Open Thread

A Christmas Wish …

To everyone at Politic 101 …
Christmas wishes.


347 replies on “A Christmas Wish …”

On Disproportionality

Q: What’s the difference between dynamite fishing and “surgical-strike” “Smart-Bombing”?

A: None. All life near detonation points is extinguished.

Guernica~bombers supplied by Third Reich on behalf of Spanish fascists.

Gaza~bombers supplied by U.S.A on behalf of Israeli govt.


In the game of cosmic billiards, the cannon, is a scoring shot.

300 Catrina. Interesting, I disagree with some of what he said. Such as the attention span of kids and the younger generation. The huge popularity of Harry Potter books disproves that, along with the election of Obama. But he did have some interesting points.

Coleman calls for expanded ballot count.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who once implored Democratic opponent Al Franken to end his bid for a recount, now favors expanding the number of previously rejected absentee ballots that will be counted by the Minnesota Canvassing Board.

Coleman’s one-time lead in the hotly contested race has evaporated, with Minnesota officials estimating Franken leads by 46 votes.

Chengdu girl invited to Obama’s swearing-in ceremony.

A 16-year-old girl from Sichuan who went out of her way to raise money for victims of the May 12 quake in the province has been invited to attend the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States in the White House on Jan 20.

Li Zizi, a fourth grader in the Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School in Sichuan’s capital, is scheduled to arrive in the US on Jan 17 as one of about 200 senior high school students from across the world taking part in the inauguration.

Li will stay in the US for five days, Yang Xing, an official from her school, told China Daily Monday.

Li will meet students from other countries who have also been invited to the ceremony. She will also attend a lecture by former US vice-president Al Gore, participate in a simulated presidential election held at Yale University and go to a soiree in which the history and politics of the US will be introduced, before she returns to China.

Li will have to pay for her own travel expenses, but she said she felt very lucky to be going on the trip.

“It was a pleasant surprise to receive the invitation sent by a department under the US Congress in August. I admire Obama, whose speeches have touched me greatly,” Li said.

Li is looking forward to Obama’s inauguration as the highlight of her upcoming trip.


Obama is attracting like minded people from all around the world to his cause. Building one giant think tank. How to harness all this energy and good will is the big question. This will help set the world off in an entirely new direction.

Groups send wish lists for economic bill.

President-elect Barack Obama has said there will be no wasteful spending in the economic stimulus bill headed to Congress next month. That doesn’t mean anyone is ruling out imported sneakers.

Shoe manufacturers want the new administration and Congress to lift import tariffs on inexpensive footwear as part of the stimulus — a move they say would save consumers billions of dollars that could then be pumped into the economy.

Jeanne Shaheen, First Woman Elected to the US Senate From NH.

Jeanne Shaheen’s victory over Senator Sununu, who beat her in the New Hampshire Senate race of 2002, is only one of many political successes. She is a woman of firsts, though her accomplishments extend far beyond her election as New Hampshire’s first female governor in 1996, or as the state’s first female senator in 2008.


Have you laid awake at night wondering about the Hickenlooper’s in American politics? Well here’s your answer. 😈
Notice the Australian ads in this Blog. This is what the newspapers should be doing to save their bacon.

There was a U.S. Sen. Hickenlooper.

Denver’s mayor is the first Hickenlooper to occupy City Hall, but he wouldn’t be the first Hickenlooper in the U.S. Senate.

At least one other Hickenlooper – Bourke B. Hickenlooper of Iowa – has served in the Senate.


How the Independent Movement Went Left By Going Right.

The election of Barack Obama was a watershed moment for the United States in many ways. One way: it was a key moment for independent voters. Some independent are exactly that — totally off by themselves. But there are other independent voters who see the need for an independent voter movement.

In this Guest Voice post cross-posted on the independent blog The Hankster, Jacqueline Salit, executive editor of the Neo-Independent, looks at election 2008 and its implications to the independent movement. Her conclusion: “The independent movement, realigned from center-right to center-left, gave Barack Obama the edge he needed to realign the Democratic Party, away from Clintonian centrism to a black-led nonpartisan movement for change.” Guest Voice posts do not necessarily reflect the opinion of TMV or its writers.

Now there’s a new word I haven’t heard before Neo-Independant. Sounds scarry to me.

Obama biggest news story since start of century: poll.

President-elect Barack Obama has eclipsed all other contenders to clinch the top news spot so far this century.

A worldwide media survey released on Monday shows that coverage around Obama’s successful bid to become the next American president was written about twice as often as any other news event since the turn of the century.

“Obama was unprecedented. He has captivated the world,” said Paul Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, which conducted the survey.

