Friday, February 13, 2009

Sure to be big news

I can predict at least four posts about this today.

New business in Longmont AND shoes.

What State Are You IN

From the Daily Camera:

Student wants name change for BHS

BOULDER — Some students at Boulder High School want to change the name of Colorado’s first high school to Barack Obama High School, according to the Boulder Valley School District.

But the change isn’t likely to happen soon. District policy requires any naming requests to be screened by a committee of community members, school staff and students.

The request, including “historical background and the reasons justifying the proposed names,” would then be forwarded to the superintendent, according to the district.

Renaming an existing school requires “extraordinary circumstances deemed by the Board of Education.”

Boulder High School was founded in 1875 as part of the University of Colorado. Its current building was built in 1933.

Great idea! but remember, you're fighting uphill in a just-turned-blue state.

Scratch the surface and there's BRIGHT BRIGHT RED under there. Dripping, steaming... smoking red.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Lie More and Cheat"

Wow. The GOP has completely lost their minds...

This post at "AAAIGGH THE BATS ARE EATING MY EYES"* details this delightful 'solution' to the mess the GOP have made for themselves:
We must fight them where they live with our best ammo.
Oh great, more gun imagery. That's reassuring.
Since these felons are being paid to vote straight Democrat ticket we recruit highly intelligent rock solid free market conservative candidates to run against their leftists candidates in their primaries as Democrats.
'highly intelligent rock solid free market conservative candidates' - hm.

I think I see the flaw in this genius plan...
aka 'Rebuild the Party'

For all the technophobes

Useful Phrases for the Wilderness

Saw a list of "useful phrases for travellers to Borneo#" at FutilityCloset* (via BifurcatedRivets)

  • Wait while I remove these leeches.
  • I have been bitten by sand flies.
  • There are too many rats.
  • There are a lot of mosquitoes here.
  • The cockroaches have eaten my shirt.
  • Is this poisonous?
  • What made that noise?
  • Is Sibu Laut in a swamp?
  • Is there a taboo on your house?
  • Is the burning finished?
  • Where can I defecate?
  • Is that fish dangerous?
  • This floor is not safe.
  • The roof is leaking.
  • There is no room in this boat.
  • We must keep dry.
  • I can't come for a time because the monsoon will soon start.
  • She has a bad pain/snakebite/gunshot wound.
  • Tear some clean cloth into strips.
  • Keep him warm.
  • Go quickly for help.
  • This vomiting needs urgent treatment.
  • I do not know what is wrong. You must take her to the clinic.
  • Your eyes need treatment, or you will become blind.

# - Many of these would be useful to the LLF also I believe...
* - hmm... the name of the site even sounds like the current state and location of the CO GOP...

The GOP's Jihad on Obama

From Consortium News:

The GOP's Jihad on Obama

By Robert Parry
February 10, 2009

Only a few weeks into Barack Obama’s presidency, a threatening political and media dynamic has rushed to the fore cutting short a very brief honeymoon.

The Republicans and their right-wing media allies are doing whatever they can to strangle the Obama phenomenon in its cradle; the mainstream media pundits are stressing the negative so they don’t get called “in the tank for Obama”; and the Democrats are shying away from holding the Bush-Cheney administration accountable for its crimes.

None of these developments is particularly surprising. Indeed, they track closely to the political-media pattern that took shape the last time a young Democrat won the White House, when Bill Clinton became President in 1993.

Then, the dispirited Republicans got a lift from the loud voice of a younger Rush Limbaugh who used his popular three-hour radio show to pillory Bill and Hillary Clinton. That, in turn, encouraged the congressional Republicans to vote as a bloc against President Clinton’s budget and economic plan.

Mainstream journalists also used the early Clinton years to disprove the Right’s old canard about the “liberal press.” As one senior news executive told me, “we’re going to show that we can be tougher on a Democrat than any Republican.”

And the Democrats of 1993 also didn’t want to investigate abuses by the Republicans who had just lost power. Despite evidence that the Reagan-Bush-41 administrations had obstructed investigations into Iran-Contra, Iraqgate and other national security scandals, Clinton and Democratic congressional leaders feared partisan warfare if those cases were pursued.

