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    • Torture creates enemies and radicalizes people
      This article is a must read: And we’ve documented that torture creates more terrorists.   Indeed, Salon notes: Among the most notable victims of torture was Sayeed Qutb, the founding father of modern political jihadism. His 1964 book, “Milestones,” describes a journey towards radicalization that included rape and torture, sometimes with dogs, in an Egyptian […]
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Monday: The instapaper queue

Turkey Tetrazzini for dinner? hmmm...

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?  Did everyone get enough to eat?  I brought the desserts this year and much to my surprise, no one in my family likes Lemon Meringue but me.  I’m not complaining but I did find it weird when my sister told me that it was a summer pie and why didn’t I know that??  Not to fear, we had pumpkin as well.  And a custard fruit tart brought by someone else that was also delicious.  It went fast.

My sister and her husband are into this foodsaver gadget and they shrinkwrapped the leftovers into neat little packages.  I have to get one of those suckers.  They gave me a package of turkey (white meat, yummmm) to take home with me.  Guess what’s for dinner tonight?

Anyway, I have a lot to do today.  I need to finish reading some papers, return a coat I decided I could live without and basically take care of some other stuff that I’ve been putting off.  So, I thought I’d let you in on my instapaper queue.  For those of you not familiar with instapaper, it’s an app/utility that allows you to save links to interesting webpages so that you end up with something like your own frontpage.  It comes with a button that you put on your browser bar and when you see something you want to read later, you just click on “read later” and it saves it to your instapaper account.  Later, you can peruse your links at your leisure.  Highly recommended.  They even have a Browse section of recommended links of things you may be interested in reading based on your current selections.

So, here’s a few things in my instapaper queue:

How do you define who’s homeless during a recession?  The Atlantic

All the Angry People- The New Yorker

Estee Lauder Heirs Tax Strategies Typify Advantages for Weathy- The New York Times (I guess they don’t need my money after all.  Did you know that Estee Lauder owns Clinique, M.A.C., and Origins as well?)

Team Obama Gears Up for 2012 – The New York Times (This one is unsettling.  Milk Bars and droogs come to mind)

So, What did Lipitor do for Pfizer? Or its Shareholders?- In the Pipeline (Or, “How the finance MBA executive class screwed the pooch in pharma, destroyed research, set the shareholders up for HUGE losses later and made the entire world hate drug discovery’s guts”  It’s hard to believe a group of arrogant, hierarchical Ivy League educated individuals could botch things this badly but it’s become clear to me that the Democrats have been taking lessons from them.)

More Parents are Opting out of Vaccines – The Atlantic  (Did you know that Raold Dahl’s 7 year old daughter Olivia died from encephalitis because she was not vaccinated against measles?  True story.  It’s hard to believe there are selfish, ignorant and arrogant parents out there who would expose other very young children to that because they won’t vaccinate their own kids.  It’s immoral.)

The Branding of the Occupy Movement- The New York Times (There’s a better article on Kalle Lasn somewhere but I neglected to instapaper it.  Try The New Yorker, New York Magazine or The Atlantic)

Payroll Tax Cut will Top Political Theater- Roll Call (yes, Virginia, they *are* still playing games instead of raising taxes on the rich)

Iran: We’ll Fire 150,000 Missiles at Israel if attacked- YNet (and we’ll turn Iran into a smoking cinder if it does.  I think there was a cold war term for that)

Pakistanis burn Obama in Effigy and US Flag- Sky News Australia (Ok, now I think we know why we have marines stationed in Australia.)

Cozy Winter Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli- The Kitchn (Apartment Therapy)

Charge Separation in Molecules Consisting of Two Identical Atoms: Size Matters - Science Daily (For the hard core polarity fans)

Finally, here’s a video on Pittsburghese, which is a distinct American dialect.  The host of this video is fresh, energetic and cute, but her accent is not anywhere near as heavy as my cousins’.  Still, if you ever wondered what it meant to “red up your house”, pay attention.

She forgot to say “keller” when she really means “color”.  And is it “UM-brella” or “umBRELLa”?

