Thursday, September 30, 2010
Krugmans Chinese lesson plan
Your Two Minute Ed
Your Dylan Dally Moment
Ozzie looks like he needs some support
Or maybe they discussed best practices for masturbation.
Guys Against You Serving
I predict that the number of home foreclosures will drop this year.
JPMorgan Chase has suspended legal proceedings on 50,000 foreclosures, due to concerns about the validity of the foreclosure documents, a spokesman for the bank told CNBC Wednesday (hat tip to Zero Hedge).There is a purpose for all those legal "dance steps" when you buy a house.
JPMorgan spokesman Tom Kelly confirmed to the AP Wednesday that "employees signed some affidavits about loan documents without personally verifying the files."
The decision is the latest signal of a potentially massive stall in the nation's foreclosure process. Last week, after GMAC Mortgage halted its foreclosures in 23 states, the Washington Post reported that one of GMAC's employees hadn't read the roughly 10,000 foreclosure documents he approved each month (and now Colorado wants to be added to that list of states). It then turned out that the "robo signer" might not have been alone.
Jeez, those Pakis sure are touchy
Pakistani officials said Thursday that NATO supply trucks had been blocked from entering Afghanistan at a key border post in response to an early morning NATO airstrike that they said killed three Pakistani border security soldiers.Looks like another case of junior birdmen playing video games with reality.
According to a Pakistani military statement, the attack occurred at 5:25 a.m. at the Mandata Kandaho border post about 600 feet inside Upper Khurram agency, a region in Pakistan's tribal belt that borders Afghanistan's Khost province. After the helicopters "engaged through cannon fire" with the post, the six soldiers stationed there fired warning shots with their rifles, and the helicopters responded with two missiles that destroyed the post, according to the Pakistani account.
Within hours, the border crossing at Torkham had been ordered closed by federal officials, and NATO supply trucks were idling there, according to transporters stuck at the pass and officials in the region, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The pass, which lies north of Peshawar, is the most important entry point for coalition forces' fuel and supplies, most of which come into Pakistan through the southern port of Karachi.
R.I.P. Tony Curtis
Thursday Music Blogging
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Maybe he lived there too long
A Pennsylvania judge from the village of Intercourse is facing a disorderly conduct charge for allegedly approaching women near the state Capitol and handing them acorns he had hollowed out and stuffed with condoms, according to cops.
When confronted by officers last Tuesday, Isaac Stoltzfus, a District Court judge, claimed the bizarre incident was a joke.
According to a September 21 citation issued by Capitol Police, Stoltzfus, 58, “did conceal condoms in acorns and then gave them to women who were offended when they discovered the contents.”
Your Two Minute Ed
Your Dylan Dally Moment
Tom Coburn is not a real doctor
Last spring, the United States pledged nearly $1.2 billion in emergency aid to Haiti following its tragic earthquake that left hundreds of thousands of people dead and many more homeless.Again, no real doctor would hold up aid to a country as badly devastated as Haiti, but ol' Doc Tom Coburn thinks it's a great idea.
Yet the Associated Press (AP) reports today that “not a cent of the $1.15 billion the U.S. promised for rebuilding has arrived” to Haitians who badly the need the aid. This summer, both the House and the Senate passed a bill that would make $917 million available for Haiti reconstruction aid. Yet Congress must also pass an authorization bill that directs exactly how the money will be spent, and thus far, the U.S. Senate has failed to do.
The AP conducted its own investigation of why the Senate has failed to pass the authorization bill, and it discovered that a single senator “pulled it for further study.” After calling dozens of senators’ offices, the AP discovered that the senator holding up the bill is Tom Coburn (R-OK). Coburn spokeswoman Becky Berhardt explained that the reason he is holding up the bill is because he objects to the creation of a senior Haiti coordinator — a position that would cost a paltry $5 million over five years — when the United States currently has an ambassador to the country:
Dickhead O'Keefe tries to prove he is all dick
According to CNN, Boudreau was trying to get O'Keefe to let her and a camera crew tape a video shoot O'Keefe and some of his friends were doing. He told her he wanted to meet her alone, in person, beforehand.Peurile plot failed and Little Jimmy denied it was real and not his idea anyway. Isn't little Jimmy still on probation from his New Orleans stunt?
When she arrived at his house in Maryland, she was approached by Izzy Santa, the executive director of Project Veritas, O'Keefe's investigative journalism project. Santa told Boudreau that O'Keefe actually wanted to meet with the reporter on his boat, which he had set up into a "pleasure palace," where he would try to seduce her in front of hidden cameras.
