U.S. Politics

Vladimir Putin To Larry King: I Don’t Want You To Leave CNN (VIDEO)

Has Vladimir Putin looked into Larry King’s eyes and seen his soul?

Huffington Post

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a bemused Larry King that he doesn’t want him to leave CNN on Wednesday’s “Larry King Live.”

King interviewed Putin for the entire hour on the show. The two discussed many different issues, but, as the show was wrapping up, Putin brought up one that had gone unmentioned: King’s imminent departure. (King’s last day is Dec. 16th.)

“Can I ask you one question?” he said. “I don’t know why, but the King leaves the scene at the U.S. stage.”

“I sometimes don’t know why myself,” King cut in.

Putin continued:

“At the U.S. stage and the U.S. mass media, there are many talented and interesting people, but still there is just one King there. I don’t ask why he is leaving. But, still, what do you think? When shall we have a right to cry out, long live the King, when there will be another man who is as popular in the whole word as you happen to be?”


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U.S. Politics

Streaking Falcons aiming for ‘summa cum laude’

I’m a New Yorker so my teams will always be the Giants in football and the Yankees in baseball.  (Love the Knicks but…uh…no comment.)

I’ve been living in Georgia for well over 10 years and I’ve adapted to the inevitable “when in Rome…” logic and embrace the Falcons and Braves as my home away from home teams.  That being said…GO FALCONS!

Huffington Post

Fullback Ovie Mughelli says the Atlanta Falcons want to graduate from the regular season at the top of the NFC’s class.

“We’re trying to get summa cum laude and graduate from the regular season with high honors,” Mughelli said Thursday.

The Falcons (9-2) are on track for straight A’s. Their five-game winning streak is the team’s longest since its 1998 Super Bowl season. They will try to protect the NFC’s best record on Sunday at Tampa Bay (7-4).

The Falcons could lock up home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs by finishing 14-2 with five more wins. That’s a lofty goal, but the schedule is manageable.

Atlanta’s only other remaining test against a team with a winning record is a Dec. 27 home game against New Orleans (8-3), now one game behind the Falcons in the NFC South. The Falcons have two games remaining against Carolina (1-10) and a visit to Seattle (5-6).

The visit to Tampa Bay begins a stretch of three straight road games for the Falcons, including games at Carolina and Seattle.

If the Falcons can keep stretching their winning streak in the regular season and then take advantage of home-field advantage in the playoffs, their next road trip could be to Dallas for the Super Bowl.

Continue reading here…


NASA Discovers New Life: Arsenic Bacteria With DNA Completely Alien To What We Know

As promised…

Huffington Post

Astrobiology research funded by NASA has made a tremendous new discovery which could “fundamentally change the knowledge about what comprises all known life on Earth,” according to NASA. (Scroll down for live video and updates.)

The major finding announced today has fueled speculation recently that reached a fever pitch after the agency said the finding “will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

While the discovery is not extraterrestrial life, NASA has indeed uncovered an entirely new life form on our planet that “doesn’t share the biological building blocks of anything currently living” on Earth, Gizmodo reports.

Discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California, this bacteria is made of arsenic, something that was thought to be completely impossible. While she and other scientists theorized that this could be possible, this is the first discovery. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don’t have to be like planet Earth.   Continue reading here…

 An explanation of it all…

Science Magazine’s Perspective

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart Ridicules Lame Duck Congress And The GOP’s ‘Audacity Of Nope’


Coming off a big win during the midterm elections, the GOP leadership in Congress has exhibited a curious mix of rhetoric: on one hand there are kind and eager words for working with President Obama and the Democratic opposition, while on the other there is the pledge to block all legislation until the Bush Tax Cuts are extended. If this sounds ripe for ridicule to you, then you will be pleased by the following segment from Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, a program apparently popular with “the kids.”

The following segment is a text book example of Mr. Stewart unique brand of satirical news coverage:

Open with a set-up pegged to the news; Throw up a punny chyroned headline, then quickly follow up by a searing example of GOP hypocrisy; Throw in a dash of Democratic incompetence (or is it impotence?); Add a hip pop culture reference (in this case 4 Loko) then end the bit with a sad and knowing expression that leaves the viewer entertained yet somewhat dispirited at the same time. Sound formulaic? Maybe so. But here I am singing its praises because its worth watching.

Jon Stewart – Lame Duck Soup video

Economic Inequality · Economy · GOP · GOP Agenda · GOP Corruption · GOP Folly · GOP Greed · GOP Hubris · GOP Hypocrisy · Unemployment · Unemployment Benefits · Unemployment Rate

NOTHING FOR THE LITTLE GUY – Bailouts Are For Banks: Unemployed People Get Zilch

As Nancy Pelosi pointed out yesterday in a press conference, the GOP want tax cuts for the top 2% money-makers in the country.  The cost would be about $700 Billion because the Republicans want to add the cost of those tax cuts to the deficit.  Yet…they have told the Dems that the $18 Billion cost of helping the unemployed can only be passed if it’s paid for in advance.  In other words the Dems can’t add $18 Billion to the budget, but the Republicans insist on adding the $700 Billion for tax cuts to their cronies be added to the deficit.

What I don’t understand is why aren’t the Dems shouting from the roof tops  and on every news outlet that the GOP does not want to help the middle class but advocates soley for the rich?

Huffington Post

In Washington, the agenda has long since moved on from bailing out megabanks to figuring out how to stop paying for things that regular people need — luxuries like health care, retirement benefits and unemployment insurance.

In the suburbs of Denver, Anthony Roebuck and his family find themselves confronting an action list that seems cruelly divorced from the proceedings in the nation’s capital: They have to figure out how to keep the heat on through the Colorado winter now that his unemployment check has run out.

