Monday edition - February 9, 2009
GOP seeking to end ban on some donation limits
Iraqi shoe thrower due in court
AP CEO urges better press access to military ops
I don’t want to just ruin everybody’s day, but there is discouraging news everywhere. Unemployment is high. Foreclosure rate is high. Michael Phelps is high. - David Letterman
The-World-Will-Be-A-Safer-Place-Without George W. Bush
US military deaths in Afghanistan region at 573 International Herald Tribune
Military: 2 injured in accidental Iraq shooting
Iraqis Say US Patrol Killed Girl, 8, in Crowd New York Times, United States
Rewarding Electrical Failures!
A defense contractor has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work even though it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two American soldiers in Iraq.
The contractor, KBR, announced last week that it had won a $35.4 million contract from the Army Corps of Engineers to design and build a convoy support center at Camp Adder in southern Iraq. The center will include a power plant and an electrical distribution center.
"I'm very excited" and "I think everybody is about the Obama Administration. I mean they get in there, they're doing stuff. They're...active. They're not reactive. They're actually out there doing stuff, as opposed to being squirrelly and defensive all the time. I mean, we had eight years of defensive squirrels." - David Letterman
Death Toll in Australian Fires Climbs to 131 New York Times
Ann Coulter and Her Voting Habits
Ann Coulter is being probed.
Following our Jan. 11 column, Connecticut’s Elections Enforcement Commission is
making a “thorough investigation” of whether the conservative pundit broke the
by voting in the Nutmeg State while living in New York City, according to a
This Isn't The First Time Ann Has Tangled With Voting officials - November 2006
Conservative columnist Ann
has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong
precinct, so the case will probably be
turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.
Wait, Wait, There's More from 2007
Conservative pundit Ann
Coulter has been cleared of allegations that she falsified her Palm Beach County
voter’s registration and voted illegally — this, after a high-level FBI agent
made unsolicited phone calls to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to vouch
But wait, it gets still better:
County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson, meanwhile, decried what he called “FBI intrusion.”
"Starting a war over a baseless argument. Bringing a government in surplus into adding more national debt than all the previous presidents put together. Oh, yeah. Letting an economic boom under Clinton become an economic catastrophe. If that's dressing for success, I'd prefer shirt sleeves."- Chris Matthews, MSNBC commenting on Obama going jacketless in the Oval Office
The last administration failed miserably. So they whine about dress codes
It came out today that the House Democratic Caucus spent $500,000 of taxpayers’ money for retreats at luxury resorts and spas. The Democrats say the time was used for strategic planning for the country. So, the resorts are being used for strategic planning. Really? Then what is the Capitol building for? Hello?! Hello?! Isn’t this work?- Jay Leno
Former Hillary foe Rick Lazio says losses might save New York GOP New York Daily News, NY
Me-ow! Ann Coulter hits Michelle Obama over styles New York Daily News, NY
60% of GOP Officially Nuts According to Poll
Gallup has just released a
major finding: Nearly one-quarter of Republicans have an unfavorable view of
The flamboyant conservative radio talker does have a solid 60% of Republicans in his corner, compared with only 6% of Democrats who say they view him favorably and 63% who don't.
Fort Myers residents line up early to see Obama on Tuesday The Miami Herald
Lawmakers unveil gay marriage bill Rutland Herald, VT
Blagojevich looks like a guy who runs out of bullets and then throws his gun at Superman. - David Letterman
Greed Is Good!
Barack Obama was right when he said, referring to the bonus payments, “That is
the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.”
Shameful? Yes. Surprising? Not in the least.
Senator Claire McCaskill, on the Senate floor, observed, “We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street, that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer … they don’t get it … these people are idiots … what planet are these people on? What could they be thinking about? … I don’t think any of us thought these guys were this stupid.”
Believe it, Senator. “These guys” care about money and themselves, in either order. That’s all. And it’s not stupidity, it’s greed. You didn’t think these guys were this greedy? Think again.
