Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Two Minute Ed

Because Ed slaps up Weepy Boehner, and that is fun!

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Your Two Minute Ed

Where Ed and Anthony Weiner say, "Bring it on, chickie"

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The truth cannot be repeated too many times

Support Alan Grayson at Blue America's "No Means No! or Getting Grayson's Back

Kenny Boy says Good Bye

Ken Lewis, the embattled CEO of Bank of America Corp., is leaving the company, succumbing to nearly a year of strife that followed his company's acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.

The bank said in a statement late Wednesday that Lewis, 62, would retire as CEO and also leave the company's board by the end of the year. The company said his successor will be selected by the time he steps down Dec. 31.
That poor old good old boy shoulda stayed in his own pond.

Treasonous right wing rag calls for militarey coup

But pulls it when faced with an outpouring of outrage. In the meantime expect folks like Rep Boehner and Sen McConnell to voice their support of this trash. Real Americans have to wonder why these "termites" are being allowed to eat away at our government from the inside.

NewsCrap has pulled the column and stated that the son of Osama who wrote it was just "an unpaid blogger". As TPM discovered,
Perry is described as an "award-winning newspaper editor and writer" who "contributes a regular column to"

He's also a former senior editor for the site, working in that role from late 1999 until October 2001.

Perry has written for the site regularly -- nearly every single week -- since November 1999. Newsmax was founded in 1998.
And somewhere in Pakistan, bin Laden smiles.

Extra: From AmericaBlog we learn that NewsCrap ia a mouthpiece for none other than the Republican National Committee.

Countdown on the Public Option

Just watch Chuck Grassley audition for Tap Dancing with the Old Farts.

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Public option bad

But pissing away $50 Million of our tax dollars on the proven failure of abstinence only sex education proves that some members of Congress haven't got enough smarts to be a street sweeper.
A Senate committee voted Tuesday night to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education that President Barack Obama has pushed to eliminate.

The 12-11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee came over objections from its chairman, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.

Two Democrats – Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas – joined all 10 committee Republicans in voting "yes" on the measure by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.

The measure would still have to pass the full House and Senate. Hatch said abstinence education had been shown to work,
Orrin Hatch for one, and you too Blanche.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rachel at her best

Having called out a liar, she refuses to apologize when he lies about his lie because that doesn't make her wrong, it just makes him a bigger liar.

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Mitch "The Chin" McConnell prefers Humana to Humanity

From the Lexington Herald-Leader. This expose of GOP values is just too good to excerpt, here is the whole thing.

The health care debate sparked an uncharacteristic display of passion by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week, according to national news accounts.

Was the normally unruffled McConnell upset because 205,000 more Kentuckians lack health insurance now than in 1999?

No. As far as we know, McConnell has yet to say anything about recent census estimates that show the number of uninsured Kentuckians had increased to 682,000 last year, or 16 percent of the state's population.

McConnell was steamed (to use the New York Times' phrase) because his hometown insurance giant, Humana, was ordered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to cease sending mailers to its Medicare customers warning of benefit cuts if Congress enacts proposed health care reforms.

The mailers also encouraged people to urge their representatives in Congress to support Medicare Advantage, a program that has been very profitable for Humana but unnecessarily costly to taxpayers.

McConnell sprang to Humana's defense, deploring what he called a "gag order" and threatening to hold up confirmation of appointees in the Department of Health and Human Services unless the order was rescinded. What's at stake, McConnell declared, is nothing less than the "core of the First Amendment's protection of speech."

We're sure this is just what the authors of the First Amendment and the Americans who died defending it had in mind: The freedom of a corporation to advance its own financial interests by propagandizing elderly customers, whose personal information it has only because the government is subsidizing it to insure them.

It's stirring, isn't it? Spine-tingling, really, to hear our senior senator defend the free speech rights of a corporation whose foundation and founder have pledged $1.5 million to his center at the University of Louisville. Humana's PAC and employees also constitute McConnell's seventh-largest contributor.

But then you'd expect nothing less from the man who patented the principle that "money is speech" and who has collected more than $3.2 million from health care interests over the last 20 years.

That kind of cash-inspired eloquence easily drowns out the cries of two-thirds of a million uninsured Kentuckians.

Your Two Minute Ed

It's time to do something good for the rest of us.

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Well, they did it

It was expected that the public option would not get out of the finance committee and three allegedly Democratic senators voted to insure that it didn't happen.
Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.
It goes without saying that these three were too well paid to give any attention whatsoever to what their own voters and the majority of Americans want. Mouthing pieties about fiscal responsibility and seeking to keep costs down, they voted against the most cost effective measure the bill could have.
Ironically, the more liberal amendment offered by Rockefeller is also more fiscally responsible, according the Congressional Budget Office. Rockefeller's package would have shaved $50 billion of the bill's cost over a ten-year period.

Nevertheless, Republican senators argued that the public option would bankrupt the country and lead to a single-payer system.
They all talk the talk, but it is insurance money that walks their walk.

We are all in this together

Countdown with Dr Howard Dean

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Quote of the Day

People seem to think it’s cool to be stupid. But it’s not.
A student in the Algebra 1 class at West Charlotte High

Another Bush screwup comes to light

It is appearing more and more as if those conservative judges that were supposed to adjust the law to eliminate all that liberal bias really do believe in upholding the law. Such a stand puts them at odds with the entire Bush administration and some members are beginning to face the consequences.
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and one of his hardline lieutenants face the rare prospect of being held personally liable for alleged violations of individuals' rights in the aggressive aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

High-ranking officials usually are protected from such civil rights claims. Not necessarily in these cases.

Three federal courts have left open the possibility that former Bush officials may have to reach into their own pockets to compensate people who were swept up in the law enforcement and intelligence efforts after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In two cases, judges appointed by Republican presidents have refused to dismiss lawsuits at an early stage that were filed against Ashcroft and former Justice Department official John Yoo. One complaint challenges Ashcroft's strategy of preventive detention. The other seeks to hold Yoo accountable for legal memos he wrote supporting detention, interrogation and presidential power.

In a third case, the full federal appeals court in New York is reconsidering an earlier decision by three of its members to toss out a lawsuit by a man who was changing planes in the United States when he was mistaken for a terrorist and sent to Syria, where he claims he was tortured.
And the Obama administration has to defend Crisco John and the North Korean Yoo. One can only hope they use some of the incompetents leftover from the Bushoviks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

How a Senator says Fuck You

In this case it is Byron Dorgan D-ND offering said phrase to Big Pharma. And it is coming from a Senator in a state where it would make a real difference.
A Senate Democratic leader is hoping to blow up the deal reached between the White House, drug makers and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), by introducing an amendment on the floor to allow prescription drugs to be re-imported from Canada.

It's one of the simplest ways to reduce health care costs but was ruled out by the agreement, which limits Big Pharma's contribution to health care reform to $80 billion over ten years.

North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, a member of Democratic leadership, isn't a party to that bargain. "Senator Dorgan intends to offer an amendment to the health reform bill and his expectation is that it will be one of the first amendments considered," his spokesman Justin Kitsch told HuffPost in an e-mail. "Prescription drug importation is an immediate way to put downward pressure on health care costs. It has bipartisan support, and has been endorsed by groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and AARP."

U.S. patients pay far more than the rest of the world for prescription drugs. The Canadian government keeps prices down by using its purchasing power to negotiate for lower rates. Dorgan wants American consumers in on the deal.

A bill to allow re-importation -- S. 1232 - has 30 cosponsors, several Republicans among them, including Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, John Thune (S.D.) and David Vitter (La.).
And hey, looky here! It is really and truly bipartisan, at least with the sponsors. I'll bet that Thune and Vitter move to the other side if it ever comes to a vote.

Your Two Minute Ed

What is it with the GOP and fraud that makes then such good friends?

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The next step

In the crazed Republican efforts to de-legitimize President Obama, the next step is obvious, you de-vitalize him. And somebody on Facebook wanted to know how many volunteers he could find.
A Facebook poll -- apparently advocating assassination -- has cropped up, with the question, "Should Obama be killed?"

Pam Spaulding points out the poll on her blog. The answer choices are Yes, No, If he cuts my health care, and Maybe.

These polls are part of an application run by an outside party, not Facebook itself.
It has since been removed and the Secret Service is on the case. Good hunting to the agents involved!

From the pen of Jeff Stahler

'Nuff said.

Who is Glen Beck?

Besides being an alchoholic and drug addict (what is this righty fascination with taking their orders from drug addicts?) and a cult religionist. You can read some of his past in this piece from the Tacoma News Tribune.

Riding the coattails of a lunatic

Also known as her father, the most evil and destructive Vice President this country has ever known, Dickwahd al-Cheney. And his spawn, Liz i trying to follow in his pawprints.
Liz Cheney looks nothing like her father, but it is clear who he is. She was introduced as “our favorite vice president’s daughter” at a recent gathering of conservative women here. She kept invoking him in her speech, conveying his best regards, and likes to share cute stories about Dad trying to master his new BlackBerry.

Like her father, Ms. Cheney speaks in understated, almost academic cadences, head veering down into her notes. She also shares his willingness to pummel President Obama in stark, disdainful tones, not so much criticizing as taunting him.

“Mr. President, in a ticking time-bomb scenario, with American lives at stake,” she said, “are you really unwilling to subject a terrorist to enhanced interrogation to get information that would prevent an attack?”
That's Liz Cheney, dumb enough to believe that what is on 24 is real and evil enough to rouse the rabble with it.

The Green Dr speaks out for the climate

Economists generally look at the green of money, but this week Paul Krugman is back looking at the green of the environment. Among other points, he posits why so many deny climate change is happening.
But the larger reason we’re ignoring climate change is that Al Gore was right: This truth is just too inconvenient. Responding to climate change with the vigor that the threat deserves would not, contrary to legend, be devastating for the economy as a whole. But it would shuffle the economic deck, hurting some powerful vested interests even as it created new economic opportunities. And the industries of the past have armies of lobbyists in place right now; the industries of the future don’t.

Nor is it just a matter of vested interests. It’s also a matter of vested ideas. For three decades the dominant political ideology in America has extolled private enterprise and denigrated government, but climate change is a problem that can only be addressed through government action. And rather than concede the limits of their philosophy, many on the right have chosen to deny that the problem exists.
Denial is the river of life to the right.

Monday Music Blogging

Beethoven meets Argerich and the result is beautiful music.

It is a brutal cut at the 10 min. mark but do follow to the second part

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Like Willie Sutton lobbying against bank robbery laws

Only because they use computer programs and inside information instead of a gun, the banks feel that they should be allowed to continue their thieving ways.
The guest of honor: Barney Frank.

The bankers wanted to be sure that Representative Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, would not attempt to clamp down excessively on derivatives trading. Frank said he left the session pledging to keep in mind their “legitimate’’ concerns.

“It was not lobbying politically,’’ Frank said of the meeting last summer in New York, which was held at his request. “This is lobbying intellectually.’’

Whatever it is called, it is part of a huge corporate effort in Washington to stave off or shape sweeping regulatory reforms, led by many of the very same financial institutions that received unprecedented sums of taxpayer money last year to keep them from failing.

Even as the banks say they are reforming themselves to avoid excessive financial risks, they have mounted a pitched battle against new regulations they fear could stifle competition and growth. They are spending millions of dollars, hiring former congressional and White House staffers to make their case, and warning, in the words of the US Chamber of Commerce, that the sweeping financial regulation Frank’s committee is producing “will do more harm than good.’’
Ah yes, the US Chamber of Commerce, that stalwart bastion of protection for corporation against the great unwashed masses.

