Monday, October 31, 2011

Shaw is a nice way to start the week

And Frenesi was one of Artie's signature tunes.

Teach them while they are young

And Tom Tomorrow shows how with the help of Officer Friendly.

Herman Cain had a bad day

And Talking Points Memo has the various stages of it. Ant it was that right wing Politico that started it.

This sums it up very well

Many people have pushed back against the total douchbaggery of the WaPo screed against Social Security yesterday. But for elegant dismissal of trash, enjoy the words od Charles Pierce.
On Sunday, The Washington Post, a once-great newspaper now d/b/a Graham's Chicken 'n Waffles, published a "news analysis" on the state of the Social Security system that explained that it's time for us seriously to consider "reforming" the system in such a way that it never again does what it was designed to do by that spendthrift bastard FDR, and in such a way that the financial-services sector of our economy can grab as much of that Social Security money as it can and then do as much for old people as the financial-services sector has done for real estate in Nevada.

(I am paraphrasing a tad here.)

Practicing for the finals

From the pen of Mike Lukovich

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Doing the Diplomatic Roseannadanna

How time flies. Was it just a month ago we were saying all manner of horrible things about Pakistan? Well, all we can say today is, Never Mind!. Now let's be friends.
Just a month after accusing Pakistan’s spy agency of secretly supporting the Haqqani terrorist network, which has mounted attacks on Americans, the Obama administration is now relying on the same intelligence service to help organize and kick-start reconciliation talks aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.

The revamped approach, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called “Fight, Talk, Build” during a high-level United States delegation’s visit to Kabul and Islamabad this month, combines continued American air and ground strikes against the Haqqani network and the Taliban with an insistence that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency get them to the negotiating table...

But even inside the Obama administration, the new initiative has been met with deep skepticism, in part because the Pakistani government has developed its own strategy, one at odds with Mrs. Clinton’s on several key points. One senior American official summarized the Pakistani position as “Cease-fire, Talk, Wait for the Americans to Leave.”
Going to need more than flowers and chocolates this time.

When you ask, "Brother can you spare a dime?"

One third of North Americans will say no, not because they are greedy, hard hearted Republican/Teabaggers, but because they have no spare cash.
Global consumer confidence remained weak in the third quarter with more than 60 percent of consumers saying it was not a good time to spend, and one-in-three North Americans saying they have no spare cash, a survey showed on Sunday.
To be fair, they may have that dime but don't expect any paper money.

We have lost our national soul in Afghanistan

And even if everyone left tomorrow, the United States would have less honor than a lap dancer has clothes. It is becoming clear that our support of the corrupt Karzai regime is perfectly in line with our own moral corruption.
Across the street from U.S. military headquarters in Kabul, shrouded from view by concrete walls, the Afghan intelligence agency runs a detention facility for up to 40 terrorism suspects that is known as Department 124. So much torture took place inside, one detainee told the United Nations, that it has earned another name: “People call it Hell.”

But long before the world body publicly revealed “systematic torture” in Afghan intelligence agency detention centers, top officials from the State Department, the CIA and the U.S. military received multiple warnings about abuses at Department 124 and other Afghan facilities, according to Afghan and Western officials with knowledge of the situation.

Despite the warnings, the United States continued to transfer detainees to Afghan intelligence service custody, the officials said. Even as other countries stopped handing over detainees to problematic facilities, the U.S. government did not.

U.S. Special Operations troops delivered detainees to Department 124. CIA officials regularly visited the facility, which was rebuilt last year with American money, to interrogate high-level Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects, according to Afghan and Western officials familiar with the site. Afghan intelligence officials said Americans never participated in the torture but should have known about it.
So much easier to take them across the street than to fly them to another country.

But we never knew anything about it until it became public knowledge and then, Boy Howdy, did we ever stop it, the deliveries that is. And you have to love the White House response, delivered with that obliviousness to irony once made famous by the Soviet Union.
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the United States has a “long-standing policy against transferring individuals to torture” and that “whenever allegations of human rights violations are raised with us, we move quickly to work with the host government to investigate and resolve them.”
A long standing policy that goes all the way back to last week, no doubt. Waiting for the squadrons of flying pigs to carpet shit the White House any minute now.

John Maynard Keynes speaks from beyond the grave

Through the good offices of Dr Krugman, he explains what are weaponized Keynesians and why they make Republicans comfortable spending money.
But why would anyone prefer spending on destruction to spending on construction, prefer building weapons to building bridges?

John Maynard Keynes himself offered a partial answer 75 years ago, when he noted a curious “preference for wholly ‘wasteful’ forms of loan expenditure rather than for partly wasteful forms, which, because they are not wholly wasteful, tend to be judged on strict ‘business’ principles.” Indeed. Spend money on some useful goal, like the promotion of new energy sources, and people start screaming, “Solyndra! Waste!” Spend money on a weapons system we don’t need, and those voices are silent, because nobody expects F-22s to be a good business proposition...

But there are also darker motives behind weaponized Keynesianism.

For one thing, to admit that public spending on useful projects can create jobs is to admit that such spending can in fact do good, that sometimes government is the solution, not the problem. Fear that voters might reach the same conclusion is, I’d argue, the main reason the right has always seen Keynesian economics as a leftist doctrine, when it’s actually nothing of the sort. However, spending on useless or, even better, destructive projects doesn’t present conservatives with the same problem.

Beyond that, there’s a point made long ago by the Polish economist Michael Kalecki: to admit that the government can create jobs is to reduce the perceived importance of business confidence.
And killing the confidence fairy is worse than killing Tinker Bell. So Republicans are very happy to waste money by the trainload so long as it has no useful purpose and doesn't damage their business fairies. Got it?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

So sweet it will rot your teeth

That is the only way to describe the sweetheart deal that is the latest iteration of the Bankster Settlement and Absolution being negotiated between the leaders of the Wall St crime families and those Attorneys General who don't have the integrity to bail out of a very rotten deal. Gretchen Morgensen writes about the most recent details that have come to light.
Cutting to the chase: if you thought this was the deal that would hold banks accountable for filing phony documents in courts, foreclosing without showing they had the legal right to do so and generally running roughshod over anyone who opposed them, you are likely to be disappointed.

This may not qualify as a shock. Accountability has been mostly A.W.O.L. in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. A handful of state attorneys general became so troubled by the direction this deal was taking that they dropped out of the talks. Officials from Delaware, New York, Massachusetts and Nevada feared that the settlement would preclude further investigations, and would wind up being a gift to the banks.

It looks as if they were right to worry. As things stand, the settlement, said to total about $25 billion, would cost banks very little in actual cash — $3.5 billion to $5 billion. A dozen or so financial companies would contribute that money.

