Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Glen Beck has trouble going to the movies.

The spewer of hate and self righteousness decided to take in a little of that decadent New York socialism by going to a movie on the lawn in Bryant Park. The little shit was recognized and discovered that just because he broadcasts from New York, New Yorkers don't have to like him. Poor dear thought the crowd might string him up, but nobody had any string.

Best comment on Wonkette:
welcome to the big apple, ya fuckin' fuck

So far, we've got pocket change

Cenk rants about the President's "strategy" and Obama's upcoming cave in to the Republican/Teabaggers on the budget.

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To help fight the lies

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Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy thinks Medicaid is OK

When it makes payments to her her husbands "clinic". And her husbands "clinic" is OK because it cures people of "teh gay". Praise Jeebus. Just like her family's farm subsidies, it's OK if it goes to someone deserving, like her family.

Give a little, get a little.

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

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False records for the inspectors

No wonder Bloody Don Blankenship "retired" and Massey Energy sold itself for what it could get.
Coal company managers pressured miners to generate a second set of reports omitting chronic safety problems to mislead inspectors before an underground explosion killed 29 men last year, federal regulators said Tuesday.

Kevin Stricklin, coal administrator for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said top management at the Upper Big Branch mine was required to countersign safety inspection books that collect miners' daily reports on conditions. The mine was owned by Massey Energy until Alpha Natural Resources bought its rival this month.

"The investigation team concluded that the managers were aware that chronic hazardous conditions were not recorded," he said during a briefing on the federal investigation. Testimony from some of the 266 witnesses MSHA has interviewed also "indicated that management pressured examiners to not record hazards in the books."

Federal investigators first revealed they had found two sets of books — one focused on safety, the other on production — during a private meeting with the victims' families Tuesday night.
False reports cost 29 miners their real lives. Somebody important needs to be in jail.

A $2.8 Billion BJ

BJ's Wholesale has sold itself to a couple of private equity firms for $2.8 Billion. If BJ's management could not keep Wall St. happy, expect the worst in its future. Private equity will accept nothing less than their anticipated return, if that means pillaging the company assets, so be it.

Obama running for re-election as a Republican

How else do you explain his willingness to assist the Republicans in dismantling Medicare and allowing the continuing attack on Social Security. Watching the action in DC is like being tied up and watching the thieves steal everything of value that you ever worked for.

NY Town Clerk says she won't sign marriage license for gay couples.

75 year old Barbara MacEwan of Volney, NY has stated that her beliefs won't let her. Apparently the old dotard has confused her civil functions with her religious bigotry. Time for her to retire.

Let's see if the Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy can top this

A Billion here, a Billion there

And soon it adds up to real money. And some people are calculating the real cost of George W Bush's shitty little personal war in Iraq and the shitty little war in Afghanistan that George started and Barack now owns.
When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America's wars.

Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.S. Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. (

In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.

Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due and many billions more in expenses that cannot be counted, according to the study.
And there was one other count that never seems to fit in the calculations of really important people when they start wars.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan has Bernie, 'nuff said. Go sign his letter to Obama.

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Bernie was on Cenk's show, too.

Why the United States of America is Fucked

Steve Benen has a post on the Washington Monthly site about Sen. Bernie "The Mensch" Sanders debt and budget proposal. In doing so he puts it in the context of Inside the Beltway "Thinking".
Sanders believes, if there’s going to be a debt-reduction plan, half the savings should come from taxes and half from spending cuts. And some of those cuts should come from the massive defense budget. If you put this to a poll, I imagine a large chunk of the public would consider this pretty reasonable.

With that in mind, think about how ridiculously skewed the debate has become: Sanders’ blueprint is considered so incredibly radical, it’s not even a remote possibility. The Washington Post mentioned in passing this morning that Sanders’ approach simply has “no chance of passing.”

We have a Democratic Senate and a Republican House, but the notion of an equitable, 50-50 split is thought of as fanciful nonsense backed only by liberal extremists. When Republicans demand a 100-0 split in their favor, meanwhile, and failure to do so will mean they cause a recession on purpose, this is somehow just routine and predictable.
After a while even Good Germans accepted the presence of the camps in their communities.

The Oracle of The Chin has spoken

Let all who hear tremble and obey.

From the pen of Tom Toles.

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Judge explains why Bernie Madoff got 150 years

Mostly it was because the judge believed that Barnie deserved a symbolically long sentence "Cuz he's a mean motah scootah and a bad go-gettah"*. This would be a fair sentence if Jaime Dimon were next in the dock. If Bernie is the only one to get such a sentence, then he and his lawyer are right, it would be unfair.

*apologies to the Hollywood Argylls

Bernie Sanders has a letter for Obama

You can read the letter and add your name here.

Stop the terrorists now

What Are You Waiting For? from Fix Gun Checks on Vimeo.

History's worst enemy

That would be Michelle Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy. In her brief period on the national political stage, she has never met a historical moment of fact that she has not mangled and rended limb from limb in her attempt to impress the Bat Shit Crazies. This morning she did it again with George Snuffleupogus who was trying to give her a chance to correct her mistake.

Michelle Bachmann prepares to brutalize another great moment in history

Tueday is Bluesday

Live 1965 At American Folk Blues Festival

h/t 000neutron000

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yes, I know it came last week

But you can't celebrate its coming too much.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk looks at Michelle the Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy with Dana Milbank and Michelle Goldberg.

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Yikes! What spirit inhabits Michelle Bachmann?

In kicking off her presidential campaign, Michelle the Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy said,
But what I want them to know, just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that's the kind of spirit that I have, too.
But Marion Morrison who became John Wayne was born in another Iowa town 120 miles away. The only famous John Wayne from Waterloo was John Wayne Gacy, serial killer. I guess that his spirit would be such that you would expect the Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy to embrace.

Leonard Pitts explains what taxes really do for me and you

And I agree with him 100% which is why I am posting the column in its entirety.
I pay my taxes.

I will not offend your intelligence by pretending to enjoy it; writing that check is about as enjoyable as a chainsaw root canal. But I don’t resent it, either.

I pay my taxes because this is how we the people pay for things we deem to be in our communal interest. This is how our military is sustained. This is how our children are educated. This is how our potholes are filled. This is how our libraries are stocked. This is how our police officers are supplied. This is how we take care of us. So I pay my taxes.

