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      One of the great crimes and tragedies of our world is how we treat the animals we eat (or whose milk or eggs or other products we eat and use.) Factory farming keeps them in tiny enclosures, feeds them monotonous foods, and then when they’re slaughtered it’s a terrible experience: they’re terrified and die in […]
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Your Breakfast Read, Lazy Saturday Edition

Sorry Conflucians, I’m completely exhausted and I have been unable to put up the news. Nevertheless, below are a couple of stories that caught my attention. I’m still working on a couple of items.

As always, you are invited to share what you are reading

Health Care Clusterf*@k

If you’re not confused by now, you are not paying attention.
Harkin: Final health care bill will have public option

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the Democrat who chairs one of the Senate committees tasked with developing health care legislation, promised Friday that a health care bill will be on President Obama’s desk before Christmas and will include a so-called “public option.”

“I believe we are in an irrevocable position,” Harkin said on a conference call organized by the health care reform group Families USA. “The momentum is there. We will not get stopped by the obstructionists. We will have the votes.”

Wow! Obama is shaking his fists.
Obama Threatens Insurers’ Anti-Trust Exemption

President Obama mounted a frontal assault on the insurance industry on Saturday, accusing it of airing “deceptive and dishonest ads” to derail his health care legislation and threatening to strip the industry of its longstanding exemption from federal anti-trust laws.


National Affairs

Democrats’ ethics problems spark GOP election hopes

Rangel, the powerful chairman of the tax-writing House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, is feeling the heat from Republican efforts to make him a symbol of Democratic Party ethical wrongdoing, an issue that the GOP hopes will help it regain a sizeable number of seats in next year’s mid-terms elections.

I’ve always been bothered by Obama’s lack of compassion but I thought I was alone. This is coming from Eugene Robinson, yes you read it right.
The Biggest Disappointment of the Obama Presidency

[I]t was strange and disheartening that Obama would wait nine months to make his first visit to New Orleans as president. It was stunning that he would spend only a few hours on the ground and that he wouldn’t set foot in Mississippi or Alabama at all. But worst of all was the way he seemed to dismiss the idea that his administration could and should be doing much more.

Republicans seem to be doing rather well in fundraising these days. This is not surprising because the Democratic White House, Senate and House have successfully deflated their own base. Brilliant! Just Brilliant!
Cha-ching! Campaign cash tops and flops

In politics, money chases momentum. So the latest fundraising figures reported by congressional candidates provide a good measure of the progress of House and Senate campaigns across the nation.

Money isn’t the only thing that matters, of course, but the third quarter Federal Election Commission reports go a long way toward signaling which campaigns are going to be contenders in 2010—and which ones are likely to be pretenders

I don’t think this is what you call a “fundraising juggernaut”
Ensign pulls in less than $33K

The sex scandal surrounding Sen. John Ensign has had a devastating effect on his once-mighty fundraising machine.

According to newly filed campaign finance reports, Ensign pulled in just under $33,000 between July and September; that’s down from the $301,792 he raised in the previous quarter. He spent more than he raised last quarter, shelling out $46,000 on legal fees, meetings, political consultants and administrative expenses.


Around The Nation

What is it? Abuse? Love? Something in between?
A Mother, a Sick Son and His Father, the Priest

With three small children and her marriage in trouble, Pat Bond attended a spirituality retreat for Roman Catholic women in Illinois 26 years ago in hopes of finding support and comfort.

What Ms. Bond found was a priest — a dynamic, handsome Franciscan friar in a brown robe — who was serving as the spiritual director for the retreat and agreed to begin counseling her on her marriage. One day, she said, as she was leaving the priest’s parlor, he pulled her aside for a passionate kiss

I’ll leave this to our crime and conspiracy experts.
C.I.A. Is Still Cagey About Oswald Mystery

Is the Central Intelligence Agency covering up some dark secret about the assassination of John F. Kennedy?
Probably not. But you would not know it from the C.I.A.’s behavior.


Economy Watch

Give me a bunch of billion for free and I would look like Einstein
Bailout Helps Fuel a New Era of Wall Street Wealth

It may come as a surprise that one of the most powerful forces driving the resurgence on Wall Street is not the banks but Washington. Many of the steps that policy makers took last year to stabilize the financial system — reducing interest rates to near zero, bolstering big banks with taxpayer money, guaranteeing billions of dollars of financial institutions’ debts — helped set the stage for this new era of Wall Street wealth

This certainly doesn’t help.
$1.4 Trillion Deficit Complicates Stimulus Plans

The Obama administration said Friday that the federal budget deficit for the fiscal year that just ended was $1.4 trillion, nearly a trillion dollars greater than the year before and the largest shortfall relative to the size of the economy since 1945.