The rest — an estimated $20 billion — would consist of credits to banks that agree to reduce a predetermined dollar amount of principal owed on mortgages that they own or service for private investors. How many credits would accrue to a bank is unclear, but the amount would be based on a formula agreed to by the negotiators. A bank that writes down a second lien, for example, would receive a different amount from one that writes down a first lien.

Sure, $5 billion in cash isn’t nada. But government officials have held out this deal as the penalty for years of what they saw as unlawful foreclosure practices. A few billion spread among a dozen or so institutions wouldn’t seem a heavy burden, especially when considering the harm that was done.
Like the cops negotiating with Al Capone and letting him keep the rest of his breweries and stills if he breaks up one. If your AG hasn't yet bailed out of this deal you should be demanding to know why.

The Imperialist Wing of the Pentagon

Is hard at work making up for the loss of Iraq as an Imperial outpost. Operating as if they were the sole determiners of where US troops will be stationed, they are furiously making plans to redeploy troops elsewhere in the Persian Gulf instaed of bringing them home.
The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after President Obama’s announcement this month that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December. Ending the eight-year war was a central pledge of his presidential campaign, but American military officers and diplomats, as well as officials of several countries in the region, worry that the withdrawal could leave instability or worse in its wake.

After unsuccessfully pressing both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government to permit as many as 20,000 American troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2011, the Pentagon is now drawing up an alternative.

In addition to negotiations over maintaining a ground combat presence in Kuwait, the United States is considering sending more naval warships through international waters in the region.
Just as after the Bush War I in Iraq, they plan to leave a large enough unit in Kuwait to protect the Insta-Army logistical package stored there. Just add troops and the Army of your choice is ready for the war of your choice. Or as Sec. State Clinton said, without a hint of irony,
We will have a robust continuing presence throughout the region, which is proof of our ongoing commitment to Iraq and to the future of that region, which holds such promise and should be freed from outside interference to continue on a pathway to democracy.
Anybody want to buy stock in my Lunar Green Cheese Mine?

Fox News does not want a Perry candidacy

So when Chris "I wasn't born a stooge" Wallace interviewed Gov. Good Hair for the Sunday broadcast he was allowed to attack one of the governors hairball ideas.
“Governor, here’s what I don’t get about that 2.5 million jobs: 2.5 million jobs is terrible,” Wallace said to Perry Sunday. “That wouldn’t be nearly enough for the first four years of the administration. We looked at it. We would roughly need six million jobs in the first four years just to stay even with population growth. So, 2.5 million jobs, the unemployment rate would increase. Jimmy Carter created 10.5 million jobs in his first four years.”

“Listen, I think it’s amazing when we’ve lost 2.5 million jobs in this country and there is another state that is juxtaposition to that, that created a million jobs, and for people to go, ‘Well, that’s not enough,’” Perry replied. “Let me tell you, any jobs at this particular point in time helps.”

“But how do you answer this question?” Wallace pressed. “Two and a half million jobs doesn’t even keep pace with population growth. Our unemployment rate would increase under this goal.”

“I don’t believe that for a minute,” Perry insisted. “It’s just absolutely false on its face. Americans will get back to work.”
Chris "Roger Ailes taught me all I know about stooging" Wallace was right to attack the Governor's sound bite plan with no substance. And Good Hair got to practice his Herm Cain response, a snarling accusation that you are wrong witn no facts to back it, just a snarl.

Something a Republican/Teabagger would never do.

California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier has announced that for a week, she will attempt to live on the same amount of money allotted to recipients of SNAP, the California food stamp program. San Francisco’s Channel 7 news reports that SNAP (which stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) provided $136.75 per person each month during fiscal year 2010, which breaks down to a food budget of $4.50 per day.

Rep. Speier, who represents San Francisco and San Mateo, is adopting a food budget shared by some 3.6 million Californians who rely on SNAP for food assistance. SNAP funds can be used to pay for breads and cereals, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables, but not items like alcohol, cigarettes, or other tobacco products.
And if she can manage to do so, you can expect the Orange Boner or Kosher Mouse to declare the allotments are too high and must be cut.

A Musical Sunday Prayer

Trick or Treat

From the pen of Stuart Carlson

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weren't they the perfect couple?

So much more refined than those ne-er-do-wells over at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

Makes you wonder

Why we don't have Medicaid for All. Instant 20% savings in health care costs.

h/t Great Orange Stan

New Rules gets rowdy

But the ideas are still good.

A deadly day in Shitholeistan

The Taliban made another attack and were more successful than in recent attempts.
A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a van into an armored NATO bus Saturday, killing 13 American troops and four Afghans on a busy street in Kabul in the deadliest attack on coalition forces in more than two months and a major setback for the U.S.-led coalition as it begins to draw down combat troops.

The explosion sparked a fireball and littered the street with shrapnel and twisted metal hulks. Heavy black smoke poured from burning wreckage at the site along the four-lane highway frequently used by foreign military trainers in the southwestern section of the city.

Underscoring the difficulties ahead, the brazen assault occurred on the same day that top NATO and Afghan officials were meeting elsewhere in Kabul to discuss the second phase of shifting security responsibilities to Afghan forces in all or part of 17 of the country's 34 provinces.

It also was a blow to efforts by the U.S. and President Hamid Karzai to forge peace with the fundamentalist Taliban movement as NATO plans to withdraw all its combat troops from the country by the end of 2014, with support for the costly war reaching new lows in the West.
Quick, someone tell me why we are staying one more day in that country?

High point of the week

BP, which was responsible for the largest US offshore oil spill, has received permission to go deeper in the Gulf of Mexico and try for a bigger spill.

Or maybe that should be the Low Point.

Glenn Beck mocks the Marines

Probably because he has run through most of the other incredibly stupid things to say.

Police riot victim Scott Olsen can't speak

Apparently as a result of of his police inflicted injuries.
Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who was seriously injured by a police projectile during a protest in Oakland, has regained consciousness but "cannot talk".

Olsen, 24, is communicating with friends and family at his bedside by writing notes, but his injury is believed to have damaged the speech centre of his brain, according to Keith Shannon, who served with Olsen in Iraq.

Olsen is believed to have been injured by a police projectile. He was hit in the forehead in downtown Oakland on Tuesday evening, after marching with fellow demonstrators to protest the closure of an Occupy Oakland camp in the city.

"He cannot talk right now, and that is because the fracture is right on the speech center of his brain," said Shannon. "However, they are expecting he will get that back."

Shannon added that Olsen's "spelling is not near what it used to be".

