I was 3 quadrillion percent* certain this would happen

From theTimes Picayune: A federal judge reluctantly ruled Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers is immune under federal law from responsibility for damages resulting from the failure of drainage canal walls in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. But in shielding the agency from a portion of the literally trillions of dollars of claims filed by New Orleans homeowners, businesses and city agencies, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval issued a stinging condemnation of the corps and its actions in building the citys hurricane protection system. The suit sparked about 350,000 separate claims by businesses, government entities and residents, totaling trillions … Continue reading I was 3 quadrillion percent* certain this would happen

The Importance of an Independent Student Press

Underlined: In a rancorous dispute that has pitted student journalists against student government, the editors of Montclair State University’s weekly newspaper were forced to stop publishing last week after the student body president froze the paper’s financing. The editors of the paper, The Montclarion, claim that the president, Ron Chicken, improperly used his authority, cutting off the newspaper’s funds to silence criticism of the student government. The student body president, however, told the Montclarion’s editors that they had violated the by-laws of the student government association by hiring their own lawyer. On the bruising civic proving ground of higher education, … Continue reading The Importance of an Independent Student Press

Your President Speaks!

Yesterday, inTorrance, California. I’ll Be Back… To Herald The Success And your boy told me that you dreamt about a company and you started it in your kitchen. Isn’t it interesting? The company was started in the kitchen, and now he’s got the Terminator coming by to herald the success. Grasping The Obvious Fourth quarter growth slowed to .6 percent. In other words, there are signs that our economy are slowing. In Other Words, There’s Before Since And After Since We’ve been through problems before. As a matter of fact, we’ve been through problems before since I was your President. … Continue reading Your President Speaks!

You WON!…If you had guessed 885 days…

That is if you had guessed it would take 885 days for FEMA to dispense funds for the rebuilding of New Orleans’ fire stations. FromNew Orleans City Business: FEMA dispenses $16.9M to rebuild N.O. firehouses NEW ORLEANS – The Federal Emergency Management Agency today provided nearly $16.9 million to rebuild and repair New Orleans Fire Department facilities, including $3.1 million for rebuilding permanent facilities. Disgusting.  Meanwhile comedianDennis Leary’s group was actually rehabing firehouses almost a year ago… That site reminds us of this… The NOFD lost 22 of their 33 firehouses, and 75-80% of the firefighters lost their personal homes … Continue reading You WON!…If you had guessed 885 days…

One Million Killed In Chimpy’s Vanity War

That’s a lot ofblood on his hands. More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain’s leading polling groups. The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) with 2,414 adults in face-to-face interviews, found that 20 percent of people had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes. The last complete census in Iraq conducted in 1997 found 4.05 million households in the country, a figure ORB used to … Continue reading One Million Killed In Chimpy’s Vanity War

Rudy’s Campaign Go Splat

Some quality snark from the AP: In the end, 9/11 wasn’t enough. And you know, just because at one time, it was, doesn’t make it any less insulting today. When we look back on this time in history and thank God, we inch closer every day to being able to look back on it, we’re going to be amazed at how cheaply we allowed ourselves to be bought. At least, at the very very least, we didn’t allow ourselves to repeat that mistake here. A. Continue reading Rudy’s Campaign Go Splat

Hillary’s Florida Speech

“We are Americans. We can make these decisions.” This has been an intense election because people really care about what’s happening to our country. So many of the people who talk to me every single day are worried about the economy. They are worried about their health care. They are worried about their college education for their children. They are worried about whether we can restore our leadership and standing in the world. I am convinced that with this resounding vote, with the millions of Americans who will vote next Tuesday, we will send a clear message that America is … Continue reading Hillary’s Florida Speech

