Friday, September 30, 2011
Good news from California
The state of California is pulling out of multi-state negotiations with large U.S. banks to resolve allegations of mortgage abuses, according to a letter obtained by Reuters, dealing a sharp blow to long-running efforts to secure a broad settlement.Two of the largest and most important states, California because of the number of screwed homeowners and New York because most of the loans were securitized under NY law, have pulled out. This should kill the talks so now the Bankster will have to rely on their "bought buddies" in Congress to save their bacon.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris wrote in a letter on Friday that she will pursue her own investigation.
"California was being asked for a broader release of claims than we can accept and... the relief contemplated would allow too few California homeowners to stay in their homes," Harris said in a letter to government officials leading the talks.
Rock into the weekend
Republican/Teabagger caucus deadlier than al-Qaeda
Another way they kill Americans.
Rick Perry - Too stupid to shine shoes for a living
Montana Gov Schweitzer pushes for state single payer plan
"Montana has a population of 990,000 people," he explains. "Saskatchewan has a population of 1,050,000. Their average age is about the same average age of Montana. They're about 10 percent Indian, we're about 7 and a half percent Indian. The other ethnic groups—they're a mirror image of us ... So we have the same ethnic population, we're farmers, we're loggers, we're miners, we're oil developers ... They, in Saskatchewan, live two years longer and have lower infant mortality."And looking into it brings up some interesting savings points.
Looking at those basic elements, Schweitzer asked province Premier Brad Wall for details on their health system. He discovered that the province spends about $4 billion a year on universal health care, about $4,000 per person. In Montana, all systems—public and private, state and federal—it's a little more than $8 billion, and about twice as much per person.
"So they're living longer, less infant mortality, and they're paying half as much," said Schweitzer. "Unlike Washington, D.C., that piqued my interest. This is maybe a system that I want to look into."
"We have an $8 billion health care industry in Montana right now, and 50 percent of it, or $4 billion, is coming directly from the federal government," he continued. "That may be enough so that we can get the rest of Montana in it. We turn to the rest of Montana and say to them we've got this $4 billion, and we're taking care of all these people, and now we've run the rates and if you want to pay into this system, here's how much it's going to be. If you don't want to buy into that system, you don't have to."Sadly the Governor does not see much chance anytime soon. The moneys from the feds need an HHS waiver not likely to be granted by the health insurance corporations. And the legislature is in the hands of the Republicans who are not about to give a Democrat the time of day even if he needed it to stop Godzilla.
"If you want to pay twice as much for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and have their accountants lie to you," the governor said, "you just stay right where you're at. But I think they'll knock our door down."
Having dragged the intelligence down to his level
Tired of media speculation about new candidates entering the presidential race? Too bad! Mike Huckabee is now reportedly considering a bid as well.If only he can find someone to pony up the bucks needed to run.
That’s right, the fantasy field is still expanding. Huckabee, who very publicly declared his intention not to run in a special episode of his FOX show featuring Ted Nugent, is apparently telling confidants that he’s now open to joining the fray.
“He is entertaining the request for conversations about it,” one source told Reuters. “I do not think it is a complete 100 percent ‘I’m reconsidering’ but he hasn’t shut the door on it.”
Li'l Georgie's Thank You Note
Roger Ailes using Wasilla Chillbily to attack Cain
Gingrich announces anti-rhinoceros hostility
“The idea that taking school prayer out in 1963 made the country better, I don’t see any evidence that children who don’t spend a moment recognizing that they’re subservient to God let’s you approach God in anyway you want to. There is an enormous difference between a culture which believes that it is purely secular and a culture that believes that it is somehow empowered by our creator. And I always tell my friends who don’t believe in this stuff, “Fine, how do you think we came to — we’re randomly gathered protoplasm? We could have been rhinoceroses but we got lucky this week?’”Many of us believe that if there really were a god, Newticles would have been born a rhino when his week came around.
Finally Democrats question
Twenty House Democrats called Thursday on the U.S. Judicial Conference to formally request that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate Justice Clarence Thomas's non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.Maybe the reason Clarence does not speak on the bench is because he really doesn't know right from wrong and is afraid of what he might say. It would explain why everything he says is carefully scripted.
Justice Thomas indicated on his annual financial disclosure forms that his wife had received no income since he joined the bench in 1991, despite the fact that his wife had in fact earned nearly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007.
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires Supreme Court justices to disclose their spouse's income.
"To believe that Justice Thomas didn't know how to fill out a basic disclosure form is absurd," Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said. "It is reasonable, in every sense of the word, to believe that a member of the highest court in the land should know how to properly disclose almost $700,000 worth of income."
"To not be able to do so is suspicious, and according to law, requires further investigation. To accept Justice Thomas's explanation without doing the required due diligence would be irresponsible."
Colbert explains how to keep your money clean
And with help from Trevor Potter opens up his own Money Laundry
We all have postcards
Not at all surprising
Partly, no doubt, this reflects the party’s broader slide into its own insular intellectual universe. Large segments of the G.O.P. reject climate science and even the theory of evolution, so why expect evidence to matter for the party’s economic views?Or as most of us have come to know it, business as usual for the Republican/Teabaggers.
And it also, of course, reflects the political need of the right to make everything bad in America President Obama’s fault. Never mind the fact that the housing bubble, the debt explosion and the financial crisis took place on the watch of a conservative, free-market-praising president; it’s that Democrat in the White House now who gets the blame.
But good politics can be very bad policy. The truth is that we’re in this mess because we had too little regulation, not too much. And now one of our two major parties is determined to double down on the mistakes that caused the disaster.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
If the money is not delivered by this evening, members of Congress say they will shoot a new child every hour on the hour.
Details here and here.
