Monday edition - March 2, 2009
US Stock Futures Drop as Buffett Says Economy in ‘Shambles’
AP Newsbreak: CIA destroyed 92 interrogation tapes
Rush, to me, exemplifies the "dumbing
down of America". So does Joe the plumber. So does Palin.
Thank God we've got all the Internets to keep up with their dramatic scenarios.
I get that same creepy feeling about them that I do about Octo-Mom.
George W. Bush is doing pretty well for a retiree. Our former president will hit the lecture circuit next month for a reported $150,000 per speech, which seems like a lot to pay to hear someone who can’t speak give a speech. - Jimmy Kimmel
The-World-Will-Be-A-Safer-Place-Without George W. Bush
It’s a $150,000 for Bush’s speech and an extra 25 grand if you want to throw shoes at him.
- Jimmy Kimmel
War On Drugs
The U.S. military is in a
to provide Mexico's military with training, resources and intelligence as
its southern neighbor battles deadly drug cartels, Defense Secretary Robert
George W. Bush has begun the arduous task of sorting and alphabetizing the books for his library: after two straight hours, it's all done. Phew! - Grant "Bud" Gerver
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is
not admitting she did anything wrong, but has agreed to reimburse the state
almost $7,000 related to nine trips taken by her children...The trips in
question include one she took with daughter Bristol to a conference in New York
City and another to an Iron Dog snow machine race in which her husband, Todd,
competed...In a written statement, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential
candidate said while she is obligated to meet with Alaskans across the state,
am blessed to have a large and loving family, and the discharge of my duties
should not prevent me from spending time with them."
Limbaugh says he hopes president's plans fail Chicago Tribune
The GOP is being put out of its misery by the righ-wing media. I prefer to call it "Rushanasia."
- Grant "Bud" Gerver
Iran and Marine One
An Internet security company claims that
Iran has taken advantage of a computer security breach to obtain engineering and
communications information about Marine One, President Barack Obama's
helicopter, according to a report by WPXI, NBC's affiliate in Pittsburgh.
Tiversa, headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pa., reportedly discovered a security breach that led to the transfer of military information to an Iranian IP address, according to WPXI. The information is said to include planned engineering upgrades, avionic schematics, and computer network information
Race Card Shuffle
Sen. Dick Durbin, who advised Sen. Roland Burris last week to step down from the Senate, acknowledged Sunday that racial considerations were at play in the decision by majority Democrats to seat Burris.
Paul Harvey has died at age 90. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday. And speaking of rest, there’s nothing quite as restful as sleeping on a Sleep Number Bed …- Laugh Lines
Ads by Google
A.I.G. is asking for another TARP bailout. Was this really the right name? Isn’t a tarp what police put over a corpse? - Laugh Lines
Struggling insurer American International Group Inc. will receive up to $30 billion in additional federal assistance in the fourth government rescue of the company, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Sunday.
UK lawmaker calls for inquiry into torture claims The Associated Press
Octo-mom Nadya Suleman has been offered $1 million and benefits to make a porn movie. Filmmakers told her to “shake her babymaker,” and she pulled out a rack of test tubes.- Laugh Lines
In case you missed it …
In its tireless effort to provide news and giggles for its readers, All Hat No Cattle offers this Monday glimpse back at the previous week with an emphasis on the weekend dump. (We mean the time preferred by government officials, politicians and titans of industry to release unsavory news in the hope it receives less media coverage – not the bathroom activity.)
Tell us something we didn’t know: Obama more
analytical than Bush
WASHINGTON – Tell us, Robert Gates, what's the difference between working under Barack Obama and working under George W. Bush?
"That sounds like the subject of a good book," Gates said with a smile.
"It's really hard to say," he continued during an interview aired Sunday on "Meet the Press" on NBC.
"I think that probably President Obama is somewhat more analytical. And he makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue. And if they don't speak up, he calls on them."
