SDB Evening News Reads for 092611: Baby, Baby, Baby…
Posted: September 26, 2011 Filed under: Barack Obama, Congress, Corporate Crime, Economy, Federal Budget and Budget deficit, Hillary Clinton, House of Representatives, Patriot Act, Planned Parenthood, Politics as Usual, POTUS, Psychopaths in charge, racism, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, SDB Evening News Reads, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, unemployment | Tags: Dark Shadows, Tim Burton, tween wave
I have a basket full of links for you today, with so much discussion going on, it seems fitting to catch you up on things.
There is still a protest going on in the Financial District of Manhattan. I especially like the image that is used on this post from FDL.
Obama’s speech to the CBC is getting plenty notice in the left leaning blogosphere. Blue Texan has a little round up on what is being said here.
Over at C&L, Susie Madrak points out that a recent Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows Obama’s numbers of approval are dropping among the black community. Perhaps the tone of his speech on Saturday was the wrong tack to take?
And as for the questions of racism, this is what Madrak has to say:
Once again, a member of the media/academic Village misses the obvious: We didn’t have all these people struggling to find work during the Clinton administration. In fact, unemployment was at 4.7 percent – not like the double-digit, long-term unemployment we have now. Not this sense of hopelessness.
It’s still the economy. Racism didn’t magically disappear, but the economy still matters more than anything else.
Also on C&L, this from Jon Perr: Cherry-Picked Patriotism or Only Hating the Wrong Kind of Americans
Liberals, as the tired conservative slander goes, hate America. This, of course, is nonsense. Liberals simply want to deliver on the national promise of a more perfect union, to shorten the distance, as Bruce Springsteen aptly put it, “between American ideals and American reality.”
But if the past three Republican presidential debates are any indicator, it would appear that conservatives hate Americans. Or more precisely, some Americans. As audiences of the faithful booed an active duty U.S. soldier because he is gay and cheered the deaths of executed prisoners and the uninsured alike, the GOP White House hopefuls on stage remained silent. All because, it seems, they had to. Sadly, that complicity is apparently now a requirement to lead a Republican Party in which demonizing gays, minorities, immigrants and Muslims – that is, hating Americans – is increasingly a centerpiece of its politics.
It is a rather long piece, so give it a quick once over.
The news from FEMA is not very encouraging: FEMA says disaster fund will run dry on Tuesday or Wednesday
With the House and Senate at odds over a stopgap spending bill that includes more money for natural disaster relief, the agency that needs the money says it can hold out for a few more days.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has $175 million in its disaster relief fund and the balance could reach zero by Tuesday or Wednesday, an agency spokeswoman said.
The timing is key because the Senate is not expected to vote until late Monday afternoon on an amendment to a House-passed spending bill that includes funding to replenish the FEMA coffers. Republican and Democratic leaders were arguing on Friday about the bill and when exactly the agency will run out of money.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had warned on Thursday night that FEMA would run dry as early as Monday, but the next morning, he said he talked to the agency’s director and been told that FEMA was not running out that early.
GOP leaders took up the call, however, and on Friday they repeated warnings that the agency’s funding expired on Monday.
“If Congress does allow the balance of the Disaster Relief Fund to reach zero, there are laws that govern federal agency operations in the absence of funding,” FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said. “Under law, FEMA would be forced to temporarily shut down disaster recovery and assistance operations, including financial assistance to individuals until Congress appropriated more funds. This would include all past and current FEMA recovery operations.”
To imagine that elected officials will bicker over emergency funding is outrageous. I am completely disgusted with all of them swamp critters.
This from Major Garrett, Congress Is Failing …
Remember the time when being a political junkie meant you had an insatiable curiosity about the twists and turns in the policies, personalities, ideas, debates, and outcomes in Washington?
Now it means you just sift junk.
Today’s daggers-drawn standoff over disaster funding and keeping the government open is but the latest tragic-comedy manifestation of a legislative and political system mired in madness.
By all accounts, the Disaster Relief Fund within the Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money as early as Monday. It may stay afloat until Wednesday. That means by the middle of next week, the world’s most powerful economy, sickened and weakened by declining consumer confidence and persistent unemployment, will consciously decide not to help its citizens and businesses recover from natural disasters–thereby prolonging economic and emotional misery in dozens of states. What’s more, this same government appears headed for another shutdown or, at minimum, a period of insecurity about a shutdown that will only intensify economic jitters.
