Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cheney's 5th Heart Attack

Dick Cheney is hospitalized this weekend, after reporting "discomfort." Last February, he suffered his fifth heart attack. His first came at age 37. After all the misery, death, suffering and unnecessary wars this very evil man has caused, you'd think it would be difficult to summon sympathy for him. You'd be right. Here are just a few online reader responses:

There a line, which after you cross, you forfeit all right to compassion.

5 deferments means there were 5 young men sent to Vietnam in his place. I hope each one came home safe with a sound body and mind to their loved ones.

He will be missed by a few families members, but from the rest of the world, F@$k him.

May you receive the same answer to your prayers as those who have 'benefitted' from your policies.

5,500 dead Americans today because of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their families miss them and mourn their losses. Tens of thousands more American military personnel are maimed. How many more came home physically intact but continue to suffer post-traumatic stress? My sympathies lie with the brave Americans who sacrificed their all for this nation and with their broken-hearted families who miss them so terribly...

Too bad he wasn't admitted to the hospital for test when he was showing acute signs of being selfishly blind and morally indifferent.

Frankly, it's amazing - given the amount of virulent greed eating away his body - that he's lasted this long.

So glad he's enjoying such excellent health care at no cost to him. It would be a shame if 5 heart attacks depleted his savings and left his family destitute.

Two pacemakers, various angioplasties, and don't forget the wheel chair so he wouldn't have to stand at Obama's inauguration.

I don't hear hear him complaining about the government-run insurance now.

Where are Palin's "death panels" when you need them?

So, the man who sent 5000 Americans to die in Iraq deserves compassion? How so...? Personally, I save compassion for people that deserve compassion.

Good thing he has the best medical plan government can buy. And no premiums paid by him.

I will not wish ill on Mr. Cheney. To do so would only serve to bring me to his level which is something I could not live with. I will leave Mr. Cheney with this -- think hard, sir, of all you have done in your life. Think of those who have suffered for your greed and your lust for power. Think of those thousands of innocents who have died, so that you might line your pockets with gold. Think of the arrogance and deceit that defines your life. For if what you believe is correct -- that there is a god -- you, sir, will have a lot of explaining to do.

It's sad when a person faces tragedy. And it's sad when a person creates tragedies for many others.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"A Big Effing Deal" as VP Biden might say

As reported today on the Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc, Congress negotiated the toughest financial regulations, with the most protections for consumers, since the Great Depression. Democrats are hoping to pass the legislation and get it to the President's desk by July 4th.

There have been more legislative accomplishments during the first year and a half of this presidency than during any other over the past 50 years. Other "Big Effing Deals" for President Obama include:
  • Passed health care reform
  • Passed the Stimulus Bill, stopping the free-falling economy from total collapse, pumping $100 billion into the nations' crumbling infrastructure, and $60 billion for renewable, clean energy
  • Expanded Children's Health Insurance Program to cover another 4 million kids
  • Passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to establish equal pay for equal work
  • Signed nuclear arms deal with Russia that would diminish nukes on both sides by one third
  • Signed non-proliferation initiative to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists
  • Signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepherd Act
  • Allowed the FDA to regulate tobacco
  • Dismantled the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service (MMS), so the division collecting revenue from oil leases is not the same division that regulates and inspects the industry
  • Cancelled the irrelevant, outdated F22 weapons program
And President is working on closing Gitmo, ending Don't Ask Don't Tell and will begin work on Energy Reform. ALL in the first year and a half of his first term!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

They Love BP But Hate Unemployed Americans

The rightwing Regressives in Congress continue to love and defend the BP oil corporation. Many actually have said BP is the victim in the biggest environmental disaster in history. But how do they like Americans? Not so much.

Today they voted 57-41 against continuing unemployment benefits to Americans who have become jobless thanks to their policies. This would increase the national debt by about 0.0004%. It would be one of the most efficient ways to keep the economy recovering, as people who receive unemployment money tend to spend every dime they receive.

From the Associated Press:

Democrats have been trying to advance the measure for months as an insurance policy against a double-dip recession.

Despite another round of cuts to the measure aimed at pacifying GOP deficit concerns, not a single Republican broke with party leaders determined to kill the measure.

