Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nuclear winter IS sort of peaceful, eh?

"I’ve come to Arizona on a family visit, and, faced with the perennial question of what one does the weekend after Thanksgiving, my wife and I have found ourselves staring into the hardened silo of a missile that could have delivered a nine-megaton nuclear warhead anywhere in the old Soviet Union."

Byron York of the Wall Street Journal pauses this holiday season to give thanks for the weaponry that won the Cold War. Read it here.


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Maybe gramps can get the "little brown ones" to hit the campaign trail...

Jeb Bush poised for Florida Senate run

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been working the phones since Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) announced earlier this month that he won’t seek reelection in 2010.

As Caroline Kennedy pursues her bright-lights, big-city bid for the U.S. Senate, another child of dynasty is quietly testing the waters for his own Senate run.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — the son of one president and the brother of another — has been working the phones since Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) announced earlier this month that he won’t seek reelection in 2010. Sources say Bush hasn’t made up his mind about running for Martinez’ seat, but that he’s getting green lights from would-be contributors and blessings from Republican Party leaders.

Strategists and political observers take it as a sign that Bush will run.

"Everything indicates that he's in," said David Johnson, a Republican strategist and the CEO of Strategic Vision. "You're not making calls and laying the ground work for fundraising unless you're clearing the field for your candidacy."

Read the full article at

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Hilary Clinton, 4/4/2004: Bush is not "intellectually curious" enough to be president...

58 of 95 Books that Bush Read for Pleasure in 2006 Were Non-Fiction, Rove Writes.

Bush devoured between 40 and 100 volumes per year while president - plus reading the Bible in its entirety once per year.

Perhaps up next he'll read Obama's dissertation on all the 57 states of the Union...

Read about what Bush has been reading here.


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Thursday, December 25, 2008

He was going to apply, but he, ahem, "forgot"...

Libby has not applied for a pardon, DOJ says.

WASHINGTON — The most notable feature of the Justice Department file containing hundreds of formal applications beseeching President Bush to be merciful and grant some sort of clemency before he leaves office may be the one name that is not there.

I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has not applied for a pardon, Justice Department officials have said. Mr. Libby was convicted of four felony counts in March 2007 for his role in the investigation of the leak of Valerie Wilson’s employment with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Mr. Libby, known as Scooter, has been at the top of the speculative lists that accompany the holiday season, especially in the last year of a presidency, of who might receive a White House gift of clemency, which can take the form of an outright pardon or a commutation of a sentence. Mr. Bush had already used his constitutional authority in July 2007 to commute Mr. Libby’s sentence, wiping out the 30-month prison term imposed by a judge, but leaving intact the conviction and lesser penalties including a $250,000 fine.

The conviction means that Mr. Libby cannot practice law because he had to surrender his bar membership. Many of his friends have hoped that he might be given a pardon on top of the commutation, not only to allow him to practice law but also to wipe out what they regard as an injustice. Mr. Libby was not convicted of leaking Ms. Wilson’s name, but of obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who were looking into the disclosure of her identity.

He became the most senior White House official convicted of a felony since the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration.

The New York Times has the rest of the story here.

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Can MLK Day Be Far Behind??

Iraq Declares Christmas an Official Holiday for First Year

BAGHDAD — Iraq's Christians, a small minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly celebrated Christmas on Thursday with a present from the government, which declared it an official holiday for the first time.

Full story here.


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Fat Bottomed Girls They Really Can Make the Rockin' World Go Round...

Fill 'Er Up With Human Fat
Peter C. Beller,

How a Beverly Hills doctor powered his SUV using his patients' spare tires.

Liposuctioning unwanted blubber out of pampered Los Angelenos may not seem like a dream job, but it has its perks. Free fuel is one of them.

For a time, Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend's Lincoln Navigator.

Love handles can power a car? Frighteningly, yes. Fat--whether animal or vegetable--contains triglycerides that can be extracted and turned into diesel. Poultry companies such as Tyson are looking into powering their trucks on chicken schmaltz, and biofuel start-ups such as Nova Biosource are mixing beef tallow and pig lard with more palatable sources such as soybean oil. Mike Shook of Agri Process Innovations, a builder of biodiesel plants, says this year's batch of U.S. biodiesel was likely more than half animal-derived since the price of soybeans soared.

A gallon of grease will get you about a gallon of fuel, and drivers can get about the same amount of mileage from fat fuel as they do from regular diesel, according to Jenna Higgins of the National Biodiesel Board. Animal fats need to undergo an additional step to get rid of free fatty acids not present in vegetable oils, but otherwise, there's no difference, she says.

