Jul 29, 2011

Watching Fox News put a happy face on the Republican Pig

Lets face it, a political party that hates the government can't be expected to run it.  And they have behaved badly.  First, the House Republicans have mishandled everything, including the little school girls elected by the Tea Partiers.

Now comes the Senate...with a chance to pass a bill liked by many republicans and democrats and the Republican Minority Leader, McConnell, won't even talk to the Majority Leader.   They've decided to fillibuster the weekend before the economy would crash from Congressional inaction...all to establish more gridlock.

The only thing entertaining about this is to watch Fox anchors squirm at the childishness being shown by the party they blatantly support.

I predict that the Republicans, despite kazillions of dollars to be spent on TV ads, will be takent o the woodshed in 2012 and stripped of anything close to a majority they hope for.  Morover, getting rid of that black guy in the White House is the LEAST of the GOP's problems!

After two wars, a near financial collapse 2 years ago and playing Russian Roulette with the world's economy NOW, it's plain.  They're just not fit to govern.  And talk radio can't hardly put a happy face on them without stuttering!

Stick to your guns, Tea Partiers

You're nuts, we know it.  Run it up to the last minute with your ignorance and stubbornness.  Why?  I don't like cuts in services passed in the middle of the night because you're blackmailing the Congress.  Too many people will get hurt to save the rich.

So stick with it, Tea baggers.  AT the last minute, Congress will pass a clean, last minute debt ceiling bill when it's too late to put your paw prints all over it.   Then slither back into the dark and wait for 2012.  I expect most people who voted for you regret doing so.  Even if rich Koch Brothers brainwashed you with all their oil money commercials.

I'm for cutting the defense department first, and then lots of waste and then if the Republicans won't raise taxes on the rich, hopefully Obama's smart enough to let the cuts expire next year.

Yup, stay stubborn baggers...let Washington come to its senses and work around you!  2012's going to be a very bad year for Republicans... thanks to you tea partiers!  So go ahead and wear your funnny hats and JUST SAY NO!

Jul 27, 2011

GOP gets 4,000 FAA workers furloughed since Saturday. FAA!!!!!!!!

Not the Future Farmers of America.  This is the fucquing FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION... the folks who keep jetliners from running into each other!

Now Airlines rip you off...and.  well.  Are the Skies Still Safe?
Check this out from MSNBC!



IS the GOP disassembling the country?  AREN't you happy the GOP Won the 2010 midterm elections?  Say you're NOT?  A little "Buyers Remorse"?  You should be very, very afraid of those people!

Jul 25, 2011

End the BLACKMAIL... EMAIL your congressman!!!!

Writing your congressman using THIS LINK, or one you already know.
http://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

(After Crashing night of Obama speech, its back up now.  Requires your name and mailing/email address as a constituent.  You can write a comment and submit it with or without a response.  Sure, they're building their list but so what?  Go on record about this budget Russian roulette!)

And tell him to BREAK THE DEADLOCK, PASS CUTS and TAX THE RICH.  BE FAIR...No more blackmail!  No more Russian Roulette with our futures!

Obama speaks tonight. Will he give a speech or kick some ass?

President Barack Obama endorsed a debt-ceiling proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would cut government spending by $2.7 trillion and increase the federal borrowing limit through 2012, the White House said.

Republican aides revealed details on a competing plan that House Speaker John Boehner is moving forward with separately; it would aim for roughly $3 trillion in cuts and raise the debt ceiling in two stages.

Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse on a deal to raise the nation's debt limit. Without an agreement in place by August 2, the U.S. government risks defaulting on some of its debt obligations.


Clarence B. Jones: Are There Any Republican Adults in the Room: The Challenge Confronting Our Country
At the hastily called White House news conference following the collapse of discussions with Speaker John Boehner, President Obama rhetorically asked: "Is there anything that the Republicans can say 'yes' to?" Yes, there is: his resignation or re-election defeat.

