August 2nd, 2009


McCain: Without Hispanic Voters, GOP In "Very, Very Deep Hole"

McCain: Without Hispanic Voters, GOP In "Very, Very Deep Hole"

Having attempted to put together a voting coalition broad enough to get elected president, Sen. John McCain (R-A.Z.) knows better than any other lawmaker the shortcomings and vulnerabilities of the Republican Party.

So his declaration on Sunday morning that the GOP faced a dire situation unless it did more to bring Hispanic voters into its ranks is likely to be treated as a blaring warning siren, not mere political analysis.

"On the issue of the Hispanic voter, we have to do a lot more. We Republicans have to recruit and elect Hispanics to office," McCain told CNN's State of Union. "And I don't mean just because they're Hispanics, but they represent a big part of the growing population in America. And we have a lot of work to do there. And I am of the belief that unless we reverse the trend of Hispanic voter registration, we have a very, very deep hole that we've got to come out of."

While he was one of only a handful of Republicans willing to tackle immigration reform in 2007, McCain faced a massive deficit with Hispanic voters in the 2008 election. His aides have said that, were he not the home state senator, he would have lost Arizona to Barack Obama, in large part because Hispanics had left the Republican Party in droves.

Certainly, Democrats are aware of the massive electoral ramifications that could come from this development. In an interview with the Huffington Post last week, DNC Chair Tim Kaine suggested that Republican opposition to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and comprehensive health care reform could end up costing the party dearly with Hispanic voters down the road.


Putin- owns a tiger, knows judo...

Putin dives to bottom of world's deepest lake

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Saturday dived to the bottom of the world's deepest lake aboard a mini-submarine, in a highly mediatized stunt unusual even by the standards of the Russian hardman.

Putin, wearing special thermal blue overalls, was able to examine the unique flora and fauna of Lake Baikal in Siberia during his four-hour journey underwater aboard the Mir-1 submarine.

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Iowa represent!

oh, you've GOT to be kidding me...

Branstad says he's weighing run for governor

By THOMAS BEAUMONT • • © 2009, Des Moines Register and Tribune Company • August 2, 2009

Signs are increasing that Terry Branstad - Iowa's longest-serving governor, but one who hasn't been on the ballot for 15 years - is actively considering a run for the office next year.

The state's last Republican governor dismissed talk of a comeback last spring. But now he's discussing a 2010 run more openly, even as he says he is contentedly busy as president of a growing medical college.

"I'm not ruling it out, because I care deeply about the state," Branstad said in a Des Moines Register interview. "And I have real concerns about the direction things are going."

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This may be more relevant for us Iowans here, but seriously Republicans? You have to dust this guy off to run for you? Brandstad wasn't all bad, but jeez, let's not have another sixteen years of this.
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Ryanair CEO Defends Charging "Discretionary Toilet Visitors"

No Apologies From the Boss of a No-Frills Airline

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of the European budget airline Ryanair, was discussing his new scheme to charge passengers to go to the bathroom.

Most passengers — the “discretionary toilet visitors,” as he calls them — would eventually forgo in-flight bathroom use altogether, he predicted. Which is good, because he would also like to reduce the number of bathrooms per plane, to one.

What if the plane were stricken by some nasty, effluent illness, like food poisoning?

A snorting noise wafted over from the chair where Mr. O’Leary was sitting. “We don’t serve enough food for everybody to get food poisoning,” he said.

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Iowa--Blue Myself

the flip side of the Meghan McCain Twitter/suicide story

Worldwide cry for help: Q-C man broadcasts suicide on Twitter

QUAD CITIES --- Justin Reedy sat down in front of the computer in his parents' basement, loaded a single bullet into a five-chamber revolver and logged onto his Twitter account.

Anyone could have found the messages he started posting online in the very early hours of July 13. But Reedy was directing them to his close friend, Josh Benson, who died in a car crash four days earlier.

(1:30 a.m.) It's not funny anymore, if it ever was. I saw you lying in a box today and couldn't accept it. I'll spend every waking moment of my

(1:36 a.m.) miserable, short life waiting for you to jump out of the woodwork to make fun of me for ever feeling. Seriously, bro, not funny.