Everyone in that 1993 mix seemed to be operating out of a logical self-interest – the Republicans viewed Clinton as an interloper at their White House; the right-wing media desired larger market share and greater political influence; the mainstream media wanted to shake off the “liberal” tag; and the Democrats hoped to focus on the nation’s deepening economic and social needs rather than on complex historical disputes.

However, the result for the country from that intersection of self-interests proved disastrous.

The Republican determination to destroy Clinton infected the political system with an ugly virus of hyper-partisanship; the right-wing media ramped up its hate talk; mainstream journalism lost its way, wandering into a strange landscape of garish sensationalism and shallow news reporting; and the Democrats failed to counteract the threat posed by the neoconservatives who surfaced during the national security scandals of the Reagan-Bush-41 years.

In short, the dynamic that took shape in 1993-94 carried the United States into the catastrophic presidency of George W. Bush just eight years later. [For details on how this happened, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

Little Change

Now, at the other end of the Bush-43 experience, what may be most unsettling is that so little has changed, so few lessons have been learned.

Even some of the key players are the same, with Rush Limbaugh hoping to reprise his role as the bombastic voice that lifts the Republicans out of their post-election funk. And the new GOP players in Congress seem to be following the hand-me-down playbook from that earlier era.

So, House Republicans hailed their unanimous bloc vote against President Obama’s $819 billion stimulus package as their first substantive step back. That was followed by key Republicans – Mitch McConnell, John McCain and Lindsey Graham – refusing to join in any serious negotiations with Democrats in the Senate.

With the Republican Senate leaders vowing to filibuster the stimulus bill – thus forcing the Democrats to round up 60 votes – the Republicans were almost gleeful in their insurrection. The Washington Post quoted key Republicans expressing this exhilaration in a front-page story entitled “GOP Sees Positives in Negative Stand.”

"We're so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a backbencher eager to take a leadership role. "It's not a sign that we're back to where we need to be, but it's a sign that we're beginning to find our voice.”

"What transpired,” said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican, ”and will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no." [Washington Post, Feb. 9, 2009]

One excited Republican congressman – Pete Sessions of Texas – went even further, comparing the GOP insurrectionist tactics to those of the Taliban, the radical Islamic group that is battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan and has been allied with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist group.

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Sessions said during a meeting with editors of the National Journal’s Hotline. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes.”

Sessions caught himself slightly, adding:

“I’m not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that’s not what we’re saying. I’m saying [that] we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with.”

Tight Vote

In the Senate, only three Republicans – Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter – crossed the aisle to support a compromise stimulus bill that gained their support by increasing the proportion of tax cuts and by reducing spending on schools and aid to hard-pressed state governments.

Their votes became crucial for the bill to gain a 60-vote super-majority to cut off debate. After clearing the Senate, 61-37, on Tuesday, the stimulus bill goes to a conference with the House to iron out differences.

Besides the reemerging behavioral patterns of the Republicans, many Democrats also are acting like it’s 1993 all over again. Despite blunt admissions by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that they ordered waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques, the Democrats have shied away from any legal confrontation over whether to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for criminal violations.

Instead, there’s been talk about, maybe, a "truth and reconciliation commission" that won’t seek to embarrass anyone and – through grants of immunity – may make any criminal prosecutions impossible. [See’s “Leahy Calls for Truth Commission.”]

Another reflection from the historical mirror of 1993 is the asymmetry of media power. Then, like now, there was a scarcity of well-organized independent or progressive media, only a handful of under-funded magazines and some small FM radio stations up against a fast-growing right-wing media machine.

Over the past 16 years, independent and progressive outlets have gained a toehold in the national debate – mostly through the Internet and a few cable TV shows – but the balance remains heavily tilted toward the right-wing side, which invests vastly more money in virtually every media sector, from books, magazines and newspapers to radio, TV and the Internet.

This imbalance enabled the Republicans to throw the Obama administration onto the defensive by cherry-picking a few questionable items in the stimulus bill and making them the center of the national debate for several days. The independent/progressive media side proved woefully inadequate in countering that initial thrust.

So far, however, the key difference-maker in the economic debate has been the President himself. Despite all the TV jibber-jabber about Obama’s stumbles, he demonstrated his ability to reach past the Washington chatter and connect with an American public that, according to polls, wishes him well and desperately wants him to succeed.

