Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's a good day in Minnesota

Franken gets the decision from the MN Supreme Court, Coleman concedes and Pawlenty says he will sign the certificate. Now that's a Trifecta!

The family that preys together

On dad's parishioners will probably all get a date with Bubba at the penitentiary. Fresh on the heels of a post about a TV skypilot building his $4MM dream house while he lays off employees, we get a report an a pastor and his 3 sons on the lam for defrauding as many as 11,000 church members.
A former pastor and his sons were charged with securities fraud in Indiana on Tuesday in what officials said was a multimillion-dollar scheme aimed at church members who thought they were helping build churches but were actually buying the men planes and sports cars.

The secretary of state's office said arrest warrants issued for Vaughn Reeves, 65, and three of his sons charged each with 10 felony counts. Each man could face two to eight years in prison on each count if convicted. Bond for each was set at $1.5 million cash...

..The men are accused of duping about 11,000 church members into buying bonds worth $120 million by urging them to fulfill their "Christian responsibility" to support church construction projects, according to a probable cause affidavit. The men said the bonds would be handled by their brokerage firm, Alanar Inc.

Prosecutors said the men pocketed about $6 million, bought two airplanes, sports cars and vacations. Reeves also bought Porsches for family members, Gavin said. Most of the men's victims lived in Indiana.
I guess there is no room any more in modern religion for the vow of poverty.

Party time in ol' Bagdhad

And all you need to start the party is to move the US troops out of the cities.
A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for U.S. combat troops to finish their pullback to bases outside cities.

"The withdrawal of American troops is completed now from all cities after everything they sacrificed for the sake of security," said Sadiq al-Rikabi, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "We are now celebrating the restoration of sovereignty."

The Pentagon did not offer any comment to mark the passing of the deadline.

Fireworks, not bombings, colored the Baghdad skyline late Monday, and thousands attended a party in a park where singers performed patriotic songs. Loudspeakers at police stations and military checkpoints played recordings of similar tunes throughout the day, as Iraqi military vehicles decorated with flowers and national flags patrolled the capital.

"All of us are happy — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds on this day," Waleed al-Bahadili said as he celebrated at the park. "The Americans harmed and insulted us too much."

Al-Maliki declared a public holiday and proclaimed June 30 as "National Sovereignty Day."
Now, if Barack was a smart as he pretends to be, he would tell the troops to keep on packing and keep on moving towards the border.

Part of the Bush legacy

A part that Obama seems to be buying into is the subject of Bob Herbert's column today.
No one seems to know how old Mohammed Jawad was when he was seized by Afghan forces in Kabul six and a half years ago and turned over to American custody. Some reports say he was 14. Some say 16. The Afghan government believes he was 12.

What is not in dispute is that he was no older than an adolescent, and that since his capture he has been tortured and otherwise put through hell. The evidence against him has been discredited. He has tried to commit suicide. But the U.S. won’t let him go.

The treatment of the young captive was so egregious that the decorated U.S. Army officer assigned to prosecute him — a man gung-ho to secure a conviction against a defendant he believed had committed a serious crime against the American military — ended up removing himself from the case and declaring that he could no longer “in good conscience” participate in the military commissions set up to try accused terrorists.
And because Obama did not vigorously prosecute those responsible for these crimes in our name, he has no options except to continue the crimes of the Bushoviks.

Quote of the Day

It's at the highest levels that the rule of law finds its greatest majesty. That's why the United States was so idolized after Nixon left. We said that the most powerful man in the world is subject to the law. He cannot defy it.

[Today] we have an instance where the President of the United States -- Harvard Law Review, a Constitutional Law professor who knows what the law is -- shuts his eyes to open confessions. We authorized torture, for which there is no exception.
Bruce Fein, associate deputy attorney general under Ronald Reagan, lamenting Barack Obama's failure to enforce US law.

Tuesday Music Blogging

If you enjoyed the first movement, try the second.

Apologies for the way it cuts off at the end.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sewer pipe must have sprung another leak

Because here comes Dick "dick" Cheney oozing out from under his pet rock to fling some more shit on the American public.
“I hope Iraqis can deal with it. At some point they have to stand on their own. But I would not want to see the U.S. waste all the tremendous sacrifice that has gotten us to this point.“
So the man probably most responsible for the waste of so many good American lives pretends he does not want their lives wasted. How many more lives does this bastard spawn of Satan want to throw away?

Boy oh Boy! Is God great or what!

For most people religion is source of guidance for their lives and comfort when they are troubled. For some it is just a big, fucking Gravy Train.
At a time when Inspiration Networks has been cutting jobs, freezing wages and even adjusting the office thermostat to save money, the chief executive of the Charlotte-area broadcaster has invested about $4million in a lakefront home under construction in South Carolina.

CEO David Cerullo's new house includes more than 9,000 heated square feet, along with a 2,000-square-foot screened porch, records show. It sits on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains west of Greenville in a gated community that overlooks Lake Keowee.

And it's shaping up to be one of the priciest houses in western South Carolina. On Realtor.com, just two homes in the greater Greenville area are on the market for more than $4 million.
But it is not just the usual suckers he draws from, no sir! He picked up a little corporate trick along the way.
Much of the network's money has been invested in a multimillion-dollar campus in Indian Land, S.C., just south of the Charlotte outerbelt in Lancaster County. That's where Inspiration is fighting for an exemption from property taxes on the 92-acre site, despite an S.C. revenue department ruling that it must pay them.

S.C. taxpayers are already helping to subsidize the project. In recent years, South Carolina offered the broadcaster incentives worth up to $26 million to land its City of Light campus.

Taxpayer advocates question the deal, particularly in light of Cerullo's salary and real estate holdings. “If they've got these kinds of assets, does the state really need to offer… tax breaks?” asked Don Weaver, president of the S.C. Association of Taxpayers.
Yup, get the taxpayers to subsidize you so you don't move your valuable self elsewhere.

And what, you may ask, is his particular gospel hook?
The broadcaster has raised tens of millions, largely by telling viewers that God brings financial favor to those who donate.
A white Reverend Ike, without the integrity.

San Diego's finest

Douchenozzles perhaps, but definitely a crew that shouldn't be in law enforcement.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a fundraiser for Francine Busby, who previously ran for the deeply-Republican Fiftieth District and came close to winning in the 2006 special election and subsequent regular election, was raided by sheriffs after an unnamed neighbor made a noise complaint. Busby now calls it a "phony" noise complaint, and the article says that multiple neighbors said there was no great noise at all.

Here's the twist: The fundraiser was hosted by a lesbian couple, and shortly before the sheriffs came a particular neighbor had shouted anti-gay slurs at the assembled crowd. "It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes," Busby says.

As one neighbor told the paper: "We didn't hear anything until the sheriff came, with eight patrol cars and a helicopter."

