Open Thread

The State Of The Union, Take #3, Roll ’Em

Hot on the heels of the inability of some of Hollywood’s thin-skinned Wankerati to laugh at themselves (nice one, Ricky), the profundity of American Seriousness will  manifest itself at the annual set-piece SOTU on The Hill this Tuesday. One of the most endearing aspects of the SOTU ritual is its peppering with spontaneous bouts of quick-response standing ovations after Mister President has delivered grateful Americans his best bon mots straight from the heart of his autocue. Applause of the Pop Ups— surely no POTUS could wish for more. Terribly exciting in a pantomimish sort of way, such displays of unrestrained adulation are what modern politicians do when pogo-ing is inappropriate. The gesture of unbridled joy was nailed to perfection by Joey “The Weasel” Lieberman during The Imbecile’s 2006 SOTU performance. Joey, one helluva guy, was a Democratic Senator at the time.   Such twitter-op moments are nowadays pinged around the globe faster than David Helfgott can riff Rachmaninoff .

Despite the US being quagmired in South Asia, the economy still in the hands of the same folks who brayed the nation astray ( “no,no, no, America will never be involved in a GFC”), infrastructure disintegrating, schools strangled for funds many of the population dumbed-down to “rhetoric by slogan”……… during SOTU, Americans are going to be exhorted by their Commander-In-Chief to hang in there for the greatest little nation that ever had the courage to bestow god’s gift of Democracy upon a world of ingrates who happen to be born in locations rich in resources or are of hegemonic significance.

Talking heads will analyse every POTUS utterance with the same breathless anticipation the economic press once paid to each Greenspan sigh. Comparisons will be made with SOTUs past pitched by Mt. Rushmore shortlistees, Kennedy, Clinton, and Reagan. In the land of the diminished attention span, by the weekend very few voters will remember what all the hoopla was about. Unless there is a wardrobe malfunction or some lawmaker cuts a stentorian fart at an inappropriate moment.

When SOTU 2011 is over and done, when all the confetti swept up and when the last legislator has exited The Hill, two unwinnable wars will grind on, 30 million Americans will continue to be spied upon by their govt., the Silent Spring will continue to scream, Gitmo and Abu Grahib and the other non habeas corpus hell-holes will remain open for business, John Boehner will sport a more toned-down tan and a once-great nation will discover that mah-jong can be every bit as fascinating as poker.

1,278 replies on “The State Of The Union, Take #3, Roll ’Em”

Absolutely grouse EC. I know without asking that you didn’t cut and paste that from the MSM. :mrgreen:

a former once-great nation will discover that mah-jong can be every bit as fascinating as poker.

Ah can feel it in me bones.

Somehow I don’t think Craig McMurtrie’s piece to camera will go quite like that, Ecky. 🙂

My highlight of the night will be the Obi initiated rapturous applause for retiring Great Americans Joey Lieberman and Kent Conrad….and the reverential odes to BlueDog corporate hack Gabi Giffords.

No, she didn’t deserve what happened to her. That is abhorent.

But Great American she is not. If i was to watch Obi’s SOTU (which i won’t, cause i’ve heard it all before), i’m sure The Chaser’s classic will come to mind.

Whatever is happening in the media in Seppoland it is the base model of the Toxic Tony and his media boosters in Oz, primed and pumped up by Roo for sure.

At Fox News, the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity have far greater leeway to pitch right-wing ideas and even to organize pro-Republican political events. Last November, Olbermann was suspended for two days for making donations to three Democratic candidates, including Arizona’s Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson.

Now, with Olbermann’s permanent departure on Friday, the remainder of MSNBC’s liberal evening line-up, which also includes Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell (who will fill Olbermann’s 8 p.m. slot), must face the reality that any sustained friction with management could mean the bum’s rush for them, too.

There is almost inevitably a story about the fox in the henhouse on a daily basis.

General Electric head Jeffrey Immelt is the new fox in the Obama henhouse. The President’s recent appointment of Immelt to head up the newly-established Council on Jobs and Competitiveness makes a mockery of the vital work that Council could and should be doing. This appointment is already an embarrassment, and will prove to be even worse than it appears at present. Most of us realize that President Obama feels the need to cozy up to corporate leaders, but while it is truly said that politics makes strange bedfellows, this is a case of “sleeping with the enemy.”

It looks like the hunt has jumped a few fences and the hounds are hotly on the scent of the foxes.
Looks like Roo is in for a busy week in London.

Britain’s tabloid newspapers are now facing a major crisis after being drawn into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Twenty-four hours after Andy Coulson, the prime minister’s communications chief and former News of the World editor, was forced to resign, a lawyer confirmed other newspapers were facing legal claims.

Mark Lewis, who acted for Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers’ Association in a damages claim against the NoW, confirmed to the Observer that he was now representing four people who believe they were targeted by other newspapers.

Lovely bit of irreverence from the chaser chums, Harry. Sadly, the irony is in the fullness of time going forward at the end of the day, they were so much better when rat features was at the nation’s helm.
Gaffy, you don’t like Rupert very much do you? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Pilger on JA/WL, Pte Bradley Manning, and why JA has a better chance of fighting US extradition from the UK trather than from Sweden.
Interestingly though, WL still runs its prime server from Sweden and, to the chagrin of many a despot, it works.

