Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bush "AIDS Czar" Who Discouraged Condom Use Around The World Resigns in Sex Scandal -- UPDATED, below

Last night Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias resigned, and the State Department issued a press release saying he had resigned for 'personal reasons'. Very personal reasons, it turns out:

On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News he had several times called the "Pamela Martin and Associates" escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." Tobias, who is married, said there had been "no sex," and that recently he had been using another service "with Central Americans" to provide massages.

Tobias' private cell number was among thousands of numbers listed in the telephone records provided to ABC News by Jeane Palfrey, the woman dubbed the "D.C. Madam," who is facing the federal charges.

How Tobias thought it would help his case to tell ABC he had been using Central American gals, I can't say. (Were the Pamela Martin prostitutes escorts illegal aliens?)

Who is Randall Tobias? He is the former CEO of Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, as well as the former Chairman of AT&T. A bigtime Bush contributor. A bigwig in Indiana politics. Founder of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence at Indiana University (which his children head, nepotism is a great thing.) And, since 2003 United States Global AIDS coordinator with the US Agency for International Development (I'd refer you to his bio on, but it was removed last night!) and since 2006, Deputy Secretary of State (as well as Global AIDS cooreinator), as USAID was merged into the State Department.

And during his government service, he's been pushing the fundie hatred of condoms, and thereby condemning people around the world to be infected with HIV:

Tobias has consistently put the Bush administration agenda before science and facts in the global fight against AIDS, acting as the “front man for Bush’s ideology-driven policies on prevention and on treatment (of AIDS).”

His HIV-prevention policies have focused on “abstinence-only-until-marriage”
leaving “large segments of the population at immediate risk of HIV infection.” He has also made inaccurate public statements on the effectiveness of condoms in AIDS prevention and has funded questionable organizations supported by President Bush, but lacking in technical competency in HIV prevention.

Let's hope he hasn't infected his wife. Hypocrite.

ABC is doing a big story this week on all the phone numbers from Pamela Martin's escort service. I wonder who else is going down? (Very punny.)

ThinkProgress: Rice Appoints Political Sycophant To Head U.S. Foreign Aid Efforts

ABC News: Senior Official Linked to Escort Service Resigns

WaPo: Rice Deputy Quits After Query Over Escort Service
Randall Tobias Oversaw U.S. Foreign Aid Programs

UPDATE: (I can't keep up!)

ThinkProgress: Official Caught Using Escort Service Demanded Anti-Prostitution ‘Loyalty Oaths’

Tobias required any group seeking US funding to take an anti-prostitution oath so broad that it outlawed outreach to sex workers; Brazil lost $40 million in funds it would have used to encourage condom use by sex workers.

During an “Ask the White House” online chat in 2004, Tobias defended the policy, saying the U.S. was “partnering with communities” to begin “fighting sex trafficking and prostitution, while still serving victims of these activities.” Tobias added that he was overseeing several “highly successful” relationship programs “aimed at men and boys to help them develop healthy relationships with women.”

A truly inspired idea, having someone who pays for “gals come over to the condo to give me a massage” run programs on developing “healthy relationships with women.”

Trooper Binkerhoff Killed By Fellow Officer(s)

The state police's attempt to bring in Travis Trim did go horribly wrong; four troopers went into the home where Trim was hiding out, but only two walked out. Trim shot Trooper Brinkerhoff once, with a shot that was intercepted by his bulletproof vest. However, when Brinkerhoff went down to his knees, the fusillage released by his fellow troopers struck him in the back of the head, probably killing him instantly. I don't use the phrase "friendly fire" because I feel it trivializes the act of shooting, just as using the phrase "domestic violence" makes the violence seem less violent.

The state police then tried to wait Trim out. In retrospect, it would have been better to wait Trim out originally once he was located in the home, especially since he had already shot a trooper once with little provocation.

It's still a tragedy all around, and Trim is as responsible for the trooper's death under the felony murder rule as though he had pulled the trigger. None of this would have happened if he had not shot the trooper the day before. However, one hopes the New York State Police will look carefully at their procedures in such situations. Hostage negotiating should be the first option, not the last.

Kingston Daily Freeman: Remembering David Brinkerhoff: 'He was a real special individual'

Albany Times-Union: Killed in the crossfire
State Police fired nearly 70 times in shootout with fugitive, and one of those rounds hit trooper

NYTimes: Comrade’s Shot Killed New York State Trooper

NYTimes: A Fatal Wound From a Colleague’s Weapon Is Rare, but Always a Risk

Newsday (AP): Officials: NY trooper probably killed by friendly fire

Friday, April 27, 2007

Put Your Money Where Your Principles Are: Support Pretty Bird Woman House

This week Amnesty International reported that more than 1/3 of Native American woman are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. A diarist at dailykos noted the study, and posted a link to Pretty Bird Woman House, a domestic violence shelter on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota that was days away from closing for lack of funds.

[t]he great majority of these horrific assaults are coming from outsiders. Outsiders who understand that these women are often isolated in remote areas, outsiders who know that the community authorities have little power to stop them, and who know that federal prosecutors have shown little interest in taking these cases.

You can donate to the shelter via paypal, or snail mail, here:

A Modest Proposal

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (2nd L) and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) shake hands at the conclusion of the South Carolina Democratic party's presidential candidates debate at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, April 26, 2007. At left is Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) and at right are U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) (2nd R) and former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel (D-AL) (R). REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES)

The next time the Democrats have a debate, the media should participate in a forum with stupid questions from Brian Williams (listens to Limbaugh; need I say more?) for an hour and a half. Then the candidates should get six hours to kibbutz among themselves about the issues.

Unfortunately, MSNBC showed us the reverse last night, and it was a thorough waste of time. Hearing Pat Buchanan compare Hillary Clinton to Ronald Reagan almost caused my head to explode, but I changed the channel quickly and the Red Sox game restored my sanity.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

George W. Bush: Sign The Bill

You can go to their website and donate to run this ad around the country: Americans United for Change

I saw this on Eschaton.

Democrats Finding Voice

1. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) blasted John McCain on the floor of the House yesterday for joking about putting an IED under Jon Stewart's desk:

ThinkProgress: Murtha Slams McCain Over ‘Outrageous’ IED Joke

As he has with all criticism recently, McCain said it was all just a joke.

2. Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow with a devastating cartoon with quotes from all the gasbag corporate media pundits who got the Iraq War horribly wrong.

Keith Olbermann to Rudy: You Crossed the Line

Rudy Giuliani, who located New York City's disaster response headquarters in the basement of the World Trade Center, had fire and police departments whose radios could not reach each other, and elevated his corrupt driver, Bernard Kerik, to Police Commissioner of New York, says if a Democrat is elected America will be hit again by terrorists. Shameless. Keith Olberman says it much more elegantly:

Moyers: "How Did the Mainstream Press Get It So Wrong?"

If you missed Bill Moyers show on PBS last night, go watch it here.

Boston College Women's Ice Hockey Coach 'Resigns'

Photo: USA Hockey: In his fourth season at Boston College, head coach Tom Mutch has everyone on the same page.

Hours after the Boston Herald began making inquiries about sexual text messages found on the cell phone of Boston College women's ice hockey's leading scorer, head coach Tom Mutch abruptly resigned. Mutch had been named New England coach of the year and had led the team to the Frozen Four for the first time.

Apparently following the LSU model for crisis management, Boston College originally issued a statement saying Mutch was leaving to pursue other interests, and thanking Mutch for his contributions to the program. Did they think the story wouldn't get out?

The messages were on a cell phone that the player had given to a teammate, who discovered the messages. They were written from the player to Mutch. The Herald reports:

One source familiar with the messages described them as “filthy. They were very sexual in nature.”

Coach Mutch is 39 years old, and married to a 31-year-old former ice hockey player he met while he was her coach with the women's Olympic team in 1998; they have a 7-month-old baby. The player is a 19-year-old freshman. [I see no reason to name her here. You can read her name on the links. She's been humiliated enough, IMHO.] I bet her parents back home, entrusting their daughter to this guy, are furious, and rightly so. I'm sure his wife is furious, also.

These coaches who marry former players that they met while coaching them should be carefully monitored. They have either crossed or come close to crossing the line in the past. Don't schools do the math? Nine years ago his 31-year-old wife was 22 years old, the same age as many Boston College seniors. Schools must be more careful.