"The doctors expect that he will have a full recovery," said Shannon, who is due to visit Olsen on Friday afternoon. "However, it is going to be a long road ahead for him."
Oakland is going to be paying a lot for this one. Until then the IVAW has set up a fund for his support.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kind of like a Friday Night

Starts out slow and builds momentum.

Talk about going mainstream

Wolf Blitzer, ace newsman and famous CNN Talking Furface, has asked the question,
Did you notice that ExxonMobil’s profits rose 41 percent in the last quarter to $10.33 billion? A year ago, its third quarter profit was $7.35 billion.

ExxonMobil is doing just fine, and that is good. It employs thousands of hardworking people, and I’m happy about that.

But these impressive profits also raise an important question: Why should hardworking American taxpayers continue to subsidize ExxonMobil? Like other oil giants, ExxonMobil continues to get hefty tax benefits.
Any day now, Brian Williams will pick up on this.

Martin Bashir asks "What have they done?"

And issues a challenge to the Orange Boner and Kosher Mouse.

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

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan and Beau Biden talk about the MERS suit and make it understandable.

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

Egyptians marched from Tahrir Square to US Embassy

In support of all the US #OCCUPYs today. They get it.

Not what we say but what we do.

From the pen of Mike Lukovich

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Whirlpool profit doubles

But the poor dears didn't do well enough by Wall St. expectations so they are cutting the jobs of 5,000 people who make appliances to satisfy people who hire someone to run their appliances.

Any Democrat facing an election battle

Would do well to spend some time, like Dana Milbank did, with the Elizabeth Warren campaign.
By the time the candidate arrived for the meeting – a prosaic organizing session for volunteers -- there were nearly 300 people crammed into Local 7 to catch a glimpse of her. When she took the stage, a sea of cameras and smartphones rose, as if at a rock concert.

The source of the ardor is no mystery: Warren’s unapologetic populism and her fervent belief that corporations should be held to account for the economic collapse. Part Pat Moynihan, part Erin Brockovich, she has revived the energy of the left in a way no other Democrat has, including President Obama.

“We live in an America that has hammered, chipped and squeezed the middle class,” she told a crowd in Newton, Mass., while the government “has said to large corporations that you don’t have to pay anything in taxes.”

“Elizabeth,” a woman in the crowd gushed during the question time, “I’m so excited.” But what, the woman asked, would Warren do about the dysfunctional Congress?

Warren recounted her work creating Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in defiance of “the largest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth.” Instead of heeding advice to settle for “something at the margins,” Warren said, “my view on this was [to] get out there and fight for it.”

The questioner could not contain herself. “Yes!” she cried out.
Populism, loud and proud, is the way to win. Winning the hearts and minds of the people will beat out the other side every time, no matter how much money they spend. Don't believe me, just ask the US military.

Big news for British Royalty

They are changing some of the rules for you.
The British monarch's first-born child, whether a girl or a boy, will ascend the throne under new succession rules approved Friday by Commonwealth nations, reversing centuries of tradition.

Commonwealth national leaders also agreed at a summit in the western Australian city of Perth to lift a ban on monarchs marrying Roman Catholics, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
A great injustice has finally been righted. Mackerel snappers everywhere rejoice.

In many cases crime does pay

And it is a significant part of the global economy. Consider this UN report,
Criminal proceeds amounted to 3.6 percent of global gross domestic product in 2009, according to a recent UN report -- a sum totaling more than $2 trillion. More than 2.5 percent of global GDP was likely laundered through the financial system, the report finds.

Crime proceeds are higher in developing countries as measured by a proportion of gross domestic product, the report found. And despite efforts worldwide to counter money laundering, authorities are coming up short; less than 1 percent of money laundered through the financial system is ever seized and frozen.
Still there was no indication if the Banksters ill gotten gains were a part of these numbers. To deal with this, the world's top crime fighters were meeting in Phuket, Tailand, a major center of sex tourism, including underage sex. It would be a more appropriate setting for Rush Limbaugh.

Good news on Scott Olsen

According to the latest reports from the hospital,
An Iraq war veteran badly wounded in clashes between protesters and police on the streets of Oakland was awake and lucid, hospital officials and family members said on Thursday.

Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine struck in the head during Wall Street protests on Tuesday night, had been upgraded from critical to fair condition overnight...

Olsen “responded with a very large smile” to a visit from his parents, Highland General Hospital spokesman Warren Lyons said at a late-afternoon press conference on Thursday.

“He’s able to understand what’s going on. He’s able to write and hear but has a little difficulty with his speech,” Lyons said.
No word yet on the cowardly son of a bitch who tried to murder him.

Why the Austerians hate Iceland

And not because Dr Krugman is there now. No, Iceland is the scorn of the austerity crowd because it took the path of letting those who made the disaster suffer instead of the people.
If you’ve been reading accounts of the financial crisis, or watching film treatments like the excellent “Inside Job,” you know that Iceland was supposed to be the ultimate economic disaster story: its runaway bankers saddled the country with huge debts and seemed to leave the nation in a hopeless position.

But a funny thing happened on the way to economic Armageddon: Iceland’s very desperation made conventional behavior impossible, freeing the nation to break the rules. Where everyone else bailed out the bankers and made the public pay the price, Iceland let the banks go bust and actually expanded its social safety net. Where everyone else was fixated on trying to placate international investors, Iceland imposed temporary controls on the movement of capital to give itself room to maneuver.

So how’s it going? Iceland hasn’t avoided major economic damage or a significant drop in living standards. But it has managed to limit both the rise in unemployment and the suffering of the most vulnerable; the social safety net has survived intact, as has the basic decency of its society. “Things could have been a lot worse” may not be the most stirring of slogans, but when everyone expected utter disaster, it amounts to a policy triumph.
Gadzooks! The very thought of Wall St. being treated in that manner sends a frisson of delight through my body.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Toronto Canada has a douchebag teabagger mayor

What a terrible thing to do to a wonderful and clean city. And the mayor got a chance to shine when "Marg Delahunty, Warrior Princess" came to interview him. Marg has in her day "interviewed" most of the major political players in Canada including several Primie Ministers. And they all managed to take it in stride until it was the turn of this chickenshit piece of worm spooge.

More on this at Crooks & Liars.

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan interviews Glenn Greenwald.

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

An extended podcast with Dylan & Glenn.

All a matter of perspective

From the pen of Stuart Carlson

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Another suit filed against MERS

This time by the State of Delaware. Attorney General Biden is seeking to prevent MERS from acting as a beneficial party while the courts determine the amount of fraud committed by MERS and its owners.
The Delaware attorney general’s office sued Merscorp Inc., which runs a national mortgage registry used by banks, saying its practices are deceptive and hide information from borrowers.