Stuff you might have missed -- Rman's skipwaves

 Huge Bomb explo kills 76 in Norway, injures many

Oslo, Norway (CNN) -- The suspect in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II has acknowledged carrying out the mass shooting and bombing, and claims to have worked with two other cells, a judge said Monday.
Judge Kim Heger said that the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, acknowledges carrying out the attacks, but said the attacks were necessary to prevent the "colonization" of the country by Muslims. He accused the Labour Party, whose members were targets of the mass shooting, of "treason" for promoting multiculturalism, the judge said.
Police refused to release information about their investigation into the possibility that two cells aided Breivik, saying Monday that a court hearing was closed so as not to disclose information.
Who is Anders Behring Breivik?
Other court officials have said they could not confirm the existence of the cells and referred questions to police.
Norway police decrease confirmed dead
Breivik's digital footprint
Norwegian suspect will remain in custody
Gallery: Dual attacks in Norway
During his court hearing Monday, Breivik appeared "very calm," an official said. "He was very concise in trying to explain why he was trying to do this," the official said. "But when he started reading from his manifest, he was stopped."
Two court psychiatrists will be assigned to the case, he added.
Heger ordered Breivik to remain in custody for eight weeks, until his next scheduled court appearance, as authorities continue to investigate a bombing in Oslo and a mass shooting at a nearby island that together killed at least 76 people.
Authorities originally said 93 had died but announced Monday that eight people were confirmed dead in the bombing and 68 in the shooting. Also on Monday, police said they were still searching Utoya Island for shooting victims, adding that 50 officers were going through "to make sure there are no casualties left."

-0-



Gay's in the military.  NOW.
The Pentagon is set to certify that the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian service members, and that doing so will not harm military readiness.
According to the official, who spoke on condition of not being identified, an announcement of that certification -- which is required to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- is likely to come Friday.

-0-


ABC says this heat wave will last for WEEKS!!!  22 dead so far!   Ewwwwwww.  More...

-0-


CHICAGO (CBS) — City crews scrambling to turn off nearly 2,000 fire hydrants opened by residents seeking relief from the heat required a police escort to protect them from gang members and others upset with the shutdowns.
CBS 2 found one city crew being followed by a police sport-utility vehicle as they crisscrossed neighborhoods, turning off a total of 1,921 hydrants.
“It’s a waste of water, and I have to do my job,” said 20-year Water Management Department veteran Richard Quarles.



A U.S. drone was shot down while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to reports in the Iranian media.

-0-



News Corporation head Rupert Murdoch arrives at his Fifth Avenue residence, Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in New York. Emerging relatively unscathed from a British parliamentary hearing on the phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch returned to the United States on Wednesday, where his company faces a host of financial and legal challenges. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)In The Dark? Murdoch's History Shows He's "A Hands-On" Owner
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has denied knowing about alleged misconduct by employees. But senior staff who worked for Murdoch have said that he's been a "hands-on" owner who has been closely involved with his media properties.

-0-






    Blackberry maker to cut 2,000 jobs, splits COO job
    Jul. 25, 2011 10:57 AM ET

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Faced with tough competition and falling profits, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. is cutting 2,000 jobs as part of a cost savings plan announced last month and is shuffling some senior executives....




The U.S. Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary investigations into News Corp. relating to alleged foreign bribery and alleged hacking of voicemail of Sept. 11 victims, according to a government official.   The issuance of such subpoenas, which would broadly seek relevant information from the company, requires approval by senior Justice Department leadership, which hasn't yet happened, the person said

-0-

Hiring Immigrants ban in Springfield
The Springfield MO Minutemen chapter submittted signatures for an initiative petition that would force local businesses to dig deeper to verify the immigration status of employees.  The organization needs about 2,100 valid signatures of registered voters in the city; it says it submitted 2,400 to the city clerk's office.  The city clerk still has to verify the signatures on the petitions.

Under the initiative petition, businesses would be forced to check the immigration status of employees using the federal E-verify database.  Currently, Missouri law already requires all entities doing business with the state to use the system.

"It has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the law of the land," said Wilson.  "We support legal immigrants. Our country was founded on legal immigration and built by immigrants.

-0-

Why the Wealthiest Americans Are the Real 'Job-Killers'
The top 1 percent takes in more than twice the share of national income today than they did 30 years ago, and that's a big reason why consumers are tapped out.

