Monday, April 30, 2012

Panetta's non-trend is worse than reported.

That would be the not-a-trend of Afghan BFF's shooting NATO troops that Sec. Panetta said does not exist. And to help you believe this not-a-trend the brass asses in the Pentagon have decided to under report the number of incidents.
The U.S.-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or foreign soldier is killed by an Afghan in uniform. But The Associated Press has learned it does not report insider attacks in which the Afghan wounds — or misses — his U.S. or allied target. It also doesn’t report the wounding of troops who were attacked alongside those who were killed.

Such attacks reveal a level of mistrust and ill will between the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan counterparts in an increasingly unpopular war. The U.S. and its military partners are working more closely with Afghan troops in preparation for handing off security responsibility to them by the end of 2014.

In recent weeks an Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of American soldiers but missed the group entirely. The Americans quickly shot him to death. Not a word about this was reported by the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the coalition is formally known. It was disclosed to the AP by a U.S. official who was granted anonymity in order to give a fuller picture of the “insider” problem.

ISAF also said nothing about last week’s attack in which two Afghan policemen in Kandahar province fired on U.S. soldiers, wounding two. Reporters learned of it from Afghan officials and from U.S. officials in Washington. The two Afghan policemen were shot to death by the Americans present.
If they are not dead, no harm, no foul. And then you don't have to worry about why we are wasting lives and money in that shithole. What with basketball and hockey in playoff modes and baseball season underway you have so much more to think about.

h/t Labrys

Since May will start tomorrow

I thought of this song from a great Canadian band that never caught on in the US. And some fine pictures of Canada, too.

The austere results of austerity

Martin Bashir gives us a look at the results of the Romney-Ryan Budget plan by looking at the current state of British and Spanish economies.

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

Steven King writes about taxes

And the element of horror is not the taxes but the people who won't pay them.
Tough shit for you guys, because I’m not tired of talking about it. I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar. It’s true that some rich folks put at least some of their tax savings into charitable contributions. My wife and I give away roughly $4 million a year to libraries, local fire departments that need updated lifesaving equipment (Jaws of Life tools are always a popular request), schools, and a scattering of organizations that underwrite the arts. Warren Buffett does the same; so does Bill Gates; so does Steven Spielberg; so do the Koch brothers; so did the late Steve Jobs. All fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.

What charitable 1 percenters can’t do is assume responsibility—America’s national responsibilities: the care of its sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts. Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny. That kind of salvation does not come from Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Ballmer saying, “OK, I’ll write a $2 million bonus check to the IRS.” That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry.
I won't give away the ending. You will have to read the rest.

Tom Tomorrow looks at citizen journalism

With another adventure of Conservative Jones and Moonbat.

Quote of the Day

If you look at who has more closely emulated Jesus’s life, Pope Benedict or your average nun, it’s the nun hands down.
Nicholas Kristof in his column We Are All Nuns

Why phones have voice messaging.

From the pen of Harry Bliss

Despite Paki objections, we drone on

We are once again dropping Hellfires on Pakistan from our drones. The Pakistanis don't like it and have said so in no uncertain terms, like we don't have the Cheney given right to blow up anybody we wish.
CIA drone missiles hit militant targets in Pakistan on Sunday for the first time in a month, as the United States ignored the Pakistani government’s insistence that such attacks end as a condition for normalized relations between the two perpetually uneasy allies.

The drone strikes, which have long infuriated the Pakistani public, killed four al-Qaeda-linked fighters in a girls’ school they had taken over in the North Waziristan tribal area, security officials there said.

Warning of diplomatic consequences, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attacks, the first since Parliament’s unanimous vote this month approving new guidelines for the country’s relationship with the United States. Some politicians said the drone strikes might set back already difficult negotiations over the reopening of vital NATO supply routes to Afghanistan that Pakistan blocked five months ago.
These drones are CIA and may not be under the control of the US government.

Paul Ryan gets his reacharound from the NY Times.

I can't figure out why anybody would give the little prick the time of day. Nevertheless, if you want to see this puddle of pus fluffed up to VP wannabee you can read it here. Clear your desktop of breakables and your stomach of its contents first.

Happy Birthday Willie

Willie Hugh Nelson, 79 today and still going great.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Republican/Teabaggers eat our young

And while they do not attack in packs like they do in their War on Women, their effects are more far reaching and destructive.Paul Krugman outlines their plan.
In Spain, the unemployment rate among workers under 25 is more than 50 percent. In Ireland almost a third of the young are unemployed. Here in America, youth unemployment is “only” 16.5 percent, which is still terrible — but things could be worse.

And sure enough, many politicians are doing all they can to guarantee that things will, in fact, get worse. We’ve been hearing a lot about the war on women, which is real enough. But there’s also a war on the young, which is just as real even if it’s better disguised. And it’s doing immense harm, not just to the young, but to the nation’s future.

Let’s start with some advice Mitt Romney gave to college students during an appearance last week. After denouncing President Obama’s “divisiveness,” the candidate told his audience, “Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.”

The first thing you notice here is, of course, the Romney touch — the distinctive lack of empathy for those who weren’t born into affluent families, who can’t rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad to finance their ambitions. But the rest of the remark is just as bad in its own way.

I mean, “get the education”? And pay for it how? Tuition at public colleges and universities has soared, in part thanks to sharp reductions in state aid. Mr. Romney isn’t proposing anything that would fix that; he is, however, a strong supporter of the Ryan budget plan, which would drastically cut federal student aid, causing roughly a million students to lose their Pell grants.
But hey! If you have rich parents or play football or basketball you can still get that sheepskin. It won't do you much good in their brave new world but it will look good on your wall if you can afford to frame it.

Something new with a good dance beat

And this is off their first and still only album. Sugar & the Hi-Lows

Jimmy Kimmel speaks up for pot smokers.

At the White House Stenographers Dinner last night the entertainment made a good point with the President.
"What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation's Funyun supply?" Kimmel said. "Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote."

Kimmel then posed a challenge to the crowd, which was made up of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and George Clooney.

"I would like everyone in this room to raise your hand if you've never smoked pot," Kimmel said.

Few hands went up.

Noting the crowd's reaction, Kimmel addressed President Barack Obama directly.

