Friday, December 31, 2010

A furtive tear for the old year

The romanza from an otherwise forgettable opera by Donizetti.


Happy New Year!



like Steve Breen says, Drink Responsibly

Wishful thinking for the New Year

When I die at 88 I want a fight between my widow and my mistress.

Here's hoping the Republicans blow themselves up

From the NY Times:
With the federal government set to regulate climate-altering gases from factories and power plants for the first time, the Obama administration and the new Congress are headed for a clash that carries substantial risks for both sides.

While only the first phase of regulation takes effect on Sunday, the administration is on notice that if it moves too far and too fast in trying to curtail the ubiquitous gases that are heating the planet it risks a Congressional backlash that could set back the effort for years.

But the newly muscular Republicans in Congress could also stumble by moving too aggressively to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency, provoking a popular outcry that they are endangering public health in the service of their well-heeled patrons in industry.

“These are hand grenades, and the pins have been pulled,” said William K. Reilly, administrator of the environmental agency under the first President George Bush.
It always amazes me that there are people in this country who want to breathe shitty air and drink dirty water.

Krugman hopes we all like bananas

Because in his latest column he shows how easily we can slip into banana republic status when those in charge of the budget firmly believe in fiscal anarchy.
As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, the incoming House majority plans to make changes in the “pay-as-you-go” rules — rules that are supposed to enforce responsible budgeting — that effectively implement Mr. Kyl’s principle. Spending increases will have to be offset, but revenue losses from tax cuts won’t. Oh, and revenue increases, even if they come from the elimination of tax loopholes, won’t count either: any spending increase must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere; it can’t be paid for with additional taxes.

So if taxes don’t matter, does the incoming majority have a realistic plan to cut spending? Of course not. Republicans say that they want to cut $100 billion in spending, which is itself small change in a $3.6 trillion federal budget. But they also say that defense, Medicare and Social Security — all the big-ticket items — are off the table. So they’re talking about a 20 percent cut in what’s left, which includes things like running the judicial system and operating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; they have offered no specifics about where the cuts will fall.

How will this all end? I have seen the future, and it’s on Long Island, where I grew up.
As in Nassau County, one of the first governments to enjoy the blessings of fiscal anarchy. And so the race is on between awareness and anarchy for the voters. And anybody who waited and waited for the snow plows last week already knows the price of anarchy.

Another reason for Iowa to eliminate his district

Steve King, a Republican so full of shit he makes a factory farm manure lagoon look like a koi pond, is once more giving the Iowa legislature reason to redistrict him out of Congress. His latest brain fart pertains to the right to life. First you need to remember that Steve King would turn his back on anyone needing help who is not a rich Republican donor.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recently pushed the envelope on extreme abortion analogies, arguing that pro-choicers' vagueness about the moment when life begins is akin to haphazardly firing a gun into a crowd.

"You cannot take a chance with life anymore than you can shoot a gun into a crowded room and take a chance that you might not kill somebody," King told CNS News in response to a question about exactly when Jesus got "the right to life." "You cannot guess about when life begins. You have to pick an instant, and there's only the instant of conception."

King defined human life as "sacred in all of its forms" and beginning at the time of conception. Condoning any other more ambiguous definition, he added, would be similar to allowing institutionalized and blind murder.

"In fact, if you want to argue that you really don't know, that it might be the first, second or third trimester or viability, tell me: If someone were to walk down this hallway and stick a gun in the door, turn their head away from the gun and pull the trigger and run out the door and we catch him out there, did he kill somebody or didn't he?" King asked.
Stevo supports the two Bush wars, opposes healthcare and unemployment insurance. He wants to eliminate Medicare and Social Security. Stevo is a big supporter of the military except when it comes to eliminating discrimination like DADT. Steve King pretty much supports every misanthropic element of radical right wing ideology, but he does believe life is "sacred in all of its forms". Just not yours poor boy.

Another kid screwed by a Republican governor

And after all these years Billy the Kid has still not received the pardon promised him by Gov. Lew Wallace, a man so righteous that he wrote Ben Hur.

Right wing hate group goes after DHS

Calling the Department of Homeland Security a "liberal hate group" the haters on the right have begun their attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling right wing hate groups as right wing hate groups. By making foolish counter accusations, they hope to diminish the impact of the SPLC finding. To do this they are relying on the media's embrace of equivalence when discussing the various parties. All you need to remember is that dog shit on the sole of your shoe does not make dog shit equal to the sole.

Let the games begin!

Transocean, owner of the late Deepwater Horizon, has begun their efforts to avoid liability for the Hayward Blowout by playing jurisdictional games with the investigators. This is just the overture to a grand dramatic opera to come.

Famous Blue Music Blogging

Jennifer Warnes is the next best thing to Leonard Cohen


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Justin Bieber All American Hero

For standing up to the Ground Zero bigots, maybe. Or maybe not. When stupid is your most endearing trait, these things happen.

Your Two Minute Cenk

Today Cenk unveils the PsychoTalker of the Year.

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


Social Security explained in a nutshell

From an interview with William Greider:
Opponents of Social Security are deliberately confusing Social Security with Medicare; they are distorting reality. There are simple facts that should be reported: 1) Social Security never contributed a dime to the deficit; 2) Social Security softened the impact of the Reagan deficits by building up a surplus; 3) the federal government borrowed the money and spent it on other things; 4) the federal government has to pay this money back because it really belongs to the working people who paid their FICA deductions every pay day. The elites in both parties know the day is approaching when the federal government has to come up with the trillions it borrowed from the workers. That is the crisis the politicians don’t want to deal with, so they create a phony argument that slyly blames working people for their problem. That’s the propaganda they want the public to believe.
There is more to it but simply put, if your Congresscritter wants to cut Social Security in any way it is time to nail their hide to the barn wall.

Will Harry screw the pooch again?

It remains to be seen what, if anything, comes of this but Harry Reid is talking about filibuster reform with Mitch The Chin. With the memory of his failure to reform the filibuster at the beginning of the last Congress still fresh, Harry does have us worried.
A handful of junior Democrats, including Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), have done an impressive job building momentum for a package of modest, but meaningful, changes to the Senate's filibuster rules. But their plan could be completely upended and replaced by even more modest reforms, if Democratic and Republican leaders successfully negotiate a bipartisan rules reform compromise.

In a phone interview with me Wednesday, Udall described negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) as a "separate track" from his own efforts.

A Senate Democratic aide confirms that those discussions are ongoing, and haven't yet yielded consensus. But if they do, that consensus would serve as a stand-in for Udall's approach, not as an endorsement of it, as previous reporting has suggested.
So far The Chin is very much against removing the filibuster from the Motion to Proceed, the one thing that most needs to be removed. Harry does have the whip hand because he has the votes to do it without the Republican/Teabaggers but does he have the nuts to do it?

