Sunday, February 28, 2010

Teabagger hell! The kid is a hardcore Republican

Teabagger wunderkind Marco Rubio, according to the latest reporting from the Miami Herald, actually embraces the values of a traditional party Republican.
U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio admitted Friday that he double-billed state taxpayers and the Republican Party of Florida for eight plane tickets when he was speaker of the Florida House.

Calling the billing ``a mistake,'' Rubio said in a written statement that he will personally repay the party about $3,000 to cover the flights because the trips in 2007 were for state business, not politics.

On Wednesday, in response to questions from The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times about his party credit card, Rubio said the GOP paid for all travel when he served as speaker in 2007 and 2008. But records released to The Herald/Times Thursday afternoon show that eight flights from South Florida to Tallahassee were also billed to the state.

``Billing the party was a mistake which needs to be fixed,'' Rubio said in the statement. ``So, out of an abundance of caution, I am personally reimbursing the party for the cost of all eight flights.''
Two years later he fixes a mistake when he is found out. This comes on top of using his party credit card for personal uses like:
Those personal expenses include $181.56 at the Museum of Natural History in New York, a $10.50 movie ticket, and more than $10,000 for 20 rooms at a Georgia resort where his extended family celebrated his swearing-in, according to records obtained by The Herald/Times.
How about that! Florida politician celebrates his swearing in with all his family at a Georgia resort and makes the Florida party pay for it. They don't come anymore mainstream Republican than Marco Rubio.

Point, set, match



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Who says crime doesn't pay

Whether it is bank fraud or double and triple dealing in the murky world of Iraqi politics, Ahmad Chalabi, the neocons favorite lying sack of shit has always managed to float to the top. And after all those years of leaving a trail of slime wherever he goes, Chalabi looks like he might be ready to grab the prize.
Ahmad Chalabi, the onetime Pentagon darling who helped the Bush administration make the case for invading Iraq, is in a good mood as he settles into the back seat of his armored SUV to head out on the campaign trail. He ought to be.

As chief architect of the move to disqualify hundreds of candidates accused of ties to the outlawed Baath Party, Chalabi has defined the agenda for the upcoming Iraqi national elections. In doing so, he has thwarted five years of U.S. policy in Iraq aimed at reconciling the Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects and gotten his revenge against America for dumping him as its favorite back in 2004.

Now, with events all going his way, the former exile has a good chance of reentering parliament as a leading candidate for the main Shiite coalition, and perhaps to secure a top job in the next Iraqi government.
George W Bush's second biggest mistake was not having this pi-dog thrown out of a helicopter at 10,000 feet back when Bush War II started.

EXTRA: McClatchy also has a look at Iraq's Mr. Sleaze.

Pat oliphant is getting discouraged



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Looking for change under the sofa cushions

With so many states locked into a balanced budget by law, the search for new revenue is getting both desperate and creative. And it is going after what were once untouchable groups.
A bill before the Hawaii Legislature, for instance, would require charities to pay a 1 percent tax, and Kansas is considering making them subject to sales taxes.

Revoking the nonprofit organizations’ exemptions from property taxes is also under scrutiny in several counties in Kansas, as well as in Pennsylvania.

And last fall, Minneapolis made charities subject to the fees it charges businesses and residents for streetlights in hope of gaining an additional $155,000, an exercise Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, describes as “looking under the sofa cushions.”

In most cases, churches would be exempt from the tax measures, but all other nonprofit groups, including private schools and colleges, would be affected.

City and state officials say they have no choice.
It's a shame that churches remain untouchable, a state like Virginia for example could easily balance its budget on the back of Pat Robertson's Empire. I can understand going after new revenue sources, but you have to go where the money is.

Money talks and humanity walks

Slowly, slouching toward the next economic disaster brought to us by the likes of Goldmine Sachs and J P Morgan Chase and their Magical Mystery Swaps. And here we are three years after those lovelys, many acting in a clearly fraudulent manner, brought down the world economy and disappeared $7 Trillion, no one has been perp walked and those big swinging dicks are still playing with their financial dynamite. Gretchen Morgenson looks at why this is so.
DERIVATIVES are responsible for much of the interconnectedness between banks and other institutions that made the financial collapse accelerate in the way that it did, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions in bailouts. Yet credit default swaps have been largely untouched by financial reform efforts.

This is not surprising. Given how much money is generated by the big institutions trading these instruments, these entities are showering money on Washington to protect their profits. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported that revenue generated by United States banks in their credit derivatives trading totaled $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2009.

Congressional “reform” plans for credit default swaps are full of loopholes, guaranteeing that another derivatives-fueled financial crisis awaits us. According to the Bank for International Settlements, credit default swaps with a face value of $36 trillion were outstanding in the second quarter of 2009, the most recent figures available.

Credit default swaps are “a way to increase the leverage in the system, and the people who were doing it knew that they were doing something on the edge of fraudulent,” said Martin Mayer, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and author of 37 books, many of them on banking. “They were not well-motivated.”
During Prohibition, Al Capone made enough money to run soup kitchens in the Depression and still buy the politicians in Chicago and Illinois. Taking a page from his book, Goldmine and J P Morgan are buying every politician that can have any effect on their gravy train. And when the price of politicians is pennies on the dollar of profit, if that much, the only way to stop another derivatives disaster is to shoot the traders.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Teabagger terrorism

The subject of Frank Rich's column this week is the coalescing of various strands of teabagger hate into a tapestry of terrorism similar to that of the 90's.
It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air. Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. Anyone who was cognizant during the McVeigh firestorm would recognize the old warning signs re-emerging from the mists of history. The Patriot movement. “The New World Order,” with its shadowy conspiracies hatched by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Sandpoint, Idaho. White supremacists. Militias.

Barstow confirmed what the Southern Poverty Law Center had found in its report last year: the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right that was thought to have vaporized after its Oklahoma apotheosis is making a comeback. And now it is finding common cause with some elements of the diverse, far-flung and still inchoate Tea Party movement. All it takes is a few self-styled “patriots” to sow havoc.
And there will always be someone who thinks he or she can control the energy of the teabagger emotions. Kerensky, Trotsky, Danton, Marat, Robespierre are names that come to mind when thinking of those in the past who thought this.


Snowy Saturday Night Music Blogging

It has been snowing all day so I had plenty of time to go YouTubing. I stumbled over this one and wondered as I listened, is there anyone this side of Caruso that Emmylou hasn't sung with? Besides me, that is.


If he does I want to see his birth certificate...

And any and all diplomas plus his entire medical history to determine if an foreign control elements have been implanted.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who toyed with running for the WH in '96 and seriously engaged the idea of running in '08, but ultimately did not, said today, "'12 is different."