CBO says the Public Option will save big bucks

As much as $100 Million over a plan with out it.
The original House bill required the public plan to pay providers 5 percent more than Medicare reimbursement rates. But as part of a package of concessions to Blue Dogs, the House Energy and Commerce Committee accepted an amendment that requires the HHS Secretary to negotiate rates with providers. That version of the plan will save only $25 billion.

In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates, a spokesman for House Speaker Pelosi said...

..The public plan saves money because it pushes down premium prices. Lower premium prices across the country would mean the government would have to pay less in subsidies to low-income people who buy insurance through the exchange, according to CBO. Medicare rates are typically lower than those paid by private insurers, so using that formula would allow the public plan to charge considerably lower premiums to stay solvent. If the government has to negotiate the same way insurance companies do, public plan premiums likely won't be as low -- hence less savings.
Gee, just like we have been saying all along. Who would have thought that could be?

Another ghost of GOP Christmas past

And this one may even be the newly qualified Irv Kristol himself, channeling the semi intelligent likes of John Kyl and Kit Bond.

Earlier we told you about Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) plan for Iran: sticks and "regime change."

Well, apparently Kyl's not the only GOP Senator pushing regime change in Iran today. Here's Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) on FOX News Sunday:

We have to have strong sanctions, economic sanctions that can force either a regime change or the Ayatollahs to change their policy.
Uklike children, who will work alternatives solutions, these senior solons will keep trying the one solution they know regardless of the many failures that came before.

Quote of the Day

Do Republicans matter as Congress digs more deeply into the details of writing health care legislation? Probably not.
David Lightman, writing for McClatchy about the irrelevence of the GOP in todays Congress

Mt Vernon WA welcomes the Beckerhead

Apparently the Foxsuckers were outnumbered 2 to 1.

photo by Andrew Ressa

Time for Obama to start collecting letters

Letters of resignation, that is. And the first place he needs to clean out is the Pentagon. Carrying over Bob Gates as Sec Def may have seemed like a good idea back in January, but now that he is showing his true colors, calling for a Bushovik exit strategy from the Kabul Quagmire, i.e. doing nothing, it is time for him to retire gracefully.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday it would be a "strategic mistake" for the U.S. to put a timeline or exit strategy on its presence in Afghanistan -- a position that appears to put him at direct odds with the president.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Gates insisted that far from being a quagmire, Afghanistan was a country that could be pacified and stabilized if the right policy was adopted. One thing the United States should not do, he added, was set deadlines or outline an approach by which military forces would eventually leave the country.

"I think that -- that the notion of -- of timelines and exit strategies and so on, frankly, I think would all be a, a strategic mistake," said Gates. "The reality is, failure in Afghanistan would be a huge setback for the United States. Taliban and Al Qaeda, as far as they're concerned, defeated one superpower. For them to be seen to defeat a second, I think, would have catastrophic consequences in terms of energizing the extremist movement, Al Qaeda recruitment, operations, fundraising, and so on."
The reality is his former lord and master, George W Cheney, spent 7 years working to guarantee that the Kabul Quagmire would have no possible chance of success. The sooner President Obama realizes this, the fewer American lives will be sacrificed on the altar of GOP megalomania.

Tom Toles today

click pic to big

Soldier Mom

One of the lessons learned from the Bush Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that women can and do serve alongside their male comrades with equal skill and bravery. One of the lessons still in the learning phase for the military is what to do when you include motherhood into the mix.
The military has in large part adapted to women living, working and fighting successfully alongside men in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bringing home their own medals for bravery. Women can now find birth control on bases in war zones and get ultrasounds and gynecological exams. Married couples share trailers.

Motherhood, though, poses a more formidable challenge for the armed forces.

Hanging on to today’s war-savvy, battle-tested cadre of mothers — and would-be mothers — is both crucial and difficult for the Army, say officers, enlistees and experts. So is attracting recruits. Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, the number of female Army recruits has declined by 5 percent, a sharper drop than for men. “The Army’s challenge, but also the military’s challenge, is to help service members feel they don’t have to choose between family life and their military career,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, an organization supported in part by the Department of Defense.

“They leave when they can’t figure out” a way to do both, she said.
The hardest adjustments are for single mothers who don't have a solid family structure available to fall back on. A year long absence of their only parent can be devastating to children, even after their return.
Not long after reuniting with her children in 2005, Specialist Holschlag said, she was sitting alone in her apartment in Iowa when she was struck by a thought she recognized as absurdly selfish: she wanted to go back to Iraq.

“All of us that were single parents, who came back to our lives, there isn’t one of us who didn’t say it was easier being in Iraq than coming back and picking back up,” said Specialist Holschlag, 36.
Nobody ever promised an easy life in the Army, but some prices may be too much to pay.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Even Frank Rich is doing it

Comparing the parallels and divergences between Vietnam and the Kabul Quagmire. And in looking at the possible choices President Obama has before him and their possible results, Frank boils it down to a troubling either/or that still does not bring the troops home and save our tax dollars for better uses.
Obama’s decision, whichever it is, will demand all the wisdom and political courage he can muster. If he adds combat troops, he’ll be extending a deteriorating eight-year-long war without a majority of his country or his own party behind him. He’ll have to explain why more American lives should be yoked to the Karzai “government.” He’ll have to be honest in estimating the cost. (The Iraq war, which the Bush administration priced at $50 to $60 billion, is at roughly $1 trillion and counting.) He will have to finally ask recession-battered Americans what his predecessor never did: How much — and what — are you willing to sacrifice in blood and treasure for the mission?

If Obama instead decides to embrace some variation on the Biden option, he’ll have a different challenge. He’ll face even more violent attacks than he did this summer. When George Will wrote a recent column titled “Time to Get Out of Afghanistan,” he was accused of “urging retreat and accepting defeat” (by William Kristol) and of “waving the bloody shirt” (by Fred Kagan, an official adviser to McChrystal who, incredibly enough, freelances as a blogger at National Review). The editorial page at Will’s home paper, The Washington Post, declared that deviating from McChrystal’s demand for more troops “would both dishonor and endanger this country.” If a conservative columnist can provoke neocon invective this hysterical, just imagine what will be hurled at Obama.
Better to face a storm of invective from the pygmy right than to continue the waste of American lives and money.

Can Nutrasystem do this?

The Army is exploring the possibility of developing a 60-ton Abrams main battle tank that provides as much protection as the current 75-ton version.
That's gonna be one hell of a diet.

And now a word from our sponsor

From Brave New Films Sick For Profit campaign

h/t Hullabaloo

Bob Herbert doesn't like the Kabul Quagmire

And in that regard he is like a growing majority of Americans. Today he points up the great difference in how America views the war that Bush screwed up so badly compared to the various official Inside the Beltway views.
Americans are tired of the war. Some of the young people currently being outfitted for combat were just 10 or 11 years old when Al Qaeda struck the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. They are heading off to a conflict that most Americans are no longer interested in. The difference between the public’s take on this war and that of the nation’s top civilian and military leadership is both stunning and ominous.

A clash is coming. President Obama may be reconsidering his idea of substantially increasing the number of American troops, but no one at the higher echelons of government is suggesting that anything other than a long, hard, tragic and expensive campaign lies ahead — with no promise of ultimate victory, or even a serious definition of what would constitute victory.
Just as with single payer in the health care debate, the best option in the KQ, just leaving, is off the table. Who is the evil minded son of a bitch who sets these agendas?

This one is for you Eric Cantor

Frtom the pen of Jim Morin

click pic to big

Friday, September 25, 2009

Your Two Minute Ed

Because you can't say enough for Health Care Reform.

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Got HBO?

If you do, it looks like Bill Maher is cooking up a good New Rules tonight:
New Rule: If America can't get its act together, it must lose the bald eagle as our symbol and replace it with the YouTube video of the puppy that can't get up. As long as we're pathetic, we might as well act like it's cute. I don't care about the president's birth certificate, I do want to know what happened to "Yes we can." Can we get out of Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. Fix health care? No. Close Gitmo? No. Cap-and-trade carbon emissions? No. The Obamas have been in Washington for ten months and it seems like the only thing they've gotten is a dog.
You can read his first draft on The Huffington Post if you can't watch it.

Galloways SitRep on Afghanistan

It isn't hopeful. The two main points are really quite clear.
They'd appear to have boxed the president into a lose-lose position. Either Obama gives Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal the as many as 40,000 more troops he apparently thinks he must have to stave off defeat — locking us into an open-ended commitment of American lives and scarce American resources to an effort that seems likely to fail — or he turns him down and begins a withdrawal from an eight-year war that Republicans will claim is proof that the Democrats and Obama are cutting and running and weak on defense.

Heads I win; tails you lose.
Gen. McChrystal's Afghanistan report left unsaid whether he thinks that a large infusion of additional American forces would turn the tide and lead to success, and if so how many years he thinks that might require.

It also left unsaid, among other things, whether there's a chance that his effort could fail even if he gets more troops; how he can succeed in Afghanistan without help from Pakistan that no one thinks is forthcoming; and why it's smart to expand the Afghan National Army when so many Afghans consider their government corrupt and illegitimate.
Salad shooter, indeed! Any way you look at it, the Stan is a total waste of time and money.

Get your e-mails ready

It is time to send your Senator and Representative this simple request composed by Jeremy Scahill, author of the award-winning book Blackwater:The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army,
Here is a question for those Democratic lawmakers that voted in support of the Defund ACORN Act: How do you justify making this a major league legislative priority while Blackwater continues to be armed and dangerous across the globe on the US government payroll? Where is the Defund Blackwater Act?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Night Prayer Meeting

With the only Pastor I want to pray with

Your Two Minute Ed

Where in Ed calls out Rep Eric "Killer" Cantor

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No more Diapers for Dave Vitter

Join the many Americans calling for Congress to Defund Diaper Dave. Be one of our growing group.
Resolved, that it is the sense of the U.S Congress that all federal funding of David Vitter should be prohibited.
Sign the petition.

Rachel & Paul & Banks

Talking about the Bush Depression

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mid Week Music Blogging

A classic tune by a well known piece of work, enjoy.

Hey Look Michelle! It's working

All those wacked out things you and your fellow travelers have been saying about the Federal government and the Census have finally paid off.
The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word 'fed" was scrawled on the dead man's chest.

The body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and occasional teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.
But it remains to be seen who will have to make the biggest denials of responsibility.

Oliphant nails another one

click pic to big

The GOP likes to shoot their own

This time their own are the many government contractors who may have violated the new, GOP driven, sloppily written and hastily passed antiAcorn bill.
Overly-broad language used by lawmakers intending to pull government funding for community organizing group ACORN may have the unintended effect of forcing the government to also pull funds from much of the military-industrial complex, a Tuesday report revealed.

"The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to 'any organization' that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things," wrote Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grimm.

"In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops."
Just another moment of excellence in governance brought to us by the Grand Old Batshit Crazy Party.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I think I'll keep the ring.

Find out Which Movie Hero Are You at!


Your Two Minute Ed

He keeps firing on all cylinders.

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3 Cheers for Lawrence O'Donnell

He knows his, and our Congress.

