Saturday, February 07, 2009

A-Fraud A Complete Fraud

ESPN: Report: A-Rod tested positive in 2003

According to a report by Sports Illustrated, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003, when he was with the Texas Rangers and won the AL home run title and MVP award.

According to the report, which was posted Saturday morning on, sources told the publication that Rodriguez was on a list of 104 players who tested positive that year, when Major League Baseball conducted tests to see if mandatory random drug testing was needed.

In 2003, there were no penalties for a positive result.

Put the tiny hypodermic next to his stats in the Baseball Encyclopedia, because he's just another Juice King. Fraud.

Happy birthday to Hank Aaron, BTW, he just turned 75 this week. Hank Aaron is the Home Run King of baseball and all these modern blow-up players are frauds. Liars, chest and thieves the lot of them.

Shepard Fairey Arrested in Boston

I have been meaning to write about the AP's bullshit claim against Shepard Fairey for using their copyrighted photo to make his Obama "hope" poster (above); then I open the newspaper today and find that Fairey was arrested last night outside the Institute for Contemporary Art. I have no idea what that's about, but I'm pretty sure the AP's case against him is bogus. Did Campbell's Soup sue Andy Warhol? (runs to google to check...yes they did! But dropped the case, whether because they liked the exposure for their brand, or because they were going to lose on the merits of whether Warhol's work infringed on their brand.)

So, is the AP claiming a copyright on Obama's face? I would think if anyone has the right to "use" the photo, it's the subject.

We all know why AP is suddenly doing this more than a year after the poster came out. Newspapers are in the toilet, cutting costs left and right including cutting AP, and they need money. AP wants credit for Fairey's Obama image Street artist arrested on way to event at ICA

Shepard Fairey, the controversial street artist riding a roller coaster of publicity with his red, white, and blue posters of President Obama, was arrested last night on his way to deejay an event kicking off his exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Fairey, 38, who is known for his countercultural style, was arrested on two outstanding warrants and was being held, according to a police official with knowledge of the arrest who requested anonymity. Police could not describe the nature of the warrants, but said they originated in Massachusetts.

Fairey has been arrested at least 14 times, he has told the Globe.

The artist was arrested at about 9:15 p.m. as he was about to enter a sold-out dance event at the ICA on Northern Avenue, known as "Experiment Night." The event is geared toward a younger crowd, with techno-style music, and more than 750 people were waiting for Fairey, some of whom had bought tickets on Craigslist for as much as $500.

Fairey was supposed to appear as a guest disc jockey for the kickoff of his exhibit, "Supply and Demand," which will run through Aug. 16. He was scheduled to go on stage at about 10:30 p.m., and an hour later organizers told the crowd that he was arrested.

"We're very disappointed," said Paul Bessire, deputy director of the ICA.

President Obama's Weekly Web Address


Yesterday began with some devastating news with regard to our economic crisis. But I'm pleased to say it ended on a more positive note.

In the morning, we received yet another round of alarming employment figures – the worst in more than 30 years. Another 600,000 jobs were lost in January. We've now lost more than 3.6 million jobs since this recession began.

But by the evening, Democrats and Republicans came together in the Senate and responded appropriately to the urgency this moment demands.

In the midst of our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people were hoping that Congress would begin to confront the great challenges we face. That was, after all, what last November's election was all about.

Legislation of such magnitude deserves the scrutiny that it's received over the last month, and it will receive more in the days to come. But we can't afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary. The scale and scope of this plan is right. And the time for action is now.

Because if we don't move swiftly to put this plan in motion, our economic crisis could become a national catastrophe. Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, their homes, and their health care. Millions more will have to put their dreams on hold.

Let's be clear: We can't expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place. We can't rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges – the crushing cost of health care or the inadequate state of so many schools; our addiction to foreign oil or our crumbling roads, bridges, and levees.

The American people know that our challenges are great. They don't expect Democratic solutions or Republican solutions – they expect American solutions.

From the beginning, this recovery plan has had at its core a simple idea: Let's put Americans to work doing the work America needs done. It will save or create more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, all across the country – 16,000 in Maine, nearly 80,000 in Indiana – almost all of them in the private sector, and all of them jobs that help us recover today, and prosper tomorrow.

Jobs that upgrade classrooms and laboratories in 10,000 schools nationwide – at least 485 in Florida alone – and train an army of teachers in math and science.

Jobs that modernize our health care system, not only saving us billions of dollars, but countless lives.

Jobs that construct a smart electric grid, connect every corner of the country to the information superhighway, double our capacity to generate renewable energy, and grow the economy of tomorrow.

Jobs that rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and levees and dams, so that the tragedies of New Orleans and Minneapolis never happen again.

It includes immediate tax relief for our struggling middle class in places like Ohio, where 4.5 million workers will receive a tax cut of up to $1,000. It protects health insurance and provides unemployment insurance for those who've lost their jobs. And it helps our states and communities avoid painful tax hikes or layoffs for our teachers, nurses, and first responders.

That's what is at stake with this plan: putting Americans back to work, creating transformative economic change, and making a down payment on the American Dream that serves our children and our children's children for generations to come.

Americans across this country are struggling, and they are watching to see if we're equal to the task before us. Let's show them that we are. And let's do whatever it takes to keep the promise of America alive in our time.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman currently serving on the Supreme Court, and only the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

She is one of my favorite Supreme Court Justices, the only one currently serving to have had a significant impact on American jurisprudence before her appointment. She argued the first six sex discrimination cases ever heard by the all-male Court, and won five of them. She was the chief litigator for the ACLU's Women's Rights Project. It was her idea to bring sex discrimination cases where the injured party was male and cases where the discrimination hurt the family. The most famous example of this approach is the case where a widower received a smaller Social Security benefit than a widow. This the Supreme Court could see as disrimination, and a precedent was set that has benefitted all victims of sex discrimination (most of them female) ever since.

