Friday, August 26, 2011
When I get back, will you...
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I'll be back after Labor Day
Don"t Kill the Dream
If he doesn't like the job, he should quit
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) is not impressed with his $174,000 per year Congressional salary. Or the benefits package that comes with serving his constituents in the House.Another disgruntled Teabagger running from reality. He well deserves the words of Oliver Cromwell
"And by the way, did I mention? They're shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?" he told a town hall in his Second Florida Congressional District Wednesday. "If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks and cutting me off from my family business, I'll just tell you: This job don't mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City."...
According to the Florida Capital News, Southerland seemed frustrated by constituents who think he's landed a cushy job as a member of Congress, what with his subsidized travel, cheap health care and salary more than three times the median family income in his Tallahassee-area district.
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
All that fracking gas they talk about
Federal geologists published new estimates this week for the amount of natural gas that exists in a giant rock formation known as the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from New York to Virginia.Earlier estimates came out during the Big Oil presidency when everybody was looking for a new bubble. Now, in addition to a new methodology, they have actual experience to measure against pre drilling expectations.
The shale formation has about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to the report from the United States Geological Survey. This is drastically lower than the 410 trillion cubic feet that was published earlier this year by the federal Energy Information Administration.
As a result, the Energy Information Administration, which is responsible for quantifying oil and gas supplies, has said it will slash its official estimate for the Marcellus Shale by nearly 80 percent, a move that is likely to generate new questions about how the agency calculates its estimates and why it was so far off in its projections.
Michigan has 99,500 customers for medical marijuana
Warren Buffett has confidence in Obama
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway plans to buy $5 billion worth of preferred shares of Bank of America, according to CNBC. The troubled bank's stock soared 25 percent on the news.Warren Buffett does his homework and has many friends who tell him what is really happening so this should be a good sign for BAC. On the other hand this bodes ill for the New York AG. They won't bother with whores this time, they will hire someone to shoot him.
Berkshire Hathaway will buy 50,000 shares at $100,000 per share, according to Business Insider. Shares of BofA, the value of which has been halved since the start of the year, are currently trading on the market at only $8.31 as of 9:42AM...
Bank of America Corporation announced today that it reached an agreement to sell 50,000 shares of Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock with a liquidation value of $100,000 per share to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. in a private offering.The preferred stock has a dividend of 6 percent per annum, payable in equal quarterly installments, and is redeemable by the company at any time at a 5 percent premium.
In conjunction with this agreement, Berkshire Hathaway will also receive warrants to purchase 700,000,000 shares of Bank of America common stock at an exercise price of $7.142857 per share. The warrants may be exercised in whole or in part at any time, and from time to time, during the 10-year period following the closing date of the transaction.
I will be damned if they’re going to cut Social Security
Another Canadian import
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
No marijuana yet
The U.S. is still investigating whether the phones of Sept. 11 victims were hacked by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., a lawyer for relatives of those killed in the terrorist attacks said.The investigation is so vital and urgent that the DoJ has yet to ask the families for the cell phone numbers of the victims.
Norman Siegel, a New York lawyer who represents kin of terrorist attacks’ victims, said Attorney General Eric Holder met today with about eight family members. Holder wouldn’t say whether federal investigators found any evidence that News Corp.’s reporters obtained phone records, Siegel said, adding that the families were told the probe is still preliminary.
“This is such a high priority for the Justice Department that the attorney general is briefed on it every single day,” Charles G. Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, was killed in the World Trade Center, said at a news conference after the meeting.
The piano is shut off
For want of a shoe a horse was lost...
Critically, as the judge noted, the PSA provided that for a MERS mortgage such as this, assignments of mortgages did not have to be prepared or delivered to the buyer of the loans. As is endemic with most securitized mortgages, the participants in the securitization did not deliver and record any assignments documenting such transfers, instead, relying on the internal MERS registration system. Throwing this provision back in the lenders’ faces, the judge basically thumbed his nose at the entire securitization industry saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” — rendering his bomb-shell ruling that the mortgage itself (as opposed to the underlying loan) was never transferred through the securitization system from entity A, B, C, to Deutsche Bank, and that MERS had always held, and never relinquished, “legal title” to the mortgage. Accordingly, the judge held, Deutsche Bank was never the owner of the mortgage in the first place, could not foreclose in its name, and its foreclosure sale was null and void.His Honor has essentially called into question the entire transfer process withing MERS. Now comes the "for want of a horse a rider was lost" part. What is the status of the securities that Deutsche Bank created with mortgages it never owned? This illustrates why the Banksters and the feds are working so hard to eliminate NY AG Schneiderman. It also show why it may not do them any good as long as capable judges sit on the bench.
Two toons today
Darryl Issa must be guilty
Issa's office has been on a crusade against scribe Eric Lichtblau ever since the reporter penned a lengthy story arguing that Issa, a wealthy businessman who heads the House Oversight Committee, has enriched himself through his congressional office.
Team Issa started by firing a scathing broadside at the broadsheet last week, demanding a retraction and contending that Lichtblau's story was riddled with at least 13 errors. The Times made one minor correction, but is otherwise standing by the piece and Lichtblau.
Perhaps Darryl and his brother should steal Lichtblau's car to get even.
That has not pleased Issa, and on Tuesday his office went so far as to suggest Lichtblau may not have actually visited Issa's California office building because the lead of the reporter's story said it overlooks a golf course. Issa says you cannot see the golf course from his building, and his office cited stories in the San Diego Union-Tribune and the North County Times as evidence. Lichtblau has maintained that he saw the building from the golf course.
