3.21.2010

The Blue Pages

Vote with your money.

I was browsing through The Blue Pages and noted that I need to change my shopping behavior a bit.



It's for sale at amazon.com: Click to check it out.

Tainted Teaparty

Rep. King thinks that the racist and gay-bashing slurs are no big deal.

A few bad apples in the barrel, or is the barrel hopelessly tainted? Here's a screen shot of their website that I took earlier today.



I just looked again, and the slur has been removed.

http://www.teapartyorg.ning.com/

2.16.2010

The Real Climate Controversy

This was an opinion piece first published in the Albuquerque Journal, rescued and republished by Mark Crispin Miller in his blog, News from the Underground. I read the piece and judged it important enough that I think more people need to be aware of the situation, so I am publishing it here today.

Please read this, then ask yourself: WHO has the most to gain by falsifying data?
It is one thing to be ignorant of the facts, or so afraid of change as to resist the facts on the table. These are the flat earthers of our time.

It is quite another character altogether who sets out to falsify data for financial motives. The stakes are high and I fear they have obfuscated the facts and delayed our will to act urgently so that what awaits us is the equivalent of the 2006 tsunami a thousandfold.

God help us.

Read.

---------------

*The Real Climate Controversy*

*By Mark Boslough*
/Albuquerque physicist/
http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/guest_columns/152149149349opinionguestcolumns02-15-10.htm

Global warming is occurring. It is caused by human activities.
Both the theoretical basis (fundamental laws of physics) and
observational evidence for warming are incontrovertible. The first
decade of this century was the warmest ever recorded in human history,
just as the models predicted. The current decade will almost certainly
be warmer.

But it's not just the atmosphere that is heating. Ice is melting
at an accelerating rate, and sea level is rising. Weather patterns are
changing as the atmosphere and oceans adjust their flow in response to
the warming. These phenomena were all predicted. They have been
independently verified many times, using many methods, by researchers
throughout the world. The successful predictions of global warming
theory represent a major scientific achievement.
In 1998, a team of scientists combined thermometer measurements
with preinstrumental temperatures determined from tree rings and other
natural records. The resulting graph demonstrated how exceptional the
recent rapid warming has been, rising so sharply that it looked like the
blade of a hockey stick. The "Hockey Stick" graph became an iconic
symbol of global warming, even though it was only one of many lines of
evidence. The general validity and significance of the Hockey Stick has
since been reproduced by several independent groups of scientists.
Nevertheless, the idea of human-caused global warming has offended the
cherished belief system of some individuals who, for philosophical or
self-interested reasons, are convinced that people cannot possibly
affect the global temperature - regardless of the laws of physics.
Because the Hockey Stick had become a symbol, its authors became the
target of a political smear campaign.
In 2005, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., referred to global warming
as the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." Reps.
Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., sent a letter to the
Hockey Stick scientists, demanding that they immediately provide them
with extensive documentation about what the politicians claimed were
"methodological flaws and data errors" in their work.
Barton and Whitfield held Congressional hearings, and asked for
a review of the Hockey Stick by a panel led by Edward Wegman, a
statistician with no background in or understanding of climate science.
The Wegman panel wrote a report that criticized the statistical methods
used by the scientists. Climate change denialists embraced this
criticism. Ever since they have claimed that the Hockey Stick has been
discredited and, in a leap of logic, that global warming is not real.
To many researchers, the investigation was nothing more than an
anti-science witch-hunt. Scientists play by well-defined rules. They
require peer-reviewed publication, logic and evidence. Science is like a
hockey game that only works if fans understand it and teams play by the
rules. The politicians knew their side could not win against a
world-class "hockey team." They chose instead to create confusion and
sow doubt.
Their tactic was to act like unruly fans and throw hundreds of
decoy hockey pucks onto the ice and then take advantage of the chaos. As
any sports fan knows, when a fight breaks out on the ice or in the
stands - that becomes the story. The idea was simply to delay any
action. They didn't have to win the game. All they needed to do was
disrupt it.
The embattled scientists were understandably angry and were not
always
circumspect in their private messages. They did not expect political
activists - willing to tap phones and break into computers - to steal
their correspondence. They hadn't done anything wrong, but their words
were twisted and taken out of context. E-mails were published by
bloggers and broadcast by media for whom controversy and conflict trumps
accuracy and fair play. This non-scandal became known as "Climategate."

