Friday Reads: What Fresh Hells?

Good Morning!

Well, the extremist Christianists are still at it.  While our military is off fighting against religioust extremism in the middle east, we need to start fighting it at home.  Once again, religious hysteria overtakes reason, reality, and women’s and medicine’s ability to make decisions.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) announced today that he will not veto an anti-abortion bill that restricts doctors and hospitals from performing an abortion on a “viable fetus.” The new law eliminates Missouri’s “general health exception” that allowed abortions to preserve the life or health of the woman. Come Aug. 28 when the law goes into effect, abortions will only be allowed “to save the woman’s life or when the pregnancy poses a serious risk of permanent physical harm to a major bodily function.” This narrow exception effectively eliminates a woman’s mental health as a justifiable reason and runs headlong into the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey which only permits such bans “provided the life or health of the mother is not at stake,” a much more comprehensive definition of a woman’s health. Doctors who violate this new law “could face prison sentences of up to seven years, fines up to $50,000 and the loss of their medical licenses.

This week the NRC has released a report outlining the problems with the nation’s aging nuclear plants that could give us a Fukushima-style meltdown.

Last month, we reported on the widespread deficiencies found in the procedures and equipment the country’s 104 commercial nuclear reactors are supposed to rely on in the event of a catastrophe like the one that hit the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant in Japan.

This week, a special task force of Nuclear Regulatory Commission experts proposed to do something about those problems and other safety issues raised by the Fukushima disaster, where the fuel in three reactors melted down and an unknown amount of radioactive materials escaped into the surroundings.

The NRC’s Japan Task Force said that U.S. nuclear plants are safe but called for potentially sweeping and costly changes to protect against catastrophic events like earthquakes and long-term blackouts.

The panel’s 83-page report calls for upgrades at many plants and broad revisions to what it called a “patchwork” of NRC regulations governing catastrophic events that need to be streamlined.

Groups ranging from nuclear industry representatives to nuclear power critics and regulators cautioned that the NRC report is only the first step in what will almost certainly be a long process of adopting lessons from the Fukushima disaster, where three reactors partially melted down.

That’s not very high on the list of priorities for GOP rep Sandy Adams from the backwoods of Florida.  She’s shocked and upset that the DOE teaches children about energy efficiency and those damned light bulbs.  Out! OUT! Damned light bulbs!

Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.) has introduced an amendment to the Energy and Water spending bill that would limit funds for any DOE website “which disseminates information regarding energy efficiency and educational programs to children or adolescents.”

The “Energy Kids!” site has a potpourri of energy-related information for kids, parents and teachers, ranging from science fair project suggestions to puzzles, an activity book and scavenger hunt. Kids can even earn a certificate for completing an expedition with “Energy Ant.”

In introducing her amendment Thursday night, Adams flipped through blown-up charts of cartoons and jokes from various DOE websites, including the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s “Kids Saving Energy.”

“How did Benjamin Franklin feel when he discovered electricity? He was shocked,” she said, reading from a poster.

It’s unclear how much money taxpayers would save from removing the sites, and Adams said she was frustrated with Energy Secretary Steven Chu for not providing her with those details.

The House is set to vote on the amendment Friday.

The House is adding this important issue to it’s agenda that includes passing a Dirty Water Act and evidently those damned lightbulbs that Republicans like Adams and Bachmann have become obsessed with have to go too!!  I guess caring about the environment is an act of Satan.

On Wednesday, the House approved the cynically named “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act,” a bill that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to oversee state water quality standards and to take action when the states fail to measure up. This bill is not about protecting states’ powers. It is about allowing industries, farmers and municipalities to pollute.

Among its chief sponsors are John Mica, Republican of Florida, who is angry at the E.P.A.’s recent crackdown on the agricultural pollutants that are destroying the Everglades, and Nick Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia, who is furious at the agency’s effort to stop mountaintop mining from poisoning his state’s rivers and streams.

President Obama has rightly threatened to veto the bill if it survives the Senate. Absent federal oversight, states are likely to engage in a race to the bottom, weakening environmental rules to attract business.

This assault on the Clean Water Act reminded us, briefly, of 1995, when a Republican-controlled House under Newt Gingrich tried to undermine the same law. That effort enraged independent voters and energized moderate Republicans.

One of the most interesting stories is the seemingly inevitable fall of the media empire built by Murdoch.  The FBI has opened an inquiry on wiretapping if 9-11 families similar to ones that plague Murdoch’s holdings in the UK. Murdoch is using the Wall Street Journal as his mouthpiece at the moment.

While it is unclear if the review will expand into a full investigation, the FBI’s involvement heightens the scrutiny faced by the media giant, which is under intense fire in Britain over allegations that its journalists hacked into the phones of thousands of people.

The FBI probe also raises the politically delicate possibility that the Obama administration— which has questioned the objectivity of News Corp.’s Fox News — could bring criminal charges against employees of the network’s parent company. Murdoch is a political conservative, and last year he directed a $1 million contribution to the Republican Governors Association on behalf of News Corp.

