"I'm not starving for pleasure," the Mayakovsky Tree said, "nor for the free love of an exquisite caprice. Your ardor is exhausting."
Rise above him? If John Yoo makes a savage so good, he has well served his purpose. John Yoo, squirrel and rover and ravener, manslayer and thief, is in his house of mohair the kindest host and most generous of men. Every new mischance makes us forget these strange coincidences.
What if my saliva blossoms on the jasmine? I can flee the quidnunc on the window sill across the street but not the torturing curiosity of the orange tree.
A truce now to ambiguities. Things will revert to their previous state of rot before you mow the thistle-fields. John Yoo, the baleful squirrel in the bole, borrows from the Mayakovsky Tree what the deeper and higher mind of the Mayakovsky Tree no longer believes. He welters in the mud with the lowest and most degenerate.
Even Samuel Alito can be longwinded and shortsighted on occasions. Mrs. Alito cried when she got up to leave the table -- I wish it were in my power to add an inch of Mayakovsky limb to hers!
A shade of heliotrope, a pink and straw surface, a play between devotion and diabolism, a caterwauling, a votary, a tang of lubricity. An allusion to March-cats. Mrs. Alito then takes some gold pieces in her hand. Tomorrow she is coming to see my empty wicker newspaper basket bed, and to cook for me a dish of Mojadderah.
Ah, the old days, asleep under the ottoman! I ask her what she is going to do with all this money.
"A policeman in a shabby uniform imagines the worst," Mrs. Alito says. "He is as oleaginous as a dust-coat in summer." A mouse inside the radiator stirs the nostrils of a whole city but brings me not a single olive. I cheer those who crown her on a dung-hill with wreaths of stable straw.
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His hardscrabble life
Started off in obscurity
Instead of Homeland, he
Got maximum security.
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Meg White
I shudder to hear the amorous sighs of conservative commentators over Rep. Michele Bachmann's history lecture at CPAC Friday. Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey introduced her as "a tea party activist since before the tea arrived."
Shortly after, she took the stage, set to the music of Tom Jones' version of "She's a Lady." Oh, goodness, I thought. Here comes the crazy.
Thing is, I was wrong. Sort of. Bachmann seems to have heard about the recent survey in which a majority of Minnesotans said that they were "embarrassed" by the congresswoman representing their sixth district.
Bachmann did her best to be not quite so embarrassing by masking her paranoia in an obscure religious rehashing of American history. If there's any thing at all that Glenn Beck has taught her it's that the intersection of TEA and GOP is twisted history.
Death and violence is the history of mankind.It cannot be denied that we are a brutal, savage and often bestial species. From our earliest beginnings to the present day, we settle our differences by killing each other. Whether it be with rocks or with[...]
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Our intrepid reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro goes on a mission to find conservative rappers at CPAC. Watch.[...]
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Right-wing media seized on Fox News and Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) reports and claimed that in December "five Muslim soldiers" were "arrested for trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson," often while fearmongering about a "jihadist" plot against the base or speculating that the delay in reporting on the allegations was due to a "Fort Jackson cover-up." The right wing has made these claims despite the fact that military officials have said "there is currently no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations."
In December 2009, five Soldiers were investigated for potential verbal threats against fellow Soldiers. While the investigation continues there is currently no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations. At no time was there any danger to the Fort Jackson community.
ArmyTimes reported on February 19 that Fort Jackson spokesman Patrick Jones said, "Two months of investigation, there has been no credible evidence to support the allegations."
Army spokesman Garver: "[T]hey have not found any credible information to substantiate the allegations." The Associated Press reported on February 18 that "[t]he Army has been investigating allegations that soldiers' food at its largest basic training base in South Carolina was being poisoned, but no credible information to support the allegations has been found." The article noted that Army spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said, "I can say that, according to Criminal Investigation Division spokespersons, they have not found any credible information to substantiate the allegations."
Fox News: CID spokesman said "there is no credible evidence to support the allegations." Fox News' Catherine Herridge stated on the February 18 edition of Fox News' Special Report that Criminal Investigation Division spokesman Chris Grey "says there is no credible information to support the allegations, but their work continues." FoxNews.com also reported Grey's statement.
