Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Florida primary vote is today

And Linda Ronstadt. with her friends Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, reviews the various campaign promises.

The Great Orange Stan has a petition

The petition calls for an investigation of that disgusting little puke Jimmy The Pimp O'Keefe for voter fraud in New Hampshire. World Nut Daily this the idea of investigating a "hero" like Jimmy The Pimp is disgusting. Help us tell World Nut Daily to fuck off and hopefully put Jimmy The Pimp in jail where he belongs.


Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana is retiring after this term. He should be remembered as one of the most vocal Republicans hounding Bill Clinton about Monica Lewinsky at the same time that he, like his Speaker Newt, had greater skeletons of his own in the closet.

Just like any other cattleman

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

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All is right with the world

Home prices have declined again and profits at Exxon Mobil have increased. This brings home prices to the level last seen in 2003. Exxon's profits have risen higher than they ever were when we had 2 oil men in the White House. Go figure.

Another good idea falls short

In the face of another surge of Republican/Teabagger misogyny, this time in Virginia, a Democratic State Senator sought some balance in the legislation.
Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell (D) thinks that if the government is going to force women to undergo medically unnecessary tests, then it is only fair to apply the same standards to men.

Republican lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would require pregnant women to have an ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy. In response, Howell introduced an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra.

“We need some gender equity here,” she told the Huffington Post. “The Virginia Senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”

The Republican-led Senate narrowly rejected her proposed amendment by a 21 to 19 vote.
Good for you Sen. Howell. Sadly you discovered that nothing gets in the way of an old limp dick in its quest for Big Blue.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The good in Canada

Brenley MacEachern on dobro and Lisa MacIsaac on violin. And yes, Lisa is the sister of Ashley

Lies, the new Republican/Teabagger currency

Martin Bashir addresses the constant mendacity of the extreme radical Republican candidates.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Going green takes on a whole new meaning

When Tom Tomorrow takes a look at Newticles Leroy Gingrich.

Rick Santorum speaks with God

So women don't have to leave their proper place.

h/t AmericaBlog

Just so you know

The US deficit has investors worldwide so worried that they drove the yield on 5 Year Treasuries down to a record low.

Having crashed the world economy with them

The Wall St banksters are working hard to keep the opacity in their swaps dealings. The less known about what they are doing the better. And if they screw the pooch again and we have another crash, maybe you will never know who did it. And to prevent any unnecessary transparency, they are working their paid stooges in DC to the max. Because keeping any control over these Big Swinging Dicks is so unamerican.

The beauty of all lies all the time.

You can run against whichever straw man works best today.

From the pen of Ben Sargent

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Another AWOL Bush

This one is Jeb and he is missing in action from the bare knuckles Florida primary. He is not running and in spite of much effort by the Mittens Men, he is not endorsing. Being a Bush, he is most likely working both sides to get them to destroy each other politically so he can ride in on a white horse and save the Republican/Teabagger convention.

Obituary for a Zombie Policy

Paul Krugman writes the obituary for expansionary austerity, an economic policy that was dead on arrival but brought back to life by the voodoo doctors of the Very Serious People in Europe. Even though the evidence is enough to take a chainsaw to austerity, you know the voodoo doctors will bring it back until they are eliminated.
The infuriating thing about this tragedy is that it was completely unnecessary. Half a century ago, any economist — or for that matter any undergraduate who had read Paul Samuelson’s textbook “Economics” — could have told you that austerity in the face of depression was a very bad idea. But policy makers, pundits and, I’m sorry to say, many economists decided, largely for political reasons, to forget what they used to know. And millions of workers are paying the price for their willful amnesia.
Despite what you see in the movies, brains have never been part of this zombies diet.

Pissant Tennessee bigot thrown out of restaurant.

Stacey Campfield is a pissant Tennessee bigot who put the stu in stupid then came back for a second helping to put the pid in stupid. But he got a taste of his own medicine over the weekend.
As Metropulse and Towleroad are reporting, Martha Boggs, the owner of Knoxville's The Bistro at the Bijou, asked Campfield to leave after he tried to dine at her establishment.

Following the incident, Boggs posted a status on her restaurant's Facebook page which read, "I hope that Stacy (sic) Campfield now knows what it feels like to be unfairly discriminated against."

Metropulse reports that Boggs later clarified her actions in an interview. "I didn't want his hate in my restaurant," she said. "I told him he wasn't welcome here. ... I feel like he's gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him." Boggs is also due to appear on HuffPost Gay Voices Editor-at-Large Michelangelo Signorile's radio program on SiriusXM OutQ today to talk about the experience.
Pity there wasn't a gang of bigotophobes waiting outside to give him a proper beatdown. Give him a real feel for the other side.

The Republican/Teabaggers newest BFF - Canadian Oil

And their newest BFF must be giving them lots and lots of dollars for them to push the Keystone pipeline so hard. Over the weekend The Great Orange Boner revealed the latest Republican/Teabagger trick to get the pipeline approved.
Republican lawmakers will try to force the Obama administration to approve the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline by attaching it to a highway bill that Congress will consider next month, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday.

President Barack Obama earlier this month denied TransCanada’s application for the oil sands pipeline, citing lack of time to review an alternative route within a 60-day window for action set by Congress.

Republicans have since been looking for a vehicle to resurrect the $7 billion project, and Boehner said that would be a House Republican energy and highway bill.
Why would anybody want to build a Canadian pipeline across the US to ship Canadian oil to other countries when the Canadian dollar is at par with the US? Where's the profit in that?

Quote of the Day

It’s almost as laughable as accusing Fox News of being, uh, you know, being news.
Miss Piggy, responding to vicious and unfounded attacks on the new Muppet Movie by Fux Nooz.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Abigail Washburn

Banjo player, member of Uncle Earl when she isn't solo and fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese.

Something to keep you Occupied

From the pen of Tom Toles

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What the RMBS Working Group should do

Gretchen Morgensen reviews the results of the DoJ and SEC litigation against the Wall St fraudsters and compares thhem to the results of private litigation.
It is to be expected that investigators for private law firms will turn up loads of ammunition to help them in their court battles. But in the past, law enforcement was similarly aggressive in its own pursuits.

Now, the balance seems to have shifted, with private litigants doing more legal heavy lifting than those who serve the public.
She suggests that the government should work with and make use of the evidence uncovered by private litigants. A nice idea but it suggests that the presence of AG Schneiderman will cause the government leopard to change its spots. Newts moon bases are more likely.

Everything you need to know about Saul Alinsky and more

From the New Rules of Bill Maher, who knows more than Suri.

From the Dept of "What are they hiding?"

Like watching the sun rise, you knew this would be the result when it finally happened. The Republican/Teabaggers in Indiana wanted to abuse the poorest in their state by including drug testing for welfare applicants. One of the Democrats in the Indiana legislature did the right thing.
A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers.

