I have this “thing” set up so that I get an email every time Congress votes…for instance…
Yesterday’s Keystone Vote came through like so:
113 Congress – Session 2
On Passage of the Bill
A bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vote Date: November 18, 2014 at 12:55PM
Roll Call Number: 280
Required For Majority: 3/5
Vote Result: Bill Defeated
via NYT Politics http://ift.tt/Hx3Z2z
Now…it is just a little annoying sometimes…what with the same shit over and over.
Take a look at a few bills from the past couple days:
113 Congress – Session 2
On the Cloture Motion
A bill to reform the authorities of the Federal Government to require the production of certain business records, conduct electronic surveillance, use pen registers and trap and trace devices, and use other forms of information gathering for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, and criminal purposes, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 18, 2014 at 02:26PM
Roll Call Number: 282
Required For Majority: 3/5
Democratic Party: 52 YES, 1 NO, 0 Abstentions
Republican Party: 4 YES, 41 NO, 0 Abstentions
via NYT Politics http://ift.tt/Hx3Z2z
Let me know if you see a trend.
113 Congress – Session 2
On Agreeing to the Amendment
H R 1422
Stewart of Utah Part A Amendment No. 1
Vote Result: Agreed to
Democratic Party: 9 YES, 184 NO, 8 Abstentions
Republican Party: 223 YES, 0 NO, 11 Abstentions
via NYT Politics http://ift.tt/Hx3Z2z
113 Congress – Session 2
On Motion to Recommit with Instructions
H R 1422
EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act
Vote Date: November 18, 2014 at 12:52PM
Roll Call Number: 524
Required For Majority: RECORDED VOTE
Vote Result: Failed
Democratic Party: 194 YES, 1 NO, 6 Abstentions
Republican Party: 1 YES, 224 NO, 9 Abstentions
via NYT Politics http://ift.tt/Hx3Z2z
113 Congress – Session 2
On Agreeing to the Resolution
H RES 756
Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1422) EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act; providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4012) Secret Science Reform Act; and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4795) Promoting New Manufacturing Act
Vote Date: November 18, 2014 at 08:30AM
Roll Call Number: 522
Required For Majority: RECORDED VOTE
Vote Result: Passed
Democratic Party: 0 YES, 192 NO, 9 Abstentions
Republican Party: 227 YES, 0 NO, 7 Abstentions
113 Congress – Session 2
On the Nomination
Leslie Joyce Abrams, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia
Vote Date: November 18, 2014 at 01:28PM
Roll Call Number: 281
Required For Majority: 1/2
Vote Result: Nomination Confirmed
Democratic Party: 53 YES, 0 NO, 0 Abstentions
Republican Party: 45 YES, 0 NO, 0 Abstentions
via NYT Politics http://ift.tt/Hx3Z2z
But it isn’t all total opposite when it comes to party breakdown in the voting results.
113 Congress – Session 2
On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass
H R 5162
An Act to allow a certain parcel of land in Rockingham County, Virginia, to be used for a child care center
Vote Date: November 17, 2014 at 01:54PM
Roll Call Number: 520
Required For Majority: 2/3 YEA-AND-NAY
Vote Result: Passed
Democratic Party: 171 YES, 0 NO, 30 Abstentions
Republican Party: 207 YES, 1 NO, 26 Abstentions
via NYT Politics http://ift.tt/Hx3Z2z
But the real article that got me going on all this shit was the headline on this one:
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
“I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the new year,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday, shortly after the bill fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed to advance. He was joined by incoming Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who said the fight wasn’t over.
Give me a fucking break…
Republicans are likely to have enough votes to assure the bill’s passage in January, when they will have at least 53 seats — 54 if Cassidy wins the Louisiana runoff.
“If you look at new Congress, you can count four more (GOP seats) right away, and there may be others,” Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, the lead sponsor of the bill, said after the 59-41 vote Tuesday. “You can see we’re well over 60.”
Hoeven acknowledged that Republicans would need 67 votes to override a veto, but said one possibility is to include Keystone in a larger energy package that may not prompt a veto threat.
Cassidy, Landrieu’s Republican opponent, said Louisiana families “need better jobs, better wages and better benefits,” and the pipeline would provide them.
Democratic divisions were on vivid display in a bill that pitted environmentalists against energy advocates.
While Obama opposes the measure, likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has repeatedly refused to take a position. Most recently, her spokesman did not respond to two requests over the weekend to do so.
At the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest said the measure is something “the president doesn’t support because the president believes that this is something that should be determined through the State Department and the regular process that is in place to evaluate projects like this.”
Ugh…You know, if he was still in the senate, I bet Obama would be the only abstention.
Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seems poised to take one last shot at changing how online purchases are taxed. Reid has signaled he’ll bring the unpopular Marketplace Fairness Act up for a vote by tacking it onto the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is headed for certain renewal.