Massa Haley Barbour releases black sisters

Gladys and Jamie Scott are two black sisters who were sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly being accomplices in an $11 dollar robbery.
Barbour said he decided to suspend the sentences in light of the poor health of 38-year-old Jamie Scott, who requires regular dialysis. The governor asserted that 36-year-old Gladys Scott's release is contingent on her giving a kidney to her inmate sibling.

"The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society," Barbour said in a statement. "Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott's medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi."
The three men who actually committed the crime turned states evidence at the "request" of law enforcement and were treated with light sentences. And just for shits and giggles, Massa Haley is only suspending the sentences as long as the sisters follow the conditions of suspension, one of which is probably to never speak a bad word about Mississippi cops or Massa Haley.

Obama does 6 recess appointments

Because the Republican/Teabaggers just can't stop saying NO.
President Obama said Wednesday that he intended to install six appointees — including James Cole, his controversial pick for the No. 2 spot at the Justice Department — while Congress is in recess. The move will allow them to serve without confirmation by the Senate, where their prospects will only grow dimmer once Republicans gain strength in January...

Aside from Mr. Cole, the nominees include four ambassadors: Matthew J. Bryza to Azerbaijan, Robert Stephen Ford to Syria, Frances J. Ricciardone Jr. to Turkey and Norman L. Eisen to the Czech Republic. The first three are career foreign service officers. Mr. Eisen is a top adviser to the president on ethics who has been an irritant to Republicans since his days as the founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group that investigated the former House Republican leader Tom DeLay.

Mr. Obama also installed William J. Boarman as public printer of the United States.
The Republicans are really getting pissy when they block the Public Printer.

Gov. Perry thinks good Texas air should be thick enough to chew

And the EPA begs to differ. And the two are going at it, toe to toe, in a battle to see whether Texans will continue to breath in chunks or normal air like everyone else. And don't ask about the water, Texans don't need clean water either.

UPDATE: It looks like Texas will get clean water whether they like it or not. The zebra mussels have arrived.

Stupid Republican Trick of the Day

Those wacky Republican/Teabaggers, always doing something to brighten your day and bring a smile to your face, unless you were dumb enough to vote for one of these loons. Todays morsel of right wing imbecility comes to us from Georgia.
Bobby Franklin, a Republican state legislator from Georgia, has introduced a new piece of legislation that, if passed, would force Georgians to pay their taxes in gold and silver coins.

Here's what his Constitutional Tender Act sets forth:

Pre-1965 silver coins, silver eagles, and gold eagles shall be the exclusive medium which the state shall use to make any payments whatsoever to any person or entity, whether private or governmental. Such coins shall be the exclusive medium which the state shall accept from any person or entity as payment of any obligation to the state including, without limitation, the payment of taxes; provided, however, that such coins and other forms of currency may be used in all other transactions within the state upon mutual consent of the parties of any such transaction.
Remember to always curb your Republican.

Quote of the Day

Fox News is 100% bullshit,
Keith Olbermann on Twitter

Dancing with The Real Stars

Just feeling old and cranky about the half-assed crap we get nowadays.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

R.I.P. Kodachrome

From the NY Times:
PARSONS, Kan. — An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful color film and still the most beloved.

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.
And anyone who ever shot a roll of the best 35mm film ever produced knows what a great loss this is.

Good corporate citizens

Multinational corporations, especially in the current financial environment, have billions of dollars in offshore profits they want to repatriate. But they will do any and everything they possibly can to avoid paying taxes on those profits.
At the White House on Dec. 15, business executives asked President Obama for a tax holiday that would help them tap more than $1 trillion of offshore earnings, much of it sitting in island tax havens.

The money -- including hundreds of billions in profits that U.S. companies attribute to overseas subsidiaries to avoid taxes -- is supposed to be taxed at up to 35 percent when it’s brought home, or “repatriated.” Executives including John T. Chambers of Cisco Systems Inc. say a tax break would return a flood of cash and boost the economy.

What nobody’s saying publicly is that U.S. multinationals are already finding legal ways to avoid that tax. Over the years, they’ve brought cash home, tax-free, employing strategies with nicknames worthy of 1970s conspiracy thrillers -- including “the Killer B” and “the Deadly D.”

Merck & Co Inc., the second-largest drugmaker in the U.S., last year brought more than $9 billion from abroad without paying any U.S. tax to help finance its acquisition of Schering-Plough Corp., securities filings show. Merck is also appealing a federal judge’s 2009 finding that Schering-Plough owed taxes on $690 million it had earlier brought home from overseas tax-free.
The idea of a tax break producing a flood of cash to boost the economy is one of those fraudulent memes being floated in the endless game played by the multinationals to avoid as much as they can.
“The current U.S. international tax system is the best of all worlds for U.S. multinationals,” said David S. Miller, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York. That’s because the companies can defer federal income taxes by shifting profits into low-tax jurisdictions abroad, and then use foreign tax credits to shelter those earnings from U.S. tax when they repatriate them, he said.

They’re aided by a cadre of attorneys, accountants and investment bankers in the tax-planning industry -- such as a panel of KPMG LLP tax advisers who held forth in a chilly hotel ballroom at a Philadelphia conference last month. There, they discussed a series of techniques for multinationals to return cash from overseas while avoiding or deferring the taxes.

KPMG tax advisers Kevin Glenn and Tom Zollo used slides to describe several methods. One diagram resembled a schematic from the Manhattan Project. Another strategy would require certain “bells and whistles” to convince regulators of an actual non-tax business purpose, Glenn explained.

Such maneuvers reflect a decades-long cat-and-mouse game. As regulators and lawmakers tighten the rules, companies seek new, legal methods for getting around them. One of the techniques the KPMG advisers discussed was in response to loophole-closers Congress passed in August to address a projected $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit. The changes will make it harder for companies to manipulate the credits they get for taxes paid overseas.

“Some of the best minds in the country are spent all day, every day, wheedling nickels and dimes out of the tax system,” said H. David Rosenbloom, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., and director of the international tax program at New York University’s school of law.
Corporations need an AMT just like us little people.

Delaware's Witchy Woman under investigation

Several months before the election CREW files a complaint against the Christine O'Donnell campaign for using campaign funds for her personal use.
The feds are looking into whether O'Donnell's spent $20,000 dollars in campaign money on personal expenses and rent, MSNBC reported. The probe stems from a complaint by the group Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW) which was filed back in September.

