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Archive for March 17th, 2011

Americans Near Japan Plant Told to Leave

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:48 am by HL

Americans Near Japan Plant Told to Leave
The United States on Wednesday recommended its citizens living within 50 miles of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan evacuate the area or take shelter indoors. “We are recommending, as a precaution, that American citizens who live within 50 miles of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant evacuate the area or to take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical,” the U.S. Embassy in Japan said in a statement.



Late Late Night FDL: Bolero

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Bolero
Frank ZappaBolero, Barcelona, May 17, 1988.

Frank ZappaBolero, Barcelona, May 17, 1988.

What’s on your mind?


‘Blood Money’ Springs CIA Contractor From Pakistan Jail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

‘Blood Money’ Springs CIA Contractor From Pakistan Jail
Lucky for him. Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who was nabbed in January after shooting and killing two men in Pakistan (the news of which wasn’t released until February), has been freed from detainment after the payment of “blood money” to the victims’ families.  —KA The Christian Science Monitor: Some 18 relatives of the two slain men, Muhammad Fahim and Faizan Haider, were present in court to accept the money “and independently verified they had pardoned him [Davis],” provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah told private television channel Geo News. Blood-money, or “diyya,” is routinely used to settle murder cases in Pakistan, in compliance with Sharia law. It was seen as the last ditch effort to free Davis by the US authorities after the Lahore High Court failed to accept US claims of diplomatic immunity on Monday. In comments to reporters in Cairo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied that the US made the payment Wednesday. Though the US denies paying compensation in the case, Pakistani media reports indicate that more than $2 million were given to the two families, though this could not be verified at time of writing. Read more

Lucky for him. Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who was nabbed in January after shooting and killing two men in Pakistan (the news of which wasn’t released until February), has been freed from detainment after the payment of “blood money” to the victims’ families.? —KA

The Christian Science Monitor:

Some 18 relatives of the two slain men, Muhammad Fahim and Faizan Haider, were present in court to accept the money “and independently verified they had pardoned him [Davis],” provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah told private television channel Geo News.

Blood-money, or “diyya,” is routinely used to settle murder cases in Pakistan, in compliance with Sharia law. It was seen as the last ditch effort to free Davis by the US authorities after the Lahore High Court failed to accept US claims of diplomatic immunity on Monday.

In comments to reporters in Cairo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied that the US made the payment Wednesday. Though the US denies paying compensation in the case, Pakistani media reports indicate that more than $2 million were given to the two families, though this could not be verified at time of writing.

Read more

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Steve Clemons: US-Japan Friendship Dolls Then & How to Help Today

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

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Limbaugh Laughs In The Face Of Human Suffering

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Limbaugh Laughs In The Face Of Human Suffering

During a recent radio broadcast, Rush Limbaugh laughed at the fact that the fifth largest earthquake ever recorded struck Japan despite that nation’s environmentally conscious record. However, this is part of a long pattern from Limbaugh of outrageous responses to human suffering.

Limbaugh Launches Attacks In The Wake Of Natural Disasters 

Limbaugh Amused That Earthquake Hit Environmentally Conscious Country. From the March 15 edition of Limbaugh’s talk radio show:

CALLER: I need some of your wisdom. I’m confused. If — at the top of the first hour, you played a clip — Diane Sawyer, I believe — about the recycling that’s still going on in Japan.

LIMBAUGH: I did. You’re right.

CALLER: If these are the people that invented the Prius, have mastered public transportation, recycling, why did Mother Earth, Gaia if you will, hit them with this disaster?

LIMBAUGH: Well, that’s an interesting question. Let’s go back and grab Diane Sawyer — audio sound bite number nine. This is her report on a shelter for refugees in Japan and how they’re handling their waste management.

[begin clip]

DIANE SAWYER: This is a shelter. Some of these people here for days, and look, it’s recycling — organized for recycling.

GUEST: Plastic, combustible, burnable, canes.