The sheriff's department claims that somebody kicked an officer. By the time it was over, multiple people were pepper-sprayed, one of the hostesses was arrested, and the whole neighborhood got to see quite a scene.
I guess the only thing to be said for this bunch of Roscoe P Coltranes is that they were smart enough to leave the "drop guns" at the office.

Krugman debates some dork nozzle

Crazier than a shit house rat or worse

Dr Krugman today on the climate deniers in Congress.

Monday Music Blogging

As the 4th approaches, this seems appropriate.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Never thought this could happen

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - Authorities say a Tennessee couple got into a fight using Cheetos.

The Bedford County Sheriff's Department say a 40-year-old man and 44-year-old woman became involved in a "verbal altercation." Somehow, the orange puffy snacks were used in the assault.

Deputies say they were charged with domestic assault. No one was hurt.
Unbefuckinglievable, no one was hurt.

From the pen of Adam Zyglis

R.I.P. Billy Mays

Eventually, even God had to hit the MUTE button

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Named after a goddess

A Norwegian-Finnish powerfolk group whose name caught my eye in a Beavis & Butthead moment.

So what are the different health care plans

The Kaiser Family Foundation has posted a gizmo to provide side by side comparisons of the various health care plans now floating around Congress. It is a top notch way to find out how the plans differ and make a truly informed decision on what you want from those overpaid slugs you elected. You can also generate printable comparisons to share with family and friends.

Then be sure to call them,fax them, e-mail them. WHITE HOUSE SENATE HOUSE

Dr. Reich's prescription

Stolen in its entirety from Robert Reich's blog.
"What Can I Do?"

Someone recently approached me at the cheese counter of a local supermarket, asking "what can I do?" At first I thought the person was seeking advice about a choice of cheese. But I soon realized the question was larger than that. It was: what can I do about the way things are going in Washington?

People who voted for Barack Obama tend to fall into one of two camps: Trusters, who believe he's a good man with the right values and he's doing everything he can; and cynics, who have become disillusioned with his bailouts of Wall Street, flimsy proposals for taming the Street, willingness to give away 85 percent of cap-and-trade pollution permits, seeming reversals on eavesdropping and torture, and squishiness on a public option for health care.

In my view, both positions are wrong. A new president -- even one as talented and well-motivated as Obama -- can't get a thing done in Washington unless the public is actively behind him. As FDR said in the reelection campaign of 1936 when a lady insisted that if she were to vote for him he must commit to a long list of objectives, "Maam, I want to do those things, but you must make me."

We must make Obama do the right things. Email, write, and phone the White House. Do the same with your members of Congress. Round up others to do so. Also: Find friends and family members in red states who agree with you, and get them fired up to do the same. For example, if you happen to have a good friend or family member in Montana, you might ask him or her to write Max Baucus and tell him they want a public option included in any healthcare bill.

Call them,fax them, e-mail them. WHITE HOUSE SENATE HOUSE

This is not a rhetorical question

How do you put together a consumer economy that works when the consumers are out of work?
Bob Herbert

Friday, June 26, 2009

George W Obama or Barack H Bush

Either way makes clear that the current administration has embraced the beastly side of the previous administration.
The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close Guantanamo, has drafted an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.

Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. Obama advisers are concerned that bypassing Congress could place the president on weaker footing before the courts and anger key supporters, the officials said.
Surprisingly, they still believe that this may appease the opposition which is not looking to be appeased. The opposition has only one purpose, to foil any attempt by George W Obama to have a functioning government. And they will only stop when they are crushed. Where's Rahmbo? I thought he had nuts of steel?



Despite miles of print covered with gallons of ink, hours of talking head rumination and the finest available cable news pundit speculation, examination of the amorphous crowd outside the hospital, Michael Jackson remains dead.

Compromise won't cut it

Paul Krugman looks at Barack's efforts to push the public option and wonders which side he is on.
Both Baracks were on display in the president’s press conference earlier this week. First, Mr. Obama offered a crystal-clear explanation of the case for health care reform, and especially of the case for a public option competing with private insurers. “If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that they’re offering a good deal,” he asked, “then why is it that the government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That’s not logical.”

But when asked whether the public option was non-negotiable he waffled, declaring that there are no “lines in the sand.” That evening, Rahm Emanuel met with Democratic senators and told them — well, it’s not clear what he said. Initial reports had him declaring willingness to abandon the public option, but Senator Kent Conrad’s staff later denied that. Still, the impression everyone got was of a White House all too eager to make concessions.
Wishy washy won't work.
The point is that if you’re making big policy changes, the final form of the policy has to be good enough to do the job. You might think that half a loaf is always better than none — but it isn’t if the failure of half-measures ends up discrediting your whole policy approach.
It seems that Barack Obama really wants to be a one term president.

Did anyone know what they were doing?

In that vast and disordered dogs breakfast known as the Bush administration, it seems the left hand had no clue what the right hand was doing. At a time when Congressman Rick Renzi was under investigation and running for re-election, the Bushies decided to give him a boost.
“As part of an apparent damage-control effort to assist Renzi’s reelection bid, information was leaked on the same day to three major news organizations: The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Associated Press. The articles reported that although there was an ongoing probe of Renzi, it was only in an early stage, no evidence of serious wrongdoing had been uncovered, and it might end up being much ado about nothing.

“Yet Gonzales had already approved a request by the then-U.S. attorney leading the investigation, Paul Charlton, to seek an application from a federal judge to wiretap Renzi’s telephone,”
On the one hand they were saying, Nothing to see here, and on the other hand they were getting ready to take him down. No wonder they couldn't get anything right.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Ry

A most revealing interview

From the Columbia Journalism Review, an interview with veteran health insurance PR man Wendell Potter. What he has to say about how the industry operates is a must read foe every one who has ever dreamed of fighting crime and starting universal health care. One of the interesting point he touches on is how the journalists he dealt with could be played like a fiddle.
WP: Yes. For one thing, the media has lost interest in writing stories similar to the managed care horror stories they wrote in the 1990s, when insurers and employers were forcing people into HMOs. There is less coverage of the consequences to people resulting from insurance company practices. A lot of critical reporting is just not being done. Most reporters willingly accept a prepared statement that company executives and lawyers have written, and they feel their obligation is over. The calls we got were few and far between after the media lost interest in managed care.

TL: What insurance stories did reporters write most often?

WP: They wrote brief stories for investors, but wouldn’t go into the details of the important facts and numbers—such as a company’s medical loss ratio, which tells the percentage of premium dollars that the insurers pay out in claims. This is a closely watched measure by investors and Wall Street analysts, because it tells them how well a for-profit company is meeting investors’ earnings expectations.

TL: Did reporters ever ask about this?

