Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The next time someone tells you

That speculation isn't driving the price of oil up when there is no other reason for the price to rise, just remind them of this tale of British stiff upper something.
Britain's financial regulator has fined and banned a former broker for manipulating oil prices by buying more than 7 million barrels while on a drinking binge.

The FSA said Perkins bought huge volumes of Brent crude oil in the early hours of the morning on June 30, 2009 after drinking heavily for several days and then lied repeatedly to his employer to cover up his actions.

Perkins' unauthorized trading pushed the price of Brent crude oil futures up to almost $73.50 a barrel -- at that point the highest level prices had hit on the InterContinental Exchange in 2009.

In the days leading up to the trades, Perkins had been drinking heavily at a company golf weekend and had carried on drinking on the Monday afternoon, the FSA said.
The lad was totally pissed and buying like a drunken sailor or a hedge fund manager.

Want to know how to find a wild well 17,000 ft down?

The good folks at The Oil Drum have a fine technical look, with illustrations, at the final steps in drilling the relief well. And if you have questions, you can sign up to make comments or read the dozen or so previous threads that may have answered your question already.

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan speaks harshly on the Sen. Brown emasculated FinReg bill

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A little Irish Music

AG Holder meets with Karzai of the Afghans

No arrests have been reported yet and, sadly, none are anticipated. However the locals in Jalalabad did stage a celebratory gun battle with security forces at the local air base, beginning with an awesome car bomb blast and a finale of 8 attackers dead.

Lifting the liability cap

Has been approved in Senate committee. They voted approval of removing the liability limit and making it retroactive.
The committee voted to eliminate the current $75 million cap on the amount of compensation companies would pay local communities for economic losses and the impact of offshore spills on natural resources.

The change, if approved and made law, would apply retroactively to BP Plc's massive Gulf spill, although the company already has said it would cover all costs, which will run into the billions of dollars.
BP fully expects to be protected by its well paid cadre of Republican Oily Boyz.

Got Aids Yet?

unless you are rich, get some condoms instead. Thanks to the Great Bush Depression and the coordinated Republican effort to filibuster any government funds to help people, many of the state programs to fund HIV drugs for people who can't afford them are being closed or cutback.
The weak economy is ravaging the government program that provides life-sustaining antiretroviral drugs to people with H.I.V. or AIDS who cannot afford them. Nearly 1,800 have been relegated to rapidly expanding waiting lists that less than three years ago had dwindled to zero.

As with other safety-net programs, ballooning demand caused by persistent unemployment and loss of health insurance is being met with reductions in government resources. Without reliable access to the medications, which cost individuals in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program an average of $12,000 a year, people with H.I.V. are more likely to develop full-blown AIDS, transmit the virus and require expensive hospitalizations.

Eleven states have closed enrollment in the federal program, most recently Florida, which has the nation’s third-largest population of people with H.I.V. Three other states have narrowed eligibility, and two of them — Arkansas and Utah — have dropped scores of people from the program.
While paying for drugs now is immensely cheaper than the hospitalization when AIDS develops, when you are in the hospital an educated guess can be made about the end of your liability. So if you are clean now, keep it in the bag unless you like the idea of spending your last days stuck full of tubes in a ward with others like you, all saying the same thing. Jeez, he had such a nice ass.

Jimmy Kimmel on BP

John Boehner? No John Bar Hopper

The Joe Faced Oaf is usually a douchebag, as one might expect from a Republican, but once in a while he does find an acorn.

Still, I did get the impression that Joe was pushing a lesser fault to avoid discussing a larger fault, "Bar Hoppers" lack of ideas.

Jon Stewart plays the Blame Game

Which is way harder than the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Making lemonade

For $9.99 two Florida brothers will send you your very own oil spill in a bottle. Of the purchase price, $5.00 goes to pay expenses and the other half goes to assist 3 organizations dedicated to cleaning up the environment, Reef Relief, The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and The International Bird Research Center (IBRRC).

Another Brit corp screwing Americans

And in the energy field, no less. National Grid was caught overcharging customers to the tune of $100 Million. The settlement included a fine and a promise never to do it again, until the next time they are caught, but no restitution. Rep Dennis Kucinich and others are protesting the lack of restitution, but National Grid feels comfortable that they have bought an adequate number on congressmen to prevent any further trouble.

Rep John Conyers D-MI is onboard

With Rep Alan Grayson's "War is Making You Poor Act", are you? You can read about it here and get on board with the petition here.

Stormy Monday Music Blogging

So what if it's Wednesday, he's playing a B-3 with a Leslie.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Your Two Minute Ed

Ed is on vacation so Chris Hayes pinch hits for him.

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Republicans piss on homeless veterans

The Senate Republican caucus, having orgasmed with their denial of unemployment benefits, tried to duplicate their feat with a bill designed to help homeless vets and their families. In a feat of legislative bravery Tom Coburn had Mitch "The Chin" McConnell do the objecting for him.

Haley Barbour had 70 days to prepare

But being a former lobbyist and a Republican he chose to spend his time trying to score political points and political cash.Now that the oil is hitting the beaches of Mississippi, Haley can do only one thing, whine.
Just weeks ago, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour claimed that oil was not a big threat to the people of the Gulf Coast. Now, with oil hitting his state's beaches for the first time since the start of the BP spill , the Republican governor says his state isn't prepared for the spill and needs more help...

"We have to be honest with the public. Right now we don't have enough skimming capacity if everything that's off our shores continues going north," Barbour said.

On day 70 of the spill, local officials say they're sorely lacking in supplies to fight the oil. The mayor of Ocean Springs, Miss. told ABC News they're not seeing the response they need from state
70 days is a long time to prepare and place the necessary resources, if you use it.

My sympathies to the citizens of Mississippi and to the Governor, Eat Shit and Die you fat bastard!