There are, of course, legislative and political reasons behind this stalemate. The question, though, is do they make any sense outside of the 202 area code?
Ah…the idea that any of the idiots in DC actually pay attention to the people back home? It is nice to think so isn’t it?
Does anyone honestly believe a victim of Hurricane Irene floodwaters cares whether or not House and Senate Democrats have found unity in their fight with Republicans over disaster funding? Washington tends toward insularity and always has. It always feels a bit alien and characterized by inordinate navel-gazing, partisan high-fiving, and slow-moving legislative chess matches. But even by these standards, this week’s stalemate appears to have reached a new low of cloakroom craziness–where something that seems justified in the cloakroom (building party unity, scoring legislative points, shielding sacred cows) looks like malpractice to the average taxpayer.
Everyone is to blame: The administration was slow to move on disaster funding, ignoring House GOP demands to engage on the question as the House drafted and passed in June a Homeland Security spending bill that boosted disaster aid over Obama’s request by $2 billion. Senate Democrats did almost nothing to move a Homeland Security spending bill in response to the House bill. House Republicans chose to offset some of its disaster funding by cutting funding to a program it knew the administration valued–the Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Loan program that seeks to fund the development of fuel-efficient vehicles. The House GOP didn’t cut any of its favored programs, only one it knew the administration wanted to protect.
…this debate is no longer about how much money to give the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’s about the parties wanting to lay down markers about unity, their ability to defend turf, and their willingness to fight over the smallest issues–even if it means threatening for the second time this year a government shutdown and leaving penniless the Disaster Relief Fund and the victims it serves.
That may make sense in the House and Senate cloakrooms. It may make for tight sound-bites at the microphones. But it looks and sounds like a Beltway culture that’s lost sight of the people it is meant to serve and the rudimentary tasks of governing it is obligated to carry out.
I want to move on to some items about woman’s issues now.
First, today the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Price has died. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dies at 71 – NYTimes.com
Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who began a movement to reforest her country by paying poor women a few shillings to plant trees and who went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, died here on Sunday. She was 71.
Dr. Maathai, one of the most widely respected women on the continent, played many roles — environmentalist, feminist, politician, professor, rabble-rouser, human rights advocate and head of the Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977. Its mission was to plant trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women.
Dr. Maathai was as comfortable in the gritty streets of Nairobi’s slums or the muddy hillsides of central Kenya as she was hobnobbing with heads of state. She won the Peace Prize in 2004 for what the Nobel committee called “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” It was a moment of immense pride in Kenya and across Africa.
Hillary Clinton had this to say, via the State Department Blog Dipnote: The Passing of Dr. Wangari Maathai | U.S. Department of State Blog
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Wangari Maathai. The world has lost a powerful force for peace, democracy and women’s rights.
“From early on, Dr. Maathai was a tireless advocate for the environment, for women and for all those in the developing world who are unable to realize their potential. She founded the Green Belt Movement that has planted millions of trees and helped women throughout Africa improve their lives and the futures of their families and their communities. She understood the deep connection between local and global problems, and she helped give ordinary citizens a voice. Her death has left a gaping hole among the ranks of women leaders, but she leaves behind a solid foundation for others to build upon. I was inspired by her story and proud to call her my friend.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her three children, Waweru, Wanjira and Muta, and her granddaughter, Ruth Wangari.”
This next two articles over at RH Reality Check caught my eye, first Give Planned Parenthood Funds To Churches!
We’ve been hearing the argument for months now that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t receive federal funds. Women never need abortions (not that Planned Parenthood could use federal funds for that, anyway), doctors can work out payment plans with patients, “pregnancy centers” can give women all the support they need to give birth, contraception isn’t a necessity anyway, etc.
Normally, the reasons rattled off all lead to “defund reproductive health, give money to crisis pregnancy centers.” Not this time, though.
Via the Concord Monitor:
I would like to see a budget from Planned Parenthood. How much money goes into the pocket of policy advisers and how much to the abortion provider? How much really goes to the “poor” women?