WP: I can’t recall a reporter ever probing how insurers manage to meet Wall Street’s expectations through medical management and claims practices, which are key ways to manipulate the medical loss ratio and dump unprofitable accounts. Not once was I asked by a reporter what happens to people who work for small and mid-sized companies that get “purged” by insurers because their employees’ claims were causing the insurer’s medical loss ratio to move in the wrong direction from an investor’s point of view. No one ever asked me about the human consequences of satisfying Wall Street. Most reporters are happy to do a superficial job.
And from there you can read how the companies screw you and set you up to pay the costs they should be paying, but won't because it hurts their profit reports.

h/t to Walled In Pond for the link to this.

Ed is firing on all cylinders for health care.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Don't piss off Carmela Soprano

She wants the public option, you better give her the public option, you capice, Congress?
"I'm here because I've traveled through the health care system and there are some holes," Falco, a breast cancer survivor, told a Capitol Hill rally for health care overhaul. "I'm here because I care about the people in this country and I know that we can do better, that we must do better."

Falco, who stars in the Showtime series "Nurse Jackie, said she went without health care coverage for many years. Nearly 50 million Americans are without coverage and President Barack Obama's goal is to provide health benefits for all.

"I work in a business where they take great care of you if you are working," Falco told a crowd of several hundred at the rally.

"It's bad enough the emotional impact of not having a job," she said. "But to get sick on top of that, and worry every day that your symptoms are not getting better, figuring out what you're gonna have to do without so you can afford a doctor's visit _ I am far more familiar with that than I am with my situation these last number of years."
One of the better known of the 72% speaks out.

From the pen of Dwayne Powell

Quote of the Day

It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible to women.
Grover Norquist, noted Anarchist, trying to drive the meme that Anarchy is HOT!

Pat Oliphant on the Health Care Debate

click pic to big

Quick! Somebody call a Senator!

There is actual, factual news regarding the cost of health care in this least civilized of industrial nations. An honest review of insurance costs, with and without a public option, says that you can expect to save lots and lots of money with a public option.
A nationwide health insurance exchange that includes a Medicare-like government option could save $1.8 trillion more than if only private plans are offered, a prominent private U.S. health policy group said on Wednesday.

Federal spending on health-related costs would still rise from 2010 to 2020, but they would be less with a plan that pays doctors and hospital rates similar to the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund.

The New York-based health policy research group compared possible savings a health insurance exchange could bring under three different scenarios. One would include a Medicare-like plan along with private insurance. Another would instead offer a government-run plan with rates somewhat higher than Medicare. The final one would be private insurance with no government plan at all.

Such an exchange would offer a central point for consumers to shop for and compare health plans.

An exchange that instead offered a plan with rates slightly higher than Medicare but below current private plan rates would save nearly $800 billion over one with only private options, according to the Commonwealth Fund's analysis.
And, lo and behold, they found that a public option plan would do much to keep the insurance companies relatively honest. The numbers they put together look much better than the half baked CBO report.
Overall, an exchange with a Medicare-like plan will save nearly $3 trillion through 2020, saving consumers up to $2,200 per household, Commonwealth found. About $2 trillion of that would come after about five to six years, it said.

In comparison, an exchange including a government plan with higher rates would save $1.97 trillion and a private plan-only exchange would save almost $1.2 trillion. Both options would save a household $1,600.
Call your Senator, now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why he did it

Gov. Sanford, that is.

What you have always known instinctively

About what is so wrong with opponents of the Public Option, Robert Reich has put into words.
Without a public option, the other parties that comprise America's non-system of health care -- private insurers, doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and medical suppliers -- have little or no incentive to supply high-quality care at a lower cost than they do now.

Which is precisely why the public option has become such a lightening rod. The American Medical Association is dead-set against it, Big Pharma rejects it out of hand, and the biggest insurance companies won't consider it. No other issue in the current health-care debate is as fiercely opposed by the medical establishment and their lobbies now swarming over Capitol Hill. Of course, they don't want it. A public option would squeeze their profits and force them to undertake major reforms. That's the whole point.

Critics say the public option is really a Trojan horse for a government takeover of all of health insurance. But nothing could be further from the truth. It's an option. No one has to choose it. Individuals and families will merely be invited to compare costs and outcomes. Presumably they will choose the public plan only if it offers them and their families the best deal -- more and better health care for less.

Private insurers say a public option would have an unfair advantage in achieving this goal. Being the one public plan, it will have large economies of scale that will enable it to negotiate more favorable terms with pharmaceutical companies and other providers. But why, exactly, is this unfair? Isn't the whole point of cost containment to provide the public with health care on more favorable terms? If the public plan negotiates better terms -- thereby demonstrating that drug companies and other providers can meet them -- private plans could seek similar deals.
Read what he has to say and share it with those who don't yet know better.

We Want the Public Option

Sign on to have your name in the next TV ad.

His staff said he was humping a backpack

Up the Appalachian Trail. Turns out the Governor of South Carolina WAS humping, humping his girlfriend one last time.
After going AWOL for seven days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday that he'd secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he'd been having an affair. He apologized to his wife and four sons and said he will resign as head of the Republican Governors Association.

"I've let down a lot of people, that's the bottom line," the 49-year-old governor said at a news conference where he choked up as he ruminated with remarkable frankness on God's law, moral absolutes and following one's heart. His family did not attend.

The woman, who lives in Argentina, has been a "dear, dear friend" for about eight years but, Sanford said, the relationship didn't become romantic until a little over a year ago. He's seen her three times since then, and his wife found out about it five months ago.

He told reporters he spent "the last five days of my life crying in Argentina" and the affair is now over. Sanford, a rumored 2012 presidential candidate, refused to say whether he'll leave office.
The brave and stalwart philanderers all have one thing in common. When they are cutting monies for social programs, vetoing efforts to improve schools, health care facilities and programs and otherwise abusing people with too little already, they are the picture of stalwart determination to uphold some vague principle that transcends life itself. But when they are caught with their pecker in the wrong pussy, or worse, they are all weepy apology and groveling insistence that they are not really bad and need your forgiveness. And strangely, the GOP, Party of Family Values and Virtue Beyond Belief, always forgives the worst of them, as long as it wasn't a dead girl or a live boy they were caught with. I say we return to the good old days the GOP is always howling about, the days where if you get caught with your pen in the wrong inkwell, your career is toast. And if it only looks bad, you still better practice twriting your resignation. It has been very harmful to our politics to keep all those old hound dogs around once they got a taste of chicken.

Worst Person in the World 6/23

Sadly, this is not news, this is just evidence that George started the war for his own, yet undisclosed reasons.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Quote of the Day

There's serious money made in health care in this country and all of that money is pushing back. This will be a fight and it will be an ugly fight. If anybody had some notion that this would go smoothly, or it was going to happen easily, I don't think they've been paying attention,
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), reminding us that $Millions of our health insurance premiums will be used for defeating real health care reform instead of providing the coverage we contracted for.

R.I.P. Ed McMahon

You were the best at being second, banana that is.