It is because I do, that I was appalled by the story of James Verone. He is a 59-year-old man from Gastonia, N.C. Drove a Coca-Cola delivery truck for 17 years until he lost his job three years ago. He got another job driving a truck, but that job went away, too. So Verone took part-time work at a convenience store, only to find himself physically unable to do it. Verone has a bad back, a problem with his left foot that causes him to limp, arthritis that swells his knuckles and carpal tunnel syndrome. He could not stand behind the register, bend to reach the low shelves, lift things to the high ones

And he had no medical insurance. Then, to make matters worse, he found a lump on his chest. Desperate, Verone considered his options. He filed for disability and early Social Security, but did not qualify. Meanwhile, his savings were running out like sand through an hour glass. He considered a homeless shelter. He considered asking for charity. “The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he told a reporter from the Gaston Gazette, upon whose story this account is based. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”

That’s when Verone turned to crime. On the 9th of this month, he walked into a randomly-chosen bank and passed a teller a note demanding one dollar and medical attention. He never showed a weapon, stood there while she called police, waited on a couch in the lobby for them to arrive, surrendered quietly. He went to jail, where he now has shelter, food and, yes, medical care.

I am not here to lionize Verone. His stunt could have gotten someone hurt. Indeed, the teller was taken to the hospital because her blood pressure spiked.

No, I don’t lionize him. But I do empathize.

I pay my taxes. I consider it a patriotic obligation — a sacrifice for the greater we.

But that is not how it is seen by the anti-government forces who have dominated political debate in recent years. To hear them tell it, to pay taxes is to be robbed. And every federal program our taxes support is wasteful and unnecessary, except, of course, those that directly benefit the complainer himself.

During the healthcare debate, we kept hearing that a government-run system amounted to “socialized medicine,” as if Marx would be your triage nurse and Lenin your doctor. As if, by that definition, our government-run libraries, police forces, schools and garbage pickup were not also “socialized.” As if it’s Aetna that really has your interests at heart.

If healthcare were “socialized,” a law-abiding working man would not have felt driven to this extreme. A great nation has a moral obligation to provide a safety net, to care for the most broken and vulnerable of its people.

I pay my taxes. That’s one reason I do.

So easy, even a Teabagger can understand it

From the pen of Tom Toles

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Public funds are not free speech but private funds are.

The Supreme Court has spoken again. The latest ruling is that public funding of candidates is not a mechanism of free speech but if you have oodles of private boodle you can say whatever you want without hindrance of that evil public money.
The vote was again 5-to-4, with the same five justices in the majority as in the Citizens United decision. The majority’s rationale was that the law violated the First Amendment rights of candidates who raise private money. Such candidates, the majority said, may be reluctant to spend money to speak if they know that it will give rise to counter-speech paid for by the government.

“Laws like Arizona’s matching funds provision that inhibit robust and wide-open political debate without sufficient justification cannot stand,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. Justice Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the majority opinion.
According to the Dread Chief Justice Roberts, if a preponderance of private money is not allowed to overwhelm the voices of others not so fortunate we will never have robust and wide-open political debate. Which makes sense, in a Heritage Foundation kind of way.

God didn't really tell Michell Bachmann to run

Because it would be very hard to support "intelligent" design if God actually gave the Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy the go ahead to enter the race for president. No, what he did was sort of give her a noodge. Or as she describes it, he reached inside her dress and, in His Godly way, tickled her heart. Now it all makes sense.

Mitch the Chin flaps out a warning to Obama

Following orders from his paymasters, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch the Chin McConnell warned Obama about trying to get anything positive from Republican/Teabaggers in the upcoming budget negotiations. Mr. Obama should never forget that the Republican/Teabaggers are committed to bringing down the economy and, hopefully the country, to damage him. Included in the awe inspiring warning was the usual toothless old Republican saw about taxing the "job creators".

When are the Democrats going to point out the "job creators" have failed to hold up their end of the bargain for the last 10 years. It is time to ask the Republican/Teabaggers how long they are going to reinforce failure?

Mittens hangs out with his own kind

From Reuters:
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney takes his fund-raising machine to London next month, holding a reception aimed at wealthy American expatriates working at banks and hedge funds.

A handful of London fund-raisers were held during the 2008 presidential election cycle, but Romney's event, scheduled for July 6, will be the earliest ever of its kind.

The reception will be held at Dartmouth House, an opulent mansion in the heart of Mayfair that is often used for weddings and conferences.

The suggested contribution to the "Romney for President" campaign is $2,500, according to an invitation seen by Reuters. Under U.S. law, only American citizens and green card holders can contribute.
Mitten's boys will probably be handing out green cards like a fruit pickers hiring hall.

We have some curious priorities

As reported yesterday, the US is paying more than $20 Billion a year to air condition troops tents in Afghanistan. These troops are there to kill Afghans in support of a corrupt government that is robbing us blind every chance they get. And the amount spent is more than the entire budget of NASA.

Today the Asteroid Watch at NASA informed us that an asteroid the size of a bus will miss the earth, and presumably the space station and other satellites, by a distance of 7500 miles. Pretty damn close in space terms.

Fortunately we can continue to short change NASA and keep killing Afghans until 2022 when the asteroid will probably strike the earth on its next try. Some things are just more important.

A little Austin fun time

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What part of, You're not wanted here, does the Pentagon not get.

The last 50,000 US troops in Iraq had a rough month in June. It seems that some segments of Iraq society have taken to shooting at them again. This has led to the highest number of troop deaths since 2009.
Two American soldiers were killed Sunday in Iraq, the military command said, making June the worst month in combat-related fatalities for United States forces in Iraq in more than two years. The casualties also reflected the dangers ahead as the United States prepares to withdraw all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

The June total of so-called hostile-related deaths of American soldiers is now 11, the most since May 2009, when 12 were killed, according to, an online database that tracks the deaths of foreign forces in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In a statement issued Sunday night, the American military said the two soldiers were killed “conducting operations” in the north. It did not elaborate, but that terminology is usually meant to indicate the deaths were caused by enemy attack. In the deadliest single-day death toll since 2009, five soldiers were killed June 5 when a rocket struck Victory Base Complex, the military’s base near the Baghdad airport. A sixth later died of his wounds.

Many of the remaining American military bases in Iraq, particularly in the Shiite-dominated south, have faced an increasing number of rocket and mortar attacks. Officially, the United States is now in an advisory role to the Iraqi military — last year President Obama declared the official end of combat operations — which means United States forces are restricted from acting unilaterally. This has increased frustrations among the American military command, which believes the Iraqi government is reluctant to attack Shiite militias, many backed by Iran and some linked to political parties here, that are carrying out the attacks against Americans.
Iraq is neither a US state nor an Imperial appendage. There is no valid reason for lingering there. Any loss of life now is a wasted life that serves no purpose. We should pack it up and leave now.

