Thursday Reads

Good Morning!!

The east coast is getting hit by another big snowstorm. It was snowing in New Jersey all day yesterday, according to Joanelle; and the storm had moved up to Connecticut by early evening, according to Zaladonis. It started outside my house around 8:30PM and it’s supposed to keep coming down until mid-morning. Thank goodness I don’t have to go anywhere till tomorrow.

So what’s happening in the news this morning?

The ACLU didn’t care for the joke President Obama made about TSA patdowns in his SOTU speech.

“Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car,” Obama said. “For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down.”

Awkward laughter and a scattered applause followed as Obama smiled and chuckled.

Moments after the president made the remark, the American Civil Liberties Union fired out a Tweet that read: “President Obama makes funny about TSA pat-downs, but the violations of the Constitution are NO JOKE!”

It was accompanied by a link to a scathing report on the ACLU’s Web site, which noted complaints “from men, women and children who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by these searches, and, in some cases, comparing their psychological impact to sexual assaults.”

I love the ACLU.

There may have been poison in the bomb that was planted along an MLK birthday parade route in Spokane, WA last week.

A bomb maker mixed chemicals with shrapnel in what law enforcement officials say was a weapon designed to inflict maximum injuries during last week’s Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Spokane.

Tests are being conducted to determine the type of chemical and whether it made the bomb potentially more deadly, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Tuesday.

“I know the bomb had some kind of chemical material inside, but we are still trying to figure out what kind. All we know there is a substance,” Knezovich said. “If there was an added dimension, it added to the lethality of it.”

Knezovich said early talks indicated the chemical could have been a compound used in common rat poison. Rat poison has been added to bombs in the Middle East for the stated purpose of acting as an anti-coagulant – which inhibits the ability of bleeding wounds to clot.

A new Gallup poll shows that most Americans don’t want cuts in Social Security, Medicare, education, anti-poverty programs, or defense, but they still want Congress to deal with the deficit before raising the debt limit.

Hmmm….what do they want to cut then? When Gallup looked at the results based on political persuasion, they found that Democrats were more willing to cut defense while Republicans wanted cuts in funding for the arts. Figures….

Glenn Greenwald has a nice post on the bipartisan lack of empathy for whistleblower Bradley Manning. It’s a quiz based on this discussion from the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC.

Go take the quiz. It seems Glenn has the flu. I feel for him, since I had a really bad case recently. Feel better soon, Glenn.

Remember the scam that was used to smear ACORN awhile back? From Alternet, Planned Parenthood may have been targeted with the similar smear campaign.

In what is perhaps one of the most craven actions of a deeply craven movement, anti-choice scam artists apparently affiliated with Live Action Films and Lila Rose of undercover “gotcha film-fame” appear to have attempted an “ACORN-like” hoax on Planned Parenthood Federation of America by sending people into Planned Parenthood health centers in six states posing as sex traffickers seeking health care for young girls who were “part” of their supposed sex trafficking rings.

In response, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder describing the visits and asking for an investigation.

In a statement, PPFA said:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring. Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring. Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.

PPFA reports that men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, “visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame.” The visits were made between January 11th and January 15th to health centers in Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona. “Among them was a clinic in Tucson, Ariz., which Planned Parenthood said was visited on the 15th, a week after [emphasis added] the shooting rampage in that city that critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.


Soooooo…. What are you reading this morning?

42 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. zaladonis says:

    WTF are those fools laughing at, at the end of that Dylan Ratigan Show clip?

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s awful, isn’t it?

      • zaladonis says:

        As if the five minutes weren’t disgusting enough, they actually laugh at the end. There is a young man, an American citizen who joined our military, sitting in isolation without having been charged, without a trial, and those Democrats and Republicans are laughing about it.

        Democrats used to be outraged about this kind of tyranny, Democrats were the ones who fought the Good Fight. Now who’s going to? Who do we vote for when the people, Democratic voters themselves, think oppression is a joke?

        We really are screwed.

    • Woman Voter says:

      My feeling is that they are laughing because they know it would bring this up and the fact that Obama continues onward with these Bush II policies:

      According to a New York Times report, despite a public legal opinion issued in December 2004 that declared torture “abhorrent,” that shortly after Gonzales became Attorney General in February 2005 that the Justice Department issued another, secret opinion which for the first time provided CIA explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures. Gonzales reportedly approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the outgoing deputy attorney general, who told colleagues at the Justice Department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it. According to The Times report, the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums. [15] Patrick Leahy and John Conyers, chairmen of the respective Senate and House Judiciary Committees, requested that the Justice Department turn over documents related to the secret February 2005 legal opinion to their committees for review. [16]

      Gonzales also authored the Presidential Order which authorized the use of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. He fought with Congress to keep Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy task force documents from being reviewed. Gonzales was also an early advocate of the controversial USA PATRIOT Act.