Update on the guv'nor

It seems the old dear was "hiking" all this time. I suppose there are worse things to call it. After all, don't they use "surfing" when they speak of butt sex?

Quote of the Day

Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House.
Bob Herbert, in his column examining the distressing eagerness of the Obama administration to embrace Bushovik illegalities.

Dear Senator, what part of 72% eludes you?

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Darkness, Darkness"

Irans President Imadinnerjacket on TV

Where, O where has the guv'nor gone?

The governor of South Carolina has gone missing, and few people seem to care.
The whereabouts of Gov. Mark Sanford was unknown for nearly four days, and some state leaders question who was in charge of the executive office.

But Sanford's office told the lieutenant governor's office Monday afternoon that Sanford has been reached and he is fine, said Frank Adams, head of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer’s office on aging.

Neither the governor’s office nor the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for governors, had been able to reach Sanford after he left the mansion Thursday in a black SLED Suburban SUV, said Sen. Jake Knotts and three others familiar with the situation but declined to be identified.

Sanford’s last known whereabouts had been near Atlanta because a mobile telephone tower picked up a signal from his phone, authorities said. His office now knows where he is, Adams said.

First lady Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press earlier Monday her husband has been gone for several days and she did not know where.

She said she was not concerned.
So he is a conservative Republican who hates gays and probably blacks and jews as well. My guess is he ran off to Atlanta to be with his black boyfriend and the boyfriends meshugguh Jewish mother because he couldn't take the pressure anymore and he needed her matzoh ball soup. Just guessing, but what else would his wife be so comfortable with.

Quote of the Day

The President can't do this alone. You must weigh in and get everyone you know to weigh in, too. Bombard your senators and representatives. Organize and mobilize others. And let the White House know how strongly you feel. This is one of those battles that define a presidency. But more importantly, it's one of those battles that define the state of American democracy.
Robert Reich, reminding us that democracy needs you in it.

Call them,fax them, e-mail them. WHITE HOUSE SENATE HOUSE

Four square for quality health care

That's our Krugman!
The question now is whether we will nonetheless fail to get that change, because a handful of Democratic senators are still determined to party like it’s 1993.

And yes, I mean Democratic senators. The Republicans, with a few possible exceptions, have decided to do all they can to make the Obama administration a failure. Their role in the health care debate is purely that of spoilers who keep shouting the old slogans — Government-run health care! Socialism! Europe! — hoping that someone still cares.

The polls suggest that hardly anyone does. Voters, it seems, strongly favor a universal guarantee of coverage, and they mostly accept the idea that higher taxes may be needed to achieve that guarantee. What’s more, they overwhelmingly favor precisely the feature of Democratic plans that Republicans denounce most fiercely as “socialized medicine” — the creation of a public health insurance option that competes with private insurers.

Or to put it another way, in effect voters support the health care plan jointly released by three House committees last week, which relies on a combination of subsidies and regulation to achieve universal coverage, and introduces a public plan to compete with insurers and hold down costs.
Time to make plenty big noise in DC.

Monday Music Blogging

Something for all you Warner Bros. cartoon fans.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ed speaks out on Democratic spines, or lack thereof

Call them,fax them, e-mail them. WHITE HOUSE SENATE HOUSE

Health care reform? Pt 2

Click on the graphic below and then ask yourself what is wrong with the Senate?

And then call, fax or e-mail your senator and tell them how wrong they are

Small Business polls the same way.

Health care reform?

Not for Senator Max Bought of Montana. AmericaBlog links to the Montana Standard which has a detailed look at how much the various elements of the health care industry has paid to put Sen Bought in their pocket.
In the past six years, nearly one-fourth of every dime raised by Baucus, D-Mont., and his political-action committee has come from groups and individuals associated with drug companies, insurers, hospitals, medical-supply firms, health-service companies and other health professionals.

These donations total about $3.4 million, or $1,500 a day, every day, from January 2003 through 2008.

Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee that is drafting a major health-care reform bill this month, insists this cavalcade of money is not unduly influencing his work.
By Montana or any other standard, Max doesn't come cheap, which is why the 73% of America that wants a public option and real reform can expect nothing from Sen Max Bought of MontanAetnAon

Who is the real Barack Obama

Joe Galloway wonders about the man he voted for last November.
Who stole our change?

Who hijacked a popular uprising that was going to put a stop to business as usual in Washington, D.C.?

What happened to Barack Obama on his way to the White House?

The Republicans have been so busy trying to paint President Obama as a socialist, as a radical, as a Marxist, as a Muslim, as the Devil, that they haven't even noticed that he has become one of them.
More and more it looks like he played us pretty good.

Tiny Tim puts forth tiny solution to "too big to fail"

And Gretchen Morgenson looks at it with a justifiable jaundiced eye.
Talk is cheap, however. And the notion that the plan shows a new aversion to bailouts is not at all supported by its chapter and verse. In fact, there’s precious little in the 88-page document about how the government will eliminate systemic risks posed by financial firms that aren’t allowed to fail because they’re simply too big or to interconnected to other important economic players here and abroad.

Rather than propose ways to shrink these companies and the risks they pose, the Geithner plan argues instead for enhanced regulatory oversight of the behemoths. This suggests the taxpayer safety net will be larger after our national financial train wreck, not smaller.

More than two years after the crisis began, “too big to fail” remains “too problematic to address” with anything other than more souped-up regulation. Given that earlier efforts at policing these entities failed so miserably, why should anyone think that a new-and-improved regulatory approach will fare better?
But Tiny Tim and Fat Larry aren't about restructuring and stabilizing Wall St. Their primary concern looks very much to be insuring an larger safety net for financial failures, at the expense of the rest of us. And since we have to set aside money to insure that no CEO will go bust, we can't afford universal health insurance for all Americans. Such is the way of all corporate welfare.

Why is this not surprising

After its former CEO deftly used government monies to save it from the disaster it had created in CDS's and two loyal proteges of another former CEO managing any new regulations to maintain the status quo. it looks like a good year for Goldman Sachs.
Staff at Goldman Sachs staff can look forward to the biggest bonus payouts in the firm's 140-year history after a spectacular first half of the year, sparking concern that the big investment banks which survived the credit crunch will derail financial regulation reforms.

A lack of competition and a surge in revenues from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed-income products has sent profits at Goldman Sachs soaring, according to insiders at the firm.
Would Merrill Lynch still be alive if they had been smart enough to put their people in government?

A burpless cow is a healthy cow

And some farmers in Vermont are finding it to their advantage to feed their cows right.
Coventry Valley Farm is one of 15 Vermont farms working with Stonyfield Farm Inc., whose yogurt is made with their organic milk, to reduce the cows' intestinal methane by feeding them flaxseed, alfalfa, and grasses high in Omega 3 fatty acids. The gas cows belch is the dairy industry's biggest greenhouse gas contributor, research shows, most of it emitted from the front and not the back end of the cow.