In a release to reporters, Issa's office even compared the veteran Lichtblau to notorious Times fabricator Jayson Blair.
Rick Perry is #1
The Washington Post has reported that the Texas governor holds the record for most executions ever for a governor, and by a large margin. Perry has presided over 234 executions, increasing Texas' reputation by far as the #1 state in executing people.Governor Good Hair also owns the record for knowingly executing an innocent man but he is rightfully modest about this one.
George W.Bush reportedly presided over a higher rate of executions than Perry in his five years as governor before becoming President, while Democratic governor Ann Richards had 50 executions in her one term. Thanks to its size and lack of appeals from lower courts, the overall structure of support for the death penalty is a constant in Texas, no matter who is governor.
Rick Perry wrote a book
In response to a query by The Washington Post, spokesman Mark Miner distanced Perry from his book’s proposal to repeal the 16th Amendment or replace the current tax code with a flat tax.Peter denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed. I don't know about his cock, but Rick Perry has denied himself twice already, one more and he can be a saint.
"The 16th Amendment instituting a federal income tax starting at one percent has exploded into onerous, complex and confusing tax rates and rules for American workers over the last century... We can’t undo more than 70 years of progressive taxation and worsening debt obligations overnight," he said in an email...
But his communications director, Ray Sullivan, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the book is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views on Social Security, describing the book as "a look back, not a path forward." He added that the book was "not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto."
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Empire Strikes Back
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday was kicked off the committee leading the 50-state task force charged with probing foreclosure abuses and negotiating a possible settlement agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage firms, according to an email reviewed by The Huffington Post.There is too much money at stake for the banks to let him continue.
Schneiderman was one of roughly a dozen state attorneys general leading the talks with the five companies, alongside representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies. The government launched the negotiations in the spring after widespread reports of foreclosure irregularities, such as so-called "robo-signing" and illegal home seizures, emerged.
But state prosecutors and federal officials are pressing to complete a proposed settlement with the five companies even though they've initiated only a limited investigation that hasn't examined the full extent of the alleged wrongdoing, The Huffington Post reported last month. Elizabeth Warren, who until recently was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, told a congressional panel last month that government agencies may not have sufficiently investigated claims that borrowers' homes were illegally seized.
Yeah! What he said.
While our federal and state counterparts may be working toward the same goals, ongoing investigations by attorneys general cannot be shut down by efforts to settle quickly and those responsible must be held accountable,Danny Kanner, a spokesman for New York AG Eric Schneiderman, explaining why the investigations will continue despite the efforts of the DoJ and the White House to stop them.
A few words about Republicans
One thing about Republicans
The Chair of the Sumter South Carolina Tea Party posted -- and then quickly pulled -- a post on her Facebook page earlier this month that joked about throwing the Obamas out of a helicopter.How she could have thought this was any different than any of the other jokes is beyond me.
Shery Lanford Smith posted the the joke on her Facebook page on August 11th. The page is now private.
In the joke, the Obamas are on a helicopter talking about how they could make people happy if they threw money out the window. The pilot says: "I could throw both of them out of the window and make 256 million people very happy!" Smith added: "If you're one of 256 million, PASS IT ON."
The Man with the Bidness Plan
The Many Dangers of Rick Perry
How nice, the banks are getting better
Twenty-three lenders came off the list of so-called problem banks during the second quarter, bringing the total to 865, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That is the first decrease since the third quarter of 2006 and is one of the clearest indicators that banking industry is returning to health. Indeed, there were 48 bank failures in the first half of 2011, far fewer than at the same point last year when the number of collapsed banks peaked at 157, the highest level since the last severe recession in the early 1990s. And the F.D.I.C. insurance fund that protects the nation’s depositors showed a surplus for the first time in two years.Of course one of the problem banks is the biggest US bank by deposits. Yes, I'm looking at you Bank of America.
Despite these signs of improvement, the magnitude of problem banks — roughly one of every nine lenders — remains relatively high. And the number could rise again if the economy suffers another downturn — a prospect that seems increasingly likely amid all the grim data that has surfaced in the weeks since the list was compiled at the end of the June.
Fed Director gets pushback for her bank boot licking.
Kathryn Wylde, deputy chair of the New York Fed's board, challenged state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's opposition to a proposed $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America and a group of investors -- leaping to the defense of the financial industry -- according to remarks quoted Monday in The New York Times.It is just so hard not to stand up for your friends.
Wylde's day job is president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit that is funded by dues from its partner companies, which include the very banks involved in the talks to settle claims over hundreds of billions of dollars in soured home loans. Her apparent sympathy toward big banks compromises Wylde's ability to represent the public as a director of a bank regulator, said research analyst Christopher Whalen, who, along with analyst Barry Ritholtz, called for Wylde to resign.
"I'm just appalled," said Whalen, who is managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics. "She is a public director of a Federal Reserve Bank, and she's not supposed to behave this way. She is not an advocate for the industry."
Monday, August 22, 2011
Goldmine Sachs' Blankfein lawyers up
If you worry because the F-22 can't fly
Russia's first stealth fighter jet had to abort a takeoff at Moscow's International Aviation and Space Show on Sunday because of what officials said was a malfunction in the right engine.Damn Russkies is catching up to us!
The T-50 did not leave the runway and was slowed by a brake parachute.