I find it contradictory that we are in New Hampshire, one with the lowest poverty rate, yet we need $1 million to cover poor women.
In the name of “help” do any people volunteer at Planned Parenthood like Care Net [Pregnancy Center]?
I raised five sons well as a “poor” woman with hard work and budgeting and found Care Net to be there to help with clothing and education. Also, the churches were a wealth of resources. Let’s give them $1 million!
Federally funded churches? Now, how did no one ever think of that?
And this next one: My How Things Change! President Bush Praises Family Planning…
If you thought the whole “he was for it before he was against it” thing was an artifact of the John Kerry campaign, think again. As United States Ambassador to the United Nations under the Nixon Administration, President George H.W. Bush (the first President Bush) wrote a letter to Alan Guttmacher (founder of the Guttmacher Institute) congratulating him on creation of a “family planning” stamp commemorating (gasp!!) Margaret Sanger.
This was in the good ol’ days: Republicans were for it before they were against it. The Bush family sat on the board of Planned Parenthood and in numerous and sundry other ways supported global efforts to promote access to family planning services.
While women’s rights have always been political, this was before it became fashionable and politically expedient to quite obviously sacrifice both evidence and women’s bodies openly on the altar of electoral gains.
The letter is from March 28, 1972…
This just gets me giggling…how things change.
On to some “progressive” men, and their misogynistic approach to feminist talking points, so succinctly discussed by Historiann. So-called “progressive” Michael Moore shows how to shut down a feminist critique
I clicked on this link because RealClearPolitics has it headlined “Jane Harman Calls Out Bill Maher’s Sexism.” Unfortunately, it’s more effective as an object lesson in how so-called “progressive” men like Maher and Moore maneuver to shut down feminist viewpoints and conversations. Former Congresswoman Jane Harman gives up on her challenge to Maher’s sexist description of a “blonde twink” on Fox News Channel, and her observation that she’s one of one women invited to last week’s show. She does this even after noting that the dynamic is identical to that described in “the book of the month” by Ron Suskind, with its description of the gender politics in the Obama White House! Check it out, with permission to shut down the conversation about sexism granted by Bill Maher and an assist by John Avlon.
Be sure to play it through to the end, where Moore accuses Maher of being “secretly attracted to” the “blonde twink” referenced earlier in the conversation, and the two joke around about Maher’s horndoggery with conservative women. Awesome!!! Of course, sex bias isn’t operative here, because Moore loves his wife, and Maher loves him his “blonde twinks.” Move along, sweeties, nothing to see here. . .
This weekend, the Saudi King made news by suggesting women will get the right to vote some day in Saudi Arabia…but today, this is the kind of news coming from a Saudi lawyer and rights advocate. Trial of Saudi woman for violating ban on female drivers reveals limits of king’s reform drive
…authorities will bring a Saudi activist to trial for defying the kingdom’s female driving ban.
The attorney, Waleed Aboul Khair, says Najalaa Harrir was summoned for questioning by the prosecutor general in the port city of Jeddah on Sunday, the same day that Saudi King Abdullah introduced reforms giving women the right to vote and run in local elections four years from now.
Harrir is one of dozens of Saudi female activists behind a campaign called “My Right, My Dignity” that is aimed at ending discrimination against women, including the driving ban, in the ultraconservative Islamic country.
Whoa…that was a few amusing and disturbing items wasn’t it?
I am going to veer away from the heavy stuff and indulge in a few different bits of interest…
The recent changes on Facebook are getting annoying…and now I read this and wonder if the PATRIOT Act is not the only thing stepping all over our privacy rights. Facebook Cookies are Tracking You Even When You Log Out | Geekosystem
If the frictionless (read: permission-less) sharing involved with the new Facebook Timeline weirds you out a little, blogger Nik Cubrilovic has some more unsettling news for you. As it turns out, Facebook has cookies that will track the website you go to for its own purposes in addition to purposes that could arguably be for “sharing.” If you log out, the cookies are not deleted, but instead modified and will still able to track letting Facebook keep an eye on the websites you visit.