"I just figured a cow was a cow and they were going to do whatever they were going to do in terms of cow things for gas," said Dellert. "It was pretty shocking to me that just being organic wasn't enough, actually. I really thought that here we're organic, we're doing what we need to do for the planet, we're doing the stuff for the soil and I really thought that was enough."...

...One way is by feeding cows alfalfa, flax and grasses, all high in Omega 3s, instead of corn or soy, said Nancy Hirschberg, head of Stonyfield's Greener Cow Project. The feed rebalances the cows' rumen, the first stomach of ruminants, and cuts down on gas, she said. Another way is to change the bacteria in a cow's rumen, Naczi said.
And the end result, or should I say the front end result?
Maikshilo and Dellert have also noticed a difference in Hester, Rosebud, Pristine and their other cows. The coats of the black and white Holsteins and brown Jerseys are shinier and they've had fewer foot problems and no stomach ailments, they say.

So far, it hasn't cost them any more for their custom-made grain, which the cows only get in the winter. Now they're out grazing on grass in the pasture, getting as many Omega 3s. And the farm's vet bills have gone down.
No word on whether you can light a cows burp or not.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

With friends like these

Frank Rich looks at two of President Obama's biggest problems today. Two of his biggest problems that should be two be two of his biggest successes. Trouble is the company he keeps. On the financial front his two generals just happen to be a pair of birds with too much invested in the status quo to lead any fight for change.
A tip-off to what was coming appeared in a Washington Post op-ed article that the administration’s two financial gurus, Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, wrote to preview their plan. “Some people will say that this is not the time to debate the future of financial regulation, that this debate should wait until the crisis is fully behind us,” they wrote by way of congratulating themselves on taking charge.

Who exactly are these “some people” who want to delay debate on the future of regulation? Not anyone you or I know. Most Americans were desperate for action and wondered why it was taking so long. The only people who Summers and Geithner could possibly be talking about are the bankers in their cohort who helped usher us into this disaster in the first place. Both men are protégés of one of them, Robert Rubin, the former wise man of Citigroup.
And now it looks like his key legislation, health care reform will be disabled by a series of own goals from his "team" in the Senate lead by Majority Leader Milquetoast from Nevada. And the President seems to keep himself above the fray, letting other get dirty in the fight for what he says is important.
It’s still not too late for course correction. Before rolling out his financial package, Obama illustrated exactly what’s lacking when he told John Harwood on CNBC: “We want to do it right. We want to do it carefully. But we don’t want to tilt at windmills.”

Maybe not at windmills, but sometimes you do want to do battle with fierce and unrelenting adversaries, starting with the banking lobby. While the restraint that the president has applied to the Iran crisis may prove productive, domestic politics are not necessarily so delicate. F.D.R. had to betray his own class to foment the reforms of the New Deal. Lyndon Johnson had to crack heads on Capitol Hill to advance the health-care revolution that was Medicare. So will Obama for his own health-care crusade, which is already faltering in the Senate courtesy of truants in his own party, not just the irrelevant Republicans.
We agree that he should not tilt at windmills, but it sure would be nice if he started kicking ass and taking names. Political scalps may be messy but they sure look good hanging from your lodgepole.

Democrats are the New Republicans

And New Rules hits a homer this week.

Just in case you missed it

Watch the health insurance CEO's talk about how they screw you.

And read what Digby says

For the GOP it's Helloween all year round

And this month's zombiegram is Health Care

stolen from Digby

This should make the NRA feel all warm and fuzzy

People on the government’s terrorist watch list tried to buy guns nearly 1,000 times in the last five years, and federal authorities cleared the purchases 9 times out of 10 because they had no legal way to stop them, according to a new government report.

In one case, a person on the list was able to buy more than 50 pounds of explosives.

The new statistics, compiled in a report from the Government Accountability Office that is scheduled for public release next week, draw attention to an odd divergence in federal law: people placed on the government’s terrorist watch list can be stopped from getting on a plane or getting a visa, but they cannot be stopped from buying a gun.

Gun purchases must be approved unless federal officials can find some other disqualification of the would-be buyer, like being a felon, an illegal immigrant or a drug addict.
So, with the noticeable increase in right wing terrorist group activity, will we see the NRA enabling an attack on the US? Thanks to their lobbying efforts, there is currently no way to stop it.

Quote of the Day

I want real health reform and I want to be able to contribute
Althea Little, owner of Hair to Go Natural salon in Buffalo, one of 73 percent of New York small business owners surveyed who preferred a proposal with a public, government-run alternative to private insurance.

And today in Iraq

You remember Iraq, don't you?
A truck bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq following prayers, killing at least 55 people and wounding nearly 200, police said, making it the deadliest blast in nearly two months.

The explosion came hours after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the withdrawal of U.S. troops from cities by the end of this month a "great victory" and promised it would go ahead as scheduled. Officials have warned that insurgents are likely to stage more attacks in the wake of the withdrawal to try to undermine confidence in the government's ability to protect its people.
We can't get out of there fast enough.

Whoa! Didn't see this coming

Well, at least I would not have if I had been a member of the previous administration.
A government audit found that the State Department overpaid the contract-security firm once known as Blackwater Worldwide by tens of millions of dollars because the company failed to properly staff its teams in Iraq.

The report didn't identify any specific security breaches, but it said the State Department should have withheld at least $55 million in payments to the company because of the shortfalls.

The audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and the State Department's Inspector General said the firm didn't employ enough guards, medics, marksmen and dog handlers to fully man the teams, which were responsible for protecting the U.S. ambassador to Iraq and other high-level officials.

The failure to consistently field the right numbers of guards endangered the U.S. officials whom the company was being paid to protect, the report concluded.
Or maybe they did see it as the Prince of Blackwater is a well known supporter of the GOP and all things unAmerican.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Health Care for America Now ad

Any questions

Penguins are conservative birds

BadTux takes a good hard look at health care reform and in a rational and intelligent post determines what result would best serve his conservative instincts.
Conclusion: The conservative choice -- the choice that takes the fewest risks with the health of the U.S. population -- is a transition to a Taiwanese/French style single payer system. We have a model for how to do so with Taiwan, and we have a model for how to retain consumer choice on top of the core insurance program with France (via their Medigap-style policies available from private insurers). Furthermore, we have an already-existing singlepayer health care bureaucracy -- the Medicare bureaucracy -- that could be easily expanded to serve the entire population rather than just old people. Medicare already handles 22% of the health care spending in the US, scaling it up to cover the other 78% and bringing it to modern standards of coverage (as vs. 1968 standards) would be much easier than creating a new program entirely from scratch. All other approaches either do not work, we have no blueprint for how to transition to them, or are take unacceptable chances by applying unproven programs to the health of 300 million people and thus are "conservative" only in the minds of radicals who confuse "conservative" with "complies with a specific ideological filter". Single-payer Medicare For All: time-proven, cost effective, the choice of those who are really conservative as vs. radicals out to experiment with the health of 300 million people.
Go read how a flightless bird has reached a conclusion that has eluded too many of the overpaid and overbought members of the US Se.nate

Enemies of the People beware!