Tax that tipple
With cities across the country facing their fifth straight year of declining revenues and states cutting services and laying off workers, raising money from people who enjoy a cocktail is becoming an increasingly attractive option.Love those sin taxes.
Since the recession started in earnest in 2008, dozens of states and cities have tinkered with laws that regulate alcohol sales as a way to build up their budgets.
Twelve states have raised taxes on alcohol or changed alcohol laws to increase revenue, including Maryland, which in July pushed the sales tax on alcohol to 9 percent, from 6 percent — the first such increase in 38 years and one that is expected to bring in $85 million a year.
Another September, another Red Flops collapse
And, most cruelly, Nate Silver tries to blame Billy Bucks.
Joe "Deadbeat Dad" Walsh cares more for guns than his own kids
llinois the last state in the union without some form of concealed carry law on the books, and outspoken U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh says he is going to change that.Because a concealed handgun lets you get close to your ex-wife and shoot her close on when she asks for more child support. And Joe Walsh is the kind of person who would do that.
At a Tea Party gun forum in Huntley, Ill. Tuesday night, Walsh (R-Ill.) said Illinois was an "embarrassment" for failing to have a concealed carry law on the books, and vowed to become a “cheerleader” for gun rights in Congress, the Daily Herald reports.
“The most important amendment in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment,” Walsh said, according to the Daily Herald. “It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government.”
Medical marijuana is a major threat to the US
Those who use marijuana legally in accordance with their state's laws cannot be sold or possess firearms, according to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) memo issued on September 21.Now the medical marijuana users will be forced to buy their guns from the Mexican cartels.
The memo to gun dealers in the United States, obtained by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), stated that it was illegal under federal law to sell firearms to anyone reasonably suspected of using a controlled substance.
Oh Carl's a wicked pisser all right!
“Interestingly, the governor’s pee-in-the-cup mandate doesn’t apply to the one bunch that whizzes away more tax dollars than anyone else — the legislators who pass such useless laws,” Hiassen wrote in a recent column. “I say line up all 160 of ‘em for a patriotic whiz-fest at the Capitol clinic. You think more than 2.5 percent might test positive? Let’s find out. And I’ll pay for it out of my own pocket. Seriously.”How could anyone refuse a free drug test? Probably most of the Republican/Teabaggers can, many with good reason.
Welfare repents were “an easy target,” he explained during an interview with Maddow Wednesday. “This is class warfare. This is picking on the folks who happen to be unemployed, especially the ones with children. And they are testing at such a lower rate than the general population. The most recent federal drug survey shows national drug use at about 8.9 percent — almost nine percent. These people are living like monks compared to them.”
Pour yourself another cup
Making music is hard work
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
One man's misery is another man's profit
Some of the companies are huge — one is among the largest private employers in the world — and they say they are meeting demand faster and less expensively than the public sector could. But the ballooning of privatized detention has been accompanied by scathing inspection reports, lawsuits and the documentation of widespread abuse and neglect, sometimes lethal. Human rights groups say detention has neither worked as a deterrent nor speeded deportation, as governments contend, and some worry about the creation of a “detention-industrial complex” with a momentum of its own.And look at that! It wasn't the various governments that failed miserably, it was that feckless Free Hand of the Market causing all the problems. And the ROE makes it all worthwhile.
“They’re very good at the glossy brochure,” said Kaye Bernard, general secretary of the union of detention workers on the Australian territory of Christmas Island, where riots erupted this year between asylum seekers and guards. “On the ground, it’s almost laughable, the chaos and the inability to function.”
Private prisons in the United States have long stirred controversy. But while there have been conflicting studies about their costs and benefits, no systematic comparisons exist for immigration detention, say scholars like Matthew J. Gibney, a political scientist at the University of Oxford who tracks immigration systems.
Still, Mr. Gibney and others say the pitfalls of outsourcing immigration enforcement have become evident in the past 15 years. “When something goes wrong — a death, an escape — the government can blame it on a kind of market failure instead of an accountability failure,” he said.
They Might Be Giants
R.I.P. Wilson Greatbatch
FBI Watch List like the Hotel California
We are programmed to receive.Charlie Savage examines newly disclosed information about how you can get on the list. There is also information on how the "authorities" should handle you if your name is on the list. But the best part is getting yourself off the list.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!'
The 91 pages of newly disclosed files include a December 2010 guidance memorandum to F.B.I. field offices showing that even a not-guilty verdict may not always be enough to get someone off the list, if agents maintain they still have “reasonable suspicion” that the person might have ties to terrorism.Yup! You can never leave, And even if you get rid of any suspicion, that agent you dissed when you did can renominate you for the list. Perhaps the only positive is that the list is not used at the "packy" so you can get a bottle of wine.
“If an individual is acquitted or charges are dismissed for a crime related to terrorism, the individual must still meet the reasonable suspicion standard in order to remain on, or be subsequently nominated to, the terrorist watch list,” the once-classified memorandum says.
Colbert commits a Perry
More shit than a Kansas feedlot
“I’m going to keep repeating, though, Greta, through my process of decision-making with my family and with my close friends as to whether I should throw my name in the hat for the GOP nomination or not for 2012 — is a title worth it? Does a title shackle a person? Are they — someone like me, who’s a maverick — you know, I do go rogue and I call it like I see it.”Alaska's favorite attention whore, who can only wish she was a maverick, is scared to death of the responsibility. And just smart enough to know she is too stupid to have a chance. Hey chillbilly! Being president is not a title, it is hard work and great responsibility. Even George W said so and, thanks to him, we know how dangerous it is to have a total fuckup in the office.
She added: “Somebody like me — is a title and is a campaign too shackling? Does that prohibit me from being out there, out of a box, not allowing handlers to shape me and to force my message to be what donors or what contributors or what political pundits want it to be? Does a title take away my freedom to call it like I see it and to affect positive change that we need in this country? That’s the biggest contemplation piece in my process.”
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Bank of America at the bottom of a shit chute
The New York attorney general’s office has a lawsuit on the matter.Even a settlement of the shareholders suit would be disastrously expensive. The Bank may have to liquidate the executive pension funds to pay for this.
More significantly, a lawsuit seeking about $50 billion was brought by some of the largest class-action law firms and is quietly advancing in the Federal District Court in Manhattan.
The plaintiffs contend that Bank of America engaged in a deliberate effort to deceive the bank’s shareholders...
Plaintiffs in this private case have the additional benefit that this claim is related to a shareholder vote. It is easier to prove securities fraud related to a shareholder vote than more typical securities fraud claims like accounting fraud. Shareholder vote claims do not require that the plaintiffs prove that the person committing securities fraud did so with awareness that the statement was wrong or otherwise recklessly made. You only need to show that the person should have acted with care.
This case is not only easier to establish, but the potential damages could also be enormous. Damages in a claim like this are calculated by looking at the amount lost as a result of the securities fraud. A court will most likely calculate this by referencing the amount that Bank of America stock dropped after the loss was announced; this is as much as $50 billion. It is a plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream.
Bank of America is facing a huge liability from this claim. It is also facing even more liability for those who bought and sold stock during this period up until Jan. 15. In a ruling on July 29, the judge in this case allowed these claims to proceed against Bank of America, Mr. Price and Mr. Lewis. The judge had already ruled that the disclosure claim related to the proxy vote could proceed.
This case is on a relatively fast track, with an October 2012 trial date.
What with all the GOP bigwigs chasing Secaucus Fats
The Teabaggers are pure poison
You just knew it was going to come soon.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, is pushing for information on the status of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s request for federal disaster assistance for Louisa County residents in the wake of an earthquake there last month.Some one from the White House needs to put an arm around Kosher Mouse's shoulder, lead him to a quiet corner and make sure he understands that no one will be able to find his aid request until the offsets are dropped.
On Friday, Cantor held a conference call with Federal Emergency Management Agency and Louisa County officials. A readout of the call provided by Cantor’s office indicates that he asked FEMA officials about the timeline and process for determining whether the agency would grant federal assistance.
“FEMA said they have received the Governor’s request and sent it to the White House for a decision but could not provide any specific information on timing,” the readout said. “Even when asked for an estimate based on past applications they were unable to do so.”
If you can drive, you can get away
Operation Silk Purse has begun
The number of American military trainers in Afghanistan will increase by 800 by March, a jump of nearly 25 percent in the U.S. commitment there, the top commander in charge of training said Monday.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, who heads NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan, told Pentagon reporters that even as the number of combat troops begins to drop, more trainers are needed. Afghan security forces are slated to take the lead in their country’s security by the end of 2014, when international combat troops are scheduled to leave.
Goldmine Sachs is hurting as business sucks
We have to frack for gas in your water source
They are not wildfires caused by lightning strikes or other acts of nature, but the deliberate burning of natural gas by oil companies rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take advantage of the high price of crude. The gas bubbles up alongside the far more valuable oil, and with less economic incentive to capture it, the drillers treat the gas as waste and simply burn it.Drill, baby, drill!
Every day, more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas is flared this way — enough energy to heat half a million homes for a day.
The flared gas also spews at least two million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, as much as 384,000 cars or a medium-size coal-fired power plant would emit, alarming some environmentalists.
All told, 30 percent of the natural gas produced in North Dakota is burned as waste. No other major domestic oil field currently flares close to that much, though the practice is still common in countries like Russia, Nigeria and Iran.
Dead man allowed into Canada to sell book
The Road to Peace in the Middle East
The Queen of Batshit Crazy does it again
So in their dotage, Fidel and Raul plan to recreate one of the triumphs of their early years with a group that does not operate outside of Lebanon and has nothing to offer Cuba. The lady from Minnesota is a sinkhole of Crazy.
“Why would you normalize trade with a country that sponsors terror?” the candidate asked a crowd of supporters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “There is reports that have come out that Cuba has been working with another terrorist organization called Hezbollah. And Hezbollah is looking at wanting to be part of missile sites in Iran and, of course, when you are 90 miles offshore from Florida, you don’t want to entertain the prospect of hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah could have training camps or perhaps have missile sites or weapons sites in Cuba. ”
Bachmann was most likely basing her fear on an unsubstantiated report from the Italian publican Corriere della Sera, which was picked up by numerous conservative websites earlier this month (see here, here, here and here.)
Even if that report were true, it makes absolutely no mention of “missile sites.”
Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Inferno"
Monday, September 26, 2011
To sue or not to sue
Martin Bashir bashes Congress
Which side are you on?
click pic to big
Republican/Teabaggers Great White Hope
There’s a lot of buzz around a Chris Christie run this week, thanks mostly to an all-out effort by big money Republicans to recruit him for a run.Secaucus Fats is not an attractive candidate when you get to know him, but like Huey Long, he could be dangerous.
So who are these guys? In July, Christie attended a meeting with a “who’s who A-list of successful fundraisers,” as FOX News put it to discuss a possible presidential bid. The group reportedly included several billionaires, including its host, Home Depot co-founder and venture capitalist Kenneth Langone, who appears to be the most enthusiastic driver of the Christie boomlet...
New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer is also named by Politico as one of the leaders of the latest Draft Christie movement. Singer was a major fundraiser for both George W. Bush’s and Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaigns. He also bankrolled an unsuccessful 2007 effort in California to try to pass a ballot measure ending the winner-takes-all system for California’s electoral votes, which would provide a massive boost to Republican presidential candidates. Like Langone, he has a moderate streak as well: he helped fund efforts to pass New York’s landmark law allowing same sex marriage this year.