The latest extension of emergency unemployment benefits expired on Tuesday, as a dysfunctional Congress let the deadline go without striking a deal to keep the money flowing. That put Roebuck — who drew his last check on Monday — among the two million or so unemployed Americans facing the imminent loss of their benefits between now and the end of the year.

A sheet metal worker by trade, Roebuck, 44, is accustomed to earning his own way through the force of his hands. Since May, he and his family have subsisted on his wife’s paycheck from her job as a university administrator, plus a nearly $500 weekly unemployment check.

They slashed away at their grocery bill, cutting out non-essentials such as the fried snacks favored by his 15-year-old son. They traded in their late-model Jeep Cherokee for an elderly Dodge sedan. They quit going to church on Sunday to save the gas money required to get there.

Now, the math is set to get uglier still, as they contemplate how to run the household minus his unemployment check — a situation that seems not only impossible but also unfair.

How could there have been so many billions for Wall Street, so much room to lower taxes for people with golf memberships and country houses, yet a $500-a-week check to help him pay the rent while he looks for another job suddenly threatens to bankrupt the nation?

Continue reading here…


Jeb Bush Sides With His Mother On Sarah Palin Slight

Of course he’s going to side with his mom.  I was never a Barbara Bush fan, but in this instance, I’d take her side as well over “Caribou Barbie”.

Huffington Post

Sarah Palin’s power in the GOP might hold a lot of sway right now, but it couldn’t make former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush back the former Alaska governor over his mother, Barbara, in a quibble between the two.

Bush was asked by Newsmax in a recent interview how he felt about Barbara Bush’s comment expressing her hope that Sarah Palin “stays in Alaska” instead of running for president.

“If it’s between my mom and Gov. Palin, I’ve got to go with my mom, just in general, because she’s my mother,” Bush responded. “So you’re not going to get me in trouble with disagreeing with my beloved mother of 85 years, who occasionally from time to time says things that give us all great joy, and sometimes some consternation.”

But Bush’s praise of Palin could imply that his mother’s slight of the former Alaska governor might have been an instance of such consternation. “She’s got an incredible skill to connect with people,” Bush said of Palin in the same interview. “She’s got fantastic political instincts.”

Others have been less forgiving of the former vice presidential candidate’s comments against the Bushes, who she referred to as “blue bloods who want to pick and choose their winners,” after hearing the former first lady’s jab.

Continue reading here…


NASA Announcement Ignites the Web

Wow!  This appears to be exciting news.  I’ll post more info after the scheduled press conference this afternoon.

Huffington Post

Nasa’s Press Release has the web buzzing with speculation including a very well written piece by Jason Kottke.

Most the excitement about the press release is due to the vague nature of the press release and the incredibly interesting backgrounds of the researchers who are part of it.

The statement NASA released says:

NASA will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. PST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life

Phil Plaitt of Discovery has a great write up in which he says:


So this is most likely going to be something about conditions on another moon or planet conducive for life. Of course, the speculation is that NASA will announce the discovery for life. Maybe. I can’t rule that out, but it seems really unlikely; I don’t think they would announce it in this way.

RNC · RNC Chairman

The Republicans’ Next Female Leader?

The Daily Beast

No, it’s not Sarah Palin—Ann Wagner could be the first woman elected head of the Republican National Committee. The former Missouri party chairwoman talks to Shushannah Walshe about Michael Steele‘s erratic tenure, fundraising from outside groups, and more.

It’s been more than three decades since a woman last chaired the Republican National Committee. But now, as Michael Steele’s controversial tenure as chairman of the RNC appears to be ending, a woman has thrown her hat in the ring.

This week, a little-known politician from Missouri declared her candidacy for the GOP top job, and while it’s too early to tell who among the increasingly crowded field of contenders stands the greatest chance of winning, Ann Wagner could become the first woman elected head of the RNC. (The only other woman to hold the job, Mary Louise Smith, was appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1974.)

In a lengthy interview with The Daily Beast this week, Wagner said she didn’t want to “cast aspersions” on Steele’s chairmanship, but still managed to make subtle and not-so-subtle digs at his bumpy tenure.

“There needs to be accountability,” she said. “The chairman needs to be full-time,” she added, noting the needs for “checks and balances and controls.” Beyond that, what the RNC needs, is “strong management and leadership from the very top.”

From the beginning, Steele has been a public-relations headache for the Republican Party, picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh, offering “slum love” to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and describing civil unions as “crazy”—all in the first 30 days after taking office.

But whereas Steele is the “off-the-hook” kind guy, who said he wanted to polish the GOP’s image with everyone “including one-armed midgets,” Wagner is less showy—even her most high-level official appointment spoke restraint. (She served for three-and-a-half years as ambassador to Luxemborg, appointed by George W. Bush.)

As chairwoman of the Missouri Republican Party, she is credited with turning the state legislature from blue to red, winning statewide races and crucial votes to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Coming off those victories, she became the RNC co-chairwoman before Bush appointed her to the Luxembourg diplomatic post. Coming back, though, she worried that “perhaps socialism had followed me across the pond,” she said, and so she decided that she “needed to reengage,” successfully chairing Roy Blunt’s Senate campaign.

Continue reading here…


TSA sued over ‘pat downs’

It was just a matter of time…

America Blog

There are surely many more like this underway or about to be filed. Some people really can be funny when it comes to privacy.

A Colorado attorney has asked a federal judge to order the Transportation Security Administration to abandon its airport screening procedures for United States citizens.

Gary Fielder filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver last week, more than a month after he, his two daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a family friend underwent a TSA pat-down in San Diego.

Fielder’s lawsuit claimed the pat-downs were “disgusting, unconscionable, sexual in nature” and in violation of the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches.