Archive for December 3rd, 2008

Palin: The ‘Explosive’ Leader of the GOP

A standup comic once joked about his inner monologue while rubbernecking through the scene of a car accident. First the serious reaction: “Oh! How horrifying! How awful!” Then the morbidly gleeful: “Cool! Is that an arm?”

Watching the Republican Party implosion and subsequent bloody flailing has become my favorite spectator sport. “Wow, the Republican Party is really, really horribly mangled,” then, “Cool! Palin’s making an ass of herself on TV again!”

Why the excitement? Well, it appears as if she’s being christened as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. Wednesday, for example, instead of attributing his victory to the well-known Republican majority in Georgia, Saxby Chambliss credited his expected victory to Sarah Palin’s stump speeches:

“…when she walks in a room, folks just explode.”

Explode? Smart choice of words, Senator. Sarah Palin makes Republicans explode. Perfect.

If Palin, in fact, becomes the leader of the Republican Party, exploding is precisely what will happen — and not in the weirdly excited-slash-sexual way Chambliss seemed to imply. Specifically, Sarah Palin is a walking, talking psychobomb, and elevating her to anything beyond a near-term novelty will be disastrous — in a word, “explosive” — for the Republican Party.

And it’ll be almost too much fun to watch.

As of right now, we have several contenders for this post. There’s “Sister Sarah” (a nickname I don’t quite understand). There’s the twice divorced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. There’s Bobby Jindal, the far-right governor of Louisiana. And Tuesday, we learned that Jeb Bush might be running for Senate and thus throwing his gigantic hat into the fight for the future of the party.

How screwed are the Republicans right now? Put it this way: the sanest contender in the above list is named “Bush.” Yes, Bush: a name that proved to be even less popular this year than the name “Hussein.” Yet there he is front and center.


Read Full Post »

Family Of Wal-Mart Employee Jdimytai Damour Sues Over Trampling Death

FRANK ELTMAN | December 3, 2008 05:44 PM EST | AP

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — The family of a worker trampled to death in a “Black Friday” crush of bargain hunters at a Long Island Wal-Mart store filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on Wednesday, claiming store ads offering deep discounts “created an atmosphere of competition and anxiety” that led to “crowd craze.”

The lawsuit claims that besides failing to provide adequate security for a pre-dawn crowd estimated at 2,000, Wal-Mart “engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent.”

Wal-Mart issued a statement saying it would cooperate with local law enforcement officials to develop stronger safety measures for the future.

“We consider Mr. Damour part of the Wal-Mart family, and are saddened by his death,” the statement said. “We have been in communication with members of his family to do what we can to help them through this difficult time. Our associates know that when incidents like this occur, we take care of our own.”

In addition to the retailer, the adjacent Green Acres Mall, a realty company that manages the property and a security company hired to patrol the property were all named as defendants. A spokeswoman for the realty company declined to comment on pending litigation; none of the other defendants immediately responded to phone and e-mail inquiries seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Jdimytai Damour, 34, had been hired by an employment agency as a temporary worker at the Wal-Mart store in Valley Stream and had been on the job about a week when he died, said his family’s lawyer, Jordan Hecht.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound man died of asphyxiation after being crushed early Friday morning by the crowd, which broke down the electronic doors in frantic pursuit of bargains. At least four other people were treated at hospitals, including a woman who was eight months pregnant.

Authorities suspect that because he was as big as an NFL lineman, Damour was placed at the entrance of the store to assist with crowd control.


Read Full Post »

The Spin, I’m In! John The Revelator


Depeche Mode: “John The Revelator”

Read Full Post »

I guess we can blame Hollywood for this one… 😉

Blackwater plans new mission: fighting pirates.

The private security firm Blackwater is planning to offer a new service to make money: protection from the pirate-infested waters off the coast of East Africa. “Blackwater’s push to land its first antipiracy contract is part of a strategy to build its business outside its State Department security work in Iraq, which brings in between $300 million and $400 million a year.” The security company may be looking for new lucrative opportunities partly because the Iraqi government has now ratified a law stripping Blackwater contractors of immunity. Indeed, Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell noted the legal benefits of operating in the open sea: “We would be allowed to fire if fired upon; the right of self-defense is one that exists in international waters.”

Read Full Post »

Deep Contractions…

ADP Says U.S. Companies Cut 250,000 Jobs in November

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) — Companies in the U.S. eliminated an estimated 250,000 jobs in November, the most since November 2001, a private report based on payroll data showed today.

The drop was larger than forecast and followed a revised 179,000 decrease in October that was more than previously estimated, ADP Employer Services said.

Companies from Citigroup Inc. to General Motors Corp. have stepped up the pace of firings with the world’s largest economy in its first recession since 2001. A government report in two days may show the economy lost jobs in November for an 11th consecutive month, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

“The report shows a broad and deep contraction in all nooks and crannies of the economy,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, said on a conference call. “We’re teetering over the edge of a hill and we’re going to be rolling down it for a while.”


Read Full Post »

Gates: Military Looks To Accelerate Iraq Pullout, Shut Down Guantanamo

LOLITA C. BALDOR | December 3, 2008 06:34 AM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled a willingness to forge ahead with two key priorities for the incoming Obama administration: accelerating the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

As the only Republican Cabinet member asked to stay on by President-elect Barack Obama, Gates told reporters Tuesday that military commanders are looking at ways to more quickly pull troops out of Iraq in light of the 16-month timetable that was a centerpiece of the Democrat’s campaign.

He also said it will be a high priority to work with the new Congress on legislation that will enable the U.S. to close the detention center at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, where about 250 terrorism suspects are still being held.

In a blunt and occasionally personal briefing, Gates acknowledged his unique position in the new Democratic administration _ a job he said he did not want or seek but felt he could not turn down.

“I guess I would say that I was engaged in my own form of strategic deterrence,” said Gates, who for the past two years has talked only of his desire to return home to Washington state. “It was my hope that if I made enough noise about how much I did not want to stay here and how much I wanted to go back to the Northwest that I wouldn’t have to worry about the question ever being asked.”


Read Full Post »

Rove: We Wouldn’t Have Invaded Iraq If We Knew The Truth About WMDs

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

December 2, 2008 10:07 PM

In what was a remarkable admission that contradicted – to a large extent – the past statements from his onetime boss, former Bush strategist Karl Rove said on Tuesday evening that had the President known Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, the United States would not have gone to war.

“In the aftermath of 9/11 the concern was about a tyrant accused of enormous human rights abuses,” but who also possessed weapons of mass destruction, said Rove. “Absent that, I suspect that the administration’s course of action would have been to work to find more creative ways to constrain him like in the 90s.”

The remarks, delivered at a debate in New York on Bush’s legacy, came amidst a vigorous defense by Rove on behalf of the war’s purpose and outcome. At no point was it mentioned that the administration — specifically Vice President Dick Cheney — reportedly advanced faulty or poorly sourced information to fit the conclusion that Iraq possessed WMD, or that intelligence reports from the run-up to the war suggested that such a case was flimsy. Later in the event, Rove argued that Saddam Hussein was supporting terrorism, poised a grave threat to the region, and had systematically duped the international community into assuming he was armed.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: