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« Liberal Outrage: August 2007 | Main | Liberal Outrage: October 2007 »

Liberal Outrage

A good one

In the run-up to the war, Senator Robert Byrd was one of the few anti-war democrats in congress and he delivered passionate speeches on the floor of the Senate. However, he's an older guy and many people dismissed him as a relic and a crackpot. Now he's the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee! This is one argument for voting for centrist Dems that you don't really like: if they get a majority, you get the good ones in positions of power too. Check out his speech on cutting funding for the war, and then this, where he nearly incited a riot in the Senate. Definitely check out that second link!


By fnord12 | September 28, 2007, 11:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link



Grade A Ass

I'm so disgusted by what Greenspan says in this interview that i don't even have anything to say.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan today said the risk of a US recession had increased, and denied that regulators were caught unawares by the problems which caused the global credit crunch.

In an interview with the BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Greenspan said: "We did know what was going on and the reason we didn't stop them was that to a large extent these types of questionably egregious actions are taken by people who have their own money invested."

"Hedge funds, who are presumably the largest culprit of all of this, are organisations in the US in which wealthy investors invest," he said. "I must admit that I do not have considerable concern about their net worth going from 40 million to five million, which in many cases is what's happened."


...


He argued that people generally benefit from movements in financial markets. "Financial markets tend to be increasingly complex and volatile. That volatility actually contributes to the stability of the real economy, that is levels of production and employment."

He added he hoped that people realise that "standards of living are higher because of it".

Grrr.....


By min | September 28, 2007, 11:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



We need a better news media

Min just got through describing to me how the US teamed up with India and China to block new anti-pollution measures at the UN, and what do i see as the headline?:

Rice urges nations to find cleaner fuels.

Sure they mention the Team-Up (if you make it to paragraph six) but the headline makes us sound like leaders on the global warming issue when the opposite is true.


By fnord12 | September 27, 2007, 11:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Childrens Do Learn

Bush made his latest grammatical slip-up at a made-for-TV event where he urged Congress to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, the centerpiece of his education policy, as he touted a new national report card on improved test scores.
...
During his first presidential campaign, Bush -- who promised to be the "education president" -- once asked: "Is our children learning?"

On Wednesday, Bush seemed to answer his own question with the same kind of grammatical twist.

"As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured," he said.

The White House opted to clean up Bush's diction in the official transcript.


...


Just a day earlier, the White House inadvertently showed how it tries to prevent Bush from making even more slips of the tongue than he already does.

As Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, a marked-up draft of his speech briefly popped up on the U.N. Web site, complete with a phonetic pronunciation guide to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders.

Link

To have the names of foreign leaders and countries phonetically spelled for you so you know the proper way to pronounce them isn't really something to criticize. Afterall, if it's a language you don't know, ofc it'll be hard to pronounce the names. What is something to be criticized and ridiculed is that our president still gets the pronunciation wrong. He's just that "special," folks.


By min | September 26, 2007, 2:31 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



9/11 Tourettes

Who loves the Jon Stewart??? Everybody loves the Jon Stewart!!


By min | September 26, 2007, 12:44 PM | Liberal Outrage & TeeVee | Comments (0)| Link



The Pot and the Kettle

Does anybody else feel it's a tiny bit ironic that Bush was giving a speech at the U.N. on Tuesday criticizing Myanmar for violating human rights and severely restricting "[b]asic freedoms of speech, assembly and worship"? I mean, yes i'm typing this blog post here criticizing the president for being a jackass and i'm prolly not going to get picked up by the gestapo or shot on the street by the police for it, but what with the Patriot Act, the wiretapping, Guantanamo, and the secret prisons where the inmates are tortured for information, wouldn't you expect just a tiny little bolt of lightning to strike the spot where he was standing? Proof again - no God.

Also, it has to be embarassing for the neocons to have their guy spouting this stuff about rights and freedoms. Guiliani should give him a call and let him know that "[f]reedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do." Not to mention plungers and racial profiling.


By min | September 26, 2007, 12:22 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (3)| Link



60 is the new 51

A few years ago, when Republicans held a slight majority over Democrats in the Senate, whenever Democrats even thought the word "filibuster", a frenzy erupted. It was obstruction! It was an abuse of their powers! It was a denial of the will of the people!