Finally, “Physician, Heal Thyself”.  Digby is absolutely right about dehumanization but it’s really odd that she and the rest of the left had no problem with it when the 2008 elections made old, uneducated, unattractive, working class, racist, latently Republican, menopausal women out of Hillary Clinton voters.  I mean, when you think of them *that* way, no wonder the Obama hooligans piled on.  Who wants to sit at that lunch table?  Dehumanizing those voters made it a lot easier to ignore their votes and violate their delegates with harrassment and threats at the convention.  They almost deserved it. Right, Digby?  Right, Duncan?  Right, Jay?  If you don’t take your own side to task for acting like flaming assholes, then others might find your newfound concern with “dehumanization” a bit hypocritical.  It was an election with far-reaching consequences not only to the economy but to voting in general. (Didn’t you guys ever figure out why Obama is ignoring his voting base now?  The answer is that you let him get away with it in 2008 so he knows he can do it again.) You guys should have been a lot more vigilant.

(No, I am not going to get over it.  If it were Howard Dean’s voters who got the Hillary treatment, you’d be all over this for decades to come. “Oh, but they’re different”, you’ll say. Exactly.  I rest my case.  “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”.  Also, Karma is a bitch.)

Wednesday: Does anyone on the left possess a sense of self-preservation??

Al Qaeda bombs the embassy in Kenya, 1998

Oh, My, GOD, sometimes I want to slap the shit out of the people in the left  blogosphere who let their ideology do their thinking and can’t help posting idiotic drivel.  Thank goodness the left is so good at expressing its total lack of self-preservation in hyperbolic parody or the right would have to do it for them.  We spare them the extra effort and they file it away for future use.  The latest nonsense comes from madamab, who never lets an opportunity pass to jump on the bandwagon and express her self-righteous comaraderie with the soft and squishy.  I don’t mean to single her out because she is not the only hand-wringer who is feeling profound sadness and despair over the death of Osama bin Laden but she is exquisitely good at setting my teeth on edge:

Sorry folks, there is no activism today (oh, drat, and I was on the edge of my seat, eagerly anticipating more activism). I’m still processing my feelings about the shocking developments of last Sunday evening.

What I’ve ultimately settled upon, after my initial excitement has faded, is a feeling of despair (FEEElings, nothing more than FEEElings).

What has happened to my country? Didn’t we used to be proud of our Constitution? Didn’t we used to think we were exceptional not because we killed more people than anyone else (our troops are the best in the world! USA! USA!), but because we didn’t treat terrorists and criminals with the lawlessness they had shown to us? Wasn’t the Unabomber, Ted Kaczyinski, tried and convicted? Wasn’t the blind sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, tried and convictedafter he attempted to destroy the World Trade Center? Didn’t this due process make us all feel good after the murder and mayhem they perpetrated upon us? Didn’t our consciences tell us we had, indeed, obeyed our laws and lived in accordance with our own preference for justice over brutal Bronze Age morality?

No more. The Feelings Police have spoken. No “decent” person could possibly do anything but celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death. Bullying, swearing and shouting will be doled out to anyone who dares say otherwise. As usual on the Internets, the loudest, least reasonable voices prevail. And so, mindless expressions of unadulterated joy are the plat du jour. It’s revolting to me.

It’s a tragedy alright.  I suppose the next time someone flies two jets into the workplace of thousands of people, we should send them a sternly worded letter and make them sit in time out.

Once again, our brothers and sisters on the left have opened their minds so far that their brains have fallen out.  For the record, there are more than two possible responses to the death of bin Laden.  Yes, you don’t have to be either offensively euphoric or fashionably maudlin. The left used to believe that the Republicans’ tendency towards black/white thinking was stupid and laughable.  Now, it seems to have adopted that mindset.  Fortunately, it is possible to be unmoved in either direction while at the same time acknowledging that a bastard like bin Laden set himself up for a brutal ending at the hands of some country’s military and intelligence apparatus.  It didn’t have to be ours.  Bin Laden was an equal opportunity murderer. Kenya and Tanzania in the 90’s?  London?  Madrid?  Check out this list of Al Qaeda attacks.  bin Laden and his droogs have been very busy.  If WE didn’t eventually get him, someone else would have.

Anger and the desire for revenge are perfectly normal feelings responses to outrages as serious as the ones committed by Al Qaeda.   We can argue whether it would have been more *effective* to the demoralization of Al Qaeda to try bin Laden and then erase him from history by burying him alive in a mountain cell in Nevada but killing him became a legitimate option when he was more than happy to take the credit for planning and executing the death of thousands of other people.