““Government whistleblowers,” said Barack Obama, when running for president in 2008, “are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal.” Obama has since pursued and prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president in American history.”

Hopefully this canary has big balls and can sing ever so loud.
They should name him whispering jack as he dumps another sub editors name into the Roo meltimg pot.
The question must now be asked, was Roo Rooting Rebekah?

What is so striking about this affair is that we know so much. There is a long list of well-known people who are suing News International, which has already spent millions of pounds to prevent the issue being aired in court. Despite Murdoch’s insistence that News International has zero tolerance of criminal activity and will do everything in its power to comply with police investigations, the company is still paying the legal costs of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective who ran the hacking operation and is the one man who knows the identities of all the executives who were aware of his activities. Names are surfacing: first it was Ian Edmondson, the news editor of the News of the World who was suspended before Christmas, and now Greg Miskiw, a former assistant editor……………………….It has also displayed an absence of leadership, which may or may not be corrected by the appearance of Rupert Murdoch in London this week. It is suggested by insiders that Murdoch is in thrall to Rebekah Brooks, the managing editor of NI and former editor of the Sun and News of the World, and will do anything to save her. Yet the hard fact is that under her leadership this scandal has been allowed to fester. Chequebook journalism has been elaborated into chequebook management, and that must be a concern for the directors of the company.

More Roo in the stew. The Spectator in on the act now.

Lawyers for celebrities and politicians are now planning multiple actions against Rupert Murdoch and demanding that the Met supply them with the evidence they collected against News International but never submitted to a court………………………. If celebrities’ lawyers can pin down one more scandal, it may be clear to the public that the coalition is not just involved in a corrupt relationship with a standard business organisation, but with a business organisation that has been involved in a criminal conspiracy.

Phone-hacking row calling on Cameron’s door.

THE phone-hacking scandal that has enveloped Britain’s best-read tabloid newspaper and resulting in a journalist being jailed has reached 10 Downing Street, threatening to rock Rupert Murdoch’s TV expansion plans.

Five years after Scotland Yard began investigating Buckingham Palace’s suspicion that Prince William’s voicemail had been hacked, British Prime Minister David Cameron has lost Andy Coulson, his chief PR man and former editor of News of the World – as a long list of celebrities, led by actor Sienna Miller, prepare civil lawsuits in a bid to unmask other newspaper executives who authorised hacking.

The shock development emerged as rumours gained intensity of the existence of hundreds of tapes, recorded by a senior News of the World journalist, who was struggling with a drink problem and taped discussions with other editors and reporters as an aide for his failing memory.
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Several journalists told The Observer that many people taped conversations with editors as a “security policy” in case things went wrong and “you were blamed”.

This just keeps getting better and better. “Many people taped conversations with editors”

More here…

You are dead right Chris. The pot of stew is getting bigger and bigger each day as the slime on top is carefully shoved aside to reveal the rotten meat underneath.

Yet this is a mistaken way of seeing what has happened, and still is happening. There should be no closure, no business as usual, no letting up. Because the practice of often illegal surveillance by hacking into phones, using eavesdropping technologies and stealing documents continues. This isn’t just about Coulson, or the News of the World, or even News International. Many other newspapers have been doing the same.

It is not just a historical problem. One of the earlier targets, currently engaged in legal action, told me: “If you think all this stopped some time ago, you have to be bloody joking.” She was told only last month that there had been yet another attempt to hack into her voice messages. The practice is endemic. Shrewd editors have passed the really dirty stuff “offshore” – to self-employed dirt diggers – but they are happy to buy and publish the results. The list of targets is apparently much wider than the investigations so far have shown, and is unlikely to be kept under wraps for much longer.

The plods are getting a bit of caning over it as well.

“It seemed to me clear that the number of people that were being hacked clearly was not consistent with it being one rogue reporter who happened to be the royal correspondent. Why would the royal correspondent be interested in hacking the voicemails of Simon Hughes, my colleague who is a Liberal Democrat MP, for example?” he told the BBC’s Daily Politics.

“We know the police were not keen on the subject because when I called for a very clear review of this, the police scurried back into Scotland Yard, spent less than a day reviewing it and popped out again in time for the six o’clock news to say they had discovered no further evidence.”
Chris i note that it is the Age that has run the story and so far nary a pimp from Roos Aus empire.
Scumbags all.

This is the reason i like to browse over the fence.
Compliments Bushfire Bill.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, January 24, 2011 at 2:13 am | Permalink
Andrew Robb doesn’t see it:

“Unlike the GFC, we can’t allow the government to use this disaster as an excuse to wantonly increase taxes and borrowings and not do some hard management of the books.”

The Stimulus wasn’t about saving money, it was about saving jobs, families, households and businesses, then jobs, families, households and businesses then jobs…

It would have been easy to stop spending, saving a few bucks here and there, but every dollar the government doesn’t spend in an economic slowdown – when businesses aren’t spending – is a dollar not in a contractor’s or an employee’s pocket or is a dollar not spent and not in a retailer’s cash register. Then the unemployed would have needed the dole, and we would have had a major recession (which I suspect is what Robb wanted from the start).