[end clip]

LIMBAUGH: Did I really hear this? Did I really hear — Diane Sawyer is in a refugee camp in Japan. Play this again. This is almost like a kindergarten teacher talking to the 4 year olds. That is how old you are in kindergarten, right? Five? Five? Four? All right. This is — some of these people here for days, and look, look, it’s recycling — organized for recycling.

[begin clip]

SAWYER: This is a shelter. Some of these people here for days, and look, it’s recycling — organized for recycling.

GUEST: Plastic, combustible, burnable, canes.

[end clip]

LIMBAUGH: My god, she sounds like she saw her husband for the first time in six months there. Oh, it’s recycling, look, organized for — these people are in the midst of earthquake devastation and the credit they’re getting is for recycling and our caller Chris with a great question.

The Japanese have done so much to save the planet. He’s right. They’ve given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are still recycling their garbage. And yet, Gaia levels them; just wipes them out. Wipes out their nuclear plants, all kinds of radiation. What kind of payback is this? That is an excellent question. They invented the Prius.

In fact, where Gaia blew up is right where they make all these electric cars. That’s where the tsunami hit. All those brand new electric cars sitting there on the lot. I like the way this guy was thinking. It’s like — it’s like Gaia hit the Prius in [inaudible]. It’s like they were in the crosshairs — if we can use that word. It does. What is Gaia trying to tell us here? What is the mother of environmentalism trying to say with this hit? Great observation out there, Chris. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/15/11]

After Earthquake, Rush Says Haiti Produces “Zilch, Zero, Nada.” From the January 13, 2010, edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: I have been to Haiti way, way back, long time ago when it was a cruise ship stop, Port-au-Prince. And I’ve seen pictures of Haiti. It is a devastatingly poor place and it — nothing has ever changed. And right across the mountain ridge, in the middle, you’ve got the Dominican Republic, which is like night and day. It’s like night and day. And what is the — what’s the one common factor?

That place, Haiti, has been run by dictators and communists, and how long is it going to be — how long is it going to be before we hear Obama and the left in this country say that what we really need to do is reinstate the communist Aristide to the leadership position down there to coordinate putting the country back together? The Haitian economy is entirely dependent on foreign aid. They produce nothing — zilch, zero, nada. And it’s been that way for the longest time. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/13/10]

Limbaugh: “[W]e’ve Already Donated To Haiti. It’s Called The U.S. Income Tax.” From the January 13, 2010, edition of Limbaugh’s show:

CALLER: My question is: Why did Obama, in the sound bite you played earlier, when he’s talking about if you wanted to donate some money, you can go to WhiteHouse.gov —

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah.

CALLER: — to be directed — you know, to direct you how to do so. Why would — if I want to donate money to the Red Cross, why do I need to go to the WhiteHouse.gov page and look at their propaganda?

LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly. Would you trust that the money is going to go to Haiti?

CALLER: No.

LIMBAUGH: But would you trust that your name is going to end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes.

CALLER: Absolutely.

LIMBAUGH: Absolutely right.

CALLER: That’s the point.

LIMBAUGH: Besides, we’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/13/10]

Limbaugh On South Asia Tsunami Disaster: “[W]e Do Have A Tendency To Blow These Things Up.” From the January 4, 2005, edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: I have been suspicious of these numbers [of deaths in the tsunami] from the get-go. First day, 12,000; then 14,000; then 50. Then 60, then 100, then 140 — there was even a number, 400,000 thrown around out there. And it just — who’s verifying this? I mean, has anybody actually asked for a count? Has anybody done a count? Has there been a count? How do we know this? It may be true, but it may not be true either.

[…]

LIMBAUGH: But I — you know what I’m reminded of? 9-11. When that happened, we just threw money left and right, and look at the end result. The families of the victims of 9-11, some of them got $24 million; some of them got $10 million — many of them are set for life here because so much money was given.