"There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill," said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill.
He had to withdraw his bill because he knew the rate of failure among the legislators would be much higher than among welfare recipients. Given the evil nature of the current Republican/Teabaggers, this just means the next time they will work to prevent any amendments. God forbid they should ever give up pushing a bad idea.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why we seek the city life

Miss Tess knows.

For all you Republican/Teabaggers out there

Your moment of truth

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If you want to sneak commandos into someplace

Just tell everybody about the dandy new mothership you are making for them. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

If everybody likes to give money to Republican/Teabaggers

Why do they have such a hard time raising money legally? And when you are an ex-FBI why should you even consider an illegal approach, much less working with a shady character who would be accused of embezzlement? Michael Grimm, freshman Republican/Teabagger from Staten Island can answer these questions, but he won't. He prefers life outside of jail.
Soon after he began running for Congress in 2009, Michael G. Grimm, a Staten Island Republican, needed to convince party leaders in Washington that he could raise enough money to become a viable candidate. Seeking help, he turned to an unlikely source: followers of an Orthodox rabbi and mystic from Israel.

Mr. Grimm, a former agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a Roman Catholic who regularly attends Sunday Mass, traveled around the New York region with one of the rabbi’s top aides, Ofer Biton, to raise campaign money from the rabbi’s followers. In all, the Grimm campaign collected more than $500,000 from the followers, according to numerous interviews and an analysis of Mr. Grimm’s campaign records...

“Grimm and Biton were together all the time during the campaign,” said one of the followers, Yossi Zaga, a real estate investor who donated $4,800, the legal limit, to Mr. Grimm at Mr. Biton’s urging. “They would drive around together to the homes and offices and ask for contributions.”

Three of the rabbi’s followers said in separate interviews that Mr. Grimm or Mr. Biton told them that the campaign would find a way to accept donations that were over the legal limit, were given in cash or were given by foreigners without green cards.

Congressional campaigns are not allowed to accept cash donations of more than $100. Foreigners without green cards are barred by law from giving to political campaigns. They are also not allowed to solicit contributions for campaigns.

One follower of the rabbi said in an interview that Mr. Grimm pressed him for $20,000. The follower said Mr. Grimm instructed him to meet him “near the F.B.I. building,” in Lower Manhattan, in summer 2010 to give the money. The follower said he handed over $5,000 in cash in an envelope to Mr. Grimm in Mr. Grimm’s car.

Within a week, the follower said, he gave Mr. Grimm a $5,000 check from a friend. Mr. Grimm then repeatedly called the follower and demanded another $10,000, the follower said.

“Every day, he used to call me, over and over,” the follower said.

The follower said he ignored the calls and did not give again.
No wonder Republican/Teabaggers hate campaign finance laws.

Gail Collins on the historical legacy of Newticles

Really, what is there to say about it beyond a certain resemblance to studying proctology with a minor in scatology. She writes well, so it is not a total loss.

Do as we say, not as we do

A few months back people all across America were shocked to learn that Congress is exempt from insider trading laws and routinely engages in such activity. And now, despite large majorities of bipartisan support for change and a call from the President to do so, Congress is showing no signs of giving up its lucrative privilege.
President Obama's plea to ban Congressional insider trading may poll well and have bipartisan support, but it's already facing stiff resistance from lawmakers the morning after his State of the Union address...

the other members of Congress who were mum on insider trading reform were Republican Sen. Mike Crapo, who said Obama's remarks raised more questions than answers, and Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who was targeted Schweizer's book.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), one of the wealthiest members with a minimum net worth of $181 million, wouldn’t answer directly on whether members should limit the stock they own. “I think what he’s talking about is avoiding conflicts of interests, which we should do,” Kerry said. “I think it’s very important not to have these conflcits of interest.”

Sen. Portman added "I’m not sure I see the need for it in Congress."
It is curious that the wealthiest members, those who need insider trading least, are most likely to be opposed. I guess greed does eat away a man's character

Robert Fisk gives Israeli/US Middle East policy a good fisking

And, Lord knows, it deserves it. Israeli policy toward the Palestinians has devolved into the hands of racists and US policy is, like the mouse frozen by the hypnotic sway of the cobra, moribund and worthless.
But, as Professor Ian Buruma pointed out recently, the political heirs of "deeply racist traditions" are the new champions of the Jewish state, whose policies now owe more to 19th-century ethnic chauvinism than to Zionism's socialist roots. All kinds of strange people now give their support to Israel. It is disturbing to note that the Oslo mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, supported the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank. That's not Israel's fault. But Republicans in America are now warning of an Islamic Sharia law takeover in the US. It's an idea fostered, according to The New York Times, by a 56-year-old Hasidic Jewish lawyer called David Yerushalmi and his Society of Americans for National Existence, who now has former CIA director James Woolsey and Republicans Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann echoing his views. The last two have actually signed a pledge "to reject Islamic law".

For what? Israel, which in the past could analyse events rationally, if not always correctly, appears, too, to have lost its ability to grasp events, its Prime Minister hiding behind self-delusional speeches when he should be understanding the typhoon sweeping across the Arab states around him. People who will no longer tolerate dictators are not going to accept peace treaties with an ever more expansionist Israel – 2,000 more colonisers' homes, Netanyahu decided last autumn, would be the latest punishment for the Palestinians who dare to demand statehood.

Obama is also silent. When Netanyahu and the king of Saudi Arabia could line up to plead with Obama to save Mubarak, you knew something had gone terribly wrong. Gideon Levy, one of the finest of Israeli journalists, writes with biting eloquence of his government's folly, its failure to see that Arab democracy is a cause for good, not bad, that its relationship with the United States is – in a grim and almost colonial way – even more dangerous to Israel. And, all the while, the settlements continue. Which is why the Palestinians will not resume peace talks with Israel under the grubby neutrality of the United States.
And this being an election year, no one has any intention of getting AIPAC stirred up. You don't tug on Superman's cape.

Sure he looks innocent enough

But it's Caturday so beware.

stolen from Fark - Geordles 'shop

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another fine talent you never heard of

Kate Campbell is a singer/songwriter that doesn't fit into the categories.

Fuck censorship

And all those who make it happen. On Thursday, The Day That Twitter Died, the boss Twits declared their ability to censor tweets country by country. Some say this was a result of the $300 Million invested by the censorship loving Saudis. Whatever the source, Twits around the world are callong for a day of no tweets tomorrow Saturday January 28. If you tweet, don't. If you have friends who tweet ask them not to do so.

