July 9, 2010 archive

“Face it, the system is rigged, and it’s rigged against us”

Must Read Eric Alterman article about our kabuki democracy — and what to do about it.


     Face it, the system is rigged, and it’s rigged against us. Sure, presidents can pretty easily pass tax cuts for the wealthy and powerful corporations. They can start whatever wars they wish and wiretap whomever they want without warrants. They can order the torture of terrorist suspects, lie about it and see that their intelligence services destroy the evidence. But what they cannot do, even with supermajorities in both houses of Congress behind them, is pass the kind of transformative progressive legislation that Barack Obama promised in his 2008 presidential campaign. Here’s why.


    As for the “Here’s why” and how to fix things part, one should go read the whole article at The Nation, and go below the fold for more.

Open Duke


News at Noon

From Reuters

Google gets nod from China to keep search page

By Melanie Lee

July 9, 2010

(Reuters) – Google Inc has been given the green light by Beijing to continue operating its Chinese search page, averting a potential shutdown of its flagship search site in the world’s biggest Internet market.

Google said last week that it would stop automatically rerouting users to its uncensored Hong Kong-based search page, explaining that Beijing had indicated it would not renew its Internet Content Provider (ICP) license if it continued to do so.

That had prompted speculation that China might use the opportunity to shut down Google’s China search page, which would have been a blow to its other business in the country.

Related Stories

Google to resume gathering map data in 4 countries

Google’s Schmidt undaunted by Apple or Facebook

Converting Indians to “Scalp the Devil”: Joel’s Army

Spiritual Warfare is a concept in Joel’s Army best comprehended by commutativity (Warfare Spiritual) and simplification (Warfare).

Psalm 68:21 (King James)

But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such as one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

the scalping of the devil, Ps 68:21

On A Pair Of Victories, Part One, Or, “I DOMA Think Congress Can Define Spouse Anymore”

I have to work fast over the next two days to get you this story, but it is a good one.

We are all aware of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), championed by former Congressman Bob “I’m A Libertarian If It Doesn’t Involve Your Penis Or Vagina” Barr; we now have two rulings, released on the same day by the same Federal judge, that will render the Act moot, if they’re either upheld throughout the appeals process…or if the Obama Administration decides to end that appeals process right now.

There’s a lot of ground to cover, and time is short.

Let’s get to work.

Docudharma Times Friday July 9

Friday’s Headlines:

Petraeus reviews directive meant to limit Afghan civilian deaths

Newly discovered dinosaur is ‘Mojoceratops’


Arizona immigration law unlikely to survive federal lawsuit

Study: Marijuana tax could breed new illegal market


Europe’s fishing industry ‘unsustainable’ as stocks drop

Norway claims al-Qa’ida cell had links to New York subway bomb plot

Middle East

Smugglers in Iraq Blunt Sanctions Against Tehran

Iran woman escapes stoning death for adultery


UN security council condemns sinking of South Korean warship

US man ‘attempts suicide’ in North Korean jail


Millions face starvation as Niger prays in vain for rain

At last, a court to try Somali pirates

BP Oil Fined $5.2M for Ripping off Colorado Tribe

While this was first posted at Yubanet back on June 30,  it’s still highly relevant in establishing that BP Oil Company does not have a stellar reputation for many reasons besides the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happening now in the Gulf of Mexico, besides the explosion at the Texas City oil refinery in 2005 which killed 15 and injured 170.  And it shows they have a previous, recent history of deliberately misstating and lowballing the amount of petroleum and gas product being produced.  This is relevant now, because BP and the Federal Government have been steadily revising the estimated amount of oil gushing out from the ruined well upwards as they install more oil collection devices which are still not, obviously, collecting ALL of it.  Yet documents obtained from BP by Rep. Markey, show that BP did have a “worst case scenario” of 60,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil per day very early in the disaster when the the government was saying it was only 1000 to 5000 barrels.  The lower the official amount of oil spilt, the lower the Federal fines, obviously.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering how the ocean touches the Indigenous beaches of landlocked Colorado….  the “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management” is the new name for the old Minerals Management Service, or MMS.  MMS, now BOEM, leases out Federal lands for drilling and mining production.  A picture of the lovely area in southwest Colorado may be seen here:  http://buffalopost.net/?tag=so…  

BP is the second largest producer of natural gas in Colorado, per full data last available in 2008.