The Texas-based firm analyses the global media to see who and what gets mentioned most among global print, electronic media and among blogs on the Internet.

Troops’ support of Obama iffy: poll.

When asked how they feel about President-elect Barack Obama as commander in chief, six out of 10 active-duty service members say they are uncertain or pessimistic, according to a Military Times survey.

In follow-up interviews, respondents expressed concerns about Obama’s lack of military service and experience leading men and women in uniform.

”Being that the Marine Corps can be sent anywhere in the world with the snap of his fingers, nobody has confidence in this guy as commander in chief,” said one lance corporal who asked not to be identified.

Underlying much of the uncertainty is Obama’s stated 16-month timetable for pulling combat troops out of Iraq, as well as his calls to end the ”don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military, according to survey responses and interviews.


When a mother-in-law moves in, it’s an adjustment for everyone (even a president).

As if Barack Obama hasn’t already pulled off enough firsts, he’s on record hoping – hoping! – that his own mother-in-law will move into the White House.

“I don’t tell my mother-in-law what to do. I’m not stupid – that’s why I got elected president, man,” he told Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes.” “But we hope that she comes.”

What to make of this? Is he taking this “team of rivals” business to a whole new level? Does he want an in-house check on executive power? Or maybe it’s a gift from No Drama Obama to comedy writers and voters still in withdrawal from Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. It’s delicious, isn’t it, to imagine Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, swanning around the West Wing in a caftan – a la Endora from “Bewitched” – haranguing Obama about how poorly he’s running the country.

It’ll be good for the kids. Mum and dad will be very busy, this will give them an extra friend to call on for advice.

Thanks Kirri. Arundhati Roy just nails it so beautifully-what a gift she is/has. Am concerned for her personal safety in the years ahead,however.
And Cat, agree Tom Brokaw is one of those considered Seppos with his finger on the pulse. Shame he hasn’t had a higher profile in the recent past.
And then Ecky – having listened to snippets about the Murray Darling on RN this morning, and chewing the implications of the “80% of the water was used to revegetate forest after bushfires ” comment, your ‘cosmic billiards’ clip knocked that off my front page! It was a worry that used to keep me awake at night when my kids were babies, but to now see it visually is rivetting!! Still,looking into the eyes of the beast,our mortality, is no bad thing,gaining a wider perspective….makes the fear of the lucre free-fall fade by comparison :).

Reverting back to Arundhati Roy’s piece, her final lines also apply to appalingly tragic treatment of the Palestinians –
” We’re standing at a fork in the road.
One sign says “Justice,”
the other “(Civil) War.”
There’s no third sign and there’s no going back.
Choose. “

I commend Kirri’s 294 & link – a long article but well worth the effort of reading to the end. Great insight.

Reliving Cuba’s revolution.

Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba 50 years ago after mounting one of the most successful guerrilla campaigns in history.

Operating out of the Sierra Maestra, a densely forested mountain range on the eastern tip of Cuba, his lightly armed rebel fighters defeated a US-equipped standing army complete with aircraft, tanks and artillery.


U.S. throws GMAC $6 billion lifeline.

Treasury injects $5B into finance firm key to General Motors’ survival, while automaker gets $1B loan to make its own investment in GMAC.
In yet another move to prop up the crumbling U.S. auto industry, the government announced Monday that it will pump $6 billion into GMAC Financial Services, a financing company critical to the survival of General Motors.

The rescue package has two parts. The Treasury Department is injecting $5 billion directly into GMAC in exchange for preferred equity shares that pay an 8% dividend. GMAC also is issuing warrants to Treasury in the form of preferred stock. If exercised, the warrants will pay a 9% dividend.


Obama’s plans versus state backlogs.

Lawrence Summers, who’s been picked by president elect Barrack Obama to head the White House National Economic Council, wrote in an op-ed column recently in in which he argues that the Obama administration should be careful to ensure that any stimulus address both long-term and short-term needs.


Senate recount: ‘Stay civil,’ both campaigns are told.

The U.S. Senate recount spiraled deeper into confusion and bickering Monday, with the campaigns of Sen. Norm Coleman and DFLer Al Franken at odds over how many rejected absentee ballots should be counted and a state Supreme Court deadline to do so looming just four days away.