#TwitterBlackout” and #TwitterCensored

Settlement with bank mobs seen near

They talk about this alot but this time there may be something to it. One of the big sticking points has almost been eliminated.
The settlement is worth $25 billion, a sum which will be distributed to homeowners who were wrongfully foreclosed on as well as those who remain underwater. In addition, banks could still face future legal action over 12 specific violations.

According to someone intimate with the negotiations, there will be no legal release of the banks with respect to:

  1. Criminal liability.
  2. Tax liability
  3. Fair lending, fair housing, or any other civil rights claim.
  4. Federal Housing Finance Agency or the GSEs [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]
  5. CFPB claims for the period after they came into existence in July 2011
  6. SEC claims
  7. National Credit Union Association Claims
  8. FDIC claims
  9. Federal Reserve Board claims
  10. MERS claims

In addition, the source said, there will be preservation of the vast majority of securitization claims including all claims regarding state pension funds as well as the vast majority of the origination fraud claims from HUD, the VA and the USDA.

According to Mike Lux, who originally reported the settlement for The Huffington Post, the release will be "almost entirely confined to robosigning cases" -- meaning that banks will likely not see further punishment from the states for foreclosure fraud. Robosigning fraud is perhaps the easiest type of misconduct for prosecutors to target.
Robosigning was the heart of most of the fraud and the nutcracker to get at the larger crimes. This may not be a great settlement despite the remaining criminal liabilities.

As if the Canadian study needed further proof

A Tennessee Republican/Teabagger state Senator has stepped up to perfectly illustrate the conjunction of conservative thought, prejudice and being dumb as a bag of hammers.
Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) falsely claimed on Thursday that it was nearly impossible for someone to contract AIDS through heterosexual contact.

“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community,” he told Michelangelo Signorile, who hosts a radio program on SiriusXM OutQ. “It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”

“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”

It is generally accepted that at some point HIV crossed species from chimps to humans, but there is no evidence that this was caused by bestiality. Rick Sowadsky of the Nevada State Health Division AIDS program noted in 1998 that it highly unlikely that HIV was transmitted through inter-species sexual contact, given the behavior of chimps and the differences between the sexual anatomy of humans and other primates.

According to the the Center for Disease Control, male-to-male sexual contact has been the most common way to transmit AIDS, followed by injection drug use and heterosexual sex.
And the purpose of the Republican/Teabagger assault on public education is to guarantee many, many more people like Stacey.

Last remaining Pythons to reunite for film

In what will probably be an overproduced and vain attempt to prove that geezers can be funny, the left over Pythons will be making a new movie.
Members of iconic British comedy group “Monty Python” will re-unite for a new film, a science fiction farce, ex-Python Terry Jones said.

“Absolutely Anything” will not be a Python film as such, but key members of the gang, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, are involved, said Jones, who will direct the movie.

US comic Robin Williams will also lend his voice to the film, which will combine animation and live action, while producers are attempting to sign up the other surviving Python member, Eric Idle, for the project.

“It’s not a Monty Python picture, but it certainly has that sensibility,” Jones told industry daily Variety, adding filming was expected to begin in Britain in the coming months.

The original Python members — who first joined forces on surreal TV series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” — will voice a group of aliens who give an earthling the power to do “absolutely anything” to see what a mess he makes.

Williams will play a talking dog called Dennis, who seems to understand more than anyone else about what happens as a result.
So long as they get their prune juice shakes in the morning they should be OK.

Newt as sociopathic pussyhound

Once again Stephen Colbert has stumbled upon the truth.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are you conservative and predjudiced?

Chances are you are dumb, too. A new study from Canada has shown a marked relationship between those three qualities.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.

"Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood," he said.
So now we have scientific evidence of what John Stuart Mill said so eloquently, so many years ago.
Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.

Another endorsement for Newticles

Thanks to the tireless organizing efforts of Duke Cunningham, Duke was proud to announce to Newt that 80% of his fellow inmates at the Tucson Federal Correctional Institution (Medium Security) would vote for Newt. If prisoners were allowed to vote. Good to see that Newt has the medium felonious segment sewed up.

Republican have problems with irony

And Martin Bashir gives us a lesson in how that is so.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Quote of the Day

"The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is — and I mean this seriously — the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been."
Fidel Castro, former President of Cuba and longtime observer of US Presidents

Another part of her great legacy

She gives it the right pitch.

Mercs looking south

Having worn out their welcome in the Middle East, the great mercenary princes are looking for new opportunities to array their armies and grow their profits. Some of the companies are looking to Mexico as a new revenue source.
After years of lucrative work in the Middle East and Central Asia, where their presence has been occasionally marred by incidents of excessive force and misconduct, contractors and private security firms of varying sizes and specialties are being drawn into a battle closer to home. But Mexico’s restrictive gun laws mean that foreign contractors must enter the bloody drug war unarmed as they take jobs ranging from consulting and technical training for the Mexican military to guarding business executives from kidnapping gangs and extortionists.

Virginia-based DynCorp International has job openings in Mexico for aviation instructors and mechanics. The Manhattan consulting firm Kroll hires anti-kidnapping specialists to protect Mexican business executives. MPRI, a company based in Alexandria, is training Mexican soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques.

The companies are beckoned by swelling pots of public and private contracting gold. In November, the Pentagon’s counter-narco-terrorism program office solicited bids on more than $3 billion in contracts worldwide, with an unspecified amount destined for operations in Mexico. The State Department has pledged nearly $2 billion in drug war aid to Mexico since 2008, much of it available to U.S. companies that can provide equipment or services to the embattled Mexican government.

Security spending by private companies in Mexico and the Mexican government has also surged. Since President Felipe Calderon deployed Mexico’s military against the country’s drug kingpins in December 2006, the number of armed private security firms in the country has doubled, Mexican federal police statistics show. But while there are 1,400 licensed firms in good standing, analysts say there may be another 10,000 operating without proper authorization.
There is one real roadblock to any large presence in Mexico. Foreigners are not allowed to carry firearms in Mexico. Add in Mexico's long standing antipathy toward armed gringos in their country and you have an effective check on their activities.

Iran calls for nuclear talks

Despite all the diplomatic language, Iran is obviously worried about Israeli dominance of US Middle East policy. The fear that the AIPAC will stop US efforts to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran is weighing heavily upon the leadership.

Expect Congress to try to blow smoke into every orifice

Talk about taxes will be very big this year. Following up on the calls for changes by Warren Buffett, the lovely rates paid by Mittens will charge up the public. The Republican/Teabaggers, being the party of the free lunch for rich people, will fight everything proposed.
President Obama’s call for “tax fairness” and Mitt Romney’s tax returns have catapulted the debate over tax increases on the rich to the top of the political agenda. But with even some top Democrats hesitant, the prospects of a so-called Buffett tax on high-earning households remain uncertain, if not remote, for the immediate future. What is left may be only politics, at least until after the November elections.