Bin Laden was a nasty piece of work, madamab.  Dispatching him had almost nothing to do with our loss of liberties since 9/11.  We can attribute THAT to the authoritarian impulses of Bush, Cheney and the Republicans and the cowardice of the Democrats who allowed themselves to be bullied into acting rashly when they should have been using their heads.  I suspect they were watching too much TV.

If you want a balanced response to the death of bin Laden, read the response of someone who doesn’t have a TV and was able to process the information without someone telling her what position to take.

Now, can we stop wailing about the unfairness of it all to the poor, poor mass murderer and get back to what is important??  Like finding jobs for the unemployed?

Here’s a much more interesting and relevant post from Corrente on the ways in which women are getting stiffed in the job market.  Take it from me, this is the real tragedy.

In other news:

Democrats pick Senator from one of the most sparsely populated and conservative states in the nation to work on the budget with Republicans and are shocked, SHOCKED, when his proposals are more conservative than the White House’s.  From the HuffingtonPost (not exactly a progressive *media* outlet):

“The problem is the Republicans wouldn’t agree to anything. They just keep dragging it out,” the Democratic aide said referring to the Gang of Six talks.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said that Conrad gave no clear indication that the talks would result in a deal.

“He said that it was up and down, up and down, up and down. But I don’t know whether it was up or down the last time he talked to us,” said Cardin after being briefed by Conrad, who is retiring at the end of this session.

“I ask all the time,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) of the halting progress of the Gang of Six. “Every day is a different story. One day I hear, ‘It’s great, we’re going to get a deal.’ The next day, they’re not. So I don’t know. The answer is, I honestly don’t know.”

Democrats, yur doin’ it rong.  Here’s what’s supposed to happen: The Republicans propose some cruel and unusual punishment for the masses and cushy breaks for their friends and the *Democrats* say they won’t agree to it.  This is what Clinton did in 1996.  Gingrich took the government hostage and became very unpopular and whiny.  What is wrong with this current batch of Democrats?  Is it really the 2012 elections they are worried about where lots of Democratic Senators are in danger of losing their jobs?  Well, it’s a recession guys.  You can’t go wrong making the Republicans look bad.  Try harder.

In NJ, round trip to Manhattan from nearest station to my house- $28.50.  I love rail.  I’m a big supporter of public transportation in part because my grandfather was a bus driver.  But with the recent increase in NJTransit fares since Governor Christie took office (check out how he balanced the transit budget by $300bn, by reducing staff and shorting their 401K contributions.  Nice!), a trip to Manhattan and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Brook and me is out of the question.  If the cost were less, the inconvenience of taking the train, plus the transfer, plus buying a Metro Card for the subway might be an option.  But at more than $50 bucks, I might as well drive to Manhattan and park the car.  It’s funny how Christie couldn’t come up with the money to subsidize NJTransit but he can come up with a plan to salvage the plans of the developers of a white elephant mall called Xanadu.  I believe the amount we are handing over to developers is about the same amount we cut from the transit budget.

Well, we must have priorities.

And this from The Onion is just too funny: Pfizer Breaks Psychological Need to Always Seek FDA’s Approval.  Or it would be funny if the FDA weren’t always so effing negative all the time…

Friday Fast: Flood Relief

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd"*

It’s time for another Friday Fast.  Here’s how it works: give up a meal today and send the money you might have spent on it to a cause that needs it.  If you have suggestions for recipients, please put them in the comments below.

Today’s Friday Fast is dedicated to Flood Relief.  My recommended recipient is the UN High Commission for Refugees.  Please see this important message from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for details:

For those of you who want the short summary, you can aid the people of Pakistan by texting the word “SWAT” on your cell phone to the number 50555.  Reply by typing “yes”.  $10 will be sent to the UNHCR and will show up on your cell phone bill.  How simple is that?!

That money can add up very quickly and can help the UNHCR provide shelter and clean drinking water to people displaced by the flooding.  Right now, the immediate threat to Pakistanis is not the force of the flooding itself.  It’s disease, like cholera, and malnutrition.

For those of you who would like to keep your money closer to home, consider the American Red Cross, who  still works tirelessly for hurricane and flooding disaster relief.

*From William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

A Plea from a Makeup Guru

As some of you may know, I watch makeup videos on YouTube to relax.  Yeah, yeah, it’s a secret vice.  I can never look like them but I have learned a few things.  Like, use a peach highlighter to counteract dark circles and stay away from eyeshadows with too much shimmer unless you are very young.  And I have also learned that some makeup gurus, like Samantha at pixiwoo, know that it’s not all about them:

{Stay with it til the end.  It’s short but worth it}

I find it really strange that the plight of the Pakistanis is on low burn this week.  The UN says that compared to Haiti earthquake and Indonesian tsunami relief, the flooding in Pakistan, which is affecting so many people, is getting very little attention.

