Jun 21, 2008
In the FIRST QUARTER of the year..that’s only three freaking months People! From Forbes:
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, whose members include Pfizer, Amgen Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co., lobbied on how prices are set for seniors’ medications, rules governing drug imports and other issues.
Here are the issues that Big Pharma took ‘issue’ with and lobbied against:
_ A proposal that would have allowed the government - not private health insurers - to negotiate drug prices for seniors in Medicare. The measure, aimed at wringing lower prices from drug makers, has stalled in the House since President Bush threatened to veto it.
_ Legislation that would allow the U.S. to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries. Proponents said foreign competition would help drive down U.S. drug prices, but the pharmaceutical industry warned it could expose Americans to counterfeit medications.
_ Patent reform legislation that it argued could weaken legal protections on drug patents. High-tech companies supported the bill that passed the House last year aimed at improving the U.S. patent system, but the pharmaceutical lobby argued it could weaken protections by reducing infringement penalties. The bill has stalled in the Senate.
_ Various bills that would allow generic drug companies to sell cheaper copies of biotech drugs. Unlike traditional chemical drugs, biotech drugs have never faced generic competition because the Food and Drug Administration lacks authority to approve the cheaper copies.
Greed..it’s just amazing how deep into the depths of hell humans will go to get over on people or groups of people ain’t it? They make a decent bottom line yet they always want more. You don't screw with medications..they keep people alive mutha fuckas...but you know that and still do it anyway. If you extrapolate it out for the entire year..its a mind-numbing $14.4 Million.
Jun 20, 2008
During todays testimony, Republican Steve King took his shots at Scott McClellan during the Judicial committee's hearing.
The money line? King says the following to McClellan:
Couldnt you have taken this to the grave with you and done this country a favor?
I am appalled. H/T to Silent Patriot for catching it.
This is the first of 35 videos, each showing an article in Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment read on the House floor.
All the 35 videos/articles of impeachment can we viewed here:
A wingnut has turned it into a rant about race. He hasn't gotten nasty towards the other commenters but still..a real life racist. Horace is a real piece of work.
Stop by and pay him a visit if your bored.
With Democrats such as these, who needs Republicans to screw us over?
Olbermann interviews law professor Jon Turley on how the new and improved FISA bill serves the crooks and liars.
Click here to either watch it or download it.
Jun 19, 2008
The following video is a homage to Mr. Schwartz and how he changed the political landscape. It even references Hillary's "3 AM" commercial and how it takes it's cue's from Mr. Schwartz.
What I find interesting about the Daisy ad is that its subtle yet powerful, the viewer isn't even sure until the end what is being pitched. It changed political ads forever..and..some might say..for the worse. The following video is short so please watch it if you can. I am a huge fan of the visual medium and it's power to affect humans so much more than the written word. Its ironic to me that someone who created ads for the Democrats was such a force in politics..we usually blame the Republicans for negative ads..
Iraq is preparing to allow four of the biggest western oil companies to renew exploitation of the country's vast reserves for the first time in almost four decades.
Iraq's oil ministry stepped up talks with BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total after the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, visited Iraq in March, where he also pressed the government to revive efforts to pass the hydrocarbon law that nationalist MPs were blocking. The first contracts are expected to be signed this month. Some 90% of Iraq's budget comes from oil revenues.
Iraq's oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, told the Guardian this week that the deals did not amount to the privatisation of the country's oil. But the four companies are heirs to the consortium given the concession to control Iraq's oil by King Faisal, the foreign Sunni Arab whom the British imposed on Iraq's majority Shia population after occupying the country during the first world war. They lost their right to explore new fields in 1961 after the monarchy was overthrown, and nationalisation followed under the Ba'ath party.
This is also a ...cough..shocker..these contracts were not competitively bid. I do love how Mr. Halliburton dropped in for a visit in Iraq in March. The Big Dick Cheney can finally say his work is done there..fucker.
Artwork by The Worried Shrimp.
As expected, one of the more vocal and progressive Democrats has voiced outrage at the...cough..compromise coming to the floor tomorrow on the Telco immunity and fucking us all without kissing us first bill.
Russ Feingold had this to say via TPM:
"The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President's illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration."
No shit Russ. Speak it gringo! Patrick Leahy also sent out an email already about this happy horseshit compromise. In it he said:
I will oppose this new FISA bill when the Senate votes on it next week. We must do everything we can to protect Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's erosion of our civil liberties and callous disregard for the rule of law -- and this new FISA bill fails that test.