Passed in 1998 with bipartisan support, the ITFA bars states from taxing access to the Internet and imposing discriminatory Internet-only taxes. The legislation will expire on December 11 and pressure from the tech sector is on for its renewal. While the ITFA has proven enormously popular and indisputably successful, it has little to do with online sales taxes.
Men and women’s politics were further apart in 2014 than they’ve been in any U.S. election in two decades.
That’s one of many hard truths laid bare by the midterms, which generated a huge collection of data—from election returns to exit polls to financial disclosures—to help us make sense of two things: what exactly happened in the November elections and what it means going forward.
The top lines are obvious: Republicans took the Senate, padded their lead in the House, and grabbed contested wins in gubernatorial races. But here are seven numbers that illustrate what was going on beneath the surface.
Sometimes the hardest place to photograph is in your own backyard: When everything is familiar, it’s a challenge to make things look interesting. Yet, Tamara Reynolds has done just that in “Southern Route,” looking hard at the American South, which she calls home, and offering a searing, honest portrayal of the country’s most stereotyped region.
She knows that for some, the South evokes images of poverty and obesity, memories of racism and slavery, or words like “hillbilly” and “redneck.” The area that divided the country 150 years ago is stuck between pride and progress. Ms. Reynolds looks beyond these generalities to capture the genuine spirit of Southerners.
Although there is evidence of stereotypes, she said in her artist statement, “I have also learned that there is a restrained dignity and a generous affection that Southerners possess intrinsically.”
Can they do something about all these women coming forward about Bill Cosby raping them? Bill Cosby: Netflix postpones comedy special following Janice Dickinson’s claims star ‘raped me too’ – News – TV & Radio – The Independent
The Grio story is terribly graphic.
Meanwhile, in news around the world:
The arrest, detention and torture of eight people since the beginning of the month as part of a crackdown on “homosexuality” by the Gambian authorities reveals the shocking scale of state-sponsored homophobia, Amnesty International said.
“These arrests took place amid an intensifying climate of fear for those perceived to have a different sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“This unacceptable crackdown reveals the scale of state-sponsored homophobia in Gambia. Intimidation, harassment, and any arrest based solely on sexual orientation or gender identity is in clear violation of international and regional human rights law. The Gambian authorities must immediately stop this homophobic assault”.
Amnesty International considers people who are arrested and detained solely on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity to be prisoners of conscience. They should be released immediately and unconditionally.
Japan’s magnetically levitating maglev train, faster than Japan’s bullet train, is doing test runs with passengers, members of the public, in central Japan. The world’s fastest maglev train, the 311 mph (500 km/h) Series L0 (pronounced “L zero”) prototype, made its first public run.
The trains will enter service between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, barring any setbacks, said Gizmodo. One hundred passengers traveled a 27-mile route between the cities of Uenohara and Fuefuki on the Shinkansen train earlier this month, reaching speeds of up to 311 miles per hour. The train’s use of maglev technology reduces friction. The Central Japan Railway Company is running eight days of testing for the experimental maglev. The Daily Mail said selection of those lucky enough to experience the trial runs will be by lottery. A total of 2,400 people will take the high-speed ride over eight days. Almost 300,000 people had applied for the passes, said the Daily Mail. As the video of a recent trial run indicated, guests saw the stats on monitoring screens and snapped away with their cameras.
When completed in 2027,said Katie Amey in the Daily Mail, “their exceptional speed capacity will cut the travel time by half, linking Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station with Nagoya in about 40 minutes, a journey which currently takes approximately 80 minutes.” The maglev trains are expected to eventually consist of 16 carriages and carry up to 1,000 passengers at a time, she said.
Italian police have released video of recruits for the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate taking a loyalty oath – the first time such a ritual has been recorded, authorities claimed.
The footage was filmed secretly near a farmhouse in northern Italy, although the Carabinieri paramilitary police in Milan did not reveal how they were able to capture the ceremony without being discovered by the syndicate.
Police said the video shows a meeting of suspected mobsters in Castello di Brianza in northern Italy and that one of the recruits was just 17 years old.
The video also shows members taking a loyalty oath where they have to swear “under the splendor of the moon” and are reminded that traitors are expected to kill themselves and thus must keep an extra bullet on them at all times.
As four men huddle, one man repeats the loyalty oath: ”Right in this holy evening, in the silence of the night, under the light of the stars and under the splendour of the moon, I create the holy chain…the holy society.”
But did they get to record the secret handshake? /snark.
And finally…the photos for this post come from the African magazine, Drum.
