Tea Party movement catches fire – Torches burn down Nashville convention center

The first national convention of the Tea Party movement ended in tragedy Saturday, when fire consumed the the Gaylord Opryland convention hall shortly after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin concluded her keynote speech to the event’s 1,100 delegates.

Investigators traced the fire’s cause to one of the tea partiers’ favorite symbols of anger: flaming torches, which are as familiar as the movement’s tea bags, tricorner hats and misspelled placards.

The 600,000 square foot conference facility burned fast and hot, constructed as it was from recycled wigs of country-western singers.

“It was like a towering inferno,” said M.F. Nutt, a delegate from Westmost, North Carolina. “I’m going to sue somebody for pain and suffering — Opryland, the wig company, somebody. Luckily we haven’t passed tort reform yet,” Nutt said.

Dozens of delegates were treated for smoke inhalation. But Dr. Tamara Wynette of Vanderbilt University Medical Center said exposure was “equivalent to only a Saturday night in your standard honky tonk.”

Palin: hot prospect for 2012

Governor Palin expressed shock and sorrow at the destruction, and took partial responsibility. “I should have started my speech by telling the audience where the emergency exits were — but those would have been too many words to fit on my hand,” she said.

Convention organizer Judson Phillips said informational literature is being designed around the theme “Fire BAD,” which will be distributed at future Tea Party events.

In other news, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel reiterated his apology for calling progressive Democrats “retarded.”

“I meant to say they have special needs,” Emanuel said.

Dispatches From South America – The Importance of Down

I would have thought that, with all the new and exciting low-emissions diesel technology making it’s way into cars and trucks in Europe, we’d see some of that here in Ecuador. After all, most of the buses that trundle up and down the length of Quito are fairly new model Mercedes and Volkswagons. But no, even the newest buses put out choking clouds of black smoke. It’s almost as if Europe’s suppliers make special, “Extra-polluting,” models just for South America—might even be pretty close to the truth.

So, in order to avoid coming back the United States with latter-day equivalent of black lung, the Frogette and I have developed a simple rule: If you’re walking uphill, walk against traffic. If you’re walking downhill, walk with traffic. “Why?” you may ask. It’s simple really. You want to catch the buses going downhill at all times. And here in Quito’s historic center, where every road is a a one-way and most streets have a steep slope, nothing is more important than walking where the buses have an opportunity to coast.

More ‘Dispatches From South America’

iNews Friday, 2/5/2010

A sampling of this week’s output from the iNews 9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: Palin used PAC money to buy books
Translation: Which titles, Governor? –“All of them”

Headline: Boehner- Pentagon Should Be Part Of Spending Freeze
Translation: Boehner earmark- $5 Bil for F-22 in-cockpit frozen daiquiri makers

Headline: Abstinence-only programs might work, study says
Translation: Curriculum includes Star Trek trivia, D&D strategy

Headline: Republicans try to take Illinois US Senate seat
Translation: James O’Keefe caught attempting to interfere with seat

Headline: What Today’s Republicans Believe
Translation: What a Fool Believes
Translation (George Noory Mode): Republicans believe FAA covering up crash of Oceanic 815

Headline: Rush Limbaugh- “I Love Women’s Movement, Especially Walking Behind It”
Translation: Wide Load Admits Tailgating

Headline: Transportation Chief Hastily Backtracks on ‘Stop Driving It’
Translation: “Get out and push it,” LaHood says

Headline: Finally, Mr. Brown goes to Washington
Translation: Filibuster is the only thing those movies have in common

Headline: Is it okay to talk about your daughters’ weight if it’s for the national good?
Translation: “Ignoring the subject is a much better way to induce anorexia/bulimia,” First Lady’s critics say

GOP split on health care — Bachmann: we didn’t nuke Japan enough – Palin: we nuked them the right amount

A congresswoman’s remarks on Japan’s health care system this week have unexpectedly resulted in a disagreement between two of the Republican Party’s leading personalities.

It all began Tuesday when Rep. Michele Bachmann, addressing home state supporters in Rochester, Minnesota, warned that Democratic health proposals would lead to limits on Americans’ free speech. A government-controlled health plan, she said, would allow the government to threaten its critics by denying them health care.

Bachmann pointed to Japan as an illustration of what happens when the government takes over health care. “You know those old Japanese soldiers who hid in the jungles and didn’t know World War II was over until decades later?” she asked.

“Well what they were hiding from was the government health care system, forced down their throats after the war by that well-known pinko General Douglas MacArthur,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann reminded her audience that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a preemptive action meant to prevent post-war socialism. “Obviously we didn’t nuke them enough,” she said.

