Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Xmas Music Blogging resumes
Your Two Minute Ed
And Ed gets fired up about our pusillanimous president.
Steve Benen makes a good point
Also note the larger, Dickensian context -- Republicans are fighting tooth and nail for $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country, but they're poised to kill extended unemployment benefits for those struggling to find work in a weak economy, at a fraction of the cost.
Raising taxes on the rich under these circumstances is considered madness. Leaving jobless Americans with no benefits and no buying power under these circumstances is considered responsible.
Quote of the Day
We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.Special operation soldier quoted in the Pentagon study released today.
Most CEO's will keep more from the Bush Tax Giveaways annually
Don Blankenship, a former U.S. Chamber Board member and the CEO of Massey Energy, whose company owned the mine in which twenty-nine miners died in April 2010’s mining disaster, the worst in forty years, would take home more than $700,000.Just one years savings would do a lot to improve safety at that bloody handed son of a bitch's mines.
Gates presents Pentagon study on DADT to Congress
A toon for Morning Joe
Stupid piece of shit accuses NY Times of arrogance
Kim Sam Bee's take on Kim Jong Pudge
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
As the GOP prepares to cut off Unemployment Benefits
Tempers flared at an unemployment office in Louisville, Ky. as the end nears for federally-funded extended jobless benefits.Needless to say, those who are comfortable and, sadly, safe in their positions have made preparations for this situation.
Local CBS affiliate WLKY captured a bit of the scene on Monday -- amid some commotion, a man can be heard saying in a raised voice, "What did you just say to me?"
WLKY reported that "at least two people were escorted out" of the office. With the threat of benefits expiring for 100,000 Kentuckians, WLKY reported, "tempers are flaring."
It's the type of scene that contributed to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's decision to add armed guards to each of its 36 field offices where workers can file unemployment claims (previously only some of the offices had armed security).Shoot a few of the ringleaders and the rest will fall back into line. Works every time.
If you have a few extra bucks or free time, give to a Food Bank to help those getting fucked.
Morning Joe takes aim at Snowflake Snooki
Former Republican Congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is out with a vicious new post encouraging Republicans to "man up" and take Sarah Palin down a peg. As if trying to get the ball rolling, he precedes this suggestion with a few choice volleys of his own.How long will MJ last when the reactionary wing triumphs and runs their beloved Mooselini?
"Republicans have a problem," Scarborough writes at Politico. "The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected."
Scarborough's main beef with Palin seems to be that, in his view, she just is not serious enough to be considered a viable GOP candidate for president in 2012, and despite the supposed general acceptance of this as fact, Republicans sit idly, afraid to speak out, while Palin basks in the pre-campaign limelight.
To make matters worse, Scarborough prods, Palin does all of this while demeaning the legacies of GOP standard-bearers that many hold dear, people such as former presidents Reagan, whom she casually downplayed as "an actor," as well as George H.W. and Barbara Bush, whom she deemed "blue bloods."
Smokey Joe Barton needs a visit from the Secret Service
Monday, November 29, 2010
You know cops got a quota
Country music superstar Willie Nelson was arrested Friday morning for allegedly having about 6 ounces of marijuana after his tour bus was stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, about 85 miles east of El Paso. He posted bond and was released shortly after...Just want to say two things.
Border Patrol agents searched Nelson's tour bus and found the marijuana, which Nelson claimed was his, said Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West.
1) If Willie's boo was a criminal problem, his bus wouldn't get 10 feet between busts. Anybody busting Willie just needs the numbers.
2) Good on Willie for saying it was his. You know The Nuge would have pinned it on the bass man.
An update on Republican/Teabagger bad faith
The problem with the GOP lately is that even those inclined to give the party the benefit of the doubt simply can't come up with a good-faith explanation for their actions -- which leads to awkward questions about whether they'd actually put their partisan goals ahead of the national interest. It's almost a modified, political version of Occam's Razor -- if one can't come up with a reasonable explanation for a party's actions on policy grounds, it necessarily makes questions about motivations plausible.It runs so counter to what anybody may expect, that the idea of an American political party so energized to defeat the other party's President that they would harm our country is only now being considered.
Dionne isn't the only one wondering about this. Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, can't figure out why his own party would be acting this way, leading him to assume Republican senators are putting "the desire for the president not to have a foreign policy victory" ahead of the nation's security interests.
A return to music blogging
You get what you vote for
R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving in 3 part harmony
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Time for the Thanksgiving Break
One quick survey question for you.
Q - Have you ever forgotten to take the neck and giblets out of the turkey when you cooked it? Have you ever been to a meal where someone else forgot to take them out? Please leave a comment.
I was having Thanksgiving at some friends many years ago when we discovered the cooks error. At the time we were way too mellow to care. I think the cook was already too mellow when he prepared the bird for the oven.
If you have any spare change, Please make a donation to your local food bank. If you have some spare time, volunteer to help out. Too many people won't see something like this.