Democrats promised Wednesday that this time their calls for serious tax changes for the rich were serious. For two years, when their party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, Democratic leaders failed to change the rules on “carried interest” to ensure that private equity titans and venture capitalists pay more than a 15 percent tax rate on fees reaped from their investor clients. Democrats hardly mentioned raising the 15 percent tax rates on dividends and capital gains, the largest reason the super-rich pay less of their income in taxes than many middle-class families.

But that was before Mr. Romney released a 2010 tax return that showed income of $21.6 million, and an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent, a rate more typical of a household earning about $80,000. An Individual Retirement Account with significant investments in the Cayman Islands valued at $20 million to $100 million, along with investments scattered in tax havens from Switzerland to Luxembourg to Ireland, has also provoked scrutiny.

“All you need to do is look at the former governor of Massachusetts’ tax return to understand why this has become an emergency,” Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said Wednesday, referring to Mr. Romney.

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, seconded Mr. Reid’s call for fast action on tax changes for the rich. Mr. Schumer for years resisted efforts to change the provision that lets Wall Street private equity managers declare their fees as capital gains, before advocating a watered-down approach and now accepting full elimination of the carried-interest provision.
And in the end, despite covering the land in bullshit and filling the air with thick clouds of smoke, nothing will get done before the election and precious little after that. Still, the only possibility of change, small as it may be, is to run every possible Republican/Teabagger out of office.

Tiny Tim says no one wants him back

Tiny Tim Geithner, who successfully defended the needs of Wall St against the oppressive demands of the public for justice and accountability, says he thinks his time is done.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday he would not expect to be asked to continue as Treasury chief if President Barack Obama wins re-election.

“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said during a Bloomberg television interview conducted in North Carolina, where Geithner toured an electronics manufacturing plant.

Geithner said he was confident Obama would win a second term in the November election and said he would then “have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”

There would be “something else for me,” Geithner added.
The joy of his departure could easily be offset by the choice of his successor.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Somethings in war can be explained

Like pissing on the bodies of those you just killed. But the latest video of our boys in Shitholeistan, the Air Force this time, is beyond explanation or understanding.
The Air Force is now handling an investigation into a video showing U.S. troops cheering as they watch while a sheep is beaten to death with a baseball bat, a service spokesman said...

In the brief but violent video, a service member drags the sheep into a room, where a man wearing civilian attire strikes the animal 11 times with a baseball bat. Each strike to the sheep’s head and neck is accompanied by a loud, metallic crack of the bat.

The animal struggles to get back on its feet before it finally collapses under the ferocity of the blows. All the while, the troops cheer, making no effort to help the sheep.

Initially, the Army’s Criminal Investigative Command was tasked with looking into the matter because the troops in the video wore what looked like Army uniforms.

However, closer analysis of the video revealed that the service members appear to be wearing Air Force uniforms, said Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Andy Roake. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations took over the investigation Jan. 20.
The Military Times has posted the video if you need to see our brave flyboys in action.

Can you help them?

The good people at Rebuild the Dream want to put this on a billboard around DC.

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Jackson Browne is another songwriter

Who sounds better when someone covers his songs. And then there is what happens when Linda sings them.

Quote of the Day

And, the diversity on that podium was unprecedented – men of three different colors.
(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself on that last one. Boehner farts Cheetos dust.)
Juanita Jean, commenting on the State of the Union address.

Another fox eyed as guard for henhouse

From Bloomberg:
William Baer, whose law firm championed AT&T Inc. (T)’s failed bid to acquire T-Mobile USA (DTE) Inc., is the top candidate to head the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division, two people familiar with the situation said.

Baer, 61, who leads the antitrust group at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, is the subject of a background investigation for job by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is confidential.
I don't doubt he knows anti-trust law. The real question is whether he ever met a trust he didn't like.


From the pen of Ben Sargent

Break up Bank of America

That is the call from Public Citizen in their petition to Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke as the chairman and vice chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, respectively.
the group argues that the bank is too big to be either governed or regulated, and represents a real risk to the financial system. They are urging Mr. Geithner and Mr. Bernanke to use their power under Dodd-Frank to dismantle the bank, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the breakup of AT&T three decades ago. In an accompanying letter, a group of leading business law professors urge regulators to take any actions necessary to ensure systemic stability,” although they do not go as far as urge a breakup of the bank.

While a forcible breakup of Bank of America would be exactly the kind of bold move on financial regulation that we have not seen at all from the Obama administration, the petition does have a point.

The bank is a behemoth, and if it were ever necessary to unwind it, I think we have to assume it would be something of a disaster, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s fondness for its new orderly liquidation authority notwithstanding. Lehman Brothers, for example, reported assets of $713 billion when it filed for bankruptcy in September 2008. Bank of America, meanwhile, reported $2.3 trillion in assets at the end of 2010. In other words, Bank of America is more than three times larger than the biggest bankruptcy ever.

Think the collapse of MF Global was a problem? Bank of America broker-dealer units hold more than $2.2 trillion in client assets. The bank reports that in the United States alone it has more than 57 million consumer and small-business banking relationships. It holds more than $1 trillion in banking deposits.
They are right that the bank is too large to manage by the current group in charge. And it is unlikely that any one else could do so within the boundaries of the law. And BoA management was always the kid from the wrong side of the tracks on Wall St., without the happy ending. With proper regulation and oversight, the pieces can operate quite nicely on their own.

MoDo writes about Mitt the Prankster

But the only part worth reading is the set up in the intro.
Sure, Mittens can be annoying.

Paying an infuriatingly low tax rate and stashing millions in Swiss banks and the Cayman Islands, like a John Grisham villain. Letting son Tagg tweet a picture of him doing laundry on the road.

No matter what Romney is talking about in a debate, such as the inane suggestion that illegal aliens engage in “self-deportation,” he always looks like he’s really thinking: “Holy cow, it’s mine! GIVE IT TO ME!!”
That's out Mittens to a T.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eliza just didioning along

From her latest album


That is the price of your average Afghan civilian killed by US troops. If they only wing him, that is good for $250.
One week after 15 civilians were killed during a U.S. night operation at an Afghan village in 2009, U.S. commanders went to the village and passed out $40,000 in cash “condolence” payments.

Victims’ relatives in the village were paid $2,500 for each death, $500 for two wounded men and $1,500 for village repairs.

U.S officials distributed $688,000 in condolence and $6.8 million in battle repair funds in Afghanistan in the first half of fiscal 2011, according to the Pentagon. Since 2005, U.S. forces have paid civilians millions of dollars in payments for collateral damage caused by — or blamed on — American forces in Afghanistan.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the Defense Department spent more than $30 million in Iraq and Afghanistan in condolence and compensation for grief payments in 2003-06, mostly in Iraq.