-0-

 To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from a Deadly Drug War
Author John Gibler's new book surveys surveys the unending flow of drugs north and guns and cash south and the tens of thousands of murders they cause.

-0-

The end of the space shuttle marks a retreat in America's ambitions

Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral (Photo: Reuters)
Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center (Photo: Reuters)

Maybe because my parents got me out of bed to watch Neil Armstrong step onto the Moon on a rented television, or because I grew up in the US where the space programme was a prominent backdrop to any childhood, but I’ve been gripped by the Nasa feed of the last space shuttle returning to earth.

Somewhere in my crates of useless stuff is a photograph of me and two school friends standing in front of the space shuttle Columbia at Cape Canaveral a few days before it launched in April 1981. We were 16, and our parents had handed us a bit of cash and let us jump on a Greyhound bus for the 24-hour ride to Florida to spend a few days in Titusville and wait for the launch. From memory it was delayed so we stayed on in the hope that it might go ahead before our absence from school was noticed. On April 12, along with thousands of others, we stood on the shore of the Banana river and watched it rocket into the sky, the sight and sound nailing us to the spot.

At one level, it is easy to wonder quite why $180 billion has been spent on keeping an out-of-date white elephant in the air. But a few weeks ago when Prof Brian Cox gave a show-stopper of a lecture at Hay in which he included a picture of the distant speck of Earth taken by Voyager from the edge of the solar system, I was reminded of the irresistible attraction of this greatest of human adventures.

The moment the wheels of Atlantis touched the ground earlier, it ended and our ambitions suddenly look earth-bound. It’s also a moment freighted with symbolism for America and its sense of self.

You don’t have to read The Right Stuff to know that the manned space flight programme was a way for the US to assert its confidence and demonstrate its will to do anything required to be number one. In those days it was about beating the Soviets, and so those pressures don’t exist now in the same way. But with the idea of American exceptionalism under review and the US losing its mojo, we should not underestimate the capacity for this moment to be a blow to American morale.

-0-



A psychiatrist was conducting a group therapy session with four young mothers and their small  children. "You all have obsessions," he  observed.
 
To the first mother,  Mary, he said, "You are obsessed with eating.  You've even named your daughter Candy."

He turned to the  second Mom, Ann, "Your obsession is with money. Again, it manifests itself in your child's name,  Penny."

He turned to the third  Mom, Joyce, "Your obsession is alcohol. This too shows itself  in your child's name, Brandy."
 
At this point, the fourth mother, Kathy, quietly got up, took her little boy by the hand, and whispered,  "Come on, Dick, this guy has no idea what he is talking about.  Let's pick up Peter and Willy from school and go get some dinner."
-0-

-0-



Gay's in the military.  NOW.
The Pentagon is set to certify that the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian service members, and that doing so will not harm military readiness.
According to the official, who spoke on condition of not being identified, an announcement of that certification -- which is required to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- .

-0-


ABC says this heat wave will last for WEEKS!!!  22 dead so far!   Ewwwwwww.  More...

-0-


CHICAGO (CBS) — City crews scrambling to turn off nearly 2,000 fire hydrants opened by residents seeking relief from the heat required a police escort to protect them from gang members and others upset with the shutdowns.
CBS 2 found one city crew being followed by a police sport-utility vehicle as they crisscrossed neighborhoods, turning off a total of 1,921 hydrants.
“It’s a waste of water, and I have to do my job,” said 20-year Water Management Department veteran Richard Quarles.



A U.S. drone was shot down while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to reports in the Iranian media.

-0-



News Corporation head Rupert Murdoch arrives at his Fifth Avenue residence, Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in New York. Emerging relatively unscathed from a British parliamentary hearing on the phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch returned to the United States on Wednesday, where his company faces a host of financial and legal challenges. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)In The Dark? Murdoch's History Shows He's "A Hands-On" Owner
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has denied knowing about alleged misconduct by employees. But senior staff who worked for Murdoch have said that he's been a "hands-on" owner who has been closely involved with his media properties.

-0-






    Blackberry maker to cut 2,000 jobs, splits COO job
    Jul. 25, 2011 10:57 AM ET

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Faced with tough competition and falling profits, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. is cutting 2,000 jobs as part of a cost savings plan announced last month and is shuffling some senior executives....