[…]

LIMBAUGH: I’m just gonna wait to have this proven to me — is that there are conflicting stories about how many of these places — the damage was only along the beach and a mile inward. That’s not nearly all of these countries. This is not to suggest the disaster is not real. Please don’t put words in my mouth and don’t — don’t do to me what I think is being done to the rest of us. Don’t interpret me saying things I’m not saying here. I’m not suggesting it’s not a true, devastating disaster and so forth. But you know, we do have a tendency to blow these things up. We have a tendency to rally around disaster; it makes us feel better to contribute to it. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/6/05]

Limbaugh Attacks People With Health Problems

Limbaugh On Michael J. Fox Ad For Dem Candidate: “Either He Didn’t Take His Medication Or He’s Acting.” In October 2006, Limbaugh discussed an ad in which actor Michael J. Fox appeared for then-Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill. In the ad, Fox, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, endorsed McCaskill for supporting embryonic stem cell research, which her opponent, Sen. Jim Talent, opposed. Limbaugh stated:

LIMBAUGH: You need to see this. It’s a spot running in St. Louis during World Series games, bought and paid for and approved by the Democrat [sic] Senate candidate, Claire McCaskill. Now, I want you to listen to this. This is Michael J. Fox, aired during a World Series game, and I will describe for you what he’s doing in this commercial after you’ve heard it.

[…]

LIMBAUGH: Now, this is Michael J. Fox. He’s got Parkinson’s disease. And in this commercial, he is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He is moving all around and shaking. And it’s purely an act. This is the only time I have ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has. I know he’s got it and he’s raising money for it, but when I’ve seen him in public, I’ve never seen him betray any of the symptoms.

But this commercial, he — he’s just all over the place. He can barely control himself. He can control himself enough to stay in the frame of the picture, and he can control himself enough to keep his eyes right on the lens, the teleprompter. But his head and shoulders are moving all over the place, and he is acting like his disease is deteriorating because Jim Talent opposes research that would help him, Michael J. Fox, get cured.

Jim Talent does not oppose stem cell research, he opposes fetal stem cell research but not adult. But this is reminiscent, and I don’t have time — yes, I do. Here, listen to [then-Democratic vice presidential candidate] John Edwards, the Breck girl, on the campaign trail, October 11th, 2004:

EDWARDS : If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk — get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.

LIMBAUGH: And I think, didn’t he even say — they said it at a debate. I don’t know if he said it at a convention. So this is really shameless, folks, this is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting, one of the two. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/23/06]

  • Limbaugh subsequently “apologize[d]” for being “wrong” in “speculat[ing]” that Fox “didn’t take his medication or he was acting.” But then he immediately returned to attacking Fox by baselessly accusing him of intentionally taking “too much medication” to induce the tremors visible in the ad. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/26/06]
  • Limbaugh has continued to defend his attacks on Fox, most recently during his January 11 radio show. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/11/11]

Limbaugh To Caller Who Can’t Afford $6,000 To Treat Broken Wrist: “Well, You Shouldn’t Have Broken Your Wrist.” From the August 20, 2009, edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: the only way that cost or price ratios make sense is based on the consumer’s ability to pay. There has to be a direct relationship between the customer and the business at the surface.

CALLER: OK. I just broke my wrist and it’s costing me $6,000. I can’t afford that.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you shouldn’t have broken your wrist.

CALLER: That’s true.

LIMBAUGH: You know why it costs $6,000? Because you, technically, aren’t paying for it. An insurance policy’s paying for it, backed up by some government insurance policy, or what have you. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/20/09]

Limbaugh’s Health Care Plan: “If You Don’t Have Any Teeth, So What? What’s Applesauce For?” On his show, Limbaugh attacked Rep. Louise Slaughter for telling a story about a woman who was forced to wear her dead sister’s dentures because she did not have health insurance or the means to pay for dentures out of pocket. Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: You know I’m getting so many people — this Louise Slaughter comment on the dentures? I’m getting so many people — this is big. I mean, that gets a one-time mention for a laugh, but there are people out there that think this is huge because it’s so stupid. I mean, for example, well, what’s wrong with using a dead person’s teeth? Aren’t the Democrats big into recycling? Save the planet? And so what? So if you don’t have any teeth, so what? What’s applesauce for? Isn’t that why they make applesauce? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/25/10]

Limbaugh Mocked Story Of Transplant Patient On Medicare Who Would Have To Pay His Own Bills After Three Years. On February 26, 2010, referring to a story Rep. James Clyburn recounted about the extreme costs a transplant patient faced, Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: This patient was about to receive a transplanted organ — Clyburn didn’t specify what it was — and the horror — he’s gonna get a totally paid-for transplant. The horror is that he was going to have to start paying his post-op bills in three years.

