This blog is mainly about the spectacular train wreck at The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, the McClatchy Company. But I also post about current events, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, politics, anything else that grabs my attention. Take a look around this blog, hope you enjoy it.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Monday November 9 -- Got news or an update?
If you have news or an update, leave it in comments. . . .
Here's a story you may have missed because it flies in the face of the dreary conventional wisdom: When advocates of public programs take on the right-wing anti-government crowd directly, the government-haters lose.
This is what happened in two statewide referendums last week that got buried under all of the attention paid to the governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey. In Maine, voters rejected a tax-limitation measure by a walloping 60 percent to 40 percent. In Washington state, a similar measure went down, 57 percent to 43 percent.
They lost in part because opponents of the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights measures (known as TABOR) did something that happens too rarely in the national debate: They made a case for what government does, why it's important and why cutbacks in public services can be harmful to citizens and the common good.
Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied.
The key thing to understand about that rally is that it wasn’t a fringe event. It was sponsored by the House Republican leadership — in fact, it was officially billed as a G.O.P. press conference. Senior lawmakers were in attendance, and apparently had no problem with the tone of the proceedings.
True, Eric Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, offered some mild criticism after the fact. But the operative word is “mild.” The signs were “inappropriate,” said his spokesman, and the use of Hitler comparisons by such people as Rush Limbaugh, said Mr. Cantor, “conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful.”
What all this shows is that the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit.
The state of mind visible at recent right-wing demonstrations is nothing new. Back in 1964 the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which reads as if it were based on today’s headlines: Americans on the far right, he wrote, feel that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” Sound familiar?
But while the paranoid style isn’t new, its role within the G.O.P. is.
When Hofstadter wrote, the right wing felt dispossessed because it was rejected by both major parties. That changed with the rise of Ronald Reagan: Republican politicians began to win elections in part by catering to the passions of the angry right.
Until recently, however, that catering mostly took the form of empty symbolism. Once elections were won, the issues that fired up the base almost always took a back seat to the economic concerns of the elite. Thus in 2004 George W. Bush ran on antiterrorism and “values,” only to announce, as soon as the election was behind him, that his first priority was changing Social Security.
But something snapped last year. Conservatives had long believed that history was on their side, so the G.O.P. establishment could, in effect, urge hard-right activists to wait just a little longer: once the party consolidated its hold on power, they’d get what they wanted. After the Democratic sweep, however, extremists could no longer be fobbed off with promises of future glory.
In the end, satisfied that the House health care reform bill would not subsidize abortions, Rep. Anh "Joseph'' Cao, R-New Orleans, voted "yes" late Saturday night, making him the only Republican in the House to vote for a bill that passed 220-215.
U.S. Rep. Ahn 'Joseph' Cao was the only member of Louisiana's seven-member House delegation to support the Democratic plan.
Cao also was the only member of Louisiana's seven-member House delegation to support the Democratic plan.
Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, who is running for the Senate, joined the other five Republicans in the delegation in voting "no.'' Melancon was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the plan.
The Obama administration had devoted considerable attention to trying to secure Cao's vote. Health-care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle twice visited Cao in his Capitol Hill office to talk about the bill and to participate in a tele-town hall with Cao's constituents. On Saturday, President Barack Obama called Cao to ask for his vote.
All along, Cao indicated that he wanted to find a way to vote for the bill, which he said was needed by people in his district. But he also said he could not vote for a bill that would allow public dollars to be used to pay for abortions.
Ultimately, after nearly a dozen hours of debate on the controversial health-care plan, the House approved, 240-194, an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that bans the use of public money to pay for or subsidize most abortions.
With that vote, Cao was able to vote in favor of the final bill, which he did -- waiting, for added drama, until near the end of the 15-minute roll-call vote.
In a press conference after the vote, Rep. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader, noted with a smile the "bipartisan'' nature of the vote.