And the former president?
"President Bush was interested in hearing different points of view but didn't go out of his way to make sure everybody spoke if they hadn't spoken up before," Gates said.
Bush picked Gates to succeed Donald H. Rumsfeld as defense secretary in November 2006.
Obama confronts vested interests, who
immediately offer bribe
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama challenged the nation's vested interests to a legislative duel Saturday, saying he will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo.
"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. "But I don't. I work for the American people."
He said the ambitious budget plan he presented a few days will help millions of people, but only if Congress overcomes resistance from deep-pocket lobbies.
"I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight," Obama said.
Grinch hates Christmas and Obama’s budget
WASHINGTON – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is labeling President Barack Obama's $3.6 trillion budget plan a "higher-tax, weaker-economy, fewer-jobs" blueprint that should trigger the most crucial policy debate since 1980.
The leading Republican said he he actually agrees with much of Obama's rhetoric, but that there's a "gap between the words and reality."
Gingrich said there are pieces of Obama's budget that are "doable," including projected savings from more closely watching for fraud in entitlement programs. But the Georgian also said, "The problem with the overall budget is that it's a job-killing budget."
Gingrich was interviewed Friday on CBS's "The Early Show."
reminiscent of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "My message to them is this: So am I."
No guns in Arkansas churches but poisonous snakes still OK
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A state Senate panel has rejected a bill that would allow concealed handguns in Arkansas churches, a proposal that divided religious leaders.
The measure would have removed churches and other houses of worship from the list of places where concealed handguns are banned in Arkansas. Only churches and bars are on that list.
The House approved the measure earlier this month. The Senate Judiciary Committee stalled the bill on a voice vote Wednesday.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville, told the panel after the vote that she may try again with the proposal.
"This is not a gun question, it is a question of religious freedom," Pyle said.
Gov. Mike Beebe has said he'd sign the bill if it made it to his desk.
Nathan Petty, a pastor at Beech Grove Baptist Church in Fordyce, said churches should have the right to decide whether to allow concealed handguns.
"It's not the role of the state to
preserve the sanctity of the church, and it's not the role of the state to
impose religious judgment calls on churches," Petty said.
Grant Exton, the executive director of the Arkansas Concealed Carry Association, said of 48 states that allow concealed carry permits, 42 let churches make the decision to ban or allow firearms.
Kim Jong-il brings his big hair to big launch site
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has been touring the province where the country has been preparing for a rocket launch, the North's media said on Wednesday, in what a South Korean daily said could be a precursor of a launch.
North Korea said on Tuesday it planned to launch a satellite on a rocket as a part of a peaceful space program. Analysts said the launch would actually be the test-firing of its long-range Taepodong-2 missile designed to strike U.S. territory.
Kim provided field guidance at a food factory, a central bank branch and the memorial for his mother Kim Jong-suk in the city of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong province.
This was one of several trips reported in the past few days which have taken Kim near the North's known east coast missile launch site in Musudan.
South Korea's biggest daily newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, said Kim made a similar round of field guidance visits to the same remote area of North Korea weeks before the last test-firing of its longest-range Taepodong-2 missile in 2006.
Is it the word ‘volcano’ or ‘monitoring’ that confuses you?
(Livescience.com) – After President Obama's speech on the economy last night, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal criticized government spending in the stimulus bill, citing examples including "$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.'"
The $140 million to which Jindal referred is actually for a number of projects conducted by the United States Geological Survey, including volcano monitoring. This monitoring is aimed at helping geologists understand the inner workings of volcanoes as well as providing warnings of impending eruptions, in the United States and in active areas around the world where U.S. military bases are located, such as the Philippines.
Among the scenarios in which the USGS's monitoring can assist – the catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, which killed 57 people (including a geologist monitoring the mountain) and was the deadliest and costliest volcanic eruption in U.S. history ($2.74 billion in 2007 dollars). This event was preceded by thousands of earthquakes in the two months before the volcano blew its top; some of these prompted the Governor of Washington to declare a state of emergency and many residents were evacuated from a designated danger zone.