A person speaking on condition of anonymity told the AP of the probe, and said two federal prosecutors and two FBI agents in Delaware are handling the investigation, which has not been sent to a grand jury. A spokewoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware did not immediately respond to TPM's message seeking comment...

When CREW made the complaint back in September, O'Donnell's lawyer attacked the organization by arguing that the group lacked credibility because of donations from George Soros.

But O'Donnell basically admitted that CREW's main charge were true back in October, conceding she used campaign cash to pay rent on her Delaware town house because it doubled as campaign headquarters, which CREW charged amounted to using her primary campaign "as her personal ATM." Commission rules "say candidates can't use campaign money for their mortgage or rent 'even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign'."
A point to note. The DoJ followed the rules and did not open the investigation in the months just before the election when it could, if it were close, have made a difference. This contrasts with several instances of the Rove/Cheney administration doing so, one in particular spearheaded by current Governor Mickey Mouse Christie of Snow Jersey who was then a government attorney.

Healthcare toon style

From the pen of Stuart Carlson



From the pen of Pat Oliphant



click pics to big

Whoopee! Now it's just like the Stassi

No more scrounging around digging up multiple bits of evidence to get the job done. Now all it takes is one well received tip to put someone on The Great Central Terrorist Watch List.
The failure to put Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the watch list last year renewed concerns that the government's system to screen out potential terrorists was flawed. Even though Abdulmutallab's father had told U.S. officials of his son's radicalization in Yemen, government rules dictated that a single-source tip was insufficient to include a person's name on the watch list.

Since then, senior counterterrorism officials say they have altered their criteria so that a single-source tip, as long as it is deemed credible, can lead to a name being placed on the watch list.

The government's master watch list is one of roughly a dozen lists, or databases, used by counterterrorism officials. Officials have periodically adjusted the criteria used to maintain it.

But civil liberties groups argue that the government's new criteria, which went into effect over the summer, have made it even more likely that individuals who pose no threat will be swept up in the nation's security apparatus, leading to potential violations of their privacy and making it difficult for them to travel.
As your average Foxsucker would say, If you are innocent, what does it matter. They can't get their heads around the fact that being on the list effectively removes the innocent part. One thing is sure, this list will never get smaller. Perhaps the only solution is to put everybody on the list to eliminate any possibility of discrimination. I have a list of names I would like to see on the list, where do I sign them up?

Karzai of the Afghans longs for good old days with BFF W

Back then the Americans just shipped over the cash with no questions asked. You didn't even have to unwrap it before reshipping it to the banks in Dubai and Switzerland and The Caymans. The damned Obama people make him unwrap it, count it and put it into the First Den of Thieves National Bank before shipping it out. It is most assuredly time to cut Karzai loose and let him fend for himself.

Isn't this sweet.

The $35 Million bribe offered by Halliburton, plus the $170 Million sweetener in the Swiss banks, to get Dickwahd Cheney off the hook for making a $180 Million bribe made while he was CEO of Halliburton, is itself illegal in Nigeria.
In a letter to Nigeria's anti-corruption watchdog, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, a prominent lawyer in Abuja, said the withdrawal of charges against Cheney was a breach of the law.

“We know as a point of law that once a criminal charge has been filed in a competent court, issue of penalty of fine is for the courts to impose and not parties," he wrote. "Hence, we are shocked to hear that EFCC imposed a fine on an accused person. We also know as a point of law that criminal matters cannot be settled out of court as in civil matters in Nigeria."

"The outcome of the deal with Halliburton tends to suggest a smart way of making quick money while leaving the culprits unpunished," an editorial in Nigeria's Daily Sun argues. "This method invariably has its own drawbacks that could encourage similar criminal acts in future."

Indeed, many observers have likened the deal to an officially sanctioned bribe by Halliburton -- or as a shake-down of the Texas-based oilfield services company by the Nigerian government.
No one will get their hands on Dickwahd before death does, but it is fun to watch everybody jump through hoops try to straighten this out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nothin like an old fashioned ass whupping

But in fairness, Glen Greenwald was arguing with a pair of blondes.


What is wrong with Wall St people?

All they can do is whine about how mean President Obama is to them. This, after he financially bailed out their criminal asses after they tried to drag the whole world into another Depression. And restrained the much needed criminal investigations into activities specifically to not offend their hyper sensitive souls. The only thing he hasn't done it plant a big wet kiss on each and every one of the big whites asses on national television. But you would never know that to hear them cry and complain. They should just suck it up and act like our masters. Sure, Mitch McConnell gives a better reach around but in life you have to go with the hand you've got.

No Man's Land

From Kristina Train. Sometimes I forget if I have posted a song before, but only with good stuff like this that deserves a second posting if I did.


Welcome a new blog resource for 99ers

Nicole Sandler has set up a web site devoted to helping 99ers and organizing them as a force for their own protection. If you are a 99er check it out for the resources. If you are not, be a good neighbor and take a look and see if you can help someone who is.

Crooks & Liars has a post by Nicole that explains how she started this and what she hopes it can do.

Obama giving the US back to the Indigenous Peoples.

I guess they weren't winning it back fast enough at their casinos. And any day we will have Glenn Beck tie this into George Soros' mystic interpretation of the Koran as translated by Karl Marx when he was studying Kenyan history in the British Museum.

Don't like earmarks?

Do what you will to stop them, that won't stop a determined congresscritter from getting the money where he wants it to go. The NY Times outlines the latest methods of congressional redirection.

Bob Herbert wonders what they see

When the "data zealots" look at holiday sales and predict a rosy future.
Maybe they’ve stumbled onto something in their windowless rooms. Maybe the economy really is gathering steam. But in the rough and tumble of the real world, where families have to feed themselves and pay their bills, there are an awful lot of Americans being left behind.

A continuing national survey of workers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession, conducted by two professors at Rutgers University, offers anything but a rosy view of the economic prospects for ordinary Americans. It paints, instead, a portrait filled with gloom.
Bob is not a glass half empty type but he can't miss the despair that is overtaking so many Americans who are losing so much because the jobs aren't here anymore. And the prospects aren't very good either.
The fact that so many Americans are out of work, or working at jobs that don’t pay well, undermines the prospects for a robust recovery. Jobless people don’t buy a lot of flat-screen TVs. What we’re really seeing is an erosion of standards of living for an enormous portion of the population, including a substantial segment of the once solid middle class.

Not only is this not being addressed, but the self-serving, rightward lurch in Washington is all but guaranteed to make matters worse for working people. The zealots reading the economic tea leaves see brighter days ahead. They can afford to be sanguine. They’re working.

Snowflake Snooki tries to refudiate refudiate

And forgets the videos still out there that refudiate her contention. If stupid were combustible, she and her followers could fuel the world.