Mr & Mrs Michelle Bachmann suckled at the public tit

But just as Mittens did with his healthcare plan and T-Paw did with reality, now that she is a presidential candidate she has to distance herself from from that profitable experience.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota and "tea party" favorite, portrayed herself as a fiscal conservative while also benefiting from government funds and federal farm subsidies. An examination of her record and finances showed that a counseling clinic run by her husband received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, with part of the money coming from the federal government. And a family farm in Wisconsin, where she is listed as a partner, received some $260,000 in federal subsidies.
She does this by denying that money is fungible.
But asked about the issue on "Fox News Sunday," she insisted that she and her husband had not benefited at the expense of federal and state taxpayers.

"First of all," she said, "the money that went to the clinic was actually training money for employees. The clinic did not get the money. And my husband and I did not get the money either. That's mental health training money that went to employees."
And in the more usual Republican/Teabagger fashion, out right lying.
As for the farm, she said it belonged to her father-in-law. "It's not my husband and my farm," Bachmann said. "And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm."

As the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday, however, in financial disclosure forms, Bachmann reported receiving between $32,503 and $105,000 in income from the farm, at minimum, between 2006 and 2009.
Because Michelle Bachmann is a true blue Teabagger, opposed to any government handout to you because it might take away from her handout.

The State of the Art

From the pen of Jim Morin

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The Sayings of Chairman Michelle

Some more words of wisdom from the Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy.
Rep. Michele Bachmann boasted of having a "titanium spine" in an interview broadcast Sunday, the day before she formally enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
Funny how she failed to note the titanium spine was needed to support the cement head.

Happy Birthday Derek Jeter

And that nice New York Times has done a whole Sunday Magazine article on how old baseball players get around the reality of natural decay. Don't feel bad Derek, you are only 37.

Fracking gas may be another bubble

Partly because there is too much money sloshing about looking for a home and partly because the glowing estimates of the return on fracked shale wells are proving to be overblown.
Natural gas companies have been placing enormous bets on the wells they are drilling, saying they will deliver big profits and provide a vast new source of energy for the United States.

But the gas may not be as easy and cheap to extract from shale formations deep underground as the companies are saying, according to hundreds of industry e-mails and internal documents and an analysis of data from thousands of wells.

In the e-mails, energy executives, industry lawyers, state geologists and market analysts voice skepticism about lofty forecasts and question whether companies are intentionally, and even illegally, overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves. Many of these e-mails also suggest a view that is in stark contrast to more bullish public comments made by the industry, in much the same way that insiders have raised doubts about previous financial bubbles.

“Money is pouring in” from investors even though shale gas is “inherently unprofitable,” an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company, wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. “Reminds you of dot-coms.”
Worse than dot-coms, because dot-coms never poisoned anybody's drinking water. But in the end it it just another oversold and under-delivered investment play that enriches the first wave of players and suckers the rest.

Expensive, yes; but uncomfortable, no.

We know the shitty little war in Afghanistan is costing us at least $120 Billion a year. We have also been told that it costs $1 Million per soldier per year. NPR has now given us a peek at how some of those costs break out.
The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.

That's more than NASA's budget. It's more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It's what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.

"When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we're talking over $20 billion," Steven Anderson tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin. Anderson is a retired brigadier general who served as Gen. David Patreaus' chief logistician in Iraq.
Time to bring them all home.

News Flash!!!

Newt Gingrich is still alive. He is still talking trash, he is still fat and he still has no chance of becoming president.

Prosser denies he choked the bitch

But he stopped short of saying she deserved it, this time. His buddies are spinning hard on this, in effect saying Justice Bradley threw her neck into his hands. Justice Bradley will be filing a formal complaint against the vicious old fart. Given Prosser's violent past, he will be starting out in the hole in any investigation.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saved by the feud?

The withdrawal agreement that currently calls for all the US troops to be out of Iraq by the end of the year has a clause. This clause, which you can call the Imperial Clause, says that if the Iraqis ask us we can leave an Imperial outpost behind at the end of the year. The warmongers in the Pentagon have been pushing hard for the Iraqis to do just that. Sadly for them, the Iraqis are making that less and less likely by their internal politics.
Fifteen months after an election that was supposed to lay the groundwork for Iraq’s future, the government remains virtually paralyzed by a clash between the country’s two most powerful politicians, who refuse to speak to each other.

The paralysis is contributing to a rise in violence, and it is severely complicating negotiations on the most difficult and divisive question hanging over the country: Whether to ask the United States to keep a contingency force here after the scheduled withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year. The longer the deadlock persists, the harder it becomes for the American military to reverse or slow the withdrawal of the roughly 48,000 troops, the pace of which will pick up over the next few months.
Please guys, keep on a feudin' and a fussin'. If you can't agree, you can't ask us to leave an Imperial outpost and no more Americans will die in Iraq for Imperial Glory. Bless your greedy little hearts.

The old Empire State looks pretty good

Picture from last night.

h/t Daily Kos

Quote of the Day

What we’ve seen on the Republican side, overall, is all take and no give. Any serious approach requires compromise and that’s going to be required to achieve the adult moment Speaker Boehner called for. Until the Republicans are more worried about reducing the deficit than they are about Grover Norquist, then we’ve got a problem.
Chris Van Hollen D-MD, explaining how the Republican/Teabaggers blew up the budget negotiations by refusing any revenue increases.

Mercy Now

Give some and get some, now.

Saturday cartoon

From the pen of Tom Toles

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Reason # 62849534 to withdraw from Afghanistan now

The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, is preparing to release a report on the state of the Afghan government. What they found makes all the reasons for staying in that shitty little war a lie.
The farmer picking apples in the outskirts of Kabul must pay the Taliban $33 to ship out each truckload of fruit. The governor sends in armed men to chase workers off job sites if the official bribes aren't paid. Poor neighborhoods never get their U.N.-provided wheat, long since sold on the black market.

These are some of the elements, large and small, that together form the elaborate organized crime environment Afghans contend with daily. And despite the hoped-for success of the U.S. military surge and President Barack Obama's claims of significant progress, Afghanistan's resemblance to a mafia state that cannot serve its citizens may only be getting worse...

Nearly a decade after the U.S.-led military intervention little has been done to challenge the perverse incentives of continued conflict in Afghanistan," the research group says. Rather, violence and the billions of dollars in international aid have brought wealthy officials and insurgents together. And "the economy as a result is increasingly dominated by a criminal oligarchy of politically connected businessmen," the report concludes.
So for the next three years American troops will be maimed and killed to support a RICO enterprise. And taxpayers will be required to continue funding it. Thank you George W Bush and Barack H Obama for your shitty little war.

Doogie Howser to wed

Now that the New York Senate has brought itself into the 21st Century and passed the gay marriage bill, noted actor Neil Patrick Harris and his longtime fiance David Burtka can finally set a date. Our best wishes to the happy couple.

Why Jon Huntsman will never be president

The reason was given by his brother who now runs the family business, the source of Jon's wealth.
"We now employ more people between China and India than we do in North America, which is really quite phenomenal when you consider that about 90 percent of our associates 10 years ago were in North America," Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman, 48, a younger brother of the candidate, told an industry conference this month.
And he said that with pride in the accomplishment of creating so much US unemployment. Like Mittens, Jon Huntsman says he knows about creating jobs, but his history tells a very different story.

Did Kentucky elect a box of rocks to the Senate?

For those of us who are not Rand Paul, this is the question for our current age. Alex Pareene ponders this question and comes down on the yes side. His evidence:
Rand Paul is either presenting a misleadingly simplistic argument because he knows it will appeal to dumb conservatives (only a big-city liberal would think you could save money in the future by spending it wisely in the present!) or he's actually as dumb as I have always said he is.

He's obviously some combination of willfully obtuse and dimwitted, but how much of his dimwitted is calculated?

Like, for example, when he said he wanted to shut down the Department of Education because of "the idea of somebody in Washington deciding that Susie has two mommies is an appropriate family situation," he was obviously being an inflammatory bigot asshole, probably because he thinks his constituents are backward hicks who eat that kinda shit up. But does he also not actually know what the Department of Education does? Because they have no say in curricula!

And oh, also, when he said he would filibuster every budget that wasn't balanced, was he just making stupid and unrealistic promises because, again, he has no respect for the intelligence of Kentucky voters, or did he actually not understand that senators can't filibuster budgets?

The fact that he had no idea what happened in Harlan County is proof of his being incurious and ideologically sheltered, not necessarily dumb, but his criticism of the Americans With Disabilities Act showed that he doesn't know what the Americans With Disabilities Act does.
You can make your own judgement, but clever often beats smart in politics, though it does no voter any good.

Reggie finishes his act

Bill Maher has Reggie (Pres. Obama) Brown on to finish his act. And now you will know why the GOP cut his mike.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York eliminates discrimination

The state Senate has approved a bill making gay marriage equal in the eyes of the law with hetero marriage. About time.

Indiana Republican/Teabagger misogyny put on hold

Because Indiana can not withhold federal funds for womens health simply because Indiana Republican/Teabaggers want to impose onerous big government regulations on womens uteruses.
The state of Indiana is not allowed to cut off most of Planned Parenthood's state and federal public funding solely because the organization also provides abortions, a federal judge said Friday in blocking part of the state's tough new abortion law.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted Planned Parenthood of Indiana's request for preliminary injunction on the state's move to defund the organization. Her ruling sides with federal officials who said states cannot disqualify Medicaid providers merely because they also offer abortions or restrict Medicaid recipients' freedom to choose their health care provider.
Despite the budget "crisis" imposed on the state by the governors feckless tax cuts, Indiana will waste further funds on an appeal.

We need a 1968 redux

Because the change since then has not been for the good.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk is bent out of shape about the budget negotiations, even with Ezra Klein.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

R.I.P. Peter Falk

Just one more thing...

Republican/Teabaggers to block threat of clean, safe food

The American food eating public need no longer worry about the threat of clean food on their plates. The Republican/Teabaggers are diligently working to prevent funding for any food safety regulations and inspections.
Folks, it’s with great pleasure that I report more good news from the House of Representatives. I know, it’s hard to imagine the House getting any better, but a few days ago they did something that can only be described as delicious: They stopped the government from getting all mixed up in food safety.

You see, in December, the president signed into law the first significant food safety reforms in over 70 years. But House Republicans are trying to send those laws back to the kitchen (pun!) by cutting the FDA’s implementation budget. That means that while the laws remain on the books, the FDA won’t have the money to execute them.
This will be a great boost to Republican/Teabaggers as they and their whelps are all raised on a steady diet of polluted water, tainted food and befouled air. The anticipated deaths of millions of Americans will be shrugged off as they are only Democrats whose weak systems can not survive on crap.

h/t AmericaBlog

FOW - Friends of Walker

Notorious Koch Poodle Scott Walker discovered that his friends can be an embarrassment if your people aren't careful.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) office has quickly sought out a new public venue for his budget signing ceremony this Sunday -- after it was reported that the Green Bay business originally selected was in fact headed up by a convicted tax felon. D'oh!...

Werwie acknowledged that Walker's advance team had erred by not conducting a thorough background check on Gregory A. DeCaster, chief executive officer of Badger Sheet Metal Works in Ashwaubenon.

DeCaster was convicted of six felony counts of income tax evasion in the mid-1990s and was sentenced to three months behind bars. He was also fined $10,000 and given two years of supervised release.

"It was something we wish we would have known on the front end," Werwie said.
Easy enough to overlook when good governance is not part of your agenda.

The Forgotten Ones

From the pen of Mike Lukovich

General David Petraeus will retire from the military

Updated from Yahoo:
Petraeus said that upong moving over to the CIA, he would retire from an almost four-decade career in the army, hang up his uniform, and address CIA employees with the message: "You all should know that I'm here to recruit you, and I know that you're here to recruit me," Pincus reported. Petraeus said he would be "reaching out, reaching down," and would make a point of eating lunch in the CIA cafeteria several times a week--in the tradition of his predecessor, Leon Panetta, who won unanimous confirmation in the Senate this week as the new secretary of Defense.

If he does win confirmation, Petraeus has made it clear that he'll be operating on far tighter budget constraints than he did as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The entire annual CIA budget now represents less than the cost of one month of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

No wonder the Republican/Teabaggers hate Elizabeth Warren

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau as she is constituting it, stands to oversee every profitable consumer finance scam in the Republican/Teabagger quiver. If she were running the bureau, she could seriously defund a large segment of the party.

