Another Day, Another RNC Fail: RNC To Hold Fundraiser At Blackwater Compound

That’s the same Blackwater which has been accused of murder, illegal weapons smuggling, bribery, fraud (including using taxpayer money to buy strippers and prostitutes) and stealing weapons from the US military, among many other serious crimes.

You know that if the DNC held a fundraiser at, say, an ACORN office then heads would roll, careers would end and the right-wing media would launch a massive weeks-long national outcry.

And yet, almost nobody in the media is making a fuss over the RNC getting into bed with Blackwater.

And to think, ACORN was only accused of was giving bad tax advice.

Double standards much?


Winter Olympics Update

One week into the 2010 Winter Olympics and Team USA is kicking ass:

And there are 9 days left in the competition.

To put this in perspective, the US walked away from the 2006 Winter Olympics with a total of 25 medals.

Go Team USA. And remember:

The Party Of No (Ideas) (UPDATED X2)

So, I had a post all set to go about the GOP’s Mount Vernon Statement, which is supposed to be the political blueprint for Republican success in November.

I was going to examine the 1994 Contract with America and point out how much of it the Republican Congress failed to pass, demonstrating how the GOP is long on making big election-year promises but short on delivering.

Problem is, I couldn’t do that. Why? Well, here’s the most substantive portion of the Mount Vernon Statement, which advocates:

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.
  • It applies the principle of limited government based on the
    rule of law to every proposal.
  • It honors the central place of individual liberty in American
    politics and life.
  • It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and
    economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
  • It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom
    and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that
  • It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood,
    community, and faith.

Yup, there’s the much-hyped Mount Vernon Statement–a list of cliched talking points without a single concrete proposal.

Are they serious? They want us to vote for them based on nothing more than vague notions like “the central place of individual liberty” and “the individual entrepreneur?”

Concerned about health care? On one side we have President Obama and the Democrats, who worked for more than 6 months and put together a health care reform bill that will reduce the deficit, help middle-class families buy good insurance and cover 31 million uninsured Americans.

On the other side you have Republicans, who didn’t even think health care was important enough to include in their little manifesto.

Care about jobs and the economy? President Obama and the Democrats passed the recovery act, creating 1.6 million jobs (with another million on the way). They’re also working right now on a jobs bill that will put millions more Americans back to work.

The Republicans are offering nothing but talking points about “free enterprise,” “the individual entrepreneur” and “economic reforms grounded in market solutions,” whatever those mean. If you ask them what they’ve actually done to fix the economy and create jobs, you’ll get silence.

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All You Need To Know About DADT

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supports repealing it.

As does General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As do 104 retired military brass, including a former head of the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

In other words, the commanders on the ground are telling us that repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is the right way to go.

The right may continue slandering our soldiers by claiming that–despite going through the best training in the world and being deployed to some of the most dangerous battlefields out there–American soldiers just couldn’t handle having gay compatriots.

But most people–including an increasing number of military commanders–know that, if American soldiers can handle Al-Qaeda then they can certainly handle having some openly gay colleagues.

17 years of DADT is enough–it’s high time we let all of America’s patriots serve openly.

State Of The Union Liveblog (UPDATED CONTINUOUSLY)

Let’s get it started–the President has entered the chamber.

UPDATE: The speech begins:

President Obama starts off talking about America’s trials and tribulations–Bull Run, the Great Depression, Bloody Sunday, etc. But, despite our hesitations and fears, America prevailed because we moved forward as one nation, one people.

One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economic collapse and a country in severe debt. Experts warned that, without action, we faced a second Great Depression. We acted–one year later, the worst has passed.

But the devastation remains–many Americans can’t find work, houses are shuttered, and life has become that much harder. The recession has compounded the burdens America’s families have dealt with for decades–savings, retirements, college, etc.

UPDATE II: These struggles aren’t new–they are the reason I ran for President. For suffering Americans, change can’t come fast enough. And people can’t understand why bad behavior on Wall St. is rewarded while good behavior on Main St. warrants nothing.

People are tired of the partisanship and of the shouting and division–what the American people deserve is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences and overcome the weight of our politics. The anxieties we all face are the same, our aspirations are shared.

The American people share a resilience in the face of adversity. In one of the most difficult years in our history, the American people remain busy.  One woman wrote to me ‘we are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged.’ It is because of this spirit that I have never been more hopeful about America’s future than I am tonight.


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Major Earthquake Strikes Haitian Capital; Thousands Feared Dead (UPDATED X7)

The BBC reports:

Haitian President Rene Preval has said thousands of people are feared dead following a huge quake which has devastated the country’s capital.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the head of the UN mission in Haiti and his deputy were among more than 100 staff missing.

The 7.0-magnitude quake, Haiti’s worst in two centuries, struck south of Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told US network CNN he believed more than 100,000 people had died.

The Red Cross says up to three million people are affected.

Donate to The Red Cross.

Donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Find other organizations currently providing humanitarian aid in Haiti.

UPDATE: Here are some pictures of the disaster from Daniel Morel via Twitpic:

UPDATE II: Here are more pics, this time from Lisandro Suero via Twitpic:

UPDATE III: Here is President Obama’s response to the disaster:

UPDATE IV: CBS brings us some raw footage of the earthquake’s aftermath:

CNN also has a list of organizations currently doing humanitarian aid in Haiti.

UPDATE V: Here’s a quick and easy way you can help out:

The State Department said those interested in helping immediately may text ‘HAITI’ to ‘90999’ and a donation of $10 will be made automatically to the Red Cross for relief efforts. The donation will be charged to your cellphone bill.

UPDATE VI: The UN Dispatch has more on Haiti’s coming challenges:

Once you’ve survived the earthquake, what happens? Haitians now face a daunting set of health challenges, including typhoid, dengue fever, malaria, and getting treatment for serious injuries.

While health information coming out of Haiti is still very sparse, data from previous earthquakes gives us a clear impression of what to expect in terms of health. The initial impact of an earthquake is catastrophic injuries – broken bones, crush injuries, dust inhalation, and burns predominate.


Social unrest often comes after earthquakes. People get angry with the government’s inability to respond, and fear and helplessness turns easily to violence. There are reports of looting in Haiti. That’s going to mean more injuries by violence.

After the injuries comes sickness. If stringent controls are not put in place, the combination of displaced people and damaged infrastructure will lead directly to epidemics of diarrheal disease over the next few months. In the case of Haiti, the risk is typhoid. It’s already present in the country, and it could spread rapidly if people are crowded together drinking contaminated water. We could also see spikes in dengue fever and malaria if people are living in temporary shelters with little protection from mosquitoes.

This is where disaster relief efforts make a huge difference. By the time the international teams get in, it’s too late to help the severely injured.

UPDATE VII: CBS brings us more raw footage, this time of a rescue attempt from a toppled building:

[All emphasis mine]