"Twenty percent of the people in my district are uninsured and we have tremendous health care issues in the district, and I believe this is good for the people of my district,'' Cao said minutes after the vote.
He said that in the course of talking to the White House in recent weeks, and in his conversation with Obama on Saturday, he had pressed local recovery issues, including money for new Charity and Methodist hospitals, forgiveness of Community Disaster Loans and ensuring that Louisiana gets an adequate federal contribution toward paying Medicaid costs. He said the president promised to work with him on those issues.
Cao, who said he was sitting next to Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., during the historic vote Saturday night, was asked whether he felt courageous or lonely after the vote.
"I feel both courageous and lonely,'' he said.
Hasan: Infidels Should Be Beheaded (UK’s Telegraph)
Fort Hood gunman had told US military colleagues that infidels should have their throats cut
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America’s Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.
He also told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire.
The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July.
Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists (Telegraph)
Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists Major Nidal Malik Hasan worshipped at a mosque led by a radical imam said to be a "spiritual adviser" to three of the hijackers who attacked America on Sept 11, 2001.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas Photo:
GETTY Imam Anwar al-Awlaki The radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, accused of supporting attacks on British troops
Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother's funeral was held there in May that year.
The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.
Hasan's eyes "lit up" when he mentioned his deep respect for al-Awlaki's teachings, according to a fellow Muslim officer at the Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of Thursday's horrific shooting spree.
As investigators look at Hasan's motives and mindset, his attendance at the mosque could be an important piece of the jigsaw. Al-Awlaki moved to Dar al-Hijrah as imam in January, 2001, from the west coast, and three months later the September 11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hamzi and Hani Hanjour began attending his services. A third hijacker attended his services in California.
Fort Hood Shooter Taught Koran When He Was Supposed to Be Giving a Medical Lecture (jihadwatch.org)
Here is yet another indication that the Fort Hood massacre was a jihad carried out by Nidal Hasan.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was supposed to give a "grand round" --a medical lecture. Instead, he treated medical personnel to a dawah session, trying to frighten them into Islam with threats of hell.
Another Muslim stood up and challenged him about his characterization of the Koran -- a fact that is making the rounds today as evidence of Hasan's "extremism."
He was twisting and hijacking the Koran, you see, and it was the same sort of misunderstanding of Islam that led him to massacre so many infidels at Fort Hood, you see.
Well, that would be just great if he were, because it would indicate that the vast majority of peaceful Muslims don't agree with Nidal Hasan's apparent understanding of Islam. So let's look at the Koran and see what it actually says, as compared to what Hasan said it says.
According to this, Hasan made four assertions about the Koran:
1. "If you don't believe, you are condemned to hell";
2. If you don't believe, "your head is cut off";
3. If you don't believe, "you're set on fire";
4. If you don't believe, "burning oil is burned down your throat."
AMERICAN MUSLIMS: “NO PITY FOR VICTIMS OF FT. HOOD MASSACRE”
(The Last Crusade)
Following the criticism of some BBC coverage of the Fort Hood killings, credit is due to the BBC’s Gavin Lee for including in his report this morning the following interview with a young Muslim from the same mosque attended by Major Hasan (the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen) :
I’m not going to condemn him for what he did. I don’t know why he did it. I will not, absolutely not, condemn him for what he had done though. If he had done it for selfish reasons I still will not condemn him. He’s my brother in the end. I will never condemn him.
Gavin Lee : There might be a lot of people shocked to hear you say that.
Duane: Well, that’s the way it is. I don’t speak for the community here but me personally I will not condemn him.
Gavin Lee : What are your thoughts towards those that were victims in this?
Duane : They were troops who were going to Afghanistan and Iraq to kill Muslims. I honestly have no pity for them.
Investigators locate shooting range where Hasan practiced (NewsOn6.com)
Investigators have located a shooting range near Fort Hood where Hasan practiced in his spare time as well as the gun store where a few weeks ago he bought the murder weapon, a semi automatic pistol which carries a clip of 20 rounds and is known on the street as a cop killer.