These people are the most miserable, malignant, destructive misanthropists I’ve ever come across. They’re happiest when everyone else is miserable, unemployed and broke. They feed off the carcasses of life’s misfortune – flood victims, unemployed people, failing businesses, the sick, the halt and the lame – like the political vultures they are.

They don’t wait for people to become miserable all by themselves. That could take too much time, or if things like the Stimulus work, might not ever happen. So they just assert that people are miserable. They urge them to blame all their troubles on the government through the broadsheets provided by their mates in the media. There’s never an inquiry into a disaster, like the upcoming Queensland Flood inquiry, or an action by government that isn’t wrecked and ruined before it starts. Unemployment can’t fall before they’re ramping up “interest rate fears”. Spending can’t increase before it’s labelled “waste and mismanagement.” They urge a Surplus, and simultaneously condemn the government for not spending enough. They see a revolutionary communications network being built and they tell us it’s only so kids can download pronography, and anyway, only advanced countries deserve to have NBNs.

When it’s their own policies that need funding they produce a magic pudding and cook the books. When they’re exposed they accuse the government of corrupting the Federal Police into not investigating the leak. They admit they lie and then brag that at least they’re honest liars. Their currency is despair, distrust and dysfunction. Despair that progress will ever be made, distrust in government and its institutions, and dysfunction in the parliament. And when you ask them what they would do, they bleat, “But we’re not the government!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Liberal-National Coalition and their disgusting shit sheet, The Australian.

gaff. The only have to start digging in Australia and the USA and they will find it. Keep putting it out there in the independent media. It will jog someone’s memory. Then bingo! An international conspiracy!

Trouble is their ABfrigginC is now top to bottom with Roos Myrmidons.
That is why there is nothing said or reported on their ABC. You would have thought that someone at their ABC would be casting the umbrella net to see if there are some prawns about. Raw prawns that is. Even so it is headline news in the UK every day now and not even a whimper from their ABfrigginC.

They are so biased now that they would not even be able to stand up straight on a bowling green.
They are a disgrace and a total joke to media in Aus.

George Allen [the Macaca man]To Jump Into Virginia Senate Race.

Republican George Allen will announce Monday that he will seek to reclaim the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia that he lost five years ago to Democrat Jim Webb.

A person close to the 58-year-old Allen told The Associated Press that he will make his plans official in a video to be e-mailed Monday afternoon to longtime supporters.

The person was not authorized to pre-empt Allen’s announcement and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Allen, a former governor and congressman who was once considered a potential Republican presidential contender, lost to Webb by about 9,000 votes after a series of gaffes in a year when his party lost control of Congress to Democrats.

During an interview leading up to the 2006 campaign, Allen complained about the Senate’s slow rhythms, likening its pace to that of “a wounded sea slug.”

If Webb is not going to run again. I would love to see a good liberal win this seat.

While the police are investigating the police here are some questions for Roo and Joey.


* Did James Murdoch authorise the payment of £700,000 to Gordon Taylor, the head of the footballers’ union, after his phone was hacked? And if so, why?

* Why did News International pay private investigator Glenn Mulcaire £80,000, and also pay its former royal editor Clive Goodman, after they were both convicted of illegally intercepting phone messages and jailed?

* How many people have received payments from the News of the World, or its parent companies, after threatening to reveal evidence of its journalists’ involvement in illegal phone hacking?

* Did James Murdoch or Rebekah Brooks discuss the proposed News Corporation purchase of BSkyB with David Cameron during their dinner together at her house over Christmas?

* Was Andy Coulson, or any other more senior News International executive, aware of Glenn Mulcaire’s £2,000-a-week payment? What services did they suppose Mulcaire was providing for that pay?

* What action will News International take against the suspended News of the World executive Ian Edmondson? Will the company hand over any and all new evidence of phone hacking to the Metropolitan Police?

* When will News International drop the defence that phone hacking was the work of a single “rogue” reporter?

* How much money has News International spent so far trying to limit the damage caused by illegal phone hacking by the News of the World?

* How many other celebrities and politicians does the company think were hacked by its employees?

Gaffy, the Ru Stew Saga is getting deliciouser and deliciouser by the moment. Havn’t clicked on the OO since the last Fed.El. but I’d bet they are printing precious little of it. Everybody knows that if it’s not in the OO then it doesn’t exist. 🙂


Joan Baez in Saraevo,1994.

Her Story blends American music, politics and people. She’s an amazing woman. Love her to pieces.

Yep EC they have just added a bit more seasoning to up the aroma.

Here is a global media conglomerate, run by a man who is not a UK citizen, wielding extraordinary influence over the affairs of the country and able to summon private audiences with senior government figures at will. One part of the empire stands accused of operating and then covering up habits of systematic criminal activity and calling it journalism. The man who was in charge at the time stood down last week as Mr Cameron’s chief media aide. Having surrendered Mr Coulson, the prime minister now clearly thinks the whole business should just go away. It shouldn’t and it won’t.

