Thursday, January 31, 2008


Library of Congress: Collins, Marjory,, 1912-1985,, photographer.

Camouflage class in New York University, where men and women are preparing for jobs in the Army or in industry, New York, N.Y. They make models from aerial photographs, re-photograph them, then work out a camouflage scheme and make a final photograph

1943 March

No posting until Sunday. The blogroll on the right is highly recommended!

Spring Coming Too Early

Independent: In 25 years the average date that daffodils open has come forward 16 days

The Independent (uk): Britain in bloom (as spring is sprung earlier than ever)

Campaign Stuff

Library of Congress:
Suffragettes posting bills
[between 1910 and 1915]

Great all-encompassing post reviewing the prospects of Clinton and Obama in each of the 22 Super Tuesday states, Super Tuesday Preview from poblano at dailykos.

New York Times has hit piece on the Clintons on the front page this morning. Here's how it is summarized on the front page of the website: "A Canadian financier who traveled to Kazakhstan with Bill Clinton and won a big mining deal later donated millions to Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation."

Good Morning America has acquired tapes of WalMart corporate board meetings where union busting was discussed while Hillary Clinton sat silent. (Or as one wag on dailykos noted, she "voted present" on union busting.) hat tip to redglare at dailykos.

Much speculation about what has been dubbed "The Snub", Obama refusing to shake Hillary's hand at the SOTU speech. Coverage collected here at Tennessee Guerrilla Women. Are these really the things we should be basing decisions on? Of course the corporate media loves this crap.

On the Rethugs side, AP is reporting the the Mittwit isn't buying ad time in the Super Tuesday states. Saving Tagg's inheritance and throwing in the towel. hat tip to Talking Points Memo.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Fond Adieu

Flickr: Photo by Jonathan Walczak.

To populist candidate John Edwards, who will announce that he is dropping out of the presidential race at 1:00 p.m. in New Orleans.

I loved everything Edwards stood for, but felt his message got lost in his anger. Anger is not a winning political emotion. He would have been better off with a more hopeful message, with a message focusing not on the country's problems but on his solutions.

Speaking of hope, hopefully whichever Democrat wins the race envisions an important job for Edwards. He'd make a great Attorney General. Better yet, I'd love to see him on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court makes law by reviewing the results of trials, and most of the judges on the current court weren't trial lawyers. It would be great to have a real trial lawyer on the court to balance out all the ivory tower and corporate lawyers there now.

And farewell to Elizabeth Edwards too, my favorite of the candidates' spouses. I'd put my money on her in a candidate's spouse debate, even against Bill.

Will he endorse Obama or Hillary? Media reports say not today, but I would expect him to lean towards Obama given the way he defended him in the debates.

Thanks for running a campaign focused on the issues that matter to real Americans. Godspeed John and Elizabeth Edwards.

Bye Bye Rudy

Rudy Giuliani (noun) is dropping out (verb) despite the broad appeal of his heroic mayoring on 9/11. Now the Republican field is down to the Mittwit, St. John McCain (the "less jobs, more wars" candidate), and Huckleberry Huckabee. Choices, choices.

AP: Giuliani to Exit Presidential Race Today

NYTimes: For Giuliani, a Dizzying Free-Fall

The more that Republican voters saw of him, the less they wanted to vote for him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Despicable Treatment of Disabled Vets

The Ground Truth (2006)

By the Bush Administration, of course. They ordered the VA to stop helping disabled veterans with their paperwork applying for disability benefits, because too many veterans were getting the disability payments they deserved. Despicable, but entirely predictable from the shallow chickenhawks sending others to die, for profit, for legacy, for ideology, but for no good reason.

NPR: Army Blocks Disability Paperwork Aid at Fort Drum

Army officials in upstate New York instructed representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs not to help disabled soldiers at Fort Drum Army base with their military disability paperwork last year. That paperwork can be crucial because it helps determine whether soldiers will get annual disability payments and health care after they're discharged.

Now soldiers at Fort Drum say they feel betrayed by the institutions that are supposed to support them. The soldiers want to know why the Army would want to stop them from getting help with their disability paperwork and why the VA— whose mission is to help veterans — would agree to the Army's request.

'A Worn Pair of Boots'

One disabled soldier, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he fears retaliation from the military, says it feels like a slap in the face.

"To be tossed aside like a worn-out pair of boots is pretty disheartening," the soldier says. "I always believed the Army would take care of me if I did the best I could, and I've done that."

At a restaurant near Fort Drum, the soldier described his first briefing with the VA office on base. According to the soldier, the VA official told a classroom full of injured troops, "We cannot help you review the narrative summaries of your medical problems." The official said the VA used to help soldiers with the paperwork, but Army officials saw soldiers from Fort Drum getting higher disability ratings with the VA's help than soldiers from other bases. The Army told the VA to stop helping Fort Drum soldiers describe their army injuries, and the VA did as it was told.

hat tip to Jimstaro at dailykos.

Environment in Peril

Library of Congress: Totem Bight Community House, Mud Bight Village, North Tongass Highway, Ketchikan vicinity, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, AK

This will be a light posting day as I am busy, busy: here are the things that jumped out at me on the web today:

Guardian (uk): Bush opens 3m acres of Alaskan forest to logging
· Environmentalists say region will be devastated
· Supporters claim plan will revive timber industry

The US government has announced plans to open more than 3m acres (about 5,000 square miles) of Alaskan wilderness to logging, mining and road building, angering environmental campaigners who say it will devastate the region. Supporters say the plan for the Tongass National Forest, a refuge for grizzly and black bears, wolves, eagles and wild salmon, will revive the state's timber industry.

The Bush administration plan for the forest, the largest in the US at nearly 17m acres, would open 3.4m acres to logging, road building and other development, including about 2.4m acres that are currently remote and without roads. About 663,000 acres are in areas considered most valuable for timber production.

The move, the latest in a long-running saga over the Tongass forest, effectively reverses the "Roadless Rule" protection given to the area by President Clinton.

ClimateProgress: Bush SOTU: Decreasing Energy Security and Fronting for Climate Change

Lets see. After 7 years:

* Record oil imports. Check.
* Record oil prices. Check.
* Record trade deficit in oil. Check.
* Endless war in the Persian Gulf. Check.
* Iraqi oil exports below pre-war levels. Check.

Now that’s what the White House calls “Increasing Energy Security.” I’d hate to imagine what it would take for the White House to say we were Decreasing Energy Security.

And don’t get me started on “Confronting Climate Change.” The thing to always bear in mind:

President George W. Bush doesn’t just fiddle while the planet burns, he actively fans the flames and thwarts the fire-fighters.

Thank goodness this is the last Bush SOTU we’ll have to endure.

AFP: 2005 a deadly year for Caribbean coral

PARIS (AFP) - The Caribbean's fragile coral reefs were devastated in 2005 by a doubly whammy of record-high temperatures and 13 full-on hurricanes, according to a UN-sponsored report released Monday.

During the last 50 years many Caribbean reefs have lost up to 80 percent of their coral cover, damaging or destroying the main source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of people, said the report, prepared by a team of scientists and experts at the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

The study was jointly sponsored by UNESCO and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Coral-based ecosystems are extremely sensitive to temperature increases, which have led over the last 50 years to massive bleaching -- affecting up to 95 percent of the reefs around some islands, including the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, and the French West Indies.

2005 was the warmest year since records were first kept in 1880, and global warming is likely to increase in years to come, climate scientists have warned.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Obama Wins South Carolina 2 to 1, Gains Kennedy Endorsements

Obama crushed Hillary Clinton 2 to 1 in South Carolina, the first state in the primary cycle with a less than lily-white population. Bill Clinton then stuck his foot in his mouth and said, and I quote, “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ’84 and ’88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.”

You know, Bill, you only had to go back to 2004 if your point was, winning South Carolina doesn't guarantee the nomination (John Edwards won SC in 2004 but John Kerry was the nominee.) We all know why you went back 20 and 24 years to the only other black candidate ever to win a Presidential primary. Not pretty.

Ted Kennedy and his neice Caroline Kennedy (daughter of JFK) also endorsed Obama. There are reports that Ted decided to endorse because of Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson comment.

Other Obama news:

- Robert Novak, that unreliable source, reports that Obama plans to make John Edwards his Attorney General if he wins the Presidency. Whether this is true or not, by his very reporting of it you can tell it strikes fear in the dark heart of Novakula. Personally, I'd rather seen John E. on the Supreme Court.

- Obama is revealed as a Hammer, that is, a fan of the English Premier League football club West Ham. (As a Liverpool fan I can't link to the Sun, the paper which originally reported the story, so here's a blog linking to that blood-stained rag.) He's forever blowing bubbles.

