Monthly Archives: May 2010

We’re there. Happy Memorial Day America

A few days ago, I posted about an approaching milestone. Just a few hours ago, we reached it. We have now spent one trillion dollars on our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Where are the parades?

And do the soldiers know? After all, most of them are actually in Afghanistan, where it is the 234th day of the ninth year of the war.

What we do to ourelves

Here’s one to keep an eye on. As the US, for the first time, begins the process of paying official attention to what’s in our food and why are children are in the middle of an obesity epidemic, the lobbyists are doubling up their efforts. Witness: salt.

“[as we are] urging food companies to greatly reduce their use of salt. Last month, the Institute of Medicine went further, urging the government to force companies to do so.

But the industry is working overtly and behind the scenes to fend off these attacks, using a shifting set of tactics that have defeated similar efforts for 30 years, records and interviews show. Industry insiders call the strategy “delay and divert” and say companies have a powerful incentive to fight back: they crave salt as a low-cost way to create tastes and textures.”

Say again?

Dennis Hopper is dead.

Wish I could write like this

But I can’t. That’ s why Bob Herbert has a column in The New York Times and neither you nor I do. This morning, he’s feeling a tad testy about his President and about those big oil companies.

From An Unnatural Disaster:

“Where I was wrong,” said President Obama at his press conference on Thursday, “was in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.”

With all due respect to the president, who is a very smart man, how is it possible for anyone with any reasonable awareness of the nonstop carnage that has accompanied the entire history of giant corporations to believe that the oil companies, which are among the most rapacious players on the planet, somehow “had their act together” with regard to worst-case scenarios . . . 

These are greedy merchant armies drilling blindly at depths a mile and more beneath the seas while at the same time doing all they can to stifle the government oversight that is necessary to protect human lives and preserve the integrity of the environment.

President Obama knows that. He knows — or should know — that the biggest, most powerful companies do not have the best interests of the American people in mind when they are closing in on the kinds of profits that ancient kingdoms could only envy.

That’s about right.

Oil stay away

A solid article this morning in The New York Times about those underwater oil plumes; those of us on the Gulf find the wonk endlessly fascinating.

I'm counting on you, okay?

Meanwhile, my local volunteer machine appears to be in place.  The State and the County have put a procedure in place to alert and activate an army of volunteers if and when oil becomes a problem on our shore, which it very well might when the hurricanes come . Groups at the local level are registered and can go into action quickly. In my own community, we already have a task force in place to coordinate volunteers.  Unlike LA, AL, and MS,  we have time. I understand the State’s goal is to have people at every single foot of our shoreline. I also understand that any costs incurred by county, state or local orgs will be reimbursed by BP through the state. Hope they don’t run out of money.

As I say, not as I do: PART THE SECOND

Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA, very annoying man) is calling for a special prosecutor, to investigate Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA).

Let’s examine these two men.

SESTAK:  A member of the United States Navy for over 30 years, Sestak is a former three-star Vice Admiral and the highest-ranking former military officer currently serving in Congress.[3] During his career in the Navy, he led a series of operational commands, including commanding the USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group during combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in 2002. He served as Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton and, following the September 11 attacks, was selected to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy’s internal think tank to provide strategic advice to the Chief of Naval Operations.[4] Though he achieved the rank of Vice-Admiral (three stars), Sestak left the Navy before he had been a Vice Admiral long enough to be able to retire at that rank. He retired at the lower rank of a two star Rear Admiral (upper half).[5]

ISSA: In 1971, Issa allegedly stole a Dodge sedan from an Army post near Pittsburgh. The allegation was made by a retired Army sergeant, and published in a 1998 newspaper article. Issa denied the allegation. No charges were filed.[24][25]

In 1972, Issa and his brother allegedly stole a red Maserati sports car from a car dealership in Cleveland. He and his brother were indicted for car theft, but the case was dropped.[24][25]

Also in 1972, Issa was convicted in Michigan for possession of an unregistered gun. He received three months probation and paid a $204 fine.[26]

On December 28, 1979, Issa and his brother allegedly faked the theft of Issa’s Mercedes Benz sedan. Issa and his brother were charged for felony auto theft, but the case was dropped by prosecutors for lack of evidence. Later, Issa and his brother were charged for misdemeanors, but that case was not pursued by prosecutors. Issa accused his brother of stealing the car, and said that the experience with his brother was the reason he went into the car alarm business.[24][25]