The twin-engined jet was traveling at 60 miles per hour (100 kph) when the pilot decided to abort takeoff because of a right engine malfunction, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a representative of United Aircraft Building Corp., a state-controlled holding that incorporates top Russian aircraft-makers...The fighter is intended to match the U.S. F-22 Raptor, which entered service in 2005.
I remembered Bluesday early this week.
Is Jon Huntsman Obama's stalking horse
This should be a wake up call
Say Hello to Bobble Head Brown
Bobble Head Brown.com
BP is not contributing enough to Obama's re-election
Wisconsin voter ID to face the law
The law requiring Wisconsin's citizens to show photo ID in order to vote is facing a possible lawsuit, as opponents of the law say it violates the state's Constitution.Any time you see Republican/Teabaggers talking about stopping fraud you can make book on their running their own fraud as they speak.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the League of Women Votes of Wisconsin is preparing the lawsuit that alleges the law violates 'right to vote' provisions of the state constitution not present in the U.S. Constitution.
"It is absolutely clear that the Legislature paid no attention to the (right to vote) provisions of the Wisconsin Constitution when it passed voter ID," said their attorney Lester Pines. "I'm not aware of any point in which they came up."
However, Republican lawmakers, including Gov. Scott Walker, disagree that they violated any state or federal Constitution with the law, which was passed in May. Instead, the GOP believes that new law will prevent voter fraud. Wisconsin became the 11th state to approve of requiring some form of photo ID to vote.
MOZART'S FINAL PIANO CONCERTO
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Banksters trying to stop New York AG from investigating them
Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.Sure is nice to see our DoJ actually doing something about the Great Mortgage Fraud even if they do have it ass backwards. And don't you just love it when the Federal Reserve considers Wall St crimes that have stripped $Trillions in accumulated wealth from our Main St as something defensible? And who will defend Mr. Schneiderman besides those of us who want justice done?
In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks...
The lawsuit angered Bank of New York Mellon, and as Mr. Schneiderman was leaving the memorial service last week for Hugh Carey, the former New York governor who died Aug. 7, an attendee said Mr. Schneiderman became embroiled in a contentious conversation with Kathryn S. Wylde, a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who represents the public. Ms. Wylde, who has criticized Mr. Schneiderman for bringing the lawsuit, is also chief executive of the Partnership for New York City. The New York Fed has supported the proposed $8.5 billion settlement...
Characterizing her conversation with Mr. Schneiderman that day as “not unpleasant,” Ms. Wylde said in an interview on Thursday that she had told the attorney general “it is of concern to the industry that instead of trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem to be throwing a wrench into it. Wall Street is our Main Street — love ’em or hate ’em. They are important and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them unless they are doing something indefensible.”
Do Republican and Teabaggers piss you off?
91. Republicans have their own terrorists, just look up Timothy McVeigh.Go and work your way up, they get better.
92. Republicans love outsourcing, just ask the Chinese Communists.
93. The Republican answer to the oil spill was to apologize to BP, a foreign oil company.
94. Democrats will be working hard to bring jobs to Americans, while the Republicans tea bag each other in the middle of the aisles.
95. Voter disenfranchisement is immoral and un-American, that’s why Republicans do it.
96. Republicans would let your house burn down unless you pay them to put it out.
97. Democrats want to take care of the sick. Republicans take their credit cards and then deny them medical attention.
98. Republicans say teachers are union thugs, then proceed to rape and mug the entire middle class on behalf of corporations.
99. Republicans think rape isn’t a crime, but miscarriages are.
100. Republicans are idiots and arguing with them is a waste of time!
Karzai gets his minions back
The country’s beleaguered election commission gave in to political pressure on Sunday and declared that it would change the results of the latest parliamentary elections.And we are still paying $Billions and sacrificing American lives to protect the Afghan way of life.
The Independent Election Commission announced at a news conference on Sunday that nine members of Parliament would be removed, after having ruled that the election results were final and saying that even the commission could not change the outcome. Nine candidates, previously disqualified over electoral irregularities, would have their seats restored.
“We did not willingly get involved in this case, but it was our obligation to end this crisis,” the commission chairman, Fazil Ahmad Manawi, said.
The controversy over the results of September’s parliamentary elections have paralyzed the Afghan government for 11 months, provoking street demonstrations by losers and counter-demonstrations by winners, and preventing President Hamid Karzai from appointing a cabinet or nominating new Supreme Court justices.
God's secretary needs the patience of a saint.
Quote of the Day
But as someone who was a leader in the White House that turned a record surplus into a deficit, that got us involved in a war that we never should have been in, and turned the floor of the New York stock exchange into a casino, I don’t think the American people are quite ready to hear a lecture from you on good governance.Bill Burton, former White House spokesman schooling Turdblossom on the real history of Washington DC.
What the president needs in Washington are partners who will work with him to make progress in this country, not just people like Eric Cantor and John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who would much rather see the economy do poorly so that they can score political points than see America succeed.
And the Lord said unto the Pope
A torrential rainstorm forced Pope Benedict to abandon a speech to hundreds of thousands of young people gathered at an aerodrome outside Madrid on Saturday.How easily they see the warning signs for others but never for themselves.
Driving rain and wind forced the organisers of the event to recommend Benedict halt his address after delivering just a few opening words of welcome.
"A massive storm got up and officials halted the programme as it was impossible for the pope to continue battling against the elements," a witness said.