Another key Christie backer: FOX News CEO Roger Ailes. According to New York Magazine, Ailes begged him to run before the presidential race got under way and brokered a meeting between Christie and Rush Limbaugh.
One county has figured out the MERS scam
Bank of America Corp. is among a group of lenders that may face a wave of new lawsuits claiming cash-strapped counties were cheated out of millions of dollars by a system used for more than a decade to register mortgages.The ownership of MERS covers all the big mortgage players. An adverse judgement could well refund many of the counties now so desperate for cash.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said state attorneys general and county officials across the U.S. have expressed interest in his lawsuit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and Bank of America, filed in Texas state court on Sept. 21. Dallas County could be owed as much as $100 million in filing fees, he said.
MERS, a unit of Reston, Virginia-based Merscorp Inc., says on its website that its aim is to place every mortgage in the country on an electronic, rather than a paper, system that allows members to buy and sell mortgages.
MERS acts as the lender’s nominee and remains the mortgagee of record as long as the note promising repayment is owned by a MERS member. Dallas County claims this allows banks to buy and sell loans without properly recording transfers with counties and paying the fee.
The South hardest hit by Republican (lack of) policies
The once-booming South, which entered the recession with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, is now struggling with some of the highest rates, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.With so many Republican/Teabaggers coming from these states a good campaigner should be able to bash them soundly, unless they follow Obama/DNC directions.
Several Southern states — including South Carolina, whose 11.1 percent unemployment rate is the fourth highest in the nation — have higher unemployment rates than they did a year ago. Unemployment in the South is now higher than it is in the Northeast and the Midwest, which include Rust Belt states that were struggling even before the recession.
For decades, the nation’s economic landscape consisted of a prospering Sun Belt and a struggling Rust Belt. Since the recession hit, though, that is no longer the case. Unemployment remains high across much of the country — the national rate is 9.1 percent — but the regions have recovered at different speeds.
Now, with the concentration of the highest unemployment rates in the South and the West, some economists and researchers wonder if it is an anomaly of the uneven recovery or a harbinger of things to come.
It's bad enough when your mortgage is in trouble
We're leaving Iraq (we hope)
With just over three months until the last U.S. troops are currently due to leave Iraq, the Department of Defense is engaged in a mad dash to give away things that cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars to buy and build.Pity we can't get the Iraqis to make a payment to our deficit reduction for all this left behind. But then we did invade their country, I guess we owe them something. Too bad we can't give them something useful.
The giveaways include enormous, elaborate military bases and vast amounts of military equipment that will be turned over to the Iraqis, mostly just to save the expense of bringing it home.
"It's all sunk costs," said retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who oversaw the training of Iraqi soldiers from 2003 to 2004. "It's money that we spent and we're not going to recoup."
There were 505 U.S. military bases and outposts in Iraq at the height of operations, said Col. Barry Johnson, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq. Only 39 are still in U.S. hands -- but that includes each of the largest bases, meaning the most significant handovers are yet to come.
Those bases didn't come cheap. Construction costs exceeded $2.4 billion, according to an analysis of Pentagon annual reports by the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alone was responsible for $1.9 billion in base construction contracts between 2004 and 2010, a spokesman told HuffPost.
Rather than strip those bases clean and ship everything home, Defense Department officials tell The Huffington Post that over 2.4 million pieces of equipment worth a total of at least $250 million -- everything from tanks and trucks to office furniture and latrines -- have been given away to the Iraqi government in the past year, with the pace of transfers expected to increase dramatically in the coming months.
S & P may be charged by the SEC
McGraw-Hill Cos Inc said U.S. regulators may charge its Standard & Poor's ratings unit with violating federal securities laws with ratings on a repackaged mortgage bond in 2007.The waiting public can only hope this is the first of many.
The company said it received a Wells Notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that commission staff may recommend a civil lawsuit against the unit for a rating on 2007 collateralized debt offering (CDO) known as "Delphinus CDO 2007-1." The staff may recommend that the SEC seek monetary penalties, the company said in a statement today.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
It will be an austere death
End of the weekend, time to move on.
Harvard vs Harvard
Mitt Romney once again criticized President Obama for taking his advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge” in a speech in Florida on Thursday. He’s repeated the line on the campaign trail despite being a Harvard alum himself and counting Harvard faculty among his own top advisers.Mittens overlooks Obama's real advantage. Obama got a solid undergraduate education at Occidental and Columbia before he went to Harvard for Law.
In a major address on foreign policy last month, Romney used the school as a punchline to decry Obama as overly weak in dealing with dictators. “That may be what they think in that Harvard faculty lounge,” he said, “but it’s not what they know on the battlefield!”
Romney has never served on the battlefield, but he does hold degrees from Harvard in business and law.
Lucky Mittens gets car thief endorsement
Rep. Darrell Issa, the conservative Californian who has moved into the national limelight as a sharp stick in the side of the Obama administration, endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential bid, it was announced Thursday.Birds of a feather...
The endorsement is the latest among congressional Republicans as Romney seeks to solidify the establishment GOP in his fight with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the front-runner for the Republican nomination according to most polls.
"As someone who shares my background in business, Congressman Issa understands that we need to make fundamental changes in Washington," Romney said in a prepared statement. "I am proud to have his support and look forward to working with him as I campaign in California and work to bring jobs back to the state and strengthen the American economy."
With names like Death Cap and Destroying Angel
Marvin has a good business model
Unlike so many other companies, Marvin Windows has neither laid off workers nor reduced health insurance benefits. And, its executives vow, it won’t.Not having to answer to the constant whining demands of the Wall St greed heads is a great load off their shoulders. Among onther things it lets them plan for the long term.