Corporate Media Ignoring Global Warming

Glacier National Park, 1925; Library of Congress

San Francisco Chronicle: Media consign global warming to back burner

The League of Conservation Voters has been tracking the number of questions asked of the presidential candidates on the Sunday news shows and the debates televised by the major networks. Of the more than 2,900 questions asked, only four have mentioned the words "global warming."

The article also lays out the positions of the candidates. The Republicans are laughable, especially that whackjob Ron Paul.


Supports a cap-and-trade system on emissions and a new $50 billion fund for clean energy, which she predicts could help create 5 million new jobs. She says all new coal plants should have to capture their carbon.


Wants economy-wide limits on emissions and would require big carbon emitters to pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases. Like Clinton and Edwards, he supports increasing automobile fuel economy to at least 40 mpg within 10 years.


Opposes expanding nuclear power and backs a moratorium on new coal plants that don't capture their carbon. Like Clinton and Obama, he would require utilities to get 25 percent of their power from renewables by 2020.


Has been a chief sponsor of a bill since 2003 to cap greenhouse gas emissions, but his measure would not go as far as some proposals in Congress in cutting emissions. He believes new coal plants should be equipped to store carbon.


Says global warming is real, but he prefers voluntary measures by industry to cut emissions, rather than government regulation. He's called for more investment to boost conservation and energy efficiency.

MITT ROMNEY [Of course he has changed his position!]

Backed a state climate action plan when he was governor of Massachusetts but now says Republicans should not "embrace the ideas of Al Gore." Before the Michigan primary, which he won, he criticized "Washington-dictated" increases in fuel economy.


Supports a cap-and-trade system but has not laid out a detailed plan. He favors drilling for oil offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge but only until the United States can wean itself off oil. He supported the recently passed fuel economy increase to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.


Says the jury is still out on whether global warming is human-caused. He advocates markets as the best way to address all environmental problems and has proposed abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency. (watch ad to view): TV news is too cool
Major TV interviewers have asked presidential candidates 3,000 questions -- only six of them have been about global warming.

Jan. 28, 2008 | At the Republican debate Thursday night in Boca Raton, Fla., moderator Tim Russert asked Rudy Giuliani about global warming. "Florida has 1,200 miles of beautiful coast, which can be threatened with climate change, global warming, in a major way, as the world's population goes from 6 billion to 9 billion and the level of greenhouse gases doubles over the next 20 to 30 years," Russert said. "Yet you are against a mandatory cap on greenhouse gases. Why?" Giuliani's jumbled answer included a bevy of buzzwords such as "hybrid vehicles," "biofuels," "carbon sequestration" and "clean coal," before he asserted that U.S. industry would be "crushed" if we curbed our greenhouse gases.

Rudy is such a dope. For a more hopeful view of the future, read former Colorado Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Gary Hart's article, touting the Presidential Climate Action Project in Huffpo, which has many links to climate research and articles. You can sign the Project's statement here.

Bush's State of the Union

Library of Congress

James Carroll, Boston Globe: Our one-way trip to disaster

YOU AND everyone you love are riding on a large bus. The bus driver, unskilled and careless, drives too fast, ignores traffic signals, and barrels off the road occasionally. Because the bus is huge, other vehicles swerve to get out of its way, with cars crashing repeatedly. But your driver just keeps going, leaving carnage in his wake. Naturally, you are terrified - but your reactions are irrelevant.

Finally, the bus itself crashes, killing many. Miraculously, you and your loved ones climb out of the wreckage. A second bus is standing by, and you gratefully scramble aboard. The engine starts up, but then the bus lurches dangerously onto the road, going too fast. Only then do you see that this new bus has the same driver, and he has learned nothing. Welcome to the United States of America. And welcome to the annual State of the Union address.

Every year, the nation looks up from the wreckage, only to see that the same unskilled and careless driver is still at the wheel, bombing along.
Each January, he explains himself. You already know what he will say. His one admirable quality is that, over the years, he has always said exactly what to expect. A review of the Bush speeches has an "I told you so" quality, going back to the start. That raises the question, Why have you repeatedly been surprised?

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I've got to get me one of these. My old George H.W. Bush "Turn On A Thousand Points of Light" postcard taped to the light switch in my bedroom is getting a bit bedraggled. (Yes, the hole for the switch is right over the crotch of Bush 41's pants. I can't find a picture of it on the interwebs, not surprising as it is at least 15 years old.) This one appeals to the atheist in me. Great kitsch, too.

Hat tip to Shakesville, Via PZ through Amanda, who highlights the best line possible: “For he is the Gloryhole, and the Light.”.