Alphonso Jackson signs off on Haley Barbour’s port plan

Alphonso Jackson is such a tool. He has approved MS Governor Haley Barbour’s plan to divert HUD Community Development Block Grants for housing to be used for port repair and expansion. And he did so even though he believed that MS was indeed diverting funds needed and intended for housing, something which Haley denies. From theSun Herald… GULFPORT –The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved a state plan Friday to spend $600 million in grants on the Port of Gulfport instead of housing. Fair-housing advocates have been the loudest critics of the plan, and their concerns were backed … Continue reading Alphonso Jackson signs off on Haley Barbour’s port plan

Vote for debate question on Gulf Coast

From theTimes Picayune… WASHINGTON — Encouraging allies to click away in pursuit of cyber democracy, a coalition of activists is pushing sponsors of this week’s California debates to ask the presidential candidates about their plans to encourage hurricane recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. The result: As of Tuesday afternoon, a question asking the candidates whether they support the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, which would pay for infrastructure projects employing local and displaced workers, has jumped to the most-voted-for question among the more than 3,800 suggested for Thursday’s Democratic debate. The same question ranked No. 3 in votes among … Continue reading Vote for debate question on Gulf Coast

Your President Speaks!

Today, inBaltimore, Maryland. Brain Freeze I thank very much Greg Carpenter, a former prisoner who is now a mentor, a leader in this program. And he’s — I appreciate his heart. Where Did They Get That Idea? There was the notion that somehow that there needed to be a clear separation of church and state, and therefore, we shouldn’t be using taxpayers’ money to help programs that were helping to meet important national goals. When We Begin The Work When we begin the work we didn’t settle for just opening an office in the White House; we opened 11 offices … Continue reading Your President Speaks!

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Tony Farto Says 2 x 15 = ∞ Q And on FISA, can you explain why the extension of — I think it’s two weeks — was deemed to be okay by the administration, but the 30-day proposal drew a veto threat; what’s the difference? MR. FRATTO: Well, clearly, 30 days wasn’t needed. What less than 30 days — I think the House and the Senate members settled on 15 days, which is a brief time. This Gaggle Was Held On Board Air Force One Flying To California; During This Chimp You Are Paying Chimpy ANd His Entourage’s Travel Expenses … Continue reading Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Today on Athenae’s Obsession with the Freepi: SOTU Review Edition

You just don’t know him like I do! the people on here who hate Bush makes people like me wonder why the heck i stay here. This man has saved this nation in more ways than one, just because he isn’t a carbon copy of the know-it-alls on this site they don’t like him. well, goody for you, wonder if you’ll like an obama or hitlary any better? Mercifully, it is his last State of the Union address. Perhaps he will admit that Peggy Noonan is right and that his great act as President was to destroye the coalition that … Continue reading Today on Athenae’s Obsession with the Freepi: SOTU Review Edition

The Bush Economy

I don’t see how a $600 or $1200 tax rebate in July is going to helpthese people hold onto their homes. The number of U.S. homes that slipped into some stage of foreclosure in 2007 was 79 percent higher than in the previous year, a real estate tracking company said Tuesday. Many homeowners started to fall behind on mortgage payments in the last three months, setting the stage for more foreclosures this year. About 1.3 million homes received foreclosure-related warnings last year, up from 717,522 in 2006, Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc. said. Foreclosure filings rose 75 percent from the previous year … Continue reading The Bush Economy

Today On Holden’s Obsession With [Yesterday’s] Gaggle

Dana Peroxide Says Blame Condi Q Thank you, Dana. Whose idea was it in the White House to give the appointment succeeding Senator Thompson as chairman of the key board to Paul Wolfowitz? MS. PERINO: Whose decision was it? Well, the President makes those decisions. Was it the — this is the board that Paul Wolfowitz is now on at the State Department? Q That he was made chairman of, succeeding Senator Thompson. MS. PERINO: Is it a few weeks ago? I think it was at the — I guess it was at the State Department. That’s what we were … Continue reading Today On Holden’s Obsession With [Yesterday’s] Gaggle