Monday, November 22, 2010
The Youngbloods - Get Together
Your Two Minute Ed
Your Dylan Dally Moment
Explaining the medical loss ratio
Motor Trend review Rush the Talking Racist Pig
But, harrumph. In its attempt to force cars that don’t use much gas on us — how un-American/un-ExxonMobil/un-Halliburton is that? — the Obama administration is offering a $7,500 tax credit on the Chevy Volt, grabbing tax breaks and credits right out of the deserving, job-creating pockets of America’s richest individuals. How dare he?Rush should stick to what he knows best, drug abuse and racial slurs. Dittoheads prefer familiar lies.
This is another of your distortions, Rush, repeated by the otherwise more level-headed George Will in The Washington Post last Sunday. The $7,500 Obama tax credit is an expansion of President Bush’s hybrid credits from the last decade. The Obama tax credit extends to the new Nissan Leaf, too, but if you or Will slammed that car, I’ve not heard or read it. I’d be surprised if you did, though, as Nissan is building the Leaf in a non-union factory in a right-to-work state represented by two Republican senators. A factory located there because Tennessee offered Nissan big tax credits. Maybe you’re worried that if the $7,500 tax credit works, too many people will buy the Volt, and that could reduce the need for oil drilling tax credits?...
My esteemed colleague, Jonny Lieberman, got a copy of Will’s hit piece on the Volt, and responded thusly: “A bit of flag waving is in order – but instead, Will chooses to be a partisan clown and gets everything wrong.” You and Will don’t even worry about being un-American, anymore.
If you are doing Opt Out Day at the airport on Wed.
Republican/Teabaggers attacking the Unites States on multiple fronts.
And on matters fiscal, the G.O.P. program is to do almost exactly the opposite of what Mr. Bernanke called for. On one side, Republicans oppose just about everything that might reduce structural deficits: they demand that the Bush tax cuts be made permanent while demagoguing efforts to limit the rise in Medicare costs, which are essential to any attempts to get the budget under control. On the other, the G.O.P. opposes anything that might help sustain demand in a depressed economy — even aid to small businesses, which the party claims to love.A quick review of history will show that the Republican/Teabaggers are operating in a very similar fashion to the Bolsheviks in pre-Revolutionary Russia and with much the same intent. Ever since the end of WW II, the Republican Party pretended to be the party most in opposition to International Communism. During that time they were also the party that most readily emulated the Communists in thoughts and actions. What we see today is the culmination of all the development.
Right now, in particular, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits — an action that will both cause immense hardship and drain purchasing power from an already sputtering economy. But there’s no point appealing to the better angels of their nature; America just doesn’t work that way anymore.
And opposition for the sake of opposition isn’t limited to economic policy. Politics, they used to tell us, stops at the water’s edge — but that was then.
These days, national security experts are tearing their hair out over the decision of Senate Republicans to block a desperately needed new strategic arms treaty. And everyone knows that these Republicans oppose the treaty, not because of legitimate objections, but simply because it’s an Obama administration initiative; if sabotaging the president endangers the nation, so be it.
Republican/Teabaggers fucking with National Security
Senate Republicans are dragging their feet on the ratification of the START nuclear treaty with Russia, according to a chorus of Democrats and newspaper editorial boards who urge its immediate ratification.The Republican/Teabagger Party, best friends Iran ever had.
But Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hesitated putting his finger in the partisan political soup.
"You would have to ask the Senate," Admiral Mullen, told ABC’s This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour, sidestepping on whether Republicans are playing politics with national security.
"What I think is – there is a sense of urgency with respect to ratifying this treaty that needs to be recognized. Historically this has been bipartisan. This is a national security issue of great significance and the sooner we get it done the better," he said.
Adm. Mullen stressed that START must be ratified in spite of this 'lame duck' session.
"That’s the soonest possible time, absolutely," he said...
Without ratification, we put at risk the coalition that we have built to put pressure on Iran, and the transit route through Russia that we use to equip our troops in Afghanistan," said President Obama last week. "And without ratification, we risk undoing decades of American leadership on nuclear security, and decades of bipartisanship on this issue. Our security and our position in the world are at stake.
Will anything come of this?
Steve Rosen, who was in charge of foreign policy issues at AIPAC until 2005, is suing his former employer for $20 million, alleging that AIPAC defamed him when they fired him. Rosen and colleague Keith Weissman were charged in 2004 with espionage for allegedly pressuring a Washington Post reporter into running classified US government information they had obtained about Iran. The charges were dropped last year, evidently due to lack of evidence.
But AIPAC fired Rosen years before the charges were dropped, on the grounds that Rosen's "conduct did not comport with what AIPAC would expect of its employees."
But Rosen disputes this, and his lawsuit aims to prove that what he allegedly did was standard practice at AIPAC. The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports:
Rosen says his actions were common practice at the organization. He said his next move is to show that AIPAC, Washington’s major pro-Israeli lobbying group by far, regularly traffics in sensitive U.S. government information, especially material related to the Middle East.
“I will introduce documentary evidence that AIPAC approved of the receipt of classified information,” he said by e-mail. “Most instances of actual receipt are hard to document, because orally received information rarely comes with classified stamps on it nor records alerts that the information is classified.”
But Rosen said he would produce “statements of AIPAC employees to the FBI, internal documents, deposition statements, public statements and other evidence showing that [the] receipt of classified information by employees other than [himself] ... was condoned … for months prior to being condemned in March 2005 after threats from the prosecutors.”