      When Obama came into office neither President Obama or Nancy Pelosi did anything about how the Bush II’s Administration had rewritten the constitution putting the ‘Patriot Act’ on higher ground, without question, if you did you were labeled a ‘traitor’. I tend to agree with Judge Napolitano, the one person on Fox News that get the law of the land right.

      “KGB Tactics Being Used On PFC Bradley Manning Are Obscenely Un-American & Unconstitutional!”

  2. zaladonis says:

    Greenwald’s column is spot-on, and I can answer his question.

    It’s because there isn’t a lick of difference between Obama Democrats and Republicans, and that’s a really distressing thing for someone like me to say because most of my friends are Obama Dems. Liberal principles were tossed under the bus as the light glares down from O’Precious.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Financial crisis was avoidable, says Congressional report:

    The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry.

    The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.

    “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done,” the panel wrote in the report’s conclusions, which were read by The New York Times. “If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

    So, of course, the solution is to loosen regulations, according to Obama….

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      My brain can’t get around all this. Right now they are drilling for a well at what used to be our house. Someone paid 77,000 for it. BOA would not even work with us. I hate them all. The feelings of utter despair and frustration are unbelievable. To know that the President does not care about people like us is…well, you know how much it stinks. When is it all going to get better?

      • Delphyne says:

        Oh, MM – that must hurt you so much. I’m sorry you have to witness that – I would be furious and probably start sticking pins in an effigy of BoA.

      • dakinikat says:

        Drilling for a well? That’s really odd.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Thanks Delphyne, I have stuck so many pins in my BoA voodoo doll, that it is falling apart. I am so impatient about the Wikileaks dump on Bank of America, I wish it would happen.

        Dak, yeah…we tapped into my parents well. When we moved in with them we cut the line. Ah, the joy of living next to a broken dream. The reminders are all around us. This multi-generational home is one unhappy place.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’ve got a rich sister who already has my dad under her wing. I’ve had to rely on her for emergencies now. The only thing keeping me from bag lady dreams is ‘doctor daughter’ and knowing I can still sell my soul to Goldman Sachs if necessary which is some what like saying now that my bodie’s worth nothing on Bourbon I’ll take my mind to the Wall Street stripper poles.

      • Woman Voter says:


        Sorry to hear about that, and it must also be double hard when you supported the candidate that was addressing the housing issues. I remember the Balloon payment debacle back in the Reagan era, Obama’s ‘role model’ and all the pain that caused.

        I also remember the 15% starter loans and the jump after 3 or 5 years by more than 3%.

        Obama is not going to make a dent in the economy until he addresses the housing issue. Why are the banks not re-financing the homes, why are they causing more pain?

      • Sima says:

        Gosh Minx, I’m so sorry to hear this. The pain and frustration must be awful. I’m so sick of hearing of people who have lost, or are losing, their homes. None of the ones I know overfinanced or bought 3 houses, or went to Mexico repeatedly on multiple-mortgage refinancing. They all refinanced to do repairs on the house… now they are homeless.

        I’m so sorry 😦

    • dakinikat says:

      Mark Thomas a short post explaining why over-regulation but under-regulation was the problem.

      By their own admission, the reason that factors 1 and 2 led to factor 3 was “an ineffectively regulated primary mortgage market.” So right away better regulation could have stopped the chain of events the led to the crisis.

      Factor 3 was “nontraditional mortgages that were in some cases deceptive, in many cases confusing, and often beyond borrowers’ ability to pay.” Sure seems like regulation might help to prevent deception and confusion (through, among other things, a financial protection agency). One thing is clear in any case. The market didn’t prevent these things on its own.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    We are not only being “led” by a corrupt two party system dominated by corporate interests but by religious nutjobs – yes, I have no qualms describing them in this fashion – who have no idea of what governing requires beyond inserting their fascist tendencies into the public sector.

    Instead of admitting that we are seriously f*cked by both sides, there are those who flip flop between defending and castigating the Left while doing the same on behalf of the Right. Someone please explain to me why the GOP in its present state of “purging” mainstream Republicanism is going to do a better job at governance by listening to the rantings of Beck and the Tea Partiers led by Jim Demint and Michele Bachmann?

    Obama will go unchallenged in 2012 so we have that to look forward to: 4 more years of Reagan lite, sell out compromises, and more suffering placed upon the backs of the lower and middle class. These are the choices we will be offered in two years. Take your pick.

    The Dem leadership chose this doofus as the nominee in 2008 and the mess he has made has allowed the Right to transform itself into “speaking for the American people”. Wrong! Hardly anyone out there speaks for us and certainly not this group of idiots who have no desire to define the “common good” beyond protecting the very rich whose donations they seek in order to maintain control of power.

