The 70-30 Senate vote was a victory for President Obama, who had called Ben S. Bernanke a critical leader in the nation’s recovery from recession.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Only from the mouth of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
the telenovela that is argentina rolls merrily along as always... there have been a number of developments on the scene here that have been post-worthy, but, given my recent high pout about the state of world affairs in general, i've passed on the opportunity to reinforce their absurdity by paying them attention they don't deserve - until this stunning piece of idiocy passed in front of my eyes this morning...
Pork better for sex than Viagra?
Argentina's president recommended pork as an alternative to Viagra Wednesday, saying she spent a satisfying weekend with her husband after eating barbecued pork.
"I've just been told something I didn't know; that eating pork improves your sex life ... I'd say it's a lot nicer to eat a bit of grilled pork than take Viagra," President Cristina Fernandez said to leaders of the pig farming industry.
She said she recently ate pork and "things went very well that weekend, so it could well be true."
Argentines are the world's biggest per capita consumers of beef, but the government has sought to promote pork as an alternative in recent years due to rising steak prices and as a way to diversify the meat industry.
"Trying it doesn't cost anything, so let's give it a go," Fernandez said in the televised speech.
cristina is a piece of work, known in some circles here as a total air-head "fashionista," who earned that sobriquet after traveling to italy to attend an international conference and spending most of her time shopping in high-end clothing and shoe stores... besides being an air-head, she's also the wife of the FORMER president, nestor kirchner, a situation we in the u.s. would have been facing had we elected hillary...
cristina, imho, offers the perfect application of the following...
and, no, cristina, i don't give a fig for the details of your sex life... Submit To Propeller
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Thursday, January 28, 2010
Woo-Hoo...! A $14.3 TRILLION federal debt limit...!
Senate approves raising federal debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion Chamber approves boost in the amount of debt the federal government can take out.
The bill, which passed 60 to 40, would establish the new limit at $14.3 trillion -- equal to about $45,000 for every American.
is there anyone alive who can relate to numbers like this... Submit To Propeller
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Obama continues to allow the Bush policy of extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens [UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald]
marcy wheeler comments on dana priest's washington post article from yesterday...
[S]omewhere there’s a list of Americans who, the President has determined, can be killed with no due process.
she's referring to this from dana priest's article...
As part of the operations [in Yemen], Obama approved a Dec. 24 strike against a compound where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was thought to be meeting with other regional al-Qaeda leaders. Although he was not the focus of the strike and was not killed, he has since been added to a shortlist of U.S. citizens specifically targeted for killing or capture by the JSOC, military officials said.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush gave the CIA, and later the military, authority to kill U.S. citizens abroad if strong evidence existed that an American was involved in organizing or carrying out terrorist actions against the United States or U.S. interests, military and intelligence officials said. The evidence has to meet a certain, defined threshold. The person, for instance, has to pose “a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests,” said one former intelligence official.
The Obama administration has adopted the same stance. If a U.S. citizen joins al-Qaeda, “it doesn’t really change anything from the standpoint of whether we can target them,” a senior administration official said. “They are then part of the enemy.”
Both the CIA and the JSOC maintain lists of individuals, called “High Value Targets” and “High Value Individuals,” whom they seek to kill or capture. The JSOC list includes three Americans, including Aulaqi, whose name was added late last year. As of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens, and an intelligence official said that Aulaqi’s name has now been added.
marcy tracks this stuff diligently and we're all indebted to her for her tireless work... for her part, dana priest has been on the investigative and reportorial forefront of much of this ugly scene, from cia black sites to extraordinary rendition... it's all unconscionable and illegal but the thought that our government can decide on its own to issue orders to kill american citizens simply confirms that the u.s. is galloping rapidly down the trail to the kinds of tactics favored by dictators from stalin to pinochet...
glenn, as usual, shares his most articulate outrage...
Just think about this for a minute. Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests." They're entitled to no charges, no trial, no ability to contest the accusations. Amazingly, the Bush administration's policy of merely imprisoning foreign nationals (along with a couple of American citizens) without charges -- based solely on the President's claim that they were Terrorists -- produced intense controversy for years. That, one will recall, was a grave assault on the Constitution. Shouldn't Obama's policy of ordering American citizens assassinated without any due process or checks of any kind -- not imprisoned, but killed -- produce at least as much controversy?
Obviously, if U.S. forces are fighting on an actual battlefield, then they (like everyone else) have the right to kill combatants actively fighting against them, including American citizens. That's just the essence of war. That's why it's permissible to kill a combatant engaged on a real battlefield in a war zone but not, say, torture them once they're captured and helplessly detained. But combat is not what we're talking about here. The people on this "hit list" are likely to be killed while at home, sleeping in their bed, driving in a car with friends or family, or engaged in a whole array of other activities. More critically still, the Obama administration -- like the Bush administration before it -- defines the "battlefield" as the entire world. So the President claims the power to order U.S. citizens killed anywhere in the world, while engaged even in the most benign activities carried out far away from any actual battlefield, based solely on his say-so and with no judicial oversight or other checks. That's quite a power for an American President to claim for himself.