"Marijuana is something that real people care about," Kimmel said.
Was anybody listening?

Quote of the Day

I think what’s happened to Bernanke, as they say, he’s been assimilated by the Borg. He’s become more concerned, probably unconsciously, with defending the Fed’s institutional safety, because it’s the apostle of price stability, than with doing whatever he can to get this economy moving. Which if he’d listened to Professor Bernanke, himself 10 years ago, he would know that he was supposed to be doing more.
Paul Krugman

Bothered by religion?

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, if you want to get rid of unwanted religion in your life all you need to do is think.
A study carried out by psychologists at the University of British Columbia has concluded that tests which promote analytical thinking simultaneously reduce the level of religious belief in skeptics and devout believers alike.

The subjects of the study were given problem-solving tasks, shown a picture of Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker,” and presented with a final questionnaires printed in a hard-to-read font.

The questionnaire, which asked them to what extent they agreed with statements such as “I believe in God” or “I don’t really spend much time thinking about my religious beliefs,” revealed a diminished level of belief compared to control subjects who had been given non-analytical tasks to complete.
I thought so.

Another Apple innovation, tax evasion

All done legally because the loopholes were there, it was just a matter of stringing them together with the minimal effort needed for maximum results. The New York Times has a good long look at how your iPad is increasing your taxes.

MoDo takes aim at the "crepuscular, medieval men"

In this case the Popenfuhrer and what Charlie Pierce calls the Clan of the Red Beanie. The guys who care more about dressing up in fancy dresses than following the teachings of Jesus. They have MoDo's Irish blood boiling with their attacks on the nuns. MoDo takes no prisoners.
Who thinks it’s cool to bully nuns? While continuing to heal and educate, the community of sisters is aging and dying out because few younger women are willing to make such sacrifices for a church determined to bring women to heel.

Yet the nuns must be yanked into line by the crepuscular, medieval men who run the Catholic Church...

How can the church hierarchy be more offended by the nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia?

How do you take spiritual direction from a church that seems to be losing its soul?...

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York recently told The Wall Street Journal that only “a tiny minority” of priests were tainted by the sex abuse scandal. But it’s a global shame spiral. The church leadership never recoiled in horror from pedophilia, yet it recoils in horror from outspoken nuns...

Instead of looking deep into its own heart and soul, the church is going after the women who are the heart and soul of parishes, schools and hospitals.
So long as the Church refuses ordination of women, it will continue to demean the women who support it and continue to decline in the hands of wizened old men with adolescent outlooks.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shoe shows get ready for RNC

And for those who aren't familiar with the term, a show show is one where the ladies are wearing only their shoes. And the strip clubs in Tampa that host them are polishing up their venues and lining up extra talent in anticipation of the Republican National Convention this summer.
What would a Republican National Convention extolling the virtues of family values and dredging up the obligatory 537,000 references to Ronald Reagan's "Shining city on the hill" be without Tampa's foremost economic stimulus — naked women.

As the Tampa Bay Times Forum is being readied for the arrival of thousands of delegates, GOP officials, the media and indeed all the protestors, elsewhere around our quirky hamlet the adult entertainment industry (read: strippers) also is hard at work refurbishing establishments to keep up with the expected demand for conventioneers looking for some hoochie-coochie diversions after a long day of decrying the moral decline of America.

New and improved seating is being installed. Special discreet suites are being improved at such joints as Tampa Gold Club, Alibi and Scores Gentlemen's Club and Steakhouse, where it is probably fair to say the definition of a gentleman is defined by the number of tattoos in evidence.

As well, the proprietors of these va-va-voom clubs plan to import additional fair maidens from other venues for the dining and dancing and . . . well, pick your poison pleasure of the GOP attendees to kick back and relax after a hard day of bemoaning the sad state of Judeo-Christian ethics in America.
With a shitload of "Family Values" Republicans expected, the various shoe show venues expect to do record business. And thank their lucky stars it isn't the Democrats coming to town.

Some Saturday Fun to relax to

Laura Jansen had to get famous in Holland before anybody thought she was good enough for the US.

About those Republican/Teabagger budget cuts

Thanks to the Center for American Progress here is a clear and simple explanation of what it takes to give the Pentagon more money and Billionaires more tax cuts.

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Pity the poor Nuge

He was insulted by the cancellation of his concert at Fort Knox. He was the victim of a terrible abuse of his First Amendment rights that allow any gutless coward to threaten the President because everybody knows he doesn't have the balls to shoot anything that could shoot back or isn't in a cage.

Altogether now, 1-2-3. FUCK OFF YOU PIECE OF SHIT!

Bill Maher talks about sex and the media

And reveals the secret of the mirror in the vagina.

Yes, the Republican/Teabaggers really are the problem

And two noted think tankers, Thomas Mann from Brookings and Norman Ornstein from American Heritage write about the anti American path the party has taken.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges...

Today, thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly every presidential initiative met with vehement, rancorous and unanimous Republican opposition in the House and the Senate, followed by efforts to delegitimize the results and repeal the policies. The filibuster, once relegated to a handful of major national issues in a given Congress, became a routine weapon of obstruction, applied even to widely supported bills or presidential nominations. And Republicans in the Senate have abused the confirmation process to block any and every nominee to posts such as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, solely to keep laws that were legitimately enacted from being implemented.

In the third and now fourth years of the Obama presidency, divided government has produced something closer to complete gridlock than we have ever seen in our time in Washington, with partisan divides even leading last year to America’s first credit downgrade.
They also pinpoint Newticles Gingrich and Grover Norquisling as the initiators of the Republican/Teabagger death spiral. They have some good suggestions about how to change this, including the idea that journalists act like journalists. But in the end, the destruction of the Republican/Teabagger Party is the onlyreliable solution.

R.I.P. Joe Muranyi

Now you can play with Louis again.

Israeli pushback against Buggsy Netanyahu

Responsible Israelis are beginning to speak out against the scarcely sane policy of current PM Buggsy Netanyahu against Iran. Earlier this week it was the head of the armed forces and now a former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli equivalent of the KGB, is doing so.
“I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,” said Yuval Diskin, who stepped down last May after six years running the Shin Bet, Israel’s version of the F.B.I..