Now that it's the Democrats who hold the slight majority, every issue is discussed as if in order for anything to pass in the Senate, 60 votes (the number that would override a filibuster, should one occur) seems to be required. Check out this AP article:

The Senate narrowly rejected legislation on Wednesday that would have given military detainees the right to protest their detention in federal court.

The 56-43 vote against the bill, by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., fell four votes shy of the 60 needed to cut off debate

The vote wasn't 56-43 against the bill. It was 56-43 in favor of the bill. But the framing, now that Democrats have control of the Senate, is completely backwards. This isn't just a stray mistake by the AP. It's the same on Fox, CNN, even C-SPAN. And it's not just on the restoration of habeas corpus issue. The same framing (the Democrats don't have the 60 votes needed) is being used on the anti-war legislation currently being considered. While the Democrats were considered out of bounds for even considering filibusters, the Republicans filibuster by default.

Also, it seems to me the Democrats are (as usual) letting the Republicans off easy on this. First of all, they aren't using the same rhetoric ("Why, do you know what the filibuster was used for in the past? It was used to delay the passage of the Civil Rights act!") the Republicans were. More importantly, they don't seem to actually make the Republicans go through with the threat. I'm sure i don't understand all the arcane Senate procedures, but if the Republicans are saying they're gonna filibuster, make them do the full 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington / ranting and raving from the floor of the Senate until they pass out' thing before you fold.

A majority of Senators are in favor of these bills. A majority of Americans are in favor of these bills. Republicans have a responsibility to represent their constituents as well, but they shouldn't get preferential treatment.


By fnord12 | September 19, 2007, 2:14 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Saggy Pants Drama

Fnord and i were just talking about this in the car yesterday. I had read elsewhere how more and more cities are trying to include sagging pants in the "indecency" laws. I think it's a waste of time and akin to the 60s when the "adults" kept telling the "dirty hippies" to get a haircut. The style of sagging pants has been "in" since the 90s when i was in school. I think it looks dumb. I think it'd be funny to line a bunch of kids up at the bottom of a staircase and make them race to the top with their pants hanging down to their knees. But if they're not exposing body parts, i don't see it as an indecency issue. If it's boxers and not butt, then i don't see why you would need to legislate this.

This article makes claims that it's a) corrupting the younger kids and b) distracting in schools. For the first claim, there's a certain age range where kids should be under their parents' edict as to what they can and can't wear (pretty much up until puberty and then all you can say is "yeah, good luck with that"). I think that's a parenting issue and we don't need legislation to "protect" them. As for the second.....the only distracting thing i remember from when i was in high school was the big stink the faculty made about it. The kids in the class aren't sitting there not paying attention to the math lesson because half the guys have their boxers hanging out, ok? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's prolly the math that's got them half dazed. I like math and i'm saying this.

Exposed bra in a classroom - now that could be distracting. Some guy's plaid boxers and baggy pants? So much less entertaining.

And if you want to talk about indecency, ever since they introduced these low-rise/hip hugger pants to chicks, i've been subjected to no end of plumber crack. How come nobody's legislating this to protect my delicate sensibilities? MY EYES, MY EYES!!! ARRGGHHH!!!!

Leave the kids alone with their wacky styles. It's not hurting anyone. It's not going to make them more likely to join a gang, commit a crime, do drugs. And if it does, they'll be that much easier to catch cause it's really hard to run when your pants are hanging down at your knees.


By min | September 17, 2007, 3:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



More "Too Little, Too Late"

Like every retired politician who sees a way of cashing in on their "experiences," Greenspan has put out a book that criticizes Bush's economic policy, his tax cuts for the rich, his aiding and abetting over-spending, and the invasion of Iraq. Thanks alot. Your observations on the invasion of Iraq are so helpful at this point and time, 4 years too late. And coming out and saying it was a bad idea to cut taxes - it might have been a wee bit more helpful if you'd said that in 2001 instead of endorsing Bush's plan, you prick.

The Bush administration's response is one of innocent confusion - "It's so strange. We don't know why Greenspan would say such things. They're clearly not true. Look at the pretty colors. But, we still think he did a bang up job when he worked at the Fed. And the happy happy sheep."