Legal tactic, maybe, but it is potentially so much more.
Quote of the Day
Pick two countries that would like to see a failure of ratification: it would be North Korea and Iran. I think if that argument doesn't work with the Republicans, that sort of basic, elemental national security argument doesn't work, nothing is. There is a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.Edward Luce, reporter for The Financial Times, explaining the Republican/Teabagger motivation behind their stalling of ratification of the START treaty.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
What! You gonna believe some senile old kraut?
The Original Man in Black
The Manchurian Party
Consider a thought experiment. Imagine you actively disliked the United States, and wanted to deliberately undermine its economy. What kind of positions would you take to do the most damage?Read on and see why it sounds so familiar.
You might start with rejecting the advice of economists and oppose any kind of stimulus investments. You'd also want to cut spending and take money out of the economy, while blocking funds to states and municipalities, forcing them to lay off more workers. You'd no doubt want to cut off stimulative unemployment benefits, and identify the single most effective jobs program of the last two years (the TANF Emergency Fund) so you could kill it.
You might then take steps to stop the Federal Reserve from trying to lower the unemployment rate. You'd also no doubt want to create massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system, promising to re-write the rules overseeing the financial industry, vowing re-write business regulations in general, considering a government shutdown, and even weighing the possibly of sending the United States into default.
You might want to cover your tracks a bit, and say you have an economic plan that would help -- a tax policy that's already been tried -- but you'd do so knowing that such a plan has already proven not to work.
Does any of this sound familiar?
From the people who brought you the Emperors new clothes
As a child growing up on the coast of Newfoundland, Stamp says, he was fascinated by the giant blocks of ice floating in the North Atlantic. Then, as a relatively young man, he began to see them as sources of potential profit. And for most of the last 20 years, he has worked to make that vision come true — with varying degrees of success.The perfect comestible for all the perfect fools with too much money. My hat is off to Mr. Stamp. I just hope he can make his fortune before the big money muscles him aside.
Stamp tried iceberg vodka; it had only limited success. The same with iceberg beer.
So now he's trying gourmet water — at $10 a bottle. Or more.
Why would anyone pay the price of a decent bottle of wine to guzzle melted iceberg? Stamp admits it's a bit of a mystery, but he thinks it will work.
"It is so tasteless that it actually creates a taste. The tastelessness is its own taste," he said. "It's like drinking air."
Gee, what got his panties in a bunch?
The Taliban on Sunday vowed to force the U.S.-led coalition to abandon Afghanistan before a 2014 date set by the alliance for handing over security responsibility to its allied Afghan forces.He is probably right. They did do it once before.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in message e-mailed to the media that NATO will be unable to establish a stable government in Afghanistan by that date. He did not mention an offer from President Hamid Karzai for peace talks and eventual reconciliation — an offer rejected by the hard-line Taliban leadership...
“In the past nine years, the invaders could not establish any system of governance in Kabul and they will never be able to do so in future,” Mujahid said, adding that until 2014 “various untoward and tragic events and battles will take place as a result of this meaningless, imposed and unwinnable war.”
Will Japanese drive Marines off Okinawa?
Gov. Goodhair on Fux Nooz
As I understand the Popenfuhrer's new stand on condoms
Perhaps this is just a veiled message to his priests to use condoms and stop leaving so much evidence behind.
Will we finally get some Wall St perp walks?
Federal authorities, capping a three-year investigation, are preparing insider-trading charges that could ensnare consultants, investment bankers, hedge-fund and mutual-fund traders, and analysts across the nation, according to people familiar with the matter.Get the popcorn ready, the show is about to start.
The criminal and civil probes, which authorities say could eclipse the impact on the financial industry of any previous such investigation, are examining whether multiple insider-trading rings reaped illegal profits totaling tens of millions of dollars, the people say. Some charges could be brought before year-end, they say.
The investigations, if they bear fruit, have the potential to expose a culture of pervasive insider trading in U.S. financial markets, including new ways non-public information is passed to traders through experts tied to specific industries or companies, federal authorities say.
An anthem for today as well
Saturday, November 20, 2010
It matters not what you call her
If logic applied to Palin’s career trajectory, this month might have been judged dreadful for her. In an otherwise great year for Republicans she endorsed a “Star Wars” bar gaggle of anomalous and wacky losers — the former witch, Christine O’Donnell; the raging nativist, Tom Tancredo; and at least two candidates who called for armed insurrection against the government, Sharron Angle and a would-be Texas congressman, Stephen Broden, who lost by over 50 percentage points. Last week voters in Palin’s home state humiliatingly “refudiated” her protégé, Joe Miller, overturning his victory in the G.O.P. Senate primary with a write-in campaign.Thanks to years of right wing media working to dumb down the public, The Wicked Bitch of the North is riding a wave of popular support for a leader as dumb as they are.
But logic doesn’t apply to Palin. What might bring down other politicians only seems to make her stronger: the malapropisms and gaffes, the cut-and-run half-term governorship, family scandals, shameless lying and rapacious self-merchandising. In an angry time when America’s experts and elites all seem to have failed, her amateurism and liabilities are badges of honor. She has turned fallibility into a formula for success.