The actual scandal is associated with the Hockey Stick
congressional inquiry. Last month a blogger called "Deep Climate"
demonstrated that, in a cruel irony, the Wegman team actually used
material plagiarized from a textbook written by one of the scientists
under investigation. Even worse, the meaning of the stolen text was
changed. The supposedly unbiased referees seemed to have been in on the
plan to disrupt the game.
New evidence continues to mount. Independent investigator John
Mashey* has released a report in which he meticulously builds the case
for a corrupt and probably criminal conspiracy to mislead Congress in
the Hockey Stick investigation. Members of the mainstream media who have
tried so hard to create a scandal out of Climategate finally have a real
scandal to investigate; one that appears to involve a deliberate
high-level scheme to undermine research, create confusion and impede
progress on science-informed climate policy.

* http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/17/wegman-report-revisited/

1.21.2010

Fwd: [MCM] Healthcare giants FREAKED by Scott Brown's win

From News From the Underground (Jerry Policoff:reporting)

There was a juicy tidbit buried in paragraph 17 of an Associated Press story this morning:
 
"Nearly as shaken by the Massachusetts vote were health care provider groups that have supported the Democratic effort, such as drug makers, hospitals and doctors.

"While few were making public statements, industry groups that stood to gain millions of newly insured customers were worried that such potential gains were in jeopardy, according to lobbyists speaking on condition of anonymity to describe confidential conversations."
 
So much for phony industry pretences that they opposed this bill.  That was a total ruse. It went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media that the insurance industry poured millions into Martha Coakley's campaign.  Why would they do that when she supported the Senate bill and Brown opposed it?  Silly question.  It is because they supported it too.
 
 
Jerry Policoff
Face Book Causes: HealthCare4ALLPA
 

12.27.2009

ACORN V indicated, NY Times artile small, hard to find

A newreporton the community group Acorn by the
nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has found no evidence of
fraudulent voting or of violations of federal financing rules by the
group in the past five years.

RepresentativeJohn Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan and chairman of
the House Judiciary Committee, requested the report along with
RepresentativeBarney
Frank, Democrat of
Massachusetts. Mr. Conyers released the report on Tuesday.

Acorn, which stands for
theAssociation of
Community Organizations for Reform Now, has drawn fire from conservative activists who have
accused it of conducting fraudulent voter registration drives in poor
neighborhoods, adding imaginary voters like Mickey Mouse to the rolls.
The report by the research service, an arm of theLibrary of
Congress, said,
however, that a search using the Nexis news database "did not
identify any reported instances of such individuals attempting to vote
at the polls."

Hans A. von
Spakovsky, a
formerFederal Election
Commissionmember
under PresidentGeorge
W. Bush, said the new
report could not resolve the voting fraud issue, since "no one is
ever going to know it unless somebody takes the voter registration
list and checks each person who is registered to make sure they are a
real person."

The report also stated that
two conservative activists might have broken privacy laws in
California and Maryland by posing as a prostitute and pimp while
secretly videotaping Acorn staff members who gave them advice on
evading taxes and hiding their activities. The two states "appear to
ban" the recording of face-to-face conversations without the consent
of all participants, the report said.

Another part of the new
report suggested that efforts by Congress to cut Acorn's financing
could be unconstitutional bills of attainder, a term referring to
punishments ordered by Congress against specific individuals or
entities.
On Tuesday,
JudgeNina
Gershonof Federal
District Court in Brooklyn issued a one-page order supporting
Acorn's challenge to the legislation on bill-of-attainder grounds.
This month, Judge Gershon ruled that cutting the group's financing
was an illegal bill of attainder. In Tuesday's order, she denied a
motion by the Justice Department to reconsider her previous
ruling.

Get the Word Out! Intimidation of Foreign Workers Now Directed at Americans

Intimidation of Foreign Workers Now Directed at Americans: Facebook, Yahoo, Comcast Drawn In

All I want for Christmas is a progressive blogger to cover this threat to all American worker web sites.

"Nuisance lawsuits and threats of legal entanglement, long used by Indian H-1b labor contractors to silence Indian tech workers, have now been aimed at an American tech worker website, endh1b.com, for reposting an Indian H-1B worker's testimony of mistreatment by Apex Technology Group.

A New Jersey judge, sided with Apex Tenchnology Group on Wednesday  and ordered Facebook, Yahoo, and Comcast and  to reveal the identities of three John Does named in the injunction.