The Herald also reports:

A 2005 profile of Mutch in the BC publication “The Heights” said he was fond of singing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” to his players.

In retrospect, this is seen as a red flag. I would say, the fact that he is married to a former player is a much bigger red flag.

Boston Herald: BC hockey coach quits after sexy messages surface

Boston Herald: Students mum on beleaguered BC hockey coach

Boston Globe: BC's Mutch quits amid allegations
Coach abruptly leaves women's hockey job Mutch resigns amid controversy
Allegations of inappropriate relationship with player surface

after atalanta: Another player/coach incident Too Mutch: BC Coach Resigns in Sex Scandal

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Delaware County, New York Hits CNN

State Police acting Superintendent Preston L. Felton said the cause of the fire isn’t known. It’s possible suspect Travis D. Trim set the fire, Felton said, or a tear gas round could have ignited something.
“We are looking closer at the type of round that was fired into the residence, the type of tear gas round,” he said.
MIKE GROLL The Associated Press

Today I made my usual morning check on the Oneonta Daily Star and saw a story at the top of the local news about a state trooper being shot in Margaretville, New York. The trooper was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously injured. The shooting took place right down the road from Margaretville Central School. I lived in the next town over and drive through Margaretville every time I go home to Coach Mom's house.

I googled the name of the shooting suspect, Travis Trim, and found that the situation had gotten much, much worse. The state police tactical team brought in to look for the kid entered a vacation house in Arkville (the next hamlet over) this morning where burglar alarms had been triggered. Trim was in the house, and two state troopers were shot. Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff died shortly thereafter, and the other trooper, Richard Mattson, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center for treatment. He is in serious but stable condition.

The police surrounded the house and kept it under surveillance all day until about 6:00 p.m. when tear gas canisters were fired into the house. Minutes later the house went up in flames (I watched tape of the fire starting, and you can hear the voices of people on the hill watching it happen: "Who started the fire?" "Could be him, or could be a tear gas canister, they get real hot when they go off.") The house went up quickly; reportedly, the absentee homeowner had informed the police that there was a large gun collection in the house. You could hear things exploding as the fire burned; the firefighters who tried to hose down the flames had to back away when there was a crack, which could have been a shot or just ammunition in the house exploding from the flames. A body [presumably the 23-year-old suspect] was found slumped in the doorway of one of the second story rooms, clutching a rifle.

Horrible all around. The poor family of that state trooper. The people that owned the house. The grandmother of the shooter was quoted as saying: "He was a smart kid. I don't know what happened to him," Ruth Trim said. "I don't think there's any way for this to turn out good now. Not after shooting a trooper. His goose is cooked." Prophetic, unfortunately.

CNN: Body found in burned house after hunt for trooper's killer

MSNBC: Body found in burned house after standoff
Trooper slain during manhunt for suspect in shooting of two other officers

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: Photo Gallery

NYTimes: 2 N.Y. State Troopers Shot; 1 Dies of Injuries

Capital (Albany, NY) 9 News: Police: Travis Trim believed dead

Albany Times-Union: Body found in charred home at shooting site
North Country resident Travis Trim, 23, suspect in trooper's death

AP Video

Update: The body has been identified as Travis Trim.

A trust fund has been set up for Trooper Brinkerhoff's daughter [see sidebar].

The Suffering

First lady Laura Bush delivers an address at a morning breakfast in New Orleans, Thursday, April 19, 2007. Mrs. Bush delivered remarks at the Zurich Classic 'Birdies for Books.' The professional golf tour stops in New Orleans this week and a $100 donation will be made to the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries for every birdie posted during the tournament. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

On the Today Show this morning, Laura Bush talks about who suffers most from the Iraq War. Who suffers most. Who could it be? The hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed Iraqis? Their families? The thousands of dead and maimed American soldiers? Their families?

No, Laurabot says it is she and George who suffer the most. It is so astonishing that I transcribed the snippet of video, which you can go to Americablog to watch to verify that Laura Bush did indeed say something so very selfish and callous. George W. Bush isn't the only person in the White House living in denial of reality.

[intro, Ann Curry: "I asked Mrs. Bush about other challenges her husband is facing."]