The Dark Future of Speaker Boehner

Minority Leader John "Tanman" Boehner had a little exercise in pre hatch chicken counting the other day. His ideas of good legislating should scare the shit out of American voters.Among his proposals,
If Republicans retake control of the House, Boehner promised a vote on a bill repealing the health care law and replacing it with a scaled-down package of tax breaks and court reforms
More tax breaks but you won't get them. What will you get?
Boehner had praise, however, for Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan and stepped-up drone attacks in Pakistan. He declined to list any benchmarks he has for measuring progress in the nine-year war, at a time of increasing violence and Obama's replacement of Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus.

Ensuring there's enough money to pay for the war will require reforming the country's entitlement system, Boehner said. He said he'd favor increasing the Social Security retirement age to 70 for people who have at least 20 years until retirement, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation and limiting payments to those who need them.

"We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we're broke," Boehner said. "If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you're retired, why are we paying you at a time when we're broke? We just need to be honest with people."
Yup, you get more war without end and to pay for it you wait until you are 70 to retire and just for good luck he will trim your benefits. And if he sells the Big Lie that SSI is broke he just may get his chance to screw you big time. Hope you have enough lube, John never brings his own.

Another profit center of the Big Banks

When it comes to money laundering, nobody does it better. They have the size and the systems to get the job done and they love the profits. And speaking from experience, the training programs for their employees to recognize potential problems is a joke.
Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet.

They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials also discovered something else.

The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.

The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years.

Wachovia admitted it didn’t do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican-currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That’s the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history -- a sum equal to one-third of Mexico’s current gross domestic product.
If a private citizen had enabled a scheme of that size, he would be doing major prison time. Now that the SCOTUS has granted personal rights to corporations, the executive level management needs to be liable to the same criminal penalties as a private citizen. The money that corporations pay in fines and penalties is chump change, the boys in charge need to do time.

Jobless? This toon's for you.

From the pen of Stuart Carlson

clic pic to big

Matt Taibbi unloads on Lara Logan

And he pulls no punches under a headline that reads "Lara Logan, You Suck". Matt is of the old school, he thinks reporters should tell the story, not sit on it if the nice Mr General man might be embarrassed. So when Lara attacked Michael Hastings for reporting what a douchebag McChrystal and his staff were, Matt got mad and ripped her a new one.
Let me just say one thing quickly: I don't know Michael Hastings. I've never met him and he's not a friend of mine. If he cut me off in a line in an airport, I'd probably claw his eyes out like I would with anyone else. And if you think I'm being loyal to him because he works for Rolling Stone, well – let's just say my co-workers at the Stone would laugh pretty hard at that idea.

But when I read this diatribe from Logan, I felt like I'd known Hastings my whole life. Because brother, I have been there, when some would-be "reputable" journalist who's just been severely ass-whipped by a relative no-name freelancer on an enormous story fights back by going on television and, without any evidence at all, accusing the guy who beat him of cheating. That's happened to me so often, I've come to expect it. If there's a lower form of life on the planet earth than a "reputable" journalist protecting his territory, I haven't seen it.

As to this whole "unspoken agreement" business: the reason Lara Logan thinks this is because she's like pretty much every other "reputable" journalist in this country, in that she suffers from a profound confusion about who she's supposed to be working for. I know this from my years covering presidential campaigns, where the same dynamic applies. Hey, assholes: you do not work for the people you're covering! Jesus, is this concept that fucking hard? On the campaign trail, I watch reporters nod solemnly as they hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars candidates X and Y and Z collect from the likes of Citigroup and Raytheon and Archer Daniels Midland, and it blows my mind that they never seem to connect the dots and grasp where all that money is going. The answer, you idiots, is that it's buying advertising! People like George Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama, and General McChrystal for that matter, they can afford to buy their own P.R. — and they do, in ways both honest and dishonest, visible and invisible.

They don't need your help, and you're giving it to them anyway, because you just want to be part of the club so so badly. Disgustingly, that's really what it comes down to. Most of these reporters just want to be inside the ropeline so badly, they want to be able to say they had that beer with Hillary Clinton in a bowling alley in Scranton or whatever, that it colors their whole worldview. God forbid some important person think you're not playing for the right team!

Meanwhile, the people who don't have the resources to find out the truth and get it out in front of the public's eyes, your readers/viewers, you're supposed to be working for them — and they're not getting your help. What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Is it worth all the bloodshed and the hatred? Who are the people running this thing, what is their agenda, and is that agenda the same thing we voted for? By the severely unlikely virtue of a drunken accident we get a tiny glimpse of an answer to some of these vital questions, but instead of cheering this as a great break for our profession, a waytago moment, one so-called reputable journalist after another lines up to protest the leak and attack the reporter for doing his job. God, do you all suck!
And now the public has another reason not to trust the MSM, but the owners of the MSM have no reason to change the way they do business.

BP finally gets a clue

Since shortly after the Hayward Blowout, BP has pretty much declared the relief wells will be the "silver bullet" to end it if, or as we now know, when the other efforts fail. Well, it is now being disclosed that BP is working on a Plan B should the relief wells fail to do the job.
But BP and government officials are now talking about a long-term containment plan to pump the oil to an existing platform should the relief well effort fail. While such a failure is considered highly unlikely, the contingency plan is the latest sign that with this most vexing of engineering challenges — snuffing a gusher 5,000 feet down in the gulf — nothing is a sure thing.

Kent Wells, a BP senior vice president in charge of subsea containment and capping efforts, said Monday that the first relief well was “progressing very well” and on target to intercept the runaway well more than three miles below the surface of the gulf.

“It’s not a matter so much of if, as when,” Mr. Wells said of the effort, which will involve pumping heavy mud and cement through the relief well into the damaged well to plug the damaged well permanently.

“But we always said we wanted to have backups for backups,” he added about the contingency plan, which was first revealed by Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the national incident commander for the spill.

Experts said it was conceivable that the “kill” procedure would not be effective, particularly if only a single relief well was used and the bottom of the well bore was damaged in the initial blowout. Pumping large quantities of erosive mud into the well could even end up damaging the well further, hindering later efforts to seal it.
Just in case, you know.

Quote of the Day

We are losing our nation to lies about the necessity of war.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in his speech against continuing the Kabul Quagmire.