CNN then obtained emails and a 13-page document outlining the plan. The plan, which Santa confirmed was real, had a list of "props," including a "condom jar," "dildos," sexy music (like Alicia Keys, as Marvin Gaye was dubbed "too cliche") and a camera on a tripod, which the filmmakers dubbed "an obvious sex tape machine."
There's also a script O'Keefe was supposed to read on camera before meeting with Boudreau.
"I've decided to have a little fun," reads the script. "Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath."
Going toe to toe with "You lie" Joe
From the pen of Ben Sargent
A warning for the Business community
The good news, of course, is that you won't have to spend a minute over the next two years worrying about tax increases or climate-change legislation or that odious card check idea that would open the doors again to union organizing. The bad news is that you can kiss goodbye tax reform, education reform, infrastructure investment or any new trade treaties. With DeMint cracking the ideological whip in the Senate, and a new crop of young and hungry conservatives beginning to take charge of the Republican caucus in the House, Democrats will be in no mood to strike any deals on these business priorities. Ditto for a Democratic president readily wielding his veto.And like the termites you don't see until it's too late, they have already done great damage to the framework of our democracy.
And then there's that matter of regulatory uncertainty you've been complaining about. If you think it's bad now, just wait until next year when the Obama administration tries to do through regulation what it will no longer be able to achieve through legislation. Republican committee chairman will respond with hearings and investigations and appropriations riders in an attempt to block the new regulations. In the end, nothing will be resolved until the issues are subject to years of federal court litigation.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that, once the heat of the election season has passed, cooler heads will prevail and DeMint and the other anti-government zealots will return to their rightful place on the fringes of the political system, leaving it to the grown-ups to get things done. Don't kid yourselves. You're about to create a political monster that you can't control, one bent not on reforming but on destroying the institutional framework that allows an advanced industrial economy to grow and thrive.
New BP CEO doing the corporate shuffle
Dudley, an American who formally takes over the London-based oil giant on Friday, also said he would elevate the company's safety chief, Mark Bly, the author of the recent report on the Macondo well blowout, and give him broader powers over the company's worldwide operations.So the safety guy who did nothing to make BP a safe company gets bumped up because he wrote a great CYA report. The proper action would be to seize all of BP's American assets and save the lives of American workers by instituting real safety changes. But that's a moot issue because workers lives are cheap and BP is a great corporation.
Andy Inglis, BP's head of global exploration and production, will leave the company at the end of the year and lose his seat on the company's board of directors effective Oct. 31. A graduate of Cambridge University, he joined BP 30 years ago.
While leading BP's efforts to get the Macondo well under control, Inglis has kept out of public view since the April 20 blowout, making his first appearance in Washington last week at an Interior and Energy Department panel about the accident. There he kept carefully to the company's script, noting that while the Macondo well was "by no means the deepest well . . . it did pose unique challenges." He took no questions.
The moves are the first management changes since chief executive Tony Hayward announced in late July that he would step down effective Oct. 1. They are designed to address widespread criticism of BP for failing to identify or punish key decision makers in the blowout.
Gov Scharzenegger must like Pepsi
It is not too often a politician rips the evil doers like this.
Roger Ailes' great balloon like panties in a twist
One more and she will be tied with the Wasilla Winky Dink
Another university is bringing Christine O'Donnell's self-professed education history into question Wednesday, as Claremont Graduate University, a school that the Delaware Senate candidate claims she attended, has told Talking Points Memo that they have no record of her being there.It is a sad indicator of how badly the Republican/Teabag Party has damaged the values of this country that its candidates are caught time and again lying without damaging their standing. Don't even start on the sex scandals.
"Claremont Graduate University has no student or education record for an individual named Christine O'Donnell," Rod Leveque, a spokesman for Claremont told TPM Tuesday, despite O'Donnell's inclusion of the school on her LinkedIn education history.
A similar response had been given earlier to blogger and radio producer Gary Scott, who thought to inquire based on the news that O'Donnell had not even officially received her undergraduate degree from Farleigh Dickinson University until earlier this month.
B side Music Blogging
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
You are known by the company you keep
As he mounts an outrage-filled campaign for governor of New York, Carl P. Paladino has vowed to forcibly rid Albany of the wayward officials and misbehaving bureaucrats who he says have demeaned state government, promising to “take out the trash.”From the beginning, Carl's judgement has shown signs of being seriously impaired. In normal times, this would disqualify him with voters. But thanks to the Teabaggers, these are not normal times.