The Moustache That Roared says no defense cuts

Even if there is a lot of cheating going on in the Pentagon budget, John Bolton says touch it not.
I think you've got to be just as much on the outlook for waste and fraud in defense spending as anywhere else, but the fact is we're entering a very uncertain period in the world. We've got a lot of threats out there that we're not ready for. Not just nuclear proliferation, but chemical and biological weapons," Bolton said on Fox Business, before explaining a variety of threats that he considered pertinent. "This is not the time to cut back. I understand there's a lot of pressure to get deficits down. I'm all in favor of it. But national security comes first, pure and simple, as far as I'm concerned.
And because TMTR has declared these are Very Scary Times, we must continue to throw good money after bad. This despite the fact that we can save lots of money by throwing Republican vendors to the wolves without sacrificing security.

Want a job with an American company?

Get a passport, learn another language and relocate overseas because that is where the hiring is being done.
Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring?

Actually, many American companies are – just maybe not in your town. They're hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat.

More than half of the 15,000 people that Caterpillar Inc. has hired this year were outside the U.S. UPS is also hiring at a faster clip overseas. For both companies, sales in international markets are growing at least twice as fast as domestically.

The trend helps explain why unemployment remains high in the United States, edging up to 9.8 percent last month, even though companies are performing well: All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.

But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.
And the idea that Republican/Teabaggers will do anything to change this situation is truly a fantasy.

Ex Gov Huckabee Hound working with notorious scam artist.

Think Progress has the details of the odious company Huck has chosen to keep. And, given the fact that Huckabee Hound is a Republican and a preacher it may well be said that he is merely sticking with his own kind.

Maliki of Iraq has decided

He wants all US troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011. While American commaders desperately hold out hope that a new SOFA can be reached, Maliki is currently firm in his position to restore the national integrity of Iraq.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ruled out the presence of any U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of 2011, saying his new government and the country's security forces were capable of confronting any remaining threats to Iraq's security, sovereignty and unity.

Mr. Maliki spoke with The Wall Street Journal in a two-hour interview, his first since Iraq ended nine months of stalemate and seated a new government after an inconclusive election, allowing Mr. Maliki to begin a second term as premier.

A majority of Iraqis—and some Iraqi and U.S. officials—have assumed the U.S. troop presence would eventually be extended, especially after the long government limbo. But Mr. Maliki was eager to draw a line in his most definitive remarks on the subject. "The last American soldier will leave Iraq" as agreed, he said, speaking at his office in a leafy section of Baghdad's protected Green Zone. "This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed."
Good man, that Maliki fellow.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Music Sucks Blogging

But I love that old calender art.


Your Two Minute Cenk

Today Cenk addresses his comments to anyone who ever believed a Republican.

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


When the snow came to New Jersey

The hard bitten public servant and Governor of New Jersey "Fat and Stupid" Christie does what every Republican governor would do in his position when told of the approaching storm.

He got on a plane and flew to DisneyWorld.

Those of us old enough remember the damage to the career of "Bahama John" Lindsay that resulted from his failure to return from a vacation after a similar storm paralyzed New York City.

The current acting governor Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, has so far run the state very well in the abscence of Fat and Stupid and needs to make it clear that Fat and Stupid and the newly minted Lt. Gov. left the state so that a competent person would be in charge. This is nothing less than the truth.

The decapitalization of the economy has begun.

Before the Republicans got properly organized, the extension of Unemployment Insurance included an extra $25 per claimant on top of the regular benefit payment. With their most recent block of unemployment extensions they managed to have that removed. Just $25 per week. But with 15.1 Million unemployed that removed $377,500,000 from the economy every week. Over a full year that will remove $19.63 Billion from the economy as it struggles to recover. And this is just one thread in the Republican/Teabagger tapestry of anarchy.

And if you believe this

I have a bridge I would like to sell you. Newt Gingrich's daughter says her scumbag father will run for president in 2012.
"All of my life, he's always done what he has thought was best for our country," she said. "And I think that he'll take all of that into consideration.
It's a very nice bridge and it looks very pretty in the snow.

Quote of the Day

The next two years I expect all their actions to be campaign oriented.... They're all about messaging, they're all about power, they're all about politics. What they don't seem to be concerned about is governing.
Rep. Henry Waxman D-CA, highlighting how the Republican/Teabaggers intend to destroy the United States government.

When you conduct a secret raid

It helps if you have good intelligence about your target. On Christmas Eve a NATO Special Forces team with Afghan support was lacking that key element.
In the pre-dawn hours of Christmas Eve day, a specialized NATO team, joined by 18 Afghan colleagues, converged on the Kabul office complex where they suspected that two vehicles parked outside were packed with explosives in preparation for a Christmastime attack on the U.S. Embassy.

As the military force closed in on the parking lot filled with Tiger International vehicles, the U.S.-led military said that gunmen in the building opened fire. The short firefight ended with two Afghan security guards bleeding to death on the asphalt.

After seeing the NATO version of events, Sakhizada and his company Sunday accused the special forces of firing first when its Afghan guards came out of the building to find out what was going on.

While heading downstairs past a glass window overlooking the parking lot, Sakhizada said the soldiers opened fire and seriously wounded one of his security guards.

After forcing the surviving guards to surrender, the NATO-led team scoured the area and came up with no explosives, no car bombs and no evidence that the company was involved in a plan to attack on the U.S. Embassy.

Sakhizada said the soldiers apologized after finding nothing and cautioned the company not to speak to reporters. But company officials refused to remain quiet.

“Saying sorry is not so easy,” said Mohammed Faird Wafah, a friend of Sakhizada family who came to visit the office on Sunday. “Afghan blood is not so cheap. When something like this happens in the center of Kabul, what do you think happens in the more remote provinces?”
Winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans, one bullet at a time.

The Death of the Deepwater Horizon

The New York Times has pieced together, from testimony and interviews, what happened to the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform when the Macondo well blew out.
It has been eight months since the Macondo well erupted below the Deepwater Horizon, creating one of the worst environmental catastrophes in United States history. With government inquiries under way and billions of dollars in environmental fines at stake, most of the attention has focused on what caused the blowout. Investigators have dissected BP’s well design and Halliburton’s cementing work, uncovering problem after problem.

But this was a disaster with two distinct parts — first a blowout, then the destruction of the Horizon. The second part, which killed 11 people and injured dozens, has escaped intense scrutiny, as if it were an inevitable casualty of the blowout.

It was not.