“I have observed them from up close,” Mr. Diskin said. “I fear very much that these are not the people I’d want at the wheel.” Echoing Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, Mr. Diskin also said that the government was “misleading the public” about the likely effectiveness of an aerial strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“A lot of experts have long been saying that one of the results of an Israeli attack on Iran could be a dramatic acceleration of the Iranian nuclear program,” Mr. Diskin said at a community forum in Kfar Saba, a central Israeli city. “What the Iranians prefer to do today slowly and quietly, they would have the legitimacy to do quickly and in a much shorter time.”
It is good that responsible people are speaking up. Are they doing it soon enough to stop Buggsy?

The Joys of Privatization

Todays episode of this never ending crime drama comes from Gail Collins and her talking pineapple. The pineapple is cute but the real problem is the increased cost necessary to support the profit side of privatization with no increase and often decreases in results.
Now — finally — we have tumbled into my central point. We have turned school testing into a huge corporate profit center, led by Pearson, for whom $32 million is actually pretty small potatoes. Pearson has a five-year testing contract with Texas that’s costing the state taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars.

This is the part of education reform nobody told you about. You heard about accountability, and choice, and innovation. But when No Child Left Behind was passed 11 years ago, do you recall anybody mentioning that it would provide monster profits for the private business sector?

Me neither.

It’s not just the tests. No Child Left Behind has created a system of public-funded charter schools, a growing number of which are run by for-profit companies. Some of them are completely online, with kids getting their lessons at home via computer. The academic results can be abysmal, but on the plus side — definitely no classroom crowding issues.

Pearson is just one part of the picture, albeit a part about the size of Mount Rushmore. Its lobbyists include the guy who served as the top White House liaison with Congress on drafting the No Child law. It has its own nonprofit foundation that sends state education commissioners on free trips overseas to contemplate school reform.

An American child could go to a public school run by Pearson, studying from books produced by Pearson, while his or her progress is evaluated by Pearson standardized tests. The only public participant in the show would be the taxpayer.

If all else fails, the kid could always drop out and try to get a diploma via the good old G.E.D. The General Educational Development test program used to be operated by the nonprofit American Council on Education, but last year the Council and Pearson announced that they were going into a partnership to redevelop the G.E.D. — a nationally used near-monopoly — as a profit-making enterprise.
Supported by tax dollars, the American educational system represents a multi Billion dollar pool of cash to be sucked out as profits to the right people.

How do you size up?

A handy little widget to compare your digs to the new Casa Romney in La Jolla.

Mit Romney Infographic

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Night Kick Out The Jams

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals is the way to do it.

A wonderful new statistic

In total, so-called green-on-blue killings now account for 20 percent of the 84 NATO casualties in 2012.

The fatal shooting during a joint night raid Thursday marks the first killing of a U.S. Special Forces operative by one of the elite, highly trained Afghan commandos, who are meant to be more carefully vetted than their conventional force counterparts.
Will we be up to 50% by 2014?

Boehner prays at Church of Pope Paul the Ryan

Why else would he be so keen on slashing every social program for the benefit of the military.
The latest Republican plan to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession.

Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation's debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget.

They are doing so because the Super Committee, which was supposed to find $1.2 trillion in cuts on which everyone could agree, failed, leaving the slashing up to a pre-agreed sequestration plan that extracts half the savings from the military.

Unless Congress acts, the sequestration begins at the start of 2013. Democrats in the Senate are arguing that the Budget Control Act counts as a budget, and therefore they won't take up debate on a spending plan for 2013, much less address Rep. Paul Ryan's House budget resolution.

So instead, the House has embarked on a seldom-used reconciliation process. Its aim is to have at hand an alternative to the sequestration on the theory that the Senate will not want to allow the defense cuts either, and won't have its own plan.
As Pope Paul the Ryan has told us, Jesus preached that we should have the biggest military budget the world has ever seen, even if the military is shrinking.

More friendly fire in Shitholeistan

From the NYT:
a skirmish broke out between Afghan National Police and NATO soldiers in Zahri District near Kandahar City on Wednesday, Zalmai Ayoubi, the spokesman for the governor of Kandahar Province, said on Friday. In the ensuing firefight, two police officers were killed and two NATO soldiers were wounded, he said.
Why wait? Let's get out now.

He supports the troops his way

He is 92. A veteran who is trying to fill his days since losing his wife.And he has bootlegged thousands of first run movies to send to the troops in Iraq and Shitholeistan.
“Big Hy” — his handle among many loyal customers — would almost certainly be cast as Hollywood Enemy No. 1 but for a few details. He is actually Hyman Strachman, a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife. And he has sent every one of his copied DVDs, almost 4,000 boxes of them to date, free to American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With the United States military presence in those regions dwindling, Big Hy Strachman will live on in many soldiers’ hearts as one of the war’s more shadowy heroes.

“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” Mr. Strachman said, acknowledging that his actions violated copyright law.

“If I were younger,” he added, “maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”...

White-haired, slightly hunched and speaking in his Depression-era Brooklyn brogue (think Casey Stengel after six years of Hebrew school), Mr. Strachman explained in a recent interview that his 60-hour-a-week venture was winding down. “It’s all over anyways — they’re all coming home in the near future,” he said of the troops.

As he spoke, he was busy preparing some packages, filled with 84 discs of “The Artist,” “Moneyball” and other popular films, many of them barely out of theaters, to a platoon in Afghanistan.

As for his brazen violation of domestic copyright laws, Mr. Strachman nodded guiltily but pointed to his walls, which are strewed with seven huge American flags, dozens of appreciative letters, and snapshots of soldiers holding up their beloved DVDs.

“Every time I got back an emotional e-mail or letter, I sent them another box,” he said, adding that he had never accepted any money for the movies or been told by any authorities to stop.

“I thought maybe because I’m an old-timer,” he said.

In February, Mr. Strachman duplicated and shipped 1,100 movies. (“A slow month,” he said.) He has not kept an official count but estimates that he topped 80,000 discs a year during his heyday in 2007 and 2008, making his total more than 300,000 since he began in 2004. Postage of about $11 a box, and the blank discs themselves, would suggest a personal outlay of over $30,000.
Whatcha gonna do with a man with a heart as big as Hollywood's collective ego?

