Tuesday, March 11, 2008

At the End of the Day

No Twits Watch: Mrs. Pale Rider threw this month's edition of The Atlantic into the trash when it arrived at our home today. Why, you may ask? Because that stalwart magazine that we have enjoyed for its lengthy articles on foreign affairs, homeland security, and the American culture had Britney Frickin' Spears on the cover. No, we don't care. I know you gotta sell magazines, but damn.

March is really suckin' for John Ashcroft: First a vacant farmhouse owned by the former Attorney General was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, he has been invited to come chat with some nice congressmen and women about a sweetheart deal bestowed on his lobbying group by a US Attorney who was his subordinate when he was AG; and then today, the gravy train derailed. The Justice Department issued new rules that prohibit US Attorneys from dispensing patronage deals to friends, cronies and other insiders to implement and monitor corporate fraud settlements. The deal that went to Ashcroft's lobbying firm that was worth millions and millions for little actual work was just so egregious that even a Loyal Bushie DoJ was embarrassed into doing something about it.

China is in the grip of spiraling inflation fueled by skyrocketing energy and food costs. The blizzards that paralyzed the country a few weeks ago - the worst in 50 years - pressed prices upward and pegged inflation for the year at 8.7%. Americans better hope that part of their economic strategy doesn't involve calling our debt.

Southern Baptist leaders now say the time is right to fight climate change. Forty-six members of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, signed “A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change.” They aren't telling their members to accept the science, or even that climate change is anthropogenic, mind you, just that the change is real. So let me see if I understand...They aren't accepting that the actions of mankind are causing it - but the actions of man can reverse it. Oy vey.

It's a good news-bad news sort of thing. The good news is, MSNBC finally canceled "Tucker!" The bad news? That addle-brained sycophant David Gregory is getting a show. Can you stand it??? David "Mr. President, would you describe yourself as iconic, or heroic?" Gregory! A nightly show! Seriously! WTF??? Shoot me now...

Raise your hand if you remember the financial hi-jinx of the 80's (Chrysler bankrupt, Michael Milken, Junk Bonds, bank failures, farm foreclosures, the S&L bailout, the Keating Five). Why does this stuff make me think of some of that stuff? On a day in which the stock market tumbled to its lowest point in two years and rumors flew that a major Wall Street firm might be in trouble, Blackstone said Monday that its profit had plunged...The firm said earnings tumbled 89 percent in the final three months of 2007 and warned that the deep freeze in the credit markets — and, by extension, in the private equity industry — was unlikely to thaw soon...“They see the handwriting on the wall,” said Martin S. Fridson, a leading expert on junk bonds, said of buyout firms. “They’re staring into the jaws of hell.”

Jeebus! I was JOKING when I said we needed Valium in the water supply!
(Besides, I just meant for the rest of the primaries!) As it turns out, there are lots of pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter meds in municipal water supplies throughout the land. Take unused medications to your doctors office or your pharmacy, folks, where they can be put in a biohazard container and incinerated. Or check with the public health services in your area. Some states allow unused medicines to be redistributed via free clinics and public health facilities.

Gulf War Syndrome is Real That is the consensus of a review of medical studies. They have determined that exposure to an anti-nerve gas pill and a pesticide that was widely used to eradicate disease-carrying sand flies (Leishmaniasis is a nasty disease, with the visceral variety being fatal) is responsible for the group of symptoms that are known collectively as Gulf War Syndrome. This strengthens the claims of veterans who have been fighting for treatment for their health issues for years.

Fifteen Dead in Pakistani Blasts Two bombs exploded in Lahore on Tuesday, killing fifteen people. One blast detonated outside the multi-story building that houses he Federal Investigation Agency. The building was heavily damaged and thirteen victims perished in that attack. The second blast occurred in a residential area a few miles away, claiming the lives of two children.

The number of Americans killed in Iraq is now 3980. Eight Americans died in two suicide bomb attacks on Monday. Five soldiers died when a suicide bomber approached them, indicating he wanted to talk to them. As he approached, he set himself off, killing the five Americans and two Iraqi civilians. Eight were wounded. Three soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed in a second attack in Diyala province. A fourth Soldier was wounded in that attack. Remember them, and the 3972 others who have fallen in Iraq when you vote in November. Remember them, and remember the lies they died for. Then vote accordingly.

And that's it for Monday - I'll try to meet the midnight deadline tomorrow...