Q: You know the American people are suffering, watching. [Laura Bush softly chuckles]

A: Oh, I know that, very much. And believe me, no one suffers more than their President and I do, when we watch this. And certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way.

Q: What do you think the American public need to know, about your husband?

A: Well I hope they do know the burden of worry that's on his shoulders every single day for our troops. And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our President are.

Q: It must be hard for you to watch him in this.

A: Well, it's hard, I mean of course, it's absolutely hard.

McCain on The Daily Show

How is it that Jon Stewart -- A COMEDIAN -- does better political interviews than anyone in our media?

Update: From comments, you can read a transcript of the entire interview on this blog:

The Third Path: John McCain returns to The Daily Show

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Excerpts, Tillman Hearing

These were posted on Nancy Pelosi's blog, The Gavel. Fratricide used for political purposes by the Bush Administration. The grief of a family tread upon for political purposes. Sickening. (On Pelosi's blog, you can also see Jessica Lynch's opening statement.)

Congressman Waxman's (D-CA) opening statement:

Kevin Tillman opening statement:

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) questions:

Supporting The Troops, Bush Style

Pat Tillman and his brother Kevin, who is testifying before Congress today.

Tillman hearing, live on CSPAN-3. The things that were done to cover up this man's death were horrific.

WaPo: Tillman Brother Blasts Military

ABC ran a story last night, about another soldier who was ignored to death. He checked into infamous Building 17 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and despite his family's desperate calls from home, hanged himself there. No one ever went to check.

Messi, Messi, Messi, Messi....

Lionel Messi scored a wonder goal last week that must be seen to be believed. He's in my top three young players in the world list (Ronaldo and Kaka being the other two) but Messi is my favorite because he's so little. At Easter, a non-soccer-loving relative asked me if Americans would ever win the World Cup because our best athletes go into other sports. I resisted the snide comeback that the U.S. has already won the World Cup twice as he was clearly asking about the men's team, and told him that soccer is not about size, it's about speed and skill. Some of the greatest soccer players were not very big. The second video below compares Messi's goal to a very similar goal by one of the very best (if not the very best) to ever play the game, Diego Maradona, who I could look down on from my lofty height of 5'4". And Michael Owen (3rd clip) is not so tall either. It's all about speed and skill. Watch and enjoy.

Lionel Messi goal, 4/18/07, Barcelona v. Getafe. The announcer goes wild!
Lionel Messi goal, 4/18/07, Barcelona v. Getafe

Side-by-side comparison of Messi's goal with Maradona's goal v. England in the 1986 World Cup. Wow.

Another great end-to-end goal, Michael Owen for England against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.

RIP David Halberstam

Horst Faas/Associated Press

His reporting for The New York Times from Vietnam left little doubt that a corrupt South Vietnamese government supported by the United States was no match for Communist guerrillas and their North Vietnamese allies. For that work, Mr. Halberstam shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1964.

David Halberstam wrote three of my favorite books: The Best and the Brightest, The Breaks of the Game, and The Teammates, about my favorite topies: politics and sports. He died yesterday in a car accident in California, on his way to interview Y.A. Tittle, the former quarterback of the New York Giants. I would have liked to read that book. When I was a kid I had the famous picture of Y.A. Tittle's last game, bloodied and bowed, on the door of my closet:

David Halberstam books are books I passed around, or bought to give as gifts. In my mind, reading The Breaks of the Game is inextricably tied with the 1980s Larry Bird Celtics. All my Celtics fan friends read the book, and we marveled at the writing and at the insider's view. I listened to The Teammates a few years ago as a book-on-tape and was brought to tears several times (always dangerous while driving!) as he described the life-long devoted friendship between Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, and Dom DiMaggio. I will miss his writing. Here's a piece he wrote for the Boston Globe about Red Sox Nation (hat tip, A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory):

David Halberstam, Boston Globe, 8/29/03: Facing the Nation
Up-close look at the Red Sox fan base finds it is as passionate as ever

For a Citizen of the Nation, beating the Mariners or A's is merely winning a baseball game, while beating the Yankees is the very essence of life itself....