In an interview with National Journal reporters and editors this morning, Gingrich said he and his wife Callista were "trying to organize our activities to be in a position to make a decision [about running for president] in February or March [of '11]."

Gingrich also said that his political and public policy advocacy group, American Solutions, is in the process of filing papers with the FEC for his new political action committee. And Gingrich said that wants to be active for GOP candidates in the '10 midterm elections. "I'll spend a fair amount of time campaigning," said Gingrich. He'll also be on a book tour this spring to promote To Save America, his 20th book.
If Newt Gingrich wants to run for President, I want to know what could possibly make an ostensibly American citizen think and say such anti-Constitutional and unAmerican ideas as he does. And one more item, the sales receipt for his soul from the Devil.

From the pen of Stuart Carlson


If it has redeeming social value

Is a dumb idea still a dumb idea? Most people would say that arm wrestling is a dumb idea when men do it so what say you of women doing it, in organized leagues? To their credit the women make it entertaining and use it to support local charities.
Each league has its own Facebook page and the women are in frequent contact with one another, offering advice. (Q: Where does one buy an arm-wrestling table? A: $100 at Ultimate Arm Wrestling.) While there are slight variations on the concept in each city -- the champ in Taos wins a WWE-style belt, while the Windy City winner wears a tiara and a sash -- each group tries to stay true to the essence of the original CLAW.

It's more than following the four pages of intricate rules written by Charlottesville lawyer and CLAW referee Jude Silveira. Each match sponsors a different local cause, from youth music programs to teen pregnancy initiatives. "It's blossoming in all of these cities because it's such a clean idea," says Miller.

A clean idea, yes, but a hilarious one to take part in. All wrestlers compete free of charge, and if there is admission -- typically $5 -- the proceeds benefit the chosen charity. The matches are over pretty quickly. It's usually the best three out of five, with the ref calling the shots and three local celebrity judges deciding any ties.

The characters the women cook up are far-ranging -- Jackie O'Nasty? Strawberry Shivcake? The ref and judges can easily be swayed by CLAWbucks from the crowd. Oh, and let's not forget the monitor sitting under the wrestling table. His sole job: looking at butts. Wrestlers who get up from their seats are disqualified.

"One tournament, we happened to have two characters who were both housewives," Bunnell says. "One was named 'Bunnie Bruiser.' She was a '60s housewife with a beehive, an apron, Jell-O molds and martinis. She was up against 'Tough Love,' a working-class mom in curlers and terry-cloth robe. She shed it -- only to unveil another terry-cloth robe.

"It was our longest standing bout," Bunnell says. "They were in a gridlock. The tension and screaming, I have never heard it get so loud. They lasted through the entire song of 'Fight for Your Right (to Party)' by the Beastie Boys."
Who says women are equal? I think they got the better of men in this sport.

Kill two birds with one stone

It seems the distinguished "gentleprick" from Kentucky took out more than the thousands of unemployed whose benefits will run out tomorrow. Those are only people and a natural target for Republicans. His stand against the extension also took out the extension of SBA's 90% guarantee of 7a loans. This is a direct assault on small business because the various bailed out banks are mostly requiring SBA backing before they make any new loans to small business. Republicans have long made a fetish of the small business and paid lip service to them for years. We can only wonder what Mitch The Chin thinks of Sen. Bunning's bean ball.

All eyes now turn to Andy Cuomo

Because at this time there is no other Democratic candidate for Governor now that Gov Patterson has withdrawn from the race. So what will he do and when will he announce his intentions?
On Friday, as Democrats began falling into line behind him, Mr. Cuomo’s supporters pointed to late March or early April as the likeliest moment for him to declare his candidacy. Mr. Cuomo signaled that he would not be hurried into the fray.

“It is in the best interests of all New Yorkers that the state government function through this difficult time and address the pressing budgetary problems we face,” he said in a statement. “This is an election year and I will announce my plans at the appropriate time. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on my job as attorney general and the many important issues we are pursuing.”

Until now, the focus on a potential primary with Mr. Paterson has allowed Mr. Cuomo to skirt questions about the race for governor by saying he was focusing on his job. Attorneys general, after all, do not draft budgets or seek givebacks from union leaders.

“Could you blame him for being coy, and not being available to the press on every issue, on things that aren’t in the purview of the A.G.?” asked the publicist Ken Sunshine, a close friend and longtime Democratic insider. “Obviously he’ll have to start talking about that, and he will. But he doesn’t need to go to school to learn how.”
And when he has all his ducks in a row we will see him step forth to do battle with Rick What's-his-name.

Huge earthquake strikes Chile

A magnitude 8.8 is a monster. According to Wikipedia,
Like the Richter scale, the MMS is logarithmic, where an earthquake one whole number greater has 10 times the amplitude and has approximately 31.6 times more energy. For example, M7.0 has about 31.6 times the energy of M6.0, and 1000 times the energy of M5.0.
Even with many of the newer buildings built to resist quakes, the enormous amount of energy released can do great damage to them and destroy older buildings. It is still too early to know how much damage was done and there is immediate concern around the Pacific about the tsunami this might generate. Beyond emergency rescue, Chile should be able to respond much more effectively than Haiti.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jim Bunning Music Blogging

For those whose UI will run out thanks to the "Distinguished Gentleprick" from Kentucky here is a menu for your feast to celebrate St Bunning Day.



But don't be greedy, you get no bread with one meatball.

An aide to Obama gets it right

The American people ... all they want is an up or down vote. They want to move on, have the vote, let's finish the debate. The American people say let the vote be held, let the majority rule and let's move on,
David Axelrod, with a clever use of words he finally defines what reconciliation is, an up or down vote

And when the Great Brenancke speaks

All who hear his words quiver in fear. Unless you are one of the big swinging dicks that run Wall St. If you are one of them, the following exchange is your idea of comedy.
Investors used these swaps, which were like gasoline on fire during the near meltdown of U.S. financial markets in September 2008, to hedge against the risk of losses from a debt default. For countries such as Greece, however, they also raised borrowing costs, making it harder to prevent a default.

"Since there is no requirement that purchasers of credit default swaps actually own any of the underlying debt, we have a situation in which major financial institutions are amplifying a public crisis for what would appear to be . . . private gain," Dodd told Bernanke. "I want to ask you here whether or not you think there ought to be limits on the use of credit default swaps to prevent the intentional creation of runs against governments."

"I just want to say first of all that we are looking into a number of questions related to Goldman Sachs and other companies and their derivatives arrangements with Greece and on this issue as well," said Bernanke, who's attempting to show Congress that the central bank can be an effective regulator.