About 50 volcanic eruptions occur around the world every year, according to the USGS. The United States ranks third, behind Indonesia and Japan, in its number of historically active volcanoes (those for which written accounts exist). Most U.S. volcanoes are located in the Aleutian Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, with the rest distributed around the West.
Murdoch apologizes for cartoon, promises fair and balanced bigotry
NEW YORK (AP) – New York Post Chairman Rupert Murdoch apologized Tuesday for a cartoon that critics said likened a violent chimpanzee shot dead by police to President Barack Obama.
In a statement published in the newspaper, Murdoch said he wanted to "personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted." He said the Post will work to be more sensitive.
Murdoch said the cartoon was intended only to "mock a badly written piece of legislation."
The cartoon, which was published Wednesday, depicted the body of the bullet-riddled chimp Travis and two police officers. The caption said: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
The chimp was killed in Connecticut last week after mauling a woman.
The Post also apologized Thursday in an online editorial.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is urging the Federal Communications Commission to review policies allowing Post owner News Corp. to control multiple media outlets in the same market.
House values tumble as cave and tent prices soar
NEW YORK (AP) – A widely watched index shows home prices tumbled by the sharpest annual rate on record in the fourth quarter and in December.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index plunged 18.2 percent during the quarter from the same period a year ago, the largest drop in its 21-year history. Prices are now at levels not seen since the third quarter of 2003.
In the month of December, the Case-Shiller 20-city index plunged 18.5 percent from December 2007 levels, while the 10-city index dropped 19.2 percent.
Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted 27 percent from their peak in the summer of 2006, and the 10-city index has fallen more than 28 percent.
Have a drink on Jesus! We need the money
(TIME) – A handful of state legislatures have declared it's closing time for Sunday alcohol sales restrictions, saying an extra day of sales could give their foundering budgets a much-needed shot of revenue. Those states – Georgia, Connecticut, Texas, Alabama and Minnesota – enjoy overwhelming voter support for an extra day of sales, but face opposition from members of the Christian right, who say that selling on Sunday undermines safety and tears apart families. "During times of economic stress, our families are under enough pressure," says Jim Beck, the president of the Georgia Christian Coalition. "I don't think we need to add even more pressure to those families by passing this law."
But proponents of Sunday sales argue that state budgets are under plenty of pressure too and that by allowing people to buy beer, wine or liquor on Sunday at grocery or package stores, states could reap millions of dollars in tax revenue. Besides, as President Roosevelt learned in the 1930s when he successfully repealed Prohibition, drinks have a way of keeping hopes high when things look bleak. And, it could be argued, the sales also helped stimulate the economy in the middle of the Great Depression.
"[Sunday sales legislation] always comes bubbling up when the economy goes south," says David Laband, an Auburn University economics professor who authored Blue Laws: The History, Economics, and Politics of Sunday-Closing Laws. Blue laws, which restrict shopping of any kind on Sunday, date back to the colonial era, Laband says. However, those laws gradually died off as economic forces made some states realize that they could stand to gain by having stores open on Sunday.
Donations this week: 1
For the week beginning 3-1-09
Offline Donation - Lisa Casey - PO Box 88 - Ashford, AL 36312
To Help You Deflate - Moment of Meditation Photo
A sketch obscured by handwriting for five centuries
in one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks may be a youthful self-portrait,
according to Italian experts who "aged" the sketch to compare to confirmed later
self-portraits. Hidden under layers of thick writing on a page of the "Codex on
the Flight of Birds" the sketch was spotted by the Italian scientific journalist
Piero Angela, who presented images of his documentary named "Leonardo, cronaca
di una indagine" (Leonardo, chronicle of a research) on Italian state television
RAITRE on Saturday. Photo/RAITRE