The MERS database, which tracks ownership interests in mortgages, obscures information from borrowers and impeded their ability to fight foreclosures, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said in a complaint filed today.

“MERS engaged and continues to engage in a range of deceptive trade practices that sow confusion among consumers, investors and other stakeholders in the mortgage finance system, damage the integrity of Delaware’s land records, and lead to unlawful foreclosure practices,” Biden said.

MERS tracks servicing rights and ownership interests in mortgage loans on its electronic registry, allowing banks to buy and sell loans without recording transfers with individual counties. MERS acts as the lender’s nominee and remains the mortgagee of record as long as the note promising repayment is owned by a MERS member.

Banks and investors have the true economic interests in the loans, and the ownership of the mortgage notes is purportedly recorded in the MERS registry, to which the public has limited access, according to Biden. Biden said the system is “frequently inaccurate.”
The previous suits against MERS are to recover unpaid fees and taxes. If your real estate recording entity is not now planning to sue MERS you need to ask why.

It ain't over until it's over

As the Taliban was kind enough to remind US in Kandahar in southern Shitholeistan.
Taliban fighters launched separate attacks on two U.S. bases in Kandahar on Thursday, exploding a car bomb outside a military outpost west of the city and firing rocket-propelled grenades at another garrison downtown, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

The violence, which killed at least three Afghans and wounded six Americans, indicated that the Taliban still has the ambition and ability to take on the symbols of American power in southern Afghanistan. U.S. officials have been encouraged by months of declining violence in Kandahar City and some of the surrounding farmlands, but the insurgents have carried out high-profile assassinations in recent months that have tested the emerging stability.
Or as they say, it ain't over until the fat muezzin sings.

It ain't necessarily so

Herman Cain presents himself as a great manager because he ran a third rate pizza chain. Various staff members of his campaign say he must be talking about another person.
If Herman Cain feels his management skills are up to any challenge, some of his former staff members think he should have started with the disorder in his own campaign.

Mr. Cain has hardly shown up in New Hampshire and Iowa, they said, spending the bulk of his time on a book tour through the South. He occasionally mishandled potential big donors or ignored real voters. His campaign churned through the small staff; last week, his campaign announced the appointment of the veteran campaigner Steve Grubbs, his third Iowa leader in four months.

Even bumper stickers have been hard to come by.

And then there was that e-mail to the staff about traveling in a car with Mr. Cain: “Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to,” the memo said.
More to the point, if you're not going to buy a book, Herm doesn't want to talk to you.

GOP pushing for Military control of terror suspects.

The unrivaled success of civil courts in convicting those accused of terror compared to the failure of military courts to do so has annoyed the Republican/Teabaggers. Annoyed them so much that they are now focusing efforts to remove terror types from the civil courts to the military where their trials can be a failure. Obama has protected us from too many terrorists to allow this to continue.

Mittens has former terrorist as adviser on terrorism

But it's OK because he was a Christian when he was killing and now he is a Republican so you could say, IOKIYACR. Besides who would know more about terrorists?

How much will Republican/Teabaggers obstruct the government?

How about to the point of prevent passage of a bill honoring a murdered congressional aide.
One would be hard pressed to find any bill that could sail through Congress right now. But one measure with all the right ingredients for quick passage -- overwhelming support, no costs and a chance to honor the victim of a tragedy that hits close to home for everyone on Capitol Hill -- has hit a wall for no apparent reason.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has for months been pushing a resolution to name a room in the Capitol complex after Gabe Zimmerman, the congressional aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who was killed, along with five others, in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson that wounded Giffords. The measure has more than 350 cosponsors, an almost unheard of level of support in an otherwise hyper-partisan environment, and wouldn't cost taxpayers anything, save the pocket change necessary to hang a nameplate outside a room.

Yet the bill is not moving -- and nobody, including the people in charge of setting the schedule for House votes, seems to know why.
Kosher Mouse's people indicate it is the fault of The Great Orange Boner. Whoever is responsible is a Republican/Teabagger and is displaying another level of how low they can go.

Jarheads to close brig at Quantico

One portion of it, the pre-trial torture brig, notorious for keeping Bradley Manning in a unique "durance vile" before he was ever charged.
The US Marine Corps said Wednesday it will close a prison in Virginia that came under criticism for its treatment of a soldier accused of passing secrets to WikiLeaks.

The commander of the Marine base at Quantico has recommended “that the pre-trial confinement facility be closed” as a cost-saving measure, the Marine Corps said in a statement...

Major Stewart Upton told AFP that “the recommendation was made after balancing the cost of continued operation against the convenience of having such a facility aboard MCB (Marine Corps Base) Quantico, the low number of detainees, personnel savings, base security, and anti-terrorism and force protection interests.”
Either they do not plan on torturing any more pre-trial detainees or they have discovered that ordinary Marine "brig wallahs" will be just as brutal when ordered to be so.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Krugman goes over to the Dark Side

Perhaps because of all the bad news he has been revealing to us, Dr. Krugman has finally lost his soul, as his latest column reveals.
Greetings…it's your favorite dead-itorial writer, Paul "Bearer" Krugman, here to talk to you again about some rather, shall we say, chilling developments in the national economy. Ah, yes, it is a very dark and stormy night indeed for our financial system, dear readers, the kind of night that sends shivers up one's spine and sends the national unemployment rate soaring to nearly 10 percent. So curl up under your covers, and keep the candlelight close, because I will now tell a tale of economic woe so terrifying it may just make your hair stand on end.

Remember when the economy was BOO-ming? When predatory lenders were sucking the blood of homeowners and confidence in the market was ghoulishly high? Little did we know about the creeping, malevolent spirit of fiduciary calamity that lurked in the dark shadows, ready to pop out and gut the $230 billion federal surplus reported by the Congressional Budget Office for fiscal year 2000. What poor, damned fools we were over the next decade to let our national balance sheet slip so far into the deep, bloody red! Now it seems our economy has been buried alive, and the day may never come when it will once again rise from the dead.

Or should I say rise from the debt?
So tragic. Did you notice, he has even changed his photo.

Condi knew about Muammar's crush on her

And her memoir reveals that Muammar had a song written for Condi. I wonder if it was this one.

Update of Oakland Police riot

In my post this morning, I wondered when the police would start shooting unarmed people. Apparently they began last night, more to come, no doubt. At last report the Iraqi War vet whose skull was fractured by a tear gas round is in critical condition.

The shape of Halloween to come

From the pen of Tom Toles.

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An old favorite with an old standard

Linda Ronstadt in a live performance with Nelson Riddle conducting.

Linda's 3 albums with Nelson Riddle not only gave her career a boost but opened the door for other singers to put out collections of great old standards as well.