Shoot 'im in the back with the Holy Ghost gun
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Let's say you are a bidness in Texas
And as this is Texas, it is all legit, on the up & up, on the square and you can get away with it. YEEE! HAW!
Over three terms in office, Mr. Perry’s administration has doled out grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses. And they have helped Mr. Perry raise more money than any politician in Texas history, donations that have periodically raised eyebrows but, thanks to loose campaign finance laws and a business-friendly political culture dominated in recent years by Republicans, have only fueled Mr. Perry’s ascent.
“Texas politics does have this amazing pay-to-play culture,” said Harold Cook, a Democratic political consultant.
Mark Miner, a spokesman for Mr. Perry, said there was no connection between Mr. McHale’s contributions and the grant to G-Con. He said that the purpose of the state money was to create jobs and that it was appropriate for Mr. Perry to appoint people who support his vision and policies to state oversight posts.
The new Wal-Mart for the oligarchy
We are awakening to a dollar-store economy. For years the dollar store has not only made a market out of the detritus of a hyperproductive global manufacturing system, but it has also made it appealing — by making it amazingly cheap. Before the market meltdown of 2008 and the stagnant, jobless recovery that followed, the conventional wisdom about dollar stores — whether one of the three big corporate chains (Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree) or any of the smaller chains (like “99 Cents Only Stores”) or the world of independents — was that they appeal to only poor people. And while it’s true that low-wage earners still make up the core of dollar-store customers (42 percent earn $30,000 or less), what has turned this sector into a nearly recession-proof corner of the economy is a new customer base. “What’s driving the growth,” says James Russo, a vice president with the Nielsen Company, a consumer survey firm, “is affluent households.” The affluent are not just quirky D.I.Y. types. These new customers are people who, though they have money, feel as if they don’t, or soon won’t. This anxiety — sure to be restoked by the recent stock-market gyrations and generally abysmal predictions for the economy — creates a kind of fear-induced pleasure in selective bargain-hunting.And don't forget to give thanks to our new overlords.
Obama's gift of COWs brings cell service to far off Martha's Vinyard
Are you ready for some PETA porn?
Now, PETA has pulled out all of the stops with a XXX porn site for its next clever marketing endeavor, reports The Register.Given their basic objection to eating animals, I suspect there won't be any oral sex in their porn.
PETA confirmed the XXX site in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.
"We live in a 24 hour news cycle world and we learn the racy things we do are sometimes the most effective way that we can reach particular individuals," said PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt.
Gov. Rick "Greasy Thumb" Scott getting it from all sides
Today, the nation's most unpopular governor lost his first case, a lawsuit brought by Rosalie Whiley, a blind woman on food stamps. She argued -- successfully -- that Scott overstepped his authority by freezing all rules until he could approve them. Whiley argued that Scott's edict delayed a rule that would have made it easier for her to order food stamps online.
The Miami Herald reports Florida's Supreme Court sided with Whiley. According to the Herald,The court, in a 5-2 opinion, concluded that rule-making authority belongs to the Legislature, not the governor.Hah! Even better, Whiley's lawyers had made fun of Scott for claiming he had "supreme executive power." According to Tampa Bay Online, the lawyers said... "the Governor's theory seems to have come from a Monty Python skit. See the discourse between 'Arthur, King of Britons' and 'Dennis the Constitutional Peasant,' from Monty Python and the Holy Grail."In that scene from the 1975 cult classic comedy, King Arthur explains to Dennis, a filth-covered peasant, that Arthur rules over all Britons because a mystical Lady of the Lake "held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king."Dennis responds: "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony … You can't expect to wield supreme executive power because some watery tart threw a sword at you."
So was Ricky elected by the Watery Tart Party?
Another one you need to know
This is just so wrong on every level
The agreement would allow not only military trainers to stay to build up the Afghan army and police, but also American special forces soldiers and air power to remain.Sure we will continue to waste $Billions and get more Americans killed (what you thought the Taliban will buy into this) but we will maintain a perfectly useless military presence smack dab in the middle of those folks we like so much, the Pakis and Iranis and the Chinees. No doubt this will pressure the Iraqi to cut a similar deal.
The prospect of such a deal has already been met with anger among Afghanistan’s neighbours including, publicly, Iran and, privately, Pakistan.
It also risks being rejected by the Taliban and derailing any attempt to coax them to the negotiating table, according to one senior member of Hamid Karzai’s peace council.
A withdrawal of American troops has already begun following an agreement to hand over security for the country to Kabul by the end of 2014.
But Afghans wary of being abandoned are keen to lock America into a longer partnership after the deadline. Many analysts also believe the American military would like to retain a presence close to Pakistan, Iran and China.
Friday, August 19, 2011
If your work week is over
Quote of the Day
Rick Perry's an idiot, and I don't think anyone would disagree with that.Bruce Bartlett, Ronald Reagan's chief domestic policy adviser, providing an adult judgement of Gov. Goodhair
The Last of the Big Cost Overrunners
"Northrop feels they can do a better job for L.A. County if they're based near Washington than if they were based here," said Nancy Sidhu, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.Being based in the DC area means your lobbyist can have his lips on your congressmans dick while maintaining a firm grasp on his scrotum so he has no reason to cut your program, no reason at all.
A selection of quotes from Molly Ivins
You may think the guv's had a rough year – three special sessions on top of the regular session just to pass that misbegotten redistricting bill, not counting the two bolts by Democrats and such minor unpleasantness as having to hack $10 billion out of the state budget.Molly Ivins is dead and Ricky lives. What more proof do you need that god does not exist?
