Monday edition - March 9, 2009
GOP tussles over leadership, party's future path
Limbaugh talk a distraction
World stocks sink amid anxiety over world economy
I wonder if Rush will explode or implode?
Lush-Rush Limbaugh is the steel wool grating on the Republicans' open wounds they so righteously deserve.- Grant "Bud" Gerver
The-World-Will-Be-A-Safer-Place-Without George W. Bush
At Least We Didn't Give Our Ship To China Like We Did With Our Spy Plane
The Pentagon said Monday
ships harassed a U.S. surveillance ship Sunday in the South China Sea in the
latest of several instances of "increasingly aggressive conduct."
"According to a new study, people are sleeping less because they're worried about the economy. I think also it might have something to do with the fact they're sleeping under bridges." -- Craig Ferguson
What's W Up To?
Former President George W.
Bush is fending off efforts to pull him into a long-running legal battle that
raises questions about whether SMU owns all the land where the Bush presidential
library is set to be built.
Two condominium owners who are suing Southern Methodist University say they need sworn statements from Bush and his wife, Laura, about what SMU officials told them in private meetings before SMU was selected as the site of the presidential library. Attorneys for the former president have until 5 pm. today to file papers in state court outlining the legal rationale for their position that the couple should not be required to give depositions.
Right To Bare Arms
There's no shortage of news to opine about these days, with the economy in the gutter, multi-billion-dollar stimulus packages (plural), wars (also plural), the unemployment rate at its highest since 1983, Hillary Clinton, stem-cell research ... we could go on for days and not even mention fashion! But the New York Times is obsessed with Michelle Obama's bare arms.
As you know now, Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican Party, but theyll probably go with a different body.- David Letterman
When John C.
Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer, was selected by President George W.
Bush in May 2004 to join a government board charged with releasing historical
Nazi and Japanese war crimes records,
"And according to a top Russian scholar, the US economy will collapse next year, which comes as a huge shock to most people. I think we thought it was going to collapse this year, so we've got another year to party. Yeah!" -- Jay Leno
"Oh, big day in Washington, DC, today. Pretty boy Brad Pitt was down there talking to Congress. Brad Pitt, of course, married to the original octomom." -- David Letterman
Flip Flopper Flips Back
Lieberman has changed his tune on Barack Obama. After campaigning across the
country for Republican John McCain in 2008 and attacking Obama as naive,
untested and unwilling to take on powerful special interests,
Lieberman now showers praise on the popular new Democratic president.
US Science Joining 21st Century
President Obama will overturn an eight-year old policy that placed restrictions on the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research this morning, a move being greeted with plaudits by members of his own party but with significant skepticism among those on the conservative right.
"Beautiful day. It was so sunny, as a matter of fact, down on Wall Street, the stockbrokers were applying sunscreen before they jumped." -- David Letterman
Lest we forget
the moronic behavior of the past President who so seriously harmed our nation, All Hat No Cattle now offers a different notable quotation from George W. Bush each week.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream. Oct. 18, 2000
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I just set my clock to ECT: Economic Catastrophe Time - Grant "Bud" Gerver
I Wonder If He'll Pull A Ken Lay?
Bernard Madoff, accused mastermind of a $50 billion investment fraud, is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges next week, three months after his arrest shocked his customers worldwide.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced he plans to go after tax evaders
after failing to pay his own taxes. It is all part of the government's
"Operation Do As I Say, Not As I Do.'" -- Jay Leno
This Day In History
In 1945, during World War
II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Japan, resulting
in an estimated 100,000 deaths.
In 1954, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-Communism campaign on "See It Now."
In 1989, the Senate rejected President George H.W. Bush's nomination of John Tower to be defense secretary by a vote of 53-47. (The next day, Bush tapped Wyoming Rep. Dick Cheney, who went on to win unanimous Senate approval.)
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.)
Crowd with pitchforks and torches expected for Madoff hearing
NEW YORK (AP) Bernard Madoff has yet to face the many investors he is accused of ripping off in a jaw-dropping Ponzi scheme that amounted to one of the biggest financial frauds in history.