Obama Can't Be Bothered by Islamic Terrorism (New York Post)
We just saw the worst terror attack on America since 9/11. And Obama couldn’t adjust his schedule to support our grieving troops.
Instead, we got his subtle defense of the perp: Unwilling to use the word “terror,” let alone the phrase “Islamist terror,” Obama warned us not to “rush to judgment.”
NYT (McClacthy Spin)Wants You To Know: Percentage-wise, Hasan Was Hardly Ever Homicidal (NewsBusters)
Check out the headline from on the front page of the hard-copy New York City edition of today's New York Times:
After Years of Growing Tension, 7 Minutes of Bloodshed
The article reports that Nidal Malik Hasan began feeling disgruntled with the Army as far back as 2004.
Let's see, there are 525,948 minutes in a year. If Hasan's been feeling "tension" for about five years, that makes about 2,629,740 tension-filled minutes. And during that entire period, he only engaged in a homicidal rampage for seven minutes.
I mean, come on, he was only a murderer for some tiny, tiny fraction of 1% of the time!
Officials: U.S. Aware of Hasan Efforts to Contact al Qaeda (ABC News)
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.
It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.
One senior lawmaker said the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan's efforts.
CIA director Leon Panetta and the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, have been asked by Congress "to preserve" all documents and intelligence files that relate to Hasan, according to the lawmaker.
On Sunday, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) called for an investigation into whether the Army missed signs as to whether Hasan was an Islamic extremist.
"If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," Lieberman told Fox News Sunday.
Barack Obama 'insensitive' over his handling of Fort Hood shooting
Times Online (U.K.)
President Obama came in for growing criticism over the weekend for his “insensitive” handling of the bloody shoot-out in Fort Hood, Texas, where 13 people were killed by a Muslim officer in the US Army.
Mr Obama is not scheduled to arrive at America’s largest military base until tomorrow to attend a memorial service for victims of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who opened fire on a group of unarmed soldiers.
The President’s jarring absence from Fort Hood — in contrast to a low-key visit by the former president George Bush on Friday — is not the only element of his response to the tragedy that is bothering his critics, Democrats and Republicans alike.
In particular, much has been made of a transcript of the press conference where Mr Obama first gave his official response to the mass shooting.
The President opened his remarks — he was attending a Tribal Nations Conference for America’s 564 federally recognised Native American tribes — with jocular “shout-outs” to various people in the audience.
Only later did he turn his attention to the attack, saying: “I planned to make some broader remarks. But as some of you have heard, there has been a tragic shooting.”
“(Obama) did not appreciate the gravity of what he represents,” Brad Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to George Bush, told Fox News. “He should have begun his official remarks with the tragedy.
The fact that he used colloquialisms like ‘shout out’ — and was so cavalier at the beginning — was a reflection of his inability to be presidential.
He’s not comfortable enough in his role yet.” Unusually, the liberal Boston Globe agreed.
In an editorial at the weekend the newspaper said: “It takes more than scripted eloquence for Presidents to connect
Barack 'Hasan' Obama urges nation to not jump to conclusions (Wired PR news)
President Barack Obama urged people not to jump to conclusions about the Fort Hood shootings as an official investigation into the matter persists.
Why Obama is Blind to Terror... & Freedom (Townhall.com)
In the hours following the shooting at Ft. Hood, President Obama demonstrated resolute apathy to the greatest issue of our time.
His callous and apathetic beliefs caused some rather unbecoming behavior for a United States President.
And worse yet the American people are the one's who will suffer... And they noticed.
Roughly two and a half hours after the shooting that took the lives of American service personnel, on American soil, President Obama was scheduled to deliver a speech to a Tribal Nations Conference being sponsored by the U.S. Government.
Once the President was told of the Ft. Hood shooting, the White House team made the decision to go forward with the conference and that the President would deliver his previously prepared remarks.
