Archive for blacklist

Piers Morgan bans Keith Olbermann from new CNN show



Piers is the new Larry King.

Keith is the new black(listed).


Keith Olbermann. “Just because it would really annoy him. I think he’s a great broadcaster, but I know he gets wound up very easily. It’s not a lifetime ban, it’s a temporary ban, designed to confuse and bemuse him, and hopefully engender a violent reaction.”

What a card. How edgy. How "I need lots of hype, so pleaseohplease watch my show before they replace me" of him.

You know what would really annoy Keith? Going on Morgan's show. Or not, since I can't speak for Keith, but after reading that bit of intentional headline grabbing, if I were Keith, that's how I'd feel.

As for confusing Keith, when exactly has that ever happened? In fact, thinking back, KO is about the least confused commentator I can think of, other than Rachel Maddow.

As for engendering a violent reaction, methinks after the initial ratings bounce subsides, he'll realize he was projecting.

Added: Or maybe this is all a big joke, because, come on, he can't be serious. If that's the case, he might want to obtain a laugh track. He'll need it.


Breaking: U.S. Approves Business With Nations Blacklisted as State Sponsors of Terrorism


Granted these are "exceptions to give countries an incentive", but I doubt that even a whiff of the word "loopholes" will go over too well with the average American.

Via the New York Times:

Despite sanctions and trade embargoes, over the past decade the United States government has granted special licenses allowing American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism, an examination by The New York Times has found.

At the behest of a host of companies — from Kraft Food and Pepsi to some of the nation’s largest banks — a little-known office of the Treasury Department has made nearly 10,000 exceptions to American sanctions rules, approving deals involving countries that have been cast into economic purgatory, beyond the reach of American business.

[T]he law, pushed by the farm lobby and other industry groups, was written so broadly that allowable humanitarian aid has included cigarettes, Wrigley gum, Louisiana hot sauce, weight-loss remedies, body-building supplements and sports rehabilitation equipment sold to the institute that trains Iran’s Olympic athletes. [...]

In one instance, an American company was permitted to bid on a pipeline job that would have helped Iran sell natural gas to Europe, even though the United States opposes such projects. Several other American businesses were permitted to deal with foreign companies believed to be involved in terrorism or weapons proliferation. In one such case, involving equipment bought by a medical waste disposal plant in Hawaii, the government was preparing to deny the license until an influential politician intervened.

Sentences like this won't help either:

[T]he files offer a snapshot — albeit a piecemeal one — of a system that at times appears out of synch with its own licensing policies and America’s goals abroad.

Then, there's that old "letter of the law" explanation:

In response to questions for this article, companies argued that they were operating in full accordance with American law.

Sometimes "legal" isn't necessarily "right."

There is a lot more to this article. Please go here for details.


Texas Board of Education Watch: US Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade


Cynthia Dunbar is one of a clutch of US Christian evangelists who have grasped control of the Texas education board.

Photograph: Harry Cabluck/AP

Remember when conservatives were up in arms because they believed that President Obama was "indoctrinating our children" when he gave a speech that included this commie message:

"Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide."

What could Obama have been thinking?! Who sends messages like that!? Praising kids!? Encouraging them to strive for worthwhile goals?! Appalling.

And how convenient that we get more thorough news coverage of  the Texas board of education in a British publication than we do here at home. Anyone seen wide coverage-- or any-- of this lately? I heard a mention here and there, but I've seen more about a tragic shooting of a 7-year-old than of the decline of our education system.

Via The Guardian:

Cynthia Dunbar does not have a high regard for her local schools. She has called them unconstitutional, tyrannical and tools of perversion. The conservative Texas lawyer has even likened sending children to her state's schools to "throwing them in to the enemy's flames".

Had I only realized how unAmerican public schools were, I would have insisted that my parents send me to one that was not considered enemy territory. I mean, look how I turned out! I used to be so compliant. Now I'm a radical perverted Marxist blogger who craves tyranny and, apparently, flames.

She is one of a clutch of Christian evangelists and social conservatives who have grasped control of the state's education board. This week they are expected to force through a new curriculum that is likely to shift what millions of American schoolchildren far beyond Texas learn about their history.

The board is to vote on a sweeping purge of alleged liberal bias in Texas school textbooks in favour of what Dunbar says really matters: a belief in America as a nation chosen by God as a beacon to the world, and free enterprise as the cornerstone of liberty and democracy.

"A nation chosen by God." Yes, God chose America the way he chose George Bush and Barbie McLipSchmutz. And that's how Barack Obama became president.

Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.

That's right, kids, nothing says liberty and justice for all like slavery. Shackle your not-white chums and force them into hard labor.  It's the American way!

There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

Blacklisting was a bad thing? Fugetaboutit! Those reds deserved it! Just ask Dalton Trumbo and Lillian Hellman, those dirty commies!

The education board has dropped references to the slave trade in favour of calling it the more innocuous "Atlantic triangular trade", and recasts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driven by Islamic fundamentalism.

So that's what the kids are calling it these days. Much easier to digest, don'tcha think?

Here in the good old U.S of A. we get more via Eileen Smith:

I have no problem with teaching religion in school. At my school we prayed every day and were even forced to go to mass. Oh wait. That’s because it was Catholic school.

We’re all familiar with the Thomas Jefferson controversy and the battle over evolution but here’s one I hadn’t heard before. The board has dropped references to “slave trade” in favor of “Atlantic triangular trade.” Now that’s creative. If you look that up on Wikipedia, it says “see also: Atlantic slave trade.” No way! Fooled again! The history books will also describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driven by Islamic fundamentalism. Oh no you didn’t! Can I try? Northern Ireland lost and it’s now all the Republic of Ireland! Boom!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find my way back through the looking glass.

H/t: Misha44_


Ban Panels


By GottaLaff

The other day I posted about two of my Alaskan blogger pals who were on the Barbie McLipSchmutz Big Book Signing Tour blacklist. I thought Barbie had personally hand chosen the lucky listers.

Well now, is my face Going Rouge!

It turns out it was the First Dude, aka Todd the Banner, who compiled said list. Via TPM:

We've now gotten Zaki's later report in an email sent to TPMMuckraker: "Just spoke to James Hastings, the manager who booted me from the Wasilla Center. The 'banned list' is just four names he wrote in a notebook after getting the names from Todd Palin. Yes Todd Palin. The shadow governor...."

That wiley compiley. I bet he knew all along his wifey-poo would get all the credit.

What an open-minded, inclusive, big tent couple they are. Both of them. All two of them. Together.

Why, one might even start referring to them as a Ban Panel.