May 19, 2010 archive

Sex Scandal Rep Discusses Abstinence with His Paramour

Yes, this is Congressman Mark Souder discussing abstinence.  The women who is interviewing him is the one who he was having an affair with.  Can’t be blamed.  Abstinence and hypocrisy makes me horny too:


Courage of a Dream


From ABC News:

Mohammad Abdollahi, an undocumented Iranian immigrant, takes the finger-pointing in Congress over stalled immigration legislation personally.

The gay Ann Arbor, Michigan, resident, who was brought to the United States illegally when he was 3, now faces deportation to a country he has never known and where homosexuality is a capital crime.

Abdollahi, 24, and two other illegal immigrant students dressed in blue graduation caps and gowns Monday staged a sit-in at the Tucson, Ariz., offices of Sen. John McCain, who has withheld support for legislation that would give conditional path to citizenship for Adbollahi and thousands of immigrants brought here illegally at a young age.

These young people have been living, as they say, “in the shadows” for years, some for more than a decade.  In the absence of any real comprehensive immigration reform, they are taking matters into their own hands and agitating for justice now.  They are tired of hearing our representatives talk a sympathetic game and then do nothing.  They are demanding both Republican and Democratic representatives do something.

These students, Mohammad Abdollahi, Lizabeth Mateo, and Yahaira Carrillo, were eventually arrested and transferred to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where they will await deportation, unless someone does something.

The Historical Origins of Tea Party Ideology and White Supremacy

This is a different sort of diary from what I usually write.  

John B. Judis has an excellent article in The New republic entitled Tea Minus Zero in which he examines the socialogical basis of many Tea party adherents and the ideas that seem to animate their popularity.  While the Tea Party is used and sometimes directed by Big Business and the Republican Party, Judis suggests that those of us, inlcuding me at times, have been too simplistic in our analysis.  While I find his article extremely interesting, I think he undervalues the extent of white supremacy in forming the core ideology of Tea Party adherents.  I see many Tea Partiers to be ideological descendants of “The Democracy” of the Jacksonian era.  

Here is a key point before the fold: Most actual tea party folks are “marginal middle class” and they “look uneasily upward at corporate CEOs and investment bankers, and downward at low-wage service workers and laborers, many of whom are minorities. And their political outlook is defined by whether they primarily blame those below or above for the social and economic anxieties they feel.”

More after the fold.

Open Equation


The Creative Math of BP’s 20, no 40%, Containment

BP has claimed that the new 4 inch Pipe inserted into the 21 Riser pipe is siphoning off 20% of the leaking oil. And then they updated that figure to 40% the next day.  

Sounds good on the Morning News, but how did they get those numbers?

I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out the cross-sectional area of a 4″ Pipe vs the cross-sectional area of a 21″ Riser Pipe (minus its reported .812″ wall thickness)

And those calcs ended up: roughly 4.4% of the larger [inner] area would be covered by the smaller [outer] area — BUT all that was just a Red Herring — it turns out due to this BP picture (and its large rubber gaskets)

Looks good on Paper. Could the insert pipe with its many rubber stoppers actually be blocking up to 40% of the leaking oil from the larger pipe?

Yet one wonders, where did that 40% number come from, especially since BP is not all that keen on measuring and monitoring?

Smoke On The Water Open Thread

Joel Pett / Lexington Herald-Leader (May 18, 2010) via McClatchy

SCOTUS: How Many Is Too Many?


Pat Buchanan recently opined the near-certain confirmation of Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court will bring Jewish jurists on the court to three.  This 33% representation far outweighs the overall Jewish demographic of about 2% of the general population.

Pat Laments:

Buchanan was responding to a Washington Post story about black leaders expressing disappointment over solicitor general Elena Kagan’s record at Harvard Law, where the faculty members she hired were mostly white.

“But while leaders in the black community may be upset, the folks who look more like the real targets of liberal bias are white Protestants and Catholics, who still constitute well over half of the U.S. population,” he wrote. “Not in living memory has a Democratic president nominated an Irish, Italian or Polish Catholic, though these ethnic communities once gave the party its greatest victories in the cities and states of the North.”

What Pat fails to mention is that there are already six Catholic justices on the court.

Britain’s Iraq War Inquiry: In The U.S.!

The bush apparently won’t be questioned, probably couldn’t find cheney, in his undisclosed location, to sit down next to him while being so. Also may not question other top administration figures. We’ll see what this produces, every little tidbit, like many that came out early in the Inquiry, can only help and cause even more questions hopefully finally leading up to this country facing it’s own accountabilities.

But breath is not being held nor great expectations of my seeing the guilt cleansed!

Why Washington is Broken (A Resident’s Perspective)

Last night, voters rejected the Washington, DC, establishment, signaling an electorate eager to take out its anger on political insiders of both parties.  Channeling dissatisfaction with the nation’s capital has long been the meal ticket for candidates espousing a strong populist streak.  Such is the nature of this election cycle.  Having established that, I thought I might try to add my own perspective as to why Washington runs the way it does.  Close to a year spent here has given me ample opportunity to observe many of its idiosyncrasies and quirks.  While I have certainly not been privy to the private world of the federal government, I have experienced a multitude of other meetings, gatherings, and functions which have inadvertently or deliberately mirrored that of the seat of power.

On This Day in History: May 19

On this day in 1935, Lawrence of Arabia dies.

T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident six days before.

His exploits in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I were legendary. His book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, became a handbook for modern day guerrilla warfare and the Middle East. There are some people who should have read this before engaging militarily in the Middle East. There is much about the people of the region that Westerners do not understand, to their downfall in the region.

Everyone is familiar with the 1962 Academy Award winning movie starring Peter O’Toole which glorified his exploits. It opens with the motorcycle accident that ended his life. This is the BBC series that gives a far better picture of the man he was and what drove him.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


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As with Scott Brown, a message has been sent.  The way my brother the activist put it-

This is not the change we voted for, and we’ll keep voting until we get it!

Particularly encouraging to me was the commentary on MSNBC.  Even the dimmest bulb (and I admit it’s hard to find a single candlepower between them) seemed to understand that the voters of Pennsylvania and Arkansas are extremely unhappy with Beltway business as usual (though also as usual they refused to recognize their own mendacious complicity).

Last night was a clean sweep.  The results could not have been any better.  My congratulations and gratitude to those who helped make this victory possible.

And yet it is but an infinitesimal incremental step.  Lost in the gasbag noise was the fact that Financial Reform is as gutted and useless as Health Care before it.

That’s why we can not give up.

It is our duty as citizens to speak up, not shut up.  To point out as loudly and persistently as we can the failures and lies.  To make their lives as uncomfortable and miserable as possible.

You see, the thing a bigot most craves is to be as bigoted as they want in public and either applauded for it or to intimidate others into silence.  Just so these thieves.  Their pompous egos fear the merest prick to their inflated sense of self importance.  Did you see Specter’s concession?  He couldn’t believe it.  He was speechless.

Denying them our approval is the very least we can do.

And so this morning we wake with new resolve, fortified by the knowledge we can make a difference.

Si se puede.

Or as another blogger who posts here might say- Yell Louder.

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