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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 19, 2023
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 19, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Global power shift China Leads A Successful Middle East Summit Ian Welsh, March 16, 2023 Something which has slipped past most people’s radar is that China recently acted as the intermediary for peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two countries have been at each other’s throats f […]
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Late Night Open Thread: Hollywood and Male Social Dominance

(Note: Yes, I know it’s the Anniversary of THAT DAY, but we should see the glass as half full. Without this day, PUMA would never have been born!)

Kim Gandy, Caroline Kennedy, Naomi, and other stupid Obama Girls… this one is for you!

Several months ago, I did a post on my old blog about Hollywood and it’s effect on “Male Social Dominance,” as SOD often calls it. I am reposting it here, because I think it is worth discussing.

Some things I have to say about Hollywood:

1. Hollywood is, simply put, misogynistic.
Women that make it in Hollywood must have a certain body type. Impossibly tall. Thinner than is healthy or realistic, with ginormous jugs and a baby doll face. It is an odd, twisted version of a woman. Not only is it unattractive, it’s not womanly. Sure, some women are born with this body type and they work it. But women, like men, come in all shapes and sizes. And a lot of men I talk to tell me they like girls with “meat on their bones.” This translates to: “I like a woman who looks human, and actually like a woman.” I’m not sure, because I don’t happen to be a man, but I’d say a lot of men would take a curvy, gorgeous woman over some Supermodel.
See, that is what the patriarchy does. Women are told to not look like women, because women are not equal and/or less than human. That is why there are all these poor teenage girls committing suicide after gaining a pound. That is why there is anorexia and eating disorders. That is why you have all these female celebrities, such as Brit Spears, ruining their lives.

2. Celebrities. Look, I pay for these people to entertain me. It’s nice when they promote good causes. As far as I’m concerned, they are obligated too. They earn millions for pretending and/or taking pictures when there are millions of people working their asses off to take care of their families. As far as I’m concerned, I pay for celebrities to entertain me, because that is what they are for. Entertainment. Therefore, I do not give two shits about their political views, personal lives, opinions, ect. I do not pay them for that.

3. Female actors. I love many of them, because they are all so talented. But it seems to me like female actors are forced into roles that are much more restraining, because of the nature of Hollywood (even back in the 1950’s, Elizabeth Taylor could only play breathy helpless little girls.) Women actors must have those aforementioned supermodel bodies, else they are constantly ridiculed. (Case in point: Rosie O’Donnell. I like her. Always have.) Women actors seem to become irrelevant as they get older, or they are put in those roles that are restricting. But then you have these male actors, like Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, and they have the most spectacular movie roles. Can you imagine a woman actor playing the type of roles that those two often play at their ages, and still being considered all wise and interesting? I think not. Pixie often has some silly reason or other for why she HATES some female actor or celebrity, but I’ve noticed she never has those feelings for male ones. Then again, Pixie often shouts to me, “I’m NOT some feminist like you!” (No offense, Pix. I am only using you as an example.)

4. There are really no female directors in Hollywood and there is a reason for that. Hollywood just seems to get worse and worse every year with some of it’s movies. I don’t mean that the movies are bad. I mean the sexualization of young girls. High School girls, really. I don’t get this. Producers probably like to think they have a snowball’s chance in hell with High School girls without getting their MasterCards stolen. I’m going to use Seth Rogen as an example. He is a deeply untalented, unattractive man. Yet, he produces and directs films, and they always involve some fat, hairy nasty loser (usually played by himself) managing to snag some gorgeous girl. As if that is actually possible in real life. I want to see some unattractive, loser girl directing and producing movies about her managing to snag some super hot rich guy. But that will never happen. And don’t try to mention Molly Ringwald movies from the eighties and She’s All That. because the girls in those movies were simply poor or unpopular, and they usually got some fantastic make over that made them Maxim material within three days.