The impasse clouded what might happen today as the first in a series of meetings across Minnesota, involving local election officials, convene to sort through at least 1,346 absentee ballots — and maybe hundreds more — to see which ones may have been improperly rejected in the Nov. 4 election.


megan, know you like it dry;
from HuffPo’s comments section on the asteroid clip:

Let’s look on the positive side, at least it would finally see an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Party to Murder
By Chris Hedges —
Can anyone who is following the Israeli air attacks on Gaza—the buildings blown to rubble, the children killed on their way to school, the long rows of mutilated corpses, the wailing mothers and wives, the crowds of terrified Palestinians not knowing where to flee, and our callous indifference to this widespread human suffering—wonder why we are hated?

from link at 320

“Is it any wonder that 71 percent of children interviewed at a school in Gaza recently said they wanted to be a “martyr”?

The Israelis in Gaza, like the American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, are foolishly breeding the next generation of militants and Islamic radicals. Jihadists, enraged by the injustices done by Israel and the United States, seek to carry out reciprocal acts of savagery, even at the cost of their own lives. The violence unleashed on Palestinian children will, one day, be the violence unleashed on Israeli children. This is the tragedy of Gaza. This is the tragedy of Israel.”

How much fresh, young, innocent, human hamburger mince does it take to make a pound of flesh?

ABC news online:

In a soon to be released report, Sunshine State scientists have documented disturbing evidence that the number of marine madrassas for marauding terrorist sharks has escalated alarmingly. Squadrons of tight-formation Jihad Hammerheads have been sighted schooling off popular holiday destination beaches and authorities have expressed grave concerns for the safety of inattentive swimmers.

Afternoon Ticsters.
Just had a very relaxing couple of days in Lucinda and have got the coral trout fillets in to feed lots and in the freezer.

Kirri the A Roy read at 294 is very good. Hope she does not have a habit of flying in light planes.

EC it is a bit of a shame that the raylies are trying to turn “Gaza” in to another four letter word “Lava”

More than 100,000 massacred by allies during Korean War.

More than 100,000 South Korean civilians were massacred by allied troops fighting alongside Britain and the US in the Korean War, an official investigation has revealed.

Korean War civilian massacres, Daejeon Massacre Busan Massacre Namyang Ju Massacre Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Authorities in the country have discovered mass burial sites containing thousands of bodies, including scores of children.

Trawls of records including declassified files in Washington have uncovered evidence of the massacres of at least 100,000 people suspected of having sympathy with the North Koreans.

In some cases, American forces are alleged to have been present and in at least one case an American officer authorised a massacre of prisoners believed to have left-wing sympathies.


Obama first president-elect atop most admired list since 1952.

A survey released the day after Christmas shouldn’t go unnoticed: Gallup’s annual poll of Americans’ most admired people put President-elect Barack Obama by far at the top of the list.

With 32 percent, he far outpaced President Bush at 5 percent and Republican presidential candidate John McCain at 3 percent for most admired man. Obama, who also has record-high approval ratings, is the first president-elect to top the list since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and his share of the total is close to the 39 percent that Bush received just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Being a Qlder we were taught at a very young age not to mess with the “man in the grey suit”

I was at the finish of a Magnetic Island to Townsville swim a few years back when Des Renford’s cage got washed sideways and grounded at the mouth of Ross Creek.
Des never batted an eyelid he jumped out of the cage and swam the rest, approx 300 meters, up the creek to the Coast Guard Boat ramp to the finish.
As he walked up the ramp in front of the crowd he made the comment that there were no sharks up here are there.
The look on his face changed a little when i said yeah you are right theres no sharks up here Des the crocks have ate em out.

Isn’t that very thoughtful of him.

Topless ban to protect Muslims and Asians: Nile.

Conservative MP Fred Nile says he wants topless bathing banned in NSW to protect Sydney’s Muslim and Asian communities.

The Reverend Nile has rejected allegations that prudishness is behind a bill he has prepared to ban nudity, including topless sunbathing, on the state’s most popular beaches.

Australia’s reputation as a conservative but culturally inclusive sociery was at risk of erosion by more liberal overseas visitors, he said.

Guess what the top viral video is? 😈
Top viral videos of 2008.

Some web videos get a few thousand views, and more are lost in cyberspace. A few break away from the pack and become superstars, with viewership in the millions.

Since YouTube launched in 2005 and made video sharing part of pop culture, viral videos have quickly become the latest mutation in mass media.

The viral video is a web video clip that takes on a life of its own thanks to viewers passing it along through emails and instant messages or mentioning it in blogs.

What makes a video go viral? It’s not necessarily artistic quality or content.

McConnell Puts the Brakes on Stimulus Plan.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voiced skepticism today about the emerging economic stimulus plan, applying a brake to Democratic plans to quickly pass up to $850 billion in spending and tax cuts soon after President-elect Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

“As of right now, Americans are left with more questions than answers about this unprecedented government spending, and I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it,” McConnell said in a statement, which will be publicly issued later today.