For some, the budget-cutting, aimed mostly at services for desperately needy people, was a painful and even tragic exercise. Especially knocking 250,000 poor children off health insurance.
Fortunately, Gov. Goodhair has a firm grasp on priorities, and when asked his biggest disappointment of the year, he replied: "Aggie football."
Jon Stewart gives lessons on class warfare
A curious list of gifts
The latest intriguing tidbit: records of all the gifts Perry received while in office, including 22 pairs of cowboy boots, free medical tests for himself and his wife, nine hunting trips and many concert and sports tickets. The Texas Ethics Commission has records of 90 gifts Perry accepted.Just what kind of medical tests did the Gov. AND his wife need, presumably at the same time? And did the boots have instructions for emptying said boots if liquid gets inside? And were the instructions properly placed on the heel? A wondering world want to know.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
One of their few non timeless songs
A scientific breakthrough
Now if they can just find a way to implant the THC producing gene in humans. That would be worth a couple of Nobel Prizes.
Kevin McKernan was leading Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE)’s Ion Torrent DNA-sequencing research when a new business opportunity caught his eye: marijuana.
A year later, McKernan, 38, has quit his job, formed a startup run from his house in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and announced today that the company had sequenced the entire genome of the cannabis plant.The project, which cost about $200,000, may lead to the development of treatments for cancer, pain and inflammatory diseases, he said.
Your Dylan Dally Moment
Another shoe drops
Los Angeles, which recently saw its $7-billion investment portfolio downgraded by Standard & Poor's, has decided to no longer hire the rating company to rate the soundness of the city's investments.All because they dabbled in the field of mortgage fraud for profit.
"We have really lost faith in S&P's judgment," Interim Treasurer Steve Ongele said. After its downgrade of U.S. debt last week, S&P cut its rating of L.A.'s general investment pool to AA from AAA. It also downgraded dozens of other municipalities with large investments in U.S. Treasury notes.
One of them, Northern California's San Mateo County, has decided not to renew its contract with S&P. Florida's Manatee County has also dropped its contract with the company, according to news reports.
Today it is The Pat and Ben Show
MIC getting nervous about possibility of real cuts in spending.
Facing the possibility of actual defense spending cuts for the first time since the end of the Cold War, the nation's biggest defense contractors have put aside their traditional hyper-competitiveness and joined forces in a messaging and advocacy blitz under the slogan "Second to None."Cute slogan Second to None and so true. Who else creates multi million dollar planes that look great on the ground but can't fly? And let us not forget the Navy's new vessels that will either break apart or rust out in their first year of operation.
Let's face the truth. We can afford to cut the Defense budget in half without endangering our security. We might have to give up our two shitty little wars in the Middle East, finally kill the Star Wars program, close our overseas bases in Europe, Japan, Korea and any other country that doesn't need us there, return the F-22's and F-35's to the manufacturer for a refund because of defects, the same for the Littoral Combat Ship, mothball a section or two of the Pentagon and stop hiring mercenaries to do the job of the military at quadruple the cost but we would be no less safer. Now, when the Republican/Teabaggers are saying we are broke, would be a good time to start.
Quote of the Day
So many of these jobs in the alleged Perry miracle, which is really a bit of a Texas tale, are minimum to lower wage jobs, so many of them are government jobs, and some of them are jobs that just got moved from one state to another. I don’t think Rick Perry has outlined a single bit of of economic vision about how he would turn the country around.Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D) telling Mrs. Alan Greenspan the truth about Ricy Good Hair's Texas miracle.
Let the cover up begin!
We must now have long drawn out and contentious hearings in which we grant immunity to all the guilty parties. We don't want to damage their careers, you know.
"From what I've seen, it looks as if the SEC might have sanctioned some level of case-related document destruction," Grassley said in a statement.
"It doesn't make sense that an agency responsible for investigations would want to get rid of potential evidence."
According to a letter from Grassley to SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro, Flynn said some of the destroyed documents related to Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, and SAC Capital -- many of which played a major role in the 2008 crisis -- as well as Madoff, jailed for the biggest financial scam in US history.
The destruction of such documents "would appear to greatly handicap the SEC's ability to create patterns in complex cases and calls into question the SEC's ability to properly retain and catalog documents," Grassley said.
Tre svenska systrar*
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Iraq can handle itself
A spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq told USA Today Tuesday that Iraqi forces can defend their country from an insurgency in spite of two days of violence that has some military experts calling on U.S. troops to remain beyond a Dec. 31 withdrawal deadline.It is good to see the military asking to get out of there. This directly contradicts those who lust for continued waste, warfare and US deaths in Iraq. I hope it works.
Speaking to USA Today’s Editorial Board, Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said horrific insurgent terror attacks this week will not threaten the Iraqi government.
“I think the Iraqi government understands the threat that both al-Qaida poses and that these militant groups pose and has the ability to defeat them,”
Your Dylan Dally Moment
40% of Americans want Teabaggers & their god to bugger off
If we fire enough generals first
Panamax is going to bulk up
Shoddy as a word for poor quality began with the US Army
The Army improperly tested new bullet-blocking plates for body armor and cannot be certain that 5 million pieces of the critical battlefield equipment meet the standards to protect U.S. troops, the Defense Department's inspector general found.See, we didn't test the plates but they weren't properly tested to begin with. One thing we do know for sure, the suppliers were paid in full.
The Pentagon report focused on seven Army contracts for the plates, known as ballistic inserts, awarded between 2004 and 2006 and totaling $2.5 billion. The inspector general's audit, carried out over a two-year period ending in March, found the tests were incomplete, conducted with the wrong size plates or relied on ballistic test rounds that were inconsistent. Due to the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tests under certain temperatures and altitudes were scrapped altogether.
"Consequently, the Army cannot be sure that ballistic inserts meet ... requirements," the report said. "As a result, the Army lacks assurance that 5.1 million ballistic inserts acquired through the seven contracts provide appropriate protection."
The inspector general said it did not conduct its own tests so it couldn't say whether the plates were defective.
They are just being accomodating
in evidence he presented to the SEC's inspector general and three congressional committees earlier this summer, the 13-year veteran of the agency paints a startling picture of a federal police force that has effectively been conquered by the financial criminals it is charged with investigating. In at least one case, according to Flynn, investigators at the SEC found their desire to investigate an influential bank thwarted by senior officials in the enforcement division – whose director turned around and accepted a lucrative job from the very same bank they had been prevented from investigating. In another case, the agency farmed out its inquiry to a private law firm – one hired by the company under investigation. The outside firm, unsurprisingly, concluded that no further investigation of its client was necessary. To complete the bureaucratic laundering process, Flynn says, the SEC dropped the case and destroyed the files.See, there is no problem, they are just good friends.
Much has been made in recent months of the government's glaring failure to police Wall Street; to date, federal and state prosecutors have yet to put a single senior Wall Street executive behind bars for any of the many well-documented crimes related to the financial crisis. Indeed, Flynn's accusations dovetail with a recent series of damaging critiques of the SEC made by reporters, watchdog groups and members of Congress, all of which seem to indicate that top federal regulators spend more time lunching, schmoozing and job-interviewing with Wall Street crooks than they do catching them. As one former SEC staffer describes it, the agency is now filled with so many Wall Street hotshots from oft-investigated banks that it has been "infected with the Goldman mindset from within."
One way to keep a war going
After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals, and power brokers with ties to both.No wonder we have been fighting this shitty little war fort 10 years.
Rick Perry will love America
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
$3.7 Trillion but for you, marked down to $3.698 Trillion
When congressional cost-cutters meet later this year to decide on trimming the federal budget, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could represent juicy targets. But how much do the wars actually cost the U.S. taxpayer?Whether you look at the cost as dollars or as unrealized hopes and dreams our country, one thing is clear. George W. Bush and his crew need to be hung, cut down while alive and drawn and quartered with the parts displayed in various locations around the Capitol and White House as a reminder to their successors of the price of failure. And make no mistake, both those wars are failures.
Nobody really knows.
Yes, Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department. There are long Pentagon spreadsheets that outline how much of that was spent on personnel, transportation, fuel and other costs. In a recent speech, President Barack Obama assigned the wars a $1 trillion price tag.
But all those numbers are incomplete. Besides what Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2 trillion base budget over that same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American.
Lawmakers remain sharply divided over the wisdom of slashing the military budget, even with the United States winding down two long conflicts, but there's also a more fundamental problem: It's almost impossible to pin down just what the U.S. military spends on war.
To be sure, the costs are staggering.
Gov. Rick Perry - A stump's best friend
Rick Perry pulled a Michele Bachmann on Tuesday, passionately condemning a policy that does not actually exist.Gov. Rick Perry, the Pride of the Ignorant.
This time round it was over farming issues. "If you're a tractor driver, if you drive your tractor across a public road, you're gonna have to have a commercial driver's license. Now how idiotic is that?" perry told a Des Moines crowd. "What were they thinking?"
As it turns out, Perry's claim is based off a false rumor that was circulating among farmers that the Department of Transportation recently put to rest. The Wall Street Journal reports that the confusion was over a federal review of a proposal by Illinois to require commercial licenses for farmers, but the DOT ultimately concluded -- as Perry did -- that "the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employers, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market" should not be tampered with by states.
"We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy," DOT Secretary Ray LaHood's said in a statement responding to Perry's claim.
For a mellow August afternoon
The dumbing of America continues apace
A once proud school sells out, how sad.
Rutgers University forgave $100,000 of the football coach’s interest-free home loan last year. The women’s basketball coach got monthly golf and car allowances. Both collected bonuses without winning a championship.
Meanwhile, the history department took away professors’ desk phones to save money and shrank its doctoral program by 25 percent. After funding cuts by the deficit-strapped Legislature, New Jersey’s state university froze professors’ salaries, cut the use of photocopies for exams and jacked up student tuition, housing and other fees.
Rutgers also increased funding for sports. The 245-year-old school spent more money on athletics than any other public institution in the six biggest football conferences during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. More than 40 percent of sports revenue came from student fees and the university’s general fund.
“I am dumbfounded,” said New Jersey Assemblyman David Wolfe, a Republican who is a professor of psychology at Ocean County College in Toms River. “Rutgers officials appear before the Legislature every year and claim they are underfunded and need more money. Now we find out we have the No. 1-subsidized athletics program in the country.”
Is the US getting too poor to shop at Wal-Mart?
Shoppers at the low end of the market are under as much pressure as ever, Wal-Mart executives said Tuesday.Having created its market by destroying Main St and driving US manufacturers overseas, has Wal-Mart gone too far and destroyed its own customer base?
