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Archive for March 22nd, 2011

Bus Passengers 25 Pounds Heavier

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Bus Passengers 25 Pounds Heavier
In an acknowledgment of the growing obesity of Americans, the Federal Transit Authority has proposed raising the assumed average weight per bus passenger from 150 pounds to 175 pounds. The change could mean fewer people will be allowed on city transit buses.

Suck it, Car Talk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Suck it, Car Talk
In this time of government retrenchment, bombing people overseas is still considered thrifty.

pic via mycyrusjohnson at flickr.com

Remember the priorities* of the American Government are now,

Libyans>Afghans>Iraqis>Americans…but at least > Yemenis & Bahrainians

The first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn had a price tag that was well over $100 million for the U.S. in missiles alone. And the U.S. military, which remains in the lead now in its third day, has pumped millions more into air- and sea-launched strikes targeting air-defense sites and ground-force positions along Libya’s coastline.

*Note, priorities may include killing you.

Late, Late Night FDL: Bad Day
Daniel Powter – Bad Day

Daniel Powter – Bad Day

That Guy sent me an email today telling me: “Ralph Mooney, Waylon’s long-time steel player died Sunday. Pick it Moon!”

I agree…

RIP Ralph…!

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:34 am by HL


By Mr. Fish

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No Dove Zone

By Mike Luckovich

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Chilean President Calls First Lady Michelle Obama ‘Very Good-Looking’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:32 am by HL

Chilean President Calls First Lady Michelle Obama ‘Very Good-Looking’
SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera engaged in some very personal diplomacy with President Barack Obama on Monday. “I think the first lady of…

Jared Loughner Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
PHOENIX — An Arizona judge on Monday ordered the suspect in the January shooting rampage in Tucson to undergo a mental evaluation at a specialized…

Chris Weigant: Obama’s Libyan Gamble
Rather than selling a war as an existential threat to America, American democracy, freedom, the flag, Mom, and apple pie (as pretty much every president has done for decades), Barack Obama’s approach is something new: war as a nuisance.

Larry MacDonald: Why We Are the Key to Financial Recovery
Eight trillion dollars is the conservative value of the immense intellectual capital, wisdom, and experience residing in our citizens, yet we have failed to notice it, much less monetize it. Why? Hubris.

Beck Dismisses The Fact That MLK Died While Fighting For Labor Rights

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:32 am by HL

Beck Dismisses The Fact That MLK Died While Fighting For Labor Rights

Glenn Beck mocked AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for saying that Dr. Martin Luther King lost his life while fighting for the rights of public union workers. In fact, King was shot while in Memphis to support striking municipal workers, and in his eulogy honoring King, Benjamin Mays — King’s mentor and friend — spoke of King’s dedication to “fighting to get a just wage” for workers.

Beck Mocks Notion That MLK Died Fighting For Labor Rights

Beck: “Dr. King Lost His Life For Collective Bargaining For The Public Unions, Really?” From the March 21 edition of The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN BECK: Madison is just the beginning, AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka told a union rally in Annapolis on Monday. Madison is just the beginning; you ain’t seen nothing yet, he says. The message? Angry schoolteachers and the unions are the same. Join us April 4th, 2011, a day to stand in solidarity with working people of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and a dozen other states, where well-funded right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights that Dr. King gave his life for.

Wait, wait, hold it, just a second. Dr. King lost his life for collective bargaining for the public unions, really? Did you know that? ‘Cause — that — we have to update our history books, because I didn’t know that. Did you know that?

PAT GRAY: I personally didn’t. (Laughs)

BECK: Thank you for that.

GRAY: I didn’t know that. I – I was – I’m a little confused, I guess, ’cause, yeah, I thought it had something to do with civil rights, but it was a union deal?

BECK: It was a union deal. Yeah.

STU BURGUIERE: Well, there was the content of the character and the collectiveness of the bargaining was the —

GRAY: Ahh, that’s right. How did I miss that?

BECK: Well, to make the point – here’s the deal — April 4th is the 43rd anniversary of the day Martin Luther King was assassinated after speaking on behalf of the striking black garbage collectors in Memphis, Tennessee. So, I’m sure that the fact that they were black and in Memphis had nothing to do with his mention — with his, uh, message. It was all about unions and collective bargaining. I’m sure that’s what it was.

GRAY: You know it was.

BECK: Well, of course.

[Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 3/21/11]

Dr. King Was Assassinated While Fighting For A Public Union

King Spoke On Behalf Of Memphis “Public Servants” In His Final Speech. From Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, delivered the day before his assassination:

The issues is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we’ve got to keep attention on that. That’s always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers were on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn’t get around to that.