Over the next 36 minutes, the 29-year-old from rural East Moline authored a series of "Tweets" - bursts of online prose limited to 140 characters - that eventually would be read by thousands of people across the Quad Cities and the Internet.

The fallout would be felt beyond his immediate family and circle of acquaintances. The dissemination - by e-mail, on Facebook and other social networking sites - created rifts between grieving friends.

The messages brimmed with rage and regret. He typed, agonizing over the loss of his friend, until it became clear to him. He would either cry himself to sleep, or shoot himself.

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Wow. This is amazing. Too bad someone couldn't have stopped him.

Free Time Palin to Terrorrize Children

Palin Lawyer Threatens To Serve Libel Papers At Kindergarten

Sarah Palin's lawyer threatened to serve a blogger with libel papers at the kindergarten where he works for writing a post saying the former Alaska governor was getting divorced.

Gryphen, who writes a blog called "The Immoral Minority," wrote on Saturday that "according to my source Sarah is finished with Todd and has decided to end their marriage."

Palin's lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, wrote a letter to the blogger, asking "if you want to be served with the summons and complaint at the kindergarten where you assist or at your residence."

Gryphen laughed off the threat, telling Alaska Report, "Nothing that I wrote in my post was meant to be malicious. I trust my source and simply reported what I had been told.
Threatening to serve legal papers to an educator in a room full of five year olds? Now that is malicious."

Palin's spokeswoman issued a statement denying the divorce story on Saturday.

Yet again, some so-called journalists have decided to make up a story. There is no truth to the recent "story" (and story is the correct term for this type of fiction) that the Palins are divorcing. The Palins remain married, committed to each other and their family, and have not purchased land in Montana (last week it was reported to be Long Island).

Less than one week ago, Governor Palin asked the media to 'quit making things up. We appreciate that the more professional journalists decided to question this story before repeating it.


Michelle Malkin: Unemployment benefits only encourages unemployment, must be eliminated!

Michelle Malkin, Cynthia Tucker Spar Over Unemployment Benefits (VIDEO) [UPDATED]

Michelle Malkin, for some reason, was invited to be a part of today's THIS WEEK panel, maybe because she was wandering through the Newseum or something. Anyway, she took on the issue of unemployment benefits by saying that "If you put enough government cheese in front of people, they are just going to keep eating it," which explains why America has never grown tired of cheap cheese and why it's totally led to nobody wanting to strive or excel or have a job in the past three decades.

Malkin went on to say that "smart economists," including Clinton economist Larry Katz, say that unemployment insurance only prolongs joblessness, and that, basically, if the jobless started starving to death and dying on the streets, it would give them the kick in the pants they needed to get a job again. Everybody just sort of looked at Malkin, like she was INSANE, and George Stephanopoulos very politely said, "Uhm...I don't know if I follow that." To which Malkin replied: "BUT IT WAS A CLINTON ECONOMIST, BLARGLE!" Stephanopoulos was still a bit dumbfounded, wondering why anyone in their right mind would take unemployment benefits "when a job was available."

Malkin's counter argument is that, for some reason -- who knows why really, maybe there was a presidential administration that recorded epic job losses for a decade maybe, it's a real mystery -- there has been unemployment insurance for many weeks. And for some reason, they are going to keep extending it -- as if there was some sort of ongoing economic crisis or something! And because of that, "people will delay getting a job until three weeks before the benefits run out."
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World Nut Daily Finds "Obama's Kenyan Birth Certificate"

Is this really smoking gun of Obama's Kenyan birth?

The Nuts at WND claimed they have found Obama's real birth certificate and they claim they are trying to authenticity the document. If you wanna read the whole thing, just follow the link. Oh, yeah, they have pics too of the "Real Birth Certificate"

Please if you follow the WND link, there is a link to Orly Taitz's site with a pic of the birth certificate. I am not sure if it true, but it contains a virus. DO NOT FOLLOW IT OR SAVE IT. It is to be seeing if this is someone's attempt to infect the birthers with a virus or not.

Looks convincing, huh ? Well, not so much.