Images of people slogging through water did not generate the same kind of sympathy as a leveled city, even though the dimensions are similar, aid groups noted, especially since, according to the United Nations, more than 15 million people have been affected and are often difficult to reach.

“That should be enough to get anybody’s attention,” said George Rupp, the president of the International Rescue Committee. The organization has raised just $1.18 million of the $5 million it is seeking, with about $700,000 coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Online donations are far below the response to past disasters, he noted.

Many aid groups are increasing their efforts as the scope of the disaster unfolds. TheInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies began an appeal for more than $16 million on Aug. 2, of which about 60 percent has been donated, but now expects to double the appeal, said Elyse Mosquini of the federation’s United Nations office.

Given the threat of more rain and the potential spread of disease, time is not an ally. “People are starting to appreciate the scale, but I don’t know that people are appreciating the urgency,” said Rebecca Barber of Oxfam, speaking by telephone from Pakistan.

There were limited signs on Tuesday that change might be in the offing. At the London premiere of the movie “Salt,” Angelina Jolie lent glamour to the cause, saying on the red carpet that donating to Pakistan was an urgent matter. “It is millions and millions of people who will be uprooted for a very long time,” she said.

Unfortunately, this is not a good time for giving to the Pakistanis.  The citizens of this country turn to their churches during natural disasters, looking for answers and relief.  But Pakistan is a Muslim country and our country is busily engaged in a PR political war to determine whether American Muslims in New York City have the right to worship where it is most convenient for them.  When they might be finding comfort in their mosques, organizing relief for their Pakistani friends, they are instead asked to defend their constitutionally guaranteed right to worship.

I’m embarrassed for us on both counts. Not only does it demonstrate how crowds can be swayed to carry praise or blame too far, it makes fundamentalist extremism towards our country more likely.  We make a mockery of the principles upon which this country was built and in the process end up looking like craven, irrational hypocrites.

This week, I will be devoting the Friday Fast to Pakistani Flood Relief.  In the meantime, I have a little public service announcement to my friends on Facebook.  I haven’t really used Facebook much until recently when DandyTiger turned me on to Flipboard.  So, I just started accepting my friend invitations.  But I have been really disturbed by a small number of these so-called friends who have been sending me columns opposed to the proposed mosque in Lower Manhattan.  Let me make my view on this perfectly clear: I believe in the freedom of worship.  I am an American and that’s what Americans believe in.  Some of you may have forgotten that principle but it’s in the bill of rights.  I don’t have the right to hold my beliefs as being better or more worthy of respect than anyone else’s.  I DO have a problem with fundamentalism and extremism in any religion.  But it you keep your beliefs to yourself and behave as a good citizen, then your Christian fundamentalism is of no interest to me.

So, verily I say unto you, do not send me messages of intolerance regarding this mosque.  I have no fear of Muslims.  I want to live in peace with them.  And I will unfriend you. I have already had to unfriend several people over this.  If that means I have fewer friends, well, at least I can sleep at night with a clear conscience.

If you are insulted or offended by this post, then please, don’t feel obligated to read anything else I write.  I don’t speak for the other frontpagers on this matter but I have no reason to believe they disagree with me.

What’s Going On Between Obama and the CIA?

President Obama speaking at CIA Headquarters

A kind of war of leaks appears to be going on between Obama administration and the CIA. I realize that it is nothing new for Presidents of the U.S. to have conflicts with the CIA–Presidents since Truman have struggled to control the intelligence apparatus he set in motion after World War II.

I’m certainly no expert on this kind of thing, and I’m hoping someone like Joseph Cannon will be able to explain it eventually. But for now, I thought I’d just post some of the things I’ve been reading in the hopes that together we can make some sense out of the situation. So here’s the deal.

First we had crotch bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who managed to get through multiple airline security systems and come close to detonating a bomb in his underwear on Delta Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas day. For a full examination of what is know about the crotch bombing incident, you can’t beat the two excellent posts that Joseph Cannon has written so far. Scroll down for the earlier post on the many strange questions about case.

