|gutter glitter, Image of the day or Week, Landscape Photography, photography on April 30th, 2009 at 16:42 by Gutter Glitter|
|bloodstar, Health on April 30th, 2009 at 16:18 by bloodstar|
Yep, in the hospital, so here’s hoping a speedy recovery and we don’t have an outbreak:
The state health chief said Thursday that Georgia has its first case of swine flu — in a 30-year-old woman from Kentucky who was visiting the state.
The woman, whom officials would not identify, is in a hospital in LaGrange in Troup County, said Elizabeth Ford, head of the state Division of Public Health.
|bloodstar, War on April 30th, 2009 at 13:28 by bloodstar|
Not quite a full blown civil war, and about the only good news is the Taliban are using tactics that make the Pakistani Government look benevolent in comparison:
Soldiers sent to halt a Taliban advance toward the Pakistani capital fought their way over a mountain pass Thursday, killed at least 14 militants and narrowly escaped a wave of suicide car bombers, the army said.
As troops pursued an offensive praised by the United States, a burst of shootings in a southern city left dozens dead and added the specter of ethnic conflict to the Islamist violence gnawing at the nuclear-armed country’s stability.
Abbas also said militants, who have kidnapped dozens of lightly armed police and paramilitary troops, burned a police station farther north and sealed off the town of Sultanwas.
“The people of Sultanwas are in great distress,” Abbas said at a news conference. “Nobody is being allowed to move out of Sultanwas.”
This is tough, because if Pakistan goes down to Civil War, the entire region could rip itself apart in a war that would draw India and Iran in. So, what can we do to stabilize things? Is there anything we can do or should do? I’m at a loss on this one.
|bloodstar, Economics, Financial on April 30th, 2009 at 10:39 by bloodstar|
They did warn that bankruptcy was an option if creditors didn’t play ball:
Chrysler LLC will proceed today with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to reorganize into a more viable carmaker in a partnership with Italy’s Fiat Spa, an Obama administration official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the failure of some small creditors to agree to a final settlement is prompting the bankruptcy option. President Barack Obama will speak at noon New York time on the auto industry, the White House said in a statement today.
So evidently the creditors think they can get a better deal by playing chicken with a company that’s holding on by shoe strings. I know they have to look out for their investors, but I’m not terribly sympathetic. You invest and loan money with a risk involved. So they’re within their rights to force the issue, but if it doesn’t work out for them, then the creditors have no one to blame but themselves.
|bloodstar, Humor, LOL Cat of the Week on April 30th, 2009 at 00:01 by bloodstar|
|bloodstar, Evil, rant, Republican Death Spiral on April 29th, 2009 at 18:25 by bloodstar|
Stupidity abounds along with a lack of class, tact and respect from Virginia Foxx:
The socially conservative Foxx, arguing against a new Democratic hate crimes bill that includes new protections for gays and lesbians, described the description of Shepard’s murder as a anti-homosexual attack a “hoax” — and questioned whether prior bias crime legislation should have been named after him.
“I also would like to point out that there was a bill — the hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay.”
She added: “This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.
Her stupidity is only compounded by the banality of her evil. I don’t know if she knew or even cared that Matthew Sheppard’s Mother was actually in the gallery listening to the debate and got to hear Virginia Foxx deny the truth, and lie to her face on what happened to her son. While I can respect debate, and there could be arguments made for and against hate crimes. Virginia Foxx shows just how stupid the Remaining Republian Rump has become. They’re a joke, and a bad one that simply needs to go ahead and get out of the way so we can have real discussion and debate on issues.
|bloodstar, Economics, Financial on April 29th, 2009 at 17:53 by bloodstar|
And really, I thought it was done for but nope, there’s life!:
Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA will sign a partnership agreement with Chrysler LLC by Thursday as negotiations continue to keep the struggling automaker alive without filing for bankruptcy protection, according to three people briefed on the deal.
One thing is certain: Chrysler will not be sold off in pieces, according to another person briefed on the fast-moving talks.
The Fiat partnership is the last piece of a huge restructuring plan needed for Chrysler to continue operations as it approaches Thursday’s government deadline to cut labor costs, slash debt and take on a partner.
But it’s not out of bankruptcy danger yet:
On Tuesday, four major banks that hold 70 percent of Chrysler’s $6.9 billion in secured debt agreed to a deal that would erase the debt for $2 billion in cash. But 46 hedge funds that hold the remainder of the debt have refused to go along, leading to further negotiations.
The people familiar with the deal said that if the hedge funds don’t agree, Chrysler could go into a short “surgical” bankruptcy under Section 363 of the bankruptcy code. The smaller lenders would have little power to stop the debt from being restructured in bankruptcy court, since the lenders holding the majority of the debt are on board with the plan, the people said.