Comrade EB Misfit has a look at the latest weapon in the battle against the TSA.

From the pen of Jeff Danziger

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Krugman examines half a loaf

The half a loaf that is President Obama's proposals for financial regulation. The half a loaf he looks at is good, but it is the half he doesn't see that will choke us, again.

A public announcement

Sunday is not only Fathers Day.
Every year on the first day of summer, a few outdoor enthusiasts nationwide expose virtually all of themselves to insects, scrapes and thorns for the pleasure of bonding with nature au naturel.

They call it Naked Hiking Day.
Please dress and/or hike accordingly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Eine Kleine Thurday Music

Tom Daschle was useless as Majority Leader

And today he proved he is just as useless outside the Senate. In a hardly surprising move, he has urged the Senate to embrace corporate welfare and pass a health care "reform" package that diverts large sums to the insurance companies for no measurable public benefit. Or to put it in English, he says they should forget about a Public Option Plan. And why is this hardly surprising?
The firm that houses two of the three former Senate majority leaders who proposed a comprehensive health care compromise bill on Wednesday has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby on behalf of key players in the health care industry. In addition, the company that presented those findings, the Bipartisan Policy Center, counts as a major fundraiser one of the country's largest pharmaceutical companies.

Former Sens. Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and Howard Baker joined forces this week to put out a health care plan 15 months in the making. The three political gray beards, who co-founded the Bipartisan Policy Center, called for an approach to reform that included state-operated public insurance options as well as individual and employer mandates for coverage. Their proposal was pitched as a bi-partisan effort at solving one of the most complex legislative issue facing the nation.
Tom and others have discovered the joys of being bought, with our premium dollars if we are of the lucky ones with coverage. We got coverage but not this year, the insurance companies have other plans for all that money.

Froomkin fired by Washington Post

Apparently CabbageMallets chair sores are acting up again. (When don't they?). The PTB at the Post seem to believe that if you give them nothing they will come.

I support my local food bank

And in these difficult times, it is one of those good deeds that can be done on several levels. You can donate food or money or your time as a volunteer. And now more than ever there are people, your neighbors, who need your help. On the right side is a button for the Million Can March, a chance to organize a food drive or other effort around the birthday of this great country of ours. Click on the button or stop by Les Enrages.org to see what you can do.

A Million Cans? Yes, We Can!

Always consider the source

President Obama's new financial regulation proposals are a good case in point. When your two major sources are Wall St regulars who would never dream of offending their friends who were only doing what Larry and Timmy said anyway, you won't be too radical. In fact, when you consult with the losers who instigated the disaster, not about what they did wrong but about how to put lipstick on their pigs, you won't upset anyone important.
On Wednesday, President Obama unveiled what he described as “a sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system, a transformation on a scale not seen since the reforms that followed the Great Depression.”

In terms of the sheer number of proposals, outlined in an 88-page document the administration released on Tuesday, that is undoubtedly true. But in terms of the scope and breadth of the Obama plan — and more important, in terms of its overall effect on Wall Street’s modus operandi — it’s not even close to what Roosevelt accomplished during the Great Depression.

Rather, the Obama plan is little more than an attempt to stick some new regulatory fingers into a very leaky financial dam rather than rebuild the dam itself. Without question, the latter would be more difficult, more contentious and probably more expensive. But it would also have more lasting value.
About the only ones who don't like it are Republicans, who don't like anything.

Obama discovering what Bush knew

Wiretapping anyone in America that you wish can be both fun and profitable, which explains why AG Holder refuses to call it illegal. If the NSA were doing its job, they wouldn't have to listen to anyone inside the US.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Sixties were a wonderful time

But I just don't remember all of it, probably for my own good.

Sen Bernie Sanders, a true American

Sign his petition and watch his video. And pass it around to your friends.

Over 20,000 die because of lack of proper medical care. Can you live with that or are you next?

Ed sounds the Tocsin for Health Care Reform

We don't want "bipartisan" We Want Health Care Now!

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Don't know what a tocsin is?

Peter Hoekstra, Consummate GOP Douchebag

Rep Peter Hoekstra R-Braindead proudly compared the activities of Iranian protestors on Twitter to Republicans. The responses on Twitter have been unmerciful and for the most part quite witty. TPM has a list of their favorites from earlier today. My favorite:
uTobian: RT @cijl: @petehoekstra my cat farted while i was napping. now i know what hiroshima was like.
Check them out, you need a good laugh.

GBLT rumbling scares Obama

As a sop to quiet them he is extending federal benefits to same sex partners. Oh how nice, whip them, beat them and kick them then give them a dog yummy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When Ed is on the Morning Schmoe

That cracker ass finally has a good guest.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

And when will Mika slap the doughboy.

The White House is haunted

And it is just our luck that the spirit of the dumbest fucking guy ever to inhabit the White House, George W Fucking Bush himself, appears to have possession of our President Barack Obama. Consider 44's refusal to prosecute war criminals, release information about their torture conspiracy, back off Bushian efforts to illegally wiretap Americans, defend the indefensible DOMA using the words of a leftover Bush attorney and a Mormon cultist to boot. And to add insult to injury,
President Obama has embraced Bush Administration justifications for denying public access to White House visitors logs even as advisers say they are reviewing the policy of keeping secret the official record of comings and goings.

In recent days, the Secret Service has rejected requests from two organizations for the logs, which document the West Wing meetings that have helped shape Obama's policies on banking regulation, economic recovery, foreign policy and the auto industry.

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration seeking release of the visits of coal company executives to the White House. Msnbc.com reported today that their broader request for logs since Jan. 20 was also denied.

"The Obama administration has now taken exactly the same position as the Bush administration, telling us the visitor logs are presidential records," said Anne Weismann, the legal counsel for CREW. "I don't see how you can keep people from knowing who visits the White House and adhere to a policy of openness and transparency. The discrepancy between the rhetoric and the policy is especially great."
What is needed is an pagan exorcism to rid our President of this perverted pseudochristian spectre. If Dick "dick" Cheney's Portable Human Sacrifice altar is still in his office we might effect a cleansing using only a small Rahmbo sized offering. If major mojo is needed, they would have to move the D"d"CPHS altar outside for a Larry Summers sized burnt offering. Whichever, I hope they do it soon.

GOP Family Values

When you "value" a member of someone else's family, you have some twisted values.