A day after a court order was issued, giving Issa control of automotive alarm company A.C. Custom over an unpaid $60,000 debt, Issa allegedly carried a cardboard box containing a handgun into the office of A.C. Custom executive, Jack Frantz, and told Frantz he was fired. In a 1998 newspaper article, Frantz said Issa had invited him to hold the gun and claimed extensive knowledge of guns and explosives from his Army service. In response, Issa said, “Shots were never fired. … I don’t recall having a gun. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.”[26]

I know who I’m going with on this one. Oh, there’s this too:

Issa came to national prominence when he contributed over $1.6 million to help fund a signature-gathering drive for the petition to recall Gray Davis. At the time he made the contribution, it was widely believed that Issa intended to place himself on the ballot to replace Davis.

I bet Sestak knows today is the 233rd day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

(Source: Wikipedia – I checked as well, but found only a hundred words on Sestak and 500 on Issa. Wikipedia of course had detailed indexes, and thousands of words on both men and literally HUNDREDS of footnotes.)

Send him down there!

Why do I listen to Chris Matthews? Tonight, he’s got his own solution to the Gulf oil leak. He suggested dropping an old aircraft carrier or something down on top of the blown well to crush it.  Exhibiting utter ignorance of  the laws of physics or  engineering, he plows ahead posing his solution in the form of a ‘why can’t we’ question to someone who did know his science. The guest tried to find a diplomatic way to respond – he said “that would be akin to the ‘drop a nuke’ solution.” Matthews was instantly offended – obviously because it was HIS idea and he is a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON. Don’t they know that? Really.

Money for nothing

Just realized that as this nation-at-war kicks off Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of summer . . . the Cost of War clock is about to turn to ONE TRILLION DOLLARS – perhaps before the weekend is out. That’s $1,000,000,000.00 $1,000,000,000,000.oo. One trillion dollars.

I wonder what we’d be fueling our homes and vehicles with if we’d spent a trillion dollars on R&D over the last decade, instead of . . . well, instead of what exactly?

What did we spend that trillion dollars on? Killing our own? Killing Iraqis and Afghans? Guns? Ammo? Helicopters that crashed? Making enemies? Hardening hatred?

We blew it. We wasted it. And we got nothing for it. Shame on us.

Now go have a beer and a burger and don’t worry, be happy.

Glenn Beck – just one more

This thing is from almost two weeks ago, so you’ve probably seen it by now. If not – here is the very finest laugh out loud five minutes I’ve ever experienced here on the intertubes. Ladies and gentlemen, here is a national treasure:

Friday night oldie

For some reason, Danny and the Juniors seem to be rising to the top this month. Listen to the silliness and dream of the days before deep water oil leaks . . . .

Long weekends and long wars

Around these American parts, most people are getting ready for a long weekend of family, friends, cook outs and beaches. As a retiree who remembers how precious these weekends are, I wish them all the longest of weekends.

Wonder if there’s time off in Afghanistan, where it is the 232nd day of the ninth year of the War.


Via Media Matters, and in it’s entirety (because I am lazy and unbloggy), I give you (take him please!) Mr. Lonesome Rhodes. This is seriously creepy.

Glenn Beck, who repeatedly and angrily tells his alleged persecutors to “leave the families alone,” spent a good chunk of his radio program this morning mocking and attacking the intelligence of President Obama’s 11-year-old daughter, Malia.  Obama remarked yesterday during his press conference that Malia asked him of the Gulf oil spill: “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” Beck, taking off on this, mockingly affected Malia’s voice, asking “Daddy” why he “hates black people so much.” Then Beck attacked Malia’s intelligence, saying: “That’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to — they’re coming to Daddy and saying, ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’ “

This routine continued for several minutes, as Beck and his co-hosts touched on a variety of topics and laughed the entire time, all of it at the expense of an 11-year-old girl.


             BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet? Daddy?

PAT GRAY (co-host): (imitating Obama) No I didn’t, honey.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy, I know you’re better than [unintelligible]

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Mm-hmm, big country.