Rove tut-tutted Palin’s TLC show for undermining her aspirations to “gravitas.” These insults just play into Palin’s hands, burnishing her image as an exemplar of the “real America” battling the snooty powers-that-be. To serve as an Andrew Jackson or perhaps George Wallace for the 21st century, the last thing she wants or needs is gravitas.The only thing that might save us from Alaska's Half Governor is the two years until the next election, time enough for her to do to her career what the Republican establishment can't. Keep your fingers crossed.
It’s anti-elitism that most defines angry populism in this moment, and, as David Frum, another Bush alumnus (and Palin critic), has pointed out, populist rage on the right is aimed at the educated, not the wealthy. The Bushies and Noonans and dwindling retro-moderate Republicans are no less loathed by Palinistas and their Tea Party fellow travelers than is Obama’s Ivy League White House.
How long would the TSA Grope last
Representative John A. Boehner, soon to be the Speaker of the House, has pledged to fly commercial airlines back to his home district in Ohio. But that does not mean that he will be subjected to the hassles of ordinary passengers, including the controversial security pat-downs.And he probably gets to keep his pint of Old Overholt and his nail clippers too.
As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.
Mr. Boehner, who was wearing a casual yellow sweater and tan slacks, carried his own bags and smiled pleasantly at passengers who were leaving the security checkpoint inside the airport terminal. It was unclear whether any passengers waiting in the security line, including Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who lost his re-election bid, saw Mr. Boehner.
Is it me or does the lesser Orange Satan look pale lately? Probably just a few good whaps of the powderpuff from makeup.
Once upon a time
Over at Firedoglake, masaccio gives us the details into one of their forays into extortion.
You can never get enough Neko Case
Not quite an obituary
The human suffering in the years required to recover from the recession will continue to be immense. And that suffering will only be made worse if the nation embarks on a misguided crash program of deficit reduction that in the short term will undermine any recovery, and in the long term will make true deficit reduction that much harder to achieve.30 years of reactionary ascendancy has gutted our country and diverted our wealth into the hands of a few. The economy will only grow when the money flows through it again. And that will only happen when we get smart enough to tax the shit out of people and corporations who are sitting on it.
The wreckage from the recession and the nation’s mindlessly destructive policies in the years leading up to the recession is all around us. We still don’t have the money to pay for the wars that we insist on fighting year after year. We have neither the will nor the common sense to either raise taxes to pay for the wars, or stop fighting them.
State and local governments, faced with fiscal nightmares, are reducing services, cutting their work forces, hacking away at health and pension benefits, and raising taxes and fees. So far it hasn’t been enough, so there is more carnage to come. In many cases, the austerity measures are punishing some of the most vulnerable people, including children, the sick and the disabled.
For all the talk about the need to improve the public schools and get rid of incompetent teachers, school systems around the country are being hammered with dreadful cutbacks and teachers are being let go in droves, not because they are incompetent, but strictly for budget reasons. There was a time when the United States understood the importance of educating its young people and led the way in compulsory public schooling. It also built the finest higher education system in the world. Now, although no one will admit it publicly, we’ve decided to go in another direction.
Bernanke asks Congress to spend more money
It is time to ask President Obama
Ask your own question of President Obama here.
How the reactionary right re-writes history
Matt has been doing some marvelous work on the Great Bush Depression and Bankster Fraud and, as always, it is a good read.
Has the Teabagger Movement jumped the shark?
To the conservative faithful, she is a smart and telegenic leader - think Sarah Palin with a law degree - who fearlessly lends her voice and energy to the cause of restoring America's greatness.The Teabagger adoration of her makes one ask, why do they hate America? If the census shift eliminates her district, we can look forward to her on Fux, entrancing all the Foxsuckers. Her lies are as big as Malkins or Coulters and she's not nearly as ugly.
Now, Bachmann, 54, is trying to convert her television popularity into political influence in Washington, offering herself as a den mother to the incoming Republican freshmen.
But it isn't at all clear that Bachmann's fame will translate into political respect within the Capitol. Many colleagues consider her to be more of a show horse than a workhorse. She has yet to make a mark with a significant piece of legislation and has a reputation as someone more interested in heading to the green room than hitting the books - advancing her own agenda ahead of her party's. She even set up a YouTube channel in which fans can view clips of her television appearances.
The New York Times finally figures it out
The world’s nuclear wannabes, starting with Iran, should send a thank you note to Senator Jon Kyl. After months of negotiations with the White House, he has decided to try to block the lame-duck Senate from ratifying the New Start arms control treaty.Maybe it is time to ask McConnell and Kyl for their birth certificates. Are they really written in Farsi?
The treaty is so central to this country’s national security, and the objections from Mr. Kyl — and apparently the whole Republican leadership — are so absurd that the only explanation is their limitless desire to deny President Obama any legislative success.
The Republicans like to claim that they are the party of national security. We can only hope that other senators in the party will decide that the nation’s security interests must trump political maneuvering.
Nobody cares about that
If your name is Huang, Joao or Gupta
What is different is how directly these investors are going into non-American markets. They are not content with buying international equities or going into an international bond fund. They are looking to invest directly in Chinese private equity, Indian real estate, Brazilian equities denominated in reals and Australian government bonds. They are also opening cash accounts in multiple currencies.All the more attractive after their peculations wrought far more damage on the US economy than they expected. Those lovely little tax breaks invest just as well offshore as onshore.
“International clients understand the need to diversify currencies, but this is something new to U.S. clients,” said David Frame, global head of alternative investment at J. P. Morgan Private Bank.
The people putting as much as 40 percent of their portfolios into nondollar investments are quite wealthy.
Gail Collins warns us about the zombies
But we’ve entered the era of zombie politics: a small cadre of uninfected humans have to band together and do whatever it takes to protect themselves against the irrational undead.We are in serious trouble because no one ever gets rid of zombies for good.
The new incoming Tea Party Republicans are lurking in the halls of the Capitol, hiding behind the statuary and hoping to leap out and behead a Democratic zombie spendthrift. (Dan Quayle’s boy Ben promised to “knock the hell out of Washington” and now he’s there, ready for action.)...
On the other side, the Democrats are waking from an election night coma to find that the country is overrun with zombie Republicans who are demanding to be allowed to shut down the government even before their swearing-in. And when President Obama invited their leadership to break bread and talk about working together, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell said a pre-Thanksgiving sit-down didn’t fit into their schedules.
Wouldn’t want to be there when the meal finally comes off. “Bless us, oh Lord, and these, thy gifts, which ... aaauuurrgghchompchompchomp.”
In private, the Democratic senators complained bitterly about the old Obama let-us-reason-together strategy. Zombies aren’t going to make a deal on the Bush tax cuts or pass the arms treaty! All they care about is plump, tasty Democratic thighs and calves and kidneys.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Cook County sheriff ordered to support criminal activity
"When we asked a month ago . . . send me an affidavit to say that everything was done legally, not one organization, law firm handling these cases, not one of them sent in one document," Dart said. "Not one, and they had over a month to do it."Chase and Ally Financial say they are taking mulligans on the paperwork, probably to create more realistic timelines and replacement documents.
The sheriff said that if anything, his office's investigation has shown the problems that prompted the moratorium were even more widespread than he first thought.
"We are being overwhelmed with abundant evidence that there are irregularities," he said, adding that just a cursory investigation by his financial crimes unit has shown problems in eviction order after eviction order. "Irregularities are going on all over the place here. It's the norm."
Your Two Minute Ed
Your Dylan Dally Moment
Republican/Teabagger accounting is from another dimension
And in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, the incoming chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. John Kline (R-MN), pronounced that extending benefits is not a priority for the incoming Republican Congress because “we can’t fund everything.” “We just don’t have the money,” Kline said...It is obvious that unless you can cushion his knees with bundles of hundred dollar bills, Rep. Kline will not give you a blow job, or any other kind of job.
Kline also supports extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. So in his world, $830 billion to finance tax cuts for the wealthy is fine, but $12.5 billion to extend unemployment benefits for three months is too expensive.
Douchebag Bryan Fischer blames god
Fischer, who is the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, explained himself after what he called "blowback" to his column: "The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process."And Jesus wept.
"What I'm saying is that it's time we started imitating God's example again," Fischer wrote.
"Christianity is not a religion of pacifism," he wrote,
Republican/Teabaggers side with China and Germany against the US.
So what’s really motivating the G.O.P. attack on the Fed? Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues were clearly caught by surprise, but the budget expert Stan Collender predicted it all. Back in August, he warned Mr. Bernanke that “with Republican policy makers seeing economic hardship as the path to election glory,” they would be “opposed to any actions taken by the Federal Reserve that would make the economy better.” In short, their real fear is not that Fed actions will be harmful, it is that they might succeed.Breaths there a single Republican/Teabagger who wants to do something good for our country? It sure as hell looks they don't exist anymore.
Hence the axis of depression. No doubt some of Mr. Bernanke’s critics are motivated by sincere intellectual conviction, but the core reason for the attack on the Fed is self-interest, pure and simple. China and Germany want America to stay uncompetitive; Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House.
And if Mr. Bernanke gives in to their bullying, they may all get their wish.
Anarchist calls for government shutdown
Grover Norquist, leader of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, suggested a high-stakes approach to tackling the issue of federal spending Thursday, saying that the GOP must be willing to go as far as to shut down the government in their pursuit of debt and deficit reduction.Again we have a voice on the Reactionary Conservative side giving aid and comfort to our enemies in time of war. They do seem to enjoy that sort of thing.
Republican/Teabaggers blocking National Security Treaty
Rumblings in Washington by the resurgent Republican Party against Senate ratification of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty raise doubts about a fragile U.S.-Russian rapprochement — the "reset" that has been a centerpiece of President Obama's diplomacy.Boy O Boy! Talk about giving aid and comfort to our enemies in time of war. Way to go you GOP scumballs!
An unraveling of ties, which hit post-Cold War lows during the administration of George W. Bush, would erode global stability at a time of burgeoning security threats and harm international efforts to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
New START bolstered mutual trust, helping Washington win crucial Kremlin backing for a new set of sanctions against Iran and stronger support for the war in Afghanistan.
