27 Apr 2011

Jon Stewart Says My Congressman Cliff Stearns Is Dickish. I Agree.

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The entire opening segment of Tuesday night’s Daily Show was devoted to the madness in the Zadroga Bill which requires 9/11 first responders who are suffering health problems due to their work at the Ground Zero site to first be checked against the terrorist watch list before they are eligible for federal assistance with their health bills. As Stewart points out in the initial set-up, this requirement is placed on exactly zero other sets of people before they receive federal funds, even to the point that the Libyan rebels likely aren’t being screened against the list before we fund them. The set-up can be viewed here.

The video above picks up where Stewart begins to wonder just who would propose such a ridiculous requirement. Sadly, that journey winds up with my Congressman, Cliff Stearns, who “represents” the district where I live. Stearns is quite a piece of work, having first burst onto the world scene in 2002 as one of five Republican Congressmen attacking PBS because the South African version of Sesame dared to introduce an HIV-positive character. Stearns also receives a significant portion of his funding from the telecommunications industry, so he was intimately involved in Congressional smoothing over of Bush’s illegal wiretapping and is at the front ranks of those wanting to kill net neutrality. It should come as no surprise, then, that Stearns also is a big fan of torture, even going so far as to dress up for his trip to Guantanamo and give his best Abu Ghraib “thumbs up” for the trip:
[caption id="attachment_78068" align="aligncenter" width="488" caption="Torture fan Cliff Stearns, R-FL, dressed up for his trip to Guantanamo in May 2008."][/caption]

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26 Apr 2011

Report: US Intervened with IMF in 2008 for Shock Doctrine Implementation in Pakistan

Once US investors own Pakistan’s transportation, oil, electricity and steel industries, you can bet that virtually no cash flow from these industries will come back into Pakistan. Where will Pakistan’s social safety net be then?

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26 Apr 2011

Report: US Intervened With IMF in 2008 For Shock Doctrine Implementation in Pakistan

Once US investors own Pakistan’s transportation, oil, electricity and steel industries, you can bet that virtually no cash flow from these industries will come back into Pakistan. Where will Pakistan’s social safety net be then?

19
22 Apr 2011

New Drone Attack in Pakistan, Diplomatic Meetings Continue

After Thursday’s full day of diplomatic meetings in Washington on the ongoing US-Pakistan crisis, the US killed another 25 people in North Waziristan when four missiles were fired from two drones. News of this latest strike comes as Pakistan’s Express Tribune reports on a potential route to ending drone strikes that was brought up in Wednesday’s meeting between US and Pakistani military leaders in Rawalpindi.

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22 Apr 2011

New Drone Attack in Pakistan, Diplomatic Meetings Continue

After Thursday’s full day of diplomatic meetings in Washington on the ongoing US-Pakistan crisis, the US killed another 25 people in North Waziristan when four missiles were fired from two drones. News of this latest strike comes as Pakistan’s Express Tribune reports on a potential route to ending drone strikes that was brought up in Wednesday’s meeting between US and Pakistani military leaders in Rawalpindi.

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21 Apr 2011

McClatchy Points Out Key FBI Failure in Amerithrax Investigation

In an article published Wednesday evening on their website, McClatchy points out yet another failing in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. The article focuses on the fact that the FBI was able to get a clear genetic fingerprint of a bacterial contaminant that was found in the attack material mailed to the New York Post and to Tom Brokaw (but not to either Senator Daschle or Senator Leahy). This contaminant, Bacillus subtilis, is used in some cases by weapons laboratories as an anthrax simulant, because its behavior in culture and in drying the spores is very similar to Bacillus anthracis but it is easier to handle because it is not pathogenic. I covered the FBI’s failure to link this B. subtilis contaminant to Ivins in this diary in February of 2010.

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21 Apr 2011

McClatchy Points Out Key FBI Failure in Amerithrax Investigation

In an article published Wednesday evening on their website, McClatchy points out yet another failing in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. The article focuses on the fact that the FBI was able to get a clear genetic fingerprint of a bacterial contaminant that was found in the attack material mailed to the New York Post and to Tom Brokaw (but not to either Senator Daschle or Senator Leahy). This contaminant, Bacillus subtilis, is used in some cases by weapons laboratories as an anthrax simulant, because its behavior in culture and in drying the spores is very similar to Bacillus anthracis but it is easier to handle because it is not pathogenic. I covered the FBI’s failure to link this B. subtilis contaminant to Ivins in this diary in February of 2010.

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20 Apr 2011

Mullen Erases Over Eight Years, Prepares for “Fighting Season” in Afghanistan

Sounding less like a military leader than a long-suffering Cubs fan, Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral Mike Mullen made remarks in Afghanistan Tuesday as he prepared for meetings in Pakistan on Wednesday and Thursday. Remarkably, Mullen tried to tell us in a news release at the Joint Chiefs web site that the first eight and a half years of fighting in Afghanistan don’t really count.

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