BECK: (imitating Malia) And I was wondering if you’ve plugged that hole yet.

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Honey, not yet.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Why not, daddy? But daddy–

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Not time yet, honey. Hasn’t done enough damage.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Not enough damage yet, honey.

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah?

BECK: (imitating Malia) Why do you hate black people so much?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) I’m part white, honey.

BECK: (imitating Malia) What?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) What?

BECK: (imitating Malia) What’d you say?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Excuse me?

BECK: (laughing) This is such a ridiculous — this is such a ridiculous thing that his daughter– (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: It’s so stupid.

BECK: How old is his daughter? Like, thirteen?

GRAY: Well, one of them’s, I think, thirteen, one’s eleven, or something.

BECK: “Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?” Is that’s their — that’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to — they’re coming to daddy and saying ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’ ” Plug the hole!

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yes, I was doing some deep-sea diving yesterday, and–

BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, I was doing–

BECK: (imitating Malia) Why–

GRAY: (imitating Obama) Yeah, honey, I’m–

BECK (imitating Malia) Why, why, why, why, do you still let the polar bears die? Daddy, why do you still let Sarah Palin destroy the environment? Why are — Daddy, why don’t you just put her in some sort of a camp?

More than one clean up called for

Krugman three days ago:

Something Rotten At Interior

Something is very wrong at the Interior Department.

Actually, that’s not news. No part of the government was as thoroughly corrupted during the Bush years; Interior became a case of government of the extractive industries, by the extractive industries, and very much for the extractive industries. And it was going to take time to clean up the mess.

But has the cleanup even started? Every day there’s another news story with Ken Salazar firmly declaring that he’s losing patience with BP, and that if the company doesn’t get with it … he’ll make another firm declaration tomorrow. Meanwhile, we get assurances that no more drilling is being allowed pending review, followed by stories that, well, actually it is; we get stories about MMS officials partying with cakes inscribed “Drill, baby, drill.”

What this says to me is that officials at Interior are acting as if nothing has changed. Maybe that’s because Salazar is just a weak leader, and they’ve concluded that they have nothing to fear from him. Or maybe the fears of environmentalists about Salazar’s motives were correct, and he’s saying one thing to the public but another thing to his subordinates, assuring them that he’s not serious about all that change stuff.

Either way, he isn’t doing his job — and the Obama administration is steadily leaking credibility. And the buck for that stops you know where.

Obama has appointed quite a few good people  but I remember being saddened when his offer to Bruce Babbitt to take over Interior went nowhere. Babbitt was a serious and sterling choice. But it didn’t happen. Interior was /is a department screaming for real change.

By the way, another place needing real change is Afghanistan. It’s probably not going to happen while we’re there or after we leave. And still,  it is the 232nd day of the ninth year of the war there.

Oil and war – one equals the other and we seem to crave both.

And they think they can govern

The Republican National Committee is developing a platform. Isn’t that nice? Except they don’t know what to put in it. So they opened a kewl new website – all interactive and stuff – and invited real Republicans to write ideas of what the party should stand for. And then the readers could vote! Isn’t that just the most civic minded thing you just ever evah heard of??? Like, isn’t it just dreamy? Oh, and they named “America Speaking Out” – absolute cutting edge stuff.

So I went over. And I signed up for an account (activation email went into my junk email which is I think an omen). And just now I started to play and vote on stuff. And got an immediate busy signal. Tried again – more ‘sorry’ messages. More ‘so many Americans are using this site right now . . . “.

The actual message reads:

A very high volume of Americans are speaking out right now.  Please wait a moment and try again.

Idiots. They can’t even run a website. They were ready to elect an old man with cancer and a half term governor beauty queen to the White House and they can’t run a website. And they want to govern me. I’m tired.

Has Spector got sex tapes of Rendell and Weiner? Rendell with Weiner?