5. Porn. It suffers the same consequences, for reasons aforementioned in number four. And men wonder why they are never sexually satisfied. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against porn, but that is an industry that really needs to be feminized. I think Porn would be a lot more successful financially if it didn’t just attract men with inferiority complexes. Women, believe it or not, also have sexual desires beyond the corny sex scenes in Harlequin Novels. If the porn industry understood this and maybe tried to gear it’s movies towards gratifying women, it would likely enjoy a boom in prosperity. How’s that for an economic stimulus package?

So, the truth is, I love movies and celebrities as much as Mental Vertigo, but I choose not to obsess over it as much as she does. I just end up getting disappointed and mulling over all these things. Particularly when there are hardly any dead troubled women actresses for me to truly emulate with the honesty and sincerity with which Mental Vertigo emulates hers.

Open, Late Night Thread on this topic!

How about something uplifting?

Between the 1st anniversary of the RBC debacle and the cowardly assassination of a heroic medical professional, zombie Nazis are an improvement.

This is an open thread – what’s eating you tonight?

Will Obama Call the Murder of George Tiller What it is–Terrorism?

Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller

George Tiller, 67, a Witchita, KS doctor who performed abortions was shot dead inside his Lutheran church this morning during the service. His wife was in the choir at the time. This is terrorism, and it is evil. Dr. Tiller was targeted as part of a concerted effort to intimdate women who need and seek abortions and the doctors who help them. May he rest in peace.

Apparently Dr. Tiller had been a target of anti-abortion forces for years. He was previously shot in both arms and his clinic was bombed, yet he went on doing the work he believed in.

Dr. Tiller, who had performed abortions since the 1970s, had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion, particularly in Kansas, where abortion opponents regularly protested outside his clinic and sometimes his home and church. In 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent but recovered.

Dr. Tiller had also been the subject of many efforts at prosecution, including a citizen-initiated grand jury investigation. In the latest such effort, in March, Dr. Tiller was acquitted of charges that he had performed late-term abortions that violated state law.

Many are celebrating Tiller’s death today.

Anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue are hypocritically rushing to condemn the killer’s act, but they incited it over many years.

The “Tiller Watch” page is no longer available of Operation Rescue’s website. But this is a group that made it its business to learn the identities of Tiller’s family and employees. It publicized their home addresses and, yes, it publicized where Tiller went to church….Operation Rescue is by no means the only group….They made the fight personal and up close. They should not be surprised, or pretend to be appalled, upon learning the news that Sunday, in a house of worship, a murderer got too close.

Ann Coulter has been an enthusiastic voice calling for Tiller’s murder:

In fact, the hands are many in the death of George Tiller, some more directly than others. Take Ann Coulter, for example. I watched her describe, to a church full of right-wing activists, abortion-clinic doctors and health care personnel who were murdered as either having been shot, “…or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure performed on them with a rifle.” And she’s still out there today, spewing the same bile with violent force.

Interestingly, a worker at Tiller’s clinic was honored at the White House during a Memorial Day luncheon on May 26, yet so far we have heard no comment from President Obama on Tiller’s murder.

Will he speak out? I imagine he’ll eventually be dragged kicking and screaming to the teleprompter to say a few mealy-mouthed words. But will he denounce this crime as an act of terrorism? I’d have to say that is highly unlikely. I hope I’m proven wrong.

UPDATE 1: President Obama released a statement a short time ago:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

I was right. It was pretty mealy-mouthed. Abortion is a “difficult issue?” Why not take an opportunity to defend the courageous doctors who keep helping women at the risk of their own lives? Why not defend the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies? Oh yeah, because he doesn’t believe those things. Never mind….

Update 2: The AP has a list of abortion-related violent events.

Update 3: Seriously mentioned this website, A Heartbreaking Choice, in a comment on the previous thread. They have stories of women who were helped by Dr. Tiller.

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Ok, I’ll bite

PBO and Stay-At-Home-Wife(-with-school-aged-children) went to a Broadway play last night.  This is of such importance to the media that it is featured on the frontpage of the NYTimes and Politico.  Apparently, he promised to take SAHW to a Broadway play during the election as a reward for having to put up with all of the touchy feely stuff that is necessary to win the White House.