"The failure to ratify the treaty will deal a very painful blow to Obama's administration and the policy of 'reset,'" said Sergei Rogov, head of the Moscow-based U.S.A. and Canada Institute, a top think-tank advising the government on foreign policy.
If "the administration can't deliver what it promised, it would seriously undermine Obama's position in the international arena."
The Russian Foreign Ministry sought to play down a statement from Sen. Jon Kyl, a leading Republican, who spoke against holding a ratification vote this year. But it warned that the process should go forward in both countries at the same time.
This is not a bad idea
The presence of openly serving gays in the military will be so offensive that many Americans will not be willing to serve their country, says one conservative leader who has campaigned against gay rights.A draft might do a lot to end the stupid little wars in Iraqistan. The repeal of DADT is unlikely to bring that about no matter how much Tony "Closet Boy" Perkins wants it.
The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins predicted Thursday that President Barack Obama will be forced to reinstate the draft if Democrats are successful in repealing the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy which forces gay, lesbian and trans-gender members to hide their personal lives or face expulsion from the service.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Joe the Rat says everything is good
Sen. Joe Lieberman said Thursday that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is no longer a question of votes, it’s a question of process.So the Republican/Teabaggers will allow the bill to pass if you give them a chance to delay it forever and fuck it up beyond all recognition. And if you don't let them fuck it up they will stop it anyway. But it doesn't matter, because Joe is back in the news.
“I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,” Lieberman told reporters at a press conference, naming GOP senators Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as yes votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”
Your Dylan Dally Moment
Grayson is not gone yet
One sad difference between the US Congress and the British Parliament. In Britain a worthless backbencher like Heath Schuler would step aside so Alan Grayson could have his seat and continue his good work.
Quote of the Day
So, we tried a guy (who the Bush Admin tortured and then held at GTMO for 4-plus years with no end game whatsoever) in a federal court before a NY jury with full transparency and international legitimacy and -- despite all of the legacy problems of the case (i.e., evidence getting thrown out because of Bush-Admin torture, etc,) we were STILL able to convict him and INCAPACITATE him for essentially the rest of his natural life, AND there was not one -- not one -- security problem associated with the trialUnnamed senior administration official commenting on the Ghailani conviction.
Eric Cantor would sell out his country to Israel
Eric Cantor, incoming House Majority Leader, outlined this latter objection to a new in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Asked about a proposal to fix the nation's federal deficit co-authored by a Democratic budget expert and noted non-European retired Sen. Pete Domenici (R), which would actually lower taxes on income and corporations, Cantor dismissed it because, basically, parts of it look to him like something a European might consider.Quite surprising, really, that a Republican/Teabagger would distinguish one foreign country from another.
Rep. Peter King, New York's Biggest Asshole
“This is a tragic wake-up call to the Obama Administration to immediately abandon its ill-advised plan to try Guantanamo terrorists” in federal civilian courts, said Representative Peter King, Republican of New York. “We must treat them as wartime enemies and try them in military commissions at Guantanamo.”So despite the best efforts of the Bushies, the civilian court did get a conviction and a jail term longer than any of the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts have yet achieved and Pete King, NYBA and soon to be chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says it was bad. Still happy you didn't vote?
Adding political force of such criticism, Mr. King is set to become the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in January, and he promised to use oversight hearings to pressure the administration over its handling of terrorism trials.
Joe Klein wonders why
Perhaps it isn't a coincidence that so many of the people whinnying the loudest are prominent members of the financial community, the sector that has had the most to do with hollowing out our manufacturing base and creating the Ponzi scheme in housing that caused the 2008 bust. After all that uncreative destruction, they need to polish their high-minded credentials. (See how some Americans are facing the prospect of long-term unemployment.).When you see who the perps are, their purpose becomes clearer.
There is, for example, Glenn Hubbard, who was featured on the New York Times op-ed page recently in defense of the deficit commission, describing the problem this way: "We have designed entitlements for a welfare state we cannot afford." This is the same Glenn Hubbard who served as George W. Bush's chief economic adviser when Dick Cheney was saying that "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." One imagines that if Hubbard was so concerned about deficits, he might have resigned in protest from an Administration dedicated to creating them. But, no, he's here to speak truth to the powerless — to the middle-class folks whose major asset, their home, was trashed by financial speculators, thereby wrecking their retirement plans and creating the consumer implosion we're now suffering. Hubbard is telling them they now have to take yet another hit, on their old-age pensions and health insurance, for the greater good.
Neuticles Gingrich offers up some free advice
Republican/Teabagger Party to Unemployed
And a Merry Christmas to all.
CERN scientists trap anti-matter.
Scientists at CERN said they had trapped dozens of hydrogen "antimatter" atoms, a technical feat that boosts research into one of the great puzzles of particle physics.Scientists say they bear a remarkable resemblence to Teabaggers, right down to their subatomic Gadsden flags.
Under a theory expounded in 1931 by the eccentric British physicist Paul Dirac, when energy transforms into matter, it produces a particle and its mirror image -- called an anti-particle -- which holds the opposite electrical charge.
When particles and anti-particles collide, they annihilate each other in a small flash of energy...
Thousands of antihydrogen atoms have been made in the lab, but in the most successful experiment so far, 38 have been trapped long enough -- one-tenth of a second -- for them to be studied.