The U.S. Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary investigations into News Corp. relating to alleged foreign bribery and alleged hacking of voicemail of Sept. 11 victims, according to a government official.   The issuance of such subpoenas, which would broadly seek relevant information from the company, requires approval by senior Justice Department leadership, which hasn't yet happened, the person said

-0-

Hiring Immigrants ban in Springfield
The Springfield MO Minutemen chapter submittted signatures for an initiative petition that would force local businesses to dig deeper to verify the immigration status of employees.  The organization needs about 2,100 valid signatures of registered voters in the city; it says it submitted 2,400 to the city clerk's office.  The city clerk still has to verify the signatures on the petitions.

Under the initiative petition, businesses would be forced to check the immigration status of employees using the federal E-verify database.  Currently, Missouri law already requires all entities doing business with the state to use the system.

"It has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the law of the land," said Wilson.  "We support legal immigrants. Our country was founded on legal immigration and built by immigrants.

-0-

Why the Wealthiest Americans Are the Real 'Job-Killers'
The top 1 percent takes in more than twice the share of national income today than they did 30 years ago, and that's a big reason why consumers are tapped out.

-0-

 To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from a Deadly Drug War
Author John Gibler's new book surveys surveys the unending flow of drugs north and guns and cash south and the tens of thousands of murders they cause.

-0-

The end of the space shuttle marks a retreat in America's ambitions

Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral (Photo: Reuters)
Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center (Photo: Reuters)

Maybe because my parents got me out of bed to watch Neil Armstrong step onto the Moon on a rented television, or because I grew up in the US where the space programme was a prominent backdrop to any childhood, but I’ve been gripped by the Nasa feed of the last space shuttle returning to earth.

Somewhere in my crates of useless stuff is a photograph of me and two school friends standing in front of the space shuttle Columbia at Cape Canaveral a few days before it launched in April 1981. We were 16, and our parents had handed us a bit of cash and let us jump on a Greyhound bus for the 24-hour ride to Florida to spend a few days in Titusville and wait for the launch. From memory it was delayed so we stayed on in the hope that it might go ahead before our absence from school was noticed. On April 12, along with thousands of others, we stood on the shore of the Banana river and watched it rocket into the sky, the sight and sound nailing us to the spot.

At one level, it is easy to wonder quite why $180 billion has been spent on keeping an out-of-date white elephant in the air. But a few weeks ago when Prof Brian Cox gave a show-stopper of a lecture at Hay in which he included a picture of the distant speck of Earth taken by Voyager from the edge of the solar system, I was reminded of the irresistible attraction of this greatest of human adventures.

The moment the wheels of Atlantis touched the ground earlier, it ended and our ambitions suddenly look earth-bound. It’s also a moment freighted with symbolism for America and its sense of self.

You don’t have to read The Right Stuff to know that the manned space flight programme was a way for the US to assert its confidence and demonstrate its will to do anything required to be number one. In those days it was about beating the Soviets, and so those pressures don’t exist now in the same way. But with the idea of American exceptionalism under review and the US losing its mojo, we should not underestimate the capacity for this moment to be a blow to American morale.

-0-



A psychiatrist was conducting a group therapy session with four young mothers and their small  children. "You all have obsessions," he  observed.
 
To the first mother,  Mary, he said, "You are obsessed with eating.  You've even named your daughter Candy."

He turned to the  second Mom, Ann, "Your obsession is with money. Again, it manifests itself in your child's name,  Penny."

He turned to the third  Mom, Joyce, "Your obsession is alcohol. This too shows itself  in your child's name, Brandy."
 
At this point, the fourth mother, Kathy, quietly got up, took her little boy by the hand, and whispered,  "Come on, Dick, this guy has no idea what he is talking about.  Let's pick up Peter and Willy from school and go get some dinner."
-0-

Jul 24, 2011

Government paralysis leads to lack of confidence. Thanks Boner!