F-22 & F-35 still grounded

But Lockheed-Martin profits increased. Is this a great country or what?

Has your income tripled in the last 30 years

If it has you are probably a 1%er. If you are one of the rest of us, well,
The nation’s richest citizens almost tripled their incomes between 1979 and 2007 as the inequality of the distribution of wealth in the United States expanded, according to a new government report.

The top 1 percent saw their inflation-adjusted, after-tax earnings grow by 275 percent during that period, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Those at the other end of the spectrum, whose earnings put them in the bottom 20 percent of incomes, saw an 18 percent increase. The average increase for all households was 62 percent, the report said.
Had enough, yet?

Well, that explains it

Someone has to lose money. We’re a state-owned corporation, and it’s our social responsibility.
Guo Qigang, desalinization plant general manager, explaining why his plant will continue to produce freshwater at twice the price they sell it for.

About that medical device

There is a new wave of well funded lobbyists working to undo government regulations designed to protect the public. This time they are working on regulations for medical devices. These include everything from pacemakers & artificial joints to diagnostic equipment.
Lobbying to smooth the approval process has intensified over the last year as Congress prepares to reauthorize the law that requires device producers to pay fees to the F.D.A., fees that are used to pay the agency’s operating costs. Lawmakers have an opportunity to alter the agency’s regulatory procedures for the first time since the law last came up for renewal in 2007.

An industry lobbying group, the National Venture Capital Association, has intensified its focus on device regulation. In 2010, the association, which lobbies on many issues, spent more than $2.5 million, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. About $350,000 of that was related to devices, drugs and health care, a figure that is expected to increase to $450,000 this year, said an association spokeswoman, Emily Mendell.
A major impetus for deregulation is coming from the investors in the latest high tech, high cost doodad. If they can get a quick and superficial approval, they can recoup their monies long before the public learns that the doodad is useless or harmful. And doctors and hospitals don't cover the cost of make-good operations, you do.

Police continue to riot in Oakland

Using special squads of police trained to riot and wearing gear to better allow them to riot, the Oakland Police continue to attack American citizens seeking to peacefully assemble. The sad part is that in contrast to New York, LA, Chicago and other cities, there is nothing of value in Oakland that the police might claim to protect. How soon before the Oakland Police start shooting?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday is Bluesday

Mike Bloomfield from Fillmore East

Martin Bashir on Rick Perry's Inner Gump

Because Good Hair is as stupid does.

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Death Caps and Oranges

I first put Apples in the headline for this useful comparison. But apples are good for you, Teabaggers aren't, just like death cap mushrooms.

First saw this at Susie's place, then Fixer posted it and now the Great Orange Stan has it. I figured it was my turn.

click pic to big


If you can make it to Wall St, watch this.

Remember, he toles us so

From the pen of Tom Toles.

click pic to big

Gaddafi finally buried.

Even in a cooler, the bodies were beginning to stink too much. Nobody is saying where they were buried.

Praise be to the Republican/Teabaggers

Thanks to their efforts, governments at all levels have been laying off people, freezing demand and further damaging the economy. At the rate things are deteriorating, by the time they make Obama look bad enough to not be re-elected, there may not be anything left for the Republicans Great White Hope to rule over.

Suburbia - The new hotbed of poverty.

The suburbs, long associated with middle class stability, are becoming a sad marker on the trail of destruction of that class by the Republican/Corporatist/Teabaggers.
The poor population in America’s suburbs — long a symbol of a stable and prosperous American middle class — rose by more than half after 2000, forcing suburban communities across the country to re-evaluate their identities and how they serve their populations.

The increase in the suburbs was 53 percent, compared with 26 percent in cities. The recession accelerated the pace: two-thirds of the new suburban poor were added from 2007 to 2010.

“The growth has been stunning,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, who conducted the analysis of census data. “For the first time, more than half of the metropolitan poor live in suburban areas.”
This is a good time to remember your local food bank. You can donate or volunteer your time.

Lay in some popcorn for Guy Fawkes Day

On the 5th of November Anonymous has declared they will take down the Fox News website because Fox will not stop dissing the #Occupy Wall Street. This should be fun.

The George W Bush Memorial Unnecessary War of Choice in Iraq

Distilled and encapsulated by Charles Pierce.
The war in Iraq was a crime based on fraud. It was the first bunco scheme that qualifies as an international war crime. It was an unnecessary war of aggression, sold by thieves and con-men to a too-credulous American public that had been told for the previous 30 years that all politics was a shuck, and that the very principles of self-government made you a fool and a rube. The bloody irony was that internalizing those things made us the biggest suckers of all.
And there is much more.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Not the shipping company

But one of those rock groups that did not make the Top 40 but they did help make the FM band a success.


Republican Rep. Reid Ribble of Risconsin who also carries the title, but apparently not the duties of leader of the House Republican Job Creators Caucus, decided to blow off his jobs fair for a $1000 a head fund raiser/skeet shoot. Way to go Reid! Blasting all those poor little skeets for money when you should be helping people get jobs.

I always thought ICE was a bunch of movie bad guys

And it looks like down in Tennessee agents of that organization think they are as well. The ACLU has brought suit against the agency for acting in a manner that would have made Norman Stansfield proud.
In a 37-page complaint on behalf of fifteen plaintiffs, the ACLU and the ACLU of Tennessee allege that on October 20, 2010, ICE agents kicked in the door of several apartments in a complex in Nashville, TN without a warrant, held the tenants at gunpoint, shouted racial slurs and made several arrests.

In one instance, the agents were allegedly knocking on an apartment door, shouting “Police! Police!” in English and Spanish, but when no one answered the agents repeatedly slammed against the door and tried to force it open. “Without a search warrant, the existence of exigent circumstances, or consent to do so, several [ICE] Agents forced their entry through the apartment’s hallway door,” the complaint alleges.

Four of the plaintiffs had gathered in one of the bedrooms of the apartment, and said that one of the agents forced open the door and pointed his gun at them. “We have four here! Four Mexican sons of bitches!”

In one apartment, when the agents were asked for a warrant, one reportedly replied “we don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE,” gestured to his crotch, and added: “The warrant is coming out of my balls.”
Extremism in the defense of the rest of us against unarmed people is no vice. It is a crime.

Senile Old Fart from Arizona has a plan

Now that we can't drop bombs on Libya anymore, let's start dropping them on Syria!
Sen. John McCain said Sunday that military action to protect civilians in Syria might be considered now that NATO’s air campaign in Libya is ending.

However, President Obama’s administration has made clear it has no appetite for military intervention in Syria — a close ally of Iran that sits on Israel’s border — and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton noted Sunday that the Syrian opposition has not called for such action against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

“Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria,” McCain said at the World Economic Forum in Jordan. “The Assad regime should not consider that it can get away with mass murder. Gadhafi made that mistake and it cost him everything,” he added, referring to ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi who was captured and killed last week by fighters loyal to the new government.

“Iran’s rulers would be wise to heed similar counsel,” McCain said.
And just because Iran was mentioned last, it doesn't mean it is an afterthought. Nothing says loving like a 500lb GP bomb.

But they are merry men

From the pen of Ben Sargent

They have stacked the federal judiciary with their picks

For the last 30+ years. The only problem is the judges they selected for the most part have a respect for the law that Republican/Teabaggers can't stand.
Criticism of “activist judges” and of particular Supreme Court decisions has long been a staple of political campaigns. But the new attacks, coming from most of the Republican candidates, are raising broader questions about how the legal system might be reshaped if one of them is elected to the White House next year.

The complaints are in line with the candidates’ general opposition to federal authority. Like the elected branches of the federal government, they say, the federal judiciary has become too powerful and intrusive.

“If you want to send a signal to judges that we are tired of them feeling that these elites in society can dictate to us,” Mr. Santorum said at an event in Ames, Iowa, “then you have to fight back. I will fight back.”
The next step in their process of destruction of the government of the United States, get rid of the independent courts. Make them subservient to the Will of Newticles Gingrich or Ricky (Google Him)Santorum or whichever sad sack is losing big in the 2012 Goat Rodeo.

Lucky Leon Panetta

He gets to be the first Democrat to serve as Defense Secretary since 1997. As such he gets to strut and bellow with all the necessary bloodthirstiness expected of his office. And he gets to cut $450 Billion from his budget instead of getting a blank check like his predecessors. Because the Merchants of Death are so well represented, he may have to slash troops and veterans benefits to do so. WHo needs people when we have all these cool and expensive machines.

Because the private sector always does things better

A newly privatized prison in Great Britain lost more than one key, they lost a whole set of security keys for the entire prison.
A Birmingham Prison officer's set of keys has gone missing and now every lock at one of the country's largest prisons must now be replaced, a union official said Friday.

Terry Fullerton of the Prison Officers Association said he's been told the set went missing a couple days ago and an investigation is under way.

"Nobody knows how the keys have gone missing," he told The Associated Press. "They were there at one particular key check, then they were gone."
Can someone check if the prison owners also own a lock company?

Quote of the Day

I think what you see here, Geraldo, is a large amount of people that have been deeply and profoundly fucked by the system.
Participant in #OWS explaining to Geraldo Rivera why people were in Zucotti Park, while on live TV.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

You think you know Elizabeth Warren?

Take the time needed to read Suzanna Andrews' bio piece in the November Vanity Fair on the woman who should have been Director of the CFPB and will be the next Senator from Massachusetts. You will be surprised at what you didn't hear on the Nightly News.

Elizabeth Warren

Blues from the Cab

A sign of the times

h/t Juanita Jean

Is Karzai of the Afghans worth the effort

In lives and money needed to prop him up? Juan Cole looks at KoA's latest outburst and concludes that he is not.
One of the big problems with the ‘counter-insurgency’ program of Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan is that counter-insurgency requires a reliable local partner. But the US only has Hamid Karzai, who stole his last presidential election and who micro-manages Kabul while letting much of the country go to hell, and he has now pledged a defense pact with Pakistan against his US ally.

It makes a person angry about the idea of US troops losing their lives to defend and stand up the Karzai government.
About as reliable an ally as Israel and Saudi Arabia. We really need a realistic assessment of our presence in that area.

Sunday is funday

With guidance from John Prine

R.I.P. Paul Leka

May your biggest hit song die with you.

Sunday deep thinking

A)Obama's efforts get rid of Gaddafi and determine the end of the war in Iraq.

B)Republican/Teabaggers all criticize President Obama for ending a war and ridding the world of one of their best buddies.

C)Ergo all Republican/Teabaggers have ver-ry small penises.

Haka + Stupid cops = Pepper Spray

Following the final loss of a winless season, supporters of a Utah high school football team tried to cheer up the team with their version of the traditional Maori Haka. Local yokels respond with pepper spray even though crowd said everything was cool. Everything except the local gendarmarie.

John Bolton points out the error of our ways

In making the usual neo-con excuses for never ending a war once it is started, John Bolton makes very clear one of the great failings of US foreign/military policy.
We’re still in Germany, we’re still in Japan.
And we could save a huge pot of money if we brought all our troops overseas back to the US where they belong. And we would probably be safer.

EXTRA: Panatta reaffirms continuation of Pacific Imperial outposts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Some people just never give up

Like Rick Santorum in his presidential quest or those Japanese soldiers who didn't surrender until years after World War II was over, there are some people who never expected that we would actually remove our troops from Iraq. Apparently the idea of US troops leaving a country once they have entered is anathema to them and they are still trying to get us back into Iraq.

Saturday afternoon music blogging

New Rules takes down Conservatives

Including those who oppose #OWS. Sorry about the long intro with The Moustache of Understanding but you get Rachel, too.

Et tu, China?

Much to the unease of the authorities, even the Chinese are expressing sympathy for #OCCUPY WALL STREET.
On Oct. 6, Occupy Wall Street inspired some little-noticed sympathy in Zhengzhou, a city in central China's Henan province, when hundreds of pensioners and Communist Party members gathered to express their solidarity with the movement.

Photos show a small group of demonstrators, many wearing red armbands, holding a banner that reads, "Resolutely support the American People’s mighty Wall Street Revolution."
But the leadership is disturbed by the globalization of the discontent with the appearance of local complaints.
Within the last few days, state-owned media have begun to significantly downplay the movement.

There is currently no mention of Occupy Wall Street on the website of the New China News Agency, the state news service.

"I think the government wants to keep its distance from this event. You can take a look at CCTV; reports on this event have been scarce," said Jin Canrong, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, referring to the state broadcaster.

Censors have also begun restricting discussion of Occupy Wall Street on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter, but have stopped short of blocking it outright.
Like all power structures the CCP is happy when the trouble starts over there, not so much when it gets close to home.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh shit! I missed the Rapture

Was anyone else left behind? The good news is it might have gotten Harold Camping. More likely he is hiding until he can screw up his courage enough to come out and set another date.

Ode to Bloody Billy Kristol

Because he is gonna be salivating for a new war with Iraq ending and Libya done.

Josie Miles

Mittens haz great sad

Poor Mitt Romney is very upset that President Obama will complete George W. Bush's Unnecessary Iraq War of Choice on schedule. I suspect Mittens is furious that the President will be taking food from the mouths of the poor Merchants of Death, in the holiday season, no less.