Touching on the guns issue. The only way there will be change, is a massacre event in October just before the election. That gives the NRA no time to weigh in. Even then it will take a lot for the liberals to take the lead.

if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to give some power to your Heir. Or summat.

In a bit of American-style damage control, the resignation was announced while Tony Blair was fielding questions at an Iraq War inquiry and the Labour Party was grappling with the resignation of former Home Secretary Alan Johnson after allegations that his bodyguard had had an affair with Johnson’s wife. If the plan was to bury the news, it didn’t work.

Looks like the San Francisco Sentinel is going to do a job on the phone hacking as well. That should give it a few tiny legs to get moving.

Odd political bedfellows indeed, Hussey.

Genesis of the Neo-Mavericks:

Ayn Rand has initiated a liason with Rachel Carson in a rectanular besser-block backwoods motel run by affafble recluse, Michael Moore. A pristine brook babbles by a grotto of hyacinths before effortlesly exiting the property beneath a barbed-wire perimeter fence patrolled by Blackwater Domestic.
Ayn has a splitting headache and asks Rachel if she wouldn’t mind giving her shoulders a bit of a rub because they were so tense………….

From your link here’s their primary commomality.

“Nader, who has recently called this coalition “the most exciting new political dynamic” in the US today, explained that it works well because both groups stand against corporatists who believe government should be run in the interests of corporations”

Instinct tells me that the GOP would be worse off than Dems if the Coalition of the Weird starts polling around 10% or so. Ross Perot gave the status quo a fright for a while so the emergence of a vote-sucking third party is a wildcard the GOPpers could do without.
And then there was Ralph’s contribution to 2000 Electoral College result. Without Ralph & Co standing candidates, the Florida result would never have come into play and The Imbecile would have been politically strangled at birth.

In 2008 we were all supporting his oiliness, Chris. 😀

2012 will be much more fertile ground for a 3rd party campaign. Or at least some third party theatrics.

Downing Street was not returning calls on the subject today. There was no confirmation from No 10 about whether Mr Cameron had discussed the deal with James Murdoch at the party, nor whether he intended to meet Rupert Murdoch this week.

“The idea that the prime minister was secretly wining and dining with two people so close to the bid is highly unusual,” Mr Watson wrote.

“In these situations, a minister would be advised to take a civil servant with him. This deal is worth a lot of money for News Corp if they get it and while it is ultimately Jeremy Hunt’s decision, the prime minister is key to it too.

“In order to be able to defend the integrity of the decision, a civil servant should have been present.”$21386817.htm#

The Inside Story of How Facebook Responded to Tunisian Hacks.

It was on Christmas Day that Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan first noticed strange things going on in Tunisia. Reports started to trickle in that political-protest pages were being hacked. “We were getting anecdotal reports saying, ‘It looks like someone logged into my account and deleted it,'” Sullivan said.

For Tunisians, it was another run-in with Ammar, the nickname they’ve given to the authorities that censor the country’s Internet. They’d come to expect it.

In the days after the holiday, Sullivan’s security team started to take a closer look at the data, but it wasn’t entirely clear what was happening. In the US, they could look to see if different IP addresses, which identify particular nodes on the network, were accessing the same account. But in Tunisia, the addresses are commonly reassigned. The evidence that accounts were being hacked remained anecdotal. Facebook’s security team couldn’t prove something was wrong in the data. It wasn’t until after the new year that the shocking truth emerged:

Ammar was in the process of stealing an entire country’s worth of passwords.

More here..

The Importance Of Being Earnestly French:

L’homme is sucking on a Gauloise and sipping his Casbah-au-lait in a dive off the Boulevarde of Broken Standards. Sensibly compartmentalised, he is a football patriot and a political anarchist. He is reading Le Monde…..

“Sacre Bleu!… we are going to have to defend the honour of French gravity!


Until the 2008 campaign, few people realised that Virginia’s George “Macaca” Allen was a neology buff.

“I needlessly drew a college student who was following me around all over Virginia into the race, and I should not have. He was just doing his job and I should not have made him part of the issue,” Allen said of S.R. Sidarth, the Democratic tracker of Indian descent he was addressing. ********** “It was not done with malice, and if I had known that that made-up word would be connoted as a racial insult I would not have said it.”

No George, of course you didn’t say “take a look at Macaca here” with malice. You were just softening him up before inviting him around to a spread of rogan josh, Georgia peach pie and mint juleps on the porch with your family. That’s perfectly clear from the career-destroying clip that La Huff has linked to her article.

Financial Crisis Commission Finds Cause For Prosecution Of Wall Street

The bipartisan panel appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis has concluded that several financial industry figures appear to have broken the law and has referred multiple cases to state or federal authorities for potential prosecution, according to two sources directly involved in the deliberations.

The sources, who spoke on condition they not be named, declined to identify the people implicated or the names of their institutions. But they characterized the panel’s decision to make referrals to prosecutors as a significant escalation in the government’s response to the financial crisis. The panel plans to release its final report in Washington on Thursday morning.

At last!

More here

A big development.

The Honorable Eric Holder, Jr.

Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder,

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010), has had a dramatic impact, overturning prior Court precedent, ending restrictions on corporate and union political spending that had been in place since 1947, and fueling a surge in secret and independent spending in the 2010 elections. Outside groups spent more than $296 million on the 2010 Congressional midterms – a 330 percent increase over 2006 – with more than $135 million of that coming from undisclosed donors¸ according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Since that decision, information has come to light that raises serious questions about the impartiality of Justices Thomas and Scalia in the Citizens United case. It appears both justices have participated in political strategy sessions, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision. With respect to Justice Thomas, there may also be an undisclosed financial conflict of interest due to his wife’s role as CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization that stood to benefit from the decision and played an active role in the 2010 elections.

More here…

EC, I think Glen Greenwald has highlighted the relevant point of that article, which is an admission that Bradley Manning has been under punitive suicide watch. The stuff about JA is a bit redundant. There’s no statement that there isn’t an ongoing investigation into Wikileaks.

That’s true, Hussey, Greenwald (and the firedoglakers) have been doing outstading work. What’s significant is msm mainstay NBC reporting that The Feds have sfa on Assange and the Pentagon piping it through their NBC Pentagon Correspondent. Bradley was to have been their star witness. It could be a ruse but I doubt it.

Re Pte Manning; no doubt at all he is being “technically not tortured” to within an inch of the law and probably his sanity. He is a political prisoner and a U.S. citizen being denied due process. In the wider frame of course what is being done to JA, Manning and many more right now, could very well be done to millions of us in the not too distant future. It’s one of the reasons I blog and I suspect may motivate to a certain degree some of our comments here.

😆 😆 Could this be the death of the Republican Party? 😆 😆
The Republican Party received millions in donations/bribes for the 2010 elections from businesses. The Democrats not so much. Last week Wikileaks was handed the tax haven files of 2,000 tax cheats. 40 of them politicians. How many will be Republican donors? I suspect quite a few. I was left with the impression that the donor of the files wanted to bring down the system. Which means a lot of Republican donors are no the list. It will only take two big ones to put the Republicans in a lot of financial trouble. Rupert Murdoch and Walmart and the 5 or 6 billionaires behind Walmart. The Walmart family. Anyone wanna bet they are not on the list? The Republican Party is going to have to find a lot of money quickly to cover the money they will have to pay back. Depending on the political views of the donor. The Democrats will have a few to pay back. But not anywhere near as much as the Republicans. That is if he is A political. If he is a liberal with an agenda. The Democrats will be much better off. The same split applies to the politicians. Assuming most of them are American. Personally. I can’t wait till next week to see who or what companies are on the list. Meanwhile, I’ll jut keep dreaming.

Well, I’m planning on watching the SOTU address, if only ‘coz I am house bound with the virus from hell. Will it matter? Probably not. I’d prefer Obama gets warm reviews in general – if only as further evidence that he’s turned a corner in how he is being perceived.

Stella Liebeck made national headlines in 1992 when she sued McDonald’s after spilling a scalding cup of hot coffee on her lap. The lawsuit had the whole country talking. But what most people do not know is that Liebeck suffered third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body and never fully recovered. And most people do not know that corporations have spent millions of dollars distorting her story to promote tort reform. Liebeck’s case is featured in the documentary Hot Coffee, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday. [includes rush transcript]

You’ve gotta see this video!

Enjoyed the Ricky Gervais iview, KL, and this cracker of a throw-away,

“I mean Twitter is like evolution by bacteria, it happens so fast.” :mrgreen:

And hope you stomp your virus/lurgy fast!
Min brings me a tall tubular glass with the juice of half a lemon, half a tsp of local honey dissolved in hot filtered water when lurgies lurketh. A deftly manipulated long-handled spoon stirs the contents en route to quarantine zone ecky. This unique sound crank-starts my immune system. Before drinking, a furthur stir is followed by the sweet triple clink of spoon-on-glass rim which functions as a battle gong that drives my gamma-globulins into a frenzy. GGs are blood borne, natural born killers and have never failed to complete their mission to waste lurgy. At least any that have tried it on, as lurgies do, with my immune system!

(hope this helps) 🙂


26 Jan:

Jan 25:


Jan 24: think we could have had this one before but it’s “Kill Zone” raw and worth another geek for sure.

Could be a tad premature,Chris, the GOP imploding. But publicity like that won’t help them. Still, another “macaca moment’ or similar “gaffe majeure” is but a web-zap away from inflicticting furthur electoral damage. The GOP have escalated the art of the self-inflicted political wound from shooting themselves in the foot to self-torpedo-ing, which has a very high degree of diffuculty. With a bit of luck and lots of confusion, soon they’ll be living under their own shock and awe like drones on the range.


And you’ve got to hand it to people who refuse to buckle under the media-bucketing and legal bastardry of Universal Stodge-Burgers, those proud suppliers of empty calories to empty-heads.

Dream on and hope too, Chris B, for like Atreyou, you are a true blog warrior. The power behing The Nothing will never claim your soul. 🙂

The dialogue between the two characters contains much wisdom.


Bernard Keene on WL/ Hackers/ and CONSPIRACY THERORIES!