Marvin Windows might seem like a footnote in the nation’s economic ledger. It employs roughly 4,300 people, about 2,000 of them here, and has annual sales somewhere from $500 million to $1 billion. But what this company is doing — and, more to the point, what it is not doing — is worth knowing.
Marvin Windows and Doors is a throwback to another era. For starters, it is a private company. No public stockholders are complaining that the latest numbers fell short, that the share price is down.
What’s more, Marvin takes an old-fashioned, even paternal view of its role here in Warroad, where the Marvin family has run things for just about as long as anyone can remember. The company has cut employees’ pay and reduced perks like tuition reimbursement and 401(k) matching. Employees haven’t received profit-sharing checks in two years, nor have the 16 members of the Marvin family who work for the company.
But, unlike its top competitors, Marvin has refused to fire people.
While Marvin’s story might seem quaint, even naïve, Ms. Marvin says the no-layoff policy is as much a business wager as an act of benevolence. She says she is confident that it will ultimately pay off. Already, she says, Marvin is gaining market share from weakened rivals.While many people may be horrified at the thought of reduced profits, the Marvins work where they eat and they are not about to shit on their friends and neighbors. Sounds like the Marvins are building more than a good window.
Ms. Marvin acknowledges that her family’s private company may have more leeway than public counterparts. It has forgone profits for two years to keep everyone employed, for instance. Nonetheless, Ms. Marvin suggests that corporate America could learn a thing or two from Marvin’s approach and long-term outlook.
“You can’t cut your way to prosperity. You can’t grow if you are cutting your lifeblood — and that’s the skills and experience your work force delivers,” she says, adding later: “Today, I think, to a great a degree, I think things have gotten out of balance. We see Wall Street almost punish companies that take the long view.”
Maybe they should run the country
They are the Sopranos of the Afghanistan war, a ruthless crime family that built an empire out of kidnapping, extortion, smuggling, even trucking. They have trafficked in precious gems, stolen lumber and demanded protection money from businesses building roads and schools with American reconstruction funds.Since they are available to the highest bidder, we should just pull out all our troops and pay them to do the job for us. Their price would probably be a lot less than we are wasting now.
They safeguard their mountainous turf by planting deadly roadside bombs and shelling remote American military bases. And they are accused by American officials of being guns for hire: a proxy force used by the Pakistani intelligence service to carry out grisly, high-profile attacks in Kabul and throughout the country.
Today, American intelligence and military officials call the crime clan known as the Haqqani network — led by a wizened militant named Jalaluddin Haqqani who has allied himself over the years with the C.I.A., Saudi Arabia’s spy service and Osama bin Laden — the most deadly insurgent group in Afghanistan. In the latest of a series of ever bolder strikes, the group staged a daylong assault on the United States Embassy in Kabul,
Popenfuhrer shaken by stories of sexual abuse
During a 30-minute meeting with abuse victims in Erfurt, the pope said he was "moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims," the Vatican said. Church officials described the meeting as "very, very emotional".So the old boy still gets aroused thinking about those good times.
"The Holy Father expressed his deep compassion and regret over all that was done to them and their families," said a Vatican statement.
The meeting had been keenly awaited during the 84-year-old pontiff's visit to his homeland, which was rocked by revelations of widespread abuse over the last several decades.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Saturdaynight good time music
"We were small angry men with hairy faces and burning feet"
Secaucus Fats will never be a Republican president
“Federal assistance for the victims of storms and floods should be beyond politics,” the governors wrote Friday. “Our states’ governments and our citizens are doing their part to restore and rebuild. The federal government must also do its part.”The American government is to serve all of our people not just those that Kosher Mouse likes.
Somebody has to get it started
Mutts by Patrick McDonnell
Gail Collins sees a disaster looming
Gloom pervades the land. Some people believe it’s the economy. Others blame the weather. I think it’s because the country is gradually coming to grips with the fact that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president.We can only hope that, unlike Cassandra, Gail is not accurate in her predictions.
It is a scientific fact. Every minute, somewhere in America, another citizen realizes that Mitt is going to be in our face for the next 14 months. Conceivably for the next nine years. Children now in third grade might graduate from high school without ever experiencing a totally Romney-free day.
This is not something I’m happy pointing out. For one thing, I don’t want to believe I live in a country that would seriously consider bestowing the nation’s highest office on a man who once drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car. Plus, we have barely gotten started on Rick Perry, the last great Mitt alternative. Have you noticed how huge his chest and shoulders are? Looming over his lectern at Thursday’s debate, he looked like a float.
But it was impossible to watch that debate without realizing that Perry is not presidential timber, or even presidential polyurethane.
BREAKING NEWS! Pooty-Poot to run for Russian president
Satellite finally falls to earth
I shot an arrow into the air,Just like the arrow, NASA does not know where the satellite fell. They suspect that most of it fell into water but just to be sure they are asking anybody who may have been hit by a piece of the falling satellite to give them a call.
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
Robert Fisk gives Obama's speech a good fisking
A Martian listening to this speech would think, as Ms Ashrawi suggested, that the Palestinians were occupying Israel rather than the other way round. No mention of Israeli occupation, no mention of refugees, or the right of return or of the theft of Arab Palestinian land by the Israeli government against all international law. But plenty of laments for the besieged people of Israel, rockets fired at their houses, suicide bombs – Palestinian sins, of course, but no reference to the carnage of Gaza, the massive death toll of Palestinians – and even the historical persecution of the Jewish people and the Holocaust.Democrats need the Jews for their votes and Republican/Teabaggers need the Jews for their Rapture. If only there was some way to extirpate Israeli control over US foreign policy in the Middle East.
That persecution is a fact of history. So is the evil of the Holocaust. But THE PALESTINIANS DID NOT COMMIT THESE ACTS. It was the Europeans – whose help in denying Palestinian statehood Obama is now seeking – who committed this crime of crimes. So we were then back to the "equal parties", as if the Israeli occupiers and the occupied Palestinians were on a level playing ground.