You see, the Regressives who scream "we're the patriots" actually want a second recession and more unemployment to help them win in November.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP's Own Memos Condemn Them

From the Associated Press:

NEW ORLEANS - BP made a series of money-saving shortcuts and blunders that dramatically increased the danger of a destructive oil spill in a well that an engineer ominously described as a "nightmare" just six days before the blowout, according to documents released Monday that provide new insight into the causes of the disaster.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released dozens of internal documents that outline several problems on the deepsea rig in the days and weeks before the April 20 explosion that set in motion the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The committee has been investigating the explosion and its aftermath.

"Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk of a blowout to save the company time or expense. If this is what happened, BP's carelessness and complacency have inflicted a heavy toll on the Gulf, its inhabitants, and the workers on the rig," said Democratic Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Bart Stupak.

Republican Jackass of the Week Part 2

It's Joe Barton, who actually apologized to the filthy, toxic, negligent oil company, BP.

Here's a company that cut corners at every opportunity. A company that is the direct cause of the biggest environmental disaster in US history.

President Obama was able to do what no president has ever done: secure 20 billion dollars in an escrow fund to pay for cleanup costs and damages due to BP's negligence. (After the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, years of lawsuits resulted in a very small penalty for Exxon.)

But this self-righteous idiotic Republican (what else?) from Texas, actually delivered a mind-boggling apology to Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive for the monetary penalty. He referred to the 20 billion dollars as a "shakedown" in front of a Congressional committee today. Gasps could be heard in the hearing room.

Every Regressive with even a glimmer of hope for re-election quickly distanced himself from this outrageously inappropriate comment. Orange House Minority Leader John Boehner said "BP ought to be held responsible for every dime of this tragedy."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Republican Jackass of the Week

Her name is Sharron Angle. She's the Regressive candidate for the US Senate who will challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada. And she thinks that using the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) is actually the appropriate "remedy" for a perfectly legal, democratically elected government rightwingers may disagree with. She compares our democratically elected Congress to "a tyrannical government."

Is there any possible meaning to what Sharron Angle said besides the obvious – that if people don't like the votes of those currently in Congress, guns can “remedy” the situation?

Watch this 30 second clip and hear her for yourself.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

After repeatedly referring to the Second Amendment she says, "The first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out." She should be arrested and imprisoned for inciting violence.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Topsy the Elephant

From The Onion / June 2, 2010

Children of All Ages Delighted by Enslavement of Topsy the Elephant

TUCSON, AZ—Cheers, laughter, and applause filled the big top tent at the Ringling Bros. Circus Saturday as children of all ages were captivated by the savage enslavement of Topsy the elephant.

Whether young or just young at heart, thrilled audience members watched with glee as a circus trainer forced the frightened Topsy to perform tricks by brutally poking and prodding the traumatized 4-year-old pachyderm.

"He's such a funny happy elephant," said 8-year-old Madison Helms, referring to the abused creature that spends the majority of his time chained up in a cramped, feces-covered enclosure. "He loves being in the circus!"

The crowd reportedly let out loud gasps and vigorously clapped when Topsy stood up on his hind legs, an unnatural and excruciatingly painful movement that stresses and permanently damages the 8,000-pound elephant's joints.

Topsy also delighted the audience after the trainer repeatedly thrust a hooked rod into his skin, causing the miserable animal to lift one leg and his trunk to simulate waving.

"Aww…" said the assembled circus-goers, who were taken by the cuteness of the barbaric spectacle.

Branden Helger, 9, said Topsy was his favorite performer at Ringling Bros. because the elephant knew how to do neat tricks like pretending to limp. The third-grader also excitedly pointed out the "cool necklace" clamped on the animal's foot.

Topsy and the other elephant performers, who are separated from each other at all times, preventing the socialization that's so crucial to their well-being, received a standing ovation from the crowd when they marched into the center ring, nervously rocking back and forth.

"Look, they're dancing," said 5-year-old Jonah Meeks, mistaking the elephants' constant swaying for something that wasn't a maladaptive behavior caused by serious psychological trauma. "I can dance like an elephant, too. Look at me!"

Unaware that the elephant was terrified of the glaring stage lights, deafening crowd noise, and constant beatings, Phil Wingren, who brought his family to the circus, remarked that Topsy must relish being a star.

"Boy, that Topsy's got it made," Wingren said to his children, referring to the mistreated, severely neglected creature, who is exposed to numerous diseases and receives no medical attention except when dirt is rubbed into his wounds to hide them from the public. "Always in the spotlight and everybody pampering you. That lucky elephant."

"Look, he even has his own ball," continued Wingren, referring to the most hated object in Topsy's life.