If successful, this injunction will squelch every American's security to post their workplace complaints anonymously. It will create a credible threat that, at any time, web hosting and web site companies could be forced to reveal identities of anonymous posters."

More here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/25/133335/82?new=true

PS: We'll get coverage of this on Monday in the press, but we need to get the bloggers on board right away!

Donna Conroy, Director
www.brightfuturejobs.com

12.23.2009

Fwd: [MCM] Gun owner nabbed near Obama was Bush WH employee




The man who was arrested with two guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition near the Capitol
during President Barack Obama's health care speech in September had been an employee of the George
W. Bush White House. The arrest of the man, Joshua Bowman, was widely reported at the time, but the news stories made no mention of his previous employment: For several years he worked in the Executive Office of the President, dealing with tech issues, including White House emails, his lawyer, George Braun, tells Mother Jones.
On the night of September 9, Bowman was on his way to meet Braun, a Bush administration political appointee, at the National Republican Club on First Street, SE when he was stopped by Capitol Police around 7:45 p.m.-minutes before Obama was scheduled to deliver a major address to Congress pushing his health care initiative. Bowman had driven up to a security checkpoint and told officers he wanted to park, but his lack of a permit for the area aroused their suspicions, and they asked to search his car.

Bowman had a bumper sticker like this one on his car, according to court records. (Patriot Depot).

The previous weekend, Bowman and Braun had gone duck-hunting, according to Braun. But Bowman forgot that he still had the guns in his car when he consented to a search of his vehicle, a Honda Civic
with a bumper sticker proclaiming, "I'll keep my guns, freedom, and money.... you keep the change."
The officers found a Beretta 12 gauge semi-automatic* shotgun, a .22 caliber long rifle, and over 400 rounds of ammunition in Bowman's trunk. The guns were unloaded and in their cases, according to court records. Braun says they were disassembled. The Capitol Police took Bowman into custody and charged him with two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition. He faced up to $3,000 in fines and as much as three years in jail. (The case is still pending.)
When Braun-who was at the National Republican Club, hanging out with congressmen including Iowa's Tom Latham and Nebraska's Lee Terry-finally heard from Bowman, it was around 10 p.m. Bowman told Braun he needed Braun to get him out of jail, explaining that he had been stopped with guns in his car. "Don't you know that's illegal?" Braun asked.  Both men were surprised when they heard the story on
the radio as they left jail the next day. Braun thought the coverage was excessive. "They were making
him sound like a terrorist," Braun said. "Does [Bowman] look like a terrorist? He has the élan to walk around with a bowtie."
Braun suggested that Bowman was only caught with the guns because he was used to having a White House security pass and expected to be able to park near the Capitol. He probably wouldn't have been stopped and searched by Capitol Police if he had still had the pass. He had left government employ just
a few weeks earlier, having landed a high-paying job at Northrop Grumman. "He hung out for a long
time. He worked for a Republican administration and he was pretty much the last person in the
Democratic administration. It's not that he thought the new administration was right or wrong-it's
called 'a year and a day,' and Josh was there for six," Braun said, referring to the Washington tradition
of working a government job for long enough to put it on your resume and then leaving for a higher-paid private sector gig.
It seems pretty clear that Bowman wasn't planning anyone any harm when he drove to Capitol Hill in September. Braun claims the Secret Service was unconcerned about the incident (no federal charges
were filed) because they knew Bowman from his years in the White House. But having unregistered
guns in the District of Columbia is illegal (although perhaps not for much longer if gun rights advocates continue to win court challenges), and Bowman certainly made a big mistake. Even his girlfriend thought so. "His girlfriend called me up and asked, 'Is my boyfriend the stupidest guy in the world or what?'"
Braun said. For the moment, it's unclear whether that mistake will land Bowman in jail.
*An earlier version of this article described the shotgun as automatic.

The 2009 P.U.-Litzer Awards

Media Advisory
Support FAIR TodayThe 2009 P.U.-Litzer Awards

12/22/09

For 17 years our colleagues Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon have worked with FAIR to present the P.U.-Litzers, a year-end review of some of the stinkiest examples of corporate media malfeasance, spin and just plain outrageousness.

Starting this year, FAIR has the somewhat dubious honor of reviewing the nominees and selecting the winners. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. So, without further ado, we present the 2009 P.U.-Litzers.