It's a condition, being a Red Sox fan, not a cult, nor a religious affiliation, although there are on occasion certain religious experiences. (Think Yaz in '67, and Fisk in the World Series in '75.) Most Americans are relatively indifferent to the past, believing that America is so powerful that history does not matter, that our nation is so strong and energetic, that we can mold the present to our needs, despite the burdens of the past. Not Red Sox fans: They know the past matters, and they know as well that you are, more than you realize, a prisoner of it. In a country where there has been an amazing run of material affluence for almost 60 years with the expectation built into the larger culture that things are supposed to get better every year, citizens of RSN know better. They know that things do not always get better. They know that the guys in the white hats do not always win in the last five minutes of the movie. They know the guys in the black hats have plenty of last-minute tricks, and that they can pick up just the right player off the waiver list in the waning days of a season (think Johnny Mize, 1949).

The Red Sox fan knows that the fates can be cruel. Never mind the Babe. Just think a mere 31 years ago -- why it was like yesterday: Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater. A 27-year-old lefthanded reliever, who had pitched in 184 games in the previous three years, and had saved 16 that year (and would save a league-leading 35 the next year) for a 32-year-old first baseman with up to then 52 career home runs. Oh dear.

David Halberstam, ESPN Page 2: One Splendid day [with Ted Williams]

David Halberstam, ESPN Page 2: Sports can distract, but they don't heal

David Halberstam, ESPN Page 2: Thanks, soccer, see you in four years David Halberstam, 1934-2007
In a host of Salon interviews, the great journalist talks about the depths of his work and passions, from Vietnam to Michael Jordan.

WaPo: David Halberstam, 1934-2007
Author Uncloaked Vietnam Blunders

NYTimes: David Halberstam, 73, Reporter and Author, Dies

San Francisco Chronicle: DAVID HALBERSTAM: 1934-2007
Author was on his way to an interview
He was to meet with Y.A. Tittle to talk about football

San Francisco Chronicle: DAVID HALBERSTAM: 1934-2007
Car crash ends award-winning writer's life Friends and former colleagues remember David Halberstam

Academy of Achievement: The David Halberstam Interview

wikipedia: David Halberstam

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Know What I Want for My Birthday

ProJoSoxBlog: Red Sox World Series ring offered on eBay

Why Virginia Tech Happened

A Virginia Tech student releases a white balloon (R) symbolizing one of the victims killed on campus one week ago in Blacksburg, Virginia April 23, 2007. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES)

Because the obviously psychotic Cho wasn't committed. Because our mental health system was systematically dismantled in the 1970s. Read this important article by Dr. Jonathan Kellerman (yes, the author).

Dr. Jonathan Kellerman, WSJ: A DANGER TO SOCIETY
Bedlam Revisited
Why the Virginia Tech shooter was not committed.

Chimpeachment Takes A Step Forward

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

-- Lao Tzu (although often wrongly attributed to Confucius)

Reuters: Vermont senate adopts resolution to impeach Bush home page

Guardian (uk): Vermont Senate: Impeach the President

Bee Colony Collapse

wikipedia: bees

What's causing the collapse of the honeybee colonies? The theories include genetically-engineered corn, predators, cellphones, and the stress of being corporately farmed. When I read that genetically-modified corn contains a neurotoxin (brain cell killer) that kills honeybees, I thought 'bingo'. Monsanto has killed the honeybees. It all makes sense now. They'll probably manufacture some new chemical to sell us to replace the honeybees.

Brendan Calling: Bees: Closer to Home
The disappearance of the bees hits New Jersey

Quotes from a Newark Star-Ledger article:

[Beekeeper] Tassot and his wife believe they know why their bees have disappeared.

“We have suspicions about pesticides,” he said. “We noticed most of the dead hives are close to cornfields. … And when we asked other beekeepers what was the principle crop near their hives, they said corn, corn, corn.”

Simone, of Morris Township, agrees. “When I spoke with other beekeepers they say all their hives with heavy losses are near cornfields.”

Many farmers in the United States and around the world rely on genetically engineered corn to survive the assault of crop-killing insects. The seeds are coated with a systemic pesticide that is essentially built into the corn as it grows.

One of the chief chemicals used is a neurotoxin called imidacloprid, which is manufactured by the German company Bayer CropScience. Imidacloprid works by blocking a pathway in insect brains that results in an accumulation of a neurotransmitter which, in insects, leads to paralysis and death.