Now we’re going to march again, and we’ve got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be. And force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God’s children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That’s the issue. And we’ve got to say to the nation: we know it’s coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory. [Dr. Martin Luther King, 4/3/1968, via American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees]

King Was Assassinated While In Memphis To Support Public Sanitation Workers. From Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute:

King had arrived in Tennessee on Wednesday, 3 April to prepare for a march the following Monday on behalf of striking Memphis sanitation workers. As he prepared to leave the Lorraine Motel for a dinner at the home of Memphis minister Samuel ”Billy” Kyles, King stepped out onto the balcony of room 306 to speak with Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) colleagues standing in the parking area below. An assassin fired a single shot that caused severe wounds to the lower right side of his face. SCLC aides rushed to him, and Ralph Abernathy cradled King’s head. Others on the balcony pointed across the street toward the rear of a boarding house on South Main Street where the shot seemed to have originated. An ambulance rushed King to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead at 7:05 P.M.


On 8 April King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, and other family members joined thousands of participants in a march in Memphis honoring King and supporting the sanitation workers. [Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, undated]

Memphis Workers Were Fighting For Recognition Of Their Union, Better Wages. From Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute:

On 1 February 1968, two Memphis garbage collectors, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death by a malfunctioning truck. Twelve days later, frustrated by the city’s response to the latest event in a long pattern of neglect and abuse of its black employees, 1,300 black men from the Memphis Department of Public Works went on strike. Sanitation workers, led by garbage-collector-turned-union-organizer, T. O. Jones, and supported by the president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Jerry Wurf, demanded recognition of their union, better safety standards, and a decent wage.

The union, which had been granted a charter by AFSCME in 1964, had attempted a strike in 1966, but it failed, in large part because workers were unable to arouse the support of Memphis’s religious community or middle class. Conditions for black sanitation workers worsened when Henry Loeb became mayor in January 1968. Loeb refused to take dilapidated trucks out of service or pay overtime when men were forced to work late-night shifts. Sanitation workers earned wages so low that many were on welfare and hundreds relied on food stamps to feed their families. [Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, undated, emphasis added]

Mays’ Eulogy: King Would Find “No Greater Cause To Die For Than Fighting To Get A Just Wage For Garbage Collectors.” Delivering a eulogy honoring King, Benjamin Mays, a mentor to and friend of King, and then president of Morehouse College, said:

Though deeply committed to a program of freedom for Negroes, he had love and concern for all kinds of peoples. He drew no distinction between the high and low; none between the rich and the poor. He believed especially that he was sent to champion the cause of the man farthest down. He would probably say that if death had to come, I am sure there was no greater cause to die for than fighting to get a just wage for garbage collectors. [Benjamin Mays’ eulogy of Martin Luther King, 4/9/68, via Bates College]

Federal Review Finds Systematic Problems In New Orleans Police Dept.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:32 am by HL

Federal Review Finds Systematic Problems In New Orleans Police Dept.
A federal review of the New Orleans Police Department has found the department used excessive force; made unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests; engaged in biased policing based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation; failed to provide effective policing services to…

Arizona Senate Votes Down Birthright Citizenship Bill, Four Other Immigration Bills
The Arizona Senate has rejected five bills that would restrict the movements of illegal immigrants in the U.S., as well as one that would end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants even if they were born in the U.S.

GOP Big Daddy Knows Best

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:32 am by HL

GOP Big Daddy Knows Best

Angle Seeks Detente with Media

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Angle Seeks Detente with Media
Sharron Angle (R) opened her Nevada congressional campaign by doing the unexpected — she actually took questions from reporters, the Reno Gazette Journal reports.

“The tea party favorite, who has referred to the media as the ‘lame stream’ media, held a question and answer session with Nevada journalists Monday for nearly an hour. She took all questions, including those about the perception that she ran from reporters in her campaign against U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, how she thinks she can win after three unsuccessful attempts at federal office and why she thinks she can come back after such a devastating loss in 2010.”

Pawlenty’s Challenges
On the heels of Tim Pawlenty’s announcement that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee, the New York Times examines five key challenges that the former Minnesota governor must overcome in order for him to have a viable shot at victory. They are money, visibility, message, fiscal discipline, and tactics.

Seriously Now
John Dickerson writes about politicians’ love of calling for “seriousness” during difficult debates:

“This call for seriousness is often itself not a serious charge. What most of the criticisms actually mean is ‘My opponent doesn’t believe something I’d like him to.’ The outbreak of such talk comes at just the moment that more precise language would be helpful. The debate over short- and long-term budget deficits is about priorities. You can’t start that debate, or work through it effectively, if the words used to convey the relative importance of things are all gummed up.”

New Congress Increasingly Unpopular
A Pew Research poll finds disapproval of the new Congress increasing among the American public. Key findings:

  • About half of Americans think the debate over spending and deficits has been “generally rude and disrespectful,” including 48% of Republicans and Democrats as well as 57% of independents.
  • The percentage of Americans who feel that the Republicans are better at handing the deficit dropped from 35% after the election to 21% currently.
  • The percentage of Americans who feel President Barack Obama is better at handing the deficit has also dropped from 24% to 20%.
  • About 75% of Tea Party supporters back the GOP budget plans after the election, that figure has dropped to 52%.