In one case, cited by The Washington Post based on documents obtained through the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. paid out $190,278 on “condolences” in Uwayrij, Iraq.

The payments are a gesture of sympathy and remorse in cases ranging from traffic accidents to lost limbs to death.

Despite the amount of money spent, the practice is not well-publicized.
Weregeld has never been a major part of our culture, not even in Minnesota. Nevertheless, because the military prepares for blowing up people of many different cultures, there is a detailed "handbook from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan called “Money As a Weapon System — Afghanistan,” dated February 2011 and published on the website www.publicintelligence.net, outlines the practice and the procedures for payment." This is good to know because we can't just hand out money willy-nilly to any old wog says he is related to the dead one.

The Newt cheated on his taxes

And you can get the story here. Which makes it all very interesting. Mittens may pay a lesser rate than anyone except Wal-Mart workers but he played by the rules. Newticles, as is his wont, went for the cheat.

C'mon, we're talking Newt Gingrich here. You didn't expect any different, did you?

A song for our times

From The Mammals courtesy of their Myspace page.

Bad Shoes Blues

Two for Newt

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

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From the pen of Tom Toles

White House still pushing sweetheart deal for Bankster buddies

The holdout AG's are still standing firm but the White House is pushing hard, perhaps so the President can announce it in the State of the Union address as if it would be something to be proud of. So far there are a number of sticking points that just won't go away.
Mr. Miller said there were still too many unanswered questions about a possible settlement, like whether banks would be allowed to pass the costs of the settlement on to those who invested in mortgage-backed securities, particularly pension funds.

Then, he added, there was the issue of immunity from past misdeeds.

“Will this settlement really hold the banks accountable, or will the settlement be a get out of jail free card?” he said. “Has there been an independent investigation of the banks’ foreclosure practices? Will the penalties really make banks think twice about violating the laws in the future? There are more questions than answers at this point.”

Since the effort by the attorneys general to investigate foreclosure abuses was started in the fall of 2010, multiple deadlines to get a deal done have passed without an agreement. The new goal, negotiators said, is Feb. 6.
Of course, unanswered questions can be ignored when making a sweetheart deal.

And the latest from Iraq

Another day another bomb or two or six.
A series of explosions in Shiite neighborhoods here killed nine people and wounded dozens more on Tuesday, the latest in a wave of sectarian attacks.

No group claimed responsibility, but the bombings bore the hallmarks of others by the insurgent group Al Qaeda in Iraq, which says it has shifted its attention to Shiites and sources of Iranian influence following the withdrawal of the American military.

The group says Iran has destroyed Iraq over the past several years by “killing the best families, the elite, the educated.”
We spent 8 years blowing up Iraq when. all along. they were willing to do it themselves.

The Battle of the Surrogates

On Sunday Gov. Doublewide fired a few shots at Newticles after his win in the South Bumfuck primary. Yesterday everybody's favorite Mama Grimley Bear fired back on behalf of her newly beloved Newticles.
Fox News commentator Sarah Palin chided New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Monday, following a weekend interview in which Christie referred to GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as an "embarrassment to the party."

"Poor Chris. This was a rookie mistake. He played right into the media's hands," Palin said, according to an advance transcript of an interview set to air Monday night at 10 p.m. eastern time on FOX Business Network. "Here's a host that asked Chris, 'Does Newt embarrass the party.' I think he asked him twice, and there Chris played right into it and spewed that about Newt embarrassing the party."

"Sometimes if your candidate loses in just one step along this path, as was the case when Romney lost to Newt the other night and of course, Romney is Chris Christie's guy, you kind of get your panties in a wad and you may say things that you regret later," she continued.

Palin went on to call his statement an instance of a "lack of self-discipline" on Christie's part. She also suggested that Christie had his share of moments that could be considered embarrassing to the GOP, such as "taking a state helicopter to his kid's baseball game."
I hope these two are just warming up because I would love to see Secaucus Fats and Snowflake Snooki going at each other hammer and tongs.

Mittens releases 2010 tax return

He made $21 Million and was taxed at a rate of 13%. Other than possibly being embarrassed (not likely) at paying at half the rate of people who work for a living and revealing his Swiss bank account there is not much else. You can see for yourself.

Sometimes piling on is a good thing

As in the case of the petition set up at the White House site "WE the People".
A petition on the White House’s “We the People” site that calls for Motion Picture Association of American President Chris Dodd to be investigated for “blatant bribery” has nearly gained enough signatures to require a response.

The White House has promised to issue an official response for the petition if it is signed by at least 25,000 people within 30 days. The two-day old petition already has more than 24,000 signatures.

The petition accuses Dodd, a former Senator, of bribery for suggesting during an appearance on Fox News that President Barack Obama was risking losing Hollywood campaign contributions for opposing two controversial anti-piracy bills, the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

“Those who count on quote Hollywood for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake,” Dodd said. “Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”
At last look this petition had 26,800+ signers after only three days. If you haven't yet jumped on the pile, what's keeping you?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bix Beiderbecke and His Gang, 1927

Many of the early recordings used a tuba or bass saxophone for the bottom because the string bass made the recording needle jump.

BIX BEIDERBECKE AND HIS GANG: Bix Beiderbecke, c / Bill Rank, tb / Don Murray, cl / Adrian Rollini, bsx / Frank
Signorelli, p / Chauncey Morehouse, d. New York, October 5, 1927.

We're all gonna die!

Having missed us over the weekend, the Sun has adjusted for solar windage and let loose another coronal mass ejection in our direction. The plasma should hit the fan on Tuesday. What this means is if you are driving carry a map as you might lose GPS. Get some extra batteries because it might affect your electric grid. And if you live in the northen areas of the world, pray for clear skies because the aurora should be a wicked pissah!

Newt's in deep shit now

Ann Coulter, the woman who put the skank and the stank in the word skank, has come out of her crypt firing both barrels at the current Republican/Teabagger front runner.
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter laid into GOP candidate Newt Gingrich and those in South Carolina who voted for him in the state's primary on Saturday.

Coulter appeared on Fox News' weekend edition of "Fox and Friends" on Sunday. Coulter, who staunchly supports GOP candidate Mitt Romney, criticized South Carolinians for rather having "the emotional satisfaction of a snotty remark toward the president than to beat Obama in the fall." She criticized Gingrich for his debate performances, and said that he "would say things that didn't really make sense. It's what you usually associate with Democrats."

Coulter continued to rip Gingrich and called him the "least electable" of the Republican candidates. She also described Gingrich as the "least conservative." She added that in electing Gingrich, "South Carolina [was] going back to its Democratic roots."
A brutal assault on a man of Newticles tender sensibilities. How mean of her.