R.I.P. Confidence Fairy

Paul Krugman writes the obituary as the world lays to rest the grossly over-hyped and unmourned Confidence Fairy. Sadly, its death has given rise to the zombie austerity policy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Night Cool

And who was cooler than Nat King Cole with Oscar Moore on guitar, Johnny Miller on bass.

Joe Biden suggested it

And the folks at The Great Orange Stan put one together. And I swiped it. You can, too.

click pic to big

Doonesbury still has it.

click pic to big

First they screwed the poor with subprime mortgages

Which let the banksters steal the only thing of value most low income people have, their homes. Now they are pressing hard to suck the poor into high rate, high fee accounts to suck the last dollar out of them.
When David Wegner went looking for a checking account in January, he was peppered with offers for low-end financial products, including a prepaid debit card with numerous fees, a short-term emergency loan with steep charges, money wire services and check-cashing options.

“I may as well have gone to a payday lender,” said Mr. Wegner, a 36-year-old nursing assistant in Minneapolis, who ended up choosing a local branch of U.S. Bank and avoided the payday lenders, pawnshops and check cashers lining his neighborhood.

Along with a checking account, he selected a $1,000 short-term loan to help pay for his cystic fibrosis medications. The loan cost him $100 in fees, and that will escalate if it goes unpaid.

An increasing number of the nation’s large banks — U.S. Bank, Regions Financial and Wells Fargo among them — are aggressively courting low-income customers like Mr. Wegner with alternative products that can carry high fees. They are rapidly expanding these offerings partly because the products were largely untouched by recent financial regulations, and also to recoup the billions in lost income from recent limits on debit and credit card fees.
No doubt low income people need some banking services, but letting banks milk them for thr losses that banks suffered from their own stupidity is something only a Republican/Teabagger could love.

It is possible to convict a Head of State

And for war crimes, no less. Unfortunately the Head of State convicted in The Hague was not George W Bush but an equally vicious, if minor, war lord Charles G Taylor of Liberia.
Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia and once a powerful warlord, was convicted by an international tribunal on Thursday of 11 counts of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes committed in Sierra Leone during its civil war in the 1990s. He is the first head of state to be convicted by an international court since the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

The ruling, announced by Presiding Judge Richard Lussick of Samoa, said Mr. Taylor was guilty of involvement in crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, slavery and the use of child soldiers. The court, however, said the prosecution failed to prove that Mr. Taylor had direct command responsibility for the atrocities in the indictment.

Mr. Taylor, who has maintained his innocence, will be sentenced in the coming weeks. There is no death penalty in international criminal law and any jail term would be served in a British prison.
Maybe we could offer up Dick Cheney as a sop for letting W go free?

Another friendly fire incident in Shitholeistan

From the AP:
NATO says a man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform has shot and killed a coalition service member in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition said Thursday that the shooter was killed when coalition forces returned fire.
BFF in Afghanistan.

Israeli military says Iran not seeking bomb

According to Haaretz:
Israel’s military chief toned down the rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear programme on Wednesday, describing the Iranian leadership as “very rational” and unlikely to take the decision to build a bomb.

Speaking to the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said Iran was systematically approaching the point at which it would be able to decide on whether to build a bomb, but had not yet made that decision.

“It still hasn’t decided yet whether to go the extra mile,” he said.

So far, Israel and Washington do not believe that Tehran has actually taken the decision to develop a nuclear bomb, a decision which would require the ability to quickly produce weapons-grade uranium.

In my opinion, he would be making a huge mistake if he does so, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile,” Gantz said, referring to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who is the final authority on all national issues.
Not to be deterred by reality, Florida's resident douchbag Senator has continued calling for war with Iran.
Potential Republican vice presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Wednesday said a unilateral “military solution,” from the United States may be needed to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Rubio, a freshman Senator for Florida, said in a speech in Washington that it was imperative that the United States not “stand on the sidelines” of a simmering Middle East, but instead provide leadership to resolve global crises.

“Our preferred option since the US became a global leader has been to work with others to achieve our goals,” Rubio said in an address at the Brookings Institution think tank.

But “America has acted unilaterally in the past — and I believe it should continue to do so in the future — when necessity requires,” he added, alluding to Iran.
Guaranteed that the little douchebag will be the first to see that none of his family and friends end up serving at the front. But they may well profit mightily if he can start a war.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First came Taz, The Tasmanian Devil

Now we get to enjoy a Tasmanian Angel, Ange Boxall.

Watch what he does not what he says.

Martin Bashir on the correct way to judge Mitt Romney.

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

Quote of the Day

Of course, now some, some critics have said in response to this that if the Catholic church's insurance does not cover Sandra Fluke's birth control, it shouldn't cover Cardinal Dolan's Viagra.

Oh, no, no, no. Oh, no, no, no, that's called celibacy plus. That's how the pros do it. Because chastity is one thing, but it shows true commitment to uphold your vows when you are sporting a crook you could hang a lighter on. Oh, wow, see you at mass on Sunday, sir?
Stephen Colbert, from prepared remarks at the Time 100 Gala.

Santorum for Sale

From The Pink Sith comes news of the latest use for Santorum, Matte Brown Nail Glaze. Also information about where you can buy it, enjoy.

Our informative media

From the pen of Stuart Carlson

The Republican/Teabaggers must be so jealous.

Because the British Conservative Party has achieved a goal that the Republican/Teabaggers are still dreaming about.
Britain slid back into recession in the first quarter of the year, according to official figures released Wednesday, undercutting the government’s argument that its austerity program was working.

The British economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter after contracting 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday. The first double-dip recession in the country since the 1970s was mainly the result of a slump in the construction industry at the beginning of this year.

Some economists had predicted a small increase in first-quarter gross domestic product after recent surveys had indicated that the British economy was recovering, albeit very slowly. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government had pointed to the recovery as a sign that the austerity measures it implemented were working.

“The economy slipping back into recession comes as a blow”
Curiously, the British Conservatives success is not aimed at driving the ruling party out of office because they are the ones in the driver's seat, although is may do so.