Watch cop panic and arrest woman for standing on her lawn

If Rochester NY wants to keep a good police force they need to fire this dumbass who gets scared by citizens in their own yards.

My favorite honky

Steve is touring with his band The Steep Canyon Rangers and doing this classic. He no longer walks like an Egyptian, playing the banjo instead. Some things can't be improved with age.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Remember when you ate all those bean burritos at the picnic

UPDATE: He even made a bad Joes Cuervo joke that fell flatter than a tortilla. What a dumbass.

And later on all your friends had moved upwind of you? That is kinda how the good people at the 28th annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in San Antonio reacted to Texas Governor Rick "Good Hair" Perry when he came looking for votes.
The subdued reception underscored Hispanic discontent with Perry's inclusion of a controversial "sanctuary city" bill in the Texas legislature's current special session, which ends next week. The bill — which threatens local governments with the loss of state aid if they prevent law enforcement officers from asking about immigration status — has been approved by the state Senate and faces a key committee vote in the House on Friday.

Hispanics have also criticized Perry for his embrace of another hot-button measure that requires voters to show photo identification before casting ballots. The bill passed the Republican-led legislature in the regular 140-day session that ended on May 30, and Perry signed it into law.

"Governor Perry is a phenomenal politician and he can campaign like no other, but you've got to get beyond the person," said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio Democrat and the chairman of the state's Mexican-American Legislative Caucus. "Latino voters will look at action but not words. When Latinos scrutinize the actions that have been taken in this state, they'll look for another choice."
It's going to take more than being from Texas to get their votes. That and stop passing bills that piss them off.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk & Rep Peter DiFazio dump on Obama's half fast troop withdrawal.

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Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan talks to the lawyer on the winning side against the Banksters. A hopeful first step.

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And he is the man who would know

John "North Korean Sleeper Agent" Yoo has spoken out about President Obama's decision to ignore Congress on the matter of making war on Libya without permission. Yoo says Obama did it the wrong way.
John Yoo, the former Bush administration official whose view of executive power holds that the president has the power to order a child's testicles to be crushed and an entire village slaughtered, thinks President Obama is breaking with tradition by overruling his advisers at the Justice and Defense Department and deciding he didn't need permission from Congress to continue the military's involvement in Libya.

Yoo's argument is that Obama is constitutionally allowed to reach his own interpretations of federal law, but wrote that it was "unprecedented" for a president to disregard the views of senior Justice and Defense Department officials.

In short, Yoo is arguing that Obama would have been fine if he had just put someone in the Office of Legal Council post who would have given him the go-ahead -- perhaps someone with wider views of executive power, like Yoo.
You see, you have to go through an appropriately placed stooge to make it look legal when you pervert the Constitution.

Court rules congress critters are people too.

And as such they are also liable to criminal investigation and prosecution.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has firmly rejected former Rep. Rick Renzi's (R-AZ) claim that Constitutional protections granted to members of Congress prevented him from having to defend himself from charges that he used his position to enrich himself in a land deal.

The court's decision on Thursday strikes a debilitating blow to federal lawmakers' broad claims of immunity from prosecution on anything dealing with legislative activity. If Renzi appeals, it also could set up a Supreme Court showdown over exactly what level of protection from investigation and prosecution the Constitution provides members of Congress.

In recent years, several members of Congress, with the support of House Democratic and Republican leadership and the House general counsel, have tried to wrap themselves in the Speech or Debate clause of the Constitution in order to bar the Justice Department from gaining access to evidence on their Congressional computers or in their offices.

The clause was written to protect the legislative branch from unwarranted intrusion by the executive, but watchdogs and some legal scholars have argued that it has become a way for lawmakers to try to protect themselves from being thoroughly investigated for charges of corruption and unethical behavior.
Today the politicians, tomorrow the corporate executives.

Kosher Mouse afraid to cross Grover Norquist

And all the other cement head Teabaggers, his prized base, and give any ground on eliminating tax breaks to hugely profitable corporations.According to Minority Leader Pelosi,
"We left the meeting to find that Leader Cantor had walked out of the meetings....because Democrats want to raise taxes," Pelosi said. "Yes, we do want to remove tax subsidies from big oil, we want to remove tax breaks from corporations that send jobs overseas. That list goes on."

Van Hollen told reporters he was "disappointed" by Cantor's exit, saying the talks "had been proceeding well, although there is no doubt that there were some very difficult issues" that needed to be resolved.

"The reality here is until our Republican colleagues are more concerned about our need to reduce the deficit than they are worried about what Grover Norquist will say, were going to have a really difficult time reducing the deficit," he said.
Because everybody knows the deficit has nothing to do with the current discussions.

No he is not dead yet

Robert Plant has something new from a guy who is old.

Obama's planned drawdown is neither fast enough or soon enough

But there is a strong indicator that he is going in the right direction and resisting the warmongering factions. Admiralissimo Mullen thinks Barry is moving too fast.
The U.S. military's top officer told Congress on Thursday that President Barack Obama's decision to withdraw up to 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer is riskier than he originally was prepared to endorse.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House hearing that he supports the president's plans. But Mullen said they are "more aggressive and incur more risk" than he had considered prudent.

"More force for more time is, without doubt, the safer course," Mullen said. "But that does not necessarily make it the best course. Only the president, in the end, can really determine the acceptable level of risk we must take. I believe he has done so."
Adm. Mullen is retiring soon, Barry should advance that date for him.

Taibbi on Bachmann

Our favorite writer takes a close look at our favorite Queen of the Bat Shit Crazy. And he warns us not to take he lightly.
But don't laugh. Don't do it. And don't look her in the eyes; don't let her smile at you. Michele Bachmann, when she turns her head toward the cameras and brandishes her pearls and her ageless, unblemished neckline and her perfect suburban orthodontics in an attempt to reassure the unbeliever of her non-threateningness, is one of the scariest sights in the entire American cultural tableau. She's trying to look like June Cleaver, but she actually looks like the T2 skeleton posing for a passport photo. You will want to laugh, but don't, because the secret of Bachmann's success is that every time you laugh at her, she gets stronger.

In modern American politics, being the right kind of ignorant and entertainingly crazy is like having a big right hand in boxing; you've always got a puncher's chance. And Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy. Not medically crazy, not talking-to-herself-on-the-subway crazy, but grandiose crazy, late-stage Kim Jong-Il crazy — crazy in the sense that she's living completely inside her own mind, frenetically pacing the hallways of a vast sand castle she's built in there, unable to meaningfully communicate with the human beings on the other side of the moat, who are all presumed to be enemies.
The succubus of American politics.