    Obama is a sell out. The Right is ridiculous. The congress has been bought and sold. The Dem Party as we knew it no longer exists.

    • zaladonis says:

      Hear, hear!

      Agree 99.99%.

      Only thing I question is whether or not Obama is Reagan lite. I fear he may be full strength.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I never expected to be living in a time when the Democratic Party, a party that has stood up for the working class, would be one I have come to distrust as much as this one has managed to accomplish in just 3 years.

        A party that basically created the middle class through its efforts over the decades is now, because of this stooge in the WH, about to obliterate the gains made on behalf of women, the poor, the elderly, and the sick, by essentially siding with the party that is making every effort to abolish them.

        A true Dem would have thrown out the office of Faith Based Initiatives and overturned the “conscience rule” as a first step toward maintaining the separation of church and state. Instead, by sanctioning those policies we are at the mercy of those zealots bent on the desire to prohibit women from exercising their right to choose, denying healthcare to those unable to afford it, and eliminating the safety net of social security that has long prevented the elderly from living out their last years in poverty.

        And I do not trust Obama for one minute to stand up and hold back this tide of “enforced slavery” as he appears much too willing to display “sympathy” toward the GOPs quest.

        Instead of getting us out of two unnecessary and costly wars he has declared “war” on the rest of us by going along with these proposals in using “bipartisanship” and “compromise” as his platform. He is an idiot!

    • Inky says:

      You said it, Pat! So many people on the blogs refer to themselves as FDR Democrats, which sounds great, but it makes it sound as if there still were a viable New Deal liberal wing of the Democratic party. If only! It reminds me of the people who describe themselves as Rockefeller Republicans–yet another figment of some voters’ imagination.

      And of course, many of us saw all the warning signs back in 2008. Remember this video?

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I love his reference in mentioning “the lack of accountability”. He has yet to make anyone accountable for the problems they brought on either through policies that have caused these present ills, or the financial institutions that took advantage of the public at large by their practices. None.

        To hold Reagan up as a symbol of “change” is ludicrous. He not only rewarded the rich he also conducted a government awash in secrecy if anyone wishes to remember Iran/Contra as just one example of many. How naive to suggest otherwise.

        For many of us listening, that Reagan reference was a definite “red flag” in and of itself. There was nothing at all transformative about the Reagan years, just more of the same when it came to the business of Big Business, a hallmark of the GOP for decades.

        I may be that the plows have just gone by and the end of my driveway -that has been plowed – has just been dumped with four feet of snow! It is doing nothing for my already surly mood that has descended full blast since the SOTU message that reaks of the GOP.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Yes, this interview also had the part where he said he supported the Public Option. HA!

      • Inky says:

        I have to admit that here in NYC I’m enjoying my snow day–gives me a chance to work at home as snug as can be. My condolences to those who got hit harder.

        I forgot the part of the interview where he expressed support for the public option. I do vividly remember, however, the part where he said that he wasn’t hung up on Vietnam–that he was just interested in what works–not like those annoying baby boomers with their crazy 70s love-in kind of approach.

        How’s that boffo military pragmatism of yours working out, Mr. President?

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Obama is a sell out. The Right is ridiculous. The congress has been bought and sold. The Dem Party as we knew it no longer exists.

      Hells Yeah!

    • dakinikat says:

      I just got yet another republican from Kansas telling me that Obama is a liberal when all evidence points to the opposite. Republicans and the right wing are just making up their own set of facts. They’ve found it works on the abortion issue and now their extending it to everything. That includes this daft report they’ve produced as an ‘alternative’ to the other report from the Financial Crisis Inquiry commission. Fannie and Freddie should’ve never been allowed to operate like they did and they made the crisis bigger, but the jump to connect it earlier Clinton Housing initiatives is crazy. It’s like Republicans these days have to take one set of facts and turn in into something completely not true. Same with how they think the 90s were so good because of Reagan–which is completely nuts–or that Reagan was some how a republican purist. Reagan increased taxes by more than any other president in history. He also spent us out of a recessions helped by the FED lowering interest rates after inflation came down. It’s like the exist in a universe with alternate facts.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    If they are so sure that Bradley Manning is guilty of something why don’t they just charge and try him and let the chips fall where they may?

    We are fast turning into another “gulag” if we can do this by ignoring the rule of law so many shed blood over to ensure our rights.

    Oh wait, I forgot, we sanctioned torture during the last administration while the current one preferred to “turn the page”.

    • Woman Voter says:

      They aren’t willing to do that because they haven’t done anything about the video, and what they video shows. What have they done? There has been NO investigation, there have been no interviews and they are going to need another psychologist to assist them in the defense of those that committed the murders.

