Filtered news 11/21

Just in time for Thanskgiving: We're still screwing the American Indians They built their homes out of uranium mill waste because, "it made good concrete." They drank the water of lakes that appeared "as if by magic" on the arid reservation in the 1950s and 1960s. What they didn't know was that these lakes were actually pools covering abandoned uranium mines. Fifty years ago, reports Judy Pasternak in the Los Angeles Times, cancer rates on the Navajo reservation in the desert southwest were so low that a medical journal published an article titled "Cancer immunity in the Navajo." Then, from 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were chiseled and blasted from the mountains and plains, with radioactive waste piles, open tunnels and pits left behind. Few companies bothered to fence the properties or post warning signs. Federal inspectors seldom intervened. Not until 2000 were some families warned that they were living in homes as radioactive as uranium mines. The U.S. government still hasn't cleaned it up. Read more about the cruel legacy uranium has left for this tribe in Pasternak's heartbreaking series, running this week.

Filtered news 11/20

The usual disclaimer applies: I've collected this stuff from around the Internet and pasted it here with no claim to any original reporting.


Nothing like an invitation President Bush said he would understand if Israel attacks Iran.

An old man chasing ghosts. There are embittered insiders, and then there is Henry Kissinger, who told the BBC today: “If you mean, by ‘military victory,’ an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don’t believe that is possible.” The emphasis is mine. I am not inclined to read this as Kissinger turning on the Administration, so much as it is him once again stating his view that the American people are insufficiently steady and resolved to see war through to victory. If the public would just buck up and if the Democrats had not prevailed in the midterm elections, Kissinger implies, then military victory in Iraq would still be possible. It is a point, of course, that Kissinger has spent more than thirty years trying to make about Vietnam. What better way to drive that point home than by making Iraq a historical parallel.

Filtered news 11/17

"The radical homosexual agenda will not stop until religion is outlawed in this country.
They threaten your very survival. They will not stop until they force their agenda down your throats."
-- Michael Savage, trying so very hard to get some attention, Link
Mr. Orwell would be sooooo proud Some Americans Lack Food, But USDA Won't Call Them "Hungry" "The U.S. government has vowed that Americans will never be hungry again. But they may experience 'very low food security.' "Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans' access to food, and it has consistently used the word "hunger" to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year. Mark Nord, the lead author of the report, said 'hungry' is 'not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured in the food security survey.' Nord, a USDA sociologist, said, 'We don't have a measure of that condition.'" (WaPo)

"White rednecks…didn’t show up to vote for us." -- Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), according to Hotline On Call, on the GOP’s defeat in the midterm elections.
Fox guarding the chicken coup (kiss off bipartisanship) Bush Choice for Family-Planning Post Criticized "The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as 'demeaning to women.' "Eric Keroack, medical director for A Woman's Concern, a nonprofit group based in Dorchester, Mass., will become deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the next two weeks, department spokeswoman Christina Pearson said yesterday." (WaPo)
"I’m not going to negotiate my problems with the goddamn press…Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye!" -- Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), quoted by CQ Politics, responding to a question from a reporter.

Future of Our Country? Let's Hope So

"It seems very clear that beginning sometime in the '90s and up through
today, young people have been more likely to say they're Democrats than
Republicans, and more likely to be liberal than to be conservative,"
said Scott Keeter, director of survey research for the non-partisan Pew
Research Center. Keeter said that's a reversal from a Reagan-era trend
in the '80s in which young voters skewed Republican.

LAPD Defines a New Crime - Reading While Muslim

A Note from the Politech mailing list yesterday.

Based on preliminary reports, this is what seems to have happened on
Tuesday evening: Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was quietly
studying in the campus library around 11:30pm. Campus police asked him
for his ID, a usual procedure. Mostafa didn't have it with him and
walked toward the exit.

While en route, one of the police officers laid a hand on Mostafa (which
may well be simple battery) and he reacted by saying "Get off of me."
That's when he was hit with a blast from a Taser, which can render
someone unable to walk for 5 to 15 minutes.