FISA: Cloture Fails, Dodd Prevails — For Now

FDL recaps. Cloture failed 48-45, or by 12 votes. Somewhere in there, Republicans have to pick up 12 Senators willing to put the profits of the phone companies above the privacy of American citizens. Reid, who weeks ago would have been happy to let this one slide, has now been forced to co-opt a position of outrage, hanging it on the fact that Republicans weren’t allowing amendments to the bill. I’m not complaining; whatever gets him there gets him there. The mushy middle, the Democrats who always end up screwing us over, who disappoint us time and time again by … Continue reading FISA: Cloture Fails, Dodd Prevails — For Now

Thus Ends The “Success” Of The Surge

Huh-oh. Influential members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement have urged the anti-U.S. Shiite cleric not to extend a cease-fire when it expires next month, officials said Monday, a move that could jeopardize recent security gains. [snip] Al-Sadr’s August order for his feared Mahdi Army militia to freeze activities for six months was seen by U.S. commanders as a major factor in a nationwide reduction of violence. Continue reading Thus Ends The “Success” Of The Surge

SOTU open thread

Oyster predicts “the Gulf Coast and New Orleans will get a single, insubstantial mention.” I’m predicting there will be no mention. What do you think? As well as any other predictions? UPDATE:OUCH from BayouBuzz UPDATE: Looks like Oyster has it right. From theWhite House website.… In addition, the President will honor the resilience of the people of the Gulf Coast, and the contributions volunteers have made to the region, by announcing that the United States will host the annual North American Leaders’ Summit in New Orleans this April. Continue reading SOTU open thread

SOTU Crack Van

Debate can be seen HERE. As always, posts in the van are the property of their authors. First Draft makes no claim to responsibility for any baboon sounds, kitten mewing, sirens or other nonsense. Play nicely or I will turn this van around and you will all go to bed without crack. Update: Van closed! Thanks for coming and discussing, all! A. Continue reading SOTU Crack Van


The government of Nouri al Maliki refuses to share martality statistics with the UN. The United Nations is unable to determine how many Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year because the Iraqi government won’t share the information, a U.N. agency said in a Wednesday report. An Iraqi government official denied that the information was withheld to cover up the number of civilian deaths, and the prime minister’s office said the U.N. report “lacks accuracy.” Even without the numbers, the report delivers a grim message: Iraq is facing “immense security challenges in the face of growing violence and … Continue reading Stonewalling

It Doesn’t End With Us: Reading Dates & Amazon Sales

Finally, finally, finally we have Amazon salesgoing. This was, for some reason, a huge drama, to do with the amount of discount Amazon would get, and a bunch of other crap I wasn’t involved in but which occupied I kid you not every day since early November, but you can get it there now. Whew. It’s alsofront-paged at the publisher’s. Now, for the fun stuff. The dates, times and places for readings thus far, with more to come: Chicago: Feb. 21 – 7 p.m. The Ernest Hemingway Museum, 200 N. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60303.Map here. There’s a … Continue reading It Doesn’t End With Us: Reading Dates & Amazon Sales

The Selling of the Student Press

Sell student media? Why not: Officials with The Coloradoan in Fort Collins met Tuesday with Colorado State University leaders to discuss a “strategic partnership” to run the campus paper, a university spokesman said. The spokesman described talks over the school’s The Rocky Mountain Collegian as “very preliminary.” “The Coloradoan had contacted us late last year … to talk about potential partnerships,” spokesman Brad Bohlander said. “The university had not sought to sell the Collegian… Today was in response to that, to set up the first meeting to see what they had to say.” Bohlander said the university has asked The … Continue reading The Selling of the Student Press

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Oy. A defense contractor hired to repair combat equipment routinely failed to do the job right and then charged the government millions of dollars for the extra work needed to get the gear ready for battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a newly released audit. Overall, the contractor’s employees at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait worked about 188,000 additional hours to fix Humvees, heavy transporters and fighting vehicles that allegedly were mended but flunked a military inspection, the Government Accountability Office said. The GAO estimates the Army paid $4.2 million for the additional labor. Under the terms of the $581 … Continue reading Nice Work If You Can Get It