If this is the worst we can say about American medicine, are we really in that bad a shape after all?

Well, I have a different observation on this. I mean, look at where we are with this. This guy is — he about had an emotional breakdown because he was told he’s gotta start paying his own medical bills after three years. He gets a free transplant; he gets a free after-care for three years and then he’s on his own, and he’s mad and thinks he’s getting screwed.[Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/26/10]

Limbaugh Dismisses Plight Of The Poor

Limbaugh Attacks School Lunches, Suggests Hungry Children Should “Dumpster Dive.” From the June 16, 2010, edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: You know, one of the benefits of school being out — in addition to your kids losing weight because they’re starving to death out there because there’s no school meal being provided — one of the benefits of school being out, college campi being vacant this time of year, is that our audience levels go up. I think, you know what we’re going to do here, we’re going to start a feature on this program: “Where to find food.” For young demographics, where to find food. Now that school is out, where to find food. We can have a daily feature on this. And this will take us all the way through the summer. Where to find food.

And, of course, the first will be: “Try your house.” It’s a thing called the refrigerator. You probably already know about it. Try looking there. There are also things in what’s called the kitchen of your house called cupboards. And in those cupboards, most likely you’re going to find Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, Lays ridgy potato chips, all kinds of dips and maybe a can of corn that you don’t want, but it will be there. If that doesn’t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. You know where McDonald’s is. There’s the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s and if they don’t have Chicken McNuggets, dial 911 and ask for Obama.

There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster. Now, you might find competition with homeless people there, but there are videos that have been produced to show you how to healthfully dine and how to dumpster dive and survive until school kicks back up in August. Can you imagine the benefit we would provide people? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/16/10]

Limbaugh: “Would Somebody Tell Me The Last Time You Saw A Kid Sleeping Under A Bridge?” Responding to reports that one in 50 American children experiences homelessness, Limbaugh stated:

LIMBAUGH: This guy asked the strangest question. This bogus statistic that one out of 50 American children are homeless. And what do you — what are you gonna do about that.

I want to see the facts on that. Just like how we have the “2-3 million people homeless” during the late ’80s and early ’90s, Mitch Snyder and his bogus homeless numbers. I mean that was obviously huge. A bogus discussion about homeless children, just after Obama got animated about cutting charitable deductions. He got happy. So he’s happy, he can’t wait to cut the charitable deduction, he gets a question about one in 50 kids being homeless? If that were true, why would somebody want to cut charitable donations?

I think a caring person would want to triple the deduction in order to reduce the bogus number of one in 50 children who are homeless and living under bridges. Would somebody tell me the last time you saw a kid sleeping under a bridge? I want to hear from somebody who’s seen it. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/25/09]

Limbaugh Dismisses Plight Of Journalists Arrested In Egypt

Limbaugh: “The Egyptian Army Is Rounding Up Foreign Journalists” And “I Don’t Feel Any Outrage Over It.” From the February 3 edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, it is being breathlessly reported that the Egyptian army … is rounding up foreign journalists. I mean, even two New York Times reporters were detained. Now, this is supposed to make us feel what, exactly? How we supposed to feel? Are we supposed to feel outrage over it? I don’t feel any outrage over it. Are we supposed to feel anger? I don’t feel any anger over this. Do we feel happy?

Well, do we feel kind of going like, “neh-neh-neh-neh”? I’m sure that your emotions are running the gamut when you hear that two New York Times reporters have been detained along with other journalists in Egypt. Remember now, we’re supporting the people who are doing this. [Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/3/11]


Citing ‘Punk’d,’ James O’Keefe Questions Calif. Recording Law In ACORN Sting Suit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Citing ‘Punk’d,’ James O’Keefe Questions Calif. Recording Law In ACORN Sting Suit
The fallout from one of James O’Keefe’s previous sting operations targeting the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) is still playing out in court, where lawyers for the conservative provocateur are claiming a California law banning audio recordings without the consent of the other party is unconstitutional.