Greenies like the fact that waste, such as coffee grounds and french-fry grease, can be turned into power. "The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel--and I have more fat than I can use," Bittner wrote on "Not only do they get to lose their love handles or chubby belly but they get to take part in saving the Earth." Bittner's lipodiesel Web site is no longer online.

Using fat to fuel cars might be environmentally friendly, but it's definitely illegal in California to use human medical waste to power vehicles, and Bittner is being investigated by the state's public health department.

Although it's unclear when Bittner started and stopped making fat fuel or how he made it, his activities came to light after recent lawsuits filed by patients that allege he allowed his assistant and his girlfriend to perform surgeries without a medical license.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

So no more of that drivel about bringing a light into the world...

Scientists warn Christmas lights harm the planet

SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs.

CSIRO researchers said householders should know that each bulb turned on in the name of Christmas will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.

Dr Glenn Platt, who leads research on energy demand, said Australia got 80 per cent of its electricity by burning coal which pumps harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

He said: "Energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, and putting your Christmas lights on a timer are two very easy ways to minimise the amount of electricity you use to power your lights."

He said the nation's electricity came from "centralised carbon intensive, coal-based power stations" which were responsible for emitting over one third of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Platt added: "For a zero-emission Christmas light show, you may consider using solar powered lights or sourcing your electricity from verified green power suppliers."

From the Queensland, Australia Courier Mail.


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Sura 22-9: “There shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skins shall be dissolved"

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to give alternative Christmas Day message

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran will give a message of seasonal goodwill on Christmas Day as an alternative to the Queen's traditional broadcast, it has been announced.

The Daily Telegraph has the full story here.


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Yeah, but Sam the Butcher will still get hammered off your eggnog when he drops by if you don't watch him...

Numerous Christmas Myths Finally Debunked by Scientists:

Poinsettias aren't poison; sugar won't crank up the kids, and you do not lose more heat from the top of your head...

NPR has the story. Read more about it here.


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Now THAT'S a stimulus

Marty Feldstein: Boost Defense Spending NOW!

"We could use some more F-22s," he writes in the Wall Street Journal.


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SHE works hard for the money...

Palin Refuses Pay Raise During Gubernatorial Term.
ANCHORAGE — Gov. Sarah Palin says she didn't ask for a pay raise and won't accept one during her current term.

That's from her spokesman, Bill McAllister, who says he talked to the governor about the $25,000 raise that a new state commission is recommending this week.

It's unclear if Palin would give the money to charity — as commission chairman Rick Halford suggested — or simply not receive the extra pay.

"The point is she's not going to take it home. It's not going to end up in her bank account," McAllister said.

"We need the best people we can get to do some pretty tough jobs against some often incredibility well-financed, single-minded corporate and individual interests," Halford said as chairman of the new State Officers Compensation Commission.

Deciding how much to pay themselves is always a thorny proposition for politicians who answer to an ever-skeptical public. Today's national recession and relatively low oil prices wouldn't make it any easier.

Enter the new five-member commission, created by the Legislature earlier this year to take the decision out of lawmakers' hands. The members are appointed by the governor -- with two selected from lists recommended by legislative leaders.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ronald Reagan Where Are You?


A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."

The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events.

When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."

When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."

Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."

He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.

He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.

Drudge Report

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Ya know, he DOES look like the kind of guy who volunteered to take names in class...

Rahm Emanuel Passed Along Names to Blago for Obama

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, contacted Mr. Blagojevich and his staff at least five times after Election Day, and produced a slate of suggested replacements for Mr. Obama's vacated Senate seat. Mr. Emanuel also spoke about four times to Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris to discuss the Senate seat.

Read more here.


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She Works Hard for the Money...

CNN "Student News" is pushing kids to lobby for a government salary for Michelle Obama

. . .according to Read about it here.

[End of Post]

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Maybe we can get Bobby Brown to write some Kwanzaa carols...

Kwanzaa Created by a Rapist and Torturer?

Newsbusters has the story here.

[end of post]

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Hair Stylist Obviously Not Being One of Them...

"I know Maggie Thatcher. The two women have a lot in common."

Conservative Snobs Are Wrong About Palin
Writes John O'Sullivan at the Wall Street Journal today.


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Change we can believe in!