"Using these instruments in a way that intentionally destabilizes a company or a country is — is counterproductive, and I'm sure the SEC will be looking into that," he said. "We'll certainly be evaluating what we can learn from the activities of the holding companies that we supervise here in the U.S."
Their GOP allies having made sure there are no laws or regulations to break, Lloyd Blankfein does not need to turn his shares into gold as he retires to his private island. In fact, he can continue to pursue his plundering ways with derivatives until someone does make his form of grand theft illegal. Right after pigs get their pilots licenses.

Which side are you on?

The WaPo looks at what drives the Afghans to be on one side or the other. Mostly it boils down to who pays the most respect, in cash or other currency.

Krugman weighs in on the health reform summit

Fresh from his wildly successful profile in the New Yorker, everybodys favorite sane economist tells us what he thinks of the shootout at the Blair House Corral.
What I took away was the arrogance that the success of things like the death-panel smear has obviously engendered in Republican politicians. At this point they obviously believe that they can blandly make utterly misleading assertions, saying things that can be easily refuted, and pay no price. And they may well be right.

But Democrats can have the last laugh. All they have to do — and they have the power to do it — is finish the job, and enact health reform.
Only if certain Democrats pull their heads out of their asses, yes I'm looking at you Kucinich!

When you can't do business with the government

You just create a mini-me company to do the work with your people, your equipment and the checks sent to the same place. The government will never know. It worked for Blackwater.
Blackwater set up a shell company to "defraud the government" by leading it to believe it wasn't contracting with the notorious security contractor, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill says.

"In Afghanistan, they set up this shell company, Paravant, in collaboration with mammoth war giant Raytheon, which held the prime contract" for training Afghan security forces, Scahill told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

"And they set up this contract to try to hide the fact that the Pentagon was once again hiring Blackwater, this firm that's been under investigation by practically every federal entity in the United States," Scahill continued. "It's a shell company that was used to essentially defraud the government by convincing the Army that Blackwater was not getting the contract, but this company Paravant."
And our Pentagon contract people were willing to hire just any old born yesterday bunch of mercs as long as it wasn't Blackwater.

These two go together like Marilyn & Monroe

And its just as beautiful. Willie & The Wheel


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dear Unemployed, Sens. Bunning & Kyl want you to die

Then they would not have to embarrass themselves holding up an extension of your pitifully small benefits to force passage of an inheritence tax bill to benefit Paris Hilton. Please hurry unemployed people, Bunning & Kyl aren't getting any younger you know.

What you learn in your youth

Generally stays with you all your life. This is why people continue to do the same thing that first worked for them all their lives. This is a somewhat extreme example of that.
Doris Thompson hasn't let age slow her down. At 80, she's still ransacking and burglarizing medical offices.

Thompson, whose criminal record stretches back to 1955, pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking about $1,400 from the Children's Medical Group in suburban Torrance.

During the hearing, the amiable 5-foot-3 woman who ties her gray pigtails with white bows, thanked the judge for letting her serve her time in state prison rather than County Jail.

She also called Deputy District Attorney Paulette Paccione "sweetie" and told the judge "God bless you" as he sentenced her to three years behind bars.

"She just likes to steal," Paccione said Thursday. "It's just been her occupation, I guess, for years and years and years."
Thankfully she also learned her manners, too.
At her arraignment the next day, she said made sure to tell officials, "I do my time like a lady," court records indicate.

Time for the annual Jawboning of the Gas Prices

As you may remember from years past, this is the season where all the "experts" and "pundits" tell us how much the price of gasoline will rise in the months ahead.
Your pocketbook is about to take another hit — gas prices are rising.

Within the past week, gas prices rose 21.2 cents per gallon, averaging $2.55 a gallon in Wichita. That's up 83 cents from last year at this time.

Experts say don't be too alarmed — just yet. Pump prices typically rise this time of year as refineries switch to a summer blend of gasoline, which is more expensive to refine.

"This is when we start to see the gasoline market go higher," said Darin Newsom, a senior analyst with the Omaha-based Internet trading firm, Telvent DTN.

Experts don't expect gas to hit $4 a gallon like it did in the summer of 2008, but several are predicting it could be above $3 per gallon.

"I'll be surprised if it got over $3.25," said Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at Oil Price Information Service.
If you keep track of the various estimates, you can determine what price the market manipulators have decided on. This years appears to be a modest jump probably because the major manipulators have moved on to raping the economies of whole countries and only the small players are doing gasoline anymore.

Is it that bad?

From the pen of Mike Lukovich


The Dude abides, still

And if you want to read an Oscar pimping piece on Jeff Bridges, the NY Times is here for you. It is well written, so if you like the man go give it a read.

Issue #3 is now on sale

The latest issue of "False Witness" The Michelle Bachmann Story is out. You can order your copy here. Order two, one to read and one to save for your retirement in case she succeeds in destroying your Social Security and Medicare.


We made money getting you into this mess

And the banks involved in the Greek financial disaster have every intention of of making more money as that country spirals to collapse. It's easy for them, they know what happens when you buy into their crap so they just make a few more bets on the almost guaranteed outcome.
Echoing the kind of trades that nearly toppled the American International Group, the increasingly popular insurance against the risk of a Greek default is making it harder for Athens to raise the money it needs to pay its bills, according to traders and money managers.

These contracts, known as credit-default swaps, effectively let banks and hedge funds wager on the financial equivalent of a four-alarm fire: a default by a company or, in the case of Greece, an entire country. If Greece reneges on its debts, traders who own these swaps stand to profit.

“It’s like buying fire insurance on your neighbor’s house — you create an incentive to burn down the house,” said Philip Gisdakis, head of credit strategy at UniCredit in Munich.

As Greece’s financial condition has worsened, undermining the euro, the role of Goldman Sachs and other major banks in masking the true extent of the country’s problems has drawn criticism from European leaders. But even before that issue became apparent, a little-known company backed by Goldman, JP Morgan Chase and about a dozen other banks had created an index that enabled market players to bet on whether Greece and other European nations would go bust.
Do they play on their violins as they watch and wait like Nero did? And once again we have Goldmine Sachs as the lead Vampire Squid.

Jon Stewart to Mitch The Chin: WTF do you really want?

And he could have said the same to Jay Rockefeller.

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Midnight Special Music Blogging


Bring it on chickie!

If you missed Rachel last night, you missed an awesome segment. Using Rep. Anthony Weiner's comments on the floor of the House to set up the challenge, Rachel then drives it homes with the most cogent argument against for profit health insurance yet presented. A truly special moment.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alaska small businesses to get quasi-public option

What started as a health insurance plan for Alaska non-profits is now being offered to small business members of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.
For now, the plan offered by Foraker, which supports the state's nonprofits, isn't cheaper than the health insurance options already available to Alaska businesses.