One of these three is the perfect Republican/Teabagger candidate

Sure, you think the guy in the middle has a mortal lock on that position, top of the food chain and everything but you would be wrong. The two unscrupulous, immoral bastards on either side actually present a mortal threat to the alligator and ultimately to every species that has to breathe the air and drink the water on this planet. Republican/Teabagger environmental policy is based on the idea that he who has the most money can pay for clean air and water and those who can't are just the leftovers of the free market. And they all want to be he who has the most money.

Got a GPS tracker? Need a warrant for that

In a surprising decision, surprising because it actually supported the rights of citizens, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the use of GPS tracking devices by the police required a warrant.
The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and tracked its movements for 28 days.

But the justices divided 5-to-4 on the rationale for the decision, with the majority saying that the problem was the placement of the device on private property. That ruling avoided many difficult questions, including how to treat information gathered from devices installed by the manufacturer and how to treat information held by third parties like cellphone companies...

In a concurrence for four justices, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. faulted the majority for trying to apply 18th-century legal concepts to 21st-century technologies. What should matter, he said, is the contemporary reasonable expectation of privacy.

“The use of longer term G.P.S. monitoring in investigations of most offenses,” he wrote, “impinges on expectations of privacy.” Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the concurrence.
An interesting division.

TSA turns on its overlords

One at least in the form of Sen. Randy Paul, who found out that even illiterate peasants get angry when beaten.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reportedly “detained” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Monday morning in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a tweet sent by his communications director Moira Bagley.

“Just got a call from @senrandpaul,” she wrote. “He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville.”

Aides told NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell an anomaly on the senator’s right leg triggered an alert during a full body scan. Paul reportedly revealed that he had no metal in his leg, then refused to undergo a patdown search.

Paul has been a longtime critic of the TSA’s invasive search procedures.
He told a Senate committee in June, 2011 that the TSA has “gone overboard and you’re missing the boat on terrorism since you’re doing these invasive searches on 6-year-old girls.”
This is one of those situations where, as much as we would enjoy Randy being strip searched, given an orange jumpsuit and shipped to Guantanamo, we dread the TSA asserting dominance over those who have oversight of its actions.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

For all the Teabaggers

Who rail against immigrants, forgetting that even the Indians in America came from someplace else.

The ship may sink but the turd will float

And, despite recent events, I am referring to something that happened in this country. Matt Taibbi lays out a case that would normally have prosecutors sniffing around like it was a bitch in heat. Sadly Matt's tale concerns the massive crimes of a Bankster who helped precipitate the demise of Bear Stearns and now works for Goldmine Sachs. Read it if you have the stomach for it.

Presidential timber

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h/t Juanita

Snowflake Snooki cool with Newt's open marriage

Maybe Nailin' Palin ain't just a porn flick. Everybody's favorite Mama Grimley Bear thinks that Newt's open marriage request will swing all the Republican/Teabagger swingers Newt's way and attract enough Democratic and Independent swingers to give the Oath Breaker a ticket to the White Whore House.
Americans love polyamory. Or not.

Speaking to Republican radio host Sean Hannity on Thursday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) claimed that her favored candidate for president, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, somehow stands to benefit by his second wife claiming that he asked her for an “open marriage.”

“They, thinking that by trotting out this old Gingrich divorce interview that’s old news — and it does feature a disgruntled ex, claiming that it would destroy his campaign — all it does, Sean, is incentivize conservatives and independents who are so sick of the politics of personal destruction, because it’s played so selectively by media, that their target, in this case Newt, he’s now going to soar even more,” Palin said.
So all those rumors of Todd cheating, maybe he wasn't. And maybe he wasn't the first out the door and in someone else's bed. The picture in the story sure does show her ready to go.

Gabby Giffords announces her resignation from Congress

Her recovery will be longer and more difficult the previously thought. She says she will return. We wish her a full and complete recovery.


The Washington Post profiles the federal judge who is standing up to the SEC and their corporate cronies. Or as the WaPo states it
Largely lost in the din are deeper truths about the man who, for better or worse, could single-handedly force a revolution in the way the government polices Corporate America.
I hope he has a good umbrella because there are a lot of big swinging dicks on Wall St and in DC that want to piss on him.

The pathos of an old drunk.

The Great Orange Boehner sobered up enough to speak to Fox News and comment on the up coming State of the Union address. In keeping with the party requirement that nothing good ever be said of the nigger, TGOB said
Boehner says it sounds to him like "the same old policies" of more spending, taxes and regulations that have hurt the economy.

The Ohio Republicans tells "Fox News Sunday" that if that's what Obama is going to talk about, then "I think it's pathetic."
The lush eloquence of the bottle informs TGOB's statement.

Why they need to be shot when they retire from Congress

The New York Times details how, with proper planning, their final years in Congress can be a seed bed for a prosperous retirement.
Soon after he retired last year as one of the leading liberals in Congress, former Representative William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts started his own lobbying firm with an office on the 16th floor of a Boston skyscraper. One of his first clients was a small coastal town that has agreed to pay him $15,000 a month for help in developing a wind energy project.

Amid the revolving door of congressmen-turned-lobbyists, there is nothing particularly remarkable about Mr. Delahunt’s transition, except for one thing. While in Congress, he personally earmarked $1.7 million for the same energy project.

So today, his firm, the Delahunt Group, stands to collect $90,000 or more for six months of work from the town of Hull, on Massachusetts Bay, with 80 percent of it coming from the pot of money he created through a pair of Energy Department grants in his final term in office, records and interviews show.

Experts in federal earmarking — a practice of financing pet projects that has been forsaken by many members of Congress as a toxic symbol of political abuse — said they could not recall a case in which a former lawmaker stood to benefit so directly from an earmark he had authorized.
Nice work if you can get it.

Maliki of Iraq is the New Saddam

So says the group Human Rights Watch.
Iraq is falling back into authoritarianism and headed towards becoming a police state, despite US claims that it has helped establish democracy in the country, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

The criticism from the New York-based HRW comes less than a year after thousands of Iraqis took to the streets nationwide to criticise the government for poor services.

“Iraq cracked down harshly during 2011 on freedom of expression and assembly by intimidating, beating and detaining activists, demonstrators and journalists,” HRW said in a statement accompanying its annual report.

HRW noted that Iraq remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, that women’s rights remain poor and civilians have paid a heavy toll in bomb attacks.

The rights group pointed to the discovery of a secret prison last February run by forces controlled by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s office, the same troops who ran Camp Honour, another facility where detainees were tortured.

“Iraq is quickly slipping back into authoritarianism as its security forces abuse protesters, harass journalists and torture detainees,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, said in the statement.