Red States to Gain, Blue States to Lose in Next Census Count

National Journal has the story:

Newly released Census Bureau population estimates show that as many as 13 House seats may shift across the country following the official 2010 Census, according to an analysis by the Washington-based Election Data Services…
The shift of as many as 13 seats for the scheduled 2012 reapportionment is based on several projections by Election Data Services that assume a continuation of current trends, though at various paces. The contrasts between what EDS president Kimball Brace terms “long-term,” “mid-term,” and “short-term” shifts are based on the current recession, the housing market downturn and related factors…
Under Brace’s “short-term” model, 12 districts would shift among 19 states. The winners would be: four to Texas, two to Arizona, and one each to Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah. Those districts would come from the following states: two from Ohio, and one each from Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Brace’s more robust “mid-term” model would add one district to North Carolina and remove it from California — which has gained at least one district in every decennial reapportionment since it joined the Union in 1850.
Obviously the shift is not exclusively from Blue to Red, but I count a shift of +8 or +9 electoral votes from reliably blue to reliably red states (counting North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah as reliably red). That wouldn’t have been enough to put John McCain in the White House, but it may help the GOP in 2012.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

The Rapier at Work?

Obama Intelligence Pick Torpedoed By Bloggers

President-elect Barack Obama has shown almost perfect pitch in crafting his new administration, aptly choosing old hands instead of fresh faces and bringing in the experience he lacks.

But there is one glaring void. Obama has yet to name key intelligence officials to manage the war against terrorism.

And one of the central reasons he hasn't come forward with a pick for one of the top jobs is because he's running into pressure from an unexpected source -- left-wing bloggers.

John Brennan, Obama's chief intelligence adviser and anticipated CIA chief, was recently forced to withdraw his name. There was no drumbeat of opposition to Brennan from the front pages or on cable. Rather, the pick was torpedoed by the blogosphere.

"Apparently there is a lot of pressure on the Obama team from a blog saying that Brennan couldn't be made the director of the CIA because he was involved in torture and renditions, which he wasn't," said Mark Lowenthal, former assistant CIA director.

The turn of events only emphasizes the influence of the Internet on the operation of a president-elect whose campaign was powered in large part by the Web.

"Blogs do have significant influence," said blogger Glenn Greenwald, one of those critical of Brennan. "I think the Obama team would be foolish if they just ignored what happened on blogs, and I know for a fact that there are people high up in the Obama campaign and now the transition team who read blogs regularly."

As a result, say knowledgeable sources, the Obama transition team pushed Brennan to withdraw his name. "Their knees buckled," one intelligence veteran said.

Brennan once served as George Tenet's chief of staff and later took an administrative role at the CIA, before moving on to what became the National Counterterrorism Center.

Greenwald and other bloggers blamed Brennan, though, for condoning harsh interrogation methods, as well as rendition -- the practice of capturing terrorists, like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and taking them to the U.S. or other countries for interrogation and imprisonment.

But many say Brennan had no control over those policies.

"This is one of those Washington drive-by shootings that we have from time to time where someone is near a policy issue that's controversial and is dragged down by the conventional wisdom," said Douglas Paal, former CIA senior analyst.

Brennan did say rendition was a vital tool -- after all, without it, Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others might still be free.

But when he withdrew his name from consideration, he wrote a letter to the president-elect, obtained by FOX News, in which he described himself as a Bush critic on many fronts.

"It has been immaterial to the critics that I have been a strong opponent of many of the policies of the Bush administration such as the preemptive war in Iraq and coercive interrogation tactics, to include waterboarding," Brennan wrote in the Nov. 25 missive.

And Brennan said that as a result of his opposition to Bush policies, he was "twice considered for more senior-level positions in the current administration only to be rebuffed by the White House."

In that sense, it would seem Brennan was the perfect man for a job with Obama -- but not good enough for the critics.

Greenwald said Brennan's support for rendition and "all of the other enhanced interrogation techniques beyond waterboarding" makes him "unqualified" for the job.

Intelligence veterans, however, say that sets an impossible standard.

"If you were involved in a senior position in the intelligence community during the war on terror, you can't be nominated for another senior position," Lowenthal said.

Fox News
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The Kennedy Mystique Finally Explained Through Science...

Regular Drinking Women See Male Faces As More Symmetric

Even when sober women who drink more are less able to detect male facial asymmetry.

Researchers found that women who drink even moderately develop a reduced ability to rate attractiveness in male faces, even when they are sober.