Pentagon spokesman "said he is unaware of any arrests made." The Christian Broadcasting Network reported that five Muslim suspects were "arrested," a claim repeated by Michelle Malkin, Jim Hoft, the New York Post, Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, Fox Nation, and the Drudge Report. However, AP reported that Garver "said he is unaware of any arrests made in the investigation." The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reported that "the Army says it's not true. No one has been arrested. The National Security Council was not aware of any arrests, a spokesperson said." The ArmyTimes article noted that "[t]he soldiers being investigated are not being detained, Jones said."
Fort Jackson said the investigation was into "potential verbal threats." In its February 18 press release, the Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office stated that the investigation was focused on "potential verbal threats against fellow Soldiers" and that "[a]t no time was there any danger to the Fort Jackson community." A February 19 AP report further noted that "Army spokeswoman Julia Simpkins said Friday no soldiers were ever in danger at the South Carolina base" and "[s]he said the investigation involved potentially threatening comments toward fellow soldiers."
Fox News' subsequent report notes "it doesn't appear there was ever any actual danger to the food supply." In a February 19 report on Fox News' America's Newsroom, correspondent Steve Centanni stated that "it doesn't appear there was ever any actual danger to the food supply at Fort Jackson, but there was talk about such a threat, and that's what the Criminal Investigation Division in the Army is looking into." Centanni further stated, "The fact that the FBI is not actively investigating is a fair indication it's not any kind of extremist plot." However, co-host Martha MacCallum and Centanni did not note that officials have found "no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations."
Fox News reported: "Army is now investigating allegations" that soldiers "deliberately tried to poison the food supply" at Fort Jackson, and a source says "the soldiers may be Muslim." Shortly after 6 p.m. on February 18, Bret Baier, host of Fox News' Special Report, stated that "[t]he Army is now investigating allegations that some soldiers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, have deliberately tried to poison the food supply at that facility." Herridge reported that "a military source tells Fox that they believe the soldiers may be Muslim, but CID would not confirm or comment" and that a CID spokesman "says there is no credible information to support the allegations" so far. Herridge further reported, "And just within the last half hour, two sources at Fort Jackson have told Fox that five individuals were detained and they were part of an Arabic translation program." Herridge subsequently offered a similar report during The Fox Report with Shepard Smith.
Special Report aired the following on-screen text:
CBN's Stakelbeck: "[F]ive Muslim soldiers" were "arrested" and "may have been in contact" with Muslims "that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December" according to "a source." On February 18, CBN blogger Erick Stakelbeck wrote in a 6:17 p.m. post that "CBN News has learned exclusively that five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina were arrested just before Christmas" and that "[t]he men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply." Stakelbeck added:
A source with intimate knowledge of the investigation, which is ongoing, told CBN News investigators suspect the "Fort Jackson Five" may have been in contact with the group of five Washington, D.C., area Muslims that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December. That group was arrested by Pakistani authorities, also just before Christmas.
Coming as it does on the heels of November's Fort Hood jihadist massacre, this news could have major implications.
Stay tuned to this blog for more details.
Malkin: "Who are the 'Fort Jackson Five'? On February 18, Malkin linked to CBN's "exclusive on a disturbing news development at Fort Jackson":
Jim Hoft: "5 Muslim Soldiers Arrested"; why "are [we] just hearing about this now?" Quoting from CBN, Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft stated on February 18, "5 Muslim Soldiers Arrested at Fort Jackson For Trying to Poison Food Supply." Hoft wrote, "I'm sure it was just a 'tragic event' and not an act of terrorism (As Obama would put it)" and forwarded CBN's statement that a source said the soldiers "may have been in contact" with Muslims "that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December." Hoft added: "Exit question: If they were caught in early December so why are [we] just hearing about this now?"
NY Post: "Five Muslim soldiers arrested over Fort Jackson poison probe." Citing CBN and Fox News, the New York Post reported on February 18 at 8:36 p.m. that "[f]ive individuals were arrested amid a probe into food poisoning at Fort Jackson" and "a military source told Fox News the suspects were Muslims." The Post article further forwarded CBN's assertion that a source "said they may have been in contact with five Washington, DC Muslims, who were arrested in December after authorities uncovered their plans to travel to Pakistan to wage jihad against the U.S." The article, titled, "Five Muslim soldiers arrested over Fort Jackson poison probe: report," noted that the CID spokesman said "there is no credible information to support the allegations." The New York Post again reported on the story on February 19, stating, "Arab 'plot' eyed at SC Army base."