Those comments did not sit well with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The rising GOP star and Fox News commentator questioned Bachmann’s version of history, telling viewers Tuesday night, “I’ve seen M*A*S*H? So I think I’m on on firm ground by pointing out MacArthur was a Korean general, not Japanese?”

Continued Palin: “And not only that, but if you don’t mind me saying so also, the nuking was needed to rouse Godzilla from his slumbering on the ocean floor.”

“Thereto, the three times we nuked Japan was exactly the right amount,” Palin said.

However, in a retort issued through her press office, the Minnesota lawmaker stood by her evaluation that Japan had not been nuked enough. “If all of Japan had been incinerated, it would have saved them from being enslaved by socialist government health care,” Bachmann said.

I hope you’ve had your shots…

…because there is a plague headed your way.  And, no I’m not talking of the H1N1 pandemic Kvatch spoke of earlier this week, I mean the “Foreclosure Plague”.  Yes foreclosures aren’t just a financial inconvenience wreaking havoc across the U.S. economy, they are now a plague.  CNNMoney.com this week issued a post with the tagline, “Foreclosure Plague:  Don’t Catch It”.   It is basically a list of “hot spots” in America where foreclosures are still going strong.  The headline, however, made we want to go into decontamination.  Foreclosure is a plague?  And it’s spreading?  Does that mean I could, uh, catch it?  Wait, I don’t own a home, whew, I’m probably immune.  The rest of you, watch out!

Obama back on track after new rule bars texting while presidenting

President Barack Obama’s year-old administration is back on track this week, after the advent of new federal rules that bar texting while presidenting.

The January 25 rulemaking modifies a 2002 regulation issued by the Bureau of Inertia that required commanders-in-chief spend at least 10 hours a day on the then-new social media websites such as Friendster and Cyworld. President George W. Bush put the rule to good use immediately in 2002, logging on at AsianAvenue.com (now AsianAve) to apologize to China for laws of physics that allowed a U.S. surveillance plane to become airborne, collide with a People’s Liberation Army interceptor jet, and crash land on Hainan Island.

“This change brings federal regulations into line with what we now know — that while it can be a convenient and fun way to communicate, texting is a significant distraction. It takes a president’s eyes off the road ahead and affects reaction time,” said Michele Obama of the powerful White House Office of Michele Policy. She gave reporters several examples of the effect of distracted presidenting, including President Obama’s decision to let Congress take the lead on health care reform, forgetting to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell during 2009, and the entire eight years of the Bush administration.

The benefits of the texting restriction were readily seen last week, as the president was persuasive and on-message for his first State of the Union address Wednesday. Then on Friday at the House Republicans Retreat he was focused, and did not shy from pointing out inconsistencies and factual errors in critics’ arguments. “OMG- BHO totes pwned us. C me n Billo face on Factor 2nite,” Minority Whip Eric Cantor acknowledged to his Twitter followers.

Old habits can be hard to break, however. President Obama picked up his Blackberry on Saturday while taking in the Georgetown-Duke basketball game. As a result of the distraction, he failed to take preemptive action to prevent television coverage of Rush Limbaugh dancing at Sunday’s Miss America pageant.

In other news, conservative Tea Party activists outraged over Senator-elect Scott Brown’s support for Roe v. Wade were frustrated today in their efforts to lynch Brown in effigy using teabag strings.

Blogs Against Kleptocracy – Pandemic Profits

It’s simple really: If you want to put a whole lot of fat cash into the pockets of drug manufactures, fake a pandemic! And that’s pretty close to exactly what the WHO and CDC did with all the dire warnings about H1N1.

“120 million Americans infected with up to 90,000 dead… ,” was the Obama Administration’s estimate of the impact here in the US. “2 billion infected with hundreds of thousands dead… ,” was the breathless estimate from the WHO. But what was the outcome of this dire world-wide medical emergency? Not even 5000 flu-related deaths in the United States, far less even than in a regular flu season.

What was not the outcome of a ‘regular flu-season’, however, were the stratospheric profits of companies like CSL Limited, GlaxoSmithKline, and Roche—the latter, for example, realizing a whopping 12-fold increase in profits year over year from the second quarter of 2008 through the same period in 2009.

The Council of Europe of reportedly investigating the WHO for allegedly faking the pandemic to bolster the bottom line of drug manufacturers. Do you think we’ll see such an investigation in the United States of Kleptocrats? Don’t bet on it!

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