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Quote of the Day

Of course no one quite understands what it would be to win this not war either, but losing is perhaps politically stronger than the existential dread of doing something indefinitely that just can't be won.
Rachel Maddow, describing the politics behind decision making for The Kabul Quagmire

OK, so you have seen this one

On just about every America loving blog out there, so count me in with all of them.

Protect Insurance Companies PSA from Will Ferrell

He got his nuts in a Salad Shooter with this one

Because President Obama was eager to buy the Afghan pig in a poke when he took office, not realizing that everything George W left behind was intended to make a Democrat look bad.
With the military and Republicans publicly pressuring him to send more troops to Afghanistan soon and his own administration now deeply divided about how to proceed there, the eight-year war against al Qaida and the Taliban has become an increasingly urgent policy and political dilemma for President Barack Obama.

He can escalate an unpopular and open-ended war and risk a backlash from his liberal base or refuse his commanders and risk being blamed for a military loss that could tar him and his party as weak on national security.
I happen to think pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq would make make Obama look pretty damn smart on national security but I don't write headlines for the pusillanimous press.

Barney & Rush together over dinner

Not a pretty thought by any means but Barney can explain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A trip down memory lane

Back when you had teeth and other things that were hard.

Someone was very interested in Sue Lyons

McCain endorses candidate in Kansas

Republican Rep. Jerry Moran collected another endorsement from the GOP establishment for his run for the Senate in Kansas next year. This time it was a big name: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who lost the presidential race last year.
And already the opposition is "crank"ing up its efforts.

Where are all the perp walks?

McClatchy asks that question is a more mature fashion, but you can't get away from the fact that no really rich people are making the acquaintance of Bubba and his buddies yet.
More than a year into the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have seen their home values and retirement savings plunge and their jobs evaporate.

What they haven't seen are any Wall Street tycoons forced to swap their multi-million dollar jobs and custom-made suits for dishwashing and prison stripes.

There are plenty of civil and class-action lawsuits from aggrieved investors angered by the losses in their mortgage bonds, hedge funds or pensions. Regulators have stepped up their vigilance after the fact. But to date, no captain of finance tied to the crisis has walked the plank.

There have been some high-profile arrests and federal convictions of financial giants — such as Ponzi scheme king Bernard Madoff and Stanford Financial Group chairman Robert Allen Stanford. They weren't among the causes of the financial meltdown, however, just poster boys for an era of lax enforcement, weak regulation and devout faith in free markets.

"A lot of people who are responsible (for the crisis) seem to have gotten awfully rich in the process," said Barbara Roper, the director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America.
Money talks, bullshit perp walks. But the best answer McClatchy can put together is that maybe we are still too early in the process. Just don't hold your breath.

Your Two Minute Ed

Now the doctors are mad as hell, but they have a good reason.

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The next Michelle Bachmann?

Only if God chooses her again, and again and I don't think he is that bored with creation.

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And at some point, he spawned, which was of course his greatest offense.

The title quote is about Irv Kristol and the video is about his spawn.

It's official now

General Stanley "Billy" McChrystal has asked for more troops.
“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible,” General McChrystal writes.
Was it ever possible?

Dr Paul is back

And looking at banking reform and the task that President Obama has ahead andperhaps his reluctance to do what is needed. As usual Dr Paul has the answer.
Equally important, in this case populism is good economics. Indeed, you can make the case that reforming bankers’ compensation is the single best thing we can do to prevent another financial crisis a few years down the road.

It’s time for the president to realize that sometimes populism, especially populism that makes bankers angry, is exactly what the economy needs.

How much would you take?

Let's just say that you were given the task of killing about 45,000 people over the next year, screwing 45 million people out of a decent life and guaranteeing the ever increasing bleeding of wallets of another 200 millions into the hands of a greedy few. How much money would you want to perform that fairly hefty task? Your average CEO would do it for $2 to 5 Million plus matching guaranteed bonus, 2x to 10x optional bonus and $100 Million in stock options and grants.
The bipartisan "gang of six" senators who helped craft the health care reform bill going before a key Senate committee Tuesday represent less than 3 percent of the U.S. population - but they hold a lot of power at a crucial policy-shaping moment in Congress.

That's why, analysts say, health care industry lobbyists have showered them with more campaign cash on average than other senators this year, in an attempt to influence the outcome.

Three Republican and three Democratic senators in the group, all of them members of the Senate Finance Committee, received an average of $74,600 from health industry lobbyists, according to The Chronicle's analysis of records through June.
And your influential members get more.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee who is seen as key to influencing other conservatives, received the most this year - $223,600. Committee chair Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., was second with $141,000.
How curious that Grassley is worth more than Baucus. And from from a corporate standpoint, what a bargain! There is not a senior corporate executive in this country who would look twice at the chump change our senators are willing to sell us out for.

Monday Music Blogging

Chopin at the hands of Claudio Arrau

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Remote Area Medical

You know, those medical folks who were originally organized to provide free medical care to remote areas of the world and had to include areas of the United States because health insurance in this country sucks. They rely on donations and volunteers to perform their work. If you want to volunteer or donate,
Remote Area Medical Foundation
1834 Beech Street
Knoxville, TN 37920

If you prefer to donate on-line, we encourage you to donate through our online donation service using Visa, MasterCard, or electronic check.
And their upcoming schedule is below if you know anybody who can be of help or use their help.