Apartheid was an inescapable fact of daily life in 1950s South Africa. But when the staff of Drum magazine got to the Johannesburg offices, the feeling was of having ‘‘walked into a different world, a world outside South Africa,’’ says Jürgen Schadeberg, the art director there in the 1950s. Inspired by the American magazines Life and Look, Drum’s documentary portrayals of black urban life, arts, politics and culture were revolutionary. Some of those images will be part of a major exhibition that opens at the International Center of Photography this month called ‘‘Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life.’’ ‘‘It was dangerous and difficult work,’’ Schadeberg says, recalling how the secret police kept the magazine under surveillance. ‘‘What we tried to show was how unjust apartheid was.’’
- YEAR DRUM WAS FIRST PUBLISHED: 1951
- PEAK CIRCULATION IN SOUTH AFRICA: 100,000
- COUNTRIES IT HAS BEEN DISTRIBUTED IN OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA: NIGERIA, GHANA, TANZANIA, KENYA, UGANDA AND RHODESIA (NOW ZIMBABWE AND ZAMBIA
Well, that’s all folks!
And now for Part 2 of…
The Woman in Red: Battle of the Sexes…Fight Until the Vacuum Cleaner is Broken.
You can find Part 1 of this comic-ill story here: The Woman In Red: Against The Monsters On The Hill… A comic-ill perspective observation | Sky Dancing
Which is the second in the series, you can find the first installment here: The Woman in Red: Protector of the Uteri, Defender of Vajayjay Rights and Fighter Against the #WarOnWomen | Sky Dancing
I hope you enjoy the rest of this tale, and that you will be able to follow it. Remember, it comes from a twisted little heathen mind…
And don’t forget, you can click the images to make them bigger. Some of the words on these comics are very small and you may find it easier to read them when the image is larger.
Here then is:
This is an open thread…
I know I was going to put up the second part of the Women in Red: Against the Monsters on the Hill, but it is just not ready. So here’s a sample of the second part of the installment that I will post on Sunday:
So…tonight we have a quick cartoon post….
This is an open thread….
Well, it is JJ again for y’all this Thursday Morning, and I have the first part of the second installment of my Woman in Red series….
Do you remember this little project I started back in January of this year?
This second issue is in two parts, so be sure to check back on Friday night for the conclusion.
If you can’t read the writing because of the small images, click the picture to see the comic in its full size. (You can then click again on the image in the full screen to make it even bigger!)
Dastardly Bastards on the Hill.
This is an open thread…
What do you think is going to happen to our Super Sheroes?
I just have a quickie link dump for you this morning. I have been up all night working on a comic Woman in Red post and it is morphing into something a little different. Soooo….until I can get that up here are a few links to get y’all started:
President Barack Obama said he wants to take the U.S. relationship with China “to a new level.”
During the first of two days of meetings in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the American leader had a necktie-free dinner with his Chinese counterpart. More private talks are planned Wednesday.
“When the United States and China are able to work together effectively, the whole world benefits,” said Obama.
The Obama-Xi meetings are being held alongside the Bejing-sponsored Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, where leaders gave their initial approval to a China-led free trade zone.
The endorsement is seen as an achievement for Beijing, which has been pushing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, or FTAAP, over a U.S.-led alternative.
Speaking Tuesday at the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping called the support “historic.”
“We decided to launch the FTAAP process. It represents a historic step we’ve made toward the realization of the FTAAP and marks the official launch of the process. It represents the confidence and resolution of the APEC members to push forward regional economic integration,” said Xi.
Not sure about this economic thing and its place in history, but:
The United States and China pledged Wednesday to take ambitious action to limit greenhouse gases, aiming to inject fresh momentum into the global fight against climate change ahead of high-stakes climate negotiations next year.
President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would move much faster in cutting its levels of pollution. Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to cap China’s emissions in the future — a striking, unprecedented move by a nation that has been reluctant to box itself in on global warming.
“This is a major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship,” Obama said, with Xi at his side. “It shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge.”
The unexpected declaration from the world’s two largest polluters, unveiled on the last day of Obama’s trip to China, reflected both nations’ desire to display a united front that could blunt arguments from developing countries, which have balked at demands that they get serious about global warming. Yet it was unclear how feasible it would be for either country to meet their goals, and Obama’s pledge was sure to confront tough opposition from ascendant Republicans in Congress.
The U.S. set a new target to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping gases by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. That’s a sharp increase from earlier in Obama’s presidency, when he pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020.
China, whose emissions are still growing as it builds new coal plants, didn’t commit to cut emissions by a specific amount. Rather, Xi set a target for China’s emission to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible. He also pledged to increase the share of energy that China will derive from sources other than fossil fuels.
“This is, in my view, the most important bilateral climate announcement ever,” said David Sandalow, formerly a top environmental official at the White House and the Energy Department. “It sends the signal the two largest emitters in the world are working together to address this problem.”