President Obama’s first response to the aborted bombing attempt came on December 31. Here is a portion of the statement from the White House web site:

I wanted to speak to the American people again today because some of this preliminary information that has surfaced in the last 24 hours raises some serious concerns. It’s been widely reported that the father of the suspect in the Christmas incident warned U.S. officials in Africa about his son’s extremist views. It now appears that weeks ago this information was passed to a component of our intelligence community, but was not effectively distributed so as to get the suspect’s name on a no-fly list.

There appears [sic] to be other deficiencies as well. Even without this one report there were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have and should have been pieced together. We’ve achieved much since 9/11 in terms of collecting information that relates to terrorists and potential terrorist attacks. But it’s becoming clear that the system that has been in place for years now is not sufficiently up to date to take full advantage of the information we collect and the knowledge we have.

Had this critical information been shared it could have been compiled with other intelligence and a fuller, clearer picture of the suspect would have emerged. The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America.

Obama then went on to praise the intelligence community and to say that he understood that even the best people weren’t infallible. This was apparently interpreted by members of the CIA as an attack by Obama on their competence. Continue reading

Federal Judge Dismisses All Charges Against Blackwater Guards in 2007 Shootings of 17 Iraquis

Blackwater plainclothes contractors

Just a short time ago, Federal Judge Ricard Urbina dismissed all charges against five Blackwater contractors who opened fire in a crowded square in Bagdad on September 16, 2007.

From the BBC News service:

District Judge Ricardo Urbina said the US justice department had used evidence prosecutors were not supposed to have.

The five had all pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. A sixth guard admitted killing at least one Iraqi.

The killings, which took place in Nisoor Square, Baghdad, strained Iraq’s relationship with the US and raised questions about US contractors operating in war zones.

The disputed evidence consisted of statements the five men gave to State Department investigators shortly after the shootings.

Judge Urbina said prosecutors should not have used those statements in the case, and that the US government’s explanation for this was “unbelievable”.

The five guards were Donald Ball, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nick Slatten and Paul Slough – all of whom are decorated military veterans.

As well as the 14 counts of manslaughter, they had faced 20 counts of attempted manslaughter and one count of using a machine gun to commit a crime of violence, a charge that carries a 30-year minimum sentence.

Jeremy Scahill is an investigative reporter who has done more than any other writer to reveal the activities of Blackwater (aka Xe) head Erik Prince and his mercenaries in their roles as contractors for the U.S. government. He is the author of the book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. In October, 2007, Scahill appeared on Bill Moyers Journal to discuss the killings in Bagdad. You can listen to the interview here.

Here is Scahill’s blog post on today’s outrageous dismissal of the case against the five Blackwater guards.

A federal judge in Washington DC has given Erik Prince’s Blackwater mercenaries a huge New Year’s gift. Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed all charges against the five Blackwater operatives accused of gunning down 14 innocent Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in September 2007. Judge Urbina’s order, issued late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve is a stunning blow for the Iraqi victims’ families and sends a clear message that US-funded mercenaries are above all systems of law—US and international.

In a memo defending his opinion, Urbina cited a similar rationale used in the dismissal of charges against Iran-Contra figure Oliver North—namely that the government violated the rights of the Blackwater men by using statements they made to investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting to build a case against the guards, which Urbina said qualified for “derivative use immunity.”

Scahill provides links to the decision a the Judge’s 90-page memo explaining it.

In this recent post, Scahill provides statistics for the government’s use of private contractors in Afghanistan alone. As of December 17, 2009, according to Scahill, there were “189,000 personnel on the ground in Afghanistan right now—and that number is quickly rising.” Other Blackwater employees are deployed in Iraq and have been used by the CIA in Pakistan. They are representing us and are being paid with our tax dollars.

I for one do not want these men representing me. I think it is disgraceful that Blackwater “contractors” are allowed to get away with committing murders in the name of the people of the United States of America.

Friday Mid-Morning News and Views

For me the biggest news of the day comes from Jeremy Scahill’s revelations about the relationship between Blackwater (aka Xe) head Eric Prince and the CIA. According to Scahill Prince has been working as a CIA asset for years, and that Blackwater contractors with U.S. backing are effectively engaging in a covert war in Pakistan.

In addition, Scahill revealed that there are more than 100,000 contractors in Afghanistan now in addition to the 100,000 U.S. military troops who will be there after Obama’s latest troop “surge.” Scahill wrote the cover story for this week’s The Nation. Unfortunately the story is not yet available on-line to non-subscribers. However Scahill did appear on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program last night. Here is the video.