Deep, deep gumbo

The NY Times being a family newspaper, that is the term Bob Herbert uses to describe the status of this country and the party that is supposed to be leading it. From a missed opportunity at the beginning to a current flawed direction for the country,
We are in deep, deep gumbo.

The Obama administration feels it should get a great deal of credit for its economic stimulus efforts, its health care initiative, its financial reform legislation, its vastly increased aid to education and so forth. And maybe if we were grading papers, there would be a fair number of decent marks to be handed out.

But Americans struggling in a down economy are worried about the survival of their families. Destitution is beckoning for those whose unemployment benefits are running out, and that crowd of long-term jobless men and women is expanding rapidly.

There is a widespread feeling that only the rich and well-placed can count on Washington’s help, and that toxic sentiment is spreading like the oil stain in the gulf, with ominous implications for President Obama and his party. It’s in this atmosphere that support for the president and his agenda is sinking like a stone.

Employment is the No. 1 issue for most ordinary Americans. Their anxiety on this front only grows as they watch teachers, firefighters and police officers lining up to walk the unemployment plank as state and local governments wrestle with horrendous budget deficits.

And what do these worried Americans see the Obama administration doing? It’s doubling down on the war in Afghanistan, trying somehow to build a nation from scratch in the chaos of a combat zone.
Building "castles in Spain" or Afghanistan when we can't afford to keep people working at home is not going to impress anyone. And the worst part is that it opens the door for the return of Republican rule which is based on the idea of fucking up everything.

American Original Music Blogging

Anybody who was ever privileged to hear John Hartford play would agree that he was one of a kind.

Monday, June 28, 2010

195,000 vacuum cleaners couldn't suck as much

Arnold Fields, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction performed an audit of the Afghan army and police. Nobody involved with those doughty organizations thought they were any good, but it turns out the audit showed they were far worse than expected.
Afghanistan’s army and police are less capable than U.S. and NATO commanders have believed because the system for evaluating them is flawed, according to a Pentagon audit.

The combat capabilities of many “top-rated units” have been “overstated,” and these units haven’t shown they can operate independently in the field, said the audit report by Arnold Fields, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

The rating system since its adoption in 2005 hasn’t “provided consistent and reliable measures of progress,” the audit said. The system was replaced in April, it said.

The U.S. has spent $27 billion since 2002 for training Afghan security forces, but “what I have read in this report does not reflect $27 billion worth of investment by the American taxpayer,” Fields told reporters yesterday.

President Barack Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan is connected to the readiness of Afghanistan’s forces.
So to get the hell out of the Kabul Quagmire, we will have to rely on the readiness of security forces that we have been building up for nine years. And after nine years there are
“systemic deficiencies” in the Afghan forces, including drug abuse, illiteracy, bribes and extortion that have “undermined progress toward developing” units capable of operating independently.
Barack needs to seriously explore different criteria for leaving that shithole next summer. Getting to the moon was an easier task than making an army out of Afghans.

Feel All Right Music Blogging

Needle and Spoon

An NRA hero

From the archives of our favorite news source:
Gun owners nationwide are applauding the patriotic, though accidental, exercise of Second Amendment rights by 8-year-old Timothy Cummings Tuesday.

"Timothy is a symbol of American heroism," said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre from Cummings' bedside at Norfolk General Hospital, where the boy is in serious but stable condition from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. "While praying for his recovery, we should all thank God that his inalienable right to keep and bear arms has not been infringed."

The incident occurred shortly after Cummings returned from school and found that his parents were absent from the house. Displaying what Second Amendment-rights groups are calling "good old-fashioned American ingenuity," Cummings placed a pair of phone books on a stool to retrieve his father's loaded .38-caliber revolver from its hiding place on a closet shelf. After a preliminary backyard investigation of his constitutional rights claimed the life of Pepper, the family's cocker spaniel, Cummings fell on the weapon, causing it to discharge into his left thigh.

"The framers of the Constitution would be so proud of what my boy did yesterday," said Cummings' father Randall, 44, who originally purchased the handgun for home defense. "If 8-year-old boys discharging loaded firearms into their own legs isn't necessary to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia, I don't know what is."

The cost of cutting corners

This is something they should be teaching in bean counter school.
BP said it had spent $300 million on its Gulf of Mexico oil spill response effort in the past three days, hitting the $100 million per day spend rate for the first time and bringing its total bill to $2.65 billion so far.

The figures, which BP released in a statement today, include the cost of trying to cap the well, clean up the environmental damage caused by the leaking crude and pay compensation to those affected by the spill.
While the exact cause of The Hayward Blowout is not yet known, many educated guesses have suggested that an attempt to save $1-2 Million has resulted in costs up to $100 Million+ a day. Try justifying that risk/reward at your next managers meeting.

Why do we still support the Pashtun Al Capone?

The WaPo has another article starkly illuminating why we should just pack up our troops and equipment and bring them home now. Karzai of the Afghans has made his bed according to his lights now we should let him sleep int it.
Top officials in President Hamid Karzai's government have repeatedly derailed corruption investigations of politically connected Afghans, according to U.S. officials who have provided Afghanistan's authorities with wiretapping technology and other assistance in efforts to crack down on endemic graft.

In recent months, the U.S. officials said, Afghan prosecutors and investigators have been ordered to cross names off case files, prevent senior officials from being placed under arrest and disregard evidence against executives of a major financial firm suspected of helping the nation's elite move millions of dollars overseas.

As a result, U.S. advisers sent to Kabul by the Justice Department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration have come to see Afghanistan's corruption problem in increasingly stark terms.

"Above a certain level, people are being very well protected," said a senior U.S. official involved in the investigations.
And our dollars and our soldiers are being spent to support this criminal enterprise. This is worse than if they had died in vain.

Wasilla Winky Dink accuses Obama of selling out Israel

To which most sentient Americans are compelled to reply, "What's wrong with that"? If the choice is between US interests and Israeli interests, unlike the Alaska chillbilly most of us will choose US interests every day of the week.