First of all, there’s a question of why a birth registration record would be issued in 1964 for a child born three years earlier who was not even living in the country at the time. This is significant because any original birth record would be a British colonial record, not a Kenyan record. Kenya was still a British colony in 1961, and did not become independent until December 12, 1963.

Strike One

This leads to the second problem with the purported birth certificate. From December 12, 1963 until December 12, 1964, the official title of Kenya was the Dominion of Kenya. It wasn’t until a year later, on December 12, 1964 that the Republic of Kenya came into existence. And yet, the document above, issued on February 17, 1964 purports to have been issued on behalf of the Office of Principal Registrar, Coast Province, Republic of Kenya.

Strike Two

Finally, this actually allegation has come up before, albeit without documentary “proof” purporting to establish it, and seemingly debunked:

The document, supposedly “certified with an embossed seal” and “witness signatures” says America’s next commander in chief was born at Coast Province General Hospital in Mombasa at 7:24pm on August 4, 1961.

Officials at the hospital confirm they’ve been besieged with requests for information on Obama’s birth but haven’t been able to find any record of it.

“We do not have computerized records going back to the 1960’s and can only sort through our archives by hand,” Dr. Christopher Mwanga, an administrator at the Mombasa hospital tells GLOBE. “We have searched for all the names of babies born on Aug. 4, 1961, and have not found the name of Barack Hussein Obama. That is all I can tell you.”

The hospital has no records, and yet there’s this document, purportedly created three years after Obama’s birth, by officials of a country that wouldn’t exist for another ten months, that has miraculously appeared.

Strike Three.

Something tells me that the birthers are going to be sadly disappointed when this one is revealed for the forgery it most likely is.
' jules

b( ´∀`) <-THUMBS UP

‘Who is this chickenshit?’ redux: Franken-Pickens fracas recalls Wellstone

First, U.S. Sen. Al Franken wouldn’t stand to meet billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Then he got into it with the latter-day domestic-energy guru — “a lively conversation” were Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh’s words — over Pickens having paid for “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ads against Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign. Unseemly treatment for the featured guest at today’s Senate Democrats policy lunch? Perhaps — but it seems like old times too, recalling the greetings given to then-President Bush and Vice President Quayle by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone soon after he took office.

Franken knew who the guest was going to be (a controversial choice) and presumably arrived loaded for bear, just in case. Wellstone was likewise prepared to meet the president of the Senate. In Sarah Janecek’s words:
The beginning of Paul Wellstone’s first term in the U.S. Senate was also inelegant. He thrust a cassette tape of Minnesotans expressing opposition to the Gulf War into the hands of then-Vice President Dan Quayle.
Indeed, Wellstone took a while to adjust to Washington, D.C. protocol, as remembered at CounterPunch:
So when Wellstone met Bush in a typical White House pro forma reception line, he used the occasion to urge Bush on three different occasions to spend more time on issues like education and cautioning him against the Persian Gulf War. Of course, Bush was more concerned about fighting the war against Iraq (sound familiar?) and could care less about Wellstone’s issues. After Wellstone violated Bush 41’s sanctimonious White House protocol, Bush was overheard saying, “Who is this chicken shit?”


*betty draper reading

the case against health care reform

What’s Not to Like?
Reform? Why do we need health-care reform? Everything is just fine the way it is.

By Jonathan Alter | Newsweek Web Exclusive

Jul 31, 2009

Go ahead, shoot me. I like the status quo on health care in the United States. I've got health insurance and I don't give a damn about the 47 million suckers who don't. Obama and Congress must be stopped. No bill! I'm better off the way things are.

I'm with that woman who wrote the president complaining about "socialized medicine" and added: "Now keep your hands off my Medicare." That's the spirit!

Why should I be entitled to the same insurance that members of Congress get? Blue Dogs need a lot of medical attention to treat their blueness. I'm just a regular guy and definitely deserve less.

I had cancer a few years ago. I like the fact that if I lose my job, I won't be able to get any insurance because of my illness. It reminds me of my homeowners' insurance, which gets canceled after a break-in. I like the choice I'd face if, God forbid, the cancer recurs—sell my house to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment, or die. That's what you call a "post-existing condition."