The Libyan Rebels Deserve Outside Military Help

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:31 am by HL

The Libyan Rebels Deserve Outside Military Help
There are many good reasons to be cautious about outside international intervention (especially American) on behalf of the Libyan rebels. For that matter, there are always good reasons to pause before getting involved in a violent conflict. In the current…

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…

As the Global Economy Trembles, Our Nation’s Capital Fiddles
Why isn’t Washington responding? The world’s third largest economy suffers a giant earthquake, tsunami, and radiation dangers. A civil war in Libya and tumult in the Middle East cause crude-oil prices to climb. Poor harvests around the world make food…

Bolton Criticizes Arab League For ?Grumbling? About Civilian Deaths In Libya

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Bolton Criticizes Arab League For ?Grumbling? About Civilian Deaths In Libya

Soon after Muammar Qaddafi’s government said yesterday that the Allied bombardment of Libyan air defense systems there had killed dozens of civilians, Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League — which had initially urged the UN to act in Libya — criticized the mission. “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” he said. The New York Times reports today that “reporters seeking proof have been offered none to account for even part of that number.”

Today on Fox News, war hawk John Bolton criticized the Arab League for “grumbling” about the alleged civilian deaths and — echoing many on the right — said the U.S. should’ve attacked Libya without Arab League support because they would have “grumbled in public” anyway:

BILL HEMMER: What is confounding is the Arab League backed us a week ago. Now Amr Moussa the head of the Arab League, has reservations in the past 24 hours suggesting that the military action that has already taken place has gone to far. Now how do you figure that out?

BOLTON: Well I think that’s par for the course. And that’s why the Obama administration was wrong to base its decision to use force in part anyway on the Arab League announcing it was in favor of the use of force. If we had just done what we should have done a month ago, the Arab League would’ve grumbled in public and in private would’ve said, “You’re doing the right thing.” The only difference now is that they’re grumbling in public.

Watch it:

This morning, Moussa actually backed off his original criticism, saying the Arab League “respects the U.N. Security Council resolution, and there is no contradiction” and that, “We have received assurances that these issues, especially the protection of civilians, will remain a unanimous goal for the U.N. and the Arab League.” Indeed, the British Defense Ministry announced yesterday that British Tornados abandoned a mission because “further information came to light that identified a number of civilians within the intended target area.”

“Republicans don’t know what to do with this because they wanted this to happen, the no fly zone, so that’s good, but now Obama wants it so it’s bad,” HBO’s Bill Maher noted on Friday. “Fox News today just put up a test pattern that said, ‘Please be patient while we figure out how this makes Obama the worst president ever.’” In the meantime, Bolton’s silly quip and attacking Obama for going on “vacation” (actually a pre-scheduled trip to Latin American to shore up U.S. economic ties) is all conservatives and Fox News have to go on.

CNN Foreign Correspondent Calls Out Fox News: ?Outrageous? ?Lies And Deceit?

This afternoon, Fox News reported that the Qaddafi regime used foreign journalists, including teams from CNN and Reuters, as a “human shield” to thwart an attack on Qaddafi’s compound last night. The compound had already been hit by allied missiles, but in its exclusive report — which is FoxNews.com’s most read and commented story — Fox alleges that “British sources” told them that allied forces were planning a second attack, which was called off due to the journalists’ presence.

But on the Situation Room tonight, a visibly frustrated CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, who was on the CNN team that visited the compound, called the report untruthful and “outrageous.” Moreover, Robertson acccused Fox of “lies and deceit” for claiming none of their staffers went on the same trip when one in fact did:

WOLF BLITZER: I want you to explain what you know about this suggestion Fox news reporting that you, a Reuters crew, some other journalists were effectively used by Qaddafi as a human shield to prevent allied fighter planes from coming in and attacking a certain position. Explain what you know about this.

ROBERTSON: Wolf, this allegation is outrageous and it’s absolutely hypocritical. When you come to somewhere like Libya, you expect lies and deceit from a dictatorship here. You don’t expect it from the other journalists. […]

They sent a member of their team. He was not editorial. He was nontechnical, not normally a cameraman. […]

I see [Fox’s corespondent] more times at breakfast than out on trips with government officials here. So for them to say and call this — to say they didn’t go and for them to call this and say this was government propaganda to hold us there as human shields when they didn’t even leave the hotel, it’s ridiculous.

Watch it:

Robertson also essentially called Fox’s team in Libya lazy and uninformed, saying they rarely leave the hotel to do reporting. He said his colleagues from other networks have the same regard for Fox.