Its key difference from other options is its major focus on keeping those costs in check by encouraging healthier lifestyles among workers. By using a similar approach over the past 17 years, the city of Juneau has been able to provide its workers some of the most affordable health insurance premiums in the state, according to Foraker.

The potential for further cost savings will increase significantly as more employers use the plan. Once the insurance covers roughly 1,000 people, Foraker will have the option to create group rates. For now, the pool remains small. About 30 nonprofits around the state, with 400 employees, participate.
No word yet on when they will roll out the death panels.

Quote of the Day

He promises to try to gum up the works with endless amendments. [Sen.]DeMint is pretty much the underwear bomber of the Senate, though, so it's to be expected that he'll be a total dickbag.
The Rude Pundit, making another totally accurate assessment of those who would rule us.

WellPoint needs premium hikes to guarantee profits

To guarantee profits without diminishing executive pay or bonuses. Rep. Henry Waxman and his committee have been looking into WellPoint Blue Cross and their Magical Mystery rate hikes. What they found was obvious.
WellPoint Inc.’s internal documents show the health insurer sought to raise rates in California to boost company profits and cover costs ballooned by executive pay and corporate retreats, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman said.

WellPoint, the biggest U.S. insurer by enrollment, may have manipulated actuarial assumptions it cited to justify a rate increase as high as 39 percent, Waxman, a California Democrat, said at a congressional hearing. The Indianapolis-based insurer also paid compensation of at least $1 million apiece to 39 executives in 2008 and spent $27 million over two years on executive getaways, Waxman said, citing documents obtained by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
But, but the hikes are needed to keep up with medical expenses, insists the poor put upon insurer. The company made $4.75 Billion last year and
the insurer said its previous earnings forecast of at least $6 a share was now subject to the “ability to secure and maintain sufficient premium rates.”
Or to put it in English, if you don't give us the hike, we can't produce the profit we promised to Wall St and they will beat our stock like a red headed step-child. Boy O Boy will our executives be mad if that happens.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey says go slow on DADT repeal

For no good reason whatsoever.

Ain't it the truth !



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Oliphant and Auth, perfect together






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Dylan Ratigan does Joe Wilson

And he doesn't have to say "You lie" to Joe, it's obvious.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


C St. house in DC is not a church

So say 13 real ministers in a complaint to the IRS.
The C Street Center, which owns the 1880-vintage townhouse, claims status as a church. And as with other religious organizations, the IRS takes the center's word that it is a church. As a result, the center doesn't have to file public tax returns, as most non-profit organizations must do.

The arrangement fits the C Street Center's practically invisible public presence. But now a group of 13 ministers has asked the IRS to revoke that church status.

Their complaint, delivered to the IRS Tuesday, says, "An organization whose chief activity is providing room and board to members of Congress is not a church." It cites a list of 15 factors that the agency considers in granting church status.

"Is there public worship?" said the leader of the ministers group, Pastor Eric Williams, of the North Congregational United Church of Christ, in Columbus, Ohio. "Is it open to the public? Are there trained leaders who serve the church? C Street really has none of those marks that make it a church."

And if it is not a church, Williams says other questions come up, as to whether the C Street Center's fundraising and other activities meet the requirements for 501(c)(3) charities.
If this effort succeeds, as it should, we can expect modifications to the tax code to exclude knocking shops that cater to Congress. Lord knows the boyos need some "west and wewaxation" as Elmer Fudd would say.

Poor old Senators working their asses off.

They passed the Jobs Bill 70-28 after adding $20 Billion for highway work so it might actually do something about unemployment. As a treat for that heavy lift, the White House, through Wall St butt boy Tiny Tim Geithner, will allow the Senate to define away the Volcker Rule so that Wall St will not suffer any diminution of their criminal enterprises.

Texicans believe in One Eyed Justice

Scott Horton has a truly sad case of Texican justice that only someone who believes Jesus spent his youth as a dinosaur wrangler could accept.
Charles Dean Hood was sentenced to death in 1990 by a Texas judge who had been sleeping with the prosecutor in his case. It took Mr. Hood almost 20 years to establish that fact. But he finally managed to force the two officials to testify about their rumored affair in the fall of 2008. They admitted it. Texas’s highest court for criminal matters, its Court of Criminal Appeals, considered all of this and concluded that Mr. Hood should be executed anyway. In a 6-to-3 decision in September, the court told Mr. Hood that he had taken too long to raise the issue of whether a love affair between a judge and a prosecutor amounted to a conflict of interest.
Because looking at her now, the appeals court could not believe that anybody wanted to bone her.

Respect my authorita !!

Reports indicate that the notorious criminal enterprise and mercenary army Blackwater used false identities to draw AK-47's from a US military store. The name used was Eric Cartman. That kind of foolishness might work in Virginia, but we would hope the military would be a little sharper than that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet Dreams Music Blogging


Your Two Minute Ed

Tonight, Ed on the health insurance debate. It's what he does best.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Have you had enough?

Of the Loser Mentality of the Obama White House.



You know what to do. Do it now and do it often, just like the wingnuts do when they win.

Health news update

This time on the status of erstwhile Vice President and current War Criminal Dick "dick" Cheney. According to the sawbones in charge, "dick" had a mild heart attack. This is good because a vicious heart, having attacked and perhaps killed the VP & WC, might have then have gone and attacked other, innocent people around him.

290

That is the number of bills passed by the House that can't move in the Senate because of the Anarcho-Republican Party filibusters of everything. No doubt the GOP wishes it still had the White House so they could fly Mitch "The Chin" McConnell to an aircraft carrier and declare Mission Accomplished.

Texicans should spend some time in Utah

Specifically in Utah's Dinosaur National Monument. News reports tell us that a new species of dinosaur was found there.
Fossils of a previously undiscovered species of dinosaur have been found in slabs of Utah sandstone that were so hard that explosives had to be used to free some of the remains, scientists said Tuesday. The bones found at Dinosaur National Monument belonged to a type of sauropod - long-necked plant-eaters that were said to be the largest animal ever to roam land.

The discovery included two complete skulls from other types of sauropods - an extremely rare find, scientists said.

The fossils offer fresh insight into lives of dinosaurs some 105 million years ago, including the evolution of sauropod teeth, which reveal eating habits and other information, said Dan Chure, a paleontologist at the monument that straddles the Utah-Colorado border.
Sadly the reports do not include any fossils of the humans who probably used the dinosaurs to commute back and forth to work. I suppose the Texicans will say this was a dino junkyard and the humans are buried elsewhere. Maybe the Mormons could lend the scientists their seer stones, Uma & Thurman, to help find that place.

And in a lighter vein

Our BFF over there, Karzai of the Afghans, has executed a brilliant maneuver to insure that he doesn't have to worry about no pesky elections in the future.
Using a loophole in the Afghan Constitution, the president unilaterally rewrote the election law and put it into effect by an emergency presidential decree on Feb. 13.