Know what?  Who the f^*( cares?  He makes $400K/year.  He can spend it any damn way he wants.  Who *doesn’t* want to see a good play on Broadway?  Tickets are expensive.  It’s a pain in the ass getting in and out of Manhattan.  If the most powerful man in the world can’t do it, who can?  Sure, he’s got to take the helicopter.  That’s the nature of his job for four years.  Any time he and his wife want to go anywhere, it’s going to cost money and require secure government transportation devices.  That’s why we make these devices available.   Let’s be realistic here.  If ordinary people like myself can traipse up to Broadway once in a blue moon to see a play, why shouldn’t the Obamas do the same?

Focus, media people!  It’s not about the play.  It’s about the loss of jobs, oligarchs, middle men in the health insurance industry who are bleeding us dry and the sad spectacle of middle class families fighting each other for a piece of the shrinking pie.  In the whole scheme of things, what a guy does with his throwback-wife-from-another-era on a Saturday night doesn’t amount to much.  It’s a convenient distraction for the bandits who are making off with our money.

What I care about is what he’s going to do on Monday morning.  Is he going to wake up and discover that he’s a Democrat or is he going to continue to sell out every principle of the party because that’s the kind of shmoozer he is?  Is Michelle going to continue to poke a sharp stick into the eye of every working woman with kids who has ever loved her job and family or is she going to start sticking up for us?

Stay tuned.

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Morning Read

  • The “Racist” Speech
  • By now, many have heard about the famous speech Judge Sonia Sotomayor gave in 2001, the one that made her a “racist” in the eyes of Right Wing apparatchiks, the one that earned her comparisons to David Duke from Rush Limbaugh, the speech that should bar her from ever ascending to the SCOTUS.
    What has become clear is that very few have actually read the speech, apparently not even WH Spokesperson Robert Gibbs. Please read the whole speech and try to figure out why anyone characterizing it as “racist” isn’t laughed at and what justifies Gibbs’ “I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor.”

    Lecture: ‘A Latina Judge’s Voice’
    Here’s is the entire paragraph with the “offending” sentence:

    Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

    Here’s a complementary and good article making what Judge Sotomayor said even clearer.
    The Waves Minority Judges Always Make

    “Anyone who has ever sat on a bench with other judges knows that judges are supposed to influence each other, and they do,” Justice Souter wrote in a 1998 dissent in a death penalty case. “One may see something the others did not see, and then they all take another look.”

  • Case of Bad Journalism
  • Doing my best Brad Delong impersonation, I shake my fists to the Heavens and scream: “Why oh why, Can’t we have a better press corps”
    Sotomayor’s Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle

    Now conservatives say her strong identification with such race-based approaches to the law is perhaps the strongest argument against her confirmation, contending that her views put her outside an evolving consensus that such race-conscious public policy is growing obsolete.

    This NY Times article illustrates a typical case of stenography. David Kirkpatrick just transcribed what “conservatives say” even if it’s not supported by the facts.

    Peter Nicholas and James Oliphant of the LA Times do a much better job on the same topic.
    Two sides to Sonia Sotomayor

    The passion for minority rights that she showed from Princeton onward is scarcely reflected in a review of her judicial decisions. So which way would she lean on the Supreme Court?

    Considering her track record, it looks like those who want Judge Sotomayor to reliably decides cases in favor of minorities are the ones who should be worried. But why let facts stand in the way?

    Tom Goldstein of the SCOTUSBLOG actually took the time to read all of Judge Sotomayor’s race-related cases:
    Judge Sotomayor and Race — Results from the Full Data Set

    Other than Ricci, Judge Sotomayor has decided 96 race-related cases while on the court of appeals.

    Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.

    Should the Ricci Case really be viewed as symptomatic for Judge Sotomayor’s legal views?
    Bias Case Looms Large for Nominee

    Ruling on Firefighters’ Lawsuit Raises Questions About Sotomayor’s Philosophy

    Court Choice Pushes ‘Identity Politics’ to Forefront

  • Changing Washington, DC
  • U.S. vows to keep using ‘state secrets’ defense

    The Obama administration has informed a federal judge it will continue to invoke the “state secrets” privilege in a legal battle with an Islamic charity suspected of funding terrorism.
    The Obama administration has criticized President Bush’s Justice Department for invoking the state secrets defense too quickly.