But the cops, through malice or ignorance, kept demanding that Mostafa
immediately stand up and walk to the door. He was screaming at this
point and said he could not, at which point they Tased him again and again.

The cops also threatened to Taser bystanders as well if they persisted
in asking for badge numbers. This, too, is on videotape and is in fact a
crime. (Think that cop will go to jail? Right.)

Filtered news 11/16

"No one - not the cable news nets, not Karl Rove, and certainly not Bush himself seem to be able to internalize the notion that people basically can't stand the president." -- Atrios,

New Rule: There's just something about a crew cut that says, "You can trust me." This is Montana's new senator, John Tester. I don't know much about him. And I don't need to. His hair says it all. "I'm friendly, I'm dependable, I'm literally level-headed." If hair could smile, it would look like this. And most importantly, it's hair that says, "You will never ever, ever, ever find me snorting meth with a gay hooker." ---Bill Maher

Filtered news for 11/15

Perhaps this is something of an existential question. But do we really have to pretend that Rudy Giuliani has more than a snowball's chance in hell of getting the Republican presidential nomination? Or can we all just stipulate that a multiple adulterer, who supports gay civil rights and choice, has deep and on-going ties to mobbed-up and now-disgraced Police boss Bernie Kerik, has a largely unscrutinized (outside of New York) resume, and had the bright idea of locating the NYC disaster center in the already-once-bombed World Trade Center probably will have some rough sledding in Republican primaries?
What liberal media? If you haven't already, go take a look at the internal Fox News memo obtained by the Huffington Post. It's a doozy.
It looks like Bush personally authorized the CIA's creation of "black" sites and its use of harsh torture methods. C.I.A. Tells of Bush's Directive on the Handling of Detainees "The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged for the first time the existence of two classified documents, including a directive signed by President Bush, that have guided the agency’s interrogation and detention of terror suspects. The C.I.A. referred to the documents in a letter sent Friday from the agency’s associate general counsel, John L. McPherson, to lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.... The second document, according to the group, is a Justice Department legal analysis 'specifying interrogation methods that the C.I.A. may use against top Al Qaeda members.'” (NY Times)

Filtered news 11/14

"One problem with Congress is that 90 percent of it is ceremonial and so little has to do with elucidation. The Honorable meets with representatives of the American Beer Can Association, the Swizzle Stick Foundation, the League of Tutu Manufacturers, and poses for photos and listens to their pitches, and then goes to the floor and proclaims Eugene P. Fenstermaker Day, and then to a subcommittee hearing to read a two-page statement praising the arts as a triumphant manifestation of the human spirit, and then back to the office to welcome 10 fat men in beanies and the 4-Hers from Hooperville, then off to the banquet of the American Ferret Federation, and seldom during the day is the Honorable ever challenged or questioned or asked to listen to anything that wasn't vetted and paid for. The Great Personage is either regarded with servile deference or heartily abused by bloggers. This is not a good life for an inquiring mind....You meet congressmen in private and they're perfectly thoughtful and well-spoken people, nothing like the raging idiots they impersonate in campaign ads, and you think, maybe Congress needs more privacy. Send them off on unchaperoned trips to see the world firsthand. More closed-door caucuses where they can say what they think without worrying that one stray phrase may kill them." -- Garrison Keillor

Filtered news 11/13

Well said. Conservative direct mail guru Richard Viguerie, on Tom Delay: "When Tom and his bunch first ran, they campaigned against the cesspool in Washington. After a while they looked around and said, 'Hey, this isn't a cesspool, it's a hot tub.' "
Your Liberal Media It's OK if the president lies to us! How things change.
Acid seas Stefan Rahmstorf of Realclimate has issued a marine alarm (Hat tip Brevard Democrats):


Yahoo News -- The world's oceans are becoming more acidic, which poses a threat to sea life and Earth's fragile food chain, a climate expert said Thursday. Oceans have already absorbed a third of the world's emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming, leading to acidification that prevents vital sea life from forming properly.


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