SCOTUS ain't all bad

After striking down gun laws to allow criminals, thugs, morons, feeblewits and Republicans to own guns anywhere and anytime, the court managed to issue a ruling with some redeeming social value. And in doing so delivered a much needed smackdown to those "damned Christians" who think their God doesn't stink.
An ideologically split Supreme Court ruled Monday that a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join.

The court turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law.

The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle" as being inconsistent with that faith.

But Hastings said no recognized campus groups may exclude people due to religious belief or sexual orientation.

The court on a 5-4 judgment upheld the lower court rulings saying the Christian group's First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college's decision.
Now the poor little CLS can slink back into a corner and whine and cry about how their god is being victimized by others who, mirable dictu, don't believe as they do.

Damned activist judges do it again

In their latest ruling the activist conservative judges of the Dread Chief Justice Roberts court have determined that the rights of gun manufacturers to sell their product are superior to your right to determine standards of safety in your community, because what the hell do you small people know, anyway.

Cassandra Krugman restates the obvious

Because his previous statements of what will happen have made no impression on those who should understand what is happening but won't.
Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.
More and more the appellation of Cassandra fits Dr. Krugman to our enduring tragedy.

R.I.P. Robert C. Byrd

Over 51 years in the Senate you changed and grew with the country but you never forgot what the Constitution meant.

Peace is a family value

The latest Grayson ad.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Initial Music Blogging

Enjoy it darlin'!

Thanks for putting my thoughts into words

Wonkette has some thoughts on the latest excessive use of limited US healthcare by Dick "dick" Cheney. I couldn't have said it better.

h/t Suburban Guerrilla

Quote of the Day

What did middle-class families ever do to Republicans in the Senate that they would snuff out every opportunity for job creation that has been sent to them?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi questioning why the Republican Party is doing all it can to harm America.

Help out Jerome Doolittle

A consistently intelligent and erudite blogger at Bad Attitudes needs a little help for his family.

Andrew Bacevich on endless war and arrogance

The first leading to the growth of the second in the military.
Long wars are antithetical to democracy. Protracted conflict introduces toxins that inexorably corrode the values of popular government. Not least among those values is a code of military conduct that honors the principle of civilian control while keeping the officer corps free from the taint of politics. Events of the past week -- notably the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's dismissal -- hint at the toll that nearly a decade of continuous conflict has exacted on the U.S. armed forces. The fate of any one general qualifies as small beer: Wearing four stars does not signify indispensability. But indications that the military's professional ethic is eroding, evident in the disrespect for senior civilians expressed by McChrystal and his inner circle, should set off alarms.
The great evil of George W Cheney was to set up the endless war in combination with the poisonous politics of our current condition. Even if the president feels strong enough to front the military and call an end to the stupidity and waste of Iraq and Afghanistan, the hateful howling of the opposition will scare him away from the right course.

The Business of Boo, it ain't all beer and skittles.

Now that medical marijuana for profit is legal in Colorado, the New York Times has sent a crack reporter to document the blessings and travails of the new industry for the Sunday Business section. With a mixture of serious reporting and bemused tales of the DFH, he gives us a look at the entrepreneurship involved and what it comes up against.
ANYONE who thinks it would be easy to get rich selling marijuana in a state where it’s legal should spend an hour with Ravi Respeto, manager of the Farmacy, an upscale dispensary here that offers Strawberry Haze, Hawaiian Skunk and other strains of Cannabis sativa at up to $16 a gram.

She will harsh your mellow.

“No M.B.A. program could have prepared me for this experience,” she says, wearing a cream-colored smock made of hemp. “People have this misconception that you just jump into it and start making money hand over fist, and that is not the case.”

Since this place opened in January, it’s been one nerve-fraying problem after another. Pot growers, used to cash-only transactions, are shocked to be paid with checks and asked for receipts. And there are a lot of unhappy surprises, like one not long ago when the Farmacy learned that its line of pot-infused beverages could not be sold nearby in Denver. Officials there had decided that any marijuana-tinged consumables had to be produced in a kitchen in the city.

“You’d never see a law that says, ‘If you want to sell Nike shoes in San Francisco, the shoes have to be made in San Francisco,’ ” says Ms. Respeto, sitting in a tiny office on the second floor of the Farmacy. “But in this industry you get stuff like that all the time.”

One of the odder experiments in the recent history of American capitalism is unfolding here in the Rockies: the country’s first attempt at fully regulating, licensing and taxing a for-profit marijuana trade. In California, medical marijuana dispensary owners work in nonprofit collectives, but the cannabis pioneers of Colorado are free to pocket as much as they can — as long as they stay within the rules.
Funny rules aside, this is a serious business and as the reporter shows, one that can be held up as an example to other states that are considering going this route. And don't forget to tip your "budtender".

The economy is recovering, it must be stopped

This is the unspoken agenda of the G8/G20 summit talks going on in Toronto. Despite efforts by the US to have them reconsider, the majority seem determined to inflict fiscal bondage and discipline on their respective bodies politic.
Despite President Obama’s pitch at the summit meeting for developed nations here for continued stimulus measures to prevent another global economic downturn, the United States will go along with other leaders who are more concerned about rising debt and join in a commitment to cut their governments’ deficits in half by 2013, administration officials said on Saturday.

That goal is the proposal of Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada and the host of the two-day Group of 20 summit of developed nations. Mr. Harper wanted it to be part of the communiqué on global economic policy that the group adopts before concluding on Sunday, and he had the support of European leaders, including David Cameron, the new prime minister of Britain, who has proposed the most ambitious austerity plan of spending cuts and tax increases in his country in a half-century.
We can only thank our lucky stars they did not call for a restoration of the gold standard.

Popenfuhrer furious at Belgium for raids on sex offenders

And His Pradaness called for an immediate attack on Belgium by 10 divisions of the Vatican Army including panzer units.The assault was to be preceded by an airborne assault on Eben-Emael. The Popenfuhrers rage continued unabated until the Vatican zookeeper was able to place a pair of tranquilizer darts in his haunches.

Tax the poor

The latest bit of oligarchal love to come from the Republican Party Business channel, formerly known as Fox Business, was pronounced by RPBC meat puppet Cheryl Casone.
A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the gap between the richest one percent of earners in the US and the middle class has more than tripled since 1979.

But that didn't stop Fox Business host Cheryl Casone from using the report as the basis of her proposed solution to the US's mushrooming budget deficit: Increase taxes on the poor.

In a discussion on the CBO report (PDF), which showed that 40 percent of income tax filers ended up paying no federal income tax in 2007, Casone argued that fixing this "imbalance" would solve the federal debt problem.

"The fact that most [sic] Americans are not paying any income tax at the end of the day kind of shows the imbalance," Casone said on Cashin' In Saturday."What if everyone pays just a little bit -- we're out of debt in this country."
The idea that the poor pay as much or more in taxes when you include state and local taxes just went flying over her head like an F-16 on afterburners. Dear little Cheryl thoroughly embraces the idea that poor are here to make the rich richer and have been since time immoral.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blond hair, blue eyes, illegal alien

He was when he came to the US at 12 but fit in so well he soon lost his accent. And despite his best intentions, over the years he never became legal.
When he was 16, his mother married an American and Runtschke gained “conditional residency” status. Conditional residency is good for two years, and immigrants have 90 days on either side of their two-year anniversary to apply for permanent status.

After high school, Runtschke enlisted in the Army before that two-year anniversary. He spent three years on active duty and five years in the reserves. After leaving active duty in 2000, he moved to Tallahassee and worked in construction.

When he enlisted, he asked the recruiter about his immigration status — and he said the recruiter told him the Army would obtain his green card, certifying permanent residency status.

It never did — as Runtschke discovered in 2006 when he lost his wallet. When he replaced his Social Security card, he discovered he had never received permanent resident status and was no longer eligible to work in the U.S. He has survived since on odd jobs that pay in cash.

In 2009, his lawyers filed an application for permanent residency, which was denied because he had not filed in a “timely manner,” meaning in 1998 when his conditional residency expired.

His lawyers applied again, citing the fact he was on “armed conflict” status as a reserve (though he wasn’t sent to war), a condition that fast-tracks applications for citizenship. But his application was denied because he was not on active duty while on “armed conflict” status.

In February, his lawyers filed for him be naturalized as a citizen because he had lived in the U.S. the required five years. He went to Jacksonville, Fla., “aced” the citizenship test and was told he would be sworn in that day because of his military service — until the examiner realized Runtschke had never received permanent resident status and denied his application for citizenship.
His problem was believing the recruiter, because the Army says that recruiters never promise something like that, but what 17 year old kid doesn't believe the nice recruiter man. And now that 17 year old mistake is making one veterans life a misery half a lifetime later. As Axel says, “I’m American. I breathe American, I feel American. I want to say I served my country, not your country.”

Lobbyists getting down to productive work

On influencing the Frank-ly-A-Dudd bill, where they have the least exposure to the public and the most influence on people who want a job after they leave government, the regulations that have to be drawn up to make the law work.
The bill, completed early Friday and expected to come up for a final vote this week, is basically a 2,000-page missive to federal agencies, instructing regulators to address subjects ranging from derivatives trading to document retention. But it is notably short on specifics, giving regulators significant power to determine its impact — and giving partisans on both sides a second chance to influence the outcome.

The much-debated prohibition on banks investing their own money, for example, leaves it up to regulators to set the exact boundaries. Lobbyists for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and other large banks already are pressing to exclude some kinds of lucrative trading from that definition.

Regulators are charged with deciding how much money banks have to set aside against unexpected losses, so the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents large financial companies, and other banking groups have been making a case to the regulators that squeezing too hard would hurt the economy.

Consumer groups, meanwhile, are mobilizing to make sure that regulators deliver on promised protections for borrowers and investors. They worry that the shift from Capitol Hill to the offices of regulators could put the groups at a disadvantage.

“It’s out of the public eye, so a natural advantage that we benefit from — public outrage — we lose that a little,” said Cristina Martin Firvida, a lobbyist for AARP, which advocates for older Americans. “We know there’s still a lot here left to do.”
So even what looks really good in the bill that came out of committee can end up as a massive WTF after the experts, bean counters and lawyers get done with it. Especially the lawyers.
One clear consequence is a surge in the demand for lawyers with expertise in financial regulation, particularly those who have worked for regulatory agencies. Most of the major trade groups are hiring lawyers. The major banks say they are employing more, too.

The surge in hiring has sent a joke bouncing around Washington: Congress finally passed a jobs bill — full employment for lawyers.

Frank Rich in a nutshell

After President Obama and his staff finally threw the McChrystal in the fireplace, long after the glasses were empty, they turned to polishing the turd that is Afghanistan. They are still trying to buff up a turd that is too fresh to take a shine.

Send this to your friends in Maine

Saturday Afternoon Music Blogging

Dance among yourselves.

Your Moment of Good News

BP said in a statement today the first of two relief wells had successfully detected the MC252 well and would continue to a target intercept depth of 18,000 feet, when "kill" operations would begin, reported Reuters.
Still a ways to go but things are on track.

Three strikes and you are out

Now that corporations have the same rights as persons, they should be subject to the same responsibilities/liabilities. The case against BP is an excellent opportunity to apply the 3 strikes rule against a serial offender.
The federal government should consider barring oil giant BP from drilling on federal land or holding onto its existing leases, says a recently retired federal attorney who spent years dogging BP's operations in Alaska.

"There comes a point in time where we say enough is enough," said Jeanne Pascal, who worked for 18 years as a Seattle-based attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency. "Because BP has definitely turned into a major serial environmental criminal."

Pascal said that BP has been convicted of environmental violations three times since 2000 — twice in Alaska — and that the April 20 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico that sparked what President Barack Obama calls the biggest environmental disaster in the nation's history fits a pattern of behavior. She said BP got off too easy when it was allowed to plead guilty in 2007 to a misdemeanor for a record North Slope spill in 2006. No individual was charged.