Legal experts dispute claims that a crime was committed 

Bush ethics lawyer calls claim that a job offer is a bribe “difficult to support.”  In a post on the Legal Ethics Forum blog, former Bush administration chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter wrote: “The allegation that the job offer was somehow a ‘bribe’ in return for Sestak not running in the primary is difficult to support.” Painter also wrote:

The job offer may have been a way of getting Sestak out of Specter’s way, but this also is nothing new. Many candidates for top Administration appointments are politically active in the President’s political party. Many are candidates or are considering candidacy in primaries. White House political operatives don’t like contentious fights in their own party primaries and sometimes suggest jobs in the Administration for persons who otherwise would be contenders. For the White House, this is usually a “win-win” situation, giving the Administration politically savvy appointees in the Executive Branch and fewer contentious primaries for the Legislative Branch. This may not be best for voters who have less choice as a result, and Sestak thus should be commended for saying “no”. The job offer, however, is hardly a “bribe” when it is one of two alternatives that are mutually exclusive.  

h/t Media Matters

Sure, we eat our own. Doesn’t everybody?

Headlines from that durn lib’rul media today:


  • Why This is Obama’s Katrina moment
  • Mr. President: Defend America
  • From Simon Johnson’s article, top of the page:  Treasury and White House let us down repeatedly and completely in the last 18 months on financial sector issues
  • Andrew Cuomo runs against himself
  • Joe Biden jokes about Senate candidate’s Vietnam record scandal at Veteran’s barbeque
  • Joe Wilson redux? Obama sends troops to border to appease Republicans
  • Obama border plan resembles Bush’s
  • James Carville: Get Down Here! We’re about to die!

Just sayin . . .

Trying to plug that sucker with press releases

An interesting post from a diarist over at Kos, which I don’t visit much any more. Not because it isn’t superb – it is! Because there’s so much gold over there these days, that it’s too much to absorb. If I try, I get lost and life stops calling. Kos has become the biggest friggin’ depository of smart informed commentary and reporting on the web. We just can’t have that!

This diarist, Fishgrease, spent 30 years in the oil extraction business. He takes us to ‘boom school’. 

“Generally, boom is long and bright bright orange or yellow. It is not bright bright orange or yellow so you can see it, dear fledgling boomer, but so Governors, Senators, Presidents and The Media can see it . . . “

“Boom is not meant to contain or catch oil. Boom is meant to divert oil. Boom must always be at an angle to the prevailing wind-wave action or surface current. Boom, at this angle, must always be layered in a fucking overlapped sort-of way with another string of boom. Boom must always divert oil to a catch basin or other container*, from where it can be REMOVED FROM THE FUCKING AREA.” (* I have never heard this mentioned. If it’s true, they are truly wasting time.)

And he knows. And, sadly, he then says this (he really likes to say ‘fuck’):

“Now the Coast Guard? They know booming. They know what fucking proper fucking booming looks like. Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Thad Allen should be fired. Today. Now. This minute. Before he can give another press conference echoing what BP said not five minutes before him. Then he should be fucking court-martialed and fucking sent to prison before BP can give him a goddamned fucking job. He’s a shameless piece of shit. And so is President Obama if he can’t see that. People who know me and how I’ve supported our President through thick and thin, know how hard it was for me to write that. I’m literally on the verge of tears, right this second. But I won’t erase it. There it is.”

I agree that the Obama administration should be presenting a more coherent face on this. And I evaluate everything with the knowledge that no President in my lifetime has faced such a mess coming into office. I’m sure fixing Minerals and Mining didn’t make it to the top of the list; so many agencies needed cleaning up at the staff level. And so many top jobs weren’t filled in a timely fashion because some friggin’ Republican Senator or other had a hold on the nomination.

Let’s not forget – ever – that two oil executives occupied the White House for eight years. They declawed the regulatory agencies and put in people from the extraction industries. When the investigations gain some steam, it’s going to be ugly. But I’m sure Dick Cheney will still come on my teevee to blast Obama for something.

Bet ole Cheney is too busy perfecting his sour scowl to notice it’s the 230th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

(When you think about the cost of oil, remember to count the cost of war.)

Fingers in the dike

This is just tragic. People will work their hearts out to stop the disaster – until their hearts break. And two people trying to skim water from a slick the size of Maryland breaks my heart. Is there no end to what we will do to ourselves? Will we ever accept that we need to change our ways?