Putting pressure on an already lousy job market, the mass layoff is making a comeback. In the past week, Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Borders announced a combined 23,000 in job cuts. (See: Another Retailer Bites the Dust: Borders Doomed by Amazon Deal, Davidowitz Says)

Those announcements follow 41,432 in planned cuts in June, up 11.6% from May and 5.3% vs. a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Meanwhile, state and local governments have cut 142,000 jobs this year, The WSJ reports, and Wall Street is braced for another round of cutbacks. This week, Goldman Sachs announced plans to let go 1000 fixed-income traders.

If these trends continue, we may soon be talking about losses in the monthly employment data -- not just disappointing growth, says Howard Davidowitz, CEO of Davidowitz & Associates
"Everything in business is confidence," Davidowitz says. "You lose confidence and businesses can't deal with that [and] who could have confidence with what's going on in Washington?"

Davidowitz is bipartisan in his criticism, calling the U.S. political system "dysfunctional and deranged." (See: "A Bunch of Morons in Washington": Howard Davidowitz Handicaps the Debt Ceiling Debate)
Still, the restructuring expert is a longtime and vocal critic of President Obama: "There has never been in a situation in my lifetime where a guy increases the debt by 40%, GDP growth is on the way down, Food Stamps are up, millions more are unemployed -- and to accomplish this we spent $4 trillion."
But it's an open question whether any president or policy mix could do much to revive the economy after the bursting of the credit bubble.

In This Time is Different, co-authors Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart demonstrate that financial crises are typically followed by severe recessions, slow recoveries, subpar growth and greater frequency of recessions in the decade following the crisis. (See: Bernanke In Denial About Economy's Fate, Vincent Reinhart Says)

"No one believes the economy, Obama or not, is going to improve," my Breakout colleague Jeff Macke says in the accompanying clip. "Time [is] the only thing that heals."


  • Video: Obama: Boehner walking from ‘extraordinarily fair’ debt deal
    July 22: President Obama addresses the current state of US debt talks by announcing that House Speaker John Boehner has withdrawn from the negotiations. During the statement, Obama makes a strong challenge to Boehner to come up with a solution to avoid US defaults on owed debts. (NBC News)President Obama addresses the current state of US debt talks by announcing that House Speaker John Boehner has withdrawn from the negotiations. During the statement, Obama makes a strong challenge to Boehner to come up with a solution to avoid US defaults on owed debts. (NBC News)
  • Video: Boehner: Obama’s late tax adds stalled debt deal
    July 22: House Speaker John Boehner addresses the current state of the US debt talks and responds to criticism voiced by President Obama. (NBC News)House Speaker John Boehner addresses the current state of the US debt talks and responds to criticism voiced by President Obama. (NBC News)
  • Video: US economy a likely casualty in GOP war on reality
    July 21: Congressman Barney Frank, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the economic repercussions if Republicans force the country into default by not allowing the debt ceiling to be raised.  (msnbc.com)Congressman Barney Frank, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the economic repercussions if Republicans force the country into default by not allowing the debt ceiling to be raised. (The Rachel Maddow Show)


What do you think?
Aaron Task is the host of The Daily Ticker. You can follow him on Twitter at @atask or email him at altask@yahoo.com


I think the Republicans are unfit because they are UNWILLING to govern.

Jul 22, 2011

Maxine: Nothin's changed in California in 160 years!



DO you know what happened 160 years ago this fall... Back in 1850?

California became a state.   The people had no electricity.  The state had no money.  Almost everyone spoke Spanish. There were gunfights in the streets.


So basically nothing has changed except then the women had real tits and the men didn't hold hands.

Jul 21, 2011

Well, just how dry IS it?

A buddy out of Longview Tx. said he'd killed a mosquito that was carrying a canteen. 

A man in Dime Box Tx. said the chicken farmers were giving the chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs. 

In Lake Palestine Tx. , they caught a 20 lb catfish that had ticks on it! 

But just this week, in Bryan Tx., a fire hydrant was seen bribing a dog. 

It's so dry in Texas that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling, the Methodists are using wet-wipes, the Presbyterians are giving out rain-checks, and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water.
Now THAT's Dry!

Small Dickeys, relax. TSA gives up on those Reveal ALL body scanners!



Budget Zero Hour fast Approaching; O'man might take a short term deal.