British, American and Swiss regulators fined five of the world’s biggest banks a combined $3.3 billion on Wednesday for conspiring to manipulate the foreign currency market, the latest scandal to hit an industry facing increased scrutiny and mounting legal costs for its past sins.
The fines come as regulators are increasingly targeting a business culture in the financial industry that they say encourages improper conduct by its employees. The banks could still face criminal charges in the matter.
On Wednesday, the Financial Conduct Authority of Britain said it had reached a so-called global settlement worth a combined 1.1 billion pounds, or about $1.76 billion, with five companies: the Swiss bank UBS; the British lenders HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland; and the American banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. The settlement is large by European standards, and a record for the British financial authority.
Wouldn’t it be great if some of these fines actually went to the people who got hit the most by all this shit? I mean, all the banks here in the US and overseas being fined…and for what?
Meanwhile, things are getting ready in Ferguson…for some bad news: Mo. governor: Violent protests ‘cannot be repeated’ – CNN.com
As Missouri governor, Jay Nixon believes the most important part of his job is keeping the people of his state safe.
To that end, he told reporters Tuesday that he’s working “around the clock” ahead of the grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown.
Brown, a black teen, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on August 9. The jury is weighing whether to indict Wilson.
“In the days immediately following Michael Brown’s death, peaceful protests were marred by senseless acts of violence and destruction,” the governor said.
I’ve read some news items saying that gun sales have gone up in that part of Missouri…it is a frightening thing on the horizon.
There is some chatter going on about stupid people? Gowdy on Gruber’s Obamacare Admission: “At This Point, What Difference Does It Make?” | Video | RealClearPolitics
REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC): I can’t get past the irony to even get to the arrogance. The most transparent administration since the continent shifted had to rely on artifice and deception to pass its signature piece of legislation. You can’t make that up. He had to lie to people and then he justified it, so I can’t even get past the irony of that to even get to the arrogance of him calling our fellow citizens stupid.
MEGYN KELLY: You are a former prosecutor. You’re great in a courtroom. Have you ever — I mean, this is smoking gun. I mean, this is the smoking gun piece of evidence — I mean, for years now the American public has disliked the law, has complained that they felt it was crammed down their throats, that there was dishonesty in the process, that they were not told the full story, and now you’ve got the chief architect of the law or one of them on camera saying, yes, we had to lie because you are too dumb to know what’s good for you.
GOWDY: Yeah, it’s really serious in a participatory democracy when you tell your fellow citizens that you are either not smart enough to understand the truth or we can’t tell you the truth because you wouldn’t go along with it. Well if you wouldn’t go along with it, maybe you shouldn’t pass the law.
It’s not the responsibility of your viewers to read thousand page bills. Hell, the people that voted on it didn’t read it before they voted on it. So it’s not my fellow citizens’ responsibility to read this bill. I would say this to the professor: put down the cognac and the lost writings of J.D. Salinger, if you want to see our stupid our fellow citizens are, take a look at last Tuesday night because they rejected you, this bill and this administration…
KELLY: Do you think the White House needs to speak to this now? We went through the number of contacts he had personally chairing, the president did, a meeting with him, touting him as an objective analyst, credible, unbiased, compelling, his Senate testimony. He was presented to us as an honest broker by the administration.
GOWDY: I would love for the president, whom I saw in his purple jacket over in China, to repudiate what this guy — I mean it’s an insult. He insulted the very people, frankly, who put the president in office twice. So I would love to hear somebody other than Josh Earnest apologize for what this professor said.
But honestly, at this point, Megyn, what difference does it make? I mean we have the law. We were sold a false bill of goods, it’s going back to court. And they’re laughing all the way to the bank because they lied, they got away with it and they got the bill that they wanted so my fellow citizens have to keep in mind, fool me once, shame on you, ever fool me again, shame on us.
Like Boston Boomer wrote about yesterday, the Republicans are really orgasmic over the possibility of giving the screws to Obamacare.
I feel sick…all of it makes me ill. The damn ACA was a GOP plan from the get go…ugh. It was tailor made for the insurance companies. Damn.
Well, you know how I feel about that.
Around 11,500 years ago, a band of hunters buried two human babies in a pit in what is now Alaska. Surrounded by components of ancient weapons, the skeletons are giving archaeologists a unique look at cultural practices at the end of the last Ice Age, when people began to colonize North America.“Prior to these finds, we really did not have evidence of that facet of settlement and traditional systems for the early Americans who once inhabited this area,” says Ben Potter, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. “These are new windows into these ancient peoples’ lifestyle.”
Following a precisely plotted trajectory just 14 miles from a slowly tumbling comet, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe released a small lander early Wednesday for a seven-hour descent to a boulder-strewn surface, the first attempt ever made to land on a frozen remnant of the solar system’s birth.