When the President lies like a Republican

You get responses like this in a Rolling Stone interview. When asked why he was pushing DoJ actions against medical marijuana when he had stated in 2008 that he would not do so, President Obama reached way up his ass and pulled out this turd.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, the president tried to explain his original comments, claiming that the recent pressure on dispensaries and providers was in line with his intent.

"What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana," Obama said. "I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana -- and the reason is, because it's against federal law."

The president continued: "I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, 'Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.' What I can say is, 'Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.' As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes."
And if you believe that, I am selling shares in a potentially lucrative lunar green cheese mining venture.

The Great Orange Boehner can't deliver the goods

What do you call a Speaker of the House of Representatives, the leader of the majority party who can not get funding for a major highway project that is essential to his district? Failure would be a good place to start.
-Nearly every day, rush-hour traffic backs up for miles on both ends of the overburdened Brent Spence Bridge, which spans the Ohio River and links Cincinnati with its suburbs in Kentucky.

The bridge, one of the busiest in the U.S. interstate system, has been dubbed "functionally obsolete" by the federal government because its narrow four lanes on each level - originally designed as three lanes - create massive bottlenecks for traffic.

For commuters and businesses desperate for an improved crossing, the good news is that they have a powerful friend in Congress: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican whose district includes Cincinnati suburbs.

But a $2.4 billion plan to replace the Interstate 71/75 bridge has gotten little help from Boehner's House of Representatives, which abandoned efforts to pass long-term federal highway funding in favor of two 90-day extensions, the second of which passed last week.

In the process, the highway bill has become a symbol of Boehner's frustrations in dealing with budget-conscious Republicans allied with the Tea Party movement.
Yep! A leader that can't control his people is what you might call a bull goose fuck-up.

Car thief calls Obama corrupt.

And if you didn't know, that would be Darryl Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has never conducted any oversight or considered any government reform that would be useful or productive. So why post this? Because Darryl Issa is a lying sack of shit that needs to be thrown in jail instead of being re-elected. Sadly, miracles don't happen in the real world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

k.d.lang and The Sis Boom Bang

Jesus in Modern English

Smouched from Juanita Jean, a prime source of good stuff.

Now that Joe Walsh is no longer a deadbeat dad

At least until the election, the mantle of Deadbeat King has been picked up by the Minnesota Republican Party. Not only is the party being served with eviction papers by its lanlord.
Minnesota's debt-plagued Republican Party has been served with an eviction notice for its party headquarters after failing to pay its rent payments since August.

The GOP has 21 months remaining on a lease with Hub Properties Trust for space a block from the state Capitol. Shortridge revealed that the rent hadn't been paid in eight months.

The Minnesota GOP owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to various vendors.
Boy, that Walsh guy sure is a good role model for the party.

Somewhere Bin Laden is smiling

His boys in AQ don't need to make any more attacks on the US, his allies the Republican/Teabaggers are doing just fine on their own. The Senate Republicans are the latest to declare "Death to the Infidels" who want to actually govern this country.
A member of the Senate GOP leadership says he and his colleagues could end up backing House Republicans in their efforts to fund the government at levels below those agreed to in the bipartisan debt-limit deal last August, increasing the chances of a government shutdown fight just weeks before the 2012 election.

“I think the Budget Control Act stated caps and lids,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD) in the Capitol Tuesday. “It’s not necessarily floors. And if the House appropriators can mark bills that will come in at that $1.028 [trillion] level, then more power to them. Of course, here they’ve already agreed that they’re going to mark at the Budget Control Act levels, so that’ll set up some interesting discussions in the conference committee. But I think we’ve got to be as aggressive as we can in trying to rein in the cost of government, the growth of government.”

The White House insists that it will hold House Republicans to the deal they struck last summer, and that President Obama will veto appropriations legislation that funds the government below those levels. Thune did not address that threat. Senate Republicans are less eager to pick this fight, but comments suggest they’ll back their House counterparts if the parties reach an impasse.
What Obama needs to do is use his George W given powers to declare both Republican/Teabagger caucuses as enemy combatants and throw them all in Gitmo. Then we can restore the country to normal.

Remember Wal-Mart's Mexican bribes?

According to the law
If Wal-Mart is found to have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids paying bribes to foreign officials, the company could face fines of hundreds of millions of dollars. Top Wal-Mart executives could lose their jobs – or worse, go to jail. And the retailer could suffer a public relations nightmare if a lengthy investigation ensues.
Well today we learn that the Dept of Justice has been investigating this since December. If the New York Times could publish a detailed chronology of what happened you might figure that the DoJ could put together a case by now. But all you lovers of cheap Chinese crap need not fear, your beloved behemoth will not suffer any major damage.
Despite public embarrassment and blistering headlines, Walmart will likely escape criminal charges over allegations the retailer bribed officials in Mexico, according to an examination of similar cases prosecuted by the U.S. government. If recent history holds true, the Department of Justice will settle the matter without formally prosecuting the retailer under the government's anti-bribery statute...

In recent years, the Justice Department has increased the number and scale of its actions. The Justice Department has collected more than $3 billion in fines from multinational corporations since 2008, including the huge defense contractor BAE Systems, the automaker Daimler AG, and the health care product manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

But most of these companies were never formally prosecuted, even in cases the Justice Department describes as egregious. Since 2010, 29 of 32 cases brought by the Justice Department were resolved either with a non-prosecution agreement, or a deferred-prosecution agreement -- methods for resolving cases without actually filing charges.
A nice cozy settlement, an easily affordable settlement and nobody did anything wrong and we promise not to do it again. Corporate justice in America.

Remember Jose Padilla?

He was the American citizen who was tortured under orders from Don Rumsfeld for four years before he was brought to trial. He was, naturally, convicted when he was brought into court but the government has never been held responsible for the four years of torture.
On Monday, the mother of a U.S. citizen who was allegedly tortured at a naval base in Charleston asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other government officials on behalf of her son.

Jose Padilla, a convicted terrorist, had sued Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials over his alleged torture at the naval base, but a district court judge granted Rumsfeld immunity and dismissed the case, Padilla v. Rumsfeld. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the dismissal in January.