The White House signaled on Wednesday it could support a short-term increase in the U.S. borrowing limit for "a few days" if lawmakers agreed to a broad deficit reduction deal but needed more time to pass it.

The move, a shift from President Barack Obama's previous position, reflects the growing political reality that time is short for Congress to pass a massive deficit-cutting deal before the United States runs out of money on August 2.

-0-

Are Republicans Committing Treason?

The Republican Party no longer has Americans' best interests at heart, and we are suffering because of it. Oh read this from Alternet.

-0-


Well. (Swallow hard.) Turns out KMBC(ABC)'s Lara Moritz made a little news with her White House courtesy interview... MSNBC's take was that she got Obama to admit that the election will be a referendem 'on my stewardship' (to the job.)

Chuck on MSNBC read that this was actually a shred of truth from what's normally a fluffpiece interview. he ran the 2 shot of Moritz and Obama as well as a heavily edited answer to her question, "Who could beat you in 2012?"

Not sure if it was her skill or his gaffe but it is obvious truth and he did say it in almost so many words and it caught the MSNBC beast's attention.  Did KMBC even run that clip back in KC?


-0-

 Utility sabotage?
Sabotage by an insider at a major utility facility, including a chemical or oil refinery, could provide al Qaeda with its best opportunity for the kind of massive Sept. 11 anniversary attack Osama bin Laden was planning, according to U.S. officials. 

A new intelligence report from the Department of Homeland Security issued Tuesday, titled Insider Threat to Utilities, warns "violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions," and that "outsiders have attempted to solicit utility-sector employees" for damaging physical and cyber attacks.More from Good Morning America...

-0-

 Is Netflix killing DVD's like Apple Killed Floppies?  
An essay suggesting Netflix's 60 percent price hike is to knock off DVD's. A CEO, Eric Garland, thinks the format was already dying but the Netflix price increase is meant to perform a mercy killing on the highest order; so consumers can begin to acquire movies in the more efficient way that benefits them--and Netflix--the most.


 -0-

Pie in Murdoch's Eye during testimony before Parliament.
A protester splattered Rupert Murdoch with white foam on Tuesday, interrupting a dramatic hearing in which the media baron told British lawmakers he was not responsible for a phone hacking scandal that has rocked his global empire.

Murdoch appeared by turns vague, truculent, sharp and concise as he spoke alongside his son and deputy, James, calling the parliamentary inquiry "the most humble day of my career" but refusing to take personal blame for the crisis that has swept from a tabloid newspaper through the top levels of Britain's police and even to the prime minister's office.

Murdoch, 80, said he was "shocked, appalled and ashamed" at the hacking of the phone of a murdered schoolgirl by his now-shuttered News of the World tabloid.  More on the pie and the testimony....

-0-


Mike Papantonio, host of "The Ring of Fire" radio show  
The Murdoch testimony was quite the circus Tuesday (sure you've heard.... pie-in-the-face included). While the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks maintained their innocence through ignorance, the drama continues-- Here in the US, relatives of 9/11 victims are asking to meet with the FBI over the allegations that reporters hacked into victims' voicemails. This isn't going away.
-0-




100 DEGREE DAY!  Blistering heat wave stressing nation's power grid



 A lengthy, blistering heat wave that is blanketing the eastern half of the United States is putting significant stress on the nation's power grid as homeowners and businesses crank up their air conditioners.


The heat wave began a week ago in the Plains states and is expected to spread east through the weekend.    The rest of the story from AP.

-0-

Last space shuttle comes home, ends 30-year era (AP)

Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. Thursday, July 21, 2011. The landing of Atlantis marks the end of NASA's  30 year space shuttle program.  (AP Photo/Terry Renna)AP - Atlantis and four astronauts returned from the International Space Station in triumph Thursday, bringing an end to NASA's 30-year shuttle journey with one last, rousing touchdown that drew cheers and tears.


-0-


Falling mail volume and soaring red ink may soon doom Saturday mail delivery and prompt three-day-a-week delivery within 15 years, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warns.
Donahoe's forecast is based on a projected $8.3 billion loss this year as the drift from paper to electronic communication hammers the Postal Service. "On Sept. 30," he told the USA TODAY editorial board Tuesday, "I won't be able to pay my bills."
Chief among them: a $5.5 billion payment due Sept. 30 to cover future retirees' health benefits.