The health of an upward-pointing thruster designed to fire at the moment of touchdown to help prevent the Philae lander from rebounding in the comet’s feeble gravity could not be confirmed during final checkout late Tuesday, but mission managers decided to press ahead with the launch anyway, relying on landing leg ice screws and two harpoons to penetrate the frigid soil and lock the spacecraft down.
More at the link.
Anyway, as I was saying at the beginning of this post…I will post the cartoon storyboard later when I have finished working it out. Until then, a few hours sleep.
What are you reading about, please post lots of links.
There is a huge storm in the Bering Sea, this thing has had made itself over more than Madonna…Seriously!
The storm started out as a tropical cyclone, a typhoon named Nuri.
From there it transformed and became a northern bomb cyclone when it made its way into the cold Bering Sea…and this week, it is going to drag it’s big ass down across the Country…evolving into one hell of an arctic blast.
So y’all get ready, we are going to be in for some more images like the ones you see accompanying this post today.
(Most are from the polar vortex of last winter, but they were found on Pinterest.)
Yeah, this storm is kicking some ass up Alaska way. Amazing Images of Storm Heading to Alaska – ABC News
The storm, remnants of Nuri, which was previously categorized as a typhoon, is currently packing hurricane-force winds that reached 180 miles per hour at its peak while barreling through the Bering Sea, and parts of the islands have already sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.
The storm is expected to be far stronger than Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the Northeast in 2012.
This is no ordinary storm…Alaska storm becomes strongest in Bering Sea history
A massive storm in the Bering Sea, off the western Alaska coast and to the east of Russia, strengthened enough to be considered the strongest storm that the turbulent region has ever seen. It may not be an official record, however, as the minimum central pressure of 924 millibars (mb) was estimated by meteorologists, since the storm is over the open ocean off the Kamchatka Peninsula.
The previous record-lowest sea level pressure in a Bering Sea storm was 925 mb, set in October 1977 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. This storm also likely sets a record for the strongest storm observed in the North Pacific Ocean, although the relatively sparse data for that region makes it possible that there were some stronger systems that were missed by ships or surface observing stations.
In general, the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
Since 5:57am ET *update* Fortunately Weather service: No damage reported in Bering Sea storm | Alaska Dispatch
And it is going to cause problems all over the US: Arctic storm: How bomb cyclone will morph into polar bomb (+video) – CSMonitor.com
The tatters of Super Typhoon Nuri battered the Bering Sea and its Aleutian Islands Saturday with historic winds and rains, as the rest of the US braced for the moment when the so-called bomb cyclone transmogrifies into something more like a polar bomb.
Snow could start falling in Montana and the Great Lakes as early as Wednesday, and New York could easily face temperatures 15 degrees below normal by next weekend as Nuri, now downgraded to a mid-latitude storm, forces a heavy wedge of Arctic air deep into the middle of the country and then across the South and East next week.
“This strong low pressure system will cause the jet stream to buckle, creating a ridge in the western United States and solidifying a deep trough in the Eastern US,” writes McCall Vrydaghs, a meteorologist for WHIO TV in Dayton, Ohio, predicting highs rising only into the low 30s for many parts of the country. “Keep in mind, if this same weather pattern were to set-up during the heart of winter, we would be looking at temperatures far lower.”
I think you will find this interesting…
The Farmer’s Almanac has called for an early and cold winter for large parts of the country, but research into another early and thick Siberian snowpack suggests that the winter may hang on, as well, deep into next year.
“There’s a theory that the amount of snow covering Eurasia in October is an indication of how much icy air will sweep down from the Arctic in December and January, pouring over parts of North America, Europe and East Asia,” writes Bloomberg’s Brian Sullivan. “Last year, the snow level across Eurasia was the fourth highest for the month in records going back to 1967. In January, frigid temperatures dubbed ‘the polar vortex’ slid out of the Arctic to freeze large portions of the U.S.”
The storm that remained from Typhoon Nuri on Friday had a central pressure of 924 millibars, according to the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center, making it the most intense storm ever in the wind-whipped Bering Sea.
In 1977, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, recorded the previous low pressure of 925 millibars during another real howler.
A “bomb” as a meteorological term is a drop in a storm’s central pressure of more than 24 millibars in 24 hours. What remains of Nuri is expected to drop as much as 50 millibars in 24 hours – arguably a “double bomb.” It’s that intense low pressure that’s going to buckle the jet stream as ex-Nuri bulldozes across the Bering Sea.
Let’s move on from Cold Arctic Blast to a new Cold War.
Can you believe it has been 25 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall?
Seems like yesterday doesn’t it?
40. The excitement in the air the day the Berlin Wall came down.
Fuck! I think this deserves higher than number 40….but the fact that it was even included in this list from Buzzfeed (compared to some of the other items, like say #’s 1 and 7.)