Nearly 400 feet long, the Horizon had formidable and redundant defenses against even the worst blowout. It was equipped to divert surging oil and gas safely away from the rig. It had devices to quickly seal off a well blowout or to break free from it. It had systems to prevent gas from exploding and sophisticated alarms that would quickly warn the crew at the slightest trace of gas. The crew itself routinely practiced responding to alarms, fires and blowouts, and it was blessed with experienced leaders who clearly cared about safety.

On paper, experts and investigators agree, the Deepwater Horizon should have weathered this blowout.

This is the story of how and why it didn’t.
The story reads like an action thriller, but it all happened. And 11 men died.

Having fucked up the flying experience

Your kindly old Uncle TSA is looking for ways to fuck up other means of travel as well as your constitutionally guaranteed right to shop in any mall you choose. When you give any large group lots of money and a poorly defined mission, this is what you get.

Joe Miller doesn't know when to shave or when to quit

And having run out of options to overturn the will of the people in Alaska state courts, he is turning to the federal courts to reverse the election of Lisa Murkowski. The story only states that he is being backed by "the conservative Tea Party movement". Somebody is paying lots of money to overturn the legitimate electoral choice of the people of Alaska. Who and why would be a much more interesting story.

Haley Barbour-Fiscally responsible Republican style

From Raw Story:
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's use of the state's pricey jet plan has mixed state business with pleasure and national politics, according to a Politico review of the jet's flight log.

The poorest state in the nation has spent over $500,000 on the governor's air travel since 2007.

Barbour has used the state's 12-seat Cessna Citation jet plane to travel to fundraisers for himself and other Republican candidates, as well as football games and at least one boxing match, according to the flight logs obtained by Politico.
Mississippi is the poorest state because it is the dumbest state and their choice of governor is proof of that.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

R.I.P. Teena Marie

The Ivory Queen of Soul


When the Kessler Sisters ask you Quando, quando

You know you are dead if you don't reply, Agora, agora


There are good lawyers out there

And TPM has a post on one that deserves the praise of everone who uses e-mail.
Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.

Enraged, he launched a Web site called Danhatesspam.com, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

"I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," Balsam said.

From San Francisco Superior Court small claims court to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Balsam, based in San Francisco, has filed many lawsuits, including dozens before he graduated law school in 2008, against e-mail marketers he says violate anti-spamming laws.

His many victories are mere rain drops in the ocean considering that Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that there are 200 billion spam messages circulating a day, accounting for 90 percent of all e-mail.

Still, Balsam settles enough lawsuits and collects enough from judgments to make a living. He has racked up well in excess of $1 million in court judgments and lawsuit settlements with companies accused of sending illegal spam.
Some may argue with what he does but there is really only one good Spam.


Like investigating whether water is wet

But they still need to uncover the evidence that will work in a court of law.
More than 18 months after a Wichita abortion doctor was gunned down in his church, a federal investigation into a possible conspiracy continues in Kansas City.

Federal agents have questioned more people in the past few weeks, while a grand jury convened after the murder of George Tiller is still under way.

The focus, according to those who have been interviewed, still appears to be on a Bible study group that Tiller’s killer attended.

At the same time, abortion-rights advocates are concerned that a recent North Carolina case signals an escalation in the threat of clinic-related violence.
Now Scott Roeder would be a good candidate for extreme solitary, with an occasional waterboarding to keep him clean.

The Oklahoma AntiChrist calls for more Depression

Old Dr. No, Tom Coburn, is back in his sulphurous pulpit demanding that the government stop the recovery in its tracks.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn says confidence in the country's economy and currency will be "undermined significantly" in the next several years if the government doesn't find a way to cut federal spending.

Coburn says the U.S. must begin to chip away at the country's huge debt and slash hundreds of billions from the budget in wasteful spending or face the kind of severe fiscal crisis that has plagued Ireland and Greece.
We can only imagine that the necessary demand to continue the recovery will come from lots of praying. It is possible that we can pull it out of our collective asses. More likely, Tom is trying to fool you into handing a squalid third world country to your children so that the Koch Brothers may prosper.

Top Army Dog says troops need more time between deployments

This is especially true if you are running them, over and over again, through a war that has no end. And with all the folks who polish their ass and brass wanting it to continue forever. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice-chief of staff, revealed to Christiane Amanpour that the military is well aware of the problem but so far refuses to put forth the simple, elegant solution to this problem.

Just end the shitty little war.

Better than having them sit around planning coups d'etat.

When Douglas MacArthur made his farewell speech to the Congress he quoted the lyrics of a song, " Old Soldier's Never Die, they just fade away". That is no longer the case. Far from retiring these days, generals and admirals have a habit of chasing monetary glory with all the zeal they had when chasing military glory. And many are doing the same work, from the business side that they were involved with on the military side. The Boston Globe takes a deep look at this mish mash of conflicting interests.
But almost as soon as he closed the door that day in 2005 his phone rang. It was an executive at Northrop Grumman, asking if he was interested in working for the manufacturer of the B-2 stealth bomber as a paid consultant. A few weeks later, Martin received another call. This time it was the Pentagon, asking him to join a top-secret Air Force panel studying the future of stealth aircraft technology.

Martin was understandably in demand, having been the general in charge of all Air Force weapons programs, including the B-2, for the previous four years.

He said yes to both offers.

In almost any other realm it would seem a clear conflict of interest — pitting his duty to the US military against the interests of his employer — not to mention a revolving-door sprint from uniformed responsibilities to private paid advocacy.

But this is the Pentagon where, a Globe review has found, such apparent conflicts are a routine fact of life at the lucrative nexus between the defense procurement system, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and the industry that feasts on those riches. And almost nothing is ever done about it.
Nice gig, eh? Providing advice on the procurement of the stuff you are trying to sell. And what else did the Globe discover?
■ Dozens of retired generals employed by defense firms maintain Pentagon advisory roles, giving them unparalleled levels of influence and access to inside information on Department of Defense procurement plans.

■ The generals are, in many cases, recruited for private sector roles well before they retire, raising questions about their independence and judgment while still in uniform. The Pentagon is aware and even supports this practice.

■ The feeder system from some commands to certain defense firms is so powerful that successive generations of commanders have been hired by the same firms or into the same field. For example, the last seven generals and admirals who worked as Department of Defense gatekeepers for international arms sales are now helping military contractors sell weapons and defense technology overseas.

■ When a general-turned-businessman arrives at the Pentagon, he is often treated with extraordinary deference — as if still in uniform — which can greatly increase his effectiveness as a rainmaker for industry. The military even has name for it — the “bobblehead effect.’’
The next logical step is to transfer the approval of general officer promotions from Congress to the corporations that have been gooming them.

Good thing Snowflake Snooki doesn't follow the news

Can you imagine what might happen if she saw this AND Russia from her house?