    Obama walks a fine line over mining

    Environmentalists feel betrayed by the EPA’s decision not to block new mountaintop mining projects.

    Administration opposes Uighurs’ release in US

    The Obama administration, picking up the argument of its predecessor, is opposing the release of Chinese Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay into the United States.

  • The Other Battle
  • Kennedy plan to outline U.S. healthcare overhaul

    Democratic plans for revamping U.S. healthcare are taking shape, with Senator Edward Kennedy soon to announce a proposal which could form the core of the nation’s new health system.

    Kennedy and Baucus ‘Seek Common Ground’ on Health Care Legislation

    Two Senate committee chairmen issued a joint statement on Saturday saying they would “seek common ground on health reform legislation,” despite reports that they disagreed on the shape of a new public health insurance plan that many Democrats want to create.

    A Red State Booster Shot

    Those in the red states still smarting over Barack Obama’s election victory can perhaps take solace in this: The Democrats’ No. 1 domestic policy initiative, universal health care, is likely to help red America at the expense of blue.

  • “Torturegate”
  • ‘We Could Have Done This the Right Way’

    How Ali Soufan, an FBI agent, got Abu Zubaydah to talk without torture.

    For all the debate about interrogation, little research exists

  • No End in Sight
  • Pakistani cities are new battleground for Taliban

    Officials say troops have secured large areas of the Swat Valley and the main city of Mingora, but a recent spate of bombings in three cities signals a shift in the Taliban’s tactics.

  • Economy Watch
  • Attention, Economic Optimists: Not So Fast

    IN THE DEPTHS OF THE Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt inspired confidence when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Today, our economy is definitely showing signs of coming out of a near-depression. Ironically, all our recovery has to fear is the recovery itself.

  • Painful
  • Father of slain NYPD cop Omar Edwards feels sorry for son’s killer

    Racked with grief, the father of slain cop Omar Edwards Saturday reached out to the man who shot his son.

    “I feel sorry for the guy who shot my son,” said Ricardo Edwards, 72, just two days after his youngest son was shot by a fellow cop on a Harlem street. “I feel sorry for his family, and I feel sorry for him.”

    On Diverse Force, Blacks Still Face Special Peril

    Two black police officers stand outside the 70th Precinct station in Brooklyn and consider the disastrous turn of events the night before: an off-duty black officer dead in a Harlem street, felled by the bullets of a white officer who mistook him for a threat.

    One runs his hand across his corn-rowed scalp; he is disgusted. “Same deal always,” he says of the deadly encounter between colleagues on Thursday night. “They’ll say it’s about training.”

  • Cowards
  • Kidnappers swoop on China’s girls

    The state’s one-baby policy has led to a shortage of females that gangs are ruthlessly exploiting

  • How’s Your Brain Health?
  • Take the Fit Brains Brain Lifestyle Quiz

    The Brain Lifestyle Quiz is designed to help you learn more about your own brain health!
    We recommend you repeat this survey every three months to see your progress.

  • The Queen of BS?
  • Crazy Talk

    Oprah fans regard her as an oracle. But some of what she promotes isn’t good, and a lot of the advice that guests dispense is just bad.

    What are you reading this morning?

    Please DIGG & SHARE!!

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    Vacation Horrors


    Well now that myiq2xu has scared the bejeebus out of me regarding my vacation this summer to the West Coast I’m sure to have nightmares for weeks.  We’re traveling to Yosemite and the coastal areas of Northern California and it seems that we’ve inadvertently picked the location of the infamous Cary Stayner serial killings (not too bad till I heard they think there was an accomplice that is still on the loose) and two of the most frightening death-drop drives in the country – Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur and Highway 140 from El Portal to Mariposa.  Nothing like sleeping with your eyes open while being tranquilized.