-0-

 Iran full speed ahead on nuclear centrifuges
Western capitals have reacted angrily to an announcement by Iran that it is installing more advanced centrifuges in a uranium enrichment plant with the aim of accelerating its nuclear programme.

"The installation of new centrifuges with better quality and speed is ongoing," the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman told reporters at his weekly press briefing.

"We have announced it and the agency [the International Atomic Energy Agency] has full supervision of them. They are fully aware that Iran's peaceful nuclear activity continues to progress. 

However, France said Iran's move – which Tehran claims could triple the rate at which it enriches uranium – confirmed suspicions that the Iranian nuclear programme had "no credible civilian application".  "This is a new violation of six security council resolutions and 10 resolutions by the council of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]."

-0-


Borders said it would liquidate after the second-largest U.S. bookstore chain failed to receive any offers to save it.  Borders, which employs about 10,700 people, scrapped a bankruptcy-court auction scheduled for Tuesday amid the dearth of bids.The company said liquidation of its remaining 399 stores could start as soon as Friday, and it is expected to go out of business for good by the end of September.

-0-

STUPIDITY:  DO it HIZZELF Orthopedics. A man was charged with aggravated child abuse after cutting off the top of his son’s right thumb while trying to saw off the teen's cast.   The 15-year-old boy lives with his mother and other siblings at the home in Coral Springs, authorities said.

Upon arriving, the moronic father pulled out a 10-inch circular saw from his work truck; he then tried to cut the teen’s purple cast off his right hand, authorities said.

The saw sliced through the tip of the boy’s right thumb, the report said. The middle of his index finger was almost cut off, and he suffered a deep cut between his index  finger and thumb.

-0-

Jul 19, 2011

Journalism: Stealing News



07-18-2011

News Analysis
VETERAN COLUMNIST FIRED BECAUSE HE PLAGIARIZED A NEWS RELEASE      It has now been over a week since the Kansas City Star publicly flogged and then fired 31-year veteran Steve Penn for plagiarizing information from press releases and running it pretty much "as is."

    Penn was never going to be confused with Ernest Hemingway. His columns focused on the inner city (see Lewis Diuguid) and often sounded like they came from puff news releases generated by minority PR firms. 

    But that still didn't reduce the shock that he was fired. That the Star did it so publicly was even more shocking.

    It clearly sent a message that there is a new sheriff publisher at the helm of the Star.
    It would be almost unthinkable that former Star President & Publisher Mark Zieman would have done this to a minority columnist during his reign. 

    It was Zieman who instituted a policy where if three people are quoted in a story at least one must be a minority or female. It made little difference if they actually said anything quotable. They just had to be quoted for "diversity" reasons. He also pushed the disastrous "Rise Up" magazine that focused on diversity and disappeared in a few months. 

    But, I digress...

    As one who has been in the news release writing game for three decades all I can say is: "Journalists can get fired for stealing information from news releases?"

    Holy crap!!!  I bet there are literally hundreds of journalists shaking in their boots today with that news.  

    I contacted a friend who has been in this PR racket for even more years than me and he was equally stunned by Penn's transgressions. 

   "Well, hell, I thought that's what we supposed to do as PR pros. We write stuff, send it out, and let the media do with it what they want," he responded. 

   "I never expected to be attributed and when a release ran verbatim, it was a small, quiet victory for me. We believed we were helping both our clients/companies and the media." 
 
    In reality, on the PR side of the business, the definition of a good news release is one that could be virtually cut and pasted into a newspaper story.  

     During my career I have had news releases quoted almost verbatim from start to finish in newspapers with no attribution whatsoever. While this has been particularly true in smaller newspapers with limited staffs, it certainly has occurred in major newspapers across the country.  

    If I managed to get a president of a company to say something of interest (not an easy task) in a news release it was common that some reporter would simply plug it into his/her story.
   Attribute it to my news release?  Dream on! 

   Would I care if I was given credit?  Never!

