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The Republican presidential hopefuls are all shameless flip-floppers, which is why Rick Santorum’s previous pro- labor union positions are no surprise:

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s unexpected finish in Iowa has thrust his record into the spotlight. Naturally, his anti-choice, homophobic, and patently outrageous positions only help shore up his right-wing credentials. As he said in Sioux City, “A track record is a pretty good indication of what you’re going to do in the future.”

However, some of his votes in the past will certainly put a dent in his conservative credentials. As Bloomberg News points out, Santorum spent a lot of his 16-year congressional career fighting alongside labor advocates to protect striking workers, increase the minimum wage, and ensure that the law requiring employers to pay the prevailing wage stayed on the books…

Israel’s loose cannon targets Iran

This should be interesting. How will Barack Obama react if Benjamin Netanyahu tries to start World War III?

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are engaged in intense maneuvering over Netanyahu’s aim of entangling the United States in an Israeli war against Iran.

Netanyahu is exploiting the extraordinary influence his right-wing Likud Party exercises over the Republican Party and the U.S. Congress on matters related to Israel in order to maximise the likelihood that the United States would participate in an attack on Iran.

Obama, meanwhile, appears to be hoping that he can avoid being caught up in a regional war started by Israel if he distances the United States from any Israeli attack.

New evidence surfaced in 2011 that Netanyahu has been serious about dealing a military blow to the Iranian nuclear programme. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who left his job in September 2010, revealed in his first public appearance after Mossad Jun. 2 that he, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) chief Gabi Ashkenazi and Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin had been able to “block any dangerous adventure” by Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The Hebrew language daily Maariv reported that those three, along with President Shimon Peres and IDF Senior Commander Gadi Eisenkrot, had vetoed a 2010 proposal by Netanyahu to attack Iran…

Aunt Chippy wraps a present

Via Jimmy Kimmel:

‘Morning Dew’

This one’s performed by Jeff Beck (with Rod Stewart), not Beck Hansen, and it has nothing to do with Mountain Dew:


Over there:

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber blew himself up next to a large group of Shiites on a pilgrimage Thursday afternoon, one in a series of apparently sectarian attacks that resulted in the highest one-day death toll since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq last month.

In praise of Percoset

I had another attack of whatever last night, and I spent a couple of hours trying to get through it without taking painkillers. (Mostly because one possible side effect of Percocet is… pancreatitis!)

But the pain was pretty bad, so I finally took one. Guess what? Worked like a charm. It didn’t make me feel all woozy, either — it just made the pain go away, and I got a full night’s sleep. I’m a little headache-y from the drug, but other than that, yay!

That good ol’ Mountain Dew

You think maybe PepsiCo picked the wrong expert to discredit the man who claims he almost swallowed a dead mouse while drinking from a can of Mountain Dew?

Mountain Dew drinkers know their distinctively yellow beverage of choice is packed with caffeine, but a new lawsuit might get them thinking about what else is in there.

PepsiCo, the drink’s manufacturer, is being sued by Ronald Ball of Wisconsin, who claims in a 2009 lawsuit that he opened a can from a vending machine, tasted something foul, and spat out a dead mouse, acccording to MadisonRecord.com.

Ball, who is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, claims he then sent the mouse to Pepsi, which destroyed the mouse’s body.

However, Pepsi is now moving to dismiss the case, citing testimony from an expert who claims that acid used when the drink is bottled would have caused the rodent to transform into a “‘jelly-like’ substance,” according to LegalNewsline.com.

Mountain Dew’s mouse-dissolving capabilities may also be helped by another ingredient in the bubbly beverage: brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a chemical that Gizmodo points out is banned in Europe and Japan, but is allowed in limited quantities in sodas like Mountain Dew, Squirt and Fanta Orange.

BVO is added to soda for the purpose of giving it more consistent flavoring.


This could be about overexposure to presidential primaries:

Go here for lyrics.

Nail-bitingly boring Iowa

I watched a few minutes of MSNBC’s coverage of the Iowa caucus Tuesday night and marveled at the network’s agonizingly in-depth coverage. Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow looked and sounded orgasmic. Would the dashing Rick Santorum edge out that wild man Mitt? Oh, oh!

Here’s Matt Taibbi giving the non-event its proper due:

…The Iowa caucus, let’s face it, marks the beginning of a long, rigidly-controlled, carefully choreographed process that is really designed to do two things: weed out dangerous minority opinions, and award power to the candidate who least offends the public while he goes about his primary job of energetically representing establishment interests.

If that sounds like a glib take on a free election system that allows the public to choose whichever candidate they like best without any censorship or overt state interference, so be it. But the ugly reality, as Dylan Ratigan continually points out, is that the candidate who raises the most money wins an astonishing 94% of the time in America.

That damning statistic just confirms what everyone who spends any time on the campaign trail knows, which is that the presidential race is not at all about ideas, but entirely about raising money…

…The campaign is still a gigantic ritual and it will still be attended by all the usual pomp and spectacle, but it’s empty. In fact, because it’s really a contest between 1%-approved candidates, it’s worse than empty – it’s obnoxious…


If he approves it, there will be “huge political consequences” as well:

A top oil industry official delivered a clear warning to President Obama Wednesday: approve the Keystone XL pipeline or face “huge political consequences.”

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard urged Obama to quickly approve the pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

[…] “I think it would be a huge mistake on the part of the president of the United States to deny the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” Gerard said during the powerful oil industry trade association’s annual “State of American Energy” event Wednesday.

“Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences.”

Let’s see. It creates a relative handful of jobs, and most of the oil will be shipped to other countries. This is in our interest… why?

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