Those who drank were less able to detect male facial symmetry, a marker of attractiveness and good genes which is thought to play an important role in the choice of a partner.

The report can be found here.

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Why don't they turn that machine a little. Perhaps it would explain a few things...

Fox News says that President Bush has had an MRI because of pain he's experiencing in his shoulder. Hmmm.

The article is can be found at this location.

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100% Vacation for a 5% Pay Cut? Where Do I Sign Up?

Chrysler workers will be paid 95% of salary while factories are closed during the holidays.

It's no secret that Chrysler is in the fight of its life, and the Auburn Hills automaker is pulling out all the stops to keep the lights on -- even if it means closing the doors. Chrysler is shuttering all of its plants for one month, beginning December 19. In a short release to the media, Chrysler blamed the continued credit crunch as the main reason for the shutdown, and is trying to better-align its vehicle stock with customer demand. Dealers have notified the Pentastar that they've got plenty of perspective buyers, but an astonishing 20-25% of customers are unable to obtain financing. Ouch. On the bright side, Chrysler plant workers will have a really, really long Christmas break at 95% pay, which can't be too horrible.


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Add a Ross Perot Country Drawl and They'll Buy Anything You're Selling

T. Boone Pickens is scamming the taxpayers. Read about it at this link.

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But the workers get a month off without pay this Christmas!

Bailed-Out Executives Got $1.6 Billion In 2007

Huffington Post has the details of the pay these scumbags got here.


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iPods = iTax

NY Gov. David Paterson takes aim at digital downloads.

Governor's list for Santa includes 88 new fees and taxes, including levies for beer, wine, cigars and massages.
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Christopher Hitchens: De-invite Rick Warren from Inauguration

At Slate, Hitchens describes the Saddleback sophist as a bigoted, vulgar huckster.

Hitchens: "A president may by all means use his office to gain re-election, to shore up his existing base, or to attract a new one. But the day of his inauguration is not one of the days on which he should be doing that. It is an event that belongs principally to the voters and to their descendants, who are called to see that a long tradition of peaceful transition is cheerfully upheld, even in those years when the outcome is disputed. I would myself say that it doesn't need a clerical invocation at all, since, to borrow Lincoln's observation about Gettysburg, it has already been consecrated. But if we must have an officiating priest, let it be some dignified old hypocrite with no factional allegiance and not a tree-shaking huckster and publicity seeker who believes that millions of his fellow citizens are hellbound because they do not meet his own low and vulgar standards."
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Next: Prone Jesse Jackson

Artist Completes Nude Gov. Blago Painting

Mired in a scandal that could strip him of his pride, his job and the misperception that anyone shares his enthusiasm for his hair, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has now also been stripped of his clothes.

A nude portrait of the governor, by artist Bruce Elliott, is nearly complete and will hang on the wall of Elliott's wife's bar, the Old Town Ale House, next to his infamous depiction of a naked Sarah Palin. It is the next installment in what Elliott loosely calls his "nude governor series."

Elliott cites many sources of inspiration for the painting, which shows the governor, who was arrested last week on corruption charges, preparing for a potential first day of incarceration. Among them: the extent of the governor's alleged misdeeds and the artist's desire to respond to criticism from Republicans and women about the Palin portrait by painting a Democrat in the buff.

"I was stunned when I found out what that criminal complaint [outlined]," Elliott said as he examined the painting in his Old Town studio. "Hopefully, someone is going to find this irreverent."

Irreverent hardly begins to describe it. The scene imagines Blagojevich handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit pulled down to his knees.

Among the onlookers is a guard, with a look of grim determination, pulling on a rubber glove.

The painting, which is taking Elliott a little over a week to finish, is titled: "The Cavity Search."

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At least he speaks more carefully than he shoots...

Cheney: I told Leahy to ‘f*ck’ himself because ‘I thought he merited it.’

This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Vice President Cheney about his now infamous June 2004 exchange with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), when he told Leahy to “f*ck yourself.” Cheney confirmed that he used the obscenity, saying, “I thought he merited it at the time”:

WALLACE: Did you tell Senator Leahy, “bleep yourself”?

CHENEY: I did.

WALLACE: Any qualms, second thoughts, or embarrassment?

CHENEY: No, I thought he merited it at the time and we’ve since patched over that wound.

Later in the program, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol remarked that he thought Cheney’s comments represented “a beautiful statement, really, of justice.” “Dick Cheney is going out defending justice in the end,” Kristol concluded.


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