Pic O' The Week
Who Says Republicans are Technological Neanderthals?
Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra on Friday showed just how hip he is by twittering his arrival in Iraq.
“Just landed in Baghdad,” he wrote. “I believe it may be the first time I’ve had BlackBerry service in Iraq.”
Problem is, it was a secret trip.
President Obama took time out from his busy day to read a book to a group of second graders. Did you see that on the news? It was a fairy tale about a cabinet nominee who once paid all his taxes. - Jay Leno
Ads by Google
Oil slips below $40 as stock markets ease Reuters UK, UK
Gold slips to $900 Reuters
Drug Made In Milk of Altered Goats Is Approved
Creepy Conservatives Coagulate
Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, and Sarah Palin to Speak at CPAC
The annual CPAC convention of conservatives is expected to be a sellout because two huge names are coming to deliver red-meat speeches: Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. We've got the whole list for you below. Limbaugh will play clean-up, speaking last...
Palin/Limbaugh 2010! Would that excite the base or what?- Zing!
Rendition case in SF to test Obama policies San Francisco Chronicle
The Elephants Are Lying Mad
Those who have watched cable
news lately have undoubtedly noticed conservative media figures attempting to
rewrite history by denigrating the successes of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal
policies. This amounts to an orchestrated effort to derail the economic recovery
plans of President Barack Obama.
Fox News' Brit Hume recently claimed that "everybody agrees, I think, on both sides of the spectrum now, that the New Deal failed."...Witness the machinations of those on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." During a recent broadcast, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski kicked off a string of attacks against the recovery plan, using the New Deal as their dubious weapon du jour....Joe isn't alone. Conservative columnists George Will and Mona Charen have played the same numbers game to falsely claim the New Deal failed to reduce unemployment.
Family of slain contractor sues Halliburton, KBR KVOA.com, AZ
listen to this — according to the Wall Street Journal, the city of Las Vegas
wants to use $2 million worth of the economic stimulus package for neon signs. I
just hope it doesn’t make the city look tacky.- Jay Leno
In case you missed it …
In its tireless effort to provide news and giggles for its readers, All Hat No Cattle now offers this Monday glimpse back at the previous week. This will include the weekend dump (we are referring to the time preferred by government agencies, politicians and titans of industry to release unsavory news in the hope that it will receive less media coverage – not a bathroom activity).
Senate to pass economic stimulus plan but must pass more gas first
WASHINGTON (AP) – One of President Barack Obama's top economic advisers forecast Sunday a difficult struggle with Congress over Senate cuts of $40 billion for state and local governments from the administration's massive spending and tax cut package to stimulate the failing economy.
The $827 billion Senate version of the plan — designed to bring the economy out of the worst downward spiral since the Great Depression — was expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday. The House had already passed its $819 billion version of the measure.
Lawmakers were likely to begin reconciling those differences later this week, with Obama still pressing to have the stimulus measure on his desk for signing by mid-month.
But without the infusion of federal money to state and local governments, the country may still face "a vicious cycle of layoffs, falling home values, lower property taxes, more layoffs," said Lawrence Summers, chairman of the White House National Economic Council.
The Senate measure was pared back from more than $900 billion to entice a handful of necessary Republican votes in support of the legislation. The House bill passed without a single Republican vote in its favor, a rebuke to Obama's vow to take the debilitating partisan heat out of Washington politics.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said he expects Obama's stimulus package to pass the Senate, but he warned that it could damage the U.S. economy in the future.
A stark critic of Obama's approach to repairing the badly damaged economy, Cornyn said he believes passing the measure with minimal Republican support must be a major disappointment to Obama. He argued that the president's stimulus package is loaded with pet Democratic spending projects and is "just spending as far as the eye can see."
And the world is flat, too!
BERLIN (AFP) – A bishop under fire for denying the Holocaust wants to examine the historical evidence before any possible renunciation of his belief that not a single Jew died in Nazi gas chambers, a report said.