U.S. officials cautioned that it is too soon to tell if charges will be filed, and they indicated that the probe could face a range of complexities, including jurisdictional issues and statutes of limitation that may have expired. Federal investigators also are expected to consult with their counterparts in Britain, which could slow their pace.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is unfolding.

Here’s hoping we lose enough Murdoch franchises in the world to bring back some truth and honesty in media.  If Roger Ailes goes down in all of this, that will just be frosting on the triple chocolate brownies. Speaking of Fox and egos from the fascist right, Bill O’Reilly has offered to broker the debt talks.  What’s next?  Rush Limbaugh painting smoke messages across the skies of Tripoli stating surrender Ghadafi?

“So now I am offering to broker the debt compromise. I’ll go down there. I’m ready to answer the call. Because I’m looking out for you. Not some crazed ideology or political party,” O’Reilly said.

Earlier in the segment, O’Reilly bashed the president and congressional Democrats’ “spending madness” as well as Michele Bachmann and other tea party-affiliated Republicans, whose current stance is against raising the U.S. debt limit no matter the deal.

O’Reilly’s debt plan would eliminate tax loopholes — with no increase in income taxes — as well as at least $2 trillion in immediate spending cuts. He believes discussion on entitlement spending must wait until after the 2012 election.

On Wednesday, Carney name-dropped the influential commentator as a constructive voice during the discussions.

“There is a growing chorus out there, of Republicans and Conservatives who acknowledge that we need to do this in a balanced way,” Carney said. “Bill O’Reilly on Fox News expressed that sentiment last night.”

Okay, with that, I’ll ask what’s on your blogging and reading list today?


45 Comments on “Friday Reads: What Fresh Hells?”

  1. Tim says:

    Kat, when exactly did the crazies take over in your country? I facepalmed myself so much reading this article it left a mark.

    • dakinikat says:

      They’ve been taking over the republican party since the 1980s. They’re just getting more full metal crazy all the time. I think we should bring the troops home from the Al quaeda fight and send their equivalents there instead. Dobson, Robertson and bacmann should be on the front lines. Extremists v. Extremistsl

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    No idea what “Tim” is talking about but that’s okay.

    Seems like most of what passes for discourse these days is typical b.s. shrouded in absurdity and glossed over with religous crapola as the candidates try to impress us with their version of who worships the best.

    Maybe “facepalming” is just form of “sanctimonious drivel” we’ve come to expect from the Fruit Loop Brigade.

    • dakinikat says:

      Its that look of horror you get when you read something insane. Like that munsch painting where the guy is screaming and his palms are to his face or the kid in home alone.

  3. Tim says:

    I thought facepalming had entered the public conciousness, sorry. It’s when you hear something so moronic that you have to hit your face with the palm of your hand and hope that it knocks it straight out of your ears. I think Sandy Adams was the worst.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    “The US is holding the whole world hostage”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,774666,00.html

    • paper doll says:

      With no solution to the US debt crisis in site, the rest of the world is starting to get nervous. German commentators urge congressional leaders to get their act together. A US default would have catastrophic consequences, they warn.

      All part of the global over load kabuki to make the end of our safety nets seem “reasonable” . Weather we go in default or everything is given away, it’s a win /win for the global top.99999…they can’t lose with Obama at the helm

  5. paper doll says:

    So now I am offering to broker the debt compromise. I’ll go down there. I’m ready to answer the call. Because I’m looking out for you. Not some crazed ideology or political party,” O’Reilly said.

    Thanks for the laugh, I needed that!

    • paper doll says:

      I just hope O’Reilly packs enough loofah sponges …this is a big job! lol!

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Lol.
        I hope he doesn’t eat the loofah and scrub himself with the falafel.
        Or do I?

  6. paper doll says:

    Where Obama’s axe will fall

    http://tinyurl.com/69qrsjm

    ….While liberal political apologists for Obama, from the New York Times to the Nation magazine, portray him as engaging in a titanic struggle to defend social programs from Republican budget-slashers, Obama’s own spokesman reiterates his commitment to massive social spending cuts….

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Obama’s press conference on now.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Obama’s preferred option is to make “progressively harder decisions.” “We can fix this thing for a decade or more.” No specifics….

  9. bostonboomer says:

    He has no idea what Boehner and McConnell are willing to do at this point.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Obama: things didn’t get ugly, basicly implies that Cantor’s “feelings got hurt.” American people don’t care about “reality TV aspects of this.”

  11. bostonboomer says:

    He didn’t like everything the Catfood Commission recommended. Obama thinks we need to cut defense spending, but we still have these wars that are “winding down.” ????

    Need to cut domestic spending. No specifics….

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Obama says 80% of American people support a “balanced approach,” meaning cuts and revenues both. I don’t know where he got the numbers.

    It’s the matter of Congress doing the right thing.