Presented By:


Corporations Are Lying to Us About the Dangers of Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Corporations Are Lying to Us About the Dangers of Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown
It’s summed up in the emphasized third sentence – if nuclear power plant owners followed every safety precaution, they couldn’t make any money. Neocon Republicans love to spread fear by doting on lurid tales of the destruction that could be wrought by a ‘dirty-bomb’ nuclear device in the hands of a terrorist – so far, […]


Crank Caller for Congress?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Crank Caller for Congress?
Roll Call reports that Ian Murphy, the blogger who posed as conservative billionaire David Koch in a prank phone call to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), will likely lock up the Green Party ballot line in New York’s upcoming special election in the 26th congressional district.

“Republican nominee Jane Corwin at this point is favored, having avoided mistakes of previous New York special election candidates and secured the support of the Conservative Party … Murphy’s entrance is no laughing matter for Democrats, however. Their best hope in capturing the 26th district seat in the heavily Republican region is a divided GOP electorate. Corwin also faces two Republicans who have launched third-party bids. Millionaire former Democrat Jack Davis is one of them and will likely appear on the ballot under the tea party line. But Murphy’s place on the ballot could ensure a partially divided electorate on the left as well. Democrats are in the process of interviewing candidates and could settle on a nominee by the end of the week.”

The seat was formerly held by Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY), who resigned in early February after racy photos of him surfaced on Craigslist personals.

Quote of the Day
“I get up in the morning and I ask the question: ‘What are the bastards hiding?'”

— Investigative reporter Bob Woodward, in an interview with the Poynter Institute.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Presented By:

Itamar: Already, The Aftermath
Today – The Netanyahu government has announced that, in response to the murders at Itamar, it would build 500 new housing units in the territories. Mourning for the victims has barely begun, but the government has already managed to desecrate…


Important lessons from the antinuclear movement
Japan’s desperate struggle to contain the nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors should bring the Obama’s attempt to reintroduce nuclear power in the US to a grinding halt. Instead, the administration has responded with an anxious defense of nuclear…


What The Frack: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Wants To Open Up State Parks For Oil And Gas Exploration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

What The Frack: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Wants To Open Up State Parks For Oil And Gas Exploration

At the behest of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, an exemption was inserted into a 2005 energy bill — dubbed the “Haliburton loophole” — which stripped the EPA of its power to regulate a natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing. This method, called fracking, entails drilling a L-shaped well deep into shale and pumping millions of gallons of water laced with industrial chemicals — chemicals which the energy companies are not legally bound to disclose. The poisonous fluid fractures the shale and releases natural gas deposits for collection.

Due to the documented water contamination issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, both New York and New Jersey have imposed bans on fracking in their states. But the public health risk doesn’t seem to bother Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and state Republicans. The Ohio House introduced a bill early this month that would create a panel to open any state-owned land for oil and gas exploration to the highest bidder. This week, in an unreleased portion of Kasich’s proposed budget, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would be given authority to lease 200,000 acres of state park land for oil and gas exploration.

Kasich has fully endorsed drilling in Ohio state parks, saying, “Ohio is not going to walk away from a potential industry.” State Rep. John Adams (R), the House bill’s sponsor, said drilling in state parks can help erase a projected $8 billion budget deficit, and “keep our parks and our lakes up to the standards that the citizens of Ohio want.”

But the evidence proves contrary. Since 2005, large amounts of radioactive material have been found in water supplies near fracking sites, many Pennsylvanians have gotten sick, the tap water in homes near fracking sites have caught on fire, and a home in Celveland, Ohio blew up.

Responding to the threat fracking imposes on public health, Congress has directed the EPA to study how fracking affects drinking water. Reps. Diana Degette (D-CO) and Jared Polis (D-CO) have reintroduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, which would restore the EPA’s authority to regulate fracking — effectively closing the “Halliburton loophole.”

Paul Breer