      Right now the Hillary is working hard

      Clinton Calls for Calm, Restraint in Egypt

      to see what can be done in the region as the people try to gain democracy and their Universal Human Rights. They don’t want anymore dictators, no puppet presidents, and some are even talking about ‘kingdoms’, where all those crooks have run off to. They have learned who is oppressing them and they are none to happy about what they have learned.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re on a roll this morning, Pat! Rant on, girl!

    • Woman Voter says:

      Bradley Manning
      I Have A Dream


  6. Woman Voter says:

    democracynow Democracy Now!
    Activist: Tear Gas, Tanks, Concussion Grenades Used By Police on #Egypt Protests Are Made in U.S.

    Egypt is now getting violent against the protesters seeking Democracy and Universal Human Rights, and are also facing jail terms of 30+ years for demonstrating/protesting their 31 year old dictatorship that has abused them. Women are very active in the movement and see this as their chance for full citizenship in their country.

    • paper doll says:

      Unlike in Tunisia, we are standing behind Mubarak..and so in Egypt they can wail on the populace and they are

      US pursues two-track policy to suppress protests in Egypt and Tunisia

      • Woman Voter says:

        The Law is coming down on the supporters of the protests.

        Five Arrested In U.K. For ‘Anonymous’ Attacks In Support Of WikiLeaks

        “Five people from across the U.K. were arrested early today in connection with a spate of online attacks last month in support of the whistleblowers’ site WikiLeaks,” The Guardian writes. Three of the suspects are teenagers — ages 15, 16 and 19.

        Just as I had suspected, the core group of ‘Anonymous’ are kids, kids who unlike adults still see that these dictators don’t have clothes (Ethics, morals and don’t respect basic Human Rights) and are busy trying to help the oppressed get out their message.

        One barely past 18 years of age, the rest minors, like the 13 year old that they caught on the first round up. Generation Y helping out Generation X.

      • Woman Voter says:

        I just heard on the main news channels what you wrote about and the US thinks that Mubarak will usher in democratic reforms, because the US fears that Egypt is too important strategically and they fear instability in the region.

        The people on the other hand want a fresh start, freedom of the press, free speech, and an elected government by the people that is accountable to the people. They also want transparency and the most amazing part is that they are arm in arm with the Christians there…which is rather a beautiful thing to see from the Generation X and Generation Y people in Egypt.

  7. grayslady says:

    Re the TSA: HuffPo reported the other day that Jessie Ventura has filed a lawsuit after being subjected to a pat-down. Jessie (rightly, IMO) says it’s unconstitutional.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Obama’s speech was dull and did not include the issues that bb outlined yesterday in her essay that would have included – well us as a matter of fact – as the main objective.

    Paul Ryan then took his turn by suggesting that unemployment beneficiaries – out of work not by their own volition – were stretched out in a hammock and living the good life while repeating the usual Right Wing talking points.

    Followed by Michele “I don’t bother with facts when I can pull them out of my butt” Bachmann with her brand of stupidity.

    Then joined by Palin whose idea of “rebuttal” is tangled up in a series of words strung together in desperate need of finding a period to end the agony.

    Toss in a few pundits who marked these events as “heroic” and you will find that the lack of intellect traversing this country is coming into its own.

    Four points of view that encapsulate the reasons all too clearly while we are on a downward trajectory.

    Whereas the Founding Fathers have been described as “brilliant” in their creative thinking, these four alone can only be described as some of the most uncreative people to ever grace the national stage.

    A collection of dunces.

  9. Joanelle says:

    Ah, yes, just what we needed – another 15 inches of snow last night! I have a 2:30 appointment today and my plow guy hasn’t arrived yet – don’t think I get there today.

    The only way out of this is if Hill steps up – but so far that doesn’t seem on the horizon. We can only pray

  10. paper doll says:

    We see how it’s all a clutter F going to hell in a hand basket…the folks at the top however see it all as a huge success. Obama is the MAN…after all the goodies given to them, he’s still talking about even more tax breaks for them…he’s the One alright

  11. Woman Voter says:

    Taliban stone lovers to death

    Taliban are busy stoning a woman and a man to death because they didn’t want to marry who their families chose. Yup, and your tax dollars will be going to support this corrupt non-sense for another 10 years according to what VP Biden said on his last trip. Lack of education is what keeps these types of crimes alive. Human Rights aren’t respected and that is one reason that Afghanistan has the highest number of women setting themselves a light.

  12. dakinikat says:

    and about that ‘Story of O’

    McCain wordsmith revealed as “anonymous” author of “O” the novel. — Confirmed by sources, but there were lots of in-plain-sight clues that led to Salter’s Maine door. —Simon and Schuster topper Jonathan Karp was Salter’s editor on books he did with Senator McCain