Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Fireside Chat for March 12th, 2011 (VIDEO)

The President pays homage to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, commends the great strides that have been made to create a more equal American society, and reaffirms his resolve to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Breaking: The Arab League endorses a Libyan No-Fly Zone...

With this level of cover, NATO Support, European allies support, and now actual Arab support, I think this means, a No-Fly Zone is gonna happen.

This may not be as bad as I earlier feared now. With Arab League support, one supposes that there will be ground support for downed aircraft should it come to that.

And I would appreciate it, if people (rather, pundits) would wait a spell before making broad pronouncem--

--oh, that's right. They've got papers to sell.

Not...good... (VIDEO)

I think this counts as an Oh-my-God-moment:

An explosion rocked one of Japan's nuclear power plants Saturday, causing a portion of a building to crumble, sending white smoke billowing into the air and prompting Japanese officials to warn people in the vicinity to cover their mouths and stay indoors.

In what may become the most serious nuclear power crisis since the Chernobyl disaster, the explosion followed large tremors at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 reactor Saturday afternoon, injuring four workers who were struggling to get the quake-stricken unit under control.
Earlier, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency had warned that the reactor, whose cooling system had been crippled by the giant earthquake on Friday, could be nearing a meltdown and that two radioactive substances, cesium and radioactive iodine, had already been detected nearby.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A message from Jon Erpenbach (D-WI). What's Next...

Far be it from me to...ahem...amend one of Jon Stewart's bits, but...

Actually, his bit last night about GITMO's non-closure was pretty good...

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...but it left out a detail that Adam Serwer (this time writing at Greg Sargent' Plum Line blog) reminds everyone about:

Gitmo isn't open because the administration doesn't want to close it, although its efforts in this area are ripe for criticism. It's still open because Republicans in Congress successfully frightened Democrats in Congress out of giving the administration the necessary funds to close it when they had control of Congress. In the process, they've managed to obscure the original reason detainees were brought to Gitmo -- to keep them away from the scrutiny of the federal courts. Once the Supreme Court held that federal courts had jurisdiction and even habeas rights, the facility was useless for that purpose. Republicans are determined to keep it open not because we can't safely imprison terrorists in the U.S., but because they feel its ongoing presence vindicates Bush in the eyes of history.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Well, Florida, you wanted Rick got him. And frankly, you deserve it..

Great piece from the New York Times.  Well, Florida...what goes for Wisconsin, goes for you.

This is what you get when you vote America's greatest Medicare Fraud in as Governor, because you wanted to send a message to Washington.  What's going to happen to you was preventable.  You had a chance to vote for Alex Sink, and instead, you get this:

In his first two months in office, [Governor Rick Scott] has irritated the State Senate’s powerful Budget Committee chairman by selling two state jets without legislative permission, a constitutional no-no. The governor wanted the sale done quickly (he uses his own plane), and he succeeded.

He annoyed the ambitious Senate president, as well as a host of leaders in conservative states, by trying to kill off a database to track the fraudulent distribution of addictive prescription drugs before it was up and running. He did so without consulting lawmakers, calling the monitoring system an invasion of privacy.

Most recently, Mr. Scott rejected $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money to build a high-speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando, which he saw as too big a financial drain on state taxpayers in the long term.

His refusal to take the money prompted new bouts of discord; a staunch conservative Republican from central Florida joined forces with a Democrat in filing a lawsuit last month, and 26 lawmakers signed a letter to the federal transportation secretary urging him to basically ignore the governor and send the money anyway. (The State Supreme Court ruled in Mr. Scott’s favor on Friday.)

As State Senator Arthenia L. Joyner, a lawyer and the Democrat who took Mr. Scott to court, put it at a news conference about the suit: “It’s necessary at this time, I think — because our governor’s new — to let him know this is not a monarchy. He’s not a king. This is a democracy.”

Mr. Scott’s go-it-alone style of governing was on display vividly last month when he chose to unveil his two-year budget 200 miles from Tallahassee, in the rural town of Eustis, at a rally jammed with Tea Party supporters. Mr. Scott, who wants to promote business in the state and drastically reduce the government’s reach, proposes slashing $4.1 billion in spending and cutting property and corporate income taxes.

It didn't have to be this way.

At least Wisconsin's got a recall measure.