The Mouse that would have Roared

If he had been nestled snugly in the arms of a sympathetic audience. That was what Kosher Mouse had deceived himself into believing would be waiting for him at the Wharton School of Business when he made his Brave New Jobs speech. Then he found it would be open to the public and his knees turned to jello and the pee trickled down his leg as he cancelled, the thought of facing the public nearly frightening him to death.
Eric Cantor’s office says the GOP Majority Leader cancelled an economic speech at the University of Pennsylvania because the school reneged on a deal to keep the audience restricted to students and faculty. But UPenn says the event, which was the target of planned protests, was always open to the public.
At which point the School made its position clear.
The Wharton speaker series is typically open to the general public, and that is how the event with Majority Leader Cantor was billed. We very much regret if there was any misunderstanding with the Majority Leader’s office on the staging of his presentation.”
Republican/Teabaggers hate it when they can't dictate the conditions. Especially the cowardly mice among them.

When the troops attack Bill-O

Colbert comes to his rescue.

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The latest way to cut prison food costs

Just don't feed them. This is the strategery of the Texas prison system to save the money that Gov. Good Hair won't tax his rich buddies for.
Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs. About 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons are eating two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays instead of three. A meal the system calls brunch is usually served between 5 and 7 a.m., followed by dinner between 4 and 6:30 p.m.

The meal reductions are part of an effort to trim $2.8 million in food-related expenses from the 2011 fiscal year budget of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the state prison agency. Other cuts the agency has made to its food service include replacing carton milk with powdered milk and using sliced bread instead of hamburger and hot dog buns...

Ohio and Arizona serve two meals per day on the weekends to reduce food-service costs. Georgia serves two meals per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, though inmates on work details receive a third meal.
If you can't feed them, maybe you shouldn't lock up so many of them.

Marco Rubio grasps key to Republican/Teabagger success

Lie like a rug about your past and make damn sure it conforms to approved Republican/Teabagger mythology.
Rubio has been claiming for years that his family joined an exodus from Cuba in 1959 after the revolution led by Fidel Castro. In a 2010 campaign ad, for instance, he referred to himself as the “son of Cuban exiles.”

But naturalization papers and other official records show that his parents arrived in the United States in 1956, well before Castro took power. And they returned to Cuba several times after Castro declared the island a socialist state.

His parents waited 15 years to seek naturalization.
So they weren't hard core opposed to Castro and maybe they jumped the gun, fleeing Battista rather than Castro, but they were Cuban.

One more reason for #OWS

The giant retail Satan, Wal-Mart, long known for using Medicaid as its principle health care plan for its employees, is planning to cut back its health care benefits.
After trying to mollify its critics in recent years by offering better health care benefits to its employees, Wal-Mart is substantially rolling back coverage for part-time workers and significantly raising premiums for many full-time staff.

Citing rising costs, Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, told its employees this week that all future part-time employees who work less than 24 hours a week on average will no longer qualify for any of the company’s health insurance plans.

In addition, any new employees who average 24 hours to 33 hours a week will no longer be able to include a spouse as part of their health care plan, although children can still be covered.

This is a big shift from just a few years ago when Wal-Mart expanded coverage for employees and their families after facing criticism because so many of its 1.4 million workers could not afford or did not qualify for coverage — rendering many of them eligible for Medicaid.
So the great retail Satan, which reported income of $3.8 Billion in the 2nd quarter is pushing more of its employees back onto Medicaid to keep Wall St happy. And they will probably be demanding all manner of tax breaks from the states which can't afford the increases in Medicaid. Time to say good night to this bunch of Waltons.

Republican/Teabaggers block another jobs bill

Because in their hearts they know the more people they keep unemployed the better their chances in 2012. Because no voter would blame a stalwart white Republican/Teabagger when there is a black Democrat in the White House.

Krugman vs The Filthy Republican/Teabaggers

Dr. Krugman shatters the fallacious arguments given by Republican/Teabaggers for unleashing unlimited quantities of filthy air and water upon the American public. He even shows that their plans not only do not create value, but they actually destroy more than they create. This is just fine with Republican/Teabaggers as long as there is a black Democrat in the White House.

And for fun he includes the obligatory example of Mittens flip-flopping.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Mittens is smiling

Repeal the Romney Rule

The last tweet

The Intertubes have been filled with John McCain's tweet from Libya some years back. We here in the district are fortunate to have and show you Gaddafi's last tweet to John McCain.

To John, With Love Muammar

President Obama must have taken a sabbatical from the White House

The Republican/Teabaggers were effusive in their praise of everyone involved in taking out Gaddafi except that colored fella who is President.

They send them off to long term wars

But when it comes to long term funding for those who come back permanently damaged, the "honorable members" of Congress have scant time and less funding for the veterans. Starting wars is much more fun for Congress because the Merchants of Death pay better than the returnees do.

Republican/Teabagger fireworks

From the pen of Pat Oliphant. His inspiration.

click pic to big

When the farking banksters meet the fracking drillers

It turns out they don't see eye to eye on the properties they have an interest in. Something about the toxic wastes that frackers produce upsets the farkers.
And over the past 10 years, as natural gas has become increasingly important to the nation’s energy future, Americans have signed more than a million of these leases.

But bankers and real estate executives, especially in New York, are starting to pay closer attention to the fine print and are raising provocative questions, such as: What happens if they lend money for a piece of land that ends up storing the equivalent of an Olympic-size swimming pool filled with toxic wastewater from drilling?

Fearful of just such a possibility, some banks have become reluctant to grant mortgages on properties leased for gas drilling. At least eight local or national banks do not typically issue mortgages on such properties, lenders say.

A credit union in upstate New York has started requiring gas companies to promise to pay for any damage caused by drilling that may lead to devaluation of its mortgaged properties. Another will make home loans only to people who expressly agree not to sign a gas lease as long as they hold the mortgage.

More generally, bankers are concerned because many leases allow drillers to operate in ways that violate rules in landowners’ mortgages. These rules also require homeowners to get permission from their mortgage banker before they sign a lease — a fact that most landowners do not know.
Oh, now the banksters worry about the rules, when they aren't making the big score.

We now have a new [ ]Gate

Gail Collins has christened the dust up over Mitten's landscapers using undocumented immigrant labor. Welcome to Begonia-gate. And along the way she lets us know what happened to John McCain.
This was the old John McCain, who, you may remember, was kidnapped by space aliens who specialized in manufacturing cranky-old-men androids.
Now you know.