   With media outlets shrinking on a daily basis and reporters often called on to write on topics they have virtually no knowledge of, a well-written news release can make all the difference whether a company is quoted in a story or not.

    Note to all journalists: Feel free to steal every piece of information from my news releases. Don't even bother to mention that the info came directly from my release. I just want your story to be accurate (and hopefully mention my client positively). 

    If the information that appears in a newspaper comes from a news release I wrote and been approved by my client, I can guarantee it will be accurate. Use it any way you wish.

    It will be our little secret.

Hmmmm.  Coincidentally, PR Guy John Landsberg wrote these same words 8 hours earlier.

Jul 18, 2011

How many Republicans does it take to Screw an Efficient Lightbulb Standard?



By a voice vote on Friday, the House passed a “light bulb ban” amendment to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act (HR 2354). The amendment, offered by climate denier Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), prohibits spending to enforce the incandescent lighting efficiency standards in the 2007 energy law signed by President George W. Bush.  

These standards have already spurred the lighting industry to create innovative new incandescent bulbs that are dramatically more efficient than the century-old design the Tea Party is bent on defending. This amendment will hurt jobs, hurt manufacturing, and hurt the environment — helping instead coal-powered electricity producers who depend on wasteful use of energy.   More.....

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UK media say Rebekah Brooks arrested in London (AP) July 10 2011 photo of Rupert Murdoch and his News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks (right) who has resigned, the company confirmed Friday July 15 2011, as they  battle a series of crises including accusations of phone hacking and police corruption. Only days earlier Murdoch had expressed his strong support for Brooks. (AP Photo/ Ian Nicholson/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  NO SALES  NO ARCHIVEAP - British police investigating phone hacking and police bribery by the defunct tabloid News of the World arrested a 43-year-old woman Sunday who British media identified as Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch's former British CEO.

The London police chief has resigned and now Assistant Commissioner John Yates has resigned too.  Yates made a decision two years ago to not re-open police inquiries into phone hacking,

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday called for an emergency session of Parliament to brief lawmakers on the political mess, trying to gain control of a crisis that is threatening Rupert Murdoch's media empire, the upper echelons of London's police force and the country's leader himself.

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Casey Anthony freed from jail, slips from view (AP) Casey Anthony, center, walks out of the   the Orange County Jail with her attorney Jose Baez, left,  during her release in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, July 17, 2011.  Anthony was acquitted last week of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee. (AP Photo/Red Huber, Pool)AP - Casey Anthony walked out of jail a free woman under heavy guard early Sunday, facing shouts of "baby killer" from a heckling crowd only days after a nation in rapt attention watched as she was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

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Debt talks and little else on Washington's agenda (AP)

FILE - In this April 14, 2011, file photo White House Budget Director Jack Lew briefs reporters at the White House in Washington. Lew said Sunday, July 17, 2011, on NBC's Meet the Press that congressional leaders still had time “to get something big done” with President Barack Obama as the deadline for raising the nation’s debt ceiling drew nearer without a solution.  “I think that what is encouraging is that the leaders in Congress seem to have all agreed that we can’t push to a default,” Lew said Sunday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)AP - The debt showdown isn't just the dominant issue in Washington this summer — it's virtually the only one getting any attention in the nation's capital.


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Anti-abortion groups push for more restrictive measures in Kansas, even ahead of the 2012 legislative session.

A petition has begun circulating for Gov. Sam Brownback to convene a special session this fall to consider a so-called “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Another group plans to introduce a bill calling for a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the rights of personhood to every human being from the beginning of biological development, including fertilization.

Both measures would defy Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman’s right to have an abortion until the fetus would be viable outside the womb, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.  -- Wichita Eagle

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It turns out people in China are eating with chopsticks that are made in America. Donald Trump, a persistent critic of China and their economic policies, should take note as China is apparently eager to boost America’s exports as they load up on these American-made chopsticks.


Not only is the new Georgia company great for international trade, but it also has significantly benefited the local economy as the company recently provided residents of Georgia with fifty new jobs. And one might guess the future seems bright for this company, since rumor has it China has a lot of people.

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In order to create fire easily, English chemist John Walker invented sulfur-friction matches in 1827.

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