--The Remembering Reagan Award
WINNER: Joe Klein, Time


Time columnist Joe Klein (12/3/09), not altogether impressed by Obama's announcement of a troop escalation in Afghanistan, wrote that a president "must lead the charge--passionately and, yes, with a touch of anger."

He described the better way to do this:

Ronald Reagan would have done it differently. He would have told a story. It might not have been a true story, but it would have had resonance. He might have found, or created, a grieving spouse--a young investment banker whose wife had died in the World Trade Center--who enlisted immediately after the attacks...and then gave his life, heroically, defending a school for girls in Kandahar. Reagan would have inspired tears, outrage, passion, a rush to recruiting centers across the nation.

Ah, Reagan--now there was a president who could inspire people to fight and die based on lies.


--The Cheney 2012 Award
WINNER: Jon Meacham, Newsweek


Newsweek editor Jon Meacham declared (12/7/09) that Dick Cheney running for president in 2012 would be "good for the Republicans and good for the country." He explained that "Cheney is a man of conviction, has a record on which he can be judged, and whatever the result, there could be no ambiguity about the will of the people.... A campaign would also give us an occasion that history denied us in 2008: an opportunity to adjudicate the George W. Bush years in a direct way."

While the 2008 election might have seemed a sufficient judgment of the Bush years, it's worth pointing out that at beginning of the year (1/19/09), Meacham was adamantly opposed to re-hashing Cheney's record, calling it "the rough equivalent of pornography--briefly engaging, perhaps, but utterly predictable and finally repetitive." The difference? That was in response to the idea that Cheney should be held accountable for lawbreaking. Apparently a few months later, the same record is grounds for a White House run.


--The Them Not Us Award
WINNER: Martin Fackler, New York Times


The New York Times (11/21/09) describes the severe problems with Japan's elite media--a horror show where "reporters from major news media outlets are stationed inside government offices and enjoy close, constant access to officials. The system has long been criticized as antidemocratic by both foreign and Japanese analysts, who charge that it has produced a relatively spineless press that feels more accountable to its official sources than to the public. In their apparent reluctance to criticize the government, the critics say, the news media fail to serve as an effective check on authority."

The mind reels.


--The Thin-Skinned Pundits Award
WINNER: Dana Milbank, Washington Post


Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Chris Cilizza got into trouble when, in an episode of their "Mouthpiece Theater" web video series, they suggested brands of beer that would be appropriate for various politicians. What would Hillary Clinton drink? Apparently something called "Mad Bitch." The video, unsurprisingly, was roundly criticized, and was pulled from the Post site. So what lesson was learned? Milbank complained (8/6/09) that "it's a brutal world out there in the blogosphere.... I'm often surprised by the ferocity out there, but I probably shouldn't be."

Yes, the problem with calling someone a "bitch" is the "ferocity" of your critics.


--The Sheer O'Reillyness Award
WINNER: Bill O'Reilly, Fox News Channel--TWICE!


1) Asked by a Canadian viewer, "Has anyone noticed that life expectancy in Canada under our health system is higher than the USA?," Fox's O'Reilly (7/27/09) responded: "Well, that's to be expected, Peter, because we have 10 times as many people as you do. That translates to 10 times as many accidents, crimes, down the line."

2) Drumming up fear of Democrats' tax plans: "Nancy Pelosi and her far-left crew want to raise the top federal tax rate to 45 percent. That's not capitalism. That's Fidel Castro stuff, confiscating wages that people honestly earn."

Perhaps Castro was president of the United States in 1982-86, when the top rate was 50 percent. Or maybe all of the 1970s, when it was 70 percent. Or from 1950-63, when it was 91 percent.


--The Less Talk, More Bombs Award
WINNER: David Broder, Washington Post


Post columnist Broder expressed the conventional wisdom on Barack Obama's deliberations on the Afghanistan War, writing under the headline "Enough Afghan Debate" (11/15/09):

It is evident from the length of this deliberative process and from the flood of leaks that have emerged from Kabul and Washington that the perfect course of action does not exist. Given that reality, the urgent necessity is to make a decision--whether or not it is right.


--The Racism Is Dead Award
WINNER: Richard Cohen, Washington Post


Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote (5/5/09): "The justification for affirmative action gets weaker and weaker. Maybe once it was possible to argue that some innocent people had to suffer in the name of progress, but a glance at the White House strongly suggests that things have changed. For most Americans, race has become supremely irrelevant. Everyone knows this. Every poll shows this."