Cubrilovic had been working on a project involving fake Facebook accounts when he was tipped off to the situation. Despite the fact that his fake Facebook accounts were unconnected to his real account and that none of them were ever signed in simultaneously, Facebook started listing his real account as a suggested friend for his fake accounts. Facebook was keeping track of who was logging in and from where.
This isn’t the first time that people have started to get concerned about Facebook’s ability to track user activity, logged in or not. In fact, the German state Schleswig-Holstein outlawed embedded “like” buttons on its state websites for exactly that reason; they send information about the user on the site back to Facebook. The discovery that this behavior does not only apply to sites with Facebook functionality but just sites in general plus browser information is a little worrisome.
There’s no telling how Facebook will respond to the issue, if it ever does, but in the meantime users are stuck with the choice of letting Facebook see their information or getting in the habit of performing a meticulous clean-up ritual. With any luck, maybe all this will inspire a nice, up-to-date, 3rd party Facebook client with an emphasis on user security. Either way, for now, just be aware that you’re being watched.
(via Sydney Morning Herald)
Ah, being watched by Facebook…creeps me out something fierce!
The next couple of links are personal in nature, in that they bring about excited anticipation…and one hell of a good laugh.
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Dark Shadows and the main character Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid. (Those remakes during the 80’s and 90’s where crap…with a capital CRAP.) I never saw the show live, but they had syndicated re-runs on the local Tampa station channel 44…the same place to check out the old “Creature Feature’s with Dr. Paul Bearer.” I used to hold my old tape recorder up to the TV to get the opening sequence theme music…made up goofy lyrics to the song “Betty Davis Eyes” with the obvious changes referring to “Julia Hoffman Eyes.” That included the stuttering way the great Grayson Hall pronounced B…bbbbbb….b…Barnabas.
Yes, I had pictures of Jonathan Frid hanging up on my wall above my bed, while everyone else was crazy for the big hair bands, Michael Jackson and Tom Cruise…I was nuts for a dark character portrayed by an aging Canadian actor. Even when I was in college, I had a pet cockatiel that could sing that opening theme song I used to record on the old tape recorder perfectly…weird in a pathetic sort of way isn’t it?
So it was so thrilling for me to see this article about the 2012 release of Dark Shadows directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp: Johnny Depp’s ‘Dark Shadows’ vampire revealed! | Inside Movies | EW.com
Photo by Leah Gallo
Behold the real visage of Johnny Depp’s vampire from Dark Shadows!
Last week, long-range paparazzi shots of the actor wearing ghostly white makeup, large sunglasses and a pulled down fedora made fans of the original 1966-71 supernatural soap opera bristle nervously, with complaints he looked simply too strange.
Nevermind that he’s playing a 200-year-old vampire, which is strange enough.
As you can see from this cast shot, Depp’s bloodsucking pater familias Barnabas Collins actually borrows heavily from the aged-little boy look of original Dark Shadows star Jonathan Frid — not that anyone would be happy to see this guy show up as your prom date either.
Still, this official First Look may reassure those die-hard fans of the original series, memorably offbeat ABC daytime drama about a vampire whose extended family are bedeviled by ghosts, witches, and other gothic woes.
Depp, who fought for years to make this movie, is one of those fans. “I do remember, very vividly, practically sprinting home from school in the afternoon to see Jonathan Frid play Barnabas Collins,” the actor says. “Even then, at that age, I knew — this has got to be weird.”
Weird certainly sums up this particular family portrait — a shot director Tim Burton, who also obsessed over Dark Shadows as a boy, staged in the early days of production.
“I remember seeing a group photograph of the cast of the original series,” he tells EW. “For me it captured the weird Dark Shadows vibe in a single image. I had a brief window of opportunity to have our cast present at the same time, the day before principle photography began. We decided to stage a similar picture instead of rehearsing, to see if we captured the Dark Shadows feeling.”
Here’s who those family members are, one by one.
Click that link up top to read the little bits of commentary on each character. I can’t wait to see it!
I am going to end with this tribute from South Park to Justin Bieber. It made me laugh to think of my own Barnabas fantasies, when compared with the young fantasies of today’s tweens. This clip is hilarious, I hope you enjoy it…
Well, that is what I have for you this evening. Catch y’all later in the comments, until then…”Ooooooo Baby, Baby, Baby….Oooooooo!”