Do Not Get A Florida Drivers License

The state of Florida has been routinely selling the information about drivers for an unknown number of years.
I-Team investigator Michael George reported that the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles sells drivers' license information, including Floridians full name, date of birth, address, and driver’s license number, to ten different companies.

The companies are Acxiom Information Securities Service, Inc., Choice Point, E-Funds, Explore Information Services, LexisNexis, Line Barge, Goggan, Blair, & Simpson, Inc., SC Services, ShadowSoft, TLO LLC, and West Services Inc.

The department said it only sells the information to companies that intend to use it for legal purposes, and not for marketing or advertising.
And if you believe that it is not used for commercial purposes, I have a lovely bridge for sale in Tampa.I'll sell it cheap, I need the cash.

Smoke them if you got them

A good number of states have legalized growth and use of marijuana for medical purposes. Sadly the right of quiet enjoyment of ones smoke has often been brutally interrupted by the Feds insistence that draconian and failed federal laws supersede the states efforts at sanity.
Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) will introduce legislation on Thursday to the U.S. House of Representatives that ends the federal prohibition on marijuana.

The Oakland Tribute reported that the bill would limit the federal government to enforcing cross-border or inter-state smuggling laws, and allow people to grow, possess, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal to do so.

Although over a dozen states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical reasons, it is still outlawed under the federal Controlled Substance Act.

The legislation authored by Frank and Paul would allow each state to propose and enforce its own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Democratic Reps. John Conyers (MI), Steve Cohen (TN), Jared Polis (CO) and Barbara Lee (CA) are co-sponsors of the bill.
Passage of this bill is unlikely but it is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Her Majestys Service

Danny Kaye and Jose Ferrer conduct a proper British interrogation.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk rants about the corporate tax holiday for overseas profits. Good man that Cenk.

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Why they don't hear you

From the pen of Tom Toles

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Law suit challenges Michigan Commissar Law

Republican/Teabaggers have long been known for their contempt for democracy. When the Republican/Teabaggers took over all three branches of the Michigan government, one of the first things they passed, after tax cuts, was a law overturning democratically elected city and town governments in favor of a Commissar with Plenary powers appointed by the governor. This was only to be done in emergencies, a common ploy of power grabs by tyrants, with the governor determining what is an emergency. Now a group of Michigan citizens have filed a law suit to declare this law unconstitutional and regain their democracy.
The lawsuit, filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, contends that the law approved by Michigan lawmakers this year improperly allows the state to place new costs on municipalities without paying for them and, in essence, bars local residents from picking their own elected representatives.

In March, leaders in Lansing — which has, since last fall’s election, been controlled by Republicans in both chambers of the Legislature and in the governor’s office — approved the measure granting more control to those sent into local governments and school districts by the state to avoid allowing such places to go bankrupt or fail entirely.

Leaders of labor unions, in particular, were outraged by the provision because it allows such state-appointed emergency managers to, in some cases, undo provisions of the contracts that towns and cities had already agreed to. Some appeared for rallies in opposition in Lansing this spring. But others had broader complaints; how, they asked, could a state-assigned official simply step into the role of an elected local leader and do whatever he or she wished?

“What you’re saying is that an emergency manager now controls all, including the right to enact or repeal local ordinances,” said John Philo, the legal director of the Sugar Law Center in Detroit, one of several groups, including the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, that is representing the plaintiffs in the suit. “What you’re saying is that one individual now without any sort of legislative process gets to enact a law.”
We wish them good fortune with their suit and if it fails there remains your 2nd Amendment solution.

And what will happen to the Afghan economy if we leave?

Probably the same thing that happened to the Vietnamese economy after we left, it will collapse. The development money will dry up and the Karzai family will all retire to Dubai with their stolen $Billions. The rest of the country will go back to their mud brick and jackass way of life. Even the Taliban controlled areas will resume opium cultivation and the sands of time will erase the traces of our presence long before the Afghans memories will.

Boy O Boy! Talk about spin

All the advance chat about the president's speech on Afghanistan say he is opting for a faster pullout from his shitty little war by withdrawing 10K by the end of this year and then waiting until next summer to pull out 20K more. This would still leave 100K in that quagmire 11 years into it.

What a crock of crap! If he wants to speed up the withdrawal he should be be pulling out 10K EACH MONTH. And if he gets any pushback from the generals who couldn't get the job done in 10 years he should fire them. It is time for the big eared kid from Chicago to show us who is our current Decider.

Republican/Teabagger misogyny defended by GOP women

Because every good Republican/Teabagger woman knows her place in society, one step back and to the right of your man.

The Quittah from Wasilla does it again

She has called it quits halfway through her bus tour without a purpose. After the heady excitement of the first few stops, the press stopped covering her so she stopped the tour. What did you think would happen?

Mitch the Chin promotes new Republican/Teabagger lie

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Sen. Mitch "The Chin" McConnell put forth the new lie to be pronounced by all Republican/Teabaggers and their propaganda outlets, in their campaign against President Obama.
if Republicans want to take the presidency from Barack Obama in 2012 then their campaign theme should be “he made it worse.”
Because if they keep repeating it loudly and often enough eventually the public will come to believe it.

Fox - They got a lot of fucking correcting to do.

Jon apologizes for his misstatement on Fox and then runs down a list of Fox misstatements than remain unapologized.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If your daddy is a Bankster

This song is for you.

Having been slapped around for Lyin' Ryan's Kill Medicare budget

The Republicans, like the Chinese on the Yalu just keep on coming. This time despite the published polls indicating strong public support for Social Security, the Republican/Teabaggers are pushing plans to kill Social Security and steal all the funds paid in to date.
Add Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to the list of Republican lawmakers unsatisfied with the party's reluctance to back Social Security cuts.

The longtime Senator, who will retire at the end of her term in 2012, called on both parties to include the program in debt ceiling talks on Tuesday in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. She's releasing her own legislation to spur talks, a bill that would raise the retirement age gradually to 69 and reduce benefits by trillions over the next several decades by pegging the annual cost-of-living- adjustment (COLA) to one percent below inflation every year.

"We could have waited and let things settle after the debt increase vote," she said. "I'm introducing my legislation because I don't think we can wait and I do think it should be part of the overall debate on raising the debt limit."