On The News Hour right now, Judy Woodruff is interviewing  Bob Duddly of BP who is in charge of North American operations (if I heard the intro right). He seems very chastened and is not posturing – when Woodruff asks for conjecture or projections, he is pretty clear he just doesn’t know. But he did make one definitive statement right now – he said he felt very certain that they would have the well capped by August.  She then asked him if other states are in danger. He hesitated for a few seconds, and then he just said “we hope not.”

What I’m hearing from this guy is August if we’re lucky. Even if this week’s procedure works, that doesn’t end it – the well must still be capped.

Duddly said that this is without question the very worst they’ve ever had to deal with.

His demeanor frightened me. And nobody has asked about hurricanes in the Gulf – and there will be hurricanes.

Well, almost a trillion dollars. Isn’t that nice.

According to Politico, the Federal government is – once again – going to pretend to beef up enforcement at the Mexican border. I have seen this movie before. Today, Obama is asking Congress for $500,000,000 for the effort. That’s half a billion. We’re spending a friggin’ billion dollars a day on wars.

And by the way, we are just a few scant billions (two in fact) away from a grand total of A TRILLION DOLLARS spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A perfect day in the life of . . .

Watch closely, this is how it's done

Ummm, hold on a minute. I think the other kids got more.

A new  slide show from niece Natanya brings me up to date on one of the ‘Grands’. This is Stewart in Washington DC., his home sweet home. Today, he has chosen to demonstrate for us the classic expression of the  ‘terrible twos”.  (I laughed out loud at this one). Once things calmed down, it was off to the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. And after a long exhausting day, some pool time really helped.

Move along, I've got this covered

78% of Americans are apparently un-American; or, only 22% of Americans are real Americans. Or something.

As Congress once again tips its timid toe into the DADT stew, it remains deaf to the reality. Even among active military, the majority support repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (probably the silliest and most blatantly hollow policy of all times). I don’t know who the damn congress critters are afraid of.

This one is a no brainer. The country  is ready. The military is ready. Why isn’t Congress ready?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, with one in five opposed.

“Support is widespread, even among Republicans. Nearly six in ten Republicans favor allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “There is a gender gap, with 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men favoring the change, but support remains high among both groups.”

Among my oldest friends in the world are a gay couple who’ve been together nearly 40 years. They both served honorably. One of them did his time  in Vietnam. Anyone who opposes allowing gays to openly serve in the military may tell it to them.

Or go to Afghanistan and ask the gay men and women who are no doubt carrying weapons right now as they engage on this 229th day of the ninth year of the War there.

Wells and borders – both leaking

There’s a story in the NY Times this morning about Gov. Jindal of Louisiana threatening that if the Feds don’t make more progress protecting his State from the leaking oil in the Gulf, Louisiana will take matters into its own hands. (Exactly what that could mean from a State as poor as Louisiana is a little fuzzy.)

How different is this from Arizona’s actions re immigration? Both result from inadequate Federal response to national problems. Both are usurpations of Federal authority, where law clearly assigns that authority to the Federal government?


Oil? Sara? That’s easy – Sara wins.

What does it take to push the Gulf Oil disaster off the front pages? Sara Ferguson is what it takes; a second tier ex-princess selling access on video. (Not cheap either.)

The Gulf oil has apparently begun to bore. NOAA isn’t bored; they’re devoting huge resources and run a valuable ‘breaking news’ service on their website.

From the Associated Press yesterday, via NOAA:

Cleaning oil-soaked wetlands may be impossible, scientists say

The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists said.

Officials are considering some drastic and risky solutions: They could set the wetlands on fire or flood areas in hopes of floating out the oil.

But they warn an aggressive cleanup could ruin the marshes and do more harm than good. The only viable option for many impacted areas is to do nothing and let nature break down the spill.

Amongst the troops in Afghanistan, there must be many from the Gulf region. I wonder do they devote time to philosophical examination of which is the real existential threat to our nation:  a devastating economic and environmental disaster endangering three American States, or the ongoing escalation of blood and treasure in our new Vietnam. Do they ever wonder just exactly what it means  to ‘keep America safe’?

Probably not, because they’re otherwise engaged  the the 228th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

Friday oldie – two days later

Blog friend Bill responded to my Friday night post with some ideas of how to get around the – temporary I hope – WordPress/youtube conflict.