Just that the Fall of the Berlin Wall is part of my ’80′s kid culture and history makes me so damn proud.It was a time when we could breathe easier…y’all know what I am talking about.
I do think it was something good that came out of the Reagan era. (I have to admit, I did like Gorbachev better than Reagan. But that was because even back when I was 10 years old during the 1980 Presidential campaign, I knew Reagan would screwed Carter with that shitty display/take credit for the agreement/whatever to release the Iran Hostages.)
But anyway….back to the issue at hand. The Wall!
In 1961, East Germany erected a wall — initially barbed wire, eventually concrete — in the middle of Berlin to prevent its citizens from fleeing the communist country to West Germany during the height of the Cold War.
It has been reported that 136 people died while trying to escape, but the total number is unknown.
The wall finally came down at the beginning of November in 1989, part of the reunification of East and West Germany.
Here are images from this past weekend’s recognition of the construction of the wall 50 years ago, as well as historic images.
There are 30 photos at that link…
More images here:
Most people can still remember scenes from the wild days and nights of November 1989, when after decades of division, jubilant Germans tore down the Berlin Wall. But fewer can recall how the city looked in the weeks when the wall went up. The bleak undertaking began 50 years ago this month, on Aug. 13, 1961.
In the 12 years before the wall was built, some 2.5 million people fled East Germany to the West, most of them through the divided city of Berlin. The concrete-and-barbed-wire barrier, which eventually stretched 27 miles, separated the Soviet-controlled eastern half of the city from the western sectors administered by Britain, France and the U.S. At least 136 people were killed while trying to cross the border illegally.
One of the people who were there during the grim construction was British photojournalist Don McCullin…
“It could almost have been as if I had wandered into Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin. I met up with the correspondent but we didn’t work together. In the evenings we’d meet and I’d tell him what I’d photographed. I went straight down to Friedrichstrasse and started working with my Rolleicord of course, I was sitting on the biggest story in the world. I saw the East Germans drilling the foundations and building the Wall breeze block by breeze block.
The Americans were facing the East Germans across Friedrichstrasse and there was enormous tension. In places, Berlin looked like the war had finished just the day before. It was turning into the Berlin that John Le Carré was to describe. I watched the international photographers pass through. I was in awe of these professionals. I was like a little camera-club person from north London working with the camera my mother had retrieved from a pawnshop. But fate was waving some magic wand, directing me. It was so exciting. I felt I was in the right place at the right time, I had an almost magnetic emotional sense of direction pulling me to extraordinary places.”
These never before published photographs, made from negatives that were lost for decades, are a powerful record of the disbelieving Germans, witnesses to a wound being opened in world affairs that would take almost 30 years to close.
Now, as you look at these pictures, read this article from 2009…then continue on to the articles about the “new cold war.”
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, nearly one out of five eastern Germans wish it had never come down and preferred living under a communist regime.
According to a poll by the Institute for Market Research in Leipzig, 17 per cent of people in the ex-Communist east agreed with the statement: ‘It would have been better if the Wall had never fallen.’
‘In hindsight, the GDR with its socialism was a better state,’ the respondents also said, referring to the former communist regime.
Celebrations: East German guards look on as people from both sides begin hammering away at the Berlin Wall in 1989. A poll found that one in five eastern Germans wish it had never fallen
In addition, over half of easterners (52 per cent) said they felt like ‘second-class German citizens’ compared to 41 per cent who felt they were treated equally.
Despite this, 72 per cent of people said they were ‘happy to live in the reunified Germany with its social market economy despite all problems there have been rebuilding the east’.
The poll surveyed 1,001 people in the former East Germany as well as in East Berlin.
Slice of history: East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin Wall after demonstrators pulled down the segment at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
On the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Gorbachev says world is on brink of new Cold War | Reuters
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a speech in Berlin on Saturday that East-West tensions over the Ukraine crisis were threatening to push the world into a new Cold War, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Gorbachev, who is credited with forging a rapprochement with the West that led to the demise of communist regimes across Eastern Europe, accused the West, and the United States in particular, of not fulfilling their promises after 1989.
“The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say that it has already begun,” said Gorbachev, who is feted in Germany for his pivotal role in helping create the conditions for the Berlin Wall’s peaceful opening on Nov. 9, 1989, heralding the end of the Cold War.
“And yet, while the situation is dramatic, we do not see the main international body, the U.N. Security Council, playing any role or taking any concrete action.”
As Berliners watch 8,000 balloons being released into the night sky this evening, old divisions between east and west will symbolically vanish into thin air with them. Yet the runup to the festivities has already served up plenty of reminders that, 25 years after the fall of the wall that divided the city for three decades, the scars of history are hurting more than ever.
Speaking at a symposium near the Brandenburg Gate yesterday morning, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the world was “on the brink of a new cold war” and strongly criticised the west for having sown the seeds of the current crisis by mishandling the fallout from the collapse of the iron curtain.