“If the appeals court’s ruling is allowed to stand, government officials will have a blank check to commit any abuse in the name of national security, even the brutal torture of an American citizen in an American prison,” said Ben Wizner, the ACLU attorney who argued the case before the Fourth Circuit. “It is precisely the role of the courts to ensure that allegations of grave misconduct by Executive Branch officials receive fair adjudication. That vital role does not evaporate simply because those officials insist that their actions are too sensitive for judicial review.”

Padilla was arrested as an “enemy combatant” in May of 2002 after returning to the U.S. from Egypt. He was detained at a U.S. navy prison in South Carolina for nearly four years without charge.

According to his defense team, while in military custody Padilla was subjected to sleep deprivation, threats of execution, exposure to noxious fumes and extreme temperatures, physical abuse, and was forced stand in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time.

“Tell me where in the Constitution it says that torturing Americans is acceptable,” Estela Lebron, Padilla’s mother, said. “You don’t even treat an animal the way my son was treated.
Held four years without even a charge, denied access to a lawyer for most of that time. That this was not thrown out for several Constitutional violations, not to mention the torture, shows the value of the Conservatives stacking the courts with their kind of people.

Pay attention now

The upcoming election will be the first that will have Billionaires and corporations openly bidding to by the elections you are supposed to decide with your votes. Be prepared and be aware of the $Millions being spent to make you believe Republican/Teabagger lies.
The conservative groups that helped Republicans win the House in 2010 are pouring money this year into an aggressive campaign to capture the Senate, a goal that they consider just as vital as winning the White House.

Already, they have committed at least $17 million to television commercials in more than a dozen states from Florida to Hawaii, in most cases dwarfing what their Democratic opponents have spent. Their plans call for an effort that will exceed $100 million by Election Day, strategists for these groups said, far surpassing their efforts in 2010, a high-water mark for outside money in politics.

In the weeks ahead, they will pour more resources into states like Nebraska and Missouri, which have already seen some of the heaviest spending, in addition to intensifying their campaigns in New Mexico, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Their immediate objective: use hard-hitting television ads to tether Democratic candidates to the budget deficit, lackluster economic growth and the perception that government has become too intrusive and unmanageable.

Except for the candidate, and the phone number that flashes on screen at the end, the ads follow a strikingly similar script.

Senator Fill-in-the-Blank supports business-smothering regulations and will raise your taxes. He also added trillions to the deficit by voting for “Obamacare” and will cut your Medicare.
And in the end they expect you to believe because you have heard nothing else for the last six months. It is up to you to retain your sanity and help rid Congress o9f the pestilential Republican/Teabaggers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easy to find

But still very satisfying.

Some of the many faces of Mittens the Rombot

Brought to you by Tom Tomorrow today.

Quote of the Day

When you set out to reform a people, a group, who have done nothing wrong, you have to have an intention, a motivation that is not only not morally based, but actually immoral," she said.

"Because you are attempting to control people for one thing and one thing only -- and that is for thinking, for being willing to discuss the issues of the age
Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious , speaking about Der Popenfuhrer's "Papa Knows Best" edict.

Here, have some moe.

May you never get caught.

Reality is hush-hush

From the pen of Hilary Price

Because there is nothing like a good sucker

Ron Paul is continuing his campaign for president all the way to the convention.
Don't tell Ron Paul and his supporters that the race for the GOP presidential nomination is over.

They put Republicans in Texas and beyond on notice Saturday that they plan to take their campaign all the way to the national convention in August in Tampa, Fla.

Paul backers attended Republican Senate district conventions locally and statewide, making a push to gain more control of the party.

One of their chief goals is gaining delegates to the state convention -- and ultimately the national convention -- so they can push Paul's positions in the party platform and help the libertarian-leaning congressman gain the nomination if an unlikely opportunity presents itself.
The short bus Republicans won't give up until they have hollowed out the party and it collapses of its own weight.

Mittens new position

From the pen of Mike Lukovich

Mitt & the Republicans know we are very stupid

Paul Krugman wonders how stupid Mitt and His Fiends thinks we are. Given are propensity for forgetting what happened last week, Mitt just has to worry about how to use our stupidity. In the meantime PK tries to get us to remember what Mittens is doing and who he really is.
But the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right — but not in the way he intended.

First of all, many reporters quickly noted a point that Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obama for his predecessor’s policy failure?

Yes, it does. Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration’s policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don’t remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.

How does the campaign deal with people who point out the awkward reality that all of the “Obama” job losses took place before any Obama policies had taken effect? The fallback argument — which was rolled out when reporters asked about the factory closure — is that even though Mr. Obama inherited a deeply troubled economy, he should have fixed it by now. That factory is still closed, said a Romney adviser, because of the failure of Obama policies “to really get this economy going again.”

Actually, that factory would probably still be closed even if the economy had done better — drywall is mainly used in new houses, and while the economy may be coming back, the Bush-era housing bubble isn’t.

But Mr. Romney’s poor choice of a factory for his photo-op aside, I guess accusing Mr. Obama of not doing enough to promote recovery is a better argument than blaming him for the effects of Bush policies. However, it’s not much better, since Mr. Romney is essentially advocating a return to those very same Bush policies. And he’s hoping that you don’t remember how badly those policies worked.
In regards to the Bush policies and those who would continue them, most animals would adopt a policy of "once bitten, twice shy". Thanks to marketing and Big Lie nooz like Fux human beings have outgrown that. We will walk into that hole as many times as we take that path.

Mitt wants to give more money to the Pentagon

For no good reason that anybody can divine. The military already has so much money that they can fight two needless wars, sponsor planes and ships that can not perform their intended mission and extras like this.
The military claims that its so-called “pain ray,” which causes a sharp burning sensation, is completely harmless. The radiation penetrates less than half a millemeter into the skin and is a different wavelength from that used in a microwave oven. They would like to see the device employed in place of guns for crowd control and counter-insurgency.

“You want to win the hearts and minds,” Colonel Tracy Tafolla of the Pentagon’s Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate told al Jazeera. “You don’t want to kill the people that you’re trying to protect.”