At sublethal doses, however, imidacloprid is toxic to honeybees.
In a 2001 article in the Journal of Pesticide Reform, German scientist Eric Zeisstoff wrote that his research “indicated that bees affected by imidacloprid suffer problems with orientation. Bees with a particular level of imidacloprid contamination at 500 meters from the colony did not return to the hive at all.”

der Spiegel(Germany): Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

Independent (uk): Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees

High Country News: The Silence of the Bees

wikipedia: Colony Collapse Disorder

Oh. My. God.

I turn on the TV this morning and there is racist Michael Smerconish -- shaved head Philadelphia radio shock jock -- sitting in Imus's studio. Out with the old white male racist, in with the new white male racist! Those black and female faces on MSBNC in the days following the ouster of Imus were just token window dressing. Now we're back to GE's favorite form of news: conservative shock jock.

Smerconish's guest is the mad Camille Paglia, who is nervously babbling that our education system is failing boys and that we should allow them to go straight into factory jobs. Factory jobs? What factory jobs? What parallel universe does she live in?

The only good thing about having Paglia on television is that she talks so fast you can't understand her. And she's such a period piece. She announces that she's a Madonna feminist. Does that mean she is going to Africa to adopt a baby? Sheesh.

I read on dailykos last week that the major corporate media was encouraged to take control of the news by Karl Rove in 1999. I guess Rover was very persuasive.

dailykos: Rove Met With Jack Welch in '99 to Create Media Cartel. W/Poll

Patricia Goldsmith, Smirking Chimp: Restore Fairness, Return to Reality

[] As Rep. Louise Slaughter said in a 2004 interview with Bill Moyers, after fairness was defeated,

AM radio rose. It wasn't even gradual, Bill. I mean, almost immediately. And I should point out to you that when we tried to reinstate [the fairness doctrine] again in '93, one of the reasons we couldn't was that Rush Limbaugh had organized this massive uprising against it, calling it "The Hush Rush Law."

Slaughter goes on to explain that the law wouldn't have hushed Rush-that would take more than an act of Congress, I'm afraid-but it would have mandated that time be given to people who represent other sides of any issue discussed by Limbaugh. The same is true for Hannity, O'Reilly, and even Imus. They just wouldn't have the airwaves all to themselves the way they do now.


[I]n 1999 Karl Rove reached out to GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch, promising radical deregulation for the broadcast industry (GE is the parent company of NBC). This fit right in with some of Welch's thoughts and ambitions. He had long felt that the news division at NBC wasn't living up to its full profit potential. According to a a must-read article, "The Media Cover-up of the Gore Victory Part Four: Democracy, General Electric Style," by David Podvin and Carolyn Kay, that conversation led to some important changes:

Toward that end, Welch said that he would finally deal with a longstanding grievance of his: the ludicrous idea that news organizations should be allowed to operate in conflict with the best interests of the corporations that own them.

. . . The new dimension that Welch introduced was the concept that mainstream media should aggressively advance the political agenda of the corporations that own it. He did not see any difference between corporate journalism and corporate manufacturing or corporate service industries. . . .

In general, he saw corporate news organizations as untapped political resources that should be freed from the burden of objectivity.

. . .

He began to aggressively, but very discreetly, evangelize the gospel of corporate media as a corporate lobbying tool.

. . .

Welch told associates that he enlisted two members of the GE board to assist him in shaping the coverage of the election by other news organizations. . . . They quietly encouraged the executives of the mainstream media organizations to rethink the relationship between news divisions and business organizations.

And a cartel is born. A cartel can be a group of corporations within one industry who meet to set prices.

So, MSNBC, owned by NBC GE, has performed an elaborate corporate charade in firing Imus, but has gone back to furthering its corporate interests by putting a conservative on the air to shape the news in its corporate interests. Wow.

Barroid Hits #740

ABCNews: Giants Top D'backs; Bonds Hits No. 740
Barry Bonds Moves Within 15 of Homer King Hank Aaron As the Giants Down the Diamondbacks 2-1

"Ruth did it on hot dogs and Beer. Aaron did it with class. How did YOU do it?" was a sign held up by Philadelpha fans in May 2006.