“Instead of building new mechanisms and institutions of European security and pursuing a major demilitarisation of European politics … the west, and particularly the United States, declared victory in the cold war,” said the man behind the Soviet Union’s glasnost and perestroika reforms.
“Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of western leaders. Taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination in the world.”
The enlargement of Nato, Kosovo, missile defence plans and wars in the Middle East had led to a “collapse of trust”, said Gorbachev, now 83. “To put it metaphorically, a blister has now turned into a bloody, festering wound.”
And even though Gorbachev has been outspoken against Putin before…
… Gorbachev backed the current Russian president’s stance over Ukraine, urging western leaders to “consider carefully” Putin’s recent remarks at the Valdai forum : “Despite the harshness of his criticism of the west, and of the United States in particular, I see in his speech a desire to find a way to lower tensions and ultimately to build a new basis for partnership.”
Such strong words of criticism, voiced by the man still affectionately known as “Gorbi” to many in Germany, came at the end of a week which has seen the value of the rouble tumbling dramatically as a result of western sanctions.
“Gorbi” gave an interview to CNN: Gorbachev: World leaders must work together – CNN.com
Speaking to CNN in Berlin, where he is attending anniversary celebrations, Gorbachev called for efforts to rebuild trust between East and West and for leaders to again work together for the common good.
“A lot depends on America, Europe, Russia — they have to work together more productively,” he said.
“We have to reestablish the cooperation and the trust that has been destroyed. We must start by dialogue — we must meet and not just talk past each other.”
Well, another group of people who are refusing to come together…have a dialogue and work something out…are the chief assholes at Dish Network and the folks at Turner.
Check this latest shitfest out…Turner (CNN) /Dish Network dispute heats up | Radio and TV Talk
CNN for decades has been considered a “must carry” network on cable and satellite carriers since the 1980s.
To Dish Network, that isn’t the case anymore. For the past two weeks, its 14 million subscribers (13 percent of CNN’s audience) hasn’t been able to watch the network, including Election night, when CNN usually pulls in big numbers. Seven other Turner networks, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TruTV, are cut off as well because the two sides have not agreed to a deal. (Turner’s more popular TNT and TBS channels are part of a separate deal.)
“When we take something down, we’re prepared to leave it down forever,” Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen said during an earnings call yesterday using unusually sharp words. “Things like CNN are not quite the product they used to be.”
He then mocked their Malaysian plane coverage; “Twenty years ago, CNN was a must-have channel, but it’s not a top 10 network anymore … unless they find the plane, the Malaysian plane,” Ergen added.
Typically, a cable or satellite provider pays certain fees to air cable networks. There are also issues now related to airing those networks in the digital space.
Okay, I will not take any points with the criticisms on CNN, y’all know my beef is with the blackout of TCM. But the thing that gets me is this little nugget of info, emphasis mine:
Turner responded: “We are disappointed in the aggressive nature of comments from the Dish Network, particularly given the fact that Dish agreed to our rates and carriage proposal weeks ago….While there were clearly deal points to get done, they were not the type you would usually go dark over. So it is still unclear to us exactly what this dispute is about.”
Excuse me? WTF? The bastards at Dish agreed to the terms already? But then poof, pffft….something happened and Dish fucks their customers by blacking out channels that those customers are STILL PAYING FOR!
Sorry, I am pissed and I can’t help the yelling.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen was vocal about the satellite giant’s on-going carriage dispute with Turner Broadcasting during the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, saying he is prepared to keep the channels off the service permanently and slamming the performance of channels like CNN.
“When we do take something down, as a company, we’re prepared to leave it down forever,” he said.
Ergen…are you threatening me?
Cause that is what that sounds like…you are talking about the only reason I have your shitty ass service to begin with!
Dish’s removal of the Turner channels was perplexing, Martin said. Dish had all but agreed several weeks ago on a new deal — including fee increases — to carry the Turner channels, he said.
Martin said his company, during negotiations, had been agreeable to allowing Dish to package Turner channels in an Internet streaming service that Dish plans to launch by year’s end.
Now, however, such an arrangement is in doubt.
While there were some loose ends with the contract, Turner executives were under the impression the unresolved issues were not major sticking points.
“To us, it is unclear exactly what the dispute with Dish is,” Martin said.
Other major pay-TV companies had agreed to the same contract terms that Dish walked away from last month, Martin said.
Turner executives were particularly bewildered, Martin said, because Dish executives told them the channels were removed because Turner wouldn’t agree to extend the deadline for negotiations on a second contract.
That contract, which expires at the end of the year, covers the carriage of Turner’s largest channels TNT and TBS.
The dispute is not inconsequential. Dish has more than 14 million subscribers, making it one of the largest pay-TV providers in the country.