Unfortunately — from the military’s point of view — the device has significant limitations. It takes sixteen hours to boot up and loses effectiveness in the rain or snow. But its greatest drawback may be the potential for negative propaganda

“In 2010, it actually was deployed to Afghanistan,” Spencer Ackerman of explained. “And then, very, very quickly, General McChrystal, when he was the commander there, sent it back. He was concerned about the propaganda effects, that the Taliban there would be able to say the U.S. is zapping or microwaving Afghans.”
16 hours to boot up? Hell, I was faster than that getting ready for math class in high school. Of course back then we used pencils and slip-sticks.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A folk aria by a wonderful new talent

Anais Mitchell. The song is great for 4:40 and the rest is dead air. I guess someone was too blown away to stop the recording.

Gun control isn't what you think.

From the pen of Ben Sargent.

With such low, low prices

How can Wal-Mart afford to pay up to $24 Million in bribes in Mexico alone? And why did all the executives who helped to cover up the bribes get promoted? Read all about it.

After 10 years of failure in Afghanistan

The US and Karzai of the Afghans have reached an agreement for the 10 years following troop withdrawal in 2014. It promises a lot of help without being specific, meaning Congress can cut it off any time they get a wild hair across their collective asses. No mention of any troop hostages left behind.

NYT shines a spotlight on ALEC

And like a cockroach, ALEC scrambles to avoid discovery of their true purpose, subversion of American democracy for the oligarchs.
Despite its generally low profile, ALEC has drawn scrutiny recently for promoting gun rights policies like the Stand Your Ground law at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida, as well as bills to weaken labor unions and tighten voter identification rules. Amid the controversies, several companies, including Coca-Cola, Intuit and Kraft Foods, have left the group.

Most of the attention has focused on ALEC’s role in creating model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that broadly advance a pro-business, socially conservative agenda. But a review of internal ALEC documents shows that this is only one facet of a sophisticated operation for shaping public policy at a state-by-state level. The records offer a glimpse of how special interests effectively turn ALEC’s lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes.

The documents — hundreds of pages of minutes of private meetings, member e-mail alerts and correspondence — were obtained by the watchdog group Common Cause and shared with The New York Times. Common Cause, which said it got some of the documents from a whistle-blower and others from public record requests in state legislatures, is using the files to support an Internal Revenue Service complaint asserting that ALEC has abused its tax-exempt status, something ALEC denies.

“We know its mission is to bring together corporations and state legislators to draft profit-driven, anti-public-interest legislation, and then help those elected officials pass the bills in statehouses from coast to coast,” said the president of Common Cause, Bob Edgar. “If that’s not lobbying, what is?”
This is just the opening salvo in a fight to destroy a great Conservative evil.

In today's religulous news

A group of true Americans has filed a complaint with the IRS regarding the remarks by Bishop Daniel "Old Fat Ass" Jenky.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a complaint with the IRS concerning a Catholic bishop who sparked outrage by comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria said the President was “intent on following a similar path” of the two mass-murderers and that his “radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda” threatened the First Amendment rights of Catholics. He added that “every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences.”

“Bishop Jenky’s intervention in the election wasn’t just extreme and mean-spirited, it also seems to be a clear violation of federal law,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “Churches are tax-exempt institutions, and they aren’t allowed to intervene in partisan politics.”

Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits charities and churches from intervening in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate.
We can only pray that someone in the White House is smart enough to support a full IRS follow up on this complaint.

In other news, nuns fight back against whining by wizened old Nazi.
The leader of a group of US Catholic nuns on Saturday rejected condemnation from a Vatican report that said it defied Church doctrine.

“We haven’t violated any teaching,” Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, told AFP, insisting the group would not stop “caring for the least among us on the margins of society.”

Network was singled out for supporting women’s health rights in a Vatican report this week condemning the main US association ofCatholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious(LCWR)...

After the report was published, Campbell said it was “painfully obvious” the Vatican leadership was “not used to having educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.”

“We will keep doing our mission,” she insisted in a phone interview Saturday, saying the group was founded to “lobby, organize and educate” in the name of social and economic justice...

“There seems to the major disconnect, where (the Vatican) seem to think that faith can only lead to one political approach,” Campbell said. The Network group, she said, “speaks for our members, not for a church. Helping others is at the heart of our faith.”
You go Sisters!

Happy Earth Day

Don't forget where you came from.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

An entertaining interval with Tom Rush

The importance of deficit reduction

If it weren't for Democrats can you imagine how bad the deficit would be?

snatched from Hullabaloo.

Bankof America Sweetheart settlement challenged in court

Because if the sweetheart settlement, with its minor fine and lack of investigation, is approved, it will moot a larger suit seeking more realistic damages and based on far more thorough investigation. Gretchen Morgenson writes about the deal and you can smell the stink just reading about it.

Fiscal vs Social

At a time when the Republican Party has a favorable economic wind in their sails, thanks to three years of unremitting obstruction, the party leader are scared of the damage the Teabagger crazies may do to the cause with their loonie social issue laws.
Fiscal issues and union rights were front and center in many Republican-controlled legislatures last year. But this year, with the nation heading into the heart of a presidential race and voters consumed by the country’s economic woes, much of the debate in statehouses has centered on social issues.

Tennessee enacted a law this month intended to protect teachers who question the theory of evolution. Arizona moved to ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, and Mississippi imposed regulations that could close the state’s only abortion clinic. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed a law allowing the state’s public schools to teach about abstinence instead of contraception.

The recent flurry of socially conservative legislation, on issues ranging from expanding gun rights to placing new restrictions on abortion, comes as Republicans at the national level are eager to refocus attention on economic issues.

Some Republican strategists and officials, reluctant to be identified because they do not want to publicly antagonize the party’s base, fear that the attention these divisive social issues are receiving at the state level could harm the party’s chances in November, when its hopes of winning back the White House will most likely rest with independent voters in a handful of swing states.

One seasoned strategist called the problem potentially huge.
Letting the lunatic fringe run your party is no way to succeed.

New Rules for the Republican War on Common Sense

See a real shit eating grin.

When you attempt to analyze the Republican brain

You let loose all the furies of Hell whose attempts to disprove you only further confirm your hypotheses. Chris Mooney describes his life after publishing "The Republican Brain".

Who will be Mittens VP.