Written Jan 25:

“………..There may be no conspiracy at work, but all these events leave a strong impression of a persistent effort to portray WikiLeaks not as a media organization revealing material released to it by a disaffected government employee, but as a shady organization engaged in unethical or illegal activities to obtain information.
If successful, it will be a key step not merely in damaging WikiLeaks’ credibility, but in bulking up the currently tissue-thin case for prosecution of Julian Assange in the United States.
Problem is, as Al Jazeera has just demonstrated, destroying WikiLeaks won’t solve anything or prevent governments from being further embarrassed by high-volume leaks. Just ask Condoleezza “send the Palestinians to South America” Rice.

Jan 26:
Update: In a major development this morning Australian time, US military sources have admitted to NBC that they were unable to establish any connection between Bradley Manning – the alleged source of much of the Wikileaks material released in 2010 – and Julian Assange. This has major implications for the US Government’s attempts to conjure any sort of case against Assange, which a secretly impaneled grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia is said to be considering. Military sources also confirmed that the officer in charge of the facility where Manning is being detained, Brig Commander James Averhart, had exceeded his authority in determining some of the conditions under which Manning is being held.”

Second under-age girl at Berlusconi parties: report.

A second under-age girl attended parties thrown by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, according to prosecutors who say they have proof he paid for sex, Italy’s ANSA news agency said overnight.

The new allegations were contained in documents submitted to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday by prosecutors investigating allegations the prime minister hand-picked prostitutes for wild parties.

Iris Berardi, described by prosecutors as a “well-known prostitute”, was under age when she visited at least two of Mr Berlusconi’s residences in November and December 2009. She was born in December 1991.

More here…

41 My reasoning behind the Republican demise is that if the Republican donars have to be refunded the Republicans will have to take out huge loans.

British police launch fresh phone-hacking probe.

SCOTLAND Yard has launched a new investigation into the phone-hacking scandal at Britain’s best-read tabloid, the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World, after an internal hunt unearthed an email trail that implicated another editor.

The development emerged just a couple of days after Mr Murdoch flew to London to prepare for the final stages of his controversial full takeover of broadcaster BSkyB in a £7.5 billion ($A11.9 billion) deal.

The tabloid’s assistant editor, Ian Edmondson, was suspended last month after lawyers acting for actress Sienna Miller claimed in the High Court that he had asked a private investigator to access messages left for her and then-partner Jude Law in 2005. News International announced his sacking on Wednesday.
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The move follows the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications, the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, last weekend.

More here…

More from above.

The Metropolitan Police has appointed Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers to lead the new investigation.

The Times reported Ms Akers as “coming to the case with a reputation as one of the Met’s toughest detectives and was the model for the character of Jane Tennison, played by Helen Mirren, in the Prime Suspect crime dramas”.
Scotland Yard has been criticised over the years for its half-hearted handling of the original investigation, with some going as far as claiming that an illegal information trade – for number plates, licence numbers and other personal data – was being provided to journalists for £200 payments.

Read the rest…

Chris B,

Various state Liberal Party organisations has been broke numerous times. They still exist. Money can always be found to support them. My guess is that it will be the same for the Republicans. After all, who wouldn’t lend to an organisation that is going to control the most powerful nation in the world around 50 per cent of the time? They cannot be defeated that way. However, if the rules were changed so that no-one was allowed to donate money, that might change the way that political parties operated …

Of course, all that would mean is that third party groups would dominate the airwaves. Maybe banning any political advertising? Or perhaps putting in place and enforcing a ‘truth in advertising’ law, such that any claims made in an advertisement had to be demonstrably true or the ad could not be shown?

Very difficult to do. And would lead to other consequences. But interesting to think about.

The Guardian are going after Murdoch.

What hadn’t changed at News was the company’s propensity to use its newspapers to further corporate ends. Back in the 80s, the editor of the now defunct Melbourne Herald, Eric Beecher, was chided by Murdoch’s then Australian CEO for publishing a report of an overseas plane crash in which several hundred people had died.

At the time, News owned a half-share of Ansett Airlines, Australia’s second-biggest domestic carrier. As Beecher recently recalled, the News executive rang him after publication and was livid. Said Beecher: “He informed me that because they owned an airline they didn’t put air crashes in the paper because they wanted people to fly.”

Full story here…

Great article. Definitely worth a read. I like this bit.

Murdoch’s power over politicians comes from their fear of reprisal if they cross him. Sometimes it’s just plain fear. I recall the Australian opposition leader John Howard waiting in an anteroom to meet Murdoch at the HWT offices in the late 1980s. Howard was so nervous, the water in his glass splashed everywhere. He went on to govern the nation for four terms, but I always wondered who really had the power.

It also depends on how many donations from the evil doers in the list of 2,000 there are and how much. As to how much they are curtailed. I hope a massive amount. The bigger the amount the more they are hog tied. This would give the Democrats a chance to do a lot of good. (Hoping a couple of powerful Blue Dogs get caught as well). Anyway that’s the dream reality maybe completely different.

PS and no liberals get caught. 🙂

40 politicians on the list is a lot. But we don’t know if its world wide. Just a few countries or one country. I suspect most come from the right.

Rabbis Petition Murdoch To Crack Down On Fox’s Holocaust Language.