“Our core customer continues to be strained, and we still see what we call the paycheck cycle as pronounced as ever, and of course the volatility in the headlines, the volatility caused last week, doesn’t help the customer,” said Charles M. Holley Jr., Wal-Mart’s chief financial officer, in a call with reporters. “We haven’t seen any relief,” he said, and “we’re starting to see jobs as the number one concern among our customers at Wal-Mart.”
Those worries among customers contributed to the ninth consecutive quarter of declining same-store sales at Wal-Mart’s United States stores. The decline, 0.9 percent, was worse than analysts’ forecasts for a 0.6 percent decline.
Colbert wraps up the Iowa weekend
Two out of three isn't bad
Fitch Ratings says it will keep its rating on U.S. debt at the highest grade, AAA. It also says its outlook on the U.S. ratings is stable...I guess when you leave the politics out of it, it is an easy call.
Fitch cited the United States' "flexible, diversified and wealthy economy," as well as its flexibility in monetary and exchange rates that allows it to adjust to marketplace shocks.
When you make a promise, keep a promise
Goodman's letter is from March 2, 2007, after he was released from prison. In the letter, Goodman says he is appealing his firing from the News of the World specifically because he carried out his duties with the "full knowledge and support" of top journalists on the paper, and because the practice was so widespread at the paper.If you take care of your associates, they will take care of you. If you screw your associates, they will screw you.
The letter claims that hacking was so frequently talked about that Coulson—who went on to become David Cameron's top spin doctor—eventually was forced to ban mention of the practice. Goodman also says that he was repeatedly promised to be kept on, even after he was arrested. He further claims that the paper continued to pay and consult him on stories, even after it was known that he would plead guilty.
"Tom Crone and the editor promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea," Goodman writes. "I did not, and I expect the paper to honour its promise to me."
The "balanced" mind of Rick Perry
Monday, August 15, 2011
An apology from the State of Texas
For those planning to emigrate to Canada
Portrait of a Loser
Congress is in business to help business
Warren Buffett says we should raise taxes
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.He is right about raising taxes and really doesn't go far enough on this. He does do this country wrong by suggesting that America can't keep all its promises. We most certainly can.
I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.
Krugman explains the economics of the Texas Miracle
Sunday, August 14, 2011
A little secret about Rick Perry
A Sunday kind of Etta James
Republicans having a gay old time in Ioway
A great big Texas Republican thank you
Local Democrats are up in arms about a controversial voter ID bill that would exclude veterans' identification cards from the short list of photo IDs required to cast a vote in Texas.Perhaps Gov. Good Hair should have preyed for God to solve this problem for him.
Ann McGeehan, director of the Secretary of State's elections division, said last week at a seminar in Austin that photo ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are not acceptable forms of military ID to vote, according to a recording provided by the Texas Democratic Party...
“Not only are they going to disenfranchise the Latino vote, they're also going to disenfranchise our military personnel who fought for our ability to vote,” said Farias, who served in Vietnam. “In haste, because they wanted to pass a voter ID bill, (Republicans) hurt the same people who fought and are dying to give us that right.”
Juan Cole sizes up Rick Perry
Perry is in the American tradition of the huckster and the booster, the snake oil salesman who promises you a cure for what ails you that turns out to be one part pretty words and another part dream castle. He is no Jack Kemp, who saw social problems and sought fixes for them in the private sector or in public-private partnerships. Perry sees no problems that can’t be fixed by slashing taxes further on our 400 billionaires and then holding prayer meetings for the unemployed. This blindness is not an accident. The Republican Supreme Court’s interference in election campaign reform has ensured that the super-wealthy in this country can get the best politicians money can buy into office.If Rick Perry were a prick he could knock on the door but he couldn't come inside.
Gov. Good Hair and the Den of Spies
After a months-long courtship that included a trip to China, where he dined with the company’s chief executive, Perry announced that telecom firm Huawei Technologies would base its U.S. operations in Plano. In a video of that October 2010 event — now playing on YouTube, courtesy of the governor’s office — Perry praised the company’s “really strong worldwide reputation” and its chairman, Ren Zhengfei, whose straight talk he said reminded him fondly of West Texans.So the question is whether Rick Perry is a paid agent of the Chinese or just a hapless stooge, a running dog of the Communists. The investigation should be pressed with vigor.
While Perry focused on Huawei’s ability to create jobs in a sluggish economy, national security experts in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations had concluded that the global telecom giant poses a potential cybersecurity risk to U.S. military and businesses. Three times since 2008, a U.S. government security panel has blocked Huawei from acquiring or partnering with U.S. companies because of concerns that secrets could be leaked to China’s government or military.
The Texas Democratic Party has a Meet Rick Perry website for those who need to learn about the latest Republican/Teabagger entry.
Kosher Mouse sets the record straight, with a little help.
Krugman blogs on the "fierce debate" in the White House
Democrats accuse Darryl Issa of being Darryl Issa
On Sunday, Issa's office issued a subpoena to the labor board seeking documents relating to a highly publicized complaint issued against the Boeing Company by the agency's acting general counsel earlier this year. The complaint has put the future of a Boeing plant in South Carolina into limbo, and Republicans have repeatedly seized on it to attack the labor board and President Obama as anti-business job killers.Just Darryl being Darryl.
In a letter to Issa's office, Democratic Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), George Miller (Cal.), and John Conyers, Jr. (Mich.) urged Issa to drop the subpoena, accusing him of merely carrying out the wishes of Boeing in his fight with the labor board.