Fails? Patty, it does more than fail. It sets us back hundreds of facking years dude. Lip service..thats all we get. This bill will pass because the Rethugs are virtually certain to vote for it en mass along with all those worthless Blue Dogs..and Steny the fuckwit Hoyer too.
Is it HH yet?
The friggin' ratbastards have agreed to provide immunity to the Telco's and institute sweeping changes as to how our government can spy upon us. They are calling it..cough..choke..a compromise. From the WSJ via The Carpetbagger Report:
After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said. […]
The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.
The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.
As Steve notes, Glen Greenwald's pov on this is spot on. The fucking Blue Dogs were the ones championing this bullshittery to enable our government a free rein on spying without a warrant and providing the fucking Telco's with retroactive immunity. They played the fear factor card just like the Rethugs do..and evidently it has worked..even Obama has jumped on this fucking bandwagon. From Greenwald:
So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.
That's the "compromise" Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now -- according to very credible reports -- pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It's full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law. In the U.S. now, thanks to the Democratic Congress, we'll have a new law based on the premise that the President has the power to order private actors to break the law, and when he issues such an order, the private actors will be protected from liability of any kind on the ground that the Leader told them to do it -- the very theory that the Nuremberg Trial rejected.(emphasis Greenwalds)
With Democrats such as these in office..who is really our enemy? Seriously folks..who? The Rethugs only need to enlist the help of the fucking Blue Dogs and snap..it gets done.
It starts bright and early here on the left coast..7am. CSPAN will be covering it live both on tv and their online site.
Look, I don't have much faith that he will give up any real juicy tidbits, but one can hope for such bounties and watching it will at least provide a break from the election bullshit that all the 24 hour news stations are giving us at this point.
Dipshit will be appearing in front of the House Judiciary committee, which is chaired by John Conyers. They also will most likely provide streaming video.
You can't bitch about it if you don't watch it! That's my story and I am sticking to it. ;p
Graphic by the multi-talented Dark Black.
Jun 18, 2008
President Bush's push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil lie -- would only reduce the price of crude oil per barrel by about 50 cents, 17 years from now, according to Bush's own Energy Department. My colleague Isaiah just pointed me to a new Department of Energy analysis, adjusting that estimate to 75 cents.
The price of crude oil per barrel has jumped 100 dollars in the Bush Era, leading prices at the pump to more than double. Shaving the crude oil price 75 cents by 2025 amounts to no savings at the gas station.
That's what we would get for ANWR's 10 billion barrels. What about the moratorium areas off continental America's coastlines?
McCain's speech today estimates that there 21 billion barrels in the moratorium areas. That seems a touch high. The Energy Department put it at 18 billion a few years ago. Popular Mechanics reports an estimate of 19 billion.
Regardless, it's about double of what's estimated in ANWR.
Just to put a fine point on it, lowering the price of crude oil per barrel by $1 is roughly equal to a reduction in price at the pump of 2.5 cents per gallon. So lifting all of the above moratoriums, lowering the price of crude by $2.25 per barrel, would lower the price at the pump by less than 6 cents by 2025.
Meaningless, after prices have skyrocketed more than $3 a gallon between Dec. 2001 and today.
This jackass just never learns. Don Young, the smarmy, sneaky, on-the-take most likely representative for Alaska's voters actually had in writing which lobbyists and special interest groups got straight to him and his top advisors. From the link, at TPM muckraker:
In a document obtained today by TPMmuckraker.com, entitled 'An Intern's Survival Guide,' new interns in Young's office are given various instructions on how to thrive and excel working in Young's office. The document was distributed to new interns by a paid member of Young's staff.
The..cough..document is quite precise in its intent. One of Young's "A Team" folks? Again from TPM:
Most notable on the list is Rick Alcade, the lobbyist at the center of the "Coconut Road" earmark scandal, which the Senate, in an unprecedented move, has formally asked the Justice Department to investigate.
I hope this fucker goes down soon..he really gets on my last friggin nerve.
About 150 people gathered at Main Justice’s Great Hall today for the annual awards ceremony of a Department of Justice group representing gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans-gendered employees. For the first time in six years, DOJ Pride was allowed to use the hall.
Under Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, the group had not been permitted to meet in the Great Hall or to use government computers to communicate with its members.
Kudos to Mukasey on this issue. He said at the ceremony:
Amen Mr. AG.
Jun 17, 2008
Several sweet religious folk came downtown this morning bright and early to make sure the happy couples were still married at City Hall..or in this case..County Hall..They also DID NOT charge for their services!! Bless them. :) One of our local tv stations was broadcasting the event live..I heart channel 7.