Obama’s advisers and congressional Democrats have been huddling in the Capitol trying to craft a massive stimulus plan that could cost anywhere from $675 billion to $850 billion, while some economists are pushing for a total package worth more than $1 trillion.

I wonder how long it will take till they buckle. Or how they will be out flanked by the Democrats. 😈

Let the games begin.
You may need to be registered. More…

I can hear the yelling now. The Republicans are blocking our bill. They’re out to destroy America! The longer they take the louder the yelling and finger pointing. Boy is this going to be fun. I bet they won’t get 41 votes for the filibuster.

Coleman wants 700 ballots recounted.

Sen. Norm Coleman’s (R-Minn.) campaign on Monday suggested that an additional 650 to 700 ballots should be counted in the state’s contested Senate race.

Coleman’s campaign wants the 650 to 700 ballots, which were not previously identified as wrongfully disqualified, to be counted in addition to as many as 1,350 other disputed ballots.


It is time to wish the Three Amigos a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. May all your years be as happy and full filling as this one. I sincerely hope you enjoy the next 8 years. Especially Greensborough Growler, who has such great communication skills.

Author, Lawmakers Want ‘Libel Tourism’ on the Congressional Agenda.

Rachel Ehrenfeld is asking Congress to strike a blow for free speech and against terrorism.

Ehrenfeld’s book, “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It,” implicated Saudi businessman Khalid bin Mahfouz in terrorist financing schemes.

But rather than confront his accuser in U.S. courts, Mahfouz sued in libel-friendly Britain, even though the book was not published there, and won. He and his sons, also party to the suit, won a default judgment when Ehrenfeld decided not to contest the case. She was ordered to pay $225,000 and destroy all copies of the book.


News from the Votemaster
Dueling Press Conferences in Minnesota

As a result of a monumentally stupid decision by the Minnesota supreme court telling Senate candidates Al Franken (D) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) to agree on which improperly rejected absentee ballots should be counted, nothing happened yesterday–except each side gave a press conference to flog its views. What the court should have done is told the canvassing board to make sure every legal vote was counted and told the candidates to shut up and wait for the results. Coleman now wants to count an additional 700 ballots that were previously not identified as disputed. Franken said Coleman is trying to cherry pick ballots from precincts that he won.


CNN Poll: Obama transition draws approval of 4 in 5 Americans.

Hawaii’s always been a great spot for honeymoons — and Barack Obama, who’s spending the holiday season there on the beach at Kailua, is unquestionably having one of the best in modern presidential history.

Eighty-two percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday morning approve of the way the Obama is handling his presidential transition. That’s up 3 points from when we asked this question at the beginning of December. Fifteen percent of those surveyed disapprove of the way Obama’s handling his transition, down 3 points from our last poll.

The 82 percent approval is higher than then President-elect George W. Bush 8 years ago, who had a 65 percent transition approval rating, and Bill Clinton, at 67 percent in 1992.


With that sort of support, I wonder how long a filibuster will last. I think it would be the fastest back flip in American history.

Ecky, it’s more than a pound of flesh they want, in fact they won’t stop until they declare a ‘final solution’, and it will of course, be the fault of Hamas, or whoever.

History doesn’t repeat? It sounds more than just a rhyme to me.

Though thanks for your contributions,Chris!
Most of us are still languishing about in a post-Xmas stupor or are time-poor, inundated with holidaying rels & friends.
Often swinging wildly between both.
It is nice to log in,touch base and read your posts.

Tonight we saw Benjamin Button, and one Scott Joplin tune was hauntingly played:, December 16, 2008 – The new Brad Pitt movie about the backward aging of Benjamin Button features one of Scott Joplin’s lesser-known rags, “Bethena.” As Joplin famously noted of all his compositions, “It is never right to play ‘ragtime’ fast,” while his concert waltz “Bethena” adds the direction “cantabile” — “as if singing.” Randy Kerber, a Grammy-nominated California pianist, composer and arranger, obeys both commands. His fingers set a deliberate pace and never run away with the rag. He’s unafraid to slow down from time to time to let the inherent wistfulness of the music emerge. In sections in a major key, there’s a joyous quality that functions as part of Joplin’s essence; the piano really does sing. Yet with its sprinkling of minor chords, at times “Bethena” seems on the verge of tears.

When Joplin wrote the waltz in 1905, his wife of two months had just died; Bethena may well have been her nickname. Now, more than a century later, the song is perfectly suited for the Benjamin Button movie. In spite of its age, “Bethena” sounds as fresh as it if were written just minutes ago, a tender and heartfelt remembrance of a love lost.

…it was truly poetic playing.

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