Obama’s town-hall meetings in the hard-hit communities of Elkhart, Indiana, on Monday and Fort Myers, Florida, on Tuesday – as well as his strong performance in a televised news conference on Monday night – left millions of Americans delighted to have a President who could both speak in paragraphs and cite down-home examples of how his stimulus package would help common folk.

People in the audiences nodded at his explanations about money to winterize homes or to modernize schools or to build a first-class infrastructure. A refrain also kept popping up in questions, references to “for the first time in eight years,” an implicit contrast to Bush’s inarticulate oratory.

Obama’s speaking skill and personal charm may go a long way toward blunting Republican hopes for a repeat of the nasty partisan fights of 1993-94 – which ended up with the GOP winning both chambers of Congress, Rush Limbaugh becoming an honorary member of the new House majority, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich launching his “Republican Revolution.”

But except for Obama’s prodigious abilities -- and an American public that may have lost its patience for some of the Washington gamesmanship -- there are eerie parallels to the start of the last Democratic presidency 16 years ago.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to

To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. (To make a blog comment about this or other stories, you can use your normal e-mail address and password. Ignore the prompt for a Google account.) To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The sender has no affiliation whatsoever with the originators of these articles nor is the sender endorsed or sponsored by the originators.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Religion Attacking the Public Schools

This story from the outstanding blog Religion Clause caught my eye today:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Vermont Teacher Sued For Proselytizing

Vermont's ACLU announced yesterday that it has filed suit against seventh-grade teacher Wally Rogers, the Irasburg (VT) School District, and Irasburg Village School principal Paul Simmons. The complaint (full text) filed in Vermont federal district court alleges that Rogers has subjected students to religious proselytizing, and that school officials have failed to respond to complaints. It is alleged that Rogers added Christian books to student book lists, purchased those books with school funds and offered students enhanced credit for reading them. The suit also claims hat Rogers retaliated against students who complained about his conduct. Ultimately the two families involved removed their children from the school in which Rogers teaches. Today's Rutland Herald reports on the case.

Posted by
Howard Friedman
7:25 AM

Every time I read some wingnut spew about liberals attacking churches I wonder how many stories like this have gone unreported for years.

The cold, hard truth is that religious right-wingers have absolutely no compunction about stomping all over the law when it suits their purpose. These people are dangerous and when well-funded can do severe damage. Read Kingdom Coming to see what I mean.

"Learning" Curve

When I see stuff like this in my news reader (completely blank entry saved and posted on a blog):

it makes stuff like this even funnier:
Following two election cycles in which Republicans saw Democrats best
them in technological innovations, the Republican National Committee
is throwing open its doors to conservative technophiles for a
technology summit to get input on how to improve.

Bloggers, Web 2.0 fans and others who see technology as the next step
toward reasserting the party will meet at RNC headquarters on Friday
and will be given an opportunity to address the new administration for
periods of five minutes each.
OOOhhh... a whole five minutes -each- !
"We can't be satisfied by catching up. We must learn to be better,"
Steele wrote in his "Blueprint for Tomorrow." "We must assemble the
best and brightest minds, get to work, and win the technology battle."
So it's a battle is it?

If it's a battle of wits, Major Wingnut and his compadres in the 101st Fighting Keyboardists better 'uparm' asap...

There's even more about this at the Lake.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mod Squad


Those crazies at the Lake are at it again.

Classic and poignantly true.

Outstanding Idea!

Essay Contest:

"What the United States Constitution Means to Me"

Two categories of entries:

Senior: Students in 11th or 12th grade
Junior: Students in 7th or 8th grade

Prizes will be awarded as follows:
Senior category: First prize $150, Second prize $100
Junior category: First prize $75, Second prize $50

Go here for more information.


If you'd like to get in on the fun, anyone can contribute here and I'll post whatever I get (assuming anyone submits!) (try and control yourself kids).

Seeing your words on the web and the fifteen minutes of fame that affords!

Tell your friends!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

GILF Guy Gets Gored

Spotted at The Drudge Retort:

Todd Palin and nine aides were found in contempt Friday by the Alaska Senate for failing to appear to testify in the Legislature's "troopergate" investigation of his wife, Gov. Sarah Palin.

What's a maverick to do?



On Their Knees - What a Switch

Doonesbury sums up where the megacorp car manufacturers are now.

Wonderful, laugh-out-loud funny.

Good to see these head-in-the-sand nitwits finally get run over by their own product.