Wisely, Hank Aaron wants nothing to do with steroid cheater Barroid.

WaPo: Aaron Won't Attend If Bonds Breaks Record

I'm with these fans:

Found this great photo on Chappy's League.


Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, left, celebrates as New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (13) grounds to third base to end the baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, April 22, 2007. The Sox won 7-6. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Didn't you just love A-Fraud weakly grounding out to end the game? Papelbon rules. Friendly Fenway
Red Sox cap sweep of Yankees by playing long ball

Boston Globe: Game photos

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Like Water For.....Crisco?

Big Food has petitioned the FDA to allow them to sell vegetable fats and oils and pass it off as real chocolate, which is made with cocoa butter. Mmmm, a big bar of Crisco. You can submit an e-comment to the FDA in opposition to this travesty (click on submit your comments and look for this docket number: 2007P-0085). Save chocolate!

Here's the comment I submitted to the FDA:

Keep chocolate as it is, made of cocoa and cocoa butter. I do not want another false adulterated product passed off as the real thing. Plus, I do not think any research has been done on the nutritional implications of replacing a natural, satisfying ingredient -- cocoa butter -- with vegetable fats and oils. We've already seen the disastrous results of substituting high-fructose corn syrup for sugar. Don't add to the obesity epidemic, and don't take away my real chocolate. Do not adopt these regulations. Keep chocolate real.

LATimes: Hands off my chocolate, FDA!
The FDA may allow Big Chocolate to pass off a waxy substitute as the real thing.

sisyphus shrugged: save chocolate!

Suburban Guerrilla: Oh no!


FDA docket No. 2007P-0085: Adopt Regulations of General Applicability to all Food Standards that would Permit, within Stated Boundaries, Deviations from the Requirements of the Individual Food Standards of Identity

Like Water for Chocolate (novel)

wikipedia: Chocolate

Physiological effects

Pleasure of consuming

Part of the pleasure of eating chocolate is due to the fact that its melting point is slightly below human body temperature: it melts in the mouth. Chocolate intake has been linked with release of serotonin in the brain, which produces feelings of pleasure.[13] A study reported on the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in one's mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.[14] Research has shown that heroin addicts tend to have an increased liking for chocolate; this may be because it triggers dopamine release in the brain's reinforcement systems[15] — an effect, albeit a legal one, similar to that of opiates.

Potential health benefits and risks

Recent studies have suggested that cocoa or dark chocolate may possess certain beneficial effects on human health. Dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content, is a rich source of the flavonoids epicatechin and gallic acid, which are thought to possess cardioprotective properties. Cocoa possesses a significant antioxidant action, protecting against LDL oxidation, perhaps more than other polyphenol antioxidant-rich foods and beverages. Processing cocoa with alkali destroys most of the flavonoids.[16] Some studies have also observed a modest reduction in blood pressure and flow-mediated dilation after consuming approximately 100g of dark chocolate daily. There has even been a fad diet, named "Chocolate diet", that emphasizes eating chocolate and cocoa powder in capsules. However, consuming milk chocolate or white chocolate, or drinking milk with dark chocolate, appears largely to negate the health benefit.[17] Chocolate is also a calorie-rich food with a high fat content, so daily intake of chocolate also requires reducing caloric intake of other foods.

Two-thirds of the fat in chocolate comes in the forms of a saturated fat called stearic acid and a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. However, unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid does not raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.[18] Consuming relatively large amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa does not seem to raise serum LDL cholesterol levels; some studies even find that it could lower them[19].


Studies suggest a specially formulated type of cocoa may boost brain function and delay decline as people age.[21]

White House Correspondents' Dinner

Comedian Rich Little (R) arrives for a party following the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington April 21, 2007. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)
Who got him out of the crypt?

I didn't see it but Editor & Publisher says Rich Little laid an egg. Atrios says this was the only funny part, a David Letterman Top 10 List:

From Oliver Willis, the funniest White House Correspondents' Dinner routine evah, Steven Colbert rocking Bush's world:

Update: Oh, and Sheryl Crow and Laurie David used the WHCD to try to talk to Karl Rove about global warming. You can guess how that turned out.