R.I.P. Bob Bogle

May your new venture do as well

Political Joke of the Day

Anybody who thinks that I'm pushing fringe groups to violence should read my e-mail. The fringe groups hate my guts. The fringe groups think I'm a government stooge.
Glen Beck, denying his audience to impress the Washington Post readers.

Tuesday toon

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

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America's worst nightmare

Another fucking Bush in the White House. Even if he is the smarter brother, that is no guarantee he is any better.

Bill Maher follows up his New Rules

From Friday night

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ed speaks out on health care, again

And I am annoyed that I missed Ed when he was up in the Burned Over District on Saturday. And good for Eric Massa, I am glad I gave him money instead of the potatoehead in my district,

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Newtie's entry in Dickipedia

At last, Newton Leroy Gingrich has an entry in the Dickipedia. Enjoy the introduction and go read the rest.
Newton "Newt" Leroy Gingrich (born June 17, 1943) is an American politician, author, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, 1994 Time magazine Person of the Year, college history professor, professional hypocrite, loudmouth, panderer, adulterer, and a dick.

Gingrich's first name comes from an abbreviation of Newton and not from his parents naming him after a lizard. It is extremely unlikely that a man with such jowls could've ever been likened to a long, slender animal surviving on a healthy, high protein diet.

Through such landmarks as the Contract with America and the subsequent Republican Revolution, Gingrich would follow the time-honored—if paradoxical—Republican Party tradition of somehow cementing a favorable legacy while almost never achieving an approval rating above 50%.

Though Gingrich's career has been mostly comprised of attacks on other officials and a spotty ethical and moral record, he has maintained a prominent position in a faltering party searching for a clear leader who's not a complete embarrassment.

A champion of Christian morality, Gingrich had three different wives over 35 years, though during that period, was only unmarried for a total of less than a year. Simple arithmetic suggests that either Gingrich is incredibly impulsive or his position on family values might include a bit more extramarital fucking than one might have originally thought.
The rest of it limns the life of Our Little Newtie as we all remember him, and wish we didn't have to.

Un crime passionné

The latest sensational criminal trial is now taking place in staid Geneva, Switzerland.
A woman who admitted killing one of France's richest men during sex games told a Swiss court Monday she shot him dead because he called her a whore.

"Of course I am 100 percent guilty because I did it," said Cecile Brossard, mistress of slain banker Edouard Stern, told the 15-member jury, adding that she lost control when he told her, "One million for a whore, that's expensive."
Aside from my belief that he deserved it, she is pitching for a curious point of Gallic law, and Geneva is in the French part of Switzerland, that makes allowances for crime commited in a fit of passion.
Brossard's lawyer Alec Reymond says it was a crime of passion, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Prosecutors say it was murder, punishable by 20 years in prison.
Half the penalty for hot blood. Vive La France, even if it is in Switzerland.

Howard Dean speaks for America

Note the thingy about Republicans and Blue Dogs. Time to call in and make them nervous about their jobs.

Tahnk you John Cole

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Stunning turnaround?!?

The Supreme Leader of Iran has called for an investigation of voter fraud.
Iran's supreme leader ordered Monday an investigation into allegations of election fraud, marking a stunning turnaround by the country's most powerful figure and offering hope to opposition forces who have waged street clashes to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

State television quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directing a high-level clerical panel, the Guardian Council, to look into charges by pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has said he is the rightful winner of Friday's presidential election.
And they will probably find some fraud, but not enough to get rid of their boy.

In California, a job furlough means less pay

But you can't take any time off.
In California and elsewhere, people have put their imaginations to work trying to make the best of furloughs — temporary, usually unpaid, leave — ever appreciative that they are a far better alternative than layoffs.

But for many, the plans to turn the unpaid days into modest holidays spent appreciating the simple things in life like afternoon movies, walks in the park, naps or trips to see Grandma have given way to a different reality.

Some people take the time off but feel bad about doing so, out of loyalty to bosses and colleagues left to carry the workload. Others work quietly — and sometimes openly — through furloughs, because they fear for the long-term safety of their positions and hope their self-sacrifice impresses the management.

And some say the message from the management is unclear, leaving employees wondering: Is this real time off?

“I think it’s a joke,” said Roland Becht, who works at the California Department of Motor Vehicles in San Diego. (More than 200,000 state employees are supposed to have two furlough days each month.) “I’ve tried to schedule furlough time and was denied because we’re short-staffed.”
Your pay was cut, quit whining.

It ain't over yet

Dr. Krugman warns us that, despite all the talk of "green shoots" and recovery, it is merely a false dawn and not the time to reverse efforts to ease the Bush Depression.
For this is the third time in history that a major economy has found itself in a liquidity trap, a situation in which interest-rate cuts, the conventional way to perk up the economy, have reached their limit. When this happens, unconventional measures are the only way to fight recession.

Yet such unconventional measures make the conventionally minded uncomfortable, and they keep pushing for a return to normalcy. In previous liquidity-trap episodes, policy makers gave in to these pressures far too soon, plunging the economy back into crisis. And if the critics have their way, we’ll do the same thing this time.

The first example of policy in a liquidity trap comes from the 1930s. The U.S. economy grew rapidly from 1933 to 1937, helped along by New Deal policies. America, however, remained well short of full employment.

Yet policy makers stopped worrying about depression and started worrying about inflation. The Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy, while F.D.R. tried to balance the federal budget. Sure enough, the economy slumped again, and full recovery had to wait for World War II.

The second example is Japan in the 1990s. After slumping early in the decade, Japan experienced a partial recovery, with the economy growing almost 3 percent in 1996. Policy makers responded by shifting their focus to the budget deficit, raising taxes and cutting spending. Japan proceeded to slide back into recession.

And here we go again.
Republicans are quite happy to call for a rollback of depression fighting efforts. They have made it quite clear, from Boss Limbaugh on down, that they want our country to fail.

Monday Music Blogging

Karajan is quite dramatic, but as a prominent violin in a well known orchestra once told me, a conductor does his work in rehearsal. In concert a well rehearsed orchestra will do as well with a gold fish in a bowl on the podium.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Recommended Blogs

Contact your Senators today, they need to hear from you.

On Health Care reform do visit everybody's favorite penguin, BaxTux and the informed and informative Maha. You won't be disappointed by either unless you are an insurance company exec. And The Great Orange Stan has more than a few good posts on the subject, like this one. And everybody's favorite 'Roo found this post that should be required reading.

And a segment from KO.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Sen Bernie Sanders is a Mensch

Watch him call bullshit on Fur Face Blitzer with the truth.

I love the way Fur Face gets intellectually de-pantsed without a flinch.

Trailer for Michael Moore's new film.

Hoping for a little more audacity

New Rules has a little guidance for President Obama.