Qaddafi is dead

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, late of Tripoli, Libya, has been reported dead of gunshot wounds. Funeral arrangements are still incomplete.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan speaks with Sen. Bernie about the latest Fed report.

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A guide to rape prevention

click pic to big

h/t Susie Madrak

Ohio union busting bill headed for the trash can

There has been a huge amount of activity on the electoral veto of Ohio's SB 5 and the latest polling shows strong sentiment to throw it out. The latest PPP poll has repeal ahead by 56-36.
The fact that “No” on Issue 2 was the pro-union side was bound to lead to a little confusion in the early going, but that’s been sorted out. Ohioans are strongly behind worker rights, and they are poised to pummel John Kasich’s plan in a couple weeks. This is why Kasich begged labor to come to the bargaining table a couple months ago – interesting that the man who wanted to eliminate collective bargaining rights suddenly wanted to bargain – to work out a deal on SB 5. He knew that, even with the polls trending slightly in his direction, that he would not be able to convince the public that police and fire fighters and public employees should be denied their rights.

PPP has Kasich at 37% approval less than a year into his term, by the way, and he loses a hypothetical rematch with former Gov. Ted Strickland by 54-40.
Gov. Kasich's numbers show the people would also like to throw out the "baby" with the bath water.

Geezers rejoice!

For the first time in 3 years there will be a COLA adjustment in your Social Security payments. 3.6% which isn't bad when you realize that corporate CEO's are confining their workers to 1% or 2% raises to allow them to give themselves the requisite 10% to 100% raises they need to survive. Please ignore the fact that you have been held back for 3 years and now occupy a lower rung on the income ladder.

Where the wild things are

Lately that would be in and around the Ohio city of Zanesville.
The mayor of the Ohio town where several wild animals are still on the loose said on Wednesday that their owner had set them free before killing himself on Tuesday evening.

In a phone interview on CNN, the mayor of Zanesville, Butch Zwelling, said that the animals included lions, tigers, bears and wolves. He identified the owner as Terry Thompson.

Large animals were running free outside of their cages when the police arrived as night fell on Tuesday, the local sheriff, Matt Lutz of Muskingum County, said during a Wednesday morning news conference. “We had animals outside that fenced area on the road,” Sheriff Lutz said, and officers shot them “at close range” with their sidearms. “We cannot have animals running loose in this county,” he said.

As darkness fell, the police were concerned that the animals would disperse, and Sheriff Lutz said he made the call to shoot them with live ammunition. “We did not have any tranquilizer darts with us; we don’t carry them,” he said, adding that they later received darts for use around residential subdivisions.

Sheriff Lutz said that the authorities had killed 43 or 44 animals of roughly 50 believed to be on the loose. One cat was hit on the interstate, he said.
Keep the pets in and the doors locked when the zoo comes to you.

The Confidence Fairy has fled the US

Scared off by the sound of the housing bubble bursting.
The United States has a confidence problem: a nation long defined by irrational exuberance has turned gloomy about tomorrow. Consumers are holding back, businesses are suffering and the economy is barely growing.

There are good reasons for gloom — incomes have declined, many people cannot find jobs, few trust the government to make things better — but as Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, noted earlier this year, those problems are not sufficient to explain the depth of the funk.

That has led a growing number of economists to argue that the collapse of housing prices, a defining feature of this downturn, is also a critical and underappreciated impediment to recovery. Americans have lost a vast amount of wealth, and they have lost faith in housing as an investment. They lack money, and they lack the confidence that they will have more money tomorrow.
It has taken 30 years since the advent of Reaganomics to turn the US into a "Can't Do" nation. How long will it take to turn it around, if ever.

MoDo tries to explain Mormons

And when you think about it, a good Catholic girl trying to explain a religion deciphered from one time only golden plates, read by the use of magical stones, by a known frontier grifter, she does it fairly well.

Make a joyful noise

From two joyful people on the stage.

FYI They are married, to other people, but they also love their work.

CFTC takes first steps against speculators.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission had voted to approve the first regulations since Phil Gramm trashed the old ones, to limit speculation in commodities and futures trading.
Big financial speculators will be limited in their ability to manipulate the price of oil and 27 other commodities under a set of new rules adopted Tuesday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Yet even as the CFTC approved the new rules to rein in excessive speculation on a 3-2 party-line vote — with Democratic commissioners in the majority — some financial-market analysts and lawmakers in Congress complained that the new rules fall short of what's needed to curb speculation effectively.

"This rule begins the process of doing that, but much more needs to be done," Dennis Kelleher, president of the advocacy group Better Markets, said in a statement. "Speculators' casino mentality brings them big profits but hurts everyone else from the kitchen table to the gas pump."...Under the new rules, speculative limits for next-month contracts would be set at 25 percent of the deliverable supply. This is in line with historical practices. It now also would apply to the futures market.

For all products except natural gas, the CFTC has opted for a 1-to-1 ratio, where traders are subject to the same limits in the futures market as in the physical markets. This is a narrowing of past rules.

For natural gas, speculative contracts could exceed ones in the physical markets by a 5-to-1 ratio, something that didn't sit well with consumer groups who fear it will lead to higher home-heating costs.

The new rules cannot take effect until 60 days after the CFTC defines what qualifies as a "swap," a definition that may take until December or January. That's a contract that locks in a bet between two private parties in the vast so-called dark markets that until last year were completely unregulated.
The CFTC has also given us another reason to vote for Obama. You know that any Republican/Teabagger would eliminate the regulations and bring us $150+ a barrel oil again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some prefatory remarks for the Republican/Teabagger debate

Courtesy of Martin Bashir.

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Just think how many yachts this can buy

The National Priorities Project and Citizens for Tax Justice have a counter set up to illustrate just how much money the Bush Tax Cuts have cost the Treasury since their inception. It is also increasing at a real time pace.

An alternative to yachts would be the number of teachers hired. Or the number of people with health insurance. Or the miles of new water and sewer piping from and to the new treatment plants. Or the number of bridges rebuilt before they collapse. You get the idea.

37 out of 50 Attorneys General

Prefer Richard Cordray for the position of Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The administration enlisted the help of 37 attorneys general, both Republicans and Democrats, to push for their former colleague, Ohio's previous attorney general, and sing his praises. The attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday to every member of the Senate, asking them to overcome their opposition to Cordray and the CFPB in general.

The letter, organized by the National Association of Attorneys General, called Cordray "both brilliant and balanced," arguing that he would "an honest broker and strong advocate for both businesses and consumers that are committed to following the rules."
The unspoken part is that the Republican/Teabaggers in the Senate do not want an honest broker or a strong advocate for anybody. They would prefer someone who is toothless and can be ignored or bypassed by their rich friends in their quest to be richer.

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