What follows are a few of the lucky couples that took the plunge. I hope they are happy and finally get what they have richly deserved for a hundred or more years..to be just as miserable as the rest of us 'married folks'. ;)
All pictures are filched from Bakersfield.com..the website for our local rag, the Bakersfield Californian.
First Couple to get their license: The lovely Lori Renee and Whitney Weddell. They are all smiles! Bless them for waiting so long.
Next up is Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff, as she officiates the first marriage ceremony between Kathi Gose and Karen Briefer.
next we have Amelia Cravens helping Shelby Himes with her wedding dress train..before they marry each other. :)
Whitney and Lori has they kiss each other for the first time as a married couple..ah the joy, the love, the all is right with the world feel of it!
so there you have it..Kern fucking County did not get swallowed up into the nether world because some gay folks got married on the steps of the County Administration Building. Fuck all you homophobic bastards..these folks now enjoy the same rights the rest of us have had for friggin evah!
Congrats to the happy couples..some of which have been together for decades and decades..which btw is longer than I have stuck it out with any male. ;p
tags: Gay Marriage, Kern County, Gay Marriages in Kern County
Bagram, the prison most folks don't know about..and Gitmo, the one everyone knows about, have one disgusting thing in common:
Most of the men being held in these illegal prisons are not terrorists. I know, big friggin surprise, but there it is. From Jurist:
McClatchy reporters found that many of the 66 former terror detainees interviewed were ordinary civilians or petty criminals; only 34 had ties to militant groups or activities and of those only seven had connections to al Qaeda leadership. The report also alleges that many of the detainees held at both the Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo Bay prisons are civilians who were either caught up in large-scale sweeps by the Afghan and US armies or were arrested based on unreliable information obtained from relatives or neighbors.(emphasis mine)
The McClatchy report can be seen here. Warning: It will piss you off beyond words. It will piss you off for a plethora of reasons. If it doesn't piss you the fuck off you quite possibly have a mental disorder. Our Government holds the wrong people for friggin years...years! The 'real' insurgents know who is or isn't a terrorist..but our minions do not. Fuck me running..this is so fucked up beyond words. Take this guys story from the McClatchy writeup who got his brains beat in by the real terrorists whilst at Gitmo:
But Akhtiar was no terrorist. American troops had dragged him out of his Afghanistan home in 2003 and held him in Guantanamo for three years in the belief that he was an insurgent involved in rocket attacks on U.S. forces. The Islamic radicals in Guantanamo's Camp Four who hissed "infidel" and spat at Akhtiar, however, knew something his captors didn't: The U.S. government had the wrong guy.
These are the people BushCo doesn't want to have Due Process, or Habeaus Corpus. These are the people the rightwing nutjobs assume are guilty because some fuckwit says so. These are the people who will never be the same and if they live through their nightmare and make it home with their sanity intact, they can count themselves among the few that did. If you don't get righteously pissed, well mutha fucka, your not paying attention.
The McClatchy report is a must read. Sure, it will upset you to know the truth. But if you know the truth you are better off..believe me. That our government would imprison men for years and years and fucking years on the word of a friggin neighbor just blows my fucking mind.
Also, if you haven't a clue what goes on at Bagram, read my archived post about it linked in the first paragraph. A real treat that Bagram Internment Facility..fucking Disneyland.
He changed the face of politics..and you thought a Rethug did that first..lol.
Jun 16, 2008
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ruled that the Office of Administration doesn't have to jump through hoops to provide either the emails or an excuse of what happened to them. From Law.com:
The functions of the Office of Administration "are strictly administrative," Kollar-Kotelly ruled.
Kollar-Kotelly said the Office of Administration has no authority over others in the executive branch and that the office is exclusively dedicated to providing services to the Executive Office of the President.
Since its creation in 1978, the Office of Administration has responded to FOIA requests. But the Bush White House reversed that policy in August 2007 in the lawsuit filed by CREW.
Kollar-Kotelly's decision closes off one avenue of inquiry because while CREW is appealing, time is running out, with just seven months remaining in office for the Bush administration.
But CREW still has another case in front of the courts on this issue. So all is not dead-ended yet. Don't you just love that BushCo reversed an old policy after CREW filed it's first case on this issue? Fuckers...
He never really went away, but Rover is back in the middle of the Rethugs campaigning. He can deny it all he friggin wants to..but as this and this and this article show..TurdBlossom is alive and well and playing the smarmy bag of batshit once again. Just what Weathervane McCain needs..Krazy Karl. Steve Benen from the CarpetBagger Report via Alternet has this to say on the subject:
One, of course, is that McCain keeps trying to position himself as different from Still-President Bush, but that’s awfully difficult under the circumstances. Not only is McCain offering Bush’s foreign and domestic policies as his own, but he’s taking advice from the guy who shaped Bush’s campaigns.