DENVER June 30, 2010 – The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) announced today that BP America Inc. has been assessed a civil penalty of $5.2 million for submitting “false, inaccurate, or misleading” reports for energy production that occurred on Southern Ute Indian Tribal lands in southwestern Colorado. The civil penalty announced today is not related to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

  The Southern Ute Tribal auditors and MRM found that BP reported incorrect royalty rates and prices for royalty purposes, and reported well production on leases other than those to which the production is attributable.

After receiving audit issue letters and an order, the company agreed with the auditors’ concerns and repeatedly promised to correct the problems, which they attributed to errors in their automated files.

As part of its investigation, MRM and Tribal auditors examined later production reports to determine if BP had resolved the issues, as it had agreed. Bromwich said the same reporting errors were found in the later reviews, “leading us to conclude that BP’s continued submission of erroneous reports was knowing or willful.”  

BP reported well production on other leases ?!

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

One should not strike a brahmin,

nor should the brahmin

let loose with his anger.

Shame on the brahmin’s killer.

More shame on the brahmin

whose anger is let loose.

–The Dhammapada, 389

Phenomena XII: interacting

True Colors?

Reality Bumping

Unlike glass baubles

the edges

of our worlds


For a brief moment

we share

realities blending


exchanging electrons

of information

changing each of us

Then we pass

our realities untangle

but we each

carry onward

a piece of the other

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–May 2, 2008

Late Night Karaoke


Oh I DESERVE To Write THIS Diary (Daily Kos Banned From MSNBC!)

Hat tip to james risser and cometman


Update: Markos Moulitsas notes differences between bannings at MSNBC and MSNBC

Daily Kos founder says he received email from MSNBC president

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the popular liberal blog DailyKos.com, wrote in a blog post Wednesday that he had been banned from appearing on MSNBC.

Lauren Skowronski, a public relations employee for MSNBC and NBC Universal, MSNBC’s parent company, told Raw Story, “MSNBC is not commenting.”

MSNBC is generally considered a liberal-leaning network, so the claim that a large liberal blogger has been banned has raised eyebrows.

Story continues below…

“In case you were wondering why you haven’t seen me on MSNBC recently, it seems that Joe Scarborough, he of the lowest rated morning show in cableland, has blackballed me,” Moulitsas wrote Wednesday. “And Phil Griffin, the alleged president of MSNBC, is going along with it.”


Austerity versus Stimulus: Just the Facts

  The most heated debate in Washington these days involves deficits and unemployment. There are lots of heated rhetoric, finger-pointing, and hyperbole.

  What there isn’t is a surplus of actual facts.

 For instance, this headline reads “U.S. should cut deficit to spur recovery, IMF says”. It implies that cutting the deficit would automatically increase economic growth.

  That sounds good to me. The problem is that the IMF never actually says that. In fact, the article spends most of its time warning about a drop in economic growth.

 The headline was misleading, as is just about everything said in this debate.

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Thursday Night Humor 20100708: Warning Labels

Many of you who read my posts know that I monitor the Fox “News” Channel from time to time so that you do not have to do so.  It is a high risk avocation, because insanity by osmosis is, in my scientific opinion, possible.

Today the repulsive John Stossel, the Fox “News” Channel “contributor” went on a tirade about warning labels on consumer products.  His thesis was that they are there only because of “trial lawyers” who fatten their pockets on the backs of big business.  By the way, the Fox “News” Channel regularly carries adverts by trial lawyers, mostly for mesothelioma, adverse drug effects, and firms that advertise about getting out of legitimate federal income tax cases.

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