    Anyways…what vacation stories or horror story experiences do you have?  – Ghost Stories welcome too! — I can’t sleep now, why should you?

    Open Threadie…

    Big Sur Bridge - So beautiful...but scarey as hell for me!

    Big Sur Bridge - So beautiful...but scarey as hell for me!

    Bad 80’s Flashback Open Thread

    Pop music that will give you diabetes.

    When this video came out Reagan was President and I was between wives.

    What were you doing in 1987?

    Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

  • Unnecessary Excuses
  • While going though some papers yesterday, I came across the following story in The Politico:
    White House urged to address ‘racist’ charge

    Some Democrats and political analysts are urging the White House to shift course and concede that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made an error when she suggested in 2001 that Hispanic women would make better judges than white men.

    I thought this must be a joke. “Some Democrats” couldn’t be such cowards.
    Let’s recap what’s going on here:

  • In a conference on law and diversity, Judge Sotomayor said “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” And that’s controversial because??? But I digress
  • 8 years later, Rush Limbaugh (who actually told a black caller to his radio show “get that bone out of your nose and call me back”) calls her “a racist” in an attempt to derail her nomination to the SCOTUS. The Right Wing noise machine jumps into the charade thereafter. The whole spectacle is actually guffaw-inducing. Who’s seriously thinking here about an apology?
  • To my horror, while getting ready this morning for the “Brakfast Read” I read this:
    White House concedes Sonia Sotomayor misspoke in 2001

    The White House moved Friday to try to tamp down a swirling controversy over a 2001 speech in which Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor suggested that Hispanic women make better judges than white men.

    “I’m sure she would have restated it,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with NBC News, referring to Sotomayor’s speech that was later reprinted in a law journal.
    Press Secretary Robert Gibbs went a little further, saying, “I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor.”

    I was about to gouge my own eyeballs out. Maybe I should be happy they didn’t repudiate her with the infamous “That’s not the Sotomayor we knew”. No Robert Gibbs, her choice of words was perfect, and she was right. When will Dems grow a pair?

    Here is what Sandra Day O’Connor said about her nomination to the SC

    “I bring to the court the perspective of a woman primarily in a sense that I am female, just as I am white, a college graduate, etc.

    “Yes, I will bring the understanding of a woman to the court, but I doubt that that alone will affect my decisions,”

    Not too long ago during the most recent confirmation to the SC (When Sen Lindsay Graham cried like a baby),Sammy Alito said among other things

    When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.

    Ball-less Democrats!

    Rogues, Robes and Racists

    Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming. Some of the same Republicans who have wielded the hot blade of racial divisiveness for years, are now calling Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court nominee, a racist. Oh, the hypocrisy!

  • Changing The Ways of Washington, DC
  • Fund-Raising Still Has Its Perks in the Obama Era

    Mr. Susman, a retired investment banker, earned the London posting not through diplomatic service but by collecting big checks for Mr. Obama’s campaign. Charles H. Rivkin, an entertainment mogul who once headed the company that created the Muppets, is heading to Paris for the same reason.
    For a candidate who made grand promises to bring change to a capital where power and position are greased by money, the latest selections are a reminder that there are limits to just how much change the new president intends to bring.

    Obama’s Itinerary Irks German Government

    The relationship between the charismatic US president and Germany’s no-nonsense chancellor has been marked by tension since Barack Obama’s visit to Berlin as a presidential candidate last year. Differences over Obama’s itinerary in Germany suggest his ties with Angela Merkel remain awkward

  • The Other Batlle
  • Ted Kennedy reemerges in health care debate

    Kennedy Health Plan Would Include Public Insurance

    Senator Edward Kennedy, chairman of a Senate panel drafting a health-care overhaul, is circulating a plan that would require everyone to have insurance and would create a government program to compete with private insurers, said people familiar with the plan.

    Health care activists lament single-payer snub

    Frustrated by the exclusion of government-financed medical care from the debate to revamp the nation’s troubled health system, advocates of a “single-payer” plan are increasingly turning to demonstrations and civil disobedience as a way to get their message across.