Under the new version, the five members of the Election Complaint Commission, created to oversee voting irregularities, will now be chosen by him. Previously, three of the seats on the commission were held by foreigners appointed by the United Nations and the other two members were Afghans.

The Election Complaint Commission was the oversight body that documented widespread irregularities in the presidential elections held last August, ruling that at least 1 million votes cast for President Hamid Karzai were suspect, forcing him into a run-off.
Pretty slick, huh? So if this guy Karzai of the Afghans is so sharp, why are we wasting our time, troops and money fighting for him? He can take care of himself.

We saved Wall St.

But in the rest of the banking industry, natural business law continues to reign supreme. Of the 8,100 lending banks in this country, the number of troubled institutions has risen to 8.6%.
After weathering the nation’s worst run of bank failures in nearly two decades, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced Tuesday that it had added 450 institutions to its list of challenged lenders in 2009 and warned that the industry was likely to remain under stress.

The number of so-called problem banks rose to 702 at the end of 2009, compared to 252 at the beginning of the year. Both the number of troubled institutions and their total assets are at the highest level since 1993, putting enormous strain on the government-administered insurance fund that protects customer deposits.

The F.D.I.C. does not disclose which banks it considers at risk. Lenders on its list are not necessarily in imminent danger of failure.

With banks failing in growing numbers, the F.D.I.C. said its insurance fund fell deeper into the red, ending 2009 with a deficit of $20.9 billion. That position was nearly $38.1 billion weaker than a year earlier. The bulk of that decline reflects funds that the F.D.I.C. is setting aside to cope with future losses.
Not all the banks on the list will fail, but the increase shows another troubling benchmark as we try to dig out of the Great Bush Depression.

Lack of jobs throws consumer confidence in the crapper

And with it probably any chance of ending the Great Bush Depression anytime soon, unless you trade "funny money" on Wall St.
Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in February to the lowest level in 10 months, a sign that concern about job prospects may hold back the spending needed to sustain the recovery.

The Conference Board’s confidence index slumped to 46, below the lowest forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, from 56.5 in January, a report from the New York- based private research group showed today. A separate report showed home prices rose for a seventh month.

Stocks fell and Treasuries gained after the confidence report also showed attitudes about current conditions fell to the lowest level in 27 years and the outlook for wages dimmed. The survey reinforces expectations Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will repeat the central bank’s pledge to keep interest rates low for “an extended period” in testimony to Congress tomorrow.

“Consumer spending is going to disappoint throughout most of the year,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. The economy “may not be out of the woods.”
With major industrial companies like Ford predicting no new hiring for another two years, and the Senate moving a jobs bill that is $5 Billion less than the bonus total for Wall St in 2009, it is hard to picture any return of confidence or demand in the foreseeable future.

Joh Stewart explains why Glen Beck is a commie

And how he does it with out his head hurting is a miracle.

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The second half of the clip with Samantha Bee is pretty lame if you want to skip it.

Obama seeking Dem losses in 2010 elections

What other reason can there be to explain the White House failure to provide any support of the public option even as it is in its grasp if the President would make any effort. Ezra Klein explains,
One other point on the public option: This has been a complete and utter failure of White House leadership. They need to give this effort their support, or they need to kill it by publicly stating their opposition. But they can't simply wait for someone else to make the decision for them, which has been their strategy until now.

This is, however, the worst of all worlds. In refusing to disappoint the left early, they're assuring the sense of betrayal will be much more acute because the feeling of momentum will have far longer to build. And in refusing to embrace this strategy cleanly, they're making it harder to lay the groundwork for an effective communications strategy around a bill that's tougher on insurers. The problem isn't just that the White House is following, but that they're making it harder to eventually lead.
In too many ways, the White House strategery appears to be right out of Mitch "The Chin" McConnells playbook. You have to ask yourself, does the President want to be a minority president after November?

Bernie and Jan have introduced a good bill

Unfortunately it faces an uncertain future because the forces of greed and evil lined up against it are formidable.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the "Stop Outsourcing Security Act" on Tuesday. If passed, the act would force the United States to phase out its controversial use of private security contractors in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The legislation would restore the responsibility of the American military to train troops and police, guard convoys, repair weapons, administer military prisons, and perform military intelligence," the lawmakers' offices said.

"The bill also would require that all diplomatic security be undertaken by US government personnel," they added.

While the bill is likely to meet stiff opposition from the Pentagon and the defense industry, it's certain to be well received among progressives and peace activists, who have watched with alarm as the use of private contractors in war zones has skyrocketed in recent years.
The Conservatives do remember that mercenary armies were part of the downfall of Rome are doing all they can to make sure it happens here, too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dick Cheney in hospital with chest pains

Apparently the walls of his heart cavity were collapsing into the empty space. Sadly, he is resting comfortably when someone with his history should be suffering the agonies of eternal damnation.

What better proof that God is dead.

Jobs bill passes in the Senate

It's not much but any help for those without a job is better than nothing.
In a rare bipartisan breakthrough, the Senate pushed a $15 billion measure intended to spur job creation over a crucial preliminary obstacle Monday night after five Senate Republicans broke ranks to back consideration of the Democratic leadership initiative.

The test vote of 62-30 makes it likely the Senate will approve the measure that Democrats said would create tens of thousands of new jobs, improving the struggling national employment market. But whether the House will go along with the legislation without making substantial changes remains to be seen.
The Senate bill can't hold a candle to the House measure so it remains to be seen if it can be worked out in conference. On the plus side, the House sent this over with reconciliation instructions so the Senate will know what to do if they run into trouble.

Your Two Minute Ed

Ed's back from his Olympic break and talking health insurance with Eliot Spitzer and Wendell Potter.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Joe Liebermann shows a spark of humanity

Yep, that famously treacherous son of a bitch shows that nobody is all bad. Heck, even Adolph Hitler liked dogs.
The famously self-centered senator from Connecticut said Monday that he would be a sponsor of legislation to be introduced next week.

"I will be proud to be a sponsor of the important effort to enable patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security and our founding values of freedom and opportunity," Lieberman said in a statement. "I have opposed the current policy of preventing gay Americans from openly serving in the military since its enactment in 1993.

"To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and weakens our defenses by denying our military the service of a large group of Americans who can help our cause," he said. "I am grateful for the leadership of President Obama to repeal the policy and the support of Secretary Gates and Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen."
This will naturally piss off his BFF John McCain, but Joe never does anything that doesn't piss off someone, except his corporate sponsors.