Back when they closed all the public mental asylums
A Republican state representative in Texas filed a bill on Tuesday that would require any candidate for president or vice president of the United States to provide his or her birth certificate to the Texas secretary of state.This is very important, because everybody knows that what Texas thinks is vital to the proper functioning of the US of A.
"This bill is necessary because we have a president whom the American people don't know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place," Leo Berman, who has represented the 6th District of Texas since 1999, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "If you are running for president or vice president, you’ve got to show here in Texas that you were born in the United States and the birth certificate is your proof."
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Big Brave Bryan Fischer
Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, was unhappy yesterday that President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to a soldier for saving lives. This, Fischer wrote on his blog, shows that the Medal of Honor has been "feminized" because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."...Keep in mind this heroic and bloodthirsty sky pilot has never been in the military, heard the sound of gunfire or, least of all, comforted a soldier who has lost a buddy. Do take a moment to tell Bryan Fischer to go fuck himself.
"So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?"
"We have feminized the Medal of Honor," Fischer wrote. He also quoted General Patton: "Gen. George Patton once famously said, 'The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.'" (Actually, Patton doesn't say anything about the other guy: "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.")
Food for thought
So many houses, so many booby traps
In the newly won districts around this southern city, American forces are encountering empty homes and farm buildings left so heavily booby-trapped by Taliban insurgents that the Americans have been systematically destroying hundreds of them, according to local Afghan authorities.That last quote is a troubling echo from Vietnam.
The campaign, a major departure from NATO practice in past military operations, is intended to reduce civilian and military casualties by removing the threat of booby traps and denying Taliban insurgents hiding places and fighting positions, American military officials said...
In the most fiercely contested areas, especially in Zhare District, but also in parts of neighboring Panjwai and Arghandab Districts, American troops have been routinely destroying almost every unoccupied home or unused farm building in areas where they are operating.
In Arghandab District, for instance, every one of the 40 homes in the village of Khosrow was flattened by a salvo of 25 missiles, according to the district governor, Shah Muhammed Ahmadi, who estimated that 120 to 130 houses had been demolished in his district. “There was no other way; we knew people wanted us to get rid of all these deadly I.E.D.’s,” he said, referring to improvised explosive devices, the military’s term for homemade bombs.
“In some villages where only a few houses were contaminated by bombs, we called the owners and got their agreement to destroy them,” Mr. Ahmadi said. “In some villages like Khosrow that were completely empty and full of I.E.D.’s, we destroyed them without agreement because it was hard to find the people.
“And not just Khosrow, but many villages,” he said, listing a half-dozen others. “We had to destroy them to make them safe.”
Warren Buffett sends a thank you note
DEAR Uncle Sam,And so corporate America and their banksters were saved. Main St. America is still waiting for their reason to send a note.
My mother told me to send thank-you notes promptly. I’ve been remiss...
When the crisis struck, I felt you would understand the role you had to play. But you’ve never been known for speed, and in a meltdown minutes matter. I worried whether the barrage of shattering surprises would disorient you. You would have to improvise solutions on the run, stretch legal boundaries and avoid slowdowns, like Congressional hearings and studies. You would also need to get turf-conscious departments to work together in mounting your counterattack. The challenge was huge, and many people thought you were not up to it.
Well, Uncle Sam, you delivered. People will second-guess your specific decisions; you can always count on that. But just as there is a fog of war, there is a fog of panic — and, overall, your actions were remarkably effective...
So, again, Uncle Sam, thanks to you and your aides. Often you are wasteful, and sometimes you are bullying. On occasion, you are downright maddening. But in this extraordinary emergency, you came through — and the world would look far different now if you had not.
Your grateful nephew,
The Big Liar says the Big Lie is being believed
Dick Cheney thinks the sun of history is beginning to shine on his former boss.No matter how many times Cheney let Bush walk with him, Bush is still the worst President ever.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the George W. Bush presidential center in Dallas, Cheney said that "history is beginning to come around" to a rosier view of Bush's presidency.
Cheney asserted that history's view of Bush is colored by the passage of time and that "judgments [become] a little more measured."
Americans "can tell a decent, goodhearted stand up guy when they see him," he added.
Bush, he said, didn't "put on airs" and could "walk with kings, yet keep the common touch."
Tull Music Blogging
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sen Kyl endangers National Security
Over many months of negotiations, the administration committed to spending $80 billion to do that over the next 10 years, and on Friday offered to chip in $4.1 billion more over the next five years. As a gesture of commitment, the White House had made sure extra money for modernization was included in the stopgap spending resolution now keeping the government operating, even though almost no other program received an increase in money.Arizona's favorite Giant Douche is now endangering US-Russian relations, putting National Security at risk from lack of weapons inspections since the previous treaty expires a year ago and would hinder the opening of supply routes through Russia to Afghanistan. When the Republicans said they would do anything to see President Obama fail, you probably thought they would draw a line at National Security, didn't you? Silly child.
All told, White House officials counted 29 meetings, phone calls, briefings or letters involving Mr. Kyl or his staff. They said they thought they had given him everything he wanted, and were optimistic about completing a deal this week, only to learn about his decision on Tuesday from reporters.