Madeleine Albright used to adopt this awful lie. "It's up to the parties themselves," she would say, washing her hands, Pilate-like, of the whole business the moment Israel threatened to call out its supporters in America. Heaven knows if Mahmoud Abbas can produce a 1940 speech at the UN today. But at least we all know who the appeaser is.
Jesus wasn't a Southern Baptist
A Southern Baptist seminary president says that according to the Bible, capital punishment is pro-life. “The death penalty is not about retribution,” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a podcast Sept. 22. “It is first of all about underlining the importance of every single human life.”Despite these remarks being prompted by the uproar over Troy Davis, Mohler never addressed the question of how execution squares with an innocent man. I do not know if Troy Davis was innocent but from what little was made public in the MSM, there was more than room enough for a reasonable doubt. I would like to hear Mohler's position on the death penalty when the question of guilt is not certain.
Mohler, who has a Ph.D. in theology, said in Genesis 9, where capital punishment is mandated for murder, “it is precisely because the taking of one human life by another means that the murderer has effectively, morally and theologically, forfeited his own right to live.” “The death penalty is intended to affirm the value [and] sanctity of every single human life, and thus by the extremity of the penalty to make that visible and apparent to all,” Mohler said.
Majority of Israelis OK with Palestinian statehood
Nearly 70 percent of Israelis surveyed recently said that Israel should accept a Palestinian state if the United Nations chooses to recognize it, according to a report in Thursday's edition of The Jerusalem Post.So why is the US prepared to veto the Palestinian request for UN recognition? One of the reasons is that Bibi Netanyahu is one of those crazy radical right wing bastards who prefer seeing people die to doing what is right for their country. Even without the efforts of AIPAC and other Israeli lobbying groups, President Obama is strongly attracted to this type of madman, q.v. Mitch the Chin & the Great Orange Boner.. So despite majorities in both countries for Palestinian recognition, the US will cast a veto against its own best interests. And people wonder why the world is going to Hell on an express train.
The poll results fly in the face of American conservatives and even President Barack Obama, who have taken the lead in discouraging the U.N. from voting on the matter, claiming that it could threaten Israel's security.
The study was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. They found that just over 69 percent of the Israeli respondents felt the country should accept the U.N.'s ultimate decision on a Palestinian state. A further 83 percent of Palestinians said that turning to the U.N. for statehood is the right thing to do.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Sounds like a miracle, hope it's true
Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine said this week they have discovered a virus that is capable of killing all types of breast cancer "within seven days" of first introduction in a laboratory setting.As you read this, representatives of Big Pharma are descending on the Penn State campus with wide open checkbooks. With 20% of the population still vulnerable, this should be good for 6 figure drug therapies, no sweat.
The virus, known as adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), is naturally occurring and carried by up to 80 percent of humans, but it does not cause any disease.
Researchers learned of its cancer-killing properties in 2005, after Penn State scientists observed it killing cervical cancer cells. They also found that women who carried the AAV2 virus and human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, had a lower propensity to develop cervical cancer.
When combined in a lab recently, AAV2 eradicated all the breast cancer cells "within seven days," according to researchers. Better still, it proved capable of wiping out cancer cells at multiple stages, negating the need for differing treatments used today.
Chillin' into the weekend
Watch what he does, not what he says.
Unequivocally, I am for making sure people get their money. I have never, never said that I’m holding anything hostage or would be playing politics with this.Kosher Mouse Eric Cantor, proving once again that nobody seems to believe he can be such a liar because they can't imagine how he can fit so much bullshit in such a small, small man.
When God says the Teabaggers are racist
The Afghan Air Force begins
Ferry pilots from Aviation Dynamix delivered the first three Cessna 182T aircraft to the Afghan Air Force on Sunday.
The pilots flew more than 50 hours on the trip to Shindand, Afghanistan, said Sarah Grosvenor, Aviation Dynamix operations manager.
Pilots will leave this week to deliver another three Cessna 182 Turbos.
The single-engine aircraft will be used for initial flight training.
Eventually, Aviation Dynamix will deliver another 26 208B Caravans to Afghanistan.
A mix of fighters and bombers.
He ain't no FDR
You just have to ask the right question
They got yours, sucka!
Gold futures for September delivery fell $66.30, or 3.7 percent, to $1,739.20 an ounce in New York. It was quite a turnabout for the metal, which has been soaring in recent months amid the turbulent stock markets.You can still look at all the pretty coins you bought.
Hedge funds, which have been ratcheting down their positions in gold futures since early August, were quickly named as the culprits in the latest sell-off.
Some traders said that hedge funds were beginning to unwind, or close out, what has been a very popular and profitable trade for the last 18 months as they bet the dollar would fall and that gold would rise. In the last month alone, the euro has fallen nearly 4 percent against the dollar amid worries about the European debt crisis.
And the santorum keeps on oozing out.
A question from a gay soldier was met with boos during Thursday night’s Fox News Republican presidential debate.Remember that Little Ricky never opted for the "special privilege" of serving at all. Now think of Little Ricky as a one trick pony. Everybody knows he bashes gays, but no one knows any other positions he may hold. Why is he still in the race?
“In 2010 when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I’m a gay soldier and I didn’t want to lose my job,” Stephen Hill, a U.S. soldier serving Iraq, told the candidates. “Under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that have been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”
The question was met by loud boos from the audience of Republican voters.
But those boos quickly turned to enthusiastic cheers as Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained that gays shouldn’t have the “special privilege” of being able to serve openly.