Huckabee does badly in CPAC poll, Huckabee rips CPAC

Because anything that doesn't like him must be irrelevant.
Following his disappointing sixth place finish in this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee criticized the conference as increasingly irrelevant to the conservative movement and accused its organizers of conducting a "pay for play" event.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian icon, won Saturday's straw poll with 31 percent of the vote. Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich each took in 4 percent, earning them a tie for sixth.
Mike just doesn't get that he is attacking the future of the Republican Party. Besides he is really pissed that he did not do better than that has been Newt Gingrich. Heck , that would piss off most people.

Insurance companies working to pass Public Option.

Not really, but you are justified in being confused about what the health insurance companies are trying to do. After spending multi-millions more on lobbying this year than usual, their large rate hike requests along with declarations that they can do so whenever they wish would seem like a declaration of war on the public at large. Then they add special moments like this.
Ephram Nehme wanted to visit a doctor. Turns out he also needed to hire a lawyer.

His trial begins today in a Los Angeles courtroom, where Nehme is alleging that the nation's largest health insurer, WellPoint Inc., and its California subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross, automatically denied coverage for a liver transplant that his doctor said was medically necessary.

According to a statement issued on Nehme's behalf, Anthem never spoke to any of the doctors nor reviewed all of the medical files related to the case. It also states that a Blue Cross transplant nurse recommended the procedure before the claim was denied. As a result of the insurer's decision, Nehme paid over $205,000 out-of-pocket. "The transplant was necessary to save his life," says the release from Consumer Watchdog.

The case hinges not only on when Nehme needed the surgery, but where he got it. According to a report the Los Angeles Times ran in October, "Nehme's doctor told him he could die waiting for an organ in California and urged him to go to Indiana, where the waiting list was shorter. But Anthem Blue Cross said no. It would not pay for a transplant in Indiana."
Despite his doctors recommendation, the Anthem Blue Cross death panel decided with little or no review that he could last long enough in California. We all know that health insurance companies hire none but the best doctors to staff their death panels. Who knows, maybe we will end up being grateful to the insurance companies for their greed.

When tokers become geezers

They still smoke and they find new uses for the wonder weed.
In her 88 years, Florence Siegel has learned how to relax: A glass of red wine. A crisp copy of The New York Times, if she can wrest it from her husband. Some classical music, preferably Bach. And every night like clockwork, she lifts a pipe to her lips and smokes marijuana.

Siegel walks with a cane and has arthritis in her back and legs. She finds marijuana has helped her sleep better than pills ever did. And she can't figure out why everyone her age isn't sharing a joint, too.

"They're missing a lot of fun and a lot of relief," she said.
Geezers are one of Americas great resources.

Judge approves BoA deal but calls it "Half baked justice"

Which is judge talk for bullshit.
Rakoff said Monday in his written order approving the revised settlement that it was "considerably improved" but "far from ideal."

He said the new deal's greatest defect "is that it advocates very modest punitive, compensatory and remedial measures that are neither directed at the specific individuals responsible for the nondisclosures nor appear likely to have more than a very modest impact on corporate practices or victim compensation."

He added: "While better than nothing, this is half-baked justice at best."
No orange jumpsuits, no perp walks and no reason for BoA not to do it again.

Targeting Senator Noodle


Monday Music Blogging

Something Baroque today, from Georg Philip Telemann, a very popular composer in his day.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Three cheers for USA Hockey

They busted their humps tonight to beat Team Canada 5-3. It was like watching a Stanley Cup final game and they are only halfway through. Guys, enjoy your extra day off.

Hey Teabaggers! Who's your Daddy?

Rahm Emmanuel. Really? I don't know, just saying.

Tom Tomorrow visits Wall St

Eleven years ago.



It seems as fresh as today.

Cheap plonk

For many years in the US if you wanted a cheap plonk you bought Gallo wines. Lately the Gallo family has worked hard to improve their product line, going so far as to import wine from France to bottle under a fancy label.
Today, in a courtroom in the south-western French town of Carcassonne, 12 figures from the local wine industry were convicted of masterminding a lucrative scam in which E&J Gallo, the leading US winery, was conned into buying 18m bottles of plonk which had been repackaged as pinot noir.

In one of the most far-reaching scandals to have hit French vineyards in years, the executives from the Languedoc-Roussillon region were found to have made a €7m (£6.1m) profit through a fraud which lasted from January 2006 until March 2008. Overall, 13.5m litres of fake wine were shipped to the US to be drunk by unsuspecting US consumers. Gallo, founded by brothers Ernest and Julio following the repeal of prohibition in 1933, is now the biggest family-run winery in the US, known internationally as the leading exporter of Californian wines and within the industry as the world's most powerful wine brand.

The court made clear who it believed had been the "kingpin" of the affair: Claude Courset, head of Ducasse wine merchants, who acted as an intermediary between local producers and a conglomerate which resold the wine to Gallo. Courset was given a six month suspended jail sentence and a fine of €45,000.

Sieur d'Arques, the trading company that worked with Gallo on its popular brand of Red Bicyclette wines, was ordered to pay €180,000. The business had been the only defendant to plead not guilty in the affair, insisting that the fraud had been carried out without its knowledge.

The other defendants, including eight co-operative wine cellars from the surrounding Aude and Hérault regions, were fined according to their responsibility in the affair. Gallo has not yet filed any complaint to the French courts.
Still cheap plonk, but Two Buck Chuck is a better value.

Governator Ahnold smacks down Republican hypocrisy

Its easy to do and the Governator does it with obvious relish, no doubt payback for the GOP shitheads in his state.
Appearing on ABC's This Week, the moderate Republican frequent GOP scourge pointed to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in particular for arguing this past week that the stimulus bill hadn't produced a single "net" job gain.

"I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around, and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying, 'This doesn't create any new job,'" said Schwarzenegger. "And then they go out and do the photo ops, posing with the big check and they say: 'Isn't this great, look at the kind of money I've provided for the state and this is money to create jobs, and this has created 10,000 new jobs, this has created 20,000 news jobs, and all those kinds of things.' It doesn't match up."

It's hypocrisy, said host Terry Moran. "Exactly," Schwarzenegger replied.
Sadly, the Gov is speaking for that small dying segment of Republicans who at least remember what reality is.

The logic here is very peccable

Gen Petraeus was talking with NBC Sunday Douchebag David Gregory and gave his position on gays in the military. Notice that he adds confirmation to Adm. Mullens statement that there are and have been gays in the military for a long time.
Gen. David Petraeus has served with gays and lesbians and believes troops may not care if the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is repealed.

"Do you think soldiers on the ground in the field care one way or the other if their comrade in arms are gay or lesbian?" asked NBC's David Gregory.

"I'm not sure that they do. We'll see," replied Petraeus.

