, is to lead an analysis of guidelines for interrogation and transfer of detainees to other countries. Brad Wiegmann, a senior Justice Department national security lawyer, is to help lead a task force charged with recommending the legal rules for detention of future terrorism suspects.

random, updated

WHAT did he (Robert Gibbs) just say?

OKay its rainy and cold and Im reading all over the place online and kind of bouncing around (like I usually do). I was thinking about coming here and tossing out a few things as I come across them.

I happen to have the sound on my TV because I noticed Gibbs daily press briefing is on. But Im only half listening. And I cant see it (its behind my back).

Am I for it or against it?

Good afternoon Mrs. Hornbeck, I’m Eric from the Pro-Life campaign.

Are you for abortion or against it?

Umm… I’m pro-choice.

Thank you very much have a great day.

California Starts Planning For Rising Oceans

The latest estimates are for over four and a half feet of ocean rise by the end of the century. In my twenty years or more of watching the subject, there has been one VERY consistent fact.

Every single estimate or model has been proven to be over optimistic and to underestimate the accelerative properties of Climate Crisis.

From the LA Times coverage of the California interagency Climate Action Team.

Hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars of Golden State infrastructure and property would be at risk if ocean levels rose 55 inches by the end of the century, as computer models suggest, according to the report.

The group floated several radical proposals: limit coastal development in areas at risk from sea rise; consider phased abandonment of certain areas; halt federally subsidized insurance for property likely to be inundated; and require coastal structures to be built to adapt to climate change.


“Immediate action is needed,” said Linda Adams, secretary for environmental protection. “It will cost significantly less to combat climate change than it will to maintain a business-as-usual approach.”

And still…….that is an understatement. Coastal property is some of the most expensive and most developed in the world. And it IS going to disappear. Trillions of dollars worth of it, all over the world, inevitably, and there is, now, virtually nothing we can do about it. Except preventing it from getting even worse than that.

Despite the Fox News hosts recent highly scientific findings that if it snows in March, apparently an unusual climate event, that is proof that there is no threat from Climate Change.

And it looks like Americans are buying it.

From Think Progress…

Unfortunately, a new Gallup poll shows that while a majority of Americans still believe global warming is happening, a record number now say that it is “exaggerated” by the news media:


Perhaps when the ostriches, with their heads buried deep in the sand start…..drowning, we can start making changes. I praise the California interagency Climate Action Team. To bad that they will be mostly ignored.

Joseph Romm’s piece in Alternet: Are we all Madoffs?

This is another short reaction to Joseph Romm’s piece in Alternet: “Why the Global Economy Is a Ponzi Scheme and We Are All Bernie Madoffs”.  Much as I’d like to agree with Romm (as he is one of the most authoritative voices out there on the topic of abrupt climate change), no, we are not all Bernie Madoffs.  The global capitalist economy marginalizes most of the world’s population while granting the status of “Bernie Madoff” to, well, Bernie Madoff — really, even granting Romm’s metaphor, the few who are privileged to take real advantage of the economy.  And, perhaps, even for them, “playing the Ponzi scheme” means “just getting by.”  Still, Romm’s use of metaphor is creative and interesting.

(crossposted at Big Orange)

Windmill Jousting

The morning paper features a story about a local resident applying for a permit to put up a windmill.  Town says no and gives a perfectly rational reason for doing so.

Docudharma Times Thursday March 12

Obama Gets Blamed

For Not Fulling A

McCain Campaign Promise

Even Though Republicans Added

More Than 300 Items Of Pork

Thursday’s Headlines:

They’re well-versed in hard times

Nawaz Sharif fears assassination as party begins protest

Student facing twenty years in hell

Sarkozy to end France’s 40-year Nato feud

Could Churchill have stopped ‘bestial policy’?

Witch hunt: Africa’s hidden war on women

Ejected from Darfur, aid workers fear for people there

Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s frontman, jailed for 15 years for crimes against humanity

Why Syria and Saudi Arabia are talking again

Presidency within reach of El Salvador’s ex-rebels

Financial Fraud Is Focus of Attack by Prosecutors


Published: March 11, 2009

Spurred by rising public anger, federal and state investigators are preparing for a surge of prosecutions of financial fraud.

Across the country, attorneys general have already begun indicting dozens of loan processors, mortgage brokers and bank officers. Last week alone, there were guilty pleas in Minnesota, Delaware, North Carolina and Connecticut and sentences in Florida and Vermont – all stemming from home loan scams.

With the Obama administration focused on stabilizing the banks and restoring confidence in the stock market, it has said little about federal civil or criminal charges. But its proposed budget contains hints that it will add to this weight of litigation, including money for more F.B.I. agents to investigate mortgage fraud and white-collar crime, and a 13 percent raise for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Native American death rates soar as most people are living longer

Babies die at a rate 44% higher than decade ago



On the Okanogan plains in northeast Washington, the Colville tribes recently buried a man who died after facing a bleak decision: spend his money on trips into town for dialysis, or buy food for his family.It was a variant of a fate that has doomed many people on the stark, remote reservation, causing the timber-dependent tribes to increasingly spend their money on burials.

“It’s a choice between feeding your family and living,” said Andy Joseph Jr., a Colville Confederated Tribes council member. “Our people can’t afford to pay for their funeral services.”

From isolated reservations across the state to urban pockets around Seattle, Native Americans are dying at higher rates than a decade ago, at a time when most people in Washington are living longer, healthier lives.

A recent state Department of Health report showed that the march against cancer, heart disease and infant mortality has largely bypassed Native Americans.



Intelligence Pick Blames ‘Israel Lobby’ For Withdrawal

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, March 12, 2009; Page A01

The withdrawal of a senior intelligence adviser after an online campaign to prevent him from taking office has ignited a debate over whether powerful pro-Israel lobbying interests are exercising outsize influence over who serves in the Obama administration.

When Charles W. Freeman Jr. stepped away Tuesday from an appointment to chair the National Intelligence Council — which oversees the production of reports that represent the view of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies — he decried in an e-mail “the barrage of libelous distortions of my record [that] would not cease upon my entry into office,” and he was blunt about whom he considers responsible.

Load more