Saturday, December 25, 2010

For those who did not have a wonderful Christmas

I hope you can enjoy Another Day


Merry Christmas everyone


Silent Night

From the movie "Lady on a Train" (1945)


Miniut Chretian (O Holy Night)

Enrico Caruso


Friday, December 24, 2010

Hark, The Herald Angels Sing


We three kings of orient are


Joy to the World

From the lovely Rankin Sisters


O little town of Bethlehem


Count your blessings

And don't forget those who have come up short.


Bristol Palin buys house for $172,000 cash

In Shithole, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. She has one child and the house has 5 bedrooms. With her mom's connections to the Maricopa County Sheriff and a string of quality girls, she could keep those rooms turning over most of the day and night. Or maybe, as suggested by Wonkette, she does have political ambitions.

In the end it doesn't really matter, Bank of America has probably begun foreclosure on the house.

A Christmas card from The Tan Man and The Chin

As penned by Pat Oliphant



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Virginia government complicit with Bankster foreclosure fraud

Nowadays, it is not unusual for government to help the criminal class in their efforts but it is unusual to see a commonwealth actively assist in the theft of its citizens homes.
Last year, the state legislature overwhelmingly passed a law making it easier for lenders to defend themselves when accused of giving homeowners too little warning of impending foreclosures.

The process moves so quickly in Virginia - one of the fastest states in the nation - that homeowners can receive less than two weeks' notice that their house is about to be sold on the courthouse steps.

That confronts homeowners with an almost impossible deadline. To get a court to stop the sale in that narrow window, they must gather evidence, file a lawsuit and potentially post a bond with the court that could total thousands of dollars. Instead of trying to find a lawyer and prepare a suit, many borrowers run out the clock trying to deal with their lender.

At a time when lenders have been cutting corners and using phony documents to seize huge numbers of houses, the hurdles can be insurmountable, according to lawyers, consumer advocates and borrowers who have tried to save their homes.

"There's no question that people are losing their homes when they should not be," said James W. "Jay" Speer, executive director of the Virginia Poverty Law Center, which is part of a legal-aid network.

In many states, homeowners facing foreclosure automatically get a day in court, a chance to tell a judge why they should keep their homes. The judicial process provides at least a modest check on error and abuse.

But in Virginia and 28 other states, as well as the District, according to the RealtyTrac foreclosure information service, borrowers have no such luck. They face "nonjudicial" foreclosure processes, meaning lenders can foreclose without going through the courts.
With all the criminal efforts of the Banksters in their rush to foreclose, it is shameful that the Virginia government chose to side with the Mortgage Mafia.

If anyone needs a load of economic treacle

Read this fluffer from the New York Times. Do beware that it may induce financial diabetes. And don't be fooled by the economists quoted, one is from Moodys and one from Goldmine Sachs, two companies with dubious histories, to say the least. Another is from the Bush administration, noted for its economic acumen. And consider that they are only embracing the best results of the tax cuts and nothing of the economic buzzkill that is the Republican/Teabagger agenda for next year.

Happy New Year and make sure you correctly map where you buried your bags of gold in the back yard..

Arriving on Track 9

Paul Krugman takes another close up look at the Humbug Express. The Humbug Express is part of the vast right wing noise machine, designed to abuse your senses until you believe their shameless lies.
Is it really possible that the authors of those articles and speeches about soaring public employment didn’t know what was going on? Well, I guess we should never assume malice when ignorance remains a possibility.

There has not, however, been any visible effort to retract those erroneous claims. And this isn’t the only case of a claimed huge expansion in government that turns out to be nothing of the kind. Have you heard the one about how there’s been an explosion in the number of federal regulators? Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute looked into the numbers behind that claim, and it turns out that almost all of those additional “regulators” work for the Department of Homeland Security, protecting us against terrorists.

Still, why does it matter what some politicians and think tanks say? The answer is that there’s a well-developed right-wing media infrastructure in place to catapult the propaganda, as former President George W. Bush put it, to rapidly disseminate bogus analysis to a wide audience where it becomes part of what “everyone knows.” (There’s nothing comparable on the left, which has fallen far behind in the humbug race.)
Governments always bullshit the people, but it has only been the last 30 years or so that one party has chosen to sell nothing but a "Bill of Goods" to the public and developed the means to do it well. We have to teach ourselves how to say Bah! to their Humbug.

The latest threat to air travel

The White House and Department of Homeland Insecurity have warned the traveling public to beware of the latest threat, TSA workers.

It has been determined that a newly discovered branch of al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in East Texas has developed a deadly new tactic. While TSA workers are relaxing at home, watching Fox News, AQIET has found a way to fill the empty space between their ears with deadly explosives. According to experts, this method can easily store 3 to 5 times the amount of explosives found in your normal tighty whities.

Spokesmen for the DHI, in an effort to continue the push-pull on the publics emotions have declared that they have neutralized all the known TSA bombs. However they do request that the public be on the look out for the telltale signs, a fuse protruding from the nose, blasting caps worn as earrings and the dreaded response from any TSA worker, "Yes, I do watch Fox News". If you hear or see any of the warning signs, please report it to the nearest security personnel.

The White House and the Department of Homeland Insecurity would like to extend to all Americans their wish for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

On this eve of Christmas

The torture of Bradley Manning continues. From what is known, the US government either has not yet decided what they want him to say or they feel he is not yet conditioned to respond properly. Whichever, we should always remember that torture is designed to achieve a predetermined response that has no actual connection with the truth.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A little Christmas Dance Music


Your Two Minute Cenk

MSNBC is getting their moneys worth from the Young Turk.

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


Why health insurance companies are a good investment

A gold mine as long as they don't have to pay claims.



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h/t

OK, this one gets really hard to understand

A number of well known, if not very bright, Republican/Teabaggers have publicly supported a US designated terrorist organization that was established by Saddam Hussein to attack Iran.
This Wednesday, a group of prominent Bush-era Republicans, including former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House adviser Frances Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, flew to Paris to speak in support of an Iranian exile group there -- one that's been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S.

"The United States should not just be on your side," Giuliani told the group, the Washington Post reported. "It should be enthusiastically on your side. You want the same things we want."

The group, known as Mujaheddin-e Khalq or MEK, is a militant group that's been violently fighting the Iranian government since the 1960s. It has ties to the regime of Saddam Hussein, which trained and outfitted the MEK and for whom the MEK fought in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. According to the State Department, which declared the group a terrorist organization in 1997, the group's philosophy is a combination of "Marxism, Islam, and feminism."
It is indicative of the power of the word Iran that a bunch of Conservabaggers can overlook all that and a philosophy based on Marxism, Islam, and feminism and come out on the side of MEK. We should be very wary of what else they may do in their quest for a war with Iran.