Even so, I’m rather impressed with how things have come along. I really thought they were toast.
|bloodstar, Law, Political on April 29th, 2009 at 15:53 by bloodstar|
The vote was 13-11 in favor of the measure. The House passed a similar measure last month by a 186-179 vote. The two chambers must reconcile small changes between the two measures in a conference committee but this is seen as a technicality. Democratic Gov. John Lynch must decide whether he will sign or veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature. Lynch has been silent on the matter, though he has stated in the past that he opposes same-sex marriage.
He can oppose it, but I’m thinking that there’s very little stop the entire northeast from legislating in Same Sex Marriage (isn’t that the way the Conservatives said to do it?). Good for them, of course down here in Georgia, we still can’t buy beer on Sunday, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on Same Sex Marriages down here.
|bloodstar, Health on April 29th, 2009 at 13:05 by bloodstar|
Yep, now in 10 states and containment is looking problematic without some serious travel restrictions:
The World Health Organization said the outbreak is moving closer to becoming a full-scale pandemic.
Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the organization’s top flu expert, told reporters in Geneva that the latest developments are moving the agency closer to raising its pandemic alert to phase 5, indicating widespread human-to-human transmission. That’s just one step below level 6, a full-fledged pandemic.
|bloodstar, National Poetry Month, Poetry on April 29th, 2009 at 12:09 by bloodstar|
The Last Song
They never said it’d be easy
to see what she’d done.
but you went anyway
and sat beside her bed -
by the tubes that pinned
her to this world,
until relatives could arrive.
Her head tilted down as if
listening to the piano she once played
until her fingers ached,
wrists burned, and back strained.
The poor thing meant nothing
to no one but her.
Broken, battered, and out of tune,
but oh how she stayed there
day after day working each key
until she teased the music back
from the ivory.
You sat with her when she
played the last song,
just as you sit with her
as her song ends.
“Why did you end it like that?” you asked.
And she smiled. “Sometimes,
the best way for a song to end -
|bloodstar, Science on April 29th, 2009 at 12:07 by bloodstar|
I wouldn’t want to be standing on these icebergs:
Satellite images show that icebergs have begun to calve from the northern front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf – indicating that the huge shelf has become unstable. This follows the collapse three weeks ago of the ice bridge that had previously linked the Antarctic mainland to Charcot Island.
The ice bridge, which effectively formed a barrier pinning back the northern ice front of the central Wilkins Ice Shelf, collapsed on 5 April removing about 330 sq km of ice. As a consequence of the collapse, the rifts, which had already featured along the northern ice front, widened and new cracks formed as the ice adjusted in the days that followed.
While no one can be sure what caused the ice shelf to collapse, I suspect somehow or other climate change is involved. Ocean levels should remain stable, and call me paranoid, but I get uneasy when big chunks of ice start to break off continents.
|bloodstar, Games on April 29th, 2009 at 08:11 by bloodstar|
Try to kill the entire world off, But good luck getting Madagascar!
|bloodstar, Comic of the week on April 29th, 2009 at 00:01 by bloodstar|
|bloodstar, Law, Political on April 28th, 2009 at 15:18 by bloodstar|
I’m not sure what to make of this article:
In the seven and a half years since September 11, the United States has witnessed one of the greatest expansions of executive authority in its history, at the expense of the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. President Obama, as only the third sitting senator to be elected president in American history, and the first since John F. Kennedy, may be more likely to respect the separation of powers than President Bush was. But rather than put my faith in any president to restrain the executive branch, I intend to take several concrete steps, which I hope the new president will support.
First, I intend to introduce legislation that will mandate Supreme Court review of lower court decisions in suits brought by the ACLU and others that challenge the constitutionality of the warrantless wiretapping program authorized by President Bush after September 11. While the Supreme Court generally exercises discretion on whether it will review a case, there are precedents for Congress to direct Supreme Court review on constitutional issues—including the statutes forbidding flag burning and requiring Congress to abide by federal employment laws—and I will follow those.
(Much more stuff to read about Legislation to permit lawsuits to go forth against telecomm companies, and an explicit law against signing statements having any weight in court. Read it, it’s worth it)
On the one hand I’m kinda irritated because I think it’s a bit late, but at the same time, it’s better late than never. And at least someone’s still thinking about Civil Liberties.
|bloodstar, Political, Republican Death Spiral on April 28th, 2009 at 12:45 by bloodstar|
I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.
When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.
Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.
I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.
I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.
I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.
I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.
I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.
While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.
My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.
Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.
He won’t go bloc voting with the Democrats (which is fine), but it’s clear how the winds are blowing.