"I served, in fact, in combat with individuals who were gay and who were lesbian in combat situations. Frankly, you know, over time you said hey how's this guy shooting or how is her analysis or what have you?" explained Petraeus.
It all comes down to how well do they do the job at hand. And Petraeus still goes along with the wait and study crowd. Are they afraid that with repeal it will suddenly be pink thongs and ass chaps all around and you don't want to know about the Gay Pride parade grounds?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Ronald Reagan signed

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, signed on April 18, 1988 and ratified on Oct 21, 1994

Article 2, section 2 states
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
How is it that three supposedly competent lawyers, who worshiped St Ronnie, could have thought that this unequivocal statement did not apply to themselves, their administration or this country? And how could anyone suppose their ignoring of this was merely poor judgement? Even putting the best face on it is an ugly image.

Looking for a job? Ready for the long haul?

With the vast number of people unemployed, over 15 Million, and the need for about 100,000 new jobs a month just to meet the new workers, economists expect the lower half of the American work force to be shit out of luck for a long time.
Some labor experts note that severe economic downturns are generally followed by powerful expansions, suggesting that aggressive hiring will soon resume. But doubts remain about whether such hiring can last long enough to absorb anywhere close to the millions of unemployed.

Some labor experts say the basic functioning of the American economy has changed in ways that make jobs scarce — particularly for older, less-educated people like Ms. Eisen, who has only a high school diploma.

Large companies are increasingly owned by institutional investors who crave swift profits, a feat often achieved by cutting payroll. The declining influence of unions has made it easier for employers to shift work to part-time and temporary employees. Factory work and even white-collar jobs have moved in recent years to low-cost countries in Asia and Latin America. Automation has helped manufacturing cut 5.6 million jobs since 2000 — the sort of jobs that once provided lower-skilled workers with middle-class paychecks.

“American business is about maximizing shareholder value,” said Allen Sinai, chief global economist at the research firm Decision Economics. “You basically don’t want workers. You hire less, and you try to find capital equipment to replace them.”
With the economy showing no demand, to the point that Krugman is worried about deflation, many people will be running through their savings and their safety net long before any kind of employment is available. This begs the question, where will the new demand come from? Or will we be the New Japan, except that we don't have a comprehensive safety net anymore like most civilized countries do. Maybe, what with the size of Wall St bonuses (bonae?), we will see the rise of a new servant class.

Why the military should avoid politics

When military men touch on politics, the senior officer in charge will probably issue a dumb order that will get troops killed. And when they investigate, good officers in between will be scapegoated because the senior officer is never wrong. McClatchy has the details/

Quote of the Day

I am shocked and outraged that Jed Babbin, editor of Human Events, would dare to make light of the tragic event that took place in Austin this week by joking about someone flying an airplane into a government building. This is precisely the kind of irresponsible rhetoric that can turn frustration with policies and politics into attacks on public servants and can contribute to misguided rage against federal workers and threaten their safety.
Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

There is a potential senator somewhere in the Navy

The Marines dumped poisons into the water supply for years. They were aware of the problem since 1984 when they shut down the poisoned wells. Now that the public knows about this, the Navy's response is:
The Navy has agreed to pay $1.53 million for a mortality study that could show a linkage between toxic water at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and the deaths of Marines and their family members who lived there over a 30-year period.

Some estimates are that during that time, as many as 1 million people were exposed to well water at the base that contained trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene and vinyl chloride.

The chemicals were dumped into storm drains, leaked from fuel tanks or were buried in pits across the base. They seeped through the groundwater and into wells that fed the base areas of Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace.
No need to rush into these things.

Bob Herbert loves his country

Which is why he wants to rebuild and replace the ancient and deteriorating infrastructure that plagues so much of America. With so much of the renewal process deferred, delayed and denied since the advent of St. Ronnie of Reagan, he lets us see what a formidable task that will be.
Schools, highways, the electric grid, water systems, ports, dams, levees — the list can seem endless — have to be maintained, upgraded, rebuilt or replaced if the U.S. is to remain a first-class nation with a first-class economy over the next several decades. And some entirely new infrastructure systems will have to be developed.

But these systems have to be paid for, and right now there are not enough people at the higher echelons of government trying to figure out the best ways to raise the enormous amounts of money that will be required, and the most responsible ways of spending that money. And there are not enough leaders explaining to the public how heavy this lift will be, and why it is so necessary, and what sacrifices will be required to get the job properly done.

In an era of historically high budget deficits, the case has to be made that this is not wasteful spending but essential investments that will yield powerful returns. “If you’re not willing to invest,” said Governor Rendell, “you have to be willing to accept an inferior product. That’s the danger we’re facing.”
And we know the Republicans are quite happy to accept an inferior product because they are only interested in investing in their wealthy friends. Or as the old saying goes; Money begets money when you won't let it flow where it is needed.

Elizabeth Warren on Real Time


Al Haig punts

And wherever he is, he is most likely still not in charge.

The Republicans will stop at nothing to eliminate opponents

It looks like they even fomented a coup in Niger to eliminate Rep Alan Grayson. Thankfully they failed this time.

Somebody finally gets the right idea

President Obama put forth an idea to save Social Security that would actually work and not rape the hard working Americans who have paid into it for all their lives.
President Barack Obama says Social Security is slowly running out of money but that it can exist well into the future with a slight fix.

The system is funded with a tax on earnings, up to $109,000 a year. Obama says lifting that cap to tax a larger share of income would be one way to extend the system of monthly payments for retirees. It also would be unpopular with some.
The people who don't like this idea are not the people who had to work for a living. They are not the people who have had their 401k's stolen by stock market manipulators. So they can go fuck themselves.

This is an idea that needs to be done and one step towards it would be an e-mail bomb of the White House. Send the President an e-mail in support of this idea, every day, day after day. It costs nothing and you might do something good. Do nothing and the wingnuts will win.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olbermann & Turley discuss the White Wash from the White House

Poor Judgement at Nuremberg Washington DC

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


In conjunction with CPAC

I thought it would be fun to run this song. The references are somewhat dated, however when they were fresh, these people were considered so whacked out that even William F Buckley wouldn't have anything to do with them.



Bob Dylan has a more universal paranoia in his take on the JBS



FYI George Lincoln Rockwell was the founder of the post WWII American Nazi Party.

Work all your life, pay into the system

And watch the Republican Party call for the diversion of your promised rewards into their pockets. Which is about all your can expect from a group that thinks you should devote your life and all your earnings to their corporate masters.

If you think arguments against health insurance reform are a load of crap

You should read Dr Krugman today. He shows you how right you are.

The Republican Agenda

Caroline Myss examines what the GOP is trying to do and makes clear to those who can see that the aims of the Republican Party are no longer to support the Constitution and our Heritage. Rather, their plan is the ultimate underming of all that to preceed their uninterrupted ruling in the name of their corporate masters.
It takes awhile to make sense of the entrails of the Republican Party, partly because they are just so toxic, but also because it's actually difficult to comprehend that an American political party can so deliberately sabotage its own government and nation.

