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From the monthly archives: October 2010


Via the Dish, a list of 19 reasons. The first one:

It might seem counter-intuitive to some, but illegal marijuana is much easier to acquire than regulated marijuana because weed dealers don’t check ID’s. Four out of five high school seniors, more than three in five sophomores, and two in five middle schoolers (8th grade) say marijuana is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get. One third of 16-17-year-olds say marijuana is easiest to buy, not cigarettes, alcohol, or prescription drugs.  Two out of five teens say they can get marijuana in a day; almost one in four can get marijuana in an hour. Obviously letting unregulated dealers control the marijuana market is not protecting your kids from access to marijuana.  On the other hand, aggressive enforcement of ID carding for minors, combined with public education have led to some of the lowest rates of teen alcohol and tobacco use ever recorded.
The whole post is worth your time.

We already knew that lots of torture and murders and war crimes happened during that crazy time in Iraq and elsewhere, right?

I guess we just swept it all up under the rug. The past is in the past, right?  

I guess not:

A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.  […]

The new logs detail how:

  • US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
  • A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
  • More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee’s apparent death.
 It should be pointed out that the paper that had the balls to call what happened to detainees “torture” is the Guardian in the UK.  The NY Times?  You guessed it: “detainee abuse“.

I know this quote from Sharon Angle may seem to some of you like run of the mill political machinations but, to me, it has way too many Orwellian overtones, and flashbacks to the movie V for Vendetta, that speak to what reactionary wingnuts would turn our local and national media into if they had the chance:
Explaining why she has avoided mainstream media outlets where she might have to explain herself and her strange policy views more fully, the grandmotherly Angle said, “We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer, so that they report the news the way we want it reported.
Not precisely on point but Angle’s quote above got me thinking about a number of related things that have been bothering me about both (a) the general Republican approach to the public and the media, and (b) the public’s complicity in buying in to these modern-day patent medicine hucksters.  Here’s a few bits from Orwell:
Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. […]

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men:

[The public can] be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.

And from V for Vendetta:
There is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. 

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

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This is way too amusing.  I could almost see an Onion article in here somewhere:
Colorado Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes’ disaster of a 2010 campaign could turn into a four-year embarrassment for state Republicans. It’s been one blunder after another for Maes since he barely won the August 10 primary over former Rep. Scott McInnis, whose campaign was done in by a plagiarism scandal. But if Maes fails to get 10 percent of the vote on election day, his legacy won’t be the U.N. bike plot warning or the tall tale of working undercover as a cop in Kansas. It will be leaving Republicans with minor party status in Colorado until 2014.

After weeks of declines in the polls, the TPM Poll Average now shows Maes coming in at 9.3%.

As The Denver Post reported back in September, minor party status means that Republicans wouldn’t appear at the top of the ballot with the Democrats in 2012 and 2014. Instead, they’ll be listed down with the Libertarian, Green Party and other third-party candidates.

This teabagger-adored, lying conspiracy nut could garner the GOP in Colorado less than 10% of the vote!  Suck on that Sarah Palin.

This is just a random pet peeve post but I really don’t understand why – after nearly a decade of talk about how web ads were going to become more contextual and intelligent – sites like this – with a mountain of relevant content for Google’s AdSense product to troll through to determine the general ideological bent of this website – are still so stupid as to display shit ads simply based on keywords that are not only contrary to the easily algorithmed editorial slant of this site but also many of the specific posts in question.  I’m sure if I write “John Boehner is an idiot” in this post, an ad that will soon display in the right-hand toolbar that reads “Hate Nancy Pelosi? Help John Boehner Take Back the House”.

And yes, Gherald, I know that you use an ad blocker so you have no idea what I’m talking about.  :)
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From a TPM reader:
The conventional wisdom is that the Dems are toast in the House, but that they are very unlikely to lose the Senate, since it would take a running-of-the-table of certain races to get them down to 49 seats. Nate Silver says there’s only a 19% chance that will happen.

But going down to 50 is much more plausible: Silver thinks those odds are better than 1 in 3. [VP Biden would then cast the tie-breaking vote.]

The question is, do you really trust Joe Lieberman to stick with the Dems when he could become a GOP hero (and probably get whatever committee assignment he wanted) by voting for Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader?
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