Mr. Kyl said he informed the Senate Democratic leader that there was not enough time to resolve all the issues during the lame-duck session that opened this week. “When majority leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame-duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to Start and modernization,” Mr. Kyl said in a written statement.
Real Mama Grizzlies picnic.
Your Two Minute Ed
Your Dylan Dally Moment
A liberal deficit reduction plan
Her plan, which she claims would achieve fiscal balance by 2015, includes a host of ideas that were not included in the report released last week by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. It makes provision for another $200 billion worth of stimulus to take the form of unemployment insurance extensions and additional aid to states.Horror of horrors! There are tax increases for corporations and people who can afford them. Cue the Republican/Teabagger outrage, who gives a damn if it would actually reduce the deficit.
On spending, the Schakowski plan calls for $8.55 billion in non-defense discretionary spending cuts in 2015, largely by ending overpayments by federal agencies for various programs, including Medicaid. She says her plan would save over $110 billion on the defense side, by reducing overseas troop deployments, and shrinking the nuclear arsenal, among numerous other options.
By adding a robust public option to the health care law and requiring Medicare to bargain down drug prices, among other options, Schakowsky says she can save over $17 billion of mandatory spending in 2015.
Schakowsky proposes to limit the extent to which corporations can deduct interest payments on debt, and close a loophole that allows firms to avoid paying taxes on income earned overseas -- reforms she says would save over $100 billion in 2015. She would also require dividends and capital gains to be taxed as ordinary income (i.e., at higher rates than they are now, in many cases), and would erect a cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions, generating over $140 billion in revenue.
Her plan for Social Security involves no benefit cuts: She would erase the long-term shortfall by, among other things, eliminating the Social Security payroll tax cap on the employer side.
Bluesday Music Blogging
John McCain supports discrimination
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|It Gets Worse PSA|
Playing word games can be dangerous
Talwar suggested that the combat troops could be placed under the cover of the State Department's security force, the Iraqi intelligence official told IPS.Soldiers? I see no soldiers, only freedom loving, 2nd amendment respecting visitors from the Great Patriotic Homeland.
The Obama envoy was referring to a force that the State Department had announced in August to provide security for U.S. civilian officials working in Baghdad and four regional consulates in Kirkuk, Erbil, Mosul and Basra. The administration's official position is that the security force is to be manned by private security personnel, as explained in a briefing given by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Corbin Aug. 17.
Talwar's remarks suggest the Obama administration was planning to adopt a ruse to keep combat troops in Iraq after the expiration of the U.S.-Iraq troop withdrawal agreement on Dec. 31, 2011, while assuring the U.S. public that all U.S. troops had been pulled out by the deadline.
Last year, Obama accepted a proposal by U.S. military leaders to re-label all combat brigades in Iraq "advise and assist brigades" so he could claim that he was withdrawing all combat troops by Aug. 31, 2010. Six U.S. fully equipped combat brigades remain in Iraq today, contrary to the administration's official position that only non-combat troops remain there.
Asked by the Iraqis whether there would be U.S. troops in Iraq in spring 2012, Talwar responded that it would "depend on the definition of a troop", according to the account of the meeting provided to IPS by the Iraqi intelligence official.
When the Iraqi participants in the Sep. 23 meeting asked how many troops might be left in Iraq, Talwar said preferably one brigade but that it could be two brigades. When asked how many soldiers that would mean per brigade, however, the NSC official said the number could be open-ended.
99ers of the world Unite! You have nothing to lose
AMERICAN 99ers UNION
Blondie Music Blogging
Monday, November 15, 2010
November 16 is Unemployment.org's Blog-A-Thon
If you post on a blog, or have your own blog, make Tuesday, November 16 the day you post a blog on the unemployment crisis and the need for Congress to continue the federal unemployment benefits program. When you post your blog, put the link up in a Twitter tweet -- include the hashtag #blog4ui -- and send it to @laidoffleftout or @MomsRising or better yet both. We'll be retweeting throughout the day, helping to raise all our blogging voices for unemployed workers and their families.And do not forget the 99ers who have already been cut off from benefits and still can't find work.
Or, if you don't yet post on a blog, you can send us a blog entry anyway! Just use our Unemployedworkers.org Blog-A-Thon entry page. Just enter your information and a brief blog submission. It can include things like a personal story, information on why Congress needs to continue the unemployment insurance program, or a local angle on the jobs situation and unemployment in your area. We'll be reviewing entries, and posting as many as we can to a continuing series on our website -- Raising Our Blog Voices -- in the days and weeks ahead.
Squeezed for time? Then you can just post your 'micro-blog' message on Twitter. Send us tweets supporting continued unemployment benefits to @laidoffleftout or @MomsRising (or both) and include the hashtag #blog4ui so others can follow along as well.
So, on Tuesday, November16, in addition to calling Congress on the National Call-In Action Day you can also raise your blog voice as part of the coordinated Blog Carnival and Blog-A-Thon for unemployed workers and their families. You'll find all the information and background you might need in this post from our blog, and in the National Employment Law Project's report "Out in the Cold for the Holidays."Many thanks. See you on the Blog-A-Thon.
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