Words to live (and die) by

As a general rule, I’m not big on “inspirational” talks, but there’s something decidedly different about this. It’s almost an hour-and-a-half long, so you may want to download it for future viewing.

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer, gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving talk, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

~ Egreggious

A ‘complicated’ youth

Jenna Bush, appearing on tonight’s 20/20:

When asked whether she agrees with her father about the Iraq War, Bush said, “You know I’m not here to talk about that, but I’m also not a policymaker. It’s a really complicated, obviously a very complicated subject. Everybody can agree on that.”

“You know there’ve been people — [actor] Matt Damon among them — who have said, ‘Should the Bush daughters be fighting in Iraq?’” Sawyer said.

“Obviously I understand that question and see what, what the point of that question is, for sure,” Bush said. “I think there are many ways to serve your country. And I think … what’s most appropriate for me to do is to teach or to work in UNICEF and represent our country in Latin America. But you know I don’t think it’s a practical question. I think if people really thought about it, they know that we would put many people in danger. But I understand the point of it. I hope that I serve by being a teacher.”

~ Egreggious

Bible belt

Q&A with John McCain:

A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?

I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.

Saint McCain is being stalked by the ghost of Jerry Falwell. And, if elected, I’m sure John will see to it that the Bill of Rights is replaced with the Ten Commandments, as 55% of Americans believe our Founding Fathers actually intended (if it hadn’t been for that small clerical error).

Thanks again, Atrios.

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“The last Soldier killed”

A follow-up to this TPZoo story and this duplicate one on Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).

Here’s a way for a Congressperson to bring even more attention to their callousness:

Staff for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who could not name the last soldier from her district killed in Iraq during an appearance on MSNBC, acknowledged they sought a retraction from the network after the incident occurred.

David Shuster challenged Blackburn to name the last soldier killed in the Iraq War from her district. After naming Private Jeremy S. Bohannon, many conservative media outlets slammed Shuster for broadcasting inaccurate information because Bohannon had actually been a constituent of Democratic Tennessee Rep. John Tanner.

Dan Abrams, general manager of MSNBC, demanded that Shuster apologize for something that apparently wasn’t an error after all.

But perhaps we should expect this type of behavior from Abrams.

HT: Atrios, twice.

~ Egreggious

Bush administration cuts FBI’s ability to investigate white collar crime

The link to this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article was buried in a comment by Krazny. I think it’s much too important to lose.

The Bush administration’s 2008 budget cuts deeply into the FBI’s crucial criminal program, further crippling the bureau’s ability to tackle white-collar fraud, police abuse, civil rights violations and many other crimes, a Seattle P-I analysis has found.

H/T: Krazny

Kucinich ‘seriously thinking’ about forcing vote to impeach Cheney

via: RawStory

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says he is so concerned about what he sees as the Bush administration’s push for a war with Iran that he is considering using a parliamentary measure to force the House of Representatives to vote on impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney.

“We’re preparing for another war, and they’re going to destroy America,” the Ohio Democrat said Thursday on the Ed Schultz show. “We have a government in place right now that has to be challenged. I’m seriously thinking about calling a privileged resolution on impeachment of the vice president and forcing a vote on the floor of the House.”
(Continue reading…)

This is different from the resolution Kucinich introduced this spring calling for Cheney’s impeachment. This may be a way around the “its off the table” blockade. An audio clip of the interview follows the article. I hope Kucinich is serious and actually follows through. Its about time someone tried something more drastic.

(Photo courtesy of seiu_international. Used with permission.)

Diplomacy, Bush Style…

Back in 2003, it seems that Bush was simply going through the motions of diplomacy while steamrolling this country into war with Iraq. While saying he [Bush] was working to use diplomatic means to avoid war, he was instead threatening people behind the scenes to get the UN to authorize the use of force. (None of this should come as a surprise to anyone – unless you’ve been in a coma for the last 6 years).
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Mr. President, Put Down the Veto Pen, Support Our Children!

by Tom Udall, Congressman from Northern New Mexico
via: OpEdNews.com

Tom Udall, Congressman

In July, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) that would have done three things. It would have protected S-CHIP and covered 11 million low-income children. It would have saved doctors and seniors from a 10 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement rates, cuts which could have forced New Mexico doctors to stop taking Medicare patients. And it would have provided more resources to ensure that rural seniors have access to quality health care. The president threatened to veto the House bill, and Tuesday we decided to meet the president halfway, leaving critical action on Medicare for future legislation and changing other provisions in the House-passed legislation. Continue reading

Good Morning from Europe – The Myanmar Horror

 (Via Mala, Switzerland)

Today the news is dominated by the situation in Myanmar, more and more countries protest against the brutal crack down on the protests there, but to little avail.

Myanmar: 

There is only very little information obtainable from Burma, as the military junta has closed down all internet traffic, land and mobile phone lines are down as well. There seem to be demonstrations still. However, the monks, who were leading the uprising up to now, are mostly missing from the scene. They are allegedly held in internment camps, it may well be they simply aren’t around any more. Please do not forget to visit “The Guardian’s” blog on this and the latest developments. Showing we’re interested and that there is a large international audience, are probably the only means we have, to offer our support to the Burmese people.

Japan is reeling from the pictures of the willful shooting of Mr Nagai a video journalist. The scene was captured by another camera. (The event is very upsetting, so feel free to skip this.)

Blackwater is at least partly responsible for the surge in violence in the Fallujah region 2004, says the US House of Representatives.

After the murder of Blackwater employees in Fallujah, US troops launched an offensive, which ultimately cost the lives of 36 US soldiers, 200 Iraqi insurgents and 600 Iraqi civilians. It turns out, that Blackwater disregarded warnings about the dire security situation in Fallujah, before sending in their men. While Blackwater is rightly blamed for a variety of their actions, the blame for the disastrous planning of the war, which led to the reliance on private mercenary armies, lies elsewhere.

More details as to the shooting that triggered the Blackwater Affair have come to light as well, read more here.

Have a good day and take care everybody!

Seymour Hersh – Interview with “Der Spiegel”

Seymour Hersh is a habitual teller of the truth as he sees it, which happens, habitually too, to hit the nail on the head accurately.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where does this feeling of urgency that the US has with Iran come from?

Hersh: Pressure from the White House. That’s just their game.

Read the complete interview, here.