Sept 26-27 Letcher County, KY at Jenkins Independent School D, Vis, M

Oct 3-4 Grundy, Virginia at Riverview Elementary School D, Vis, M

Oct. 17-18 Winchester, TN at Franklin County H.S. D, Vis, M

Oct 17-18 RAM Veterinary Clinic, Newport TN:
The Big Fix: spay and neuter small animals Vet

Nov. 14-15 Maynardville, TN Union Co. H.S.
D, Vis, M

Nov. 21-22 Palm Beach County, FL at Americraft Expo Center, South Florida Fairgrounds. *FL Licensed Doctors Only* D, Vis, M

A=Airborne, D=Dental, M=Medical, Vet=Veterinary, Vis=Vision, W=Women's Health

R.I.H.* Irving Kristol

What can you say about a man who helped unleash a great evil upon the world? No much but Wonkette has a good effort.
And at some point, he spawned, which was of course his greatest offense.
As Shakespeare so aptly put it."The evil that men do lives after them". And in Irv's case there is no good to inter with his bones.

EXTRA: The Maha has a delicious true story of inherited Kristol excellence.

*Rot In Hell

Consider this

The cost of the war also soared. According to Defense Department figures, the Afghan war was costing the Pentagon $2 billion a month as of last October. By June, that cost had climbed to $6.7 billion a month — and that was before most of the additional troops had arrived.
Just the war in Afghanistan is costing as much as the Obama health care plan with the public option. Add in the cost of Iraq and the US could support Single payer Medicare for all and reduce government spending overall. So can someone tell me why we are fucking around in Iraqistan?

From the pen of Kevin Siers

A bad sign we have seen before

From the LA Times:
The CIA is deploying teams of spies, analysts and paramilitary operatives to Afghanistan, part of a broad intelligence "surge" that will make its station there among the largest in the agency's history, U.S. officials say.

When complete, the CIA's presence in the country is expected to rival the size of its massive stations in Iraq and Vietnam at the height of those wars. Precise numbers are classified, but one U.S. official said the agency already has nearly 700 employees in Afghanistan.
The CIA does not do short term deployments. When they settle in, you know you are looking at the next great quagmire. But you don't have to believe me, just ask yourself two question, "Why are we there?" and " How do we know we have won?". Until every aware American can answer both questions, we will just be spinning our wheels, getting people killed and wasting a huge amount of money.

The two sides of "Joe" Wilson

On illegal immigration, "Joe" has two sides, or perhaps two faces. At the very least he speaks from both sides of his prodigious mouth.
Hundreds of illegal immigration opponents are gathering in Washington right now for the annual Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) effort to lobby Congress for tighter border controls and other policies designed to keep undocumented immigrants out of the U.S.

This year, they’re making Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, their new poster boy after he famously shouted “You lie!” during President Obama’s speech on healthcare reform last week. Wilson’s outbust occurred as Obama was saying he has no intention of giving illegal immigrants access to health care benefits in his reform plan, and CNN personality and avowed anti-illegal immigration crusader Lou Dobbs is giving Wilson “great credit” for advancing the cause, per The Washington Independent and Politics Daily.

Wilson may have a conflict of interest, however. Two months before he heckled Obama, he introduced legislation to keep Sainey Fatty, an illegal immigrant from Gambia, in the country. Fatty came to the U.S. for school in the early ’90s and lived here for seven years while under a deportation order, according to his friend Bill Cook’s blog.

In his bill, Wilson asks Congress to forgive Fatty’s immigration woes, drop the deportation order against Fatty and allow him to remain in the country legally.
No doubt he also looked forward to Fatty receiving health care as well. But we must never forget, IOKIYAR.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A website all Americans can support

Certainly when you have a Mission Statement like this:
The International Brotherhood and Sisterhood for the Establishment of a Republican Homeland Somewhere Far Away is an international organization dedicated to helping Republicans and their minions find a new Homeland, where they will be free to practice their unique Political and Philosophical tenants[sic] without interference from, or with, the Government of The United States of America.
And a truly moving promotional video like this:

It is safe to say that we have found a cause that all true Americans can support.

Rachel & Jane & Progressives, Oh My!

From Rachel's show Friday night

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Bob Herbert writes about racism in American politics, again.

And right from the beginning states the obvious.
Did we really need Jimmy Carter to tell us that racism is one of the driving forces behind the relentless and often scurrilous attacks on President Obama? We didn’t know that? As John McEnroe might say, “You can’t be serious.”
But for those who missed the obvious, he puts it all together in an easy to understand way that even a non home schooled third grader can understand.
Republicans have been openly feeding off of race hatred since the days of Dick Nixon. Today’s conservative activists are carrying that banner proudly. What does anybody think is going on when, as Anderson Cooper pointed out on CNN, one of the leaders of the so-called tea party movement, Mark Williams, refers to the president of the United States as an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug, and a racist in chief.

After all these years of race-baiting and stirring the pot of hatred for political gain, it’s too much to ask the leaders of the Republican Party to step forward and denounce this spreading stain of reprehensible conduct. Republicans are trying to ride that dependable steed of bigotry back to power.
Time to stand up to the hate and the stupid and get our country back.

The most Progressive bill possible

Bernie Sanders speaks out for health care reform and America wonders why there is only one of him in the Senate.

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A Merry Talk Like A Pirate Day to all

Arrgh! Here be yore lesson today in proper talkin'

Friday, September 18, 2009

45,000 a year

According to the latest study, that is how many people die because of lack of health insurance.
Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters
These 45,000 are also the people that the insurance companies couldn't care less about. Were they covered, they would be a major drain on the CEO's bonus.

The Quicksilver Connection

At one time California was the nations largest producer of quicksilver, now it has some of the worst mercury contamination in the nation. So far it mostly effects poor people and aboriginals so no one is unduly concerned.
The legacy of more than a century of mercury mining in California - which produced more of the silvery metal than anywhere else in the nation - harms people and the environment in myriad ways.

Near a derelict mine in this California ghost town, the water bubbling in a stream runs Day-Glo Orange and is devoid of life, carrying mercury toward a wildlife refuge and a popular fishing spot.

Far to the north, American Indians who live atop mine waste on the shores of one of the world's most mercury-polluted lakes have elevated levels of the heavy metal in their bodies and fears about their health.