Republicans produce more whine than France

After a hard year putting up filibusters and holds on everything possible, the Republican/Teabaggers are now whining and crying like a passel of spoiled brats because they didn't pay attention during the "lame duck" session and things actually got done. TPM has an excellent selection of the whiny assed titty babies in full throat.

Moodys credit ratings are junk

And the latest report from McClatchy shows how low they have fallen. Their inability to give an accurate credit rating has been one of the epic fails of the 21st century.

Not your fathers Santa Claus anymore.

From the pen of Pat Oliphant



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Car crashes onto President Bush's lawn in Texas

From the WaPo:
Police and security agents were sent scrambling when a driver crashed onto the front lawn of former President George W. Bush's home near Dallas.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan says the single-car accident happened Wednesday, and neither Bush nor his wife were injured. He says there was no reported damage to their house.

Donovan says the driver was questioned but released after the accident. He says the man had been visiting one of Bush's neighbors.
Don't you find it curious that W. has to drive to visit his neighbors and the Secret Service doesn't take away his keys when he and Pickles get hammered?

As Christmas draws near

We have Stan Freberg to explain the spirit of the season to us all.



Brought to you by YouTube, the official video sharing website of Christmas.

Somebody needs a cool dark room with gentle music playing

And that someone is Bryan Fischer director of issue analysis for the AFA which usually spends its time hating on gays. Because of the repeal of DADT, Bryan has been directing the hate against President Obama. And the latest hate he has pulled out of his ass only a scatologist could love.
Stop us if you've heard this one: President Barack Obama wants to return the entire land mass of the United States of America to Native American tribes.

No, nevermind. That one's new.

The wild claim comes by way of the American Family Association (AFA), a conservative non-profit focused on anti-gay initiatives.

They were reacting to a Thursday announcement by President Obama, that the US would sign a non-binding United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, which has been endorsed by 145 countries.

The declaration states that "indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired," and nations "shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources."

This means President Obama "wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords," according to Bryan Fischer, AFA's "director of issue analysis."

"Perhaps he figures that, as an adopted Crow Indian, he will be the new chief over this revived Indian empire," Fischer added
In truth, I haven't heard hallucinations like this since I stopped doing LSD.

I won't call it a miracle

Because I don't believe that the Devil's Own Right Hand Man is eligible. Whatever the cause, it is quite a surprise to hear the latest pronouncement from Pat Robertson does not call for someone to die.
Count this among the 10 things nobody ever expected to see in their lifetimes: 700 Club founder Pat Robertson, one of the cornerstone figures of America's Christian right movement, has come out in favor of legalizing marijuana.

Calling it getting "smart" on crime, Robertson aired a clip on a recent episode of his 700 Club television show that advocated the viewpoint of drug law reformers who run prison outreach ministries.
Even though this is just another way to pass to plate for Pat, rumors have it that Pat developed a taste for the mellow herb from the hookers who passed a bone around after doing his bone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Your Two Minute Ed

The latest on Al Sharpton's campaign against Rush the Talking Racist Pig.

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


Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk interviews Julian Assange.

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


That miserable Dickwahd is only worth $35 Million

That's how much Halliburton had to bribe the Nigerian government to drop bribery charges against the right hand of Satan, Dick Cheney.
Oilfield contractor Halliburton has agreed to pay Nigeria $35 million to settle bribery allegations that led to charges against former Vice President Dick Cheney and other executives, the company announced Tuesday.

Cheney, who was Halliburton's CEO in the 1990s, and nine others were charged with conspiracy and "distribution of gratification to public officials" in a long-running case involving the company and its Kellogg, Brown and Root subsidiary. Nigerian officials accused the company of paying bribes to secure $6 billion worth of contracts for a liquefied natural gas project in the Niger Delta.

"Pursuant to this agreement, all lawsuits and charges against KBR and Halliburton corporate entities and associated persons have been withdrawn," the company announced in a statement Tuesday evening. Nigerian officials agreed "not to bring any further criminal charges or civil claims against those entities or persons" in return, the company said.
Also included in the settlement was Halliburton's help in getting $130 Million of the original bribe money transferred from Switzerland to Nigeria. All parties left the table satisfied.

Zadroga 9/11 Bill passes

And it passed by a voice vote. Sadly it still cost $2.Billion to buy off that most UnChristian son of a bitch Tom Coburn.
Dems rounded up the votes they needed to break Coburn's filibuster earlier this week, and spent much of the morning and early afternoon negotiating with him to prevent him from delaying passage of the legislation by several days.

Coburn's price: a reduction of the price tag from $6.2 billion to $4.2 billion.

The legislation would provide first responders with five years of health care coverage and give them fresh access to a compensation fund for people who became ill because of exposure to harmful inhalants at ground zero.
And having done the job he set out to do, Sen Coburn will take a few days off at an Oklahoma puppy mill to kick the old dogs around before they are sold to local Chinese buffets.

I'll Be Home For Christmas

From The King, Elvis Presley


Now Julian Assange is really in the crosshairs

As much as some people may talk about it, the assassination of Julian Assange by Americans is very unlikely, if only because there is no convenient place to drop a drone missile on him. His latest move, however, will make him very vulnerable.
Novaya Gazeta, the Moscow newspaper controlled by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and billionaire Alexander Lebedev, said it agreed to join forces with WikiLeaks to expose corruption in Russia.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, which publishes secret government and corporate documents online, has materials specifically about Russia that haven’t been published yet and Novaya Gazeta will help make them public, the newspaper said on its website today.

“Assange said that Russians will soon find out a lot about their country and he wasn’t bluffing,” Novaya Gazeta said. “Our collaboration will expose corruption at the top tiers of political power. No one is protected from the truth.”
Unless the leaks have been fully vetted by the current Russian government, Assange is toast. Pooty-Poot is a very sensitive man who has absolutely no scruples about using state power.

The State of Christmas Future

From the pen of Tom Toles



From the pen of Pat Oliphant



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Quote of the Day

In a way I wish President Bush were around.
Rudi Giuliani, in the video,expressing his wish that W would help push for the Zadroga 9/11 Bill. And come to think, where is that pissant? He is never there when you need him.

Given the number of times this has happened

There must be a RICO indictment or two coming some day. Every day the news carries something more about how our huge financial institutions are mophing into huge criminal organizations. The latest from the New York Times:
When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks.

Arriving at her home in Truckee, Calif., Mimi Ash found it had been cleared of her possessions.