Hundreds of American rabbis used Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday (Jan. 27) to push media mogul Rupert Murdoch to “sanction” Glenn Beck and other Fox News personalities on the use of Nazi and Holocaust references.

The “Sanction Glenn Beck” letter responds to the Beck’s three-part series last November on billionaire philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros, whom Beck smeared as a “Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.”

Fox News chief Roger Ailes has dismissed critics as “left-wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anybody can ever use the word ‘Holocaust’ on the air.”

Mik Moore, chief strategic officer of Jewish Funds for Justice, said his nonprofit group organized the response over the past two months, prompted by “a lot of calls from rabbis expressing their outrage.”

The coalition, which also objected to Ailes use of the term “Nazis” in describing the NPR executives who fired Fox News commentator Juan Williams, wants an apology from Ailes and action taken against Beck.

About time!

More here…

This evening after Friday prayers, the lights will go out in Cairo. Aging despot Mubarek has ordered a total blackout. It’s unlikely that the streets will be silent though. The inet, F.Bk, U-Tube, email, Twitter et al. will be out. Not sure if battery operated communicational devices will be able to use satellites to transmit “Atrocities In The Dark” images and clips to the world, The clips would be you-tubed in a day anyway. Mubarek. imo, has tonight only to “accommodate” the people of Egypt or he’s yesterday’s despot. The President has made his move. Hope the Red Sea doesn’t develop tributaries in Cairo tonight but it does appear to be on for love or money.

Just saw Harvey Milk. Brilliant film. Sean Penn. Excellent. 5 stars.
Same problem with the Democrats, then as now. The party machine.

Gaffy’s gonna be cut up real bad when he gets this wind of this.

Murdoch ‘deeply depressed’ by scandals
“A “deeply depressed” Rupert Murdoch fears the bad press surrounding the phone-hacking and sexism scandals at his operations have rocked his chances of taking full control of BSkyB.”

Chris, “Milk” was an excellent film, indeed. Penn gave a sterling performance. Thought Josh Brolin was very good too. Such a contrast to his role as Llewylyn the grunt who takes the money and runs in “No Country…”

KL, excellent stuff from Ma Jones at post’s end….. before the comments. They’re onto this story like a meerkat up a minaret.
And geez, i could go a squee or two meself if Sorkin’s NEWS is set in a fox’s den. 🙂

69. The cameraman missed the opportunity to get the lawyer fully on camera. But we get the idea.

Great find, Paddy. Should this story (@ 71) make Oz msm tomorrow, Australian-Egyptians will gather in numbers that will embarrass embassy personel. The diplomats will then report back to Suli The Torturer that while Denmark is smelling like roses, the Sep-sponsored Gyppo regime is olfactorily beyond ordure in the land of Oz..
It’s 90 years since T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) promised the Arabs they could run their own race. Got a hunch he be enjoying recent History. 🙂

Good to see you, squire. Have missed moondoggy and your deft linkages.

Have you heard the tragic news about The Dirty Delaware. He’s been “feeling depressed” about the increasing fragility of his media interests in va Dart. Let’s ‘ope Baroness Fatcher ‘as been diligent in ‘er ongoin’ concern for one of ‘er most vocal supporters.

Just back from another very relaxing week at lake tinaroo, no media of and description, and yes EC i am really cut up that Roo has depression. I really hope it turns into something nastier for the bastard.

Good to see everyone fired up and it looks like we may have dodged a bullet in Townsville as Anthony seems to be tracking further south.

Just watched the Corpse Bride a second time. (Xmas present from my 2 sons) I’d forgotten how good it was.

I know how hard it is to by movies for other people.
This is what my sons gave me in a Blue Ray pack
Blazzing Saddles
2001 Space Odyssey
Shawn of the Dead
Harvey Milk
Corpse Bride

No lemons here

A snippet from Rundle on Egypt in today’s crikey.

The vital role that recognition and respect play in all this also suggests the role that new media, and especially WikiLeaks, may have played in the whole process kicking off. Some commentators have rejected any notion that the exposure of Arab ruling class decadence, and its itemisation in US cables, may have played any role in one man’s immolation engulfing a whole region.

But given that the material played across Arab online media for weeks before the Tunisian explosion, it seems hard to believe that it played no role. Indeed, what has made this revolt so powerful is that it was coming wholly neither from the most concrete level of the gut and hunger, nor from the most abstract level of online media, and questions of secrecy and access.

It came from both together — each end of life reinforcing with the other, millions standing up as humans who demand respect and autonomy — and food in the belly, a basic guarantee that one will not be thrown perpetually into the animal state of existence, in a world of overwhelming wealth.

That is true revolt, not the pissy stage-managed versions that have been sold to us as a series of colour-coded designer insurrections over recent years. And that in turn is why the pseudo-liberationists — are so quick to come out against it.

This episode may be over tomorrow, with thousands dead. But even so, it will return. And it may prevail now, in days, and roll on — with consequences we can’t begin to foretell, good and bad. If the possibility of the latter turns you back towards Mubarak, then you were never interested in human liberation in the first place. (sub req)

Spot on stuff from Rundle, paddy, only about a month ago Guy wrote that he could feel a zeitgeist zapping moment coming on. He used a quote from Dylan, “there’s something happening and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr Jones” as a header.
Well the bastard was right, yet despite recent “revolution events” in NA, few if any of his colleages have mentioned it yet. 🙂

Some Australian political prisoners got to chat with the most amazing people.