And other mercury mines are the biggest sources of the pollution in San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast.
Not to worry, the federal government will ride to the rescue, right? Dude! What planet have you been living on?
Records and interviews show that federal regulators have conducted about 10 cleanups at major mercury mines with mixed results, while dozens of sites still foul the air, soil and water. The AP's review also found that the government is often loathe to assume cleanup costs and risk litigation from a failed project...

...The EPA found mercury in the creek exceeding federal standards in 1997, records show. Field researchers sent a "high priority" referral to state water quality regulators, warning the mercury could be migrating into a popular fishing area and eventually to the Delta-Mendota Canal, "a drinking water conveyance to other parts of California."

Neither agency undertook the expensive cleanup, nor did they conduct the follow-up studies to find out if New Idria's mercury was the source of the contamination found downstream.

EPA officials said mines such as New Idria are a concern but are not always the agency's highest priority.

"We are here to protect the environment, and sometimes we do it better than other times," said Daniel Meer, EPA's assistant Superfund director for the region. "We can't start cleaning up everything all at once."
And until they do start cleaning up, just sit back relax and enjoy it.
"It would be paradise here but for this damned orange creek."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Your Two Minute Ed

And tonight Ed turns up the heat.

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GOP Headmen have a 'Come to Duh!" moment

Yes, I know the article refers to Weepy Boehner as a leader, but really, do you call that leadership?
Long before the tea parties or Wilson’s outburst, Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had struggled to moderate the rhetorical excesses of House conservatives hammering away on Obama’s birth certificate, decrying the creation of “death panels” and ferreting out signs of creeping socialism.

Sources say they have been especially wary of the possible damage inflicted on the party’s reputation by bomb-throwing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who last fall called for an investigation into whether members of Congress are “pro-America or anti-America.”
Keep trying to ride that tiger, Weepy!

Hey Max, these are the people who bought you!

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered an insurance company to pay $10 million for wrongly revoking the insurance policy of a 17-year-old college student after he tested positive for HIV. The court called the 2002 decision by the insurance company "reprehensible."

That appears to be the most an insurance company has ever been ordered to pay in a case involving the practice known as rescission, in which insurance companies retroactively cancel coverage for policyholders based on alleged misstatements - sometimes right after diagnoses of life-threatening diseases...

...In the ruling, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal wrote: "We find ample support in the record that Fortis' conduct was reprehensible ... Fortis demonstrated an indifference to Mitchell's life and a reckless disregard to his health and safety."

An investigation this summer by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and earlier ones by state regulators in California, New York and Connecticut, found that thousands of vulnerable and seriously ill policyholders have had their coverage canceled by many of the nation's largest insurance companies without any legal basis. The congressional committee found that three insurance companies alone made at least $300 million over five years from rescission. One of those three companies was Assurant.

In Febuary 2008, a private arbitration judge in Los Angeles ordered Health Net Inc. to pay more than $9 million to a breast cancer patient whose health insurance it revoked shortly after her diagnosis and while she was undergoing chemotherapy. The plaintiff in that case, Patsy Bates, a then-52-year-old grandmother and hair-salon owner, was unable to continue her chemotherapy for several months.

During the case, evidence emerged that Health Net had paid bonuses to employees to reward them based on the number of policyholders they had rescinded. The judge who awarded Bates the $9 million said in his decision: "It's difficult to imagine a policy more reprehensible than tying bonuses to encourage the rescission of health insurance that keeps the public well and alive."
Nice people you hang out with.

What is sauce for the goose

Is sauce for the gander as the Beck-erhead counts up the czars and the DNC displays those whose filled those positions for George W.

And another thing, has anyone ever seen any pictures of the Beck-erhead with little children that did not have two or more adults standing between him and the kids?

Quote of the Day

The proposed co-ops had very little effect on the estimates of total enrollment in the exchanges or federal costs because, as they are described in the specifications, they seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country or to noticeably affect federal subsidy payments.
Congressional Budget Office dismissing health insurance co-ops as ineffective and irrelevant.

Pat Oliphant

click pic to big

If you can believe a Czech

President Obama has quietly made a very intelligent foreign policy and national security move.
President Barack Obama has decided to scrap plans for a U.S. missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland that had deeply angered Russia, the Czech prime minister confirmed Thursday.

NATO's new chief hailed the move as "a positive step" and a Russian analyst said the move will increase the chances that Russia will cooperate more closely with the United States in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

Premier Jan Fischer told reporters that Obama phoned him overnight to say that "his government is pulling out of plans to build a missile defense radar on Czech territory."

"The same happened with Poland. Poland was informed in the same way about this intention," Fischer said.
Sure took long enough! The only use this "brilliant" policy of George the Dumber had was to piss off the Russians and enrich the manufacturers, and I doubt Georgie thought much about the former.

R.I.P. Mary Travers

Let them in

The child is an American and his mother was married to an American.
Hotaru Ferschke just wants to raise her 8-month-old son in his grandparents' Tennessee home, surrounded by photos and memories of the father he'll never meet: a Marine who died in combat a month after marrying her from thousands of miles away.

Sgt. Michael Ferschke was killed in Iraq in 2008, leaving his widow and infant son, both Japanese citizens, in immigration limbo: A 1950s legal standard meant to curb marriage fraud means U.S. authorities do not recognize the marriage, even though the military does.