But after observing their behavior and their policy of, "Just Say No" -- sometimes to their own suggestions, one can only surmise that they long ago left the business of governing and have instead agreed to a covert game plan of destruction while simultaneously playing an overt game of seduction with the American public. The seductive part of their plan is the one more familiar to the public -- constantly talk about what the people want to hear. No more taxes. Defend the country. Go Conservatives. Minimal government.

Meanwhile, the depth, width, and long range planning of the Republicans' dark strategy should have every American shaking with terror, especially since it is picking up momentum once again.
Somewhere, whether in a cave or a luxury villa in Karachi, Osama bin Laden is hugging himself with delight as he watches the GOP execute his agenda.

Tiger Woods apologizes

98% of Americans say, "Who gives a fuck!"

Ky Senate approves new school course based on lust, sex, homicide, fratricide, genocide, slavery, idolatry, rape and the Golden Rule.

A committee of the Kentucky state senate has approved the use of the Bible in public schools. They seem to have some strange belief that by distributing this powerful juju into the schools will restore morality to those institutions. They also believe that ripping the tops off mountains and dropping the spoil anywhere they like is cool. 'Nuff said.

Is anyone more practical than the Swiss?

In an effort to deal with elderly Italian border crossers looking to buy a little sex with their new prescriptions, the sex workers are learning how to use defibrillators. The clients may have the pill but they don't always have the heart and as one club owner put it.
"Having customers die on us isn't exactly good publicity".
Hopefully this will help deal with clients who forgot to ask if their hearts were healthy enough for sex.

New MA senator sympathetic to domestic terrorism

Nice job Massachusetts, you now have a terrorist sympathizer as your senator for the next two years, at least.
Appearing on Fox News, newly-minted Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) showed notable sympathy and scant outrage for Joseph Stack, who crashed his airplane into an IRS building Thursday in an apparent suicide bombing Thursday.

"You don't know anything about the individual," Brown said. "He could have had other issues. Certainly, no one likes paying taxes, obviously."
And none of those issues support murdering total strangers because you are angry even if Sen. "Noodle" does.

EXTRA: More Conservative love for murder and terrorism.

The next Senator from Indiana?

He would certainly be an improvement from the two corporatist bozos Indiana has now.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Everything must be OK now

Because the official name of Bush War II will change on September 1.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to General David Petraeus' request to change "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to "Operation New Dawn."
Kiss the boo-boo, all better now.

Does a pig have lips?

The evidence suggests that, yes they do, but thanks to a factory fire thousands of roadhouses, Quik-Saks and Beer-N-Gas, not to mention Wal-Marts, throughout the southeast won't.
State fire investigators spent today at a Louisiana plant that sold pickled pigs' lips by the gallon through grocery and convenience stores around the Southeast.

Arson unit supervisor Donald Carter said they don't yet know what started the fire. It broke out Monday, when Farm Fresh Foods Suppliers in St. Helena Parish was closed.

The plant between Pine Grove and Montpelier made and packaged gallon jars of snacks including pickled eggs and pork lips, feet and hocks, and smaller jars of those and of pickled sausages and quail eggs.
The building was gutted.

h/t Fark

A time without Pitney

Is not so good as the earlier days.


Matt Taibbi is writing ugly again

And as he has earlier he tells us what has happened on Wall St and why it will happen again.
Beyond a few such bleats of outrage, however, the huge payout was met, by and large, with a collective sigh of resignation. Because beneath America's populist veneer, on a more subtle strata of the national psyche, there remains a strong temptation to not really give a shit. The rich, after all, have always made way too much money; what's the difference if some fat cat in New York pockets $20 million instead of $10 million?

The only reason such apathy exists, however, is because there's still a widespread misunderstanding of how exactly Wall Street "earns" its money, with emphasis on the quotation marks around "earns." The question everyone should be asking, as one bailout recipient after another posts massive profits — Goldman reported $13.4 billion in profits last year, after paying out that $16.2 billion in bonuses and compensation — is this: In an economy as horrible as ours, with every factory town between New York and Los Angeles looking like those hollowed-out ghost ships we see on History Channel documentaries like Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, where in the hell did Wall Street's eye-popping profits come from, exactly? Did Goldman go from bailout city to $13.4 billion in the black because, as Blankfein suggests, its "performance" was just that awesome? A year and a half after they were minutes away from bankruptcy, how are these assholes not only back on their feet again, but hauling in bonuses at the same rate they were during the bubble?

The answer to that question is basically twofold: They raped the taxpayer, and they raped their clients.
So the next time please smile so you won't hurt the banksters feelings.

More Senators sign on to Bennet Reconciliation letter

As of this afternoon there are 13 17 signatories to Sen. Bennet's letter calling for reconciliation with a public option, including both of mine from NY. See if your Senator is one of them. If not, phone, fax or e-mail your senator every day urging them to do so. Pester them every day, just like the wingnuts do only this time it is for a good cause.

See if your Senator has announced yet. If not contact them.

www.senate.gov


And if you need a reason, consider the latest forecast on health insurance premiums. Those CEO's are NOT about to give up their bonuses.

Rachel continues to reveal the Skeavey GOP

Republican Hypocrisy has been red meat for Ms. Maddow all week and it is good.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Imitation zamboni screws up speed skating

The Vancouver Olympic Committee decided to buy Canadian and got a lesson inwhy you always buy quality.
It wasn’t a Zamboni. That’s the message from Frank J. Zamboni & Co. after reports from the Winter Olympics suggested the ice-cleaning machines that leaked and forced delays in speedskating events were made by the U.S. manufacturer.

“It was widely reported that these machines were Zamboni machines, which in fact they were not,” Zamboni said in a statement yesterday, adding it’s “deeply concerned” about the situation.

An Olympia ice-cleaning machine made by Zamboni’s rival, Resurfice Corp. of Canada, leaked water in the middle of at least two events during the Games, leading to an hour delay at the men’s 500-meter speedskating event on Feb. 15 at the Richmond Oval.

The two machines used to clean the speedskating oval in Vancouver are Olympia brands, made by Elmira, Ontario- based Resurfice. Though Zamboni machines were used to clean the ice at the Winter Games in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006, Resurfice won the contract for the Vancouver Games. The firm supplied 17 battery-powered machines at the Vancouver Olympic rinks used for hockey, speedskating and figure skating.

The breakdowns were the result of an “electrical malfunction,” according to a statement from Resurfice.

“This was a maintenance issue, not a design issue,” said Don Schlupp,
One would reasonably expect that for the Olympics they would have been all over the maintenance issues before the Games started.

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