“Despite US government assurances that it helped create a stable democracy, the reality is that it left behind a budding police state.”
I just hope no one in the administration looks surprised and says, Who could have known?

Joe Pa is dead and gone.

For real this time. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Gov. Doublewide takes a swing at the Oath Breaker

From Raw Story:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has “embarrassed” the Republican Party, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney never has...

“We all know the record,” the New Jersey governor continued. “He was run out of the speakership by his own party. He was fined $300,000 for ethic violations. This is a guy who’s had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment to the party.”
It looks like Fatass McDoughboy is fishing for a place in the Romney administration.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time to get some culture

Before Newt has his SUPER PAC copyright this and rename it the Emperor Gingrich Concerto

Major Republican/Teabagger support group endangered.

Richard Cordray, director of the newly empowered CFPB will be rolling out guidelines for regulating payday lenders. While these businesses do perform a service to people in low income areas, the temptation to turn into a legal loan shark is too tempting for many. The regulations may not be a cure all but anything that reduces the problems in this area must be applauded.

Good lord! Race colors your lawyers decision process, too.

And research into bankruptcy files shows that, just as with mortgages, people of the colored persuasion were steered into bad deals in bankruptcy court.
The disparity persisted even when the researchers adjusted for income, homeownership, assets and education. The evidence suggested that lawyers were disproportionately steering blacks into a process that was not as good for them financially, in part because of biases, whether conscious or unconscious.

The vast majority of debtors file under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, which typically allows them to erase most debts in a matter of months. It tends to have a higher success rate and is less expensive than the alternative, Chapter 13, which requires debtors to dedicate their disposable income to paying back their debts for several years.

The study of racial differences in bankruptcy filings was written by Robert M. Lawless, a bankruptcy expert and law professor, and Dov Cohen, a psychology professor, both with the University of Illinois; and Jean Braucher, a law professor at the University of Arizona.

A survey conducted as part of their research found that bankruptcy lawyers were much more likely to steer black debtors into a Chapter 13 than white filers even when they had identical financial situations. The lawyers, the survey found, were also more likely to view blacks as having “good values” when they expressed a preference for Chapter 13.

“Unfortunately I’m not surprised with these results,” said Neil Ellington, executive vice president of Consumer Education Services, a credit counseling agency in Raleigh, N.C. “The same underlying issues that created the problem in mortgage lending, with minorities paying higher interest rates than their white counterparts having the same loan qualifications, are present in all financial fields.”
Some things don't change.

O-o-o-h Big discovery on Wall St

No matter how hard you work, your bonus will be smaller after a bad year on the street. Unless you are in a position to take from other employees for yourself.
Wall Street stocks and profits took a beating in 2011. But there is one corner of the Street that took a lighter hit: the compensation paid to chief executives.

Three big banks disclosed on Friday what their top executives will receive in deferred stock for their work in 2011. Such stock is expected to make up most of their bonus as banks are increasingly paying employees more in deferred stock. Those awards to top bank executives are coming as lower-level employees are finding out that their own bonuses will be much smaller than a year ago.

Brian Foley, a compensation expert in White Plains, said that for top executives, he would have expected “the belt to come in a few more notches” this year given the banks’ lackluster stock performance. He added that executive suite pay packages this year might further lower morale inside the banks.

“A lot of people in the middle took big hits this year,” he said. “It could create some big ‘us versus them issues’ as to why the rank and file are taking a bigger hit than the senior executives.”
Seriously, what did they expect, sack cloth and ashes from the top?

Noah Land beats out Kentucky schools

In the race for diminishing funds, the cheap ass theme park based on a fable of some Sky Being displaying his love for humanity by drowning them will keep its tax breaks while Kentucky schools will lose funding.
Beshear’s assessment of his own budget is, unfortunately, correct. The budget makes $286 million in cuts, including a 6.4 percent cut to a higher education system that has been plagued by funding cuts and rising tuition for years. And though it attempts to preserve K-12 education funding, it will result in less spending on Kentucky’s students and schools, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

Although the main funding formula for K-12 schools wouldn’t be cut, population growth means spending per student would decline. Also, education officials say the current year’s population estimate was low, resulting in a cut of more than $50 million to that funding formula.

At the same time, the $43 million tax break Kentucky approved for a Bible-themed amusement park — which will include a 500-foot by 75-foot reproduction of Noah’s Ark — could go into effect for the first time under Beshear’s budget. In addition, the budget includes $11 million to improve a highway interchange near the park. Proponents of the park, Beshear included, have claimed it will boost tourism and create jobs, but those assumptions are based on a report done by the park’s developers.
It has long been known that in difficult times, fantasy increases its hold on the public mind but this is ridiculous.

Glad to hear it

The US Army is in the final stages of eliminating a horrid cocktail of chemical weapons at its incinerator in Utah.
McCloskey, a 63-year-old engineer and manager for URS Corp.'s Federal Services division, was on hand as a U.S. Army depot in Utah finished destroying the last of 1.3 million munitions filled with a witches' brew of toxins, blister and blood agents. He was on a Pacific atoll in 1986 when the Army destruction campaign started, living just 300 yards from an incinerator.

"These things really are detoxified and are safe," McCloskey said Wednesday at the Deseret Chemical Depot, watching a video feed of mustard agent projectiles leave an incinerator on a conveyer belt. "This is the last tray of the last weapons to go through this plant."

The last 23 projectiles were baked for two hours at 1,500 degrees, purging them of mustard agent, which can produce painful skin blisters. The Utah depot — which at its peak held 13,600 tons of chemical agents, making it the world's largest — expects to complete the job by the weekend when it incinerates bulk supplies of Lewisite, a powerful skin, eye and lung irritant.

By then, the U.S. Army will have destroyed about 90 percent of its aging chemical weapons that accumulated through the Cold War.
That's a lot of deadly crap and it's been a long time coming. One batch recently incinerated was nerve gas captured from Nazi Germany, 65+ years ago. The world will be a better place without it. It's a sad testimony that so much money was spent creating, storing and finally destroying those evil weapons.

An unsolicited political advertisement

Because I am in no way able to coordinate with his campaign committee.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Roll on into the weekend

With a little Riverboat Soul from Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three.

Memo to John King

Martin Bashir shows you how to respond to an attack from Newticles

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

They were a lot cheaper when in office

A graphic display of post retirement political speaker fees. Courtesy of BuzzFeed

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New evidence about that RICO enterprise, MERS

And it involves the two top men in the Department of Justice, Eric Holder and Lanny Breur. It may also explain why there has been no DOJ action on the mortgage fraud front.

Arizona, the Next Reich?