The number, while lower than forecast a few months ago, underscored the challenges ahead in shrinking the deficit even as the White House and Congress are considering more steps to stimulate an economy that is making a slow recovery. The political hurdles to finding a solution were evident on Friday as each political party immediately blamed the other for the growth of the deficit.


Around The World

Leaving the insane asylum.
“I Cannot Go Back to Iran”: Daughter Of Ahmadinejad Adviser Seeks Asylum In Germany

Young Iranian filmmaker Narges Kalhor is seeking political asylum in Germany after showing a film critical of the Tehran regime at a film festival. Kalhor, whose father is one of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s top advisers, says she will be seized by the secret police if she returns home.

Investigating drug related crimes in Mexico ain’t child play.
In Mexican Drug War, Investigators Are Fearful

Mexico has never been particularly adept at bringing criminals to justice, and the drug war has made things worse. Investigators are now swamped with homicides and other drug crimes, most of which they will never crack. On top of the standard obstacles — too little expertise, too much corruption — is one that seems to grow by the day: outright fear of becoming the next body in the street.

What took them so long?
Pakistan begins Taliban assault

Fierce fighting has broken out as Pakistan’s army launched an air and ground offensive against Taliban militants in the South Waziristan area.

Could a speech at the Brandenburger Tor make him change his mind?
Barack is Too Busy: Obama Cancels Plans to Attend Berlin Wall Anniversary

US President Barack Obama has shelved his plans to attend festivities marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will reportedly take his place at the Nov. 9 celebrations.


Odds & Ends

Rethinking the Older Woman-Younger Man Relationship

There is a new book out, and this one distinguishes the real cougar, a confident, strong, single woman over 40, from the comically desperate predator-seductress depicted in television shows like “Cougar Town,” one of the latest products of Hollywood’s obsession with the older woman.

Having fun, doing business during the recession and protecting the environment.
Sex discount for cyclists at Berlin brothel

A Berlin brothel is claiming the title of Germany’s first “green” sex establishment after offering clients eco-discounts if they can prove they arrived by bicycle or public transport.

I know many of you have seen this by now but what the hell… The whole thing is just so bizarre it’s good.

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30 Responses

  1. Germany is most likely saying ” Thank God”. We will get someone who knows how to talk and has a knowledge of history and we will not have to listen to I – ME – aaahhhh -, ohmmm or get neck pain from watching him turn his head to read the teleprompter.
    He would claim the fall of the wall is all about him.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  2. Thanks for the Oswald story. Jefferson Morley is a terrific writer and researcher. He wrote a book on the CIA in Mexico a couple of years ago.

  3. the health insurers anti-trust exemption should have been repealed years ago.

  4. Supposedly the balloon boy’s dad is holding a press conference today, but it hasn’t happened yet. It was scheduled for 10AM Mountain time. He claims he is going to make a “big announcement.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/17/national/main5392453.shtml

    • Just read on Twitter that Heene again claimed the missing boy episode wasn’t a stunt or a hoax. Then he said he would respond to written questions and left a box outside his house for reporters to submit their questions.

      ROFLOL!

    • Trust me, you’re looking at the 2016 Dem nominee. He’s got everything, zero qualifications, very disturbed, raving sexist (which will guarantee beyond worshipful press coverage, when they see the boys’ video is called “Not Pussified” they literally won’t be able to contain themselves), will say or do anything to get on TV, happy to force the kids into whatever PR stunt they can dream up, no conscience at all when it comes to manipulation and wasting taxpayers’ money, unbelievable narcissism.

      Axlemort and Plouffe have been wondering how they can stretch their craft more, this guy’s got everything they look for.

      • Oh I forgot bizarre affect and anger management problem. Literally, he’s got everything.

  5. http://obscurestore.typepad.com/obscure_store_and_reading/2009/10/mans-xxxxxxx-license-plate-brings-him-19000-in-tickets.html#c6a00d8341c5ca853ef0120a5ef4af4970b

    vanity plate problem.
    people are funny and this site has some off the strangest.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALIST AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8312249.stm

    Having the money that the US government poured into Iraq go to other countries is worrisome.
    The US oil companies pulled out of the deal but if they had stayed in would we have gotten some of our money back?

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  7. From the NYT article:

    It may come as a surprise that one of the most powerful forces driving the resurgence on Wall Street is not the banks but Washington.