But some of the people whom Mr. Paladino has recruited to run his campaign are plagued by brushes with the law and allegations of misconduct, an examination of public records shows.
His campaign manager failed to pay nearly $53,000 in federal taxes over the last few years, prompting the Internal Revenue Service to take action against him. An aide who frequently drives Mr. Paladino on the campaign trail served jail time in Arizona on charges of drunken driving.
Another adviser has been indicted on charges of stealing more than $1 million from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s re-election bid last year. And Mr. Paladino’s campaign chairwoman left a local government position amid claims that she had steered $1 billion in public money to a politically connected investment manager.
Their backgrounds could raise questions about the kind of cabinet Mr. Paladino, a Republican, would assemble if elected in November and cast doubt on his ability to radically remake the dysfunctional culture of Albany, government watchdogs said.
Size doesn't matter
A decade ago, Brockton High School was a case study in failure. Teachers and administrators often voiced the unofficial school motto in hallway chitchat: students have a right to fail if they want. And many of them did — only a quarter of the students passed statewide exams. One in three dropped out.Brockton succeeded by throwing out the CW and bringing everybody up to speed and on board with the program. And it was a pretty diverse group they were working with.
Then Susan Szachowicz and a handful of fellow teachers decided to take action. They persuaded administrators to let them organize a schoolwide campaign that involved reading and writing lessons into every class in all subjects, including gym...
The committee’s first big step was to go back to basics, and deem that reading, writing, speaking and reasoning were the most important skills to teach. They set out to recruit every educator in the building — not just English, but math, science, even guidance counselors — to teach those skills to students.
“You meet a new person every day,” said Johanne Alexandre, a senior whose mother is Haitian. “Somebody with a new story, a new culture. I have Pakistani friends, Brazilians, Haitians, Asians, Cape Verdeans. There are Africans, Guatemalans.”Hearty congratulations to the Brockton crew for showing us something that Republican/Teabaggers hate to see, public education working the way it should.
“There’s a couple of Americans, too!” Tercia Mota, a senior born in Brazil, offered.
Your Two Minute Ed.
Your Daily Cenk Shot
Matt Taibbi has a Teabagger Epiphany
A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it...Matt has all the details in his latest Rolling Stone piece.
Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it's going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about — and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as here in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.
When Democrats attack
And here is one for Medicare
They always forget the best part
Apologies do not change Paladino's spots
Mr. Paladino has acknowledged forwarding the e-mails, which he said was evidence of “poor judgment” on his part. But that’s not sufficient. The e-mails raise legitimate questions about the fitness of the sender to hold the highest office in the state, and Mr. Paladino should feel an obligation to put those questions to rest.The sad part is he is getting a lot of support from oblivious voters.
The images and videos are so blatantly hostile to blacks and women that it’s fair to wonder whether Mr. Paladino is prejudiced against them. He’s made it clear that he’s fully capable of mindless stereotyping — letting us know, for example, that people from Manhattan, who tend to be “smug” and “elitist,” are his least favorite New Yorkers.
Questions about possible prejudice are germane whenever a candidate aspires to public office. In Mr. Paladino’s case, the questions are entwined with some of his specific policy positions. He believes that space in prisons should be turned into work camps in which poor people would get, among other types of training, classes in personal hygiene. The camps would be part of Mr. Paladino’s proposed “Dignity Corps,” the inference being that the poor lack dignity in the first place, along with their presumed lack of cleanliness. (It’s a good bet that Mr. Paladino is oblivious to the extreme irony of someone who sends out racist and pornographic e-mails counseling others about personal dignity.)
Colbert, you should be ashamed
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Truthiness to Power|
You know somebody will piss on this spark
The Taliban have publicly said they won't negotiate until foreign troops leave Afghanistan.Sounds like a perfectly good opportunity to leave and let them determine their own destinies.
Can't you just see where this will end
The Supreme Court is getting involved in an unusual freedom of information dispute over whether corporations may assert personal privacy interests to prevent the government from releasing documents about them.And Elena Kagan has recused herself (something Clarence or Antonin would never do) because of prior involvement as Solicitor General. This should be a slam dunk for the right wing activist judges.
The court on Tuesday agreed to a request from the Obama administration to take up a case involving claims made by telecommunications giant AT&T to keep secret the information gathered by the Federal Communications Commission during an investigation.