Best wishes to Justice Ginsburg in her second cancer battle. She intends to be on the bench when the Court resumes in three weeks.

NPR: Justice Ginsburg Undergoes Cancer Surgery

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman currently serving on the nation's highest court, underwent surgery Thursday for removal of a cancerous tumor from her pancreas.


Ginsburg's pancreatic cancer was discovered early, in the course of a routine annual screening, but medical literature says even in this circumstance, a patient's five-year survival chances range from 10 to 30 percent.


The five-year survival rate is 5 percent, with most patients living less than a year. Doctors say this poor survival rate is due in significant part to the fact that cancers of the pancreas are discovered late, when the cancer is very advanced.

Because Ginsburg previously underwent radiation treatment after her colon surgery, she likely will not be able to have radiation treatment a second time. Chemotherapy has not proved to be curative for pancreatic cancer.

The Current Economic Reality

I read Atrios, so I know most of what the corporate media is shoveling at us about the bailouts is 100% pure unadulterated crap. Here's the real deal, from three of Duncan Black's posts today:

(a) For over a year the one point that I and others have been trying make is that the polite fiction that masters of the universe of Wall Street and their defenders in the media and Congress have been trying maintain, that this is liquidity crisis not an insolvency crisis, is utter horseshit. They made bad leveraged bets and lost immense amounts of money, and now they, and their buddies Geithner and Summers, want taxpayers to bail them out so they can go on living their opulent life styles while some of my neighbors wonder if their next food stamp card is going to show up.

The question all along has been who is still standing when the music stops, which sucker gets stuck holding the bag.

(c) Bailing out these institutions might be necessary, but bailing out executives and shareholders is not.

Since the people running Obama's economic team are Wall Streeters, it appears that we the taxpayers will be the bagholders.

Rare Find

DailyMail: An auctioneer holds the Egyptian jar used as a garden ornament for 20 years

DailyMail (uk): Owner of garden patio ornament is told it's actually an ancient Egyptian artefact

A garden ornament that had been sitting on a patio for 20 years has turned out to be a rare, 3,000 year old ancient Egyptian jar.

The 13inch-high vessel was made during the time of the pharaohs to hold the organs of the dead ready for the afterlife.

With a distinctive top in the style of a face and easily recognisable headdress, the Canopic funerary jar had blended into its surroundings in an English garden for two decades.


The terracotta jar with the top shaped with the face of the god Imseti was built to hold a human liver. The goddess Isis would have protected it.

Dating from the New Kingdom - 1550-1069 BC - the brown-coloured jar would once have been a painted receptacle fit for a pyramid.

We Love Lists

Six (Why six? Just because) favorite time-wasting websites:

1. Awful Plastic Surgery

Now you too can identify classic over-plastic-surgeried celebrity no-nos, like trout pout, face melt and Spitting Image puppet.

2. Photoshop Disasters

Amuse yourself trying to figure out where the photoshopper went wrong. Extra digits, missing limbs, and subjects who throw no shadow in bright sunlight.

3. Waiter Rant

A waiter describes life in the restaurant business in New York. He's a good writer, and published a book this fall which I gave my brother for Christmas.

4. Cake Wrecks

You'll never pass up an opportunity to check out the cakes in your grocery store bakery section after you see some of these.

5. Passive Aggressive Notes

Those notes people leave for each other when they really should just sit down and talk about it.

6. Found Magazine

Notes and drawings that people have found on the ground, in a book, etc., and sent in to the site.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Unfortunately, This is Right

In re the current debate over the stimulus plan:

Obama is, sadly, much to blame for giving the Republicans so much leverage. He defined the challenge as bipartisanship not saving the U.S. economy.

It's kind of like the war on terror. Bipartisanship is a tool, not a goal. Saving the economy is the goal. Focus, Barack, focus.

Liberal Weigh In

Reportedly Congress is getting hit with 100-1 constituent response against the stimulus bill. The rightwingers are out-organizing us, people! Call your Congresscritter and Senators and let them know in no uncertain terms that you support the stimulus bill!

I emailed my senators because obviously Ted Kennedy and John Kerry are going to vote for it. (I also told them I don't like the tax cuts in the bill, but to vote for it anyway! Also to reinstate the family planning funding that the House cut.) But if you live in a state where your rep may be on the fence I'd take the time to call.

The Senate switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. If you can't get through or would rather send an e-mail, you can look up your Senator's contact information and web form at the site.

Group News Blog: Call the Senate: Show Our Numbers

WSJ: McCain Urges Supporters to Sign Petition Opposing Stimulus

Sunday, February 01, 2009

More on Gillibrand's Political Herstory

NYTimes: [via (Albany) Times Union]
Mrs. Noonan in 1983 at the funeral of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd of Albany

I can't believe that the only photo of Polly Noonan that the New York Times could come up with is of her mourning at Erastus Corning's funeral. Not one photo of her stuffing envelopes? This photo just perpetuates the stereotype that she was the little woman behind the man, when from the events described she was an equal partner consigned to a lesser role by custom and social roles.

NYTimes: Gillibrand’s Grandmother Also Wielded Political Power, but From the Wings

Schenectady Gazette: Senate choice learned politics early

President Obama's Weekly Web Address