Juan Cole explains

How the evidence indicates that Iranian election was stolen.
Top Pieces of Evidence that the Iranian Presidential Election Was Stolen

1. It is claimed that Ahmadinejad won the city of Tabriz with 57%. His main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is an Azeri from Azerbaijan province, of which Tabriz is the capital. Mousavi, according to such polls as exist in Iran and widespread anecdotal evidence, did better in cities and is popular in Azerbaijan. Certainly, his rallies there were very well attended. So for an Azeri urban center to go so heavily for Ahmadinejad just makes no sense. In past elections, Azeris voted disproportionately for even minor presidential candidates who hailed from that province.

2. Ahmadinejad is claimed to have taken Tehran by over 50%. Again, he is not popular in the cities, even, as he claims, in the poor neighborhoods, in part because his policies have produced high inflation and high unemployment. That he should have won Tehran is so unlikely as to raise real questions about these numbers. [Ahmadinejad is widely thought only to have won Tehran in 2005 because the pro-reform groups were discouraged and stayed home rather than voting.)
There is more, including what is probably the key reason it was stolen. "The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable." What the boss wants, the boss gets.

Facing foreclosure?

If so, have your attorney make this simple demand of the foreclosing party, "Produce the Note". If they can you can say goodbye to your house, if not you may belong to the growing group this couple has joined.
A home could be saved with three words: "produce the note." Facing foreclosure, owners Isabel and Richard Caporale are using a novel legal strategy to hang on to their home. The couple went to federal court and basically said just three words.

"They claim they have it, but I have no proof that they have this note, and you would think by now it's been almost three months," says attorney Marc Voisenat.

The "they" Voisenat is referring to is the loan servicing company and "the note" is the legal document proving money is owed. Without it, the strategy goes, money can't be collected and there can be no foreclosure. On Thursday, a federal judge agreed stopping the foreclosure in its tracks and for now, the Caporales can stay in their home.
Many homeowners can benefit from the sloppy paperwork of the go-go years of the mortgage bubble. This has been said before but it needs repeating because it can work to save your home.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On the GOP and right wing terrorism

Frank Rich takes his turn at the plate this week to write about the rise in rage and vitriol in the right side of American politics and culture.
What is this fury about? In his scant 145 days in office, the new president has not remotely matched the Bush record in deficit creation. Nor has he repealed the right to bear arms or exacerbated the wars he inherited. He has tried more than his predecessor ever did to reach across the aisle. But none of that seems to matter. A sizable minority of Americans is irrationally fearful of the fast-moving generational, cultural and racial turnover Obama embodies — indeed, of the 21st century itself. That minority is now getting angrier in inverse relationship to his popularity with the vast majority of the country. Change can be frightening and traumatic, especially if it’s not change you can believe in.
By definition, conservatives are not about change, in fact it was John Stuart Mill who best described the base of conservatism. "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."

What is frightening about the vitriol is the silence from otherwise decent people in the face of it. The last Republican to speak out against it was John McCain, maybe from decency or maybe because he was running for President at the time, but who has spoken out since? Again John Stuart Mill has said what we should all embrace. "A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury." We have already seen O'Reilly and Beck run in fear from that idea. And we should take action to prevent what Frank most worries about.
It’s typical of this dereliction of responsibility that when the Department of Homeland Security released a plausible (and, tragically, prescient) report about far-right domestic terrorism two months ago, the conservative response was to trash it as “the height of insult,” in the words of the G.O.P. chairman Michael Steele. But as Smith also said last week, Homeland Security was “warning us for a reason.”

No matter. Last week it was business as usual, as Republican leaders nattered ad infinitum over the juvenile rivalry of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich at the party’s big Washington fund-raiser. Few if any mentioned, let alone questioned, the ominous script delivered by the actor Jon Voight with the G.O.P. imprimatur at that same event. Voight’s devout wish was to “bring an end to this false prophet Obama.”

This kind of rhetoric, with its pseudo-Scriptural call to action, is toxic. It is getting louder each day of the Obama presidency. No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they weren’t warned.
So long as they think they can distance themselves from the responsibility, the Becks and O'Reillys and Voights will continue to encourage and enable the worst in American society. And as long as we can not put in prison an admitted torture conspirator like Dick "dick" Cheney, they have nothing to worry about.

Once again Ed is right and right out there on health insurance.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

This could decimate the Dallas Plowboys local fan base

Or move enough money through the local economy to to rival President Obama's Stimulus Bill.
The Dallas Cowboys could be fined and the liquor-sales permit for the new stadium could be suspended if state investigators determine that the stadium's general manager drank too much on opening night, officials said Friday.

The general manager, Jack Hill, 53, was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

His vehicle was involved in a minor collision on Randol Mill Road right outside the new Cowboys Stadium, hours after its inaugural event. No one was injured. Hill failed a field sobriety test and was arrested, police said.

Now the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating whether Hill consumed too much alcohol at the stadium.

"If an employee is intoxicated on a licensed premises, we can cancel or suspend the permit for that violation," said Capt. Charlie Cloud of the commission’s Dallas office.
My vote is on the economic stimulus, no way is Jerry Jones gonna lose his liquor license.

Who we are

Bob Herbert takes a look at us in light of the recent spate of killings fueled by hate. We may talk of them as one of a kind, lone wolfs, aberrations, but are they really?
The problem when we think in terms of freaks and aberrations is that there are so many of them, which calls into question just how freakish or aberrational they really are. Was it an aberration when, according to authorities, Scott Roeder went into the lobby of a Lutheran church in Wichita two weeks ago and shot Dr. George Tiller to death? Hardly. The murder of Dr. Tiller, who was the nation’s most prominent provider of so-called late-term abortions, was the fourth assassination of an abortion provider in the U.S. since 1993.

Three Pittsburgh police officers were murdered in April by a man with a high-powered rifle who, according to authorities, was later linked to racist and anti-Semitic items posted on white supremacist Web sites. The man was identified as 22-year-old Richard Poplawski. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Poplawski, who wore a Nazi-style tattoo, believed Zionists were running the world and that President Obama was planning to crack down on gun ownership.

The madness is not limited to white supremacists by any means. A 23-year-old U.S. Army private, William Andrew Long, who had just completed basic training, was shot to death on June 1 outside a recruiting center in a suburb of Little Rock. Investigators said the man accused of killing him, a Muslim convert named Abdulhakim Muhammad, asserted that the killing was justified because of the treatment of Muslims by the U.S. military.

In 2002, a pair of snipers — John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, both black — spread terror as they roamed the Washington, D.C., area cold-bloodedly killing people. Their motives were a jumble, but a primary motive, according to Malvo, was to kill white people. Ten people were murdered before the pair was captured.

The truth, of course, is that there is nothing aberrational about hatred and murderous violence in the U.S. They are two of the most prominent touchstones of the culture, monumentally tragic flaws that have permeated the nation’s history from its earliest moments and that plague us still today.
These people are woven into the fabric of our daily lives and are as mainstream as Beck, O'Reilly and Farrakhan.

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