From Wonkette:
In a page right out of Newt Gingrich’s alternate-history science-fiction wingnut-polygamy utopian epic Candyland Space Land, the school district in Tucson has completely banned Mexican-American studies, seized all the textbooks and even wall posters from the classrooms, and punished the students who protested by sentencing them to janitorial duty. The self-hating Latina lady who oversees the now-illegal ethnic studies program even comically told the kids, “Mexico is where Mexican studies is taught, not America!” Why oh why does the Newt have to be in stinky old South Carolina during such a historical moment in stomping the Mexican, for freedom?
The insanely racist Arizona law, HB 2281, specifically targets ethnic studies in the public schools. Tucson’s Mexican-American Studies program was specifically shut down to meet the law’s requirements, although administrator Lupita Garcia — who sure sounds like a Mexican to us — seemed utterly delighted to shut down the district’s program and shout racist idiocy at the students.
They are still thinking small but this is just a warmup to encourage the Republican base.

A tax dancing fool

The Shrill One remarks on his enjoyment of the tax discomfort of Mittens. He uses this as the basis of discussion as to why the rich pay lower tax rates than Americans do. If you don't know already it is a good place to start and a good refresher if you do know.

After 10 years incountry

Only now are the US military becoming aware of a major aspect of the Afghan character. Never trust an Afghan.
American and other coalition forces here are being killed in increasing numbers by the very Afghan soldiers they fight alongside and train, in attacks motivated by deep-seated animosity between the supposedly allied forces, according to American and Afghan officers and a classified coalition report.

A decade into the war in Afghanistan, the report makes clear that these killings have become the most visible symptom of a far deeper ailment plaguing the war effort: the contempt each side holds for the other, never mind the Taliban. The ill will and mistrust run deep among civilians and militaries on both sides, raising questions about what future role the United States and its allies can expect to play in Afghanistan.

Underscoring the danger, a gunman in an Afghan Army uniform killed four French service members and wounded several others on Friday, according to an Afghan police official in Kapisa Province in eastern Afghanistan, prompting the French president to suspend his country’s operations here.
The easiest and most effective way to deal with this is to just withdraw everybody from Shitholeistan. Sadly, neither the political nor the military minds work this way, so we can look forward several more years, at least, of wasteful and useless deaths and destruction.

Morning Joe has an intelligent guest

Steven Colbert, still exploring his run for the WHite House.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

R.I.P. Etta James

Thank you for your time with us.

Until someday when you aren't looking

Both the Senate and the House have postponed their votes on the SOPA/PIPA atrocities.
After vowing to move forward with votes on controversial anti-piracy legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) both announced Friday that the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) had been postponed indefinitely...

Reid’s announcement comes just one day after a whip count by Open Congress revealed a critical mass of Senators had turned against PIPA after the Internet’s first major, coordinated work stoppage on Wednesday caused millions to contact their members of Congress to demand the bill be scrapped. It takes just 41 votes to stop a bill from moving through the Senate, and so far 38 members are either confirmed “No” votes, or are leaning toward a “No” on the issue.

In the wake of Wednesday’s Internet strike, Republicans largely fled from their support of PIPA while Democrats, who’ve taken significantly more money than Republicans from interest groups like the Motion Picture Association of America, held fast to their support.
But greed is a powerful force. The drivers of this legislative disaster will keep trying because of the $ Millions they expect to reap from this.

A simple reminder

From the pen of Ed Stein

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Join Elizabeth Warren's Money Bomb on Jan 19

Here is the link to the moneybomb site. Make a pledge, help restore sanity to the Senate.

If you can't spare the change, please spread the news.

UPDATE: $1,110,465 as of 10:24PM Well Done!

The only way to listen to a Tom Waits song

When it's covered by someone who can sing, like Sarah Jarosz.

Mysterious Sky Guy explained

Non Sequitur by Wiley

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First drone strike after hiatus kills AQ #3

Or something like that. Wherever he was in the organization, they knew his name. Which is the same as painting a big #3 on his head for the drones to find.

Want to make a $ Million?

Well if you aren't born that way and don't want to kiss all the ass necessary for a career in politics there is a field open for you. Religion. All you have to do is sell the credulous on the wonderfulness of the non existent, even as you remind them that the non exitent is ready to blast them to eternal damnation unless they give you their life savings. If you can do that all this can be yours.
Televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who runs Kenneth Copeland Ministries, was one of several televangelists whose finances were investigated from 2007 to 2011 by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.

According to an article by the Associated Press that ran in 2008, "His ministry's 1,500-acre campus, behind an iron gate a half-hour drive from Fort Worth...includes a church, a private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry's $17.5 million jet and other aircraft, and a $6 million church owned lakefront mansion."

The article later added that while Copeland has not released up-to-date salary statements, "the church disclosed in a property-tax exemption application that his wages were $364,577 in 1995; Copeland's wife, Gloria, earned $292,593. It's not clear whether those figures include other earnings, such as special offerings for guest preaching or book royalties."
And that is just one of the many successful sky pilots out there. To those interested, an apprenticeship in used car sales can be useful.

They say the candidate is the last to know

That may explain why it took so long for Gov. Ricky Poo of Texas to realize he had no chance in the race for Republican primacy.
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) announced on Thursday that he was suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination to the presidency and endorsing his rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).

“I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign,” Perry said. “Therefore today, I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for President of the United States.”
It could be that he is just plain stupid which would explain why he is supporting the Fastest Dick in the South, Newt Gingrich.

Modern politics

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

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Democrats making effort to lose Senate in 2012

You wouldn't know that by the amount of money begging material they send out but this is all a smokescreen. The Hollywood Content Monsters have provided our Democratic Senators with all the money they think they need to win in November.
While Silicon Valley may have found their voice echos on Capitol Hill more loudly than expected, what remains after Wednesday’s protest is even more telling that what provoked it: Senate Democrats are, by and large, the core pillars of support for the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), which has not otherwise engendered a strict partisan divide among lawmakers.

Far and away, the top beneficiary in the Senate from interest groups that support PIPA is Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who’s taken in just short of a million dollars from those groups, according to data from OpenSecrets.org. She’s also the most recent Senator to co-sponsor PIPA, adding her name to the list on Dec. 12. The runner-up is Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who’s taken $777,383 from PIPA-supporting interest groups, and has co-sponsored the bill since May 2011.

In fact, a list of the top 20 beneficiaries of special interest money in favor of PIPA reads like a list of the Senate’s most influential Democrats: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) in third; Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in fourth; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in fifth; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill’s primary sponsor, in sixth; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in seventh; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in eighth; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in ninth; and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in tenth.
We used to say "Money talks and Bullshit walks", but nowadays Money is putting a mouth on the Bullshit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And now for a peaceful interlude

Enjoy a Pink Martini

Mittens and the Silver Spoon Syndrome

Martin Bashir explains why Mittens "accumulative advantage" does not equal ability.

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