As we well know from the last eight years, the authoritarians among us in both parties will, by definition, reflexively justify this conduct by insisting that the assassination targets are Terrorists and therefore deserve death. What they actually mean, however, is that the U.S. Government has accused them of being Terrorists, which (except in the mind of an authoritarian) is not the same thing as being a Terrorist. Numerous Guantanamo detainees accused by the U.S. Government of being Terrorists have turned out to be completely innocent, and the vast majority of federal judges who provided habeas review to detainees have found an almost complete lack of evidence to justify the accusations against them, and thus ordered them released. That includes scores of detainees held while the U.S. Government insisted that only the "Worst of the Worst" remained at the camp.
[W]hat legal basis exists for the President to unilaterally compile hit lists of American citizens he wants to be killed?
there is only one answer to that question - none... Submit To Propeller
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A huge thank-you to Brother Tim
i don't consider myself naive but i did nourish the brief hope that we would at least see a general change for the better under obama... i certainly didn't foresee that the rape and pillage of our country, the erosion of our civil liberties, the vicious destruction of the middle class, and the full-tilt boogie of endless war would accelerate from warp 2 to warp 8...
so, i've been on a self-imposed blog strike, feeling that, under the best of circumstances, i'm only tilting at windmills... brother tim, in his great compassion, noted the vacuum and generously stepped in to keep the home fires burning... tim, you're a real mensch...!
what i neglected to consider is the plain truth that i never started this blog to make a difference... i'm neither conceited, articulate, prolific, nor ego-driven enough to assume that l'il ol' me could turn the tide... from the outset, i determined to make this an outlet, something to help me retain my sanity in an increasingly insane world... this little vacation has reminded me of that and how much the occasional post keeps me from descending into the hellhole of my own mind...
so, i'm back... not with bells on... not on a crusade... not with anything more in mind than to scratch some really annoying itches...
again, many, many thanks, tim... hang in there, buddy... we're all we've got... Submit To Propeller
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Domestic spending freeze...? Obama's jumped the shark...
Obama to Seek Freeze on Some Spending to Trim Deficits
President Obama will call for a three-year freeze in spending on many domestic programs, and for increases no greater than inflation after that, an initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit, administration officials said Monday.
i'm no fan of the ballooning deficit and i'm certainly no fan of an increasingly worthless fiat currency that's leaping off the printing presses so fast it's breathtaking... but, in the midst of a super-rich, elite-created economic storm in which businesses, states, and millions of citizens are suffering through furloughs, layoffs, foreclosures, unemployment and the complete wastage of the middle class, to put a freeze on domestic spending while still allowing free rein to our totally out-of-control defense and war spending is perhaps the most unconscionable thing done yet among the many disturbingly unconscionable things done by this president...
i'm glad to see krugman shares some of my utter dismay...
A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback?
It’s appalling on every level.
It’s bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment. Jonathan Zasloff writes that Obama seems to have decided to fire Tim Geithner and replace him with “the rotting corpse of Andrew Mellon” (Mellon was Herbert Hoover’s Treasury Secretary, who according to Hoover told him to “liquidate the workers, liquidate the farmers, purge the rottenness”.)
It’s bad long-run fiscal policy, shifting attention away from the essential need to reform health care and focusing on small change instead.
And it’s a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view — and more specifically, he has embraced the policy ideas of the man he defeated in 2008. A correspondent writes, “I feel like an idiot for supporting this guy.”
Now, I still cling to a fantasy: maybe, just possibly, Obama is going to tie his spending freeze to something that would actually help the economy, like an employment tax credit. (No, trivial tax breaks don’t count). There has, however, been no hint of anything like that in the reports so far. Right now, this looks like pure disaster.
this is one of the reasons i've slowed way down on blogging... my psyche is evidently too fragile at the moment to be able to regurgitate abominations of this magnitude... Submit To Propeller
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Monday, January 25, 2010
From GEO Pakistan.....
NEW DELHI: The Indian government was left red-faced Sunday after a full-page advertisement it issued as part of a women's rights campaign included the photograph of a former Pakistan Air Force chief.
The newspaper advertisement issued by India's federal Ministry of Women and Child Development was aimed at raising public awareness of the killing of female foetus [sic] in the mother's womb.
"Where would you be if your mother was not allowed to be born?" the advertisement asks and alongside photographs of two famous Indian cricketers and Pakistan's former air chief marshal Tanvir Ahmed.
Government advertisements are routinely handed over to private creative agencies after which they are issued by the government's Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity. All advertisements are cleared by the respective ministries.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to voice its criticism as television channels played up the blunder.
Submit To Propeller
"This is a very serious thing if our government officials and politicians do not know who our top military officials are," senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
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