    Don’t be fooled on health care; real reform is what’s needed

    Health care is a human right

  • Economy Watch
  • Bankruptcy looms for GM; Chrysler awaits fate

    U.S. Hopes To Recoup GM Outlay In 5 Years

    Congress’s Afterthought, Wall Street’s Trillion Dollars

    Commentary: My answer to being slimed on Huffington Post

  • Oh No! Not Again!
  • Race questions over New York ‘cop-on-cop’ shooting of Omar J. Edwards

    A black policeman in plain-clothes was shot dead by a white officer in New York last night after he was apparently mistaken for a criminal.

    Omar J. Edwards, 25, was returning to his car after a shift at Harlem police station when he saw a stranger rummaging in his car. As he tried to apprehend the suspect, he was shot at six times by a colleague.

    ‘They killed my son’: family grieves loss of Omar Edwards, black cop shot by white officer

  • “Torturegate”
  • Another Leftist, Al Qaeda-loving, week-on-terror communist chimes in:
    US violated Geneva Conventions, Bush Iraq commander says (h/t Dr BostonBoomer)

    The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, said Friday that the US had violated the Geneva Conventions in a stunning admission from President Bush’s onetime top general in Iraq that the US may have violated international law.

  • Mission Accomplished
  • U.S. Soldier and 11 Iraqis Die in Attacks

    Al-Qaeda spreads its tentacles

    Military retakes largest town in Swat Valley

    Good cop, bad cop: President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • Amazing!
  • Revealed: the best protection against cancer

    Boosting levels of vitamin D could cut the incidence of breast cancer by a quarter, bowel cancer by a third and it should be offered to the population as part of a public health drive, scientists say.

    The finding is based on a review of 2,750 research studies involving vitamin D, sometimes called “bottled sunshine”, which show that taking daily supplements of the vitamin could do more for cancer prevention than a library full of lifestyle advice.

  • A deal Is a Deal
  • Man accuses woman of cheating him of sex

    A Swedish man complained to police after a woman he lent money for a car refused to honor her promise to have sex with him

    A Florida Epidemic: Female Teachers Sleeping with Their Students

    Our own Stateofdisbelief has the 2 best stories of the week:
    Father, 29, in child support court says he has 21 kids

    Woman Voter has the video:

    “Pulling Out” Rivals Condoms, Study Says


    1802674332_04ff4dff3dI first found out about this a little bit ago, and the resulting temper tantrum was of such epic proportions,  I had to wait a couple of days to do a post on it, because my hands were literally shaking with so much anger, I could barely type.

    Liberal Rapture puts it best in this post, by John.

    Obama’s Iraq reversal caused a big fat Told ya so from me.

    His flibbertigibbet torture stances hardly surprised.

    Ignoring the gay community that he courted and hypnotized is, of course, par for the course.

    I must say that Obama’s approval of blowing the tops off 42 mountains is nothing short of heartbreaking. Not because BHO disappoints yet again. Ha! I knew he’d be a nightmare of flip flops and lies. It is depressing because the entire concept of “mountain top removal” is a horror.

    The article he links to is by Democracy Now. In an interview with Amy Goodman, Jeff Biggers explains why blowing mountaintops to smithereens is not just an environmental issue, but a human rights issue.

    AMY GOODMAN: What about media coverage, Jeff Biggers, of Appalachia?

    JEFF BIGGERS: Media coverage. You know, this is something that I’m just not quite sure what’s going on. You know, here you have one of the most egregious environmental and human rights violations right before our very eyes. You have little communities in West Virginia, a little town outside called Prenter, where 97 percent of the people have some sort of gallbladder disease. You have Americans who cannot drink their water. You have people who are living under daily explosions and silica dust coming into their gardens and their farms. People are having to be relocated and removed. And yet the mainstream media is not handling it. They’re just sort of acting as if this is something that can wait, that something—that it’s not really an urgent issue.

    That’s right. Not an urgent issue. Gallbladder disease? Contaminated water? Who cares? They’re all just bitter, gun-toting Appalachian racists, anyway. Wanna know what really matters? Michelle Obama has arms! And pretty shoes!