“Shortly after 9/11, Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib was captured by Pakistani security forces and, under US pressure, torture by Pakistanis. He was then rendered (with an Australian diplomats watching) by CIA operatives to Egypt, a not uncommon practice. In Egypt, Habib merited Suleiman’s personal attention. As related by Richard Neville, based on Habib’s memoir:
Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman (say hello to Mubarek’s designated VP)…. Suleiman took a personal interest in anyone suspected of links with Al Qaeda. As Habib had visited Afghanistan shortly before 9/11, he was under suspicion. Habib was repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks.
That treatment wasn’t enough for Suleiman, so:
To loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib – and he did, with a vicious karate kick.
After Suleiman’s men extracted Habib’s confession, he was transferred back to US custody, where he eventually was imprisoned at Guantanamo. His “confession” was then used as evidence in his Guantanamo trial.”

KL, don’t think Sorkin’s gonna miss with his latest. Also looking forward to it with a degree of squee. 🙂

Geez, gaffy, more typhoons. Any of your mates gone troppo yet?
Notwithstanding the present loose Roo in the Pommy top paddock. :mrgreen:

Working men and women across the UK have been galvanised by the aging mogul’s misfortune.

“Terible fing, guv, wot’s happen’ t’ vat luvly, Mr. Murdoch. He’s evah such a gentleman, ‘e is. Never let a ‘uman bein’ stand between himself and quid mind you…..”

No doubt bygones will be bygones and all former miners and Fleet St. media folk will join all fair-minded Britons in wishing Mr. Murdoch the very best of British in all his future endeavours.

Sounds like a great idea, gaffy. The big ‘n sure looks like a mean mofo on my screen.

For the record:

Superb coverage from the Guardian today as well. A good read also worth another mention is the Editor’s look at JA’s book (hp).
JA is glued to the zeitgeist in Egypt at the mo. He’s SUCH a political junky! All the tell-tale signs are there. 🙂

Gaffy, after looking at that cute pic of the approaching “gentle breeze”….. I sincerely hope you’re not reading this, but driving west as fast as possible!!
Fuckin hell mate!!! That’s a monster and it doesn’t look like it’s going to take any prisoners.

Or, as @wolfcat noted on twitter….its lucky climate change isn’t real or massive floods and even worser cyclones would be heading to qld… oh wait never mind

Fucking hell Queensland Tickster!
just saw the radar – get the hell to a safe place if you can.
Who, apart from Gaffy is in the firing line? I so hope you are all able to be protected.
paddy – you beat me to it re Climate Change. We are all in deep shit.

Will make a decision tomorrow arvo when things are a bit clearer as to where it wants to go. I don’t mind sitting out a cat 1 or 2 but have no desire to argue with that monster. It’s a doozie at the moment, cat 3 expected to go to cat 4 wednesday arvo.

“Who, apart from Gaffy is in the firing line? ”

Not here, Miss. 🙂
We’re well positioned to miss high water and the worst of the swirling winds otw this time, but there is nowhere to run to from the shrapnel of a cat. 4/5 which the one spinning its way across the Coral Sea towards the Barrier Reef and coast looks like. The sea is very warm at the mo which will supercharge the rotor. The BoM has predicts that Yasi is primed to detructive perfection.

Gaffy, we are genuinely worried about you. 260 km winds will flatten most buildings that are not reinforced concrete. This will include many “presumed safe” above-ground shelters. Denuded of protective shells, flying objects travelling at 260 kph will literally make minced meat of any animal or old sea dog in their shredding path.
Besides, you’d hate yourself for eternity if you didn’t hang about long enough to find out what happens to Citizen Rupert.
So, please, while the roads are carrying traffic, be so kind as to skedaddle the fuck out of town till the weather breaks. Sir. 🙂

Simmer, simmer you little beauty. The old do as i say not as i do trick eh Roo you bastard.

He accused Rupert Murdoch’s News International – publisher of the tabloid – of failing to pursue a policy of “own up rather than cover up” to hacking, while criticising the bulk of the industry of failing to “take the issue seriously” because their titles may also have been implicated in the illegal practice.

In a trenchant speech, Barber went on to warn that worries about the scale of phone hacking meant that News Corporation’s £8bn bid for BSkyB was “troublesome” because “promises about editorial independence for Sky should be judged in the light of repeated assurances that the phone hacking was the work of a lone actor at the News of the World”.

I’m also voting for “run for the hills” gaffhook and anyone else potentially in the path of that monster. That is one frikkin scary picture.

good old Aussie Mateship 🙄

“:The cheapest Qantas flight from Cairns to Sydney today is $1,131 for a non-direct flight.

Travel agents say demand for flights out of Mackay have tripled the cost of a one-way ticket from Mackay to Brisbane.

The cheapest flight to Brisbane is $724 via Mackay.

All Jetstar flights from Cairns to Brisbane have sold out and there are a few Virgin flights left for $549. “

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