For the record, "every poll" does not actually show this; the vast majority of Americans continues to recognize that racism is still a problem. Cohen went on to write months later--still presumably living in his racism-free world--that he did not believe Iran's claims about its nuclear program, because "these Persians lie like a rug."


--The When in Doubt, Talk to the Boss Award
WINNER: Matt Lauer, NBC News


Today show host Lauer announced a special guest on April 15: "If you really want to know how the economy is affecting the average American, he's the guy to talk to." Who was Lauer talking about? Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke. The ensuing interview touched on the Employee Free Choice Act, which Lauer noted was supported by many unions but opposed by some large corporations--leading him to ask Duke, "What's the truth?" Yes, look for "the truth" about a proposed pro-labor bill from the new CEO of an adamantly anti-labor corporation.


--The Socialist Menace Award
WINNER: Michael Freedman, Newsweek


Newsweek's "We Are All Socialists Now" cover (2/16/09) certainly turned heads, but one of the stories inside explained in more detail the real threat. As senior editor Michael Freedman asked: "Have you noticed that Barack Obama sounds more like the president of France every day?"

The real problem, though, is what that's going to do to us Americans, says Freedman: "If job numbers continue to look dismal, or get even worse, an ever-greater number of people will start looking to the government for support.... It's very easy to imagine a chorus of former American individualists demanding cushy French-style pensions and free British-style healthcare if their private stock funds fail to recover and unemployment inches upward toward 10 percent and remains there."

Pensions and healthcare for all--this is worse than we thought!


--The Iraq All Over Again Award
WINNER: Too Many to Name


After the invasion of Iraq, countless journalists who had treated allegations about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as facts were embarrassed when there were no such weapons to be found. So you'd think they'd be more careful about thinly sourced claims that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. But in 2009, many journalists are still willing to treat such allegations as facts.

-NBC's Chris Matthews (10/4/09): "As if Afghanistan were not enough, now there's Iran's move to get nuclear weapons."

-NBC's David Gregory (10/4/09). "Iran--will talks push that country to give up its nuclear weapons program?"

-Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (9/25/09): "All hell breaking loose as a new nuclear weapons facility is discovered in Iran, proving the mullahs have been lying for years.... Iran's nuclear weapons program has now reached critical mass. And worldwide conflict is very possible. Friday, President Obama, British Prime Minister Brown and French President Sarkozy revealed a secret nuclear weapons facility located inside Iran."

Some even went further, turning allegations of a nuclear weapons program into the discovery of actual nuclear weapons:

-ABC's Good Morning America host Bill Weir (9/26/09): "President Obama and a united front of world leaders charge Iran with secretly building nuclear weapons."


--The Talking Like a Terrorist Award
WINNER: Thomas Friedman, New York Times


In a January 14 column, New York Times superstar pundit Tom Friedman explained Israel's war on Lebanon as an attempt to "educate" the enemy by killing civilians: The Israeli strategy was to "inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical." Friedman added, "The only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians--the families and employers of the militants--to restrain Hezbollah in the future." That strategy of targeting civilians to advance a political agenda is usually known as terrorism; Osama bin Laden couldn't have explained it much better.


--The It Only Bothers Us Now Award
WINNER: Wall Street Journal editorial page


When Barack Obama only called on journalists from a list during a press conference, the Wall Street Journal did not like the new protocol (2/12/09):"We doubt that President Bush, who was notorious for being parsimonious with follow-ups, would have gotten away with prescreening his interlocutors."

Actually, Bush was famous for calling only on reporters on an approved list; as he joked at a press conference on the eve of the Iraq War (3/6/03), "This is scripted."


--The No Comment Award
WINNERS: MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski and Rush Limbaugh


When asked by Politico (10/16/09) to name her favorite guest, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski named arch-conservative Pat Buchanan "because he says what we are all thinking."

Rush Limbaugh on Obama (Fox News Channel, 1/21/09): "We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles...because his father was black."

To read this advisory online, please visit: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=fNVySxoRfsWfrItRUTIlbJ%2BewMkBtveX


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12.01.2009

Fwd: 28th Amendment!




USA patriotic web page divider

animated U.S. flag


Proposed Amendment 28 to the US Constitution!

Congress shall make no law that applies to any citizen of the United States that does not apply equally to all US Senators and Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to any US Senator or Representative that does not apply equally to all citizens of the United States . All existing laws and regulations that do not meet these criteria shall be declared null and void! 

Pass it on!