The disgraced financier has been insulated from them in his expensive Manhattan apartment, where he has been under house arrest since December.
But on Thursday, he's expected to enter a guilty plea in the multibillion-dollar fraud, setting up a dramatic and highly unusual confrontation with the people he is accused of cheating.
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin invited victims to address the court after prosecutors submitted papers noting that crime victims have the right to be "reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding." Typically, victims speak at sentencing hearings, not at ones in which a guilty plea is offered.
It's not clear how many of Madoff's former investors will attend the hearing. Thousands lost money, among them many charitable institutions and schools.
Gingrich neuters idea of 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) A new president is not yet two months into his term and already there's talk about who might run for the job in 2012.
Maybe Republican Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker?
Gingrich was asked Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether he wanted to run for president in 2012. His two-word response: "Not particularly."
Gingrich must have anticipated that question because he said if he came up with any other answer on the show, then he would be making headline news. So in Gingrich's words, "not particularly is a good answer for this morning."
Cheaper to keep em
(AP) After decades of moral arguments reaching biblical proportions, after long, twisted journeys to the nation's highest court and back, the death penalty may be abandoned by several states for a reason having nothing to do with right or wrong:
Turns out, it is cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them, according to a series of recent surveys. Tens of millions of dollars cheaper, politicians are learning, during a tumbling recession when nearly every state faces job cuts and massive deficits.
So an increasing number of them are considering abolishing capital punishment in favor of life imprisonment, not on principle but out of financial necessity.
"It's 10 times more expensive to kill them than to keep them alive," though most Americans believe the opposite, said Donald McCartin, a former California jurist known as "The Hanging Judge of Orange County" for sending nine men to death row.
California's legendarily slow appeals system, which produces an average wait of nearly 20 years from conviction to fatal injection the longest in the nation. Of the nine convicted killers McCartin sent to death row, only one has died. Not by execution, but from a heart attack in custody.
"Every one of my cases is bogged up in the appellate system," said McCartin, who retired in 1993 after 15 years on the bench.
"It's a waste of time and money," said the 82-year-old, self-described right-wing Republican whose sonorous voice still commands attention. "The only thing it does is prolong the agony of the victims' families."
Obama to allow stem cell funding, cloning of mute televangelists
WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a senior administration official acknowledged Friday.
Stem cells are the building blocks that turn into different kinds of tissue.
Under President George W. Bush, federal money for research on human embryonic stems cells was limited to those stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. No federal dollars could be used on research with cell lines from embryos destroyed from that point forward.
Prince Charles named best dressed guy with most castles
LONDON (AFP) Prince Charles has beaten off competition from US President Barack Obama to be named the world's best dressed man by Esquire magazine.
"He is perfectly turned out in a double-breasted suit. Admirably, the prince keeps his wardrobe in appropriate style: we're told he has a room laid out like a tailor's shop," the men's magazine said.
Prince Charles, 60, keeps it simple and has worn suits by Saville Row tailors Gieves and Hawkes, complete with pocket handkerchief and silk tie, for years. Esquire said he was "always incredibly well dressed".
The prince, who is heir to the British throne, beat off competition from Obama -- who came fourth in the top ten -- artist David Hockney (seventh), tennis player Roger Federer (eighth) and US rapper Andre 3000 (tenth).
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, however, was named one of the worst dressed, with the magazine noting he had once "turned up in the Iraqi desert wearing black lace-ups".
London Mayor Boris Johnson -- renowned for his slightly chaotic appearance -- was also criticised for having "jacket pockets like second-hand bookshops, and hair the result of an encounter with a ghost in a wind tunnel".
Heaters help bats survive winter, homeless get newspaper blankets
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Bats afflicted with a mysterious and deadly disorder might be able to make it through winter with the help of heated boxes placed in hibernation caves, a pair of researchers say.
The biologists stress that the boxes being tested this winter are not intended to cure "white-nose syndrome," which has killed upward of a half million bats in three winters from New England to West Virginia.
But in an article published online Thursday in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, they suggest the little heated havens could help stricken bats preserve enough precious energy to survive hibernation season.