Scott West agrees. He was the EPA special agent in charge of the criminal investigation division in Seattle that investigated BP Alaska's operations.
If you can throw a guy in jail for life because he steals some shampoo, imagine what BP should get for fucking up the Gulf of Mexico, even if it will be overturned by the Supreme Court.

Verizon, best network & worst customer service

And once again they prove how true this is.
Michaela Brummund's husband, a marine, was killed in Afghanistan by an IED.

Following his death, the young widow decided to move home to Copperopolis, a small California town with a population of just over 2,000, in order to be closer to her family and grieve.

Verizon, however, does not offer cell phone service in the town. Brummund called the phone company to cancel her service, and they hit her with a $350 early termination fee for ending her contract before expired--despite Brummund "being a widow and Verizon not living up to its contractual obligations to provide actual cellphone coverage," as the Consumerist notes.
When it gets to the Supreme Court, Verizon will be exonerated.

One of these days

Dicky's ticker will get tired of pumping that bilious sludge that animates Dick Cheney and the world will be rid of one source of great evil. But not yet.

If only someone would step on his oxygen line and Tase him.

There is no honor in pissing into the wind.

We have a new general in The Kabool Quagmire in support of the same old policy that wasn't working before. But it should work this time because the new guy in charge wrote the policy, right? No, totally and completely wrong. We are half fighting a war in supports of those who don't want us. Our leadership seems determined to waste hundreds of lives and $Billions of dollars chasing a chimera of nationhood for a scrum of quarrelsome tribes. Or as Bob Herbert puts it,
We are sinking more and more deeply into the fetid quagmire of Afghanistan and neither the president nor General Petraeus nor anyone else has the slightest clue about how to get out. The counterinsurgency zealots in the military want more troops sent to Afghanistan, and they want the president to completely scrap his already shaky July 2011 timetable for the beginning of a withdrawal.

We’re like a compulsive gambler plunging ever more deeply into debt in order to wager on a rigged game. There is no victory to be had in Afghanistan, only grief. We’re bulldozing Detroit while at the same time trying to establish model metropolises in Kabul and Kandahar. We’re spending endless billions on this wretched war but can’t extend the unemployment benefits of Americans suffering from the wretched economy here at home.

The difference between this and a nightmare is that when you wake up from a nightmare it’s over. This is all too tragically real.
We have all gone through the looking glass.

Sick, sick, sick

It is an sad fact that among the many hardworking caregivers for the disabled are some bad apples who use their position for the worst. One of the bad apples was working as an aide in Santa Ana when he molested a 17 year old CP student. Instead of cleaning house to insure the well being of all their special students, the school district first tried to hush up the incident. Now that the aide has pleaded guilty, the parents are suing the Santa Ana Unified School District, the school district is going on the offense.
In a filing with the Orange County Superior Court, the attorneys claim that the wheelchair-bound girl "chose to encounter the known risk" of being alone with Gonzalez, that she "consented to" him lifting up her shirt, and that her injuries were the result of her having "failed to use due and reasonable care for her own safety and protection."

They also charge her parents with having "negligently, carelessly and recklessly supervised, monitored, controlled and instructed the minor plaintiff so as to legally cause and contribute to her injuries and damages, if any."
Considering the fact that the victim is described as having "the mental capacity of a seven-year-old and is confined to a wheelchair" and is unable to speak, it should be clear to the parents and citizens that the Santa Ana Unified School District needs a thorough house cleaning. Perhaps the OC Weekly best summed it up when they wrote,
Since when did the Santa Ana Unified School District take its directions toward sex abuse from the Diocese of Orange?

Friday, June 25, 2010

A tropical storm may mean 7-10 days of uncontrolled oil spill

Spewing into the Gulf because the ships involved in the current recovery operations would have to shut down ahead of the storm and take some time after to re-establish operation. And that assumes there is no storm damage. From The Oil Drum:
Hurricanes disrupt Oil/Gas production in two key ways: evacuation and actual damage. Offshore assets must be evacuated well in advance of an incoming storm. Precautionary shut-downs are made to prevent spills in the event platforms, rigs, and undersea pipelines are damaged. Thus, even if a storm completely misses the offshore assets, a storm in the Gulf can cause the loss of 3-5 days of production as crews shut down, evacuate, return, and restore production. Admiral Allen noted in a press conference today they would need to start shutting down the Deepwater Horizon operation 5 days before 34kt winds arrived, and it could take two weeks to resume operations. That seems excessive to me - 3 days evacuation, and 5-7 for recovery seems more in line with historical disruptions, but given the complexity and ad hoc nature of the response equipment may well be true. If 5 days to evacuate number is accurate, this is a serious problem, since 5 day forecasts are notoriously unreliable and have a "cone of uncertainty" of over 300 nautical miles. AL93 is already less they 4 days out, according to some models.
And this is what to expect with every storm until the relief wells succeed in killing the well.

Your Two Minute Ed

Ed explains why not voting is not an option in November.

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Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan gives a wake up call to the people of Massachusetts about what their 2 Year Senator is up to.

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As if his vote against the unemployment bill wasn't enough.

The BP “I Hate to Clean Up” Cookbook

Patricia Marx, writing in the New Yorker magazine has a sampling of recipes from the above mentioned cookbook. She has done the public a great service, what cook could live without a recipe like this in their arsenal?
Blackened Prawns

This is such a favorite with the guys on the rigs that the running joke is that our company was named after the dish! Believe me, you won’t have leftovers (but, if you do, they’ll last and last).


Prawns. If prawns are extinct, use chicken drumettes.

Enough finely chopped garlic to overcome aroma

1. Coat prawns with garlic. If necessary, use glue gun.

2. Broil. Watch for flareups.

Tip from Chef Tony: Cooking is like playing jazz—there’s no such thing as a mistake.
Bon appetit!

Texas Rep puts the Dumb and the Ass in Dumbass

That Texas Rep being the one and hopefully the only Louie "The Goober" Gohmert. Having gone to great pains to put into the Congressional Record his belief that Barack Obama is worse than Adolf Hitler,Louie has gone on to top himself.
I talked to a retired FBI agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system. And it appeared they would have young women, who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby," said Gohmert. "They wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby. And then they would turn back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. And then one day, twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life. 'Cause they figured out how stupid we are being in this country to allow our enemies to game our system, hurt our economy, get set up in a position to destroy our way of life.
Sorry Louie, the Kenyans thought of that first and their guy is the president now. Please do us a favor Louie and go back to beating your wife and kids.