Hutchison told the audience that the move was necessary, because without changes to the system, recipients would receive a 23% cut to their core benefits in 2036. But an audience member noted to Hutchison that a 1% cut in benefit increases over a similar period of time could produce comparable decreases. Hutchison responded that a key part of her plan was gradually introducing seniors to lower benefits.
In Kay Wrinkle Hutchinson's case, it is please froggy just get in the water. Other want to re-direct your contributions to the benefit of Wall St. banksters as soon as possible. Either way, what you paid as you worked, they want to steal.

Bond king says focus on deficits "recipe for disaster"

And on Wall St you don't mess with Bill Gross unless you want to lie with the rest. When one of the most knowledgeable people on debt says something, normal people will listen.
In a prospectus for clients, Bill Gross, a co-founder of investment management giant PIMCO, says members' of Congress incessant focus on deficit -- and in particular, the manner in which they obsess about deficits -- is foolhardy, and a recipe for disaster. What the country needs, Gross said, is real stimulus now, and a measured return toward fiscal balance in the years ahead.

"Solutions from policymakers on the right or left, however, seem focused almost exclusively on rectifying or reducing our budget deficit as a panacea," Gross writes. "While Democrats favor tax increases and mild adjustments to entitlements, Republicans pound the table for trillions of dollars of spending cuts and an axing of Obamacare. Both, however, somewhat mystifyingly, believe that balancing the budget will magically produce 20 million jobs over the next 10 years.
No doubt Sen. Shelby of Aladumbfuckinbama would say that Mr. Gross is not qualified to speak on these matters.

Sumer is icumen in

And this goldie goes back to a time when teenagers and parents weren't all applying for the same job.

So that's the holdup

From the pen of Tom Toles

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Pakis arrest a general for ties to the bad guys.

But he was just a one-off, not a real indicator of others with similar connections.
Pakistan on Tuesday said it had arrested a high-ranking army officer for alleged connections to militant groups, a rare public acknowledgment of possible ties between this country’s military and the organizations it is battling.

The arrest comes amid rising concern that Pakistan’s military is penetrated by Islamists who are sympathetic to insurgent groups that have declared war on the state. Last month, a naval base in Karachi was stormed by heavily armed fighters in an attack that was widely believed to have required inside help.

The arrested officer was identified Tuesday as Brig. Ali Khan, whose rank is equivalent to that of a one-star general.
A little tit for tat among the factions in Pakistan, nothing to see here, let's move along.

Sen. Gaga McCain confused at objections to his fire remarks.

The poor dear does know that wildfires in Arizona are a problem. And he still remembers that when something bad happens in Arizona you blame little brown people sneaking across the border. He just can't understand why anybody should find anything wrong with that. It's time for a seat on the bench in the garden at the home.

Jon Huntsman is running for president.

You know, the Mormon from China who now has to put his intelligence in a box and babble like a lunatic to have any hope of being nominated.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

Oysters are just like giant boogers, and I used to pick my nose when I was little. So it’s going to be just like old times.
Terri Stump of Arizona on preparing for an oyster eating contest. No, she didn't win.

h/t Fark

Your Daily Double Cenk Shot

Cenk talks to the RNC's favorite "Obama" Reggie Brown, who gets to do a couple of jokes he couldn't do the other day.

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Cenk talks with Howard Dean about primaries and jobs.

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Your Dylan Dally Moment

I'll have the Filet Mignon and a side of "superbugs". Dylan looks at factory farming and the rise of drug resistant bacteria.

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Florida Teabaggers throw Lyin' Ryan budget under the buss

Being the South Florida Teabagger Party, they probably have more bluehairs on their roster than most. And it is the Medicare part of the budget that their Ultimate Leader singles out for criticism, but they are not happy with the whole thing.
South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson thinks the GOP budget -- and in particular its call to phase out Medicare and replace it with a marketplace for private insurance -- is a total disaster. He's saying that Republicans, including members in his sphere of influence like Rep. Allen West (R-FL), should back away from it.

In an email to fellow Tea Partiers last week, obtained by The Palm Beach Post, Wilkinson called the GOP plan a "public policy nightmare" that could trigger "huge Democratic wins in 2012," and prompt Republicans to blame the Tea Party for their losses.

"Republicans will lose if they support the Ryan Medicare plan. Americans do not support the [Paul] Ryan plan," he wrote. "Expect the GOP to then blame the Tea Party for losses."
Obviously the Teabaggers are trying to steer clear of the clearly looming disaster, but I like their understanding of how the Republican Party works.

The FDA has a problem

And it has just released a report that details the size and scope of the problem. Turns out that the problem is currently bigger than the FDA can handle.
A decade ago, the F.D.A. was responsible for policing 6 million separate shipments coming through 300 different ports. This year, that number is expected to grow to 24 million shipments, the report noted. Nearly two-thirds of all fruits and vegetables and three-quarters of all seafood consumed in the United States now come from outside the country.

The situation with drugs and medical devices is even more alarming. More than 80 percent of the active ingredients for drugs sold in the United States are manufactured abroad — mostly in manufacturing plants in China and India that are rarely inspected by the F.D.A. Half of all medical devices sold in the United States are made abroad. Many kinds of antibiotics, steroids, cancer medicines and even aspirin are no longer produced in the United States, or in many cases anywhere in the Western world.

Government investigators estimated in 2008 that the Food and Drug Administration would need 13 years to check every foreign drug manufacturing plant, 27 years to check every foreign medical device plant and 1,900 years to check every foreign food plant at its rate of inspections at the time. And with imports growing faster than the agency’s inspection force, those numbers have only grown.

Many popular over-the-counter medicines and vitamins are made almost entirely in Chinese plants that have never been inspected by the F.D.A. Domestic suppliers often boast that they test their imported ingredients rigorously, but such sampling is akin to testing a bucket of soil from a mountain and then declaring the entire mountain free of pollutants.
The Chinese situation is doubly risky because their manufacturers see nothing wrong with poisoning people if it turns a profit. And it will only get worse with each coming year. And this is the FDA that the Republican/Teabaggers want to cut the funding so they may "balance the budget" on the dead bodies of their fellow citizens.

Having fooled us once before

Corporations with overseas profits look to do it again in order to repatriate their profits. The last time they received a tax break to do so, they all solemnly swore they would reinvest in US facilities and hire more workers. Which they all promptly failed to do.
Though the tax break lured them into bringing $312 billion back to the United States, 92 percent of that money was returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock buybacks, according to a study by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research.