A few days ago, Scahill also talked about his latest Blackwater research in an interview with Laura Flanders:

There is also a major story on Eric Prince in the January issue of Vanity Fair.

I put myself and my company at the C.I.A.’s disposal for some very risky missions,” says Erik Prince as he surveys his heavily fortified, 7,000-acre compound in rural Moyock, North Carolina. “But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus.” Prince—the founder of Blackwater, the world’s most notorious private military contractor—is royally steamed. He wants to vent. And he wants you to hear him vent.

I haven’t had time to read the full interview yet. I hope to get to it over the weekend.


In other news….

Top Congressional Researcher on Afghanistan Fired

The top congressional official who oversees research on foreign policy and defense issues, including the war in Afghanistan, has been fired from his job after publishing a newspaper op-ed criticizing the Obama administration’s recent decision about bringing Guantánamo detainees to trial.

Morris Davis, the assistant director of the Congressional Research Service’s foreign policy and defense division and the former chief prosecutor of the U.S. military commissions, says that the American Civil Liberties Union plans to challenge his dismissal in a letter to CRS’s longtime director, Daniel Mulhollan, on Friday. The letter will contend that Mulhollan violated Davis’s First Amendment rights to free speech by firing him and will threaten the service with a lawsuit if he is not reinstated, says an ACLU spokeswoman.

Politico thinks the Massachusetts Senate Race is boring Could that be because a woman–Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley–is leading the race by double digits? Politico seems disappointed that there are no Kennedys in the race. Massachusetts citizens are more interested in electing a Senator who will be responsive to their needs than having a celebrity studded primary.

Get this–according to Politico, Michael Capuano, Coakley’s nearest rival, is terrified of a “Rick Lazio moment.”

“We all learned from his mistake,” Capuano said in an interview of the former New York congressman’s debate badgering of Hillary Clinton, which has become political shorthand for what male candidates ought not to do against female opponents. “There are certain rules of engagement.”

It’s not just debates where the gender issue has surfaced — it hangs over the campaign because of the otherwise liberal state’s not-so-progressive history when it comes to women candidates….

…in last year’s historic Democratic presidential primary, much of the state’s political establishment — including the governor and both senators — rallied behind the man over the woman.

“That left a bad taste in women’s mouths,” said Marsh, adding that it seems to be playing out again this year, with nearly all of the men in the House delegation backing their colleague.

Oh really? Izzat so. Poor Mikey C., getting beat up by woman because of the “rules of engagement.”

Also from Politico, a number of opinion leaders weigh in on whether Ben Bernacke should get four more years as head of the Fed.

President Obama is running some PR operation and calling it a “jobs summit,” but The New York Times reports that there won’t be any money to speak of to back up any job creation effort by the administration. That’s as to be expected–unlimited funds for bankers and war, while middle-class, working-class, and poor Americans can go f**k themselves.

Mr. Obama said he would entertain “every demonstrably good idea” for creating jobs, but he cautioned that “our resources are limited.”

The president said he would announce some new ideas of his own next week. One of those, he indicated when he participated in a discussion group on clean energy, would be a program of weatherization incentives for homeowners and small businesses modeled on the popular “cash for clunkers” program.

What about the people who have lost their houses Mr. President–and the people who were already homeless? What kind of weatherization program will you recommend for them. I can’t wait for the big speech!

The Wall Street Journal reports that Allentown, PA workers and business people may not welcome President Obama’s “Main Street tour” with open arms.


Main Street Tour Faces Frosty Greeting

When President Barack Obama launches a multicity tour Friday to take Main Street’s temperature, he will likely get a cool reception from business leaders and workers here who say he hasn’t delivered.

Swing voters in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley helped Mr. Obama win this pivotal, populous state. But the region’s jobless rate inched up another half percentage point in October to 9.8%. About 41,000 people are out of work, the highest number since 1984.

Finally, here’s a “just for fun” story:


Cat Cams: What DO Cats Do Home Alone?

Fifty house cats were given collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes. The results put a digital dent in some human theories about catnapping.

Based on the photos, about 22 percent of the cats’ time was spent looking out of windows, 12 percent was used to interact with other family pets and 8 percent was spent climbing on chairs or kitty condos. Just 6 percent of their hours were spent sleeping.

What are you reading this morning? Please post links in the comments.


HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!

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