Ferschke and his bride had been together in Japan for more than a year, and she was pregnant when he deployed. They married by signing their names on separate continents and did not have a chance to meet again in person after the wedding, which a 57-year-old immigration law requires for the union to be considered consummated.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your Two Minute Ed

Tonight with the Queen of GOP Batshit Crazy

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Steven Colbert hits the ground running

And kicks corporate ass, too!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Judge tells Oily Titz

You lose! And if you ever bring another crap lawsuit to my court I will get medieval on your lying ass, in a proper judicial way.
Land also put attorney Orly Taitz, who represents Capt. Connie Rhodes and is a leader in the national “birther” movement, on notice by stating that she could face sanctions if she ever again files in his court a similar “frivolous” lawsuit — a document that at one point the judge states that a middle school student could find irony in.

“(Rhodes) has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as president of the United States,” Land states in his order. “Instead, she uses her complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the president is ‘an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.’”

..“This plaintiff cannot in good conscience obey orders originating from a chain of command from this merely de facto president,” Rhodes’ complaint states. “This plaintiff cannot be lawfully compelled to obey this de facto president’s orders.”

In his order, Land states in a footnote that Obama defeated seven opponents in a “grueling” primary campaign that cost the contenders more than $300 million. Obama then moved on to the general election, where he faced Sen. John McCain, who Land states got $84 million to wage his campaign.

“It would appear that ample opportunity existed for discovery of evidence that would support any contention that the president was not eligible for the office he sought,” Land says.

The judge adds that Congress hasn’t started impeachment proceedings against Obama, appears satisfied that he can hold the office and has rejected the suggestion he isn’t...

..“Finally, in a remarkable shifting of the traditional legal burden of proof, plaintiff unashamedly alleges that defendant has the burden to prove his ‘natural born’ status,” Land states. “Any middle school civics student would readily recognize the irony of abandoning fundamental principles upon which our country was founded in order to purportedly ‘protect and preserve’ those very principles.

“Unlike in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ simply saying something is so does not make it so,” Land says.
And to add insult to injury, the poor beknighted plaintiff, having put her faith in the hapless Oily, now has to pay the costs of the defense.

The Best Senator money can buy

Thanks to Max Baucus, bought and paid for with a measly outlay of $3MM, the health insurance companies have a plan that is worth $Billions to each company by the time Obama's first term is finished.

The good people at Firedoglake are busy examining the full Baucus dogs breakfast.

The Great Orange Stan also joins in the fun.

Went to see a baseball game

And a hockey game broke out, or something like it. The Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees expressed their deep felt feelings for each other last night in a heart warming brawl at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees said last week that they would like to host championship boxing at the new Yankee Stadium. They got a preview in the eighth inning Tuesday night.

Mayhem broke out near the Yankees’ dugout, jolting an otherwise forgettable 10-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. It left Yankees Manager Joe Girardi with a bloody ear and a swollen eye, and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Carlson with a purple welt on his forehead.
Gotta do something to keep people interested in a too long season.

But you knew this before now.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Night Music Blogging

Cooler nights calls for cooler music.

Your Two Minute Ed

Tonight he takes aim at The Beck-erhead.

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Oily Titz is back and dumber than ever

This time she is "representing" an Army Capt and doctor who does not want to deploy.
During a hearing in U.S. District Court Monday, an attorney for an Army officer fighting deployment to Iraq questioned Barack Obama’s legal right to serve as president, asserting he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii.

Judge Clay Land, inquisitive throughout the 90-minute hearing, said he will issue a decision by noon Wednesday on Capt. Connie Rhodes’ request for a temporary restraining order to block her deployment.

Rhodes was represented by Orly Taitz, a California lawyer and a national figure in the “birther” movement that claims Obama was not born in the United States and does not meet the qualifications to be president.

Maj. Rebecca Ausprung, with the Department of the Army, Litigation Division in Washington, told Land this case was about Rhodes, not Obama.

“There was a lack of any reference to Capt. Rhodes,” Ausprung said after Taitz spent about 30 minutes addressing the court. “This case is about Capt. Rhodes and her deployment.”

But Taitz kept going back to Obama’s birth certificate. Twice she called Obama a “usurper.”

Land repeatedly pointed out it was a courtroom where the rule of law was all that mattered.

“Whenever I give you a minute, you go off on these talking points,” Land said.

“We have not seen Mr. Obama’s birth certificate,” Taitz responded.

“This is not a forum to lay ground work for a press conference,” Land said. “This is a court of law.”

In her final argument, Taitz asked Land why she had to prove a “Kenyan birth certificate” she submitted as evidence was authentic, yet her opponents didn’t have to prove Obama had an authentic United States birth certificate.

“Who has the burden of establishing that the president of the United States is not eligible to serve in his office?” Land asked Taitz.

The judge then pointed out that burden fell on Rhodes because she sought the restraining order to stop her deployment.
The judge is to be commended for the obviously gentle way he treated the plaintiff and her counsel, but there is no question that, if someone who represents himself has a fool for a client, what can you say about anyone who is witless enough to hire Oily Titz?

Rachel & The Billionaires

I love the way she handles this and I love the song.

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Now some can celebrate

Muntadhar "Shoes" al-Zeidi has been released from prison, says he was beaten and tortured and they are still out to get him.

No celebrating yet

Despite the apparent return of the Good Old Days to Wall St, the Bush Depression continues to hurt the segment of America that the Bushoviks most enjoyed trashing, working people. Or more accurately, as Bob Herbert notes,the no longer working people.
Consider this: Some 9.4 million new jobs would have to be created to get us back to the level of employment at the time that the recession began in December 2007. But last month, we lost 216,000 jobs. If the recession technically ends soon and we get to a point where some modest number of jobs are created — say, 100,000 or 150,000 a month — the politicians and the business commentators will celebrate like it’s New Year’s.

But think about how puny that level of job creation really is in an environment that needs nearly 10 million jobs just to get us back to the lean years of the George W. Bush administration.

We’re hurtin’ and there ain’t much healin’ on the horizon.
The Great Recession may b ending for Wall St but the Bush Depression remains locked in on America.

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