Using his suggestions (comment thread last post), here goes:

No comment

That well-known commie rag*, The Wall Street Journal has a poll up this morning – 14,000 have voted at this point.

YES:  8.5% ;   NO:   91.5%

The question?  Do you support the Texas Board of Education’s plan for social studies curriculum changes that portray America as a nation rooted in Biblical values?

* Fair disclaimer:   The poll comes out of the WSJ news side, not the rancid Editorial side. And other than that twisted department under the guidance of Paul Gigot, it’s a good paper.  But I felt like using the words “commie rag’ this morning.

Friday night oldie

No oldie. WordPress doesn’t seem to want youtube to stop over in this space tonight. Perhaps we’ll manage a Saturday oldie.

Not good

It’s been so annoying to hear the right wing talkers blaming the victims – whether complicit or not, they were victims – of the sub prime meltdown. You’ve heard all the yak yak yak. These people had no right to take out these loans. These people are irresponsible – they’re destroying our economy. They thought they could have it all and have those big houses. And on and on.

Well, guess what. According to McClatchy today:

WASHINGTON — Aftershocks from the nation’s financial crisis continue rumbling through the housing sector as fixed-rate mortgages held by the safest borrowers accounted for nearly 37 percent of new foreclosures during the first three months of this year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

Well, that makes me feel better.

Oil and water and Mr. Limbaugh of Palm Beach

Mr. Bouncy Bouncy is most put out with the nature of the President’s response to the Gulf spill. I think he wants Obama to grab some paper towels and head to Louisiana.

Now today, it’s looking more and more that the oil could get into the loop current and affect the east coast of Florida. And that’s where the always-on-a-diet one lives. That oil might even lap up on the private beach of Mr. Limbaugh of Palm Beach just as he’s planning his fourth marriage. That’s stressful. So maybe when Obama is done in Louisiana he  can scoot over to help with the mop up at Mr. Limbaugh’s place.

Haven’t heard any fat lady yet

I agree the anti-incumbent sentiment building up is real. That being said though, I am not sure Arlen Specter’s primary loss in Pennsylvania is that predictive of what’s to come. Spector is nearly 80. He’s switched parties twice. Sestak ran a brilliant campaign to come from behind in the last weeks – a campaign strategy, by the way, that I expect to see copied. Sestak was a very appealing candidate. He was NOT an anti-anything. He wa a young buck challenging the old stag while he was weak.

The Ron Paul victory in Kentucky was somewhat predictive, but the Democrats primary drew out twice as many voters. So Paul may by the new face of the Republican party, that’s doesn’t assure that his will be the new face of Washington.

Time. Will. Tell.

UPDATE: Steve Benen at Washington Monthly makes the point that the most important election yesterday was the actual one – not a primary – in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District for the late John Murtha’s old seat. And Murtha’s former chief of staff won it against the GOP candidate who boasted of his Tea Party cred.

He notes “This is the only district in the country that backed Kerry in 2004, but McCain in 2008, suggesting it was trending heavily in the GOP’s direction. If there’s going to be a backlash against Dems right now, this should be the place to find it. Indeed, it was the bulk of Burns’ platform — he specifically ran against Washington, Speaker Pelosi, and the Obama presidency, a pitch Republicans intend to duplicate in other competitive districts through the fall.”

UPDATE II: A post from Balloon Juice captures my point exactly.

Another Clear Case of Anti-Incumbent Fervor

Only irrational “throw the bums out” anger could explain why Democrats would reject an 80-year-old, yet newly minted, member of their party. Stuff like this could have nothing to do with it.

Just screw ’em

Not all oil spills are equal. Commenter greenjay brings out attention to what happens when oil companies – Shell in particular – do the dirty in the Third World. What they do is they just move on. (Wonder how much Shell is paying in taxes these days?)

A damning reality from the Niger Delta:

Millions of locals have little choice but to eat contaminated fish and farm on heavily polluted land as a result of oil saturation. Life expectancy in the region has dropped to 43 years.

Of course that’s none of our concern. We have to keep fighting wars so we can drive down to WalMart for bottled water. And those wars we have to keep fighting? If we weren’t all over the Middle East to protect that dear oil, there probably would have been no 9-11 and we would never have gone to Afghanistan, where it is the 223rd day of the ninth year of the War there.