"If I find proof I would rectify (earlier statements)... But all that will take time," Bishop Richard Williamson was quoted as saying by the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel.
The British-born bishop denied the existence of the gas chambers in an interview with Swedish television two days the pope lifted his ex-communication last month.
"I believe there were no gas chambers... I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers," Williamson said.
"There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies!"
Meanwhile, the bishop of Innsbruck in western Austria, Manfred Scheuer, said that the Vatican should learn lessons from the episode, which provoked a storm of criticism.
Want some jelly with that peanut butter?
WASHINGTON (AP) – As far back as 2007, salmonella-laced products were shipped by a Georgia peanut company that knew the peanuts probably were tainted and sometimes after tests confirmed that contamination, inspection records show.
Federal law forbids producing or shipping foods under conditions that could make it harmful to consumers' health.
Food and Drug Administration officials earlier had said Peanut Corp. of America waited for a second test to clear peanut butter and peanuts that initially were positive for salmonella. But the agency amended its report Friday, saying that the Blakely, Ga., plant actually shipped some products before receiving the second test and sold others after confirming salmonella.
The salmonella outbreak has been blamed for at least eight deaths and 575 illnesses in 43 states. The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation. More than 1,550 products have been recalled.
The USDA abruptly suspended all business with the company this week. It shipped some of the company's potentially contaminated peanut butter and peanuts to eight states, including school lunch programs in California, Minnesota and Idaho in 2007. None of the states reported illnesses as a result of people eating the products, agency officials said.
In 2007, the company shipped chopped peanuts on July 18 and 24 after salmonella was confirmed by private lab tests, the FDA report said. Peanut Corp. sold products "on or after the positive salmonella results were obtained."
Dynamic duo to bring cheerleader routine to conservatives’ convention
(U.S. News & World Report) The annual CPAC convention of conservatives is expected to be a sellout because two huge names are coming to deliver red-meat speeches: Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. Limbaugh will play clean-up, speaking last on Saturday February 28, and organizers expect him to expand on fight with Obamacans over his recent comment: "I want him to fail." Recall that earlier this week we reported on the liberal group Americans United running ads against conservatives citing Limbaugh's comments. The president, of course, also took on Limbaugh, urging Republicans to work with him and not follow the talk show host's urgings. Look for it to get even hotter.
Palin opposes stimulus package, seeks donations to own fund
JUNEAU (AP) – Gov. Sarah Palin is opposing the federal economic stimulus package pushed by her former campaign adversary, President Barack Obama.
"I agree with the decision of Senator (Lisa) Murkowski and Congressman (Don) Young to vote NO on the package," Palin said in a written statement.
Normally the views of a small-state governor on the stimulus package would draw only local interest. But Palin is a different story. There's been national media speculation about her position and, according to the governor's office, erroneous reports in the Lower 48 indicating that she is supportive of the stimulus.
By Wednesday afternoon, the press statement issued by the governor's office opposing the package was up on Palin's Facebook Web page – right below an invitation to donate to SarahPAC, her new national political action committee.
Palin also e-mailed a letter to SarahPAC supporters
around the country Wednesday, promising to speak out and propose new policies to
"ensure that America's best days are ahead of us."
Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich said Wednesday that he's pushing for changes to the federal stimulus plan that would allow the state to turn down money if it wants.
Palin hasn't gone so far as to say she'd send money back.
Oops, I forgot! Another Obama nominee withdraws over tax problems
WASHINGTON (Chicago Tribune) — Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader whom President Barack Obama had tapped for secretary of Health and Human Services, withdrew his nomination Tuesday amid growing criticism over his payment of more than $120,000 in taxes owed for a personal car and driver.
The Democrat from South Dakota is the second nominee for a Cabinet post in the Obama administration to withdraw amid controversy. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his name from consideration as commerce secretary in the midst of a state contracting investigation, and Obama today nominated Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire in his place.