If you are going to take a man's life
The Texas prison system on Thursday abolished the time-honored tradition of offering an opulent last meal to condemned inmates before their executions, saying they would get standard prison fare instead.So what if some prisoners seem to abuse the privilege. It takes a truly small, mean spirited son of a bitch to deny someone one final taste of life before you poison them. Someone like state Senator John Whitmire.
"Enough is enough," state Senator John Whitmire wrote on Thursday to prison officials, prompting the move. "It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege. It's a privilege which the perpetrator did not provide to their victim."
The letter was in apparent response to the dinner requested, but not eaten, by white supremacist Lawrence Brewer before he was put to death on Wednesday night for a notorious 1998 killing in which James Byrd Jr., a black man, was dragged behind a truck for several miles.
Brewer requested an elaborate meal that included a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a meat-lover's pizza, a big bowl of okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecue, a half a loaf of bread, peanut butter fudge, a pint of ice cream and two chicken-fried steaks.
When it arrived around 4 p.m. at Brewer's cell, he declined it all, telling prison officials he was not hungry.
Greatness has several names
Thursday, September 22, 2011
You call it class warfare, we call it social contract
Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. Ryan has called the deficit an “existential threat” to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat.FTW
Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.
Do you want to know what a bad omen is?
That is a bad omen.
Iraqis still arguing over size of the Imperial outpost
Budget battles are the latest roadblock delaying a decision by Baghdad on how many U.S. troops it might request stay in Iraq, although a top government official predicts the American military will remain as a training force beyond a year-end departure deadline.You guys in Iraq have got to get serious. And you seriously don't want any of us to remain in Iraq after year end. We never leave. If you don't believe us, just ask Germany or Japan.
Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said there’s no way to estimate how many troops would be asked to stay, or what exactly they will be doing, until parliament passes its $110 billion spending plan for 2012.
Iraq’s Cabinet could tentatively sign off on the budget as early as next week, but parliament has until the end of the year to approve it.
“We are on a very tight budget,” al-Shahristani said in an Associated Press interview Tuesday. But once the spending plan is settled, “then the Cabinet, and then I expect also the parliament, will approve that training program along with the purchase of the equipment.”
Don't let the dogs distract you
About that Miracle in Texas
Another poll with a similar result
At least two-thirds of Americans believe that high income earners should be taxed at a larger rate, according to a recent poll from Gallup about Obama's jobs plan proposals.Our Congress that is ostensibly elected to represent us seems to believe that the real results of all the polls are exactly the opposite. It's as if our real Congress was stolen away one night and replaced with a pack of foul demons from Hell. We should all load up our Super Soakers with holy water and go to DC to wipe them out.
Sixty-six percent of Americans told the polling firm that individuals making at least $200,000, or families bring home $250,000, should see an increase in taxes. There's an even larger majority in favoring an elimination of tax deductions for corporations, with 70 percent of the public agreeing that wealthy corporations should pay higher taxes.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
No Banker Left Behind
If Scott Brown is toast, meet The Toaster
Support Elizabeth Warren
As seen on the finest* of Blogs
Thanks to drones, national sovereignty is history
The U.S. military also has flown drones over Somalia and Yemen from bases in Djibouti, a tiny African nation at the junction of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In addition, the CIA is building a secret airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula so it can deploy armed drones over Yemen.All your nations are belong to us or we will pop a Hellfire in your ass.
The rapid expansion of the undeclared drone wars is a reflection of the growing alarm with which U.S. officials view the activities of al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia, even as al-Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan has been weakened by U.S. counterterrorism operations.
The U.S. government is known to have used drones to carry out lethal attacks in at least six countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The negotiations that preceded the establishment of the base in the Republic of Seychelles illustrate the efforts the United States is making to broaden the range of its drone weapons.
Aha! A difference between the candidates.
Mitt Romney's campaign said Wednesday it has ruled out the idea, floated by fellow Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, of moving Social Security to the state level.Mittens thinks Social Security should be transferred to Wall St. His friends there know how to handle money.
"We reject turning the program over to the states," Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told The Huffington Post in an email.
Is the lack of a sense of humor caused by stupidity?
The humorless, fun-averse conservative group One Million Moms, an offshoot of the American Family Association, is -- once again -- none too pleased with frozen treat liberals, Ben & Jerry's. The very vanilla organization is calling for a boycott of the ice cream maker's new, buzzy flavor, the "Saturday Night Live" skit-inspired Schweddy Balls.This is not the first time the misnamed whack job fringe group has attacked Ben & Jerry's. Going through life without humor or ice cream is a sad way to live.
Can boo keep the PTSD from your door?
Texas Teabaggers drop "little government" facade
The Republican-led Texas legislature is engaged in a "war on birth control and abortions," according to Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian (R).They will plan your family for you. Who the hell do you think you are?
Conservative Texas lawmakers have cut tens of millions of dollars of family planning funding for health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
The state legislature also passed legislation requiring doctors to perform a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion.
The state's family planning clinics provide low-income women access to a variety of services, such as breast cancer exams, cholesterol screenings, diabetes tests, and care for thyroid disorders.
“Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything, that’s what family planning is supposed to be about,” Christian said.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The traditional Republican Party leadership has collapsed
Freshman Republican Rep. Daniel P. Gordon of Portsmouth spent the weekend at the state prison as Inmate #144119 following his arrest by Rhode Island State Police on charges of driving on a suspended license and failing to appear in a Massachusetts court to face an earlier charge of eluding a police officer.While most of his crimes were out of state he also fouled the nest at home.
Arrested two days after he went to the state police barracks in his hometown to file a cyber-stalking complaint against unnamed others, Gordon is the third Rhode Island lawmaker facing criminal charges. State police Supt. Steven O’Donnell said Gordon has an “extensive” record in Massachusetts that he said Rhode Island law-enforcement authorities are not free to divulge.