Wall Street analysts expressed concern the two sides may not be able to resolve their dispute.
Time Warner executives sought to calm investors.
“We still expect we’ll reach a deal,” Howard M. Averill, the company’s chief financial officer said. “We don’t expect this [dispute] is going to impact our long-term guidance.”
Investors? Again I ask, what about the CUSTOMERS!
Variety did note however, regarding those responses by Turner Broadcasting: Turner CEO Calls Dish’s Charlie Ergen ‘Antagonistic and Aggressive’ | Variety
Martin’s comments came after parent company Time Warner reported higher than projected third quarter earnings.
Deadline has the full comments made by the Asshole in Charge, Chairman Charlie Ergen here: Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen Calls Loss Of CNN And Turner Nets A “Non-Event” | Deadline
One more insight about this: Dish Chairman Talks Turner Split, Blasts Comcast-Time Warner Merger – TheWrap
Ergen also took aim at the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner, saying that he’s “openly against” the two companies combining.
Even so, noting that Turner was an early partner with Dish, Ergen added, “I would bend over backwards for Turner, because they helped us get into” the business.
Discussing the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger, Ergen struck a far less conciliatory tone, saying that the merger would create an unhealthy amount of control in the hands of a single entity.
“You just don’t want one company to have that kind of power over the internet,” Ergen said. “That’s certainly something that would keep us up at night.”
I don’t know…but perhaps this blackout is all about a temper tantrum over the merger? Fuck you Ergen, you know what should be keeping you up at night? The big screw over you are giving your paying customers!
For those of you who are new to the blog, and came here looking for information about the Dish Network/Turner Classic Movies blackout…you can find more links about the dispute here:
Ergen’s “one channel is interchangeable with another” worldview was demonstrated within hours of the blackout when DISH began swapping out Turner networks for replacements with similar programming. TCM with replaced with FXM, formerly the Fox Movie Channel, an advertiser-supported network that programs recent film releases during half its programing day. Not long after I wrote an article condemning DISH for this bait-and-switch, the satcaster began simulcasting MGM HD in TCM’s stead. MGM, which also carries ads, may be a more appropriate substitute than FXM, but it still pales in comparison to TCM’s 24 hours per-day of commercial-free classics.
Oh yeah, you got that right Willie!
With an average subscriber fee of $1.33 (second only to ESPN), the loss of TNT alone from 14.1 million homes would have a impact on Turner’s bottom line, both in affiliate fees and ad revenue. When you add TBS and the other Turner networks, the stakes increase. To put the current dispute in perspective, all eight of the currently blacked-out channels on DISH (excluding TNT and TBS) cost subscribers on average $1.57 per month combined, which equates to only pennies per month, per subscriber for TCM. Think about that the next time you pay a gigantic cable bill strictly because you want to keep watching TCM.
Lost in the gamesmanship and focus on the bottom line is the importance TCM plays in the lives of many of its viewers – this one included. Ergen may dismiss it as “easy to take down” and replaceable with other channels, but reader feedback I’ve received tells a very different story.
Go and check out Will McKinley’s blog to read the comments. Y’all know what my state of depression has gotten down too…without TCM I am lost.
And for other links on this story…hitting MSM:
Time Warner Executives Say It Is “Unclear” What Dish Dispute Is About-Hollywood Reporter
But hey…if you think your other channels are safe, think again…Cause according to this: Dish far apart on contract as deadline nears-source | Reuters CBS is next on the chopping block.
CBS Corp and Dish Network Corp are far apart on talks for a new distribution deal, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, setting up the possibility that the satellite provider’s subscribers could lose access to the most-watched U.S. TV network next month.
The current agreement, signed on January 5, 2012, is set to expire in late November, according to the person. The two sides continue to talk.
CBS and Dish are at odds over the monthly price per subscriber the satellite operator, which has 14 million subscribers, would pay to carry CBS.
According to media consultant SNL Kagan, CBS’s TV stations were averaging 54 cents per subscriber from TV distributors when the Dish deal was signed in 2012. CBS currently averages 89 cents but recent deals have been richer, according to SNL senior research analyst Justin Nielson.
The standoff comes as cable, satellite and telecom video distributors increasingly are playing hard ball with program providers, resisting demands for steep price increases at a time when viewers are being drawn to Netflix and other forms of entertainment.
It is enough to make me want to put up a wall around the TCM headquarters/archives and set up a little commune for all of the Dish’s TCM refugees….
We could turn it into our own little classic movie city…
Who is ready to join me?
Y’all keep up with the weather conditions in your area this coming week!
“I think he can hear you, Ray”
Evening All…it is that time of week again.
From a European Cartonist: Trickle Down Economics by Political Cartoonist Martyn Turner
Not sure what I think of this nest one:
This is an open thread.