The administration wants the high court to rule that corporations may not claim a personal privacy exception contained in the federal Freedom of Information Act.
A helping hand
Because even Republicans go hungry
Transportation Music Blogging
Monday, September 27, 2010
Orrin Hatch thinks 240,000 people better off unemployed.
The 2009 stimulus bill created an "Emergency Fund" that allowed states to subsidize jobs via the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), formerly known as welfare. The Senate voted against reauthorizing the program in March. Last week Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) blocked a request to bring up a bill that contained a $1.5 billion reauthorization. Advocates of the program are not optimistic that a change of heart is afoot in the U.S. Senate.Orrin is also a Mormon and has promised to baptize any who die as a result of his heartless actions into the Mormon faith. That should make everything better
Quote of the Day
Replacing a job that is based in another country with a domestic job does not stimulate economic growth or enhance the competitiveness of American worldwide companies.Bruce Josten, EVP US Chamber of Commerce proclaiming the Chambers opposition to Sen. Bernie Sanders bill to encourage re-shoring jobs to America and their dedication to profit over country.
Golfin' John the Corporate Ho
Truck Music Blogging
Robbing Mahmoud to pay Shmuel
Paul Krugman on structural unemployment
Taxpayers pay for the lung cancer study
New hotbed of Islamophobia, Sydney NY !?!
But this is 2010, there's a darkie in the White House and a racist pig from western New York running for Governor so the town fathers felt they have to do their part. And what better way to do their part than to disturb the final resting place of a bunch of ragheads, right?
"What we would not want is an unauthorized cemetery," says Bob McCarthy, town supervisor of the Delaware County town of Sidney, population 5,993. "We're taking care of a bunch of cemeteries, and they just came in and buried the bodies, and didn't go through...there's no funding there, it's not a standard kind of deal, and it's going to become a liability to the town."
So what steps have the Muslims skipped? "I don't know what the exact law is," he says.
Which is the problem; because whether or not the town government likes it, there are no laws in Sidney -- or New York state, for that matter -- covering cemeteries on private land -- religious cemeteries included. Plus, the town approved the cemetery in 2005.
The perfect Republican
Segway owner discovers they don't fly
A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles, police said Monday.Segways are amazing machines but they do have their limits.
The body of 62-year-old James Heselden and a Segway personal transporter were found in the River Wharfe and he was prounced dead at the scene, West Yorkshire Police said.
Police said a witness had reported seeing a man fall Sunday over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river near Boston Spa, 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of London.
Why do so many whack jobs hide behind god?
Using the term "fertilized egg" is "the same thing as using the N-word," says the pro-life minister behind a Colorado campaign to have fertilized eggs declared legal persons.And what to do with a woman who has a spontaneous miscarriage? Re-education camp?
Colorado's Amendment 62, which will appear on the ballot this November, is the second attempt by pro-life groups in the state to have fertilized eggs declared legal persons. The campaign is seen as a direct challenge to pro-choice rights, as a declaration that fertilized eggs are persons would potentially make any case of abortion a homicide.
Methinks the Colorado air is too dry and the atmospheric pressure is too low for some people. Their brains dry up and blow out their earholes in the wind.
Jelly Roll Music Blogging
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Step 1 Hire company to run your libraries.....Step 3 Profit
Now the company, Library Systems & Services, has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy.Right now they fire the unionized librarians and allegedly hire them back at lower wages and screw them out of their pension, too. But if they want to save $1 Million and still make the CEO's salary and bonuses not to mention the profit target of their private equity masters, how soon before they hire nothing but TSA rejects? Or as one other city in CA did, rely on volunteers to provide the necessary service. But that is illegal for a for-profit company to do in CA and they wouldn't do that.
A $4 million deal to run the three libraries here is a chance for the company to demonstrate that a dose of private management can be good for communities, whatever their financial situation. But in an era when outsourcing is most often an act of budget desperation — with janitors, police forces and even entire city halls farmed out in one town or another — the contract in Santa Clarita has touched a deep nerve and begun a round of second-guessing.
Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?
“There’s this American flag, apple pie thing about libraries,” said Frank A. Pezzanite, the outsourcing company’s chief executive. He has pledged to save $1 million a year in Santa Clarita, mainly by cutting overhead and replacing unionized employees. “Somehow they have been put in the category of a sacred organization.”
Golfin' John Boehner channeling Andrew Mellon
John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: "Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life."Golfin'John wants power at no cost to himself or his masters and he doesn't care how many bodies he has to climb over to get there. And John does know who the fittest are because they have been in his foursome.