Two, there is the small matter of journalistic ethics. For reasons that defy logic, Rove has been hired to play the role of professional “journalist” for a variety of outlets, including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. No one seriously expects credible, independent, bias-free reporting from Rove, but no serious news outlet should be comfortable paying someone to offer commentary and analysis on a presidential campaign while simultaneously advising one of the candidates in the presidential campaign.
And three, the National Journal article also noted that Rove, when he’s not pretending to be a journalist and/or advising the McCain campaign, is also consulting with far-right campaign outfits.
Freedom's Watch is the cream of the crop of the rightwing nutjobs. Rover is advising them as well as McCain. He is getting lots of facetime on Fox Noise lately too. At least ABC's George Stephanopulous had the nads to call it as he saw it recently when Rover was on his Sunday Morning show.
My only hope is that the American voters are tired of Rovers brand of divide and conquer. That bag of batshit is the last thing McCain's campaign needs..which is probably why they want him..they suck in the polls lately.
Jun 15, 2008
You can either watch the video or download it here.
I wish I was in San Diego with my father and my sisters but I am not. The price of gas has made my trips to San Diego less and less frequent. But I will do this little post about him and call him in an hour or so to talk sports, music and listen to his wild stories that we kids never knew if they were true or not.
My father was in the Navy for twenty years. He was usually gone more than he was around in the late 50's early 60's. When he retired from the Navy, he went into the Federal Prison system for another 20 years. Evidently the man didn't mind working for 'the man'. He was a violent man when he drank, until he finally learned to control his temper and quit slapping my mother and we kids around. I didn't take his shit willingly, I would fight back and on one occasion take a brass lamp and knocked him upside the head with it. Of course I also dropped the lamp and ran like hell, hiding out for a couple of days until he calmed down.
When I was in my late teens and becoming more active in anti-war causes, civil rights and generally most liberal issues, we butted heads all the time. My father was a born Republican, his mom and dad both staunch Republicans.
My father and I would have huge political discussions that would turn into screaming matches. He would end up calling me a 'commie' or sometimes worse but I would stand my ground..never letting his nasty name-calling get the best of me, I could dish it out just as easy as he did. My mother would just roll her eyes and leave the room.
My father had the audacity to take my mothers ballot and mark who she was going to vote for each election. I was appalled at that..and would bug my mother and demand to know why she allowed him to do that. Finally one day my mother told me that my father thought he was telling her who to vote for, but the reality was that she would vote the opposite of what my father had marked. Made me smile like a cheshire cat that did.
When I started hitch-hiking to Santa Barbara to attend marches and protests my father would ground me. But the next weekend I would sneak out and attend another event, sometimes getting my ass beat when I got home. The few times I was arrested my father would drive down to Santa Barbara, get me out of jail and then scream and holler at me the whole way home..only to see me do the same thing the following weekend.
I eventually became an emancipated minor. I had a full time job and was going to the nearby Junior College. The car I had bought and paid for with my own money was kept by my father when I packed up my clothes and moved out of his home, waving the court order in his face and telling him to shut the fuck up...he couldn't tell me what to do any longer. It was his way of getting back at me for not being an obedient child I guess..never really asked him about that.
We did not see or speak to each other for a few years after that. I married my first husband at the age of 21 and suddenly wanted to reach out to my father. He accepted my invitation to come over and get to know my husband, an Air Force Sargent at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
We still argued about politics but this time I was his "little hippie-commie-pinko", said in a tone of voice that didn't reek of hatred.
As we both aged, we stopped trying to talk politics and went to subjects we both shared a deep love for..sports and music. We could talk for hours about baseball, football, recording artists and our voices would never rise in anger, instead there would be lots of laughter.
Within the last few years, my father has told me that he will never vote for another Republican, he hates them all now. I damn near choked on my lunch as we sat in a nice restaurant that afternoon. I jumped up and hugged him tightly around the neck and thanked him.
He told me to sit the hell down I was making a scene.
We still don't talk politics but I will never forget that moment when he finally admitted the Republican's had an agenda that didn't benefit the common man. What finally opened up his eyes was, in retirement, he was getting fucked over and the realization that it was Republicans doing it to him must of been hard for a life-long Republican like him to swallow.
It had to be even harder to admit it to his 'little hippie-commie-pinko"..but he did.