Apparently Louie wasn't theonly Republican to stretch the bounds of mental health as TPM points out here and here.

Dang, even the Wasilla Winky Dink, Aimee Semple McPalin is doing it

Tom Toles Today

After taking some time off in Europe

Paul Krugman is taking some time off from making the case against the deficit hawks who want to restart the depression to make a case against China and its currency manipulation. The column today is only for purposes of illustration.

Rand Paul knows how to stop illegal beaners

Just build a fence, underground and electrified, with helicopter stations spaced along the way to provide a quick response. I can only imagine that the underground part is to prevent government interference with all Americans right to wander into Mexico if they wish. Or maybe the self certifying doctor is just the biggest fool to come out of Kentucky since Jim Bunning.

R.I.P. Prescott Bush Jr.

Scion of the only US Senator to support Nazi Germany after war was declared. Brother of one president and uncle of a pretender to that office. In your favor, you did not pretend to be a Texican.

Yoo attacks Kagan

Because she admires a judge whose rulings favor people over states and corporations. Actually it is not even his thought but a rehash of a Borkism. But probably more to the point, why would anybody care what a semi literate legal hack like John Yoo thinks. The fact that he believes torture is legal renders moot anything he calls an idea.

Republican Party authorizes new billboard campaign.

June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Step 1 Blow up mine, kill workers...Step 3 Make profit

Massey Energy, in an effort to show the underpants gnomes how it should be done, has figured out what Step 2 should be. Having achieved Step 1 by failing to have adequate mine ventilation, Massey Energy has decided that Step 2 is to take MSHA to court.
Massey Energy claims in a federal lawsuit that it should be able to ventilate its underground mines as it sees fit unless the Mine Safety and Health Administration can prove the company is endangering miners' health and safety.
That coal business must be tougher than hell if 29 dead miners is not considered "endangering miners' health and safety".

Your Two Minute Ed

Ed just learned that the GOP has continued their efforts to crash the economy and he is really fired up!

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Crossing the Border

Yesterday Canada gave us an earthquake so today I thought I would highlight one of their more attractive exports.

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan talks about FinReg and the Banksters

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Republicans actively working to damage the economy

Their purpose is simple, an improving economy works in favor of Democrats and a failing economy works in favor of Republicans. Joan McCarter, in her diary at the Daily Kos explains:
This morning Steve Benen speculated that Republicans were blocking the tax extenders/jobs/unemployment insurance bill in order to wreck the economy to try to boost their chances at the ballot box in November.

In a conference call with reporters today, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) accused them of doing just that. She explained that, after spending "days and days and days, and weeks and weeks and weeks" to get just one Republican to join with Dems in passing the legislation, "it's very clear that the Republicans in the Senate want this economy to fail. They see that things are things are beginning to turn around.... We're gaining jobs, not as much as we need, but thing are beginning to move in the right direction.... In cynical political terms it doesn’t serve them in terms of their elections if things are beginning to turn around."

She continued, "In addition to just taking a general position of 'no' to everything, they are protecting wealthy investors, corporations that are sending jobs overseas, and oil companies," because in addition to extending unemployment benefits and providing aid to states for Medicaid and other programs, it has provisions that tax investors, ends tax incentives for corporations that outsource jobs overseas, and raises the fee oil companies are charged for the oil spill liability fund from $.08/barrel to $0.49.

She also complained about the moving target that meeting Republican concerns has become. When asked what happens if the cloture vote fails, she said "We'll put it temporarily aside. We don't have any other choice. We've met every objection on the other side and every time we've done that they've changed the concerns." She said that, specifically Sen. Snow has had "numerous issues," that she insisted be addressed, and that "they keep changing" as Dems try to answer them. It's cruel, legislative whack-a-mole.
And most voters will probably never hear that the Republicans are responsible for their economic distress. Fux News and the other parts of the right wing noise machine will repeat the lie that it is the Democrats fault and the rest of MSM is too cowardly to point out the truth that the Republicans are the ones filibustering any effort to help Americans in need.

And let us not forget the happy assistance the GOP gets from Ben Nelson and Judas Joe Liebermann.

The latest from the DNC

Just in case you forgot who Republicans really like.

CIA gives $100 Million contract to criminal mercenary corporation

Formerly known as Blackwater. This is in addition to the $120 Million contract given by the State Dept. Both contracts beg the question, Why is Blackwater still allowed to bid for contracts?

Congratulations to John Isner

For winning the longest tennis match in history. And congratulations to Nicholas Mahut for being in his game until the end. Someone had to win, but it is hard to say anyone lost in the end.

Colbert has faith in The Beckerhead

Because there are never any facts to back up what he says.

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Jon Stewart minds the media

Because they are too busy preening to pay attention to what is happening.

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A righteous lawsuit

From Raw Story:
A Texas man has sued his local police department, saying he was arrested for taking a picture of a police officer when the officer entered his home without permission.

According to the lawsuit (PDF), Sgt. Justin Alderete of the Sealy, Texas, police department arrived at the home of Francisco Olvera in October, 2009, apparently responding to a noise complaint. Olvera had been playing music on his computer speakers while working outside on his patio.

The sergeant asked Olvera for identification. When Olvera went inside his home to grab his ID, Sgt. Alderete followed him inside. Believing the officer didn't have a right to enter his home without permission, Olvera picked up his cellphone and took a photo of the officer. At that point, the lawsuit states, Alderete accused Olvera of "illegal photography" and arrested him.

Olvera was charged with "loud music" and "public intoxication" -- the officer had seen a beer can on the kitchen table, the lawsuit asserts.

In January, Olvera was acquitted of all charges.
Details of the case indicate that Mr. Olvera was arrested for "being Mexican in his own home". We hope his settlement is large enough that he can hire ex-Sgt. Alderete as his gardener.