    Besides, it’s not the Coal Mining industry’s fault! Even though they are in bed with the President and almost every other member of Congress- those mountaintops are in the way! We’ve got to blow the m*ther f*ckers off the face of the Earth, because there be coal in there, and we couldn’t POSSIBLY hire mineworkers and give people jobs in a time of Economic Recession in which countless people are looking for work! For one thing, that would make sense, and for another, it would cost money!

    AMY GOODMAN: Who’s pushing for it? Why does it continue?

    JEFF BIGGERS: It continues because we have an incredible coal industry and their lobby in Washington. And this is something that transcends politics. You know, I’m based in the Midwest now, in Illinois.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And also, just to clarify, for the industry, it’s much cheaper to blow up a mountaintop than to actually send people, workers, underground to get the coal out.

    JEFF BIGGERS: Exactly. When we say coal is cheap, of course, you know, that’s an absolute outrage. It’s not cheap. It’s just cheaper for them. You know, instead of having three underground mining jobs, they only need one job of someone blowing up the mountain with massive explosives and then using heavy equipment to get at this tiny little seam. So, yes, for them, it’s a cheaper and effective way.

    But the problem is, the coal really transcends party politics, that you have liberal Democrats in the Midwest, like Senator Dick Durbin from my Illinois or even President Obama, who have always been working with the coal industry. It’s something that, if you come from a coal state, it’s been very hard to shake from the stranglehold of the coal industry on our politics.

    Well, the media doesn’t care, because they are in bed with the coal and nuclear lobby, also. Coal sure gets around! But don’t fret! There is still time for the POTUS to have a change of heart!

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And are there any political leaders in the region who have been courageous enough to stand up to the coal industry?

    JEFF BIGGERS: Yes, there’s one man who’s a great American hero: ninety-four-year-old Ken Hechler. He was the great congressman. The only congressman who marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama, was this hillbilly from West Virginia, great Ken Hechler. And here he is, ninety-four years old, in West Virginia last week, and the state troopers refused to arrest him, you know. And Ken Hechler came to me, and he said, “President Obama needs to have a Harry S. Truman movement—moment,” that he must, like in 1948, when Harry S. Truman, against the Democratic Party, said we must integrate the military, and he did that on executive order. And Representative Hechler is saying, “We’ve reached that moment now, that President Obama must rise above this idea that we have to have a consensus, that we have to have some kind of compromise with the coal industry, that you can’t compromise with evil.” And Representative Hechler was willing to be arrested for this.

    Don’t count on it, old man. That whole Harry S. Truman moment? Don’t make me laugh. Funny how, in the age of Hope! and Change!, I don’t even feel the need to remind people why they shouldn’t get their hopes up for change. Particularly regarding things as important as say, oh, I don’t know, F*CKING BLOWN UP MOUNTAINS!

    And do I even need to say that Environmentalists who supported Obama only have themselves to blame? I think not.

    I don’t know about any of the commenters and posters here, but this is just unbearable for me. As you all know, my spirituality and beliefs are nature-based. Nature and the Environment, to me, is sacred. To see forty two mountains wiped off the face of the Earth is enough to break my heart into a million little pieces. I actually began to cry, to blub, when I read about this. And snuggling my kitty didn’t help.

    I have roots in Applachia. I grew up here in Cleveland, but half of my family is from Pennsylvania and Southern Ohio. (The other half being from Washington DC and Atlantic City, but I digress.) I have felt a connection to the mountains of Appalachia for my entire life. I have yet to climb a mountain, but have wanted to do so since my girlhood. And I say this because I am sure there are other people here who share that sentiment. (I know you ALL aren’t from the East Coast :p).

    This is unforgivable, inexcusable, and shameful.

    %$#^&! @#$!

    *throws things*

    I have NEVER been to a party like this

    Not since April anyway.  If you go to Vegas keep an eye out for my ass.

    I lost it at the blackjack tables.  Or maybe it was the $1 slots.

    My memory is kinda hazy

    I think this is an open thread.