Actually, those weren't Boehner's words. They were uttered by Herbert Hoover's treasury secretary, millionaire industrialist Andrew Mellon, after the Great Crash of 1929.
But they might as well have been Boehner's because Hoover's and Mellon's means of purging the rottenness was by doing exactly what Boehner and his colleagues are now calling for: shrink government, cut the federal deficit, reduce the national debt, and balance the budget.
And we all know what happened after 1929, at least until FDR reversed course.
Boehner and other Republicans would even like to roll back the New Deal and get rid of Barack Obama's smaller deal health-care law.
The issue isn't just economic. We're back to tough love. The basic idea is to force people to live with the consequences of whatever happens to them.
In the late 19th century it was called Social Darwinism. Only the fittest should survive, and any effort to save the less fit will undermine the moral fiber of society.
* No way will I ever believe that GJ puts the Man Tan on his butt.
Veterans, were you Stop Lossed?
Were You "Stop-Lossed" in the Military? If So, You Can Get Some More Money.
If so, you can get an additional $500 for each month that you were forced to serve past your EAOS.
The deadline to apply is October 21st, so get busy. You need to submit a Form DD-2944 in order to get paid.
And please, my fellow bloggers, help get the word out.)
stolen by request from Comrade E B Misfit
Shouldn't they be more than just old enough?
If someone needs medical attention, they don't usually think, "All these doctors with their highfalutin science; who needs 'em?"Still it would not be a bad idea to let Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle fly with a pilot who shares their values and qualifications.
If someone needs to fly from one airport to another, they don't usually think, "I don't care if the pilot has years of training; I care if he/she is in touch with my values."
An effective and pleasing tax policy
Wall Street is upset. Sure, they were handed a trillion dollars. Sure, their industry was pulled from the toilet, propped up, dried off, and allowed to return to its never-ending party. Sure, they're looking forward to what may be the biggest bonus year ever while the rest of us are dealing with a little thing called a recession. But hey, they are upset that people have been talking mean about them. They don't like that. They don't like that so much that they're pouring record levels of money into Republican campaigns, just to make sure that Democrats get the point.This is the way to go and the first step has to be the destruction of the Republican/Teabag Party.
After all, being "too big to fail" means never having to say you're sorry. Heck, it means never having to face up to the fact that you failed at all. It certainly means that guys wearing Alexander Amosu suits don't have to say thank you to the people digging ditches, flipping burgers, or sweating out a stint of unemployment. You know, the people who chipped in so that the Wall Streeters could keep their jobs. Being too big to fail means being able to go on pretending that you're a tough, take care of yourself, fiscal conservative and that this little bump never happened. It certainly means that you don't have to be the least bit contrite, or demonstrate any sense of either guilt or gratitude.
And I absolutely agree. They don't. There's only one thing I want from these guys -- I want to tax the holy crap out of them.
The next time your dinner tries to kill you
Some Sunday Music
What more can you say?
Thank you George, Thank you Dick, Thank you Barry
In the last video Elizabeth Woods took of her husband before he was killed in Afghanistan, Brian tries to reassure her that he will be all right, that his six months at war will pass quickly and soon they will be together again.And Fuck You and Petraeus too for thinking we need to continue this for years to come.
"It's hard for me, too," he says. "I'm going to miss you a lot."...
Elizabeth filmed the video, one last memory of Brian, just in case.
Elizabeth has watched the video so often, as many as eight times in a single day, that she no longer cries when she sees Brian's face and hears his voice. She can recite what each of them said, as if she were reciting dialogue from a movie.
She has watched the video so many times that their daughter, Ella, now 20 months old, recognizes her father's face on the computer screen.
"Dada!" Ella cries out as the video plays. She presses her body into Elizabeth's legs, a little girl's unspoken way of asking to be picked up so she can watch, too.
When Elizabeth looks at Ella, she sees Brian. Ella has her father's full cheeks, the same earnest puppy-dog look about her eyes. When she doesn't get her way, she squinches up her nose and sticks out her lower lip the way Brian did.
Ella is too young to understand that "Dada" is not a face on a computer screen.
Even Montgomery never waited this long
American and Afghan troops have begun the active combat phase of a military operation designed to drive the Taliban out of districts around the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar city, military officials said Sunday.And so it goes.
Code-named “Operation Dragon Strike,” the push is focusing on clearing the Taliban from three districts to the west and south of the city, said Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, a NATO spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul. “We expect hard fighting,” he said.