This money comes from overseas operations and in some cases accounting maneuvers that shift domestic profits to low-tax countries. The study concluded that the program “did not increase domestic investment, employment or research and development.”

Indeed, 60 percent of the benefits went to just 15 of the largest United States multinational companies — many of which laid off domestic workers, closed plants and shifted even more of their profits and resources abroad in hopes of cashing in on the next repatriation holiday.
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between a US corporation and an enemy combatant. And we might all be better served if they were both treated the same way.

HOT! HOT! HOT! Celebrity News

Bristol Palin was hammered when Levi nailed her for the first time. Unbefuckinglievable!

Supreme Court allows Wal-Mart to continue discrimination

By disallowing the class action suit against Arkansas's favorite corporate monster, the corporatists on the high court have almost guaranteed that Wal-Mart can continue their misogynistic ways
The court unanimously said that what would have been the largest class action in American history could not go forward because the case would have been too big and unfair to Wal-Mart.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices also ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove that the women had something in common in each of the 1.5 million cases...

Experts say that the women can now pursue their cases individually.
The women can now claim an affinity with the proverbial snowball in Hell.

What were you doing at age 17?

Mozart was composing this Concerto.

A real plan to actually bolster Social Security

Not to "save" it by a death of a thousand cuts as our current overpaid and undercompassionate legislators would have us endure, but actually increase it to provide some proper support for the elderly.
AS a labor lawyer I cringe when Democrats talk of “saving” Social Security. We should not “save” it but raise it. Right now Social Security pays out 39 percent of the average worker’s preretirement earnings. While jaws may drop inside the Beltway, we could raise that to 50 percent. We’d still be near the bottom of the league of the world’s richest countries — but at least it would be a basement with some food and air. We have elderly people living on less than $10,000 a year. Is that what Democrats want to “save”?

“But we can’t afford it!” Oh, come on: We have a federal tax rate equal to nearly 15 percent of our G.D.P. — far below the take in most wealthy countries. Let’s wake up: the biggest crisis we face is that most of us have nothing meaningful saved for retirement. I know. I started my career wanting to be a pension lawyer. In the 1970s, lawyers like me expected there to be big pots of private pensions for hourly workers. By the 1980s, as factories closed, I was filing hopeless lawsuits to claw back bits and pieces of benefits. Now there are even fewer bits and pieces to get.

A recent Harris poll found that 34 percent of Americans have nothing saved for retirement — not even a hundred bucks. In this lost decade, that percentage is sure to go up.
As most working Americans since the introduction of Anarcho-Reganism have had their pensions stolen from them for the benefit of the wealthy, the ideas of Thomas Geoghegan are the ultimate in fairness. They require a level of political courage not seen since Harry Truman as well as a massive emergency reduction in the level of national stupidity. Neither is likely in our lifetimes without a revolution.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Something to think about

From the pen of Adam Zyglis

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No voter left behind

From the pen of Tom Toles

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Can we protect ourselves against 100,000 donut maddened Canucks.

Carlos Lozada seems to think we are due for a war with our friends from The Land of the Laughing Beaver. A load of rubbish, really. As long as they have their donut shops and they let us take their women everything will be cool.

Does anybody hear a ringing alarm bell?

The New York Times details the current state of foreclosures which appear to have slowed down to a crawl compared to the heyday of robo-signers and legal foreclosure mills. In talking about the situation in New York, one very troubling point came up.
And many foreclosure lawyers seem unable to meet a requirement, made last October by the New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, to affirm the accuracy of their documentation.

“The affirmation has had a pretty chilling effect,” said Ann Pfau, New York’s chief administrative judge. “The attorneys for the banks tell us they can’t get through to the right people at their clients who can verify the information.
This fact alone should bring most foreclosures to a halt. If you don't have accurate original documents, you have nothing. And if this holds in New York, you can be sure the same probably holds true for the rest of the country.

National Guard troops get another 3 months deployment

On our southern border. This being preferable to a similar billet in Iraqistan, one can only imagine the troops pressing for a further extension.
The 1,200 National Guard soldiers deployed to the US border with Mexico last year will remain on their jobs until late September, a US official said Friday.

The administration has now "extended the temporary deployment of National Guard personnel... through September 30, 2011," Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler told AFP.

The extension keeps the soldiers three months beyond their original withdrawal date.
President Barack Obama sent the National Guards soldiers to the border last year to help crack down on smuggling and drug trafficking.
And yess they have been working, it is not all fun in the sun.
The soldiers, working with the civilian agencies, have helped in the capture of more than 6.3 tons of drugs and helped detain more than 7,000 illegal immigrants, Chandler said.
Congratulations to the guys who did something useful during their deployment

Feeling mad as hell at AARP

UPDATE: Bringing this to the top to go with my new poll to the right.

If you are a card carrying geezer give them a piece of you mind.

Toll-Free Nationwide: 888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277)

If you are not tell them why you won't be.

NY Times looks at the "ethics" of Clarence Thomas

And one quickly gets the sense that Clarence used his Ethics classes to catch up on his sleep. And the Times also takes a close look at Clarence's big money friend, Harlan Crow.
The publicity-shy friend turned out to be Harlan Crow, a Dallas real estate magnate and a major contributor to conservative causes. Mr. Crow stepped in to finance the multimillion-dollar purchase and restoration of the cannery, featuring a museum about the culture and history of Pin Point that has become a pet project of Justice Thomas’s.

The project throws a spotlight on an unusual, and ethically sensitive, friendship that appears to be markedly different from those of other justices on the nation’s highest court.

The two men met in the mid-1990s, a few years after Justice Thomas joined the court. Since then, Mr. Crow has done many favors for the justice and his wife, Virginia, helping finance a Savannah library project dedicated to Justice Thomas, presenting him with a Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass and reportedly providing $500,000 for Ms. Thomas to start a Tea Party-related group. They have also spent time together at gatherings of prominent Republicans and businesspeople at Mr. Crow’s Adirondacks estate and his camp in East Texas.

In several instances, news reports of Mr. Crow’s largess provoked controversy and questions, adding fuel to a rising debate about Supreme Court ethics. But Mr. Crow’s financing of the museum, his largest such act of generosity, previously unreported, raises the sharpest questions yet — both about Justice Thomas’s extrajudicial activities and about the extent to which the justices should remain exempt from the code of conduct for federal judges.
Is Harlan Crow the paymaster for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? There are still too many unanswered questions, just as there are too many troubling signs.

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