Atlas Shrugs: Fort Jackson story "more terrible proof" of a coverup of the Muslim infiltration of our government. In a February 18 Atlas Shrugs post, titled, "Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested for Trying to Poison the Food Supply at Fort Jackson," Pamela Gellar wrote: "Jihad: The Political Third Rail- what they're not telling. Here's more terrible proof. This happened at the same time as the Christmas balls bomber - why are we hearing about it now?" Jihad: The Political Third Rail is a CPAC session co-sponsored by Gellar, which purportedly seeks "to educate Americans about the Muslim Brotherhood's infiltration at the highest levels of the U.S. government, as well as its war on free speech: its attempt to silence and discredit those who speak up against the jihad and Sharia encroachment in the West."
Jihad Watch: "They were arrested just before Christmas, but we are only learning about it now. ... Was this yet another coverup?" A February 18 Jihad Watch post stated, "Five Muslim soldiers arrested at Fort Jackson for trying to poison the food supply." Jihad Watch quoted from CBN and added, "They were arrested just before Christmas, but we are only learning about it now, almost two months later. Why the long delay? Was this yet another coverup? Who ordered it, and why?"
Fox Nation: "Five Army Translators Arrested in Alleged Fort Jackson Poison Plot." Fox Nation linked to CBN on February 19:
Fox & Friends hypes allegations while ignoring that officials said "there is currently no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations." During the February 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson reported that "[t]he U.S. Army is investigating allegations that soldiers tried to poison the food supply at South Carolina's Fort Jackson" but did not note that Fort Jackson's Public Affairs Office said that "there is currently no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations. At no time was there any danger to the Fort Jackson community." From Fox & Friends:
CARLSON: The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that soldiers tried to poison the food supply at South Carolina's Fort Jackson. Sources say five suspects who were part of an Arabic translation program were taken into custody in December. An Army spokesperson tells Fox the investigation started two months ago, and the military is taking the claims very seriously.
Drudge Report: "Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested at Fort Jackson." Linking to Fox News and CBN, the Drudge Report posted the following links on February 19:
Commentary magazine: "Was There a Fort Jackson Cover-Up?" Jennifer Rubin wrote in a February 19 post for Commentary:
[H]ad the Fort Jackson incident come to light before release of the Fort Hood review, it would have been very difficult to give such short shrift to the jihadist motivation of Major Nadal Hasan. Nor would it be possible for the arrest of five Muslim individuals accused of poisoning fellow soldiers to have gone unnoticed at the "highest levels" of the Department of Defense. The only rational conclusion is that the Army worked furiously to keep the Ford Jackson incident under the media radar and to proceed with the Fort Hood whitewash.
Wash. Examiner: "Did the Defense Department try and whitewash South Carolina terror attack?" In a February 19 Washington Examiner post, Mark Hemingway quoted from Rubin's post, stating, "Rubin asks some pertinent questions about the alleged poisoning by five Muslim soldiers at a South Carolina military base." Hemingway's post was titled, "Did the Defense Department try and whitewash South Carolina terror attack?"
Next week, Toyota's president, Akio Toyoda, will fly across the world to appear before Congress in a bid to explain quality problems that since last fall have led to nearly 8 million recalls -- and perhaps several deadly crashes. Meanwhile, the company's main competitor in the domestic market, General Motors, is now largely owned by the U.S. government.
That's prompted some observers on both sides of the Pacific to paint the controversy as a 1980s-style showdown between the Stars and Stripes and the Land of the Rising Sun.
But thanks to the realities of globalization, that framing misses a key factor. In recent years, Toyota has sunk roots, both economic and political, into the U.S., building factories in several southern and mid-western states, and forging close ties with powerful lawmakers -- including some on the committees charged with investigating the company. Those roots are now so deep that, just as Michigan's delegation reliably goes to bat for its hometown automakers, Toyota has its own, more far-flung stable of heavy-hitting backers. It's now not so much the USA versus Japan, as it is G.M. America versus Toyota America.
Toyota claims to employ nearly 36,000 people in the U.S. directly, and around 166,00 indirectly through its U.S. dealerships -- which number around 15,000 -- and suppliers. It puts its total direct investment in the U.S. at $17 billion, and says it spends over $29 billion annually on parts and other services from U.S. suppliers.
Perhaps more important, the company now has a slew of manufacturing plants in the American heartland: states like Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. For Toyota, these areas, with far lower levels of unionization than the UAW stronghold of Michigan, offer lower-cost and more flexible labor.