Attending the circus with her grandparents, Gretchen Anderson, 4, was delighted by Topsy and by the other pachyderms as well.

"There's his mama," Anderson said of an elephant unrelated to Topsy, who has not seen his parents since being torn away from them shortly after birth, and last nestled up to his mother when he tried to suckle at her corpse shortly after poachers killed her. "They have a big happy family."

Eyewitnesses who spotted the trainer patting the side of Topsy's body during the final trick were convinced the elephant and the man were best friends, though in fact the look of reverie on Topsy's face was the result of his daydreaming about stomping and crushing the cruel asshole's head like an overripe melon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BP's DIsaster: How We Got Here

Excellent blog written by Barbra Streisand and printed in the Huffington Post:


It's now well over a month since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Gulf of Mexico and created the largest man-made environmental catastrophe in American history. The question haunting everyone is: how was this allowed to happen? From the devastated fishermen and business owners in the Gulf Coast to environmental activists across the country -- we all have been watching, horrified, as millions of gallons of oil continue to pour into the ocean, destroying people's livelihoods, poisoning marine life and destroying coastlines and eco-systems for decades to come.

In the wake of this disaster, I have no doubt that the spill occurred because the pendulum of power in our country has swung dangerously far in favor of corporations. The systematized deregulation of our industries, which began under President Reagan and continued vigorously under George W. Bush, is now literally destroying our environment.

For eight years, Bush and Cheney were both far too cozy with corporate America, and were deeply committed to deregulating industry from the government's oversight. Bush and Cheney moved people from big industry into government positions, placing them in charge of both writing the rules and policing the very industries they once worked for. Whether in financial meltdowns or oil spills, we are reaping the consequences of these actions and will continue to do so for years to come. Now, the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizen's United allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections, thereby giving the biggest industries unprecedented influence in our democracy (that's why we need a progressive on the Court).

Over the last six weeks, the perpetrator of the Gulf Coast spill, British Petroleum, has been playing the blame game, stating that Transocean, the owner of the oil rig, is at fault and that Halliburton's poor job cementing the base of the well contributed to the spill. Each day we uncover more information on how these private companies, concerned only with their bottom line, have cut corners and neglected maintenance in a race toward higher profits (for instance, BP decided NOT to purchase a $500,000 blowout preventer valve, which gets bolted onto the sea floor at the wellhead as a failsafe to prevent these types of disasters). Many other countries require that oil companies purchase blowout preventers to protect against accidents and do not allow individual regulators to make these decisions. In addition, in other countries, regulations require oil companies doing deep water drilling to build and maintain a relief well from the outset to alleviate the affects of possible spills.

The BP spill also brought to light the corruption and ineptitude in the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service office. President Obama inherited most of this staff since many of the employees were placed into these regulatory roles during the eight years that Bush was President. Many of the regulators were already friends with industry officials and some had worked in the oil and gas business before their stint in government. These regulators apparently let the oil and gas companies fill out their own inspection forms in pencil and then traced over their writing in ink. In return for their leniency, regulators accepted invitations to hunting trips and tickets to college football games courtesy of the oil and gas companies. Basically, Bush put the foxes in charge of guarding the hen house! In addition, the Minerals Management Service frequently granted waivers to BP and other oil companies releasing them from providing regulators detailed environmental impact and safety contingency statements regarding the areas they planned to drill for oil. These waivers allowed oil companies to take short cuts, which ultimately lead to the kind of disaster we are now experiencing in the Gulf.

Lack of accountability, lack of oversight, lack of regulation, corruption...this all sounds frighteningly familiar. Although many had hoped we had learned our lesson after the recent financial meltdown, this disaster has further proved that free market capitalism can only be trustworthy and accountable if industries are properly regulated. Bush allowed polluters to self- regulate. We can't assume that companies like BP and Halliburton will spend the time and money to ensure environmental safety, just like we have learned the hard way that financial institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns will not safeguard our life savings. Sadly, we now know that when companies driven by profit are not regulated, they will not prioritize the public's best interest.

We have heard people say over and over again that less government is good government. During the health care debate, people wanted government to "stay out of their Medicare," not realizing that Medicare is a government program. Without government regulations and a trustworthy system of checks and balances, this will not be the last oil spill that could have been prevented...or the last financial meltdown. There's little the federal government can do now to save the birds, beaches and marshes steeped in oil along the Gulf, but as we move forward, we can demand that our government move quickly to put strong, sound regulations in place across all sectors in order to protect our people and our country.