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New Strain of HIV Appears; Probably Still Won't Get As Much Attention as Swine Flu

WASHINGTON – A new strain of the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered in a woman from the African nation of Cameroon. It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

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Posh Zoom

The Fat of the Land

If America is at war with obesity, then obesity is winning. Three out of 10 adults are obese—72 million people with a condition associated with diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and other chronic illnesses. The belt-busting American waistline is becoming as much a political as public health question—and if some politician hasn’t already introduced the No Buffet Left Behind Act, he will after this week’s big “Weight of the Nation” report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s almost quaint that government hasn’t tried to do more to deter weight gain. Perhaps it’s because the politics of fat are not easily digestible: Unlike traditional illness, obesity is largely the result of individual choices about diet and exercise. Still, maybe taxpayers really should care, given that they’re footing most of the medical bills.


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Why are Americans getting so fat, so fast? Harvard economists David Cutler, Ed Glaeser and Jesse Shapiro examined changes in U.S. food consumption and exercise between the 1970s and 1990s and came up with an empirical answer: Americans are eating too much. The growth in per capita calories in the food supply (rather than less exercise) is enough to explain the obesity explosion. We are eating larger portions and more snacks.
Enter the McLawsuit. Class-action litigation against fast food, Coke, General Mills and the rest a la Marlboro used to be a joke, but the Hamburglar will soon meet the same bill of indictment as Joe Camel. This may succeed in transferring wealth to the trial bar and creating a cartel of food conglomerates, a la Big Tobacco, but it has nothing to do with the public interest.
Namely, the food market reflects what people want. A business that disregards consumer preferences is unlikely to survive for long in today’s ultracompetitive food industry. The obesity paradox is that people are much better informed about nutrition as a result of label laws, education campaigns and so forth. They’re paying more attention to food than they have for decades. We spend more than $50 billion a year dieting, and anyone mainlining mayonnaise knows the risks.
Modifying such unhealthy habits is the only solution. But the policy quiver is not well-stocked, and the arrows are dull. Restricting access to unhealthy options, such as the use of transfats or prohibiting soda and candy machines in schools, is being tried across the country. Obama CDC director Thomas Frieden and the public health bureaucracy cite the smoking precedent, but the limitations are obvious. If we followed that example, we’d ban eating in restaurants.
Dr. Frieden thinks the tax code should target sugar-sweetened drinks, no doubt before moving on to fat, salt or calories. Yet sin taxes are unpopular, especially when imposed on dinner. In any case, the real problem is excess, so one option would be a tax on the overconsumption of food—that is, a tax on obese people. Fat chance of that.
The depressing thought is that even if a new government intervention—such as chronic disease management in Medicare, which is trivial in both the House and Senate health bills—somehow changed behavior, it would take years for the health benefits to materialize, and even longer to reduce overall health-care costs. More preventive care is very expensive and almost never produces cost containment.
But Congress could give up its own bad habits right now. Start by reforming agricultural “policy,” meaning subsidies that help make unhealthy food artificially cheap. Most of the new calories in the American diet come from processed foods, and taxpayers have underwritten them since the New Deal with huge price supports for commodity crops like corn and soy.
These are processed into low-quality calories that make their way to consumers as refined starches, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and feed for livestock. Most farmers receiving ag subsidies are actually prohibited by law from growing “specialty crops”—i.e., fruits and vegetables—as protectionism for California and Florida produce growers. Call the 19% of kids who are obese the children of the corn.


Government could also free up the private market to change the economic incentives to have better health. If people have skin in the game, preventable costs fall. Safeway and other companies have saved a lot of money with wellness programs, and increasing cost-sharing also has a huge effect. Yet Democrats are moving in the opposite direction, prohibiting insurers and employers from designing policies based on health status and limiting the financial involvement of patients in their own care.
This is all part of their effort to pass “universal” coverage and gradually transition everyone into a single government program like Medicare, thus insulating people even more from the costs of their lifestyle decisions. Don’t expect to win the war on obesity by making the government fatter.