And for that I love him.
Jun 14, 2008
Rick Davis’ lobbyists ties certainly extend far beyond the telecom industry. ABC News:
John McCain’s presidential campaign is blasting a New York Times report suggesting that the candidate may have known since 2005 that his campaign manager’s firm worked for a Kremlin-backed politician.
The McCain campaign is strongly denying the paper’s reporting that in 2005, a White House National Security Council staffer called John McCain’s Senate office to complain that Rick Davis’ lobbying firm was “undercutting American policy on Ukraine” by representing a Kremlin-backed politician.
Salon has a tasty writeup as well. Oh Johnny this ain't good dude..it just ain't..and it warms the cockles of my lil black heart you batshit crazy sumbitch.
Graphic filched from the wonderful DCup. ;) I will use it every chance I get..bet on it!
Fair Use is akin to civil rights. I don’t give a tinkers damn who says otherwise. To have to prove your innocence instead of them proving your guilty goes against our Constitution. From the Alternet Link above:
Yes, fragments, not the whole articles. Go to Rogers’ site to read the reasons given by AP.
Its all about money in the final analysis. Greedy Corporate fucking bastards. Again, from the Alternet writeup:
The DMCA’s main purpose is to circumvent due process by saying that trade laws trump civil rights law. So a corporation’s right to make money from their “product” however way they want trumps the rights of individual citizens who would want to express themselves freely about said product through comment, parody, sample or quoting.
The DMCA throws the onus of proving Fair Use on the individual “speaking” the copyrighted materials and not on the owner of the copyright. It was an unprecedented move and one that many consider anti-constitutional since it basically allows for individuals to be considered guilty of copyright infringement until they prove themselves only in a court of law to be innocent.
At the end of the Alternet writeup, they have some nasty words for Hillary and her position who btw, now a blogger at HuffPo.
Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles.
Jun 13, 2008
Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday's "Meet the Press" program when he collapsed, the network said. No details were immediately available.
Russert, the recipient of 48 honorary doctorates, took over the helm of "Meet the Press" in December 1991. Now in its 60th year, "Meet the Press" is the longest-running program in the history of television.
In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Timothy John Russert Jr. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 7, 1950. He was a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.
Russert is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, and a son, Luke.He is also survived by his father whom he affectionally called..Big Russ. He also wrote a book entitled Big Russ and Me.
He voted NO on the new GI Bill. Find out how your Rep or Senator voted by clicking the link. These friggin Rethugs, they are blowhards of the worst type.
Bet they got teeny weenies..what do you think?
The US and Iraq have been in ‘negotiations’ for awhile now over a permanent..cough..pact. A pact that will govern how and what we are allowed to do within Iraq’s borders. No matter what Bush says, Iraq is a soveriegn nation, right? Yes, we saved them from themselves and brought democracy to all the citizens of Iraq and yet, they have the audacity to bitch and piss and moan that we are pushing them around. The nerve! (snark) From Reuters:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Friday talks with the United States on a long-term security pact were at a stalemate because of U.S. demands that encroached on Iraq’s sovereignty.
The United States and Iraq are negotiating a new security deal to provide a legal basis for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq after December 31, when their United Nations mandate expires, as well as a separate long-term agreement on political, economic and security ties between the two countries.
Some folks in the Iraqi government have gone so far as to say…wtf dudes? We don’t need your stinking bases and thousands of troops! The wingnut Al-Sadr hasn’t been quiet either on this issue. Flapping his gums so to speak, via a letter, to the great unwashed masses he said this, via CNN:
“the resistance will be exclusively conducted by only one group. This new group will be defined soon by me.”
Sigh…Al-Sadr didn’t stop there of course. He had to bring up the “M” word a few times as well:
“We will not stop resisting the occupation until liberation or martyrdom.”
One of the reasons the deaths in Iraq have dropped is because Al-Sadr’s army is in a ceasefire mode. Bush or Petraeus conveniently forget to mention this when they are bragging about how low the death count has been lately. Johnny McCain doesn’t either. Imagine that.
The Iraqi government is threatening to pull out of the talks and write their own ‘take it or leave it’ pact for the American occupiers. BushCo mouthpieces whine that Iraq is circumventing the whole process by taking their gripes public. Seems the Iraq government just doesn’t cotton to us as the ‘great liberators’. Could this be because we want to build roughly 50 permanent bases in their country, control their airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors?Nah, that can’t be whats pissing them off..cough. Oh Hell No!
Artwork by The Worried Shrimp. Crossposted at Bring It On!