"You may personally disagree with the laws Congress enacted to protect workers against discrimination," the Democrats wrote. "You may also disagree with the judge's decision in this case upholding those laws. But it is not a legitimate use of the Committee's authority to circumvent those laws on behalf of corporate interests."
She may say all manner of rotten things about gays
T-Paw Bridge Fail we hardly knew ye
Saturday, August 13, 2011
MoDo sees a miracle!
I saw Mitt Romney’s hair move.Merde de mon Dieu! Is this the sign people have been waiting for?
No really, I did...
Not only did I see Romney’s hair move, I saw him sweat
The Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy won the Ames Straw Poll
The SEC is reviewing S & P
SEC inspectors are examining S&P’s policies for conducting such analyses and whether those procedures were followed when the New York-based firm downgraded the U.S.’s credit rating Aug. 5, said the person, who declined to be identified because the inquiry isn’t public...Insider trading to the SEC is like medical marijuana to the Attorney General. If there is anything there they will find it.
SEC staff are also looking into whether certain market participants learned of the downgrade before its announcement. The inquiry, which is in preliminary stages, may not result in a referral to the SEC’s enforcement division, the person said...
“S&P takes its confidential information and securities trading policies, and the related securities regulation, very seriously,” Sweeney said in a statement. “Our policies prohibit analysts or rating committee members from trading and holding securities or options of the companies or governments they rate.”
The strange thinking of the Teabagger
Another two years guaranteed in the Shithole
The United States will remain in control of Afghanistan’s highest-profile prison well beyond January 2012, missing a key milestone in the plan to transfer judicial and detention operations to Afghans, U.S. military officials say.And what kind of legal framework does the US have beyond arresting Afghans who get in our way and releasing them when we get tired of beating them? This is just another part of the plans to delay the departure of US troops until a satisfactory number of troops have been killed and adequate amounts of money wasted. We are not there yet.
The transfer of the prison and its burgeoning population of detainees had been regarded as a critical marker of the war’s endgame — a sign that Afghan officials are ready to inherit institutions essential to the nation’s future.
But U.S. officials decided that the Afghan legal system is still too weak to permit the handover of the Parwan Detention Center, even after the United States spent millions attempting to improve the country’s judiciary. The United States will now be unable to relinquish authority at Parwan until at least 2014, just as the last foreign troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan.
“At this point, the Afghans don’t have the legal framework or the capacity to deal with violence being inflicted on the country by the insurgency,” said one U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
Head of Republican Party criticizes Fux Nooz
Not even a week since Perry announced he would announce
There are currently seven Super PACs -- independent political committees that can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions -- supporting Perry's bid. The most recently formed is Make Us Great Again, which is, perhaps, the most emblematic of the veil of independence worn by these candidate-centric committees.The only way they could get closer would be to have Ricky;s wife or kids run one. Then they could really brawl over who's SuperPAC is the real Rick Perry SuperPAC.
The committee was founded by former Perry chief of staff and longtime associate Mike Toomey. Toomey is so close to the Perry inner circle he even co-owns a private island in New Hampshire with Perry's campaign manager Dave Carney. Toomey was also listed in a Texas Tribune report on the "folks" behind Perry.
The other pro-Perry Super PACs are no better in presenting themselves as independent.
Jobs for Vets Fund and Veterans for Rick Perry were started by former Perry legislative director Dan Shelley. Veterans for Rick Perry even made a revealing error on their initial statement of organization by checking a box stating that the committee supported one candidate and listing Rick Perry as that candidate. Super PACs are forbidden from explicitly supporting one candidate. An amended statement was filed to correct this error. Shelley has set a $1 million fundraising target for campaign efforts in the early primary states Iowa and South Carolina.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Just like in Viet Nam
Just months after pulling out of a remote slice of eastern Afghanistan dubbed the “Valley of Death,” U.S. troops are back reinforcing their once-abandoned bases in the area — a hotbed of the insurgency and a dangerous second front in the decade-old war.And the big fool says to push on.
Stationing troops again in the isolated, sparsely populated Pech Valley will boost the coalition’s presence and firepower in the area near the Pakistan border just as the focus of the war shifts back to that region where infiltrating insurgents closest to al-Qaida and other militants hold sway.
Now that S & P has reiterated the Republican cause of the downgrade
Remember when this was big news?
An Indiana state Representative, who recently voted for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, has been accused of using Craigslist to offer an 18-year old male $80 for "a couple hours of your time tonight" plus a tip "for a really good time."But this saggy old closet queen is not all bad, he did vote against gay marriage. No doubt so it wouldn't ruin his marriage.
The Indianapolis Star obtained e-mails sent from Rep. Phillip Hinkle's (R) publicly listed personal address, responding to a Craigslist posting by Kameryn Gibson that said "I need a sugga daddy." Gibson told the Star that the post was in the "Casual Encounters" section under m4m, or men for men. He used his sister Megan's e-mail address -- and she later sent the e-mails to the Star.
"Cannot be a long time sugar daddy," says the e-mail response from what is allegedly Hinkle's address, "but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?"
"I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked," the e-mail says.
Another e-mail says: "If u want to consider spending night u might tell ur sis so she won't worry. Would have u back before 11 tomorrow. No extra cash just free breakfast and maybe late night snack."
Romney adds another great lie to the lexicon
Emerging on the campaign trail in Iowa after largely shunning the state, Mitt Romney was confronted on Thursday by hecklers on corporate tax policy and told one of them, “Corporations are people, my friend.”And I doubt that he was a friend of Romney despite what the Mittster said.
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