The aim, he said, would be “destroying Taliban fighting positions so they will not have anywhere to hide.”
Republicans know that government can't create jobs
Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs within weeks unless Congress extends one of the more effective job-creating programs in the $787 billion stimulus act: a $1 billion New Deal-style program that directly paid the salaries of unemployed people so they could get jobs in government, at nonprofit organizations and at many small businesses.The sad fact of the GOP Congressional opposition is that even Republican governors support the idea of extending it. When arch white wing conservo-slob Haley Barbour, a man who will take credit for anything he opposed before it worked, wants to see it extended then it is time for the inside the Beltway boys and girls to suck it up and do the right thing. This would be very hard for the DC GOP. Aside from foregoing the sheer pleasure of throwing thousands of worthless Americans out of work, there is the undeniable fact that it funded no bond traders, hedge fund managers, Fox "News" anchors or even one lousy Heritage Foundation analyst. What more proof does the public need that government can't create jobs?
In rural Perry County, Tenn., the program helped pay for roughly 400 new jobs in the public and private sectors. But in a county of 7,600 people, those jobs had a big impact: they reduced Perry County’s unemployment rate to less than 14 percent this August, from the Depression-like levels of more than 25 percent that it hit last year after its biggest employer, an auto parts factory, moved to Mexico.
If the stimulus program ends on schedule next week, Perry County officials said, an estimated 300 people there will lose their jobs — the equivalent of another factory closing.
I forgot I was black
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Quote of the Day
Maybe the problem is not so much chimeras in science as chimeras in politics. We seem beset with spellbinding hybrids with the looks of Fox News anchors, the brains of mice and the power of changing the direction of the country.MoDo on the mind numbing ignorance of the Know Nothing GOP.
Wall St crashed the economy by selling a bunch of shit
During the height of the boom in 2006 and the period prior to its immediate end during the first six months of 2007, Clayton inspected home loans for Wall Street firms and government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Clayton looked at loans that the companies wanted to purchase from mortgage originators like New Century Financial, Countrywide Financial, and Fremont Investment & Loan. The company examined 911,039 mortgages, documents show...Can we get some perp walks now??
Of the 911,000 loans that Clayton scrutinized, 72 percent either met the mortgage seller's standards and other guidelines set by the buyer of the mortgages, typically Wall Street firms, or they had off-setting factors that allowed Clayton to give them a passing grade, like if the borrower who took out the mortgage put a lot of money down or had a very high income.
But 28 percent failed to meet those standards. Of those 255,802 mortgages that Clayton flagged for what were a variety of reasons, Wall Street ended up waiving 100,653 of them, or 39 percent of those loans that did not meet basic standards. And Wall Street firms didn't share this with investors...
During questioning by Angelides, Beal acknowledged that, because the firm was checking roughly 10 percent of the mortgages Clayton's clients were looking to purchase, one could say that Wall Street firms waived in as many as 1 million loans that Clayton had initially rejected.
GMAC opened a can of worms
The way to fight evil Republicans
Quote of the Day
Are we really willing to turn the government over to those whose basic agenda is sending a message rather than fixing the problem? If your pipes were bursting at home, would you want someone to take a 9-iron to them, or would you look for an experienced plumber who might actually have some ideas about how to fix them? Why is politics the one area where it is assumed that high emotion and a total lack of experience are the magic ingredients for success?Susan Estrich pointing out the great failing of the followers of the teabaggers.
From The Department of No-Shit Sherlock
Widespread Fraud Seen in Latest Afghan ElectionsAnd this time they were so brazen as to do some of the fraud on camera.
The complaints to provincial election commissions have so far included video clips showing ballot stuffing; the strong-arming of election officials by candidates’ agents; and even the handcuffing and detention of election workers.And for this we are wasting American lives and treasure in the worlds largest kitty litter box!?!
In some places, election officials themselves are alleged to have carried out the fraud; in others, government employees did, witnesses said. One video showed election officials and a candidate’s representatives haggling over the price of votes.
Can you donate to a Food Bank today?
Bob Herbert looks at why your help is needed.
The Great Recession has long since ended, according to the data zealots in their windowless rooms. But it is still very real to the millions of men and women who wake up each morning to the grim reality of empty pockets and empty cupboards.Or, if I make quote from Stephen Colbert, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Wallingford is nobody’s definition of a depressed community. It’s a middle-class town on the Quinnipiac River. But the number of people seeking help at Master’s Manna is rising, not falling. And when I asked Cheryl Bedore, who runs the program, if she was seeing more clients from the middle class, she said: “Oh, absolutely. We have people who were donors in the past coming to our doors now in search of help.”