When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter clothes and family photos. Also missing was a wooden box, its top inscribed with the words “Together Forever,” that contained the ashes of her late husband, Robert.

The culprit, Ms. Ash soon learned, was not a burglar but her bank. According to a federal lawsuit filed in October by Ms. Ash, Bank of America had wrongfully foreclosed on her house and thrown out her belongings, without alerting Ms. Ash beforehand...

Near Halloween 2008, work crews broke in and cleaned out the place, taking Persian rugs, china, furniture bought on a trip in Peru, skis, photos of her marriage and childhood in Iran. Her husband’s ashes were taken from the couple’s master bedroom.

“This is in essence a burglary,” said Ms. Ash, walking through the vacant home, with its four levels and commanding mountain views. “But when a burglar goes in, they don’t take your photos and your husband’s ashes.”
The foreclosure was rescinded but how do you make good after you have stolen a large part of someone's life and thrown it away?

O won't someone please help these poor souls!

Vanity Fair informally polled Wall St. bankers to find out how they felt about their bonuses after the excellent year their companies had.
Wall Street's five biggest banks had a banner year in 2010, racking up their second-highest revenues on record, and to celebrate they put aside some $90 billion for year-end bonuses. But an informal poll suggests that more than half of the people receiving those bonuses feel they aren't getting enough.

Vanity Fair's Foster Kamer went to Wall Street and carried out an informal poll asking bank employees how they felt about their bonuses. He found that, of the 98 people surveyed, 56 percent said their bonuses were "not enough."

Sixty-one percent of those polled said they received a bonus this year, while 39 percent said they didn't. Even if all the respondents who didn't get a bonus were among those who wanted more, that still leaves about one-third of those with bonuses wanting more.

"Of the 61 percent who said they received a bonus, 85 percent were men — and just 15 percent were women. And we really tried to talk to women," Kamer writes.
Poor babies!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas in New Orleans

Who better than Louis Armstrong?


Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk and Dana Priest on your government file.

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


Fuck you Tom Coburn and Mike Enzi

They would piss on Jesus if he asked for their help.


Isn't Jeff Sessions just so cute when he is mad

As in mad as a hatter, that is. Little Jeffie doesn't think that Obama can appoint judges that suit his beliefs.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) railed against President Barack Obama's nominees to the federal bench on Tuesday afternoon, complaining that Obama was only nominating individuals with "ACLU DNA" and rattling off a list of potential judges who are now or have ever been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I'm sure that less than one percent of the lawyers in America are members of the ACLU," Sessions said. "It seems if you have the ACLU DNA, you get a pretty good leg up to being nominated by this president."
Jeffie may not like it but I prefer judges with ACLU DNA to Senators with KKK DNA. You hear that, Jeffie?

"A spin down the toilet of history"

Matt always has a well turned phrase for what he is looking at. This time he is focusing on the civil fraud charges being brought by New York against Ernst & Young.
It took more than two years, but there might finally be some capital sentences handed out for crimes committed during the financial crisis. That’s metaphorically speaking, of course. Like the accounting firm Arthur Anderson, whose head was sacrificed during the Enron debacle, the once-proud financial auditing firm Ernst and Young now looks poised to take a spin down the toilet of history thanks to its role in the Lehman Brothers debacle.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is about to file civil fraud charges against E&Y for the work it did helping Lehman cook its books during 2007 and 2008. The short version of what happened goes something like this. Lehman Brothers, like all the other big banks on Wall Street in those years, was nearing insolvency and desperate for cash. In advance of its quarterly reports in 2007, the firm executed a series of something called Repo 105 transactions in an attempt to make their balance sheet look healthier than it was.
For all you afficionados of the perp walk, this might bring you results. As always it is a great read and he has some excellent links, too.

At least there is no gambling

From the pen of Pat Oliphant



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Remember when there was a new sheriff in town?

Recently we have received a series of announcements making it clear where the new sheriff was recruited from.
This month, lawyers for Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, announced that federal prosecutors had told them they would not charge the senator with conspiring to help a former aide, with whose wife he had had an extramarital affair, violate a lobbying law.

A few days later, lawyers for Representative Jerry Lewis, Republican of California, facing scrutiny for steering government spending to campaign donors, said they were told that their client would not be charged, either.

Other federal corruption investigations known to have been ended without charges this year had focused on Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader and Republican of Texas; Representative Don Young, Republican of Alaska; and Representative Alan B. Mollohan, Democrat of West Virginia.
Somewhere along the line the federal criminal code was modified to provide immunity to members of America's most diverse criminal gang, Congress. Perhaps, over the entrance to the Dept of Justice they should carve the letters IOKIYAIC*. The formerly exclusive Republican club is now open to Democrats.

* It's OK if you are in Congress

Because they are losing their shitty little war in Afghanistan

The top commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for a new war inside the borders of our ally Pakistan.
Senior American military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan’s tribal areas, a risky strategy reflecting the growing frustration with Pakistan’s efforts to root out militants there.

The proposal, described by American officials in Washington and Afghanistan, would escalate military activities inside Pakistan, where the movement of American forces has been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a backlash.

The plan has not yet been approved, but military and political leaders say a renewed sense of urgency has taken hold, as the deadline approaches for the Obama administration to begin withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. Even with the risks, military commanders say that using American Special Operations troops could bring an intelligence windfall, if militants were captured, brought back across the border into Afghanistan and interrogated.
Because the first two shitty little wars worked so well, those who benefit from any armed conflict want us to gin up another one. There is a whole warehouse of medals and promotions waiting to be given.

Mitch quivers at the Internet

Sen. Mitch "The Chin" McConnell, wielder of "The Fearsome Quivering Chins of Death" has turned their awesome powers at attempts to insure net neutrality.
Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor Tuesday to warn that the Obama administration is on the verge of nationalizing the Internet, charging that the president has already seized large swaths of the economy.

The charge is a familiar one and reflects the Republican strategy of opposition to net neutrality, which portrays regulation of major broadband companies as a form of nationalization and control of the Internet itself.
Mitch wants to stop the dreaded regulations so that actual control of the Net will devolve to his corporate masters and their enduring profit.

Tom Coburn & Mike Enzi - Two Heartless Despicable Bastards

And the fact that they are Republican/Teabaggers is pretty much redundant. Being Republican/Teabaggers means they will stop any bill put forth by Democrats. Even one to provide health for 9/11 Responders. What makes Tom Coburn's actions so petty, mean spirited and contemptible is the fact that no one begrudged Oklahoma City a penny following their terrorist attack. Let everyone remember, if Tom Coburn ever again says he is a christian he is telling a Big Fat Lie. Tom would be the first to call the cops if Jesus returned.

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