Daschle also is the second Obama appointee to a high-level post to withdraw because of back taxes owed. Nancy Killefer, the president's nominee to serve in a new position as chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget, withdrew earlier today because of unemployment taxes for a household worker that she had failed to pay in 2005.
Ex-Illinois governor like
(AHNC Independent News) Disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich continued his string of pathetic and often bizarre appearances on various television news and entertainment shows with a stint on David Letterman Tuesday night. The Democrat, who recently was impeached and thrown out of office by the Illinois Senate, promised to continue his public appearances until the federal government agrees to drop corruption charges if he will just shut up and go away.
Democracy at work: Wingnut Libyan dictator elected to lead African Union
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Moammar Gadhafi of Libya was elected Monday as leader of the African Union, a position long sought by the eccentric dictator pushing his oil-rich nation into the international mainstream after years of isolation.
Some African leaders offered tepid praise for the choice of Gadhafi, who grabbed power in a 1969 coup. Rights groups called him a poor model for Africa at a time when democratic gains are being reversed in countries such as Mauritania and Guinea.
Once ostracized by the West for sponsoring terrorism, Gadhafi has been trying to increase Libya's presence on the global stage and its regional influence — mediating African conflicts, sponsoring efforts to spread Islam on the continent and pushing for the creation of a single African government.
He attended the session dressed in a gold-embroidered green robe and flanked by seven extravagantly dressed men who said they are the "traditional kings of Africa." Gadhafi told about 20 of his fellow heads of state that that he would work to unite the continent into "the United States of Africa."
Gadhafi arrived at the summit Sunday with the seven men, one carrying a 4-foot gold staff, and caused a stir when security officials did not admit them because each delegation gets only four floor passes. All seven "kings" were seated behind Gadhafi when he accepted the chairmanship.
The chairmanship of the African Union is a rotating position held by heads of state for one year and gives the holder some influence over the continent's politics but carries no real power
Diplomats who attended the closed-door meetings in which Gadhafi was chosen said several countries vigorously opposed him, seeking alternatives from Lesotho and Sierra Leone. However, the AU's chairmanship rotates among Africa's regions, and a North African had not been chaired the continental body since 2000, when Algeria held the chairmanship.
Meetings to select the chairman are held in private. The leader is usually nominated and then chosen by consensus. AU officials would not give details of the proceedings, including which countries objected.
Since he seized power Gadhafi has ruled oil-rich Libya with an iron hand and the often quixotic ideology laid out in his famous "Green Book," which outlines Gadhafi's anti-democratic and economic policies.
In 2007, his regime released five Bulgarian nurses and a naturalized Palestinian doctor after eight years in prison for allegedly infecting Libyan children with HIV. They were released following a deal struck by the European Union that involved payment of millions of dollars in aid to Libya.
The Gadhafi regime is perhaps best known for the 1988 downing of a Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 people on board the flight from Heathrow to New York were killed when a bomb exploded. Another 11 people died on the ground.
The bombing prompted United Nations-imposed sanctions and breaking of diplomatic ties with Britain and the United States. Libya has paid several billion dollars to the families of Lockerbie victims and accepted "general responsibility" for the attack. Sanctions have since been lifted and diplomatic ties re-established.
Gadhafi renounced terrorism in 2003, and Libya has entered into deals with major oil companies for exploitation of its reserves.
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Best and Worst Fashion at the Grammy Awards 2009 New York Daily News
Octuplets' grandmother criticizes daughter The Associated Press
Drug-dealing milkman spared jail Reuters
A photo released February 6, 2009 shows an ancient manuscript, which authorities in northern Cyprus believe is an ancient version of the Bible written in Syriac, a dialect of the native language of Jesus. The manuscript was found in a police raid on suspected antiquity smugglers. Turkish Cypriot police testified in a court hearing they believe the manuscript could be about 2,000 years old. Experts were however divided over the provenance of the manuscript, and whether it was an original, which would render it priceless, or a fake. Photo/Kibris/Handout-CYPRUS