By min | September 17, 2007, 12:44 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Iraq kicks Blackwater mercenaries out of country

Nothing i like less than the idea of private armies that are accountable to no one but the corporation paying for them, so this is a good thing.


By fnord12 | September 17, 2007, 10:14 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



I was wondering this too

Yesterday you may have seen an article about a B-52 that mistakenly flew across the US armed with nukes. Seemed like an odd incident. How would anyone find out, and why so much fuss? Felt a little like a leak, but what did it mean?

Larry Johnson has some interesting speculation:

Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can't imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations? His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.

Now maybe there is an innocent explanation for this? I can't think of one. What is certain is that the pilots of this plane did not just make a last minute decision to strap on some nukes and take them for a joy ride. We need some tough questions and clear answers. What the hell is going on? Did someone at Barksdale try to indirectly warn the American people that the Bush Administration is staging nukes for Iran? I don't know, but it is a question worth asking.


By fnord12 | September 6, 2007, 4:51 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Bush Knew

No weapons in Iraq. Knew it from the beginning. Lied to you. Lied about the weapons, lies now when he says that Congress had the same info he had (Congress should've been able to figure it out anyway, but still).


By fnord12 | September 6, 2007, 4:46 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (4)| Link



Good 'ol Jersey

11 N.J. officials arrested on corruption

I'm surprised this even made the news. Politicians in Jersey are always getting arrested for corruption. Even my old CCD* teacher, Mr. Abate.


*Holy crap! CCD stands for "Confraternity of Christian Doctrine"! I never knew that. That's the craziest way to say "Sunday School except it's not on Sunday" that i've ever seen.


By fnord12 | September 6, 2007, 4:10 PM | Liberal Outrage & My stupid life | Comments (7)| Link



Who Let Laura Bush Out of Her Dollhouse?

Link


"I think this is sort of one of those myths: that I was baking cookies and then they fell off the cookie sheet and I called Ban Ki Moon," she said in the interview, held in her office in the East Wing, where the book shelves are filled with the trappings of her more familiar public persona: children's books.

I doubt she actually knows how to bake cookies, but as fnord pointed out, we'll never know cause she keeps dropping them.


By min | September 6, 2007, 12:24 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



When Sharks Smell Blood...

Not ones to rest on their laurels, credit card companies are taking advantage of the subprime mortgage problem. While the number of subprime mortgage defaults rise, credit card companies are increasing their pursuit of subprime borrowers. As lenders finally realize giving subprime mortgages is a bad idea, the option for borrowers to refinance is declining, thus leaving them unable to borrow against their homes to get extra cash for paying off bills. In steps the credit card company, more than willing to use a bad situation to turn a profit. How do you help a person drowning in debt? Give them more debt.

But card issuers say the flurry of marketing to subprime borrowers is a sign of healthy competition. Keith Leggett, a senior economist at the American Bankers Association, said direct mail offers were typically intended to lure customers who have credit cards away from competitors. This means better rates and terms for borrowers.

"Consumers should be grateful that we have a very competitive market," he said.

The reality is the subprime borrowers will mostly likely get a really bad deal on the interest rate because of their poor credit. Couple the high interest with the fact that they are also most likely to just make the minimum payments every month. The higher the interest rate, the smaller the percentage of the monthly payment going to pay down the principle. The less you pay to the principle, the longer the credit card company has you leg-shackled to them, paying out more in interest than what you borrowed in the first place. Which could conceivably put you in a worse financial situation than the one you were in before you signed up for their wonderful "deal". It's a lovely cycle, isn't it?


By min | September 6, 2007, 9:42 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link



Impartial Proselytising

BBC recently decided to drop a day of programming about environmental issues because 2 senior execs (Peter Horrocks - head of TV news - and Peter Barron - Newsnight editor) raised complaints that it was impartial. Horrocks is quoted saying it is not BBC's job to "proselytise" and lead a campaign to "save the planet" . They will, however, continue to provide "documentary style" programming on the issue. As long as they don't start to give equal time and consideration for every argument on any issue regardless of its basis in reality (e.g. evolution vs ID) that our media seems to equate with impartiality then we're ok.


By min | September 6, 2007, 9:40 AM | Liberal Outrage & TeeVee | Comments (0)| Link



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