White-nose syndrome, named for the white smudges of fungus on the noses and wings of hibernating bats, has alarmed scientists by spreading from a few caves in upstate New York two winters ago to at least 55 caves in seven states. White-nose bats appear to starve to death, running through their winter fat stores before spring.
Researchers worry about the fate of bats, which play an important role in controlling the populations of insects that can damage wheat, apples and dozens of other crops.
As scientists try to definitively establish whether the fungus is the cause, as suspected, or a symptom of white nose, researchers Justin Boyles and Craig Willis considered a way to manage it based on computer modeling of the energy expended by bats.
War crimes warrant issued, but nobody left in Darfur to save
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He is the first sitting head of state the court has ordered arrested.
The three-judge panel said there was insufficient evidence to support charges of genocide in a war in which up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes since it began in 2003.
Al-Bashir's government denounced the warrant as part of a Western conspiracy aimed at destabilizing the vast oil-rich nation south of Egypt.
African and Arab nations fear the warrant will destabilize the whole region, bring even more conflict in Darfur and threaten the fragile peace deal that ended decades of civil war between northern and southern Sudan. China, which buys two-thirds of Sudan's oil, supports the African and Arab positions.
In a show of defiance Tuesday in anticipation of the decision, al-Bashir told supporters at a rally, "We are telling them to immerse it in water and drink it," a common Arabic insult meant to show extreme disrespect.
"He is suspected of being criminally responsible ... for intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property," court spokeswoman Laurence Blairon said. If al-Bashir is brought to trial and prosecuted, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Burris survives Blagojevich Plague, rest of nation needs vaccinations
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Roland Burris seems to have weathered the storm. Fellow Democrats are no longer demanding his resignation. The new Illinois governor has stopped calling for a special election to replace him. And party leaders who control the Senate and Illinois Legislature are reluctant to risk losing his seat to Republicans.
"He's not going to go anywhere. I'm convinced of that," said congressman Phil Hare, one of the first Illinois Democrats to call for Burris to step down.
Burris has been under intense scrutiny because of the circumstances of his appointment by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and for changing his story about it multiple times.
But Burris has refused even to discuss resignation, showing some of the same defiance displayed by Blagojevich. The fledgling senator has endured in part by clamming up and letting supporters portray the issue in racial terms.
A Burris strategist has encouraged black leaders to rally around the only black member of the Senate. The group has made clear that white Illinois politicians will pay a price for trying to oust Burris, who is serving the remainder of Barack Obama's term, which runs through 2010.
"We're strong in our position because we want Roland Burris to remain in this seat until this term is over," Chicago Alderman Ed Smith said after meeting with the Illinois governor this week.
The approach seems to be working.
Gov. Pat Quinn dropped his call for rewriting state law to remove Burris. State legislative leaders have put the issue on the back burner. Senate leaders want to change the subject.
"We really ought to switch channels here to something that people really care about," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.
That's quite a switch from just a few weeks ago, when Burris' political life seemed to be hanging by a thread.
You dont need this right, you dont need that one, you
WASHINGTON In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration determined that certain constitutional rights would not apply as the U.S. stepped up its response to terrorism, according to documents released to the public for the first time.
In nine legal opinions disclosed Monday by the Obama administration, the Justice Department under President George W. Bush claimed exceptional search-and-seizure powers. Within two weeks of the 2001 attacks, government lawyers were discussing ways to wiretap U.S. conversations without warrants.
Also revealed by the Obama administration in court documents Monday: The CIA destroyed nearly 100 videotapes far more than previously known of interrogations and other treatment of terror suspects. Congressional Democrats and other critics have charged that some of the harsh interrogation techniques amounted to torture, a contention that Bush and other officials rejected.
I just found 7 cents in the backyard! -
Grant "Bud" Gerver, Bumper Sticker Division
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To Help You Deflate Photo
In this photo
provided by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Mavrick, a 14-month-old male Atlantic
bottlenose dolphin, blows a mass of bubbles while checking out Akaasha, a
six-month-old female Bengal tiger at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo,
Calif. on Thursday, March 5, 2009. Park animal staff strolled by the dolphin
exhibit as they escorted the tiger cubs on their daily walk around the park.
Photo/Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Nancy Chan