    I sure wish he’d mention some specifics….

    • WomanVoter says:

      Just like people believe he got more votes in the primary than Hillary. LIES. He is still talking about cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (So, people that lost their insurance after his Insurance Company give away, that allowed them to raise our rates will be at the Free Clinics.).

  13. bostonboomer says:

    Some moran asking about a balanced budget amendment.

    Obama says we don’t need it, and he already addressed this. We don’t need a Constitutional amendment to do our jobs.

  14. bostonboomer says:

    The good news is “we don’t have to do anything radical to solve this problem. We’re not Greece, we’re not Portugal.

    He’s actually talking sense now. We had tax cuts that we’re paid for, two wars that weren’t paid for, Medicare D that wasn’t paid for. Wealthiest individuals need to pay more, and corporations need to lose unnecessary subsidies.

    We don’t have to gut Medicare or Social Security or student aid or help for families with disabled children. Just some “modest adjustments to get our house in order.”

  15. bostonboomer says:

    On McConnell plan, he guesses it’s better than nothing if we have to “avert armageddon.” but not the best idea.

  16. bostonboomer says:

    We just need to use some common sense. He still thinks Congress will eventually listen, but his voice rises in frustration.

  17. bostonboomer says:

    Another moran asking about “changing the tone of Washington.”

    Obama: I’m not trying to poke at you guys. He doesn’t watch what they say about him on cable or on the hill. He has a think skin. He doesn’t care what McConnell says about him, he just wants to get something done.

    This is urgent.

  18. bostonboomer says:

    “Perspective of what’s good for the country.”

    um….jobs?

  19. bostonboomer says:

    Mentions infrastructure bank idea. These ideas should be bipartisan. Trade deals that Republicans wanted, but now they’re holding them up.

  20. bostonboomer says:

    Obama confident that he will win the debate with the Republican nominee. For now, he would like to sit down with Republicans and do something to help American people.

    He is going to keep on working and trying. Hopes American people are now paying attention and will put pressure on Congress. My way or the highway isn’t acceptible to American people and they will remember it at the polls.

  21. JeanLouise says:

    I definitely heard him say that Medicare was on the table. Putz.

    I left the room after that. Thanks for the rundown, BB.

    • WomanVoter says:

      People that are concerned about Seniors, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid need to See the Graph of the National Budget here: –>via @Yago32 #US NATIONAL BUDGET
      paosnet.blogspot.com
      http://paosnet.blogspot.com/

      Yes, he doesn’t care about the working people, the Rank & File Democrats, he is the President of the RICH GREEDOS!

  22. JeanLouise says:

    I’m a volunteer guardian-ad-litem for abused and neglected children. I just got an e-mail that the appropriations committe want to cut our funding down to 1995 rates. We get a pitiful amount of money to start with. Our attorney superfvisors are always turning over because we pay them so little.

    God forbid that someone who owns five houses might have to down the air conditioning when they’re not there just so abused or neglected children can have someone to make sure that they don’t fall through the cracks,

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, well, as I’ve said many times, children are not valued in this country. Bless you for the work you do!

    • WomanVoter says:

      People that are concerned about Seniors, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid need to See the Graph of the National Budget here: –>via @Yago32 #US NATIONAL BUDGET
      paosnet.blogspot.com
      http://paosnet.blogspot.com/
      If you look at the graph Social Security is sound, it is all the other things that are taking the $$, and notice how little the RICH contribute! Yup, they are trying to put seniors in the street, and Steal the Social Security Trust Fund of 2.3 Trillion dollars!

      Obama is doing someone’s bidding, but it isn’t the working people’s nor the work of TRUE Democrats. He blocked the Public Option, the Medicare Buy In and set up the CAT COMMISSION…

    • paper doll says:

      Indeed bless you for your work! But as far as our ‘leaders ” go, the faster those kids fall down the hole, the better….but you knew that

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      What BB said…”that’s the truff.”

  23. paper doll says:

    Maybe when the nursing homes call the families and say” come get your mother , or she’ll be put on the curb .” , people might do something. Between my heath issues and my Mom’s , I’d be calling 911 within the hour…that is if there still was a 911

  24. dakinikat says:

    We’re free from the government sponsored lightbulbs of Satan !!!

    The House on Friday morning moved to block federal light bulb efficiency standards without even a roll call vote.

    An amendment from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) defunding the Energy Department’s standards for traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient starting next year was approved rather anticlimactically by voice vote.

    The success of the amendment appeared inevitable in the House, where the fate of the incandescent light bulb became a symbol in the fight against federal regulations.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59093.html#ixzz1SD1LfLyB

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Ha ha…

      where the fate of the incandescent light bulb became a symbol in the fight against federal regulations.

      Like the wire hanger has become a symbol of the fight against the PLUBs.

  25. B Kilpatrick says:

    The military is off fighting for empire. Religious extremism is merely a convenient excuse.