Once the President was given the stage, the news networks of the world zoomed in on the otherwise little-noticed conference.
The President spent several minutes at the beginning of his time giving introductory remarks. He gave "shout-outs" to his "homies" in the crowd. He also apparently attributed a Congressional Medal of Honor to someone in the room.
The only problem being that the man in question had not in fact ever received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Eventually he turned his remarks to the violence of the afternoon and laid some less than "Obama-esque" sentiment on the gathered crowd and the watching networks.
But the rank and sophomoric way he began the speech was off-putting.
Commentators for NBC even wrote in shock at the President's lack of protocol, sensitivity, or even awareness of the pain the nation was feeling at that moment roughly two hours after the drama began.
The legacy of 1989 is still up for debate (McClacthy like commies libs trying to rewrite history)
The historical legacy of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell and the cold war thawed, is as political as the upheavals of that decisive year.
The events of 1989 spurred a striking transformation of Europe, which is now whole and free, and a reunified Germany, milestones that are being observed with celebrations all over the continent, including a French-German extravaganza Monday evening on the Place de la Concorde.
But 1989 also created new divisions and fierce nationalisms that hobble the European Union today, between East and West, France and Germany, Europe and Russia.
NYT Reporter: The Taliban Are Radical! (Sweetness-Light)
A New York Times reporter kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008 and held for seven months in Pakistan said late Saturday he had underestimated Taliban’s extremism and the strength of its supporters in Pakistan.
"Over those months, I came to a simple realization," the reporter, David Rohde, wrote about his ordeal.
"After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become."
He said that before the kidnapping, he viewed the organization as a form of "Al-Qaeda lite," a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.
But after spending time in captivity, he said he had realized that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious.
"They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al-Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world," the writer noted…
What an unintentionally hilarious admission. Of course it is only fitting that a reporter from the New York Times would be the last person on earth to figure this out. And only after having been held by his erstwhile heroes for seven months.
Would it be possible to arrange for the Taliban to kidnap all of the employees at The Times and the rest of our watchdog media?
Meanwhile, the New York Times itself is burying these revelations in a typically mind-numbing five part series carefully hidden away in their ‘Asia Pacific’ section.
And speaking of suppressing the news, lest we forget, the New York Times kept Mr. Rohde’s kidnapping a secret – even going so far as to constantly scrub his Wikipedia entry (with Wikipedia’s blessings).
Meanwhile, The Times was only to happy to report the capture of other Americans who were not in their employ, even when their families and even the Defense Department begged them not to.
Ha ha, that health care bill is an evil malignant mess. It is utterly appalling and should simply be killed. It's nothing but a cynical social engineering, income redistribution, racist affirmative-action power grab; just like everything else that has oozed from the administration of that deeply stupid, affirmative-action parasite Obama.
People like Obama would rather see decent citizens murdered than to admit that their evil multiculturalist fantasies are just that. Even now the execrable Napolitano is assuring us that "Islam is a religion of peace" and promising to come down like a load of bricks on anybody who dares to contradict that lie. All the Obamas have is their lies. We will be forced to embrace these lies too.
Mandatory employee meetings with the new publisher are being held today in Biloxi while the paper is covering a tropical storm. Some employees believe more layoffs will be announced, just one week after the end of the furlough season.
Star will print Wall Street Journal
Damn...so close to going out of business.
It is sooo great! We are succeeding by printing someone else's paper. We have met our journalistic goals. What more could a classically trained professional journalist want that to be a part of printing someone else's story?
Ah... the sweet smell of success. Maybe we could land a contract to print comic books or even bus schedules. That would be a true journalistic coup. Yeah, we be on a roll. The sky is the limit.
Uh...oh....my...I thought we were in the money but ruh-roh, it's only 18000 copies- Total. No way we're turning a profit on a 20 min run. We'll be lucky to recover the cost of materials and set up.
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