I love a good play on words
Chances are very good
Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.And we all think we have a chance of moving on up, too.
Or, as the study's authors put it: "All demographic groups -- even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy -- desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."
The report (pdf) "Building a Better America -- One Wealth Quintile At A Time" by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.
Bill dumps some love on the whiny rich
You have to watch the video, but I think his first draft was better.
Two points of interest
It’s more important for the U.S. to cut its budget deficit than to extend tax cuts currently set to expire at the end of this year, former Federal Reserve Governor Alan Greenspan said in an interview on PBS.And the second point is that since leaving office, he has given up speaking in warrglbarrgl and has returned to using the English language. I don't know if this makes him more serious or not.
“The budget deficit problem, I believe, is far more dangerous than most of us contemplate on a day-to-day basis,” Greenspan said in an interview to air on PBS television’s “Newshour.” While low interest rates have made it easy for the government to sell bonds, “assuredly they’re not going to stay here.”
Friday, September 24, 2010
Ooo! This should be good
The will to be free is great in this one
Witches for Christine
Republican Pledge to their Masters
About all we can expect
Who bought your Congresscritter?
Barney has the right idea
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called on Friday for President Obama to bring the 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq back home to the United States, arguing that it's inappropriate to deploy troops trained for combat in a non-combat situation.Barney is off to a good start, but why stop with Okinawa? How about bringing home out troops in South Korea, Japan, Germany, England, Italy and all the rest. It sure would save us a pile of money, probably enough to start rebuilding America.
"What are they there for, if it's not combat? To monitor elections? To mediate religious disputes? Let's get them home," Frank said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "What the hell are they there for?"
Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that designating the troops "non-combat" does not persuade insurgents not to shoot at them. Frank made his remarks as part of a broader critique of the U.S. military's presence across the globe.
He rejected the notion that America is "the indispensable nation," that it must be a global cop that responds to trouble all across the globe. "People've gotta learn to dispense with us," he said, adding that if it could be shown that U.S. involvement across the globe is beneficial, he would reconsider the position, but, in general, he said, U.S. intervention only backfires.
When I saw this headline
Stink Bugs Taking Area by SwarmI thought it was just another story about last weeks Values Voters Summit. I was wrong, it is just another sign that summer is ending and the many parts of Mother Nature are seeking their own little Floridas to winter over.
Mercenaries party hearty
Lowry says some of the steroids he purchased went to guards protecting L. Paul Bremer, the man the Bush administration appointed to run Iraq's provisional government following the invasion in 2003.Every time I read a new accusation regarding Prince and his hired guns, I keep thinking that when cowboys from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood rode into town these were the gangs they cleaned up.
"The use of steroids and human growth hormone, testosterone, were pretty endemic to them and almost company-wide," Lowry said.
"Not only did I purchase the pharmaceuticals, but I was also given money and asked to acquire syringes and other forms or modes of injection as well," Lowry stated in his deposition. He alleges the drugs were purchased with Blackwater money.
Lowry described Blackwater guards' parties at Baghdad's al-Hamra Hotel as a "frat party gone wild." He says he saw copious amounts of cocaine and hashish at the events.
"One of the suites would be absolutely packed with gentlemen running around with either no clothes on, no shirt on. It was like a frat party gone wild. Drug use was rampant. There was cocaine all on the tables. There were blocks of hash, and you could smell it in the air...walking up to the door," Lowry said in his deposition.
On occasion, Blackwater personnel at these parties would go out on the balcony with machine guns and "would just spray the building next door, which housed Iraqi civilians," Lowry alleges.
Lowry made his claims as part of a civil lawsuit against Blackwater alleging that company founder Erik Prince and companies he controlled defrauded the US government.
Jon Stewart also dumps on the GOP
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Postcards From the Pledge|
Automobile Music Blogging
Krugman predicts Republican highways
Once upon a time, a Latin American political party promised to help motorists save money on gasoline. How? By building highways that ran only downhill.And it gets worse, even if you like bananas.
I’ve always liked that story, but the truth is that the party received hardly any votes. And that means that the joke is really on us. For these days one of America’s two great political parties routinely makes equally nonsensical promises. Never mind the war on terror, the party’s main concern seems to be the war on arithmetic. And this party has a better than even chance of retaking at least one house of Congress this November.