Earlier this month, 6 of the 10 House Republicans voted to expel him from their caucus for what new House Minority Leader Brian Newberry described as inappropriate comments about his Republican colleagues.Even in a corrupt state like Rhode Island, a clown like this would never have been vetted to run under the old leadership. Keep it up, Teabaggers!
“Many, many of the comments I have seen have crossed the line into personal invective and attack ... It is simply not permissible for you to launch personal attacks against your colleagues,” Newberry wrote Gordon in a Sept. 2 warning letter.
Down to 30,000 by the end of this month
Martin Bashir gives us a Civics lesson
Republican/Teabaggers willing to shut down government, again
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he'll send legislation to avoid a shutdown back to the House, with additional disaster relief money, and no controversial spending cuts, and dare Republicans to vote it down. They may very well do that that.Kosher Mouse is leading the charge on this one, probably because the Great Orange Boner can't stay sober long enough to do the job. Kosher Mouse has long ago signaled that the Oath of Office does not apply to him, he serves a different master.
The consequences, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters Tuesday, "will be on Leader Reid's shoulders because he's the one playing politics with this."
"If Reid does what he does, I don't see the votes on the floor for it," said House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). "So he's holding up the ability for individuals to get the relief."
A few things are going on here. Senate Democrats, and nearly a dozen Republicans, want more money for FEMA than the House is offering up. And Democrats in both chambers oppose the offset House Republicans have chosen -- a fund meant to spur production of hybrid vehicles.
The way class warfare works
R.I.P. Tom Wilson Sr.
He can't pay child support
A Republican lawmaker has introduced a resolution warning Palestinian leaders that Israel would be within its rights to annex the West Bank if they do not drop their bid for statehood at the United Nations this week.Israel has a PM who has bragged that he has destroyed the Oslo Accords, but the Palestinians must follow them to the letter, the better for Israel to further oppress and steal what little is left of the West Bank.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) introduced the resolution as a way of urging Palestinian leaders to pull back from their plans to seek formal recognition for their state at the U.N. General Assembly meetings, which take place this week, according to his spokesman, Justin Roth.
"The intent is to explain to the Palestinians that actions have consequences," Roth told The Huffington Post. "A major tenet of the Oslo Accords is that the parties at least continue to negotiate in good faith and don't do anything involving the international community without each other."
Former president blown up
Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who headed a government peace council set up to facilitate contacts with Taliban insurgents, was assassinated Tuesday by a suicide bomber concealing explosives in his turban, officials said. Four of Rabbani's bodyguards also died and a key presidential adviser was wounded.This event, like breaking a mirror, means seven more years of war. It would be nice if Obama could realize that we don't have to be a part of it. The Afghans can do it all by themselves.
President Hamid Karzai cut short a visit to the U.S. over the attack, which dealt a harsh blow to peace efforts after a decade of war.
The turban bomber entered Rabbani's house in the capital Kabul on Tuesday evening and blew himself up inside, said Mohammad Zahir, the chief of criminal investigation for the Kabul police.
Rabbani headed the country's High Peace Council, which was set up by the Afghan government to work toward a political solution to the decade-long war. However, it had made little headway since it was formed a year ago.
At last someone speaks my language.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson said at a Democratic Party fundraising dinner on Saturday that Republicans deserve to be thrown in jail for trying to destroy the country in hopes of defeating President Barack Obama.And save Guantanamo for the biggest of these terrorists.
“You know, if a ballplayer threw a game and they get caught, they go to jail," he said, according to the Palm Beach Post. "Well, what are we going to do to the Republicans who are throwing the country?
“They’re throwing our country, and they all should be put in jail for what they’re doing, because they’re destroying our country, because they said at the beginning our one mission is to get rid of President Obama. That was their mission. They don’t care how much they destroy other people. They don’t care whether you go to work. They don’t care about anything.
“All they want to do is destroy the president," Aaronson continued. "And in destroying the president of the United States, you destroy our country. They should be put in jail, each and every one of them, for throwing the country.”
When both sides profit from a system, it will continue
Greg Gonzales, a retired sheriff's deputy, and Wesley Dutton, a former New Mexico livestock investigator, told The El Paso Times that the FBI uncovered some "big names" in the course of one investigation, but it was dropped without result.If the law stops all the drugs then what need will we have of all those people? They have to work together to insure that we still need them.
Both men helped with several investigations during their 18 months as confidential informants, the report says, including one that ended with the arrest of FBI special agent John Shipley, who was allegedly selling guns to cartel members.
But far from a sole bad apple, these two whistleblowers claim drug cartels wield tremendous influence over law enforcement and elected officials, even throwing fundraisers and parties attended by "bankers, judges, and law enforcement officers." Large campaign contributions, they added, have been made to help influence key appointments.
And perhaps one of the most outrageous claims in their report: law enforcement is said to have personally escorted drug shipments, dropped from small aircraft onto private ranches near the border, to their next stops along the distribution chain.
Both men also claim to have been physically threatened if they ever brought this information to light.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Some folks are still trying to do psychedelic
Joke of the Day
Thought for the Day
They will threaten anything to save their rice bowl
As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.Heck, they are all retired anyway, who needs them anymore. If we cut the waste instead, what will the Merchants of Death survive on?
Military pensions and health care for active and retired troops now cost the government about $100 billion a year, representing an expanding portion of both the Pentagon budget — about $700 billion a year, including war costs — and the national debt, which together finance the programs.
Making even incremental reductions to military benefits is typically a doomed political venture, given the public’s broad support for helping troops, the political potency of veterans groups and the fact that significant savings take years to appear.
But the intense push in Congress this year to reduce the debt and the possibility that the Pentagon might have to begin trimming core programs like weapons procurement, research, training and construction have suddenly made retiree benefits vulnerable, military officials and experts say.
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