Bernie Sanders loves America

And any Americans that truly love their country should love and support his efforts to make this a better place.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is sick of the super-rich avoiding estate taxes.

On Thursday, he made good on his word: he today introduced legislation to restore the estate tax on the wealthiest Americans, which he says would bring in at least $264 billion in the next ten years to help reduce the national debt.

“This legislation would ensure that the wealthiest Americans in our country, millionaires and billionaires, pay their fair share while exempting 99.7 percent of Americans from paying any estate tax whatsoever,” Sanders said in a release. “At a time when we have a record-breaking $13 trillion national debt and a growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, people who inherit multi-million and billion dollar estates must not be allowed to avoid paying their fair share in estate taxes."
We will now see the spectacle of all the Republicans and too many Democrats opposing this bill so their rich friends won't have their feelings hurt. Contact your Senator to support this most America friendly bill.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What does Wall St do with $500 Billion

If you thought something like invest in American business go to the back of the room and play with yourself. The NY Times has a look at the plight of the poor private equity companies, floating on an ocean of cash and they can't find anyplace to put it.
Corporate buyout specialists generally raise money from big investors and then buy undervalued or underappreciated companies. To maximize investment returns, they typically leverage their cash with loans from banks or bond investors.

In recent years, private investment firms have amassed business empires rivaling the mightiest public corporations, buying up household names like Hilton Hotels, Dunkin’ Donuts and Neiman Marcus.

Critics contend that leveraged buyouts can saddle takeover targets with dangerous levels of debt. But unlike indebted homeowners, highly leveraged companies under the care of private equity have so far dodged the big bust many have predicted. After an unprecedented burst of buyouts during the boom leading up to 2008, a vast majority of these companies are hanging on. Whether they will avoid a reckoning is uncertain.
That reckoning usually means going public with a company that has been sucked dry or a bustout in bankruptcy court.

Congratulations to Julia Gillard

Australia's first woman prime minister, replacing the increasingly unpopular Kevin Rudd. She has been a part of Mr Rudd's administration since Labour won in 2007. An administration that avoided most of the Bush Depression by stimulus spending. As one of her first official duties will be attending the G-20 conference in Toronto, it will be interesting to see how she explains that to all those deficit hawks.

Your Dylan Dally Moment

With the latest look at Wall St (de)regulation.

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Junior Varsity Quote of the Day

From everybody's favorite minor league pundit
in two years the national debt will be 100% of GDP and that's unsustainable...There aren't enough rich people in this country to pay down the debt to the extent is needs to be paid down.
Tucker Carlson, the man who put the nit in nitwit, failing to note the redistribution of wealth in this country.

Lotta Republicans gonna get their pee-pee's whacked

From Talking Points Memo:
Last night, TPMDC asked three separate House Republicans how they'd respond to Limbaugh, who's aggressively taken Barton's side in the BP flap. They all dismissed the conservative talk-show host out of hand.

NRCC Chair Pete Sessions brushed aside Limbaugh's and King's comments. "Those talk show hosts have hours to dissect it. I don't," Sessions said. "I would have said things differently [than Barton]."

What about Steve King? "I think everybody's entitled to their opinion, just like Rush Limbaugh," Sessions said.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was more aggressive.

"I don't listen to Rush. He still thinks we [members of Congress] don't pay into Social Security," Issa said. "I don't listen to talk radio. I don't have the time."

"The reality is that Mr. Limbaugh, whether you like him or not, has nothing to do with this oil well being plugged or not. Has nothing to do with the skimmers being allowed or not. Has nothing to do with the lack of action," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Limbaugh's home state of Florida, whose district borders the Gulf. "...that's the issue, not what Rush Limbaugh has to say."
Rush gonna be mad. You don't want The Talking Pig mad at you.

5.0 Music Blogging

In honor of our little tremblor.

Whoo Hoo!

The West Coast of New York just got a little more like its big brother out there on the other side of the country. We had a modest earthquake that shook things up from Lewiston to Springville. My first thought was a heavy truck driving by then I realized where I was and said oh shit. But thankfully, it wasn't big enough to make real trouble.

McChrystal gets the axe

President Obama says he served his country well but he fucked up big time and General Petraeus will replace him. And then the Big Fool said we will push on in the Kabul Quagmire.

Tom Toles & Pat Oliphant

click pic to big

MoDo sums it up very nicely

If you just woke up and haven't cruised your news sources, or even if you have, Ms. Dowd has taken all the elements of the McChrystal meltdown and distilled it into a column that is easy to understand.
So this general with the background in intelligence who is supposed to conquer Afghanistan can’t even figure out what Rolling Stone is? We’re not talking Guns & Ammo here; we’re talking the antiwar hippie magazine.

Military guys are rarely as smart as they think they are, and they’ve never gotten over the fact that civilians run the military.
McChrystal should be fired, resignation is for honorable men.

Quote of the Day

The notion that you're going to cut off somebody's unemployment insurance and have them go out and find a job is just plain nuts.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) speaking out against continuing Republican efforts to damage the recovery.

That sweet Afghani heroin

Colbert explains McChrystal as only he can do.

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All sports suffer from shitty officials

But the US World Cup team looked about to be snakebit by that for the second game in a row. In the game against Slovenia, the referee pulled a foul out of his ass to disallow the winning goal for the US. Today another US goal was disallowed on a chimerical offside. The US team did not help themselves by missing several "gimmes" on goal. Fortunately they were able to shutout Algeria as they waited until stoppage time to finally score a goal that would stand.

The US and England are moving on to the next round.

Cops need Taser to subdue naked woman

A woman was undergoing a mental evaluation Tuesday after police say she stole two vehicles, including a police cruiser, and led officers on a chase through two Salt Lake City suburbs — all while naked.

Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said doctors do not believe drugs or alcohol led to the woman's erratic behavior, which also included running through sage brush.

The chase finally ended when she was subdued with a stun gun after climbing a chain-link fence.
What are they teaching them in the police academy that they can't subdue a naked woman?

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