Banana republic, here we come.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Golfing John insists that his tan is natural
Addressing the seemingly constant chatter about the orangey-tan color of his skin, House Minority Leader John Boehner told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Thursday that his eye-catching complexion is one hundred percent natural.So instead of that 1/2 gallon jug of ManTan, may I suggest these fine products for Golfing John this Christmas.
"I have never been in a tanning bed or used a tanning product," explained the ranking Republican. He said that his mother and four of his twelve siblings also have the sun-kissed glow.
The explanation comes as only the latest in a string of recent instances where Boehner has found himself playing defense against questions and jokes made about the color of his skin.
Earlier this month during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America," the House leader was asked about a survey from Public Policy Polling indicating that 30 percent voters in his home state of Ohio think he "spends too much time on his tan."
Thank you Susie Madrak
Your Two Minute Ed
This man has Juice!
Heartless Bitch or Standard Republican
From the pen of Tony Auth
GAil Collins looks at the procedural debate in the Senate
Are we run by Assholes?
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Are We Run by A**holes?|
Warren Buffett lets the cat out of the bag
I think we're in a recession until real per capita GDP gets back to where it was-- before. That is not the way the National Bureau of Economic Research measures it. But I will tell you that to any-- on any common sense definition, the average American is below where he was before, or his family, in terms of real income, GDP. We're still in a recession.I suppose next he will tell us we still have combat troops in Iraq.
The Republicans have no new ideas
The plan steers clear of specifics on important issues, such as how it will "put government on a path to a balanced budget." It omits altogether the question of how to address looming shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare, which account for a huge portion of the nation's soaring deficit, instead including a vague promise: "We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs."With an arrogance that displays how far out of touch the GOP is with reality, they ignored the highly unpopular social issues that many of their candidates are running on and concentrated on their deflationary financial ideas that appear designed to stop the recovery cold in its tracks.
Their whole concept seems to be "Remember how bad it was the last time we were in control? We didn't think so."
UPDATE: Even noted Republican douchebag and balllicker Erick Erickson doesn't like it, "It is dreck".
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Your Two Minute Ed
The Inigo Montoya Award goes to....
Asked repeatedly how the DeCosters could have so many problems after being cited so many times over the years for a variety of health and sanitation violations, both father and son listed steps taken to clean up after specific problems were cited by regulations.As Inigo Montoya would say, "You keep using those words, steps taken to clean up. I do not think it means what you think it means."
But they couldn't explain why problems kept cropping up at their operations, first in Maine, then Maryland and now Iowa.
Republicans plan to blow the deficit sky high
U.S. House Republicans plan to announce a governing agenda that includes a repeal of the health-care overhaul, extension of all Bush-era tax cuts and a reduction in federal spending to “pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels,” according to a draft provided by a Republican aide.So they want to eliminate the deficit savings of ObamaCare and blow up the deficit some more with tax cuts for rich people who have no need for them and return "federal spending to “pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels". This is also known as totally uncontrolled, deficit bloating spending on all their well connected buddies because their boy W was in the White House then. Since the stimulus/bailout the Party of No has allowed almost no needed spending because they want to see the black guy in the White House fail.
Just another Republican effort to turn up into down and black into white.
1/3 of Forbes 400 are hurting from the Recession
Just over one-third of the 400 failed to add to their fortunes or lost ground.However the good news is that they have managed to avoid eating cat food yet. And the other 2/3rds are doing just fine, who wants to know.
The Best of the Republican Party ??
Join in the Foxx Hunt
Join in here.
An easy poll to take from FireDogLake
Tom Toles Today
Your average Republican could power a whole city
Dog poop is lighting a lantern at a Cambridge dog park as part of a monthslong project that its creator, artist Matthew Mazzotta, hopes will get people thinking about not wasting waste.Newt Gingrich could probably light Manhattan for a year.
The "Park Spark" poop converter is actually two steel, 500-gallon oil tanks painted a golden yellow, connected by diagonal black piping and attached to an old gaslight-style street lantern at the Pacific Street Park.
After the dogs do their business, signs on the tanks instruct owners to use biodegradable bags supplied on site to pick up the poop and deposit it into the left tank. People then turn a wheel to stir its insides, which contain waste and water. Microbes in the waste give off methane, an odorless gas that is fed through the tanks to the lamp and burned off. The park is small but has proven busy enough to ensure a steady supply of fuel.
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