  8. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930835,00.html?xid=rss-world

    Is we is or is we ain’t for elections in Hondouras?
    Who keeps leaking the memos from the white house?

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  9. I’m sure that Eugene Robinson is sorely disappointed with Obama’s lack of attention to New Orleans and the states surrounding it. Welcome, Eugene, to the club of “sorely disappointed.”

  10. http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14678300&fsrc=rss

    This one is for dak.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  11. http://www.puma08.com/2009/10/16/top-obama-donor-arrested-for-insider-trading/

    Another one bites the dust. This backtrack bunch makes Lombard St in San Francisco look straight.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8312447.stm

    Now I know these people are nuts. How sad what is being done in God’s or Allah’s name.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAY

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • You’re so right. That’s really sad but I don’t blame them for not wanting to be unarmed in that hellhole.

      The winning team, from the city’s Farjano district, reportedly won a rifle, two grenades, a landmine and office supplies worth $1,000 (£613).

      But the runners-up did not go home empty-handed, taking away an AK-47 and bullets.

      I wonder what kind of office supplies these were?

  13. Harkin dares to utter the words “health” and “care” when his so-called “public option” is a sick clusterf*@k that really takes all the caring OUT of our health.

    Maybe too many of us assume that a solution like the U.K.’s National Health Service is a worse alternative. How many times do we have to listen to the same warning: “Oh no, our system might not be perfect, but we’d be paying high taxes for rationed care if we ever made the mistake of bringing European socialised medicine here to the USA”…?

    I’m not falling for those old scare tactics. And they don’t work on my friend Kathryn, who knows about universal health care from her own firsthand experience with the NHS:

    http://www.miscellani.org/blog/2009/10/universal-health-care-and-me/

    My own latest rant at our new blog is Winning The Peace: The Obamazation of Our Nation which I dedicate to my grandmothers, who were true community workers and peacemakers in ways far beyond Obama’s capacity to know or care.

  14. LOL-from your Cha-ching link:

    he lightning rods. Members of Congress learned an unmistakable lesson over the last three months: Controversy sells. Some of the most divisive members of Congress raised the biggest bucks, giving them plenty to spend in their rough-and-tumble 2010 campaigns.

    The list starts in South Carolina, where Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” outburst against President Barack Obama netted him a whopping $2.69 million–probably enough cash to last for the entire election.

    Wonder how many more will start calling BO names…

  15. Hillary Reborn
    At State, as in the Senate, she often talks softly—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t carry a big stick.

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/powergrid/60123/

    • Sounds as if some of the Hillary scorners are coming round, though he does say she did it by carefully pouring coffee:

      By enacting a degree of deference and obeisance to her colleagues, almost all of them male, that must have been painfully hard for her to swallow. (Remember, please, the stories about how she ritually poured the coffee for other senators, always recalling who took cream or sugar.) By establishing an image, as Robert Byrd famously put it, as a “workhorse, not a showhorse.”

  16. Has anyone been following this story. This guy “allegedly” slashed his girlfriend in the face, and then dragged her through the lobby (caught on tape) to take her to the hospital. What a piece of work. I don’t know how/why he was only convicted of the misdemeanor (for dragging her through the lobby), but apparently it was technical legalese. Now, there is a struggling movement afoot to force the NY state Dems to do the right thing and kick him to the curb.

    After Conviction, a Push to Expel Monserrate From Senate

    Mr. Monserrate was acquitted on Thursday of felony charges connected to the slashing of the face of his companion, Karla Giraldo, but was convicted of misdemeanor assault for dragging her through the lobby of his apartment building, which was captured on security videotape.

    “The justice system has determined that Mr. Monserrate has violated our laws and is guilty of a very disturbing and violent crime against a woman,” said Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. “Domestic violence is domestic violence, guilt is guilt. I believe Hiram Monserrate should not remain in the Senate.”

    Other lawmakers were even more blunt, saying that Mr. Monserrate, a Queens Democrat, faced a choice between resigning or being tossed out by the Senate.

    “The New York State Democratic Party has a proud history of supporting and defending women and women’s issues,” said Kelli Conlin, president of Naral Pro-Choice New York, an abortion rights group. “This stain on the party cannot stand or the Democrats will no longer be seen as the party that protects women’s health and rights. Our message to the Senate is urgent and clear: If you do not remove this individual from office, we will.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/17/nyregion/17hiram.html?ref=nyregion

    • Yeah, they’re probably not going to do anything about it. They have a slim majority, and that’s way more important than attacking a woman with a broken glass. The courtroom was filled with cheering supporters.

  17. If only everything could be this simple…

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