All this has created a dynamic in which some conservative southern lawmakers, often already antagonistic to organized labor, have become the unlikely champions of foreign automakers at the expense of the domestic industry. Last year, when Congress was considering bailing out G.M. and Ford, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vociferously opposed the move, and backed a measure that would have required G.M. and Ford to bring their labor costs in line with those at Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers. At a 2006 ceremony to mark the 20-year anniversary of a Toyota plant in Kentucky, McConnell declared: "Kentucky is still reaping the rewards of its 20-year partnership with Toyota, and we hope to continue to do so for years to come."
Kentucky's other GOP senator, Jim Bunning, feels the same way. "Words cannot express the generosity that Toyota has shown Kentucky through industry job opportunities and community service," he said in a 2006 Senate speech.
It's not just conservative Republicans, though. As chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) will play a crucial role in investigating the various safety lapses of which Toyota is accused. Rockefeller has known Toyota's founding family since the 1960s, and "was so closely involved with Toyota's selection of Buffalo, W.Va., for a factory that he slogged through cornfields with Toyota executives scouting locations," the AP reported recently. "By the time Toyota decided to make Buffalo its new home," Rockefeller said in 2006, "I felt like a full-fledged member of that site selection team."
Indeed, Toyota's close ties to lawmakers stretch all the way to the pacific. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) sits on the House Energy and Commerce committee, which is conducting its own probe of the recall. Toyota's U.S. headquarters are in Harman's district, and she and her husband Sidney owned at least $115,000 in Toyota stock at the time of her last financial disclosure, according to the AP. The company that Sidney Harman founded, and through which he built a multi-million dollar fortune, Harman International Industries, sells vehicle audio and entertainment systems to Toyota.
It's worth saying: there's no evidence that any of these lawmakers has favored Toyota improperly, or is likely to do so. After all, there's nothing wrong with supporting a major employer in your district.
But it's clear that when Toyoda goes before that congressional committee next week, he won't be entirely in enemy territory.
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Yesterday Ezra had a post on the public option that struck an odd chord:
For all that, I’d still bet against the public option. For one thing, there’s sharp resistance to this idea in the White House. The administration has just spent weeks rebranding itself as a bipartisan outpost in a sea of bickering hacks. Resuscitating the most controversial element of the bill and running it through reconciliation looks less like reaching out and more like delivering a hard left cross to the opposition.
It seems that the opposition is irrelevant at this point. Originally, the White House opposition to the public option was supposedly because it couldn't get 60 Dem votes. If, as seems a pretty damned fair bet, they don't get at least two Republican votes for the plan without one. Which is why they're talking using reconciliation now. If you're going for 50 votes, why worry about the opposition? So far that apparently hasn't occurred to them, as they are apparently leaving out the most popular element, and including the least popular one.
The White House has arrived at a general outline of what this proposal will look like, a senior Dem leadership aide tells me. It will largely reflect the compromise reached between the House and Senate in January: It will likely contain the national exchange sought by House Dems, and tougher penalties on businesses that don’t insure workers.
Also, the White House has told the House Dem leadership that it isn’t prepared to raise the threshold of the Cadillac tax, as many House Dems want, the leadership aide says. The White House prefers instead to keep the version already agreed upon with unions, the aide adds....
But House leaders are under no illusions, and expect the White House to go to the summit with a proposal in hand that includes the Cadillac tax as is, and no public option, the leadership aide says.
Yglesis comments smartly on this:
[W]hile it’s true that the White House has sought to brand itself "as a bipartisan outpost" you know and I know and Ezra Klein knows and I certainly hope David Axelrod knows that at the end of the day if a health care bill emerges no Republicans will vote for it. And any shine of bipartisanship that Obama may or may not have put on himself is going to go away. So what’s the point in being "sharply opposed" to the public option concept? This is very bad logic, and if true very fishy behavior on the part of the White House. Given the level of liberal discomfort with the excise tax, the best policy option available would be for progressives to get their way on the public option (where progressives are right) and centrists to get their way on the tax question (where centrists are right) then you’d have an excellent bill. The path of least resistance is to do the reverse, but that would be a much worse substantive result.
Someone clearly hates America, but it's not the President. "Reporter" Patrick Coolican tweeted the following from the President's Townhall:
@Jpcoolican as an america-hater, it must be doubly painful for obama to be surrounded by all these american flags...25 minutes ago from webThe "reporter" then had this to say about the First Lady:
reid loves obama's family...when will pol say, i like him, but his wife really is grating?