So far, Rubio and Jeb Bush havwe declined.Newt doubts Mittens would give him the time of day. The Frothy One Santorum has said he would do it. And Snowflake Snooki has been seen in public more than usual lately. And Mittens is keeping his thought to himself.

Money, money, who's got the money?

In the case of MF Global, no one is telling and they are doing all they can to muddy the waters. AlterNet tries to present the story and make sense of it.
Only on Wall Street can you bankrupt a company; misplace $1.6 billion of customers’ money; lose 75 percent of shareholders’ money in two weeks; speed dial a high priced criminal attorney and get a court to authorize the payment of your multi-million dollar legal tab from the failed company’s insurance policies; have regulators waive your requirements to take licensing exams required to work in the securities and commodities industry; have your Board of Directors waive your loyalty to the firm; run a bucket shop out of the UK; and still have the word “Honorable” affixed to your name in a Congressional investigations hearing.

This is not a flashback to the rotting financial carcasses of 2008. This putrid saga has been playing out in five Congressional hearings since December with the next episode scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, before the Senate Banking Committee under the auspicious title: “The Collapse of MF Global: Lessons Learned and Policy Implications.” (The title might more appropriately be, “MF Global: Lessons Never Learned and Policy Implications of a Wild West Financial System Just One TradeAway from the Next Taxpayer Bailout.”)
So far only the investors have paid any price. The Big Swinging Dicks on Wall St have done a nice job of protecting themselves.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Another pair of tunes for 420

Psychedelic doesn't work well in B & W, but I had to post this for today.

And this often overlooked gem from the Small Faces, now in the R & R Hall of Fame.

MERS and the Banks, a conspiracy to defraud

And Abigail Caplovitz has a post on Firedoglake detailing the willful destruction of the chain of title by its corruption of the notarization process. She also spotlights some of the legal efforts to correct this. Have you called the District Attorney responsible for your land records office to ask if they are working to recover the fees and taxes that have been evaded by the use of MERS? Remind them there might be a RICO conviction here as well.

Celebrate 420 with the Coasters

Even vampires die

R.I.P. Jonathan Frid, Barnabas will live forever.

Now that the primarys have been decided

The Obama campaign would like to point out that Mitt Romney has flip-flopped so vigorously that he has landed on the very extreme right. And the Democrats don't plan on letting you forget it.
Mitt Romney may be inclined to start moving to the political center now that he’s practically got the Republican nomination won and done, but the Obama campaign would much rather keep him right where he’s been for the past few months: in the conservative territory he staked out while battling for Republican primary voters.

After months of depicting Mr. Romney as the ultimate squishy, double-talking, no-core soul, Team Obama is shifting gears. Senior administration officials, along with Democratic and campaign officials, all say their strategy moving forward will be to tell the world that Mr. Romney has a core after all — and it’s deep red.

Mr. Romney’s overheard remarks at a fund-raiser in Florida on Sunday night that, if elected, he planned to slash government programs (though he has not spelled that out for the voters) gave Obama backers the perfect opening, and they jumped on it. “Mitt Romney Tells Rich Voters His Secret Plan to Cut Housing Assistance,” said a headline from ThinkProgress, a blog put out by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Democratic officials followed that up with a call to reporters on Thursday charging that Mr. Romney’s proposal would “cut critical funds for homeless veterans.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama’s advisers saw another chance, and they were all over that, too. Just hours after Mr. Romney accepted the endorsement of Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, the Democratic National Committee was out with an ad “Mitt Romney and Tom Corbett: Too Extreme for Women.” The ad featured the traditional spooky music accompanying video of Mr. Corbett defending his advocacy of a proposal that could make women undergo ultrasounds before receiving abortions, and saying women could “close their eyes” if they didn’t want to see what was on the screen.

“Did Mitt Romney close his eyes to accept this endorsement?” the D.N.C. said in an e-mail it helpfully sent to reporters trumpeting the advertisement. “Probably not, since Mitt Romney’s positions mirror those of the extreme elements of his party,” the e-mail continued, going on to list a host of conservative Romney positions that Democrats hope will alienate women.
No word yet about how Mitt's every attack is just a big fat lie. That should be coming soon.

The inequities of the tax code

James Stewart, a reporter for the New York Times, takes a look at the disaster the tax code has become after finding out why his AGR was up and his tax rate was down.
Like most Americans (though not Mitt Romney, who got an extension), I filed my 2011 tax returns this week and paid my five layers of income tax: federal, state, local, self-employed and something called the metropolitan commuter tax (even though I live in New York City and don’t commute). When I first looked at the returns, I was incredulous.

My adjusted gross income was higher than it was in 2010. Yet my overall tax rate went down. My alternative minimum tax also went down. Wasn’t the opposite supposed to happen — the more you make, the higher rate you should pay?

I called my accountant to double check, but my returns were correct. This perverse outcome proves that what I’d already discovered about the ultrarich also holds true for people who are far from the million-dollar bracket: our tax code isn’t progressive. It’s not even flat. For people like me — and I assume there are millions of us — it’s regressive. For many people, the more you make, the lower the rate you pay.
Read the rest if you want to know some of the ways the Republicans have made the tax code cruelly regressive.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A fine San Francisco treat

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

Telling Me Lies

Martin looks at Mitt's affinity for mendacity and what the Book of Mormon has to say about it.

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

R.I.P. Levon Helm

You have been released, but you can not be replaced.

Every foreclosure should be challenged

If your state allows any judicial review, because the likelihood of major errors on the part of the lender put the odds very much in the homeowners favor. MSNBC has the details in an extensive article on the continuing foreclosure fraud across the country.
Michael DeVito, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s Home Mortgage Default Servicing, says the bank's processes are built to catch errors: “It’s got redundant checks in it to ensure that the documents going out the door are accurate. And the process is built to help the team member build the personal knowledge they need to sign effectively."

“No one here is asked to sign anything they don’t understand. Period. End of Story," DeVito said. "There’s no production quota and if a team member says, ‘I don’t understand this I’m not going to sign it,’ that’s fine.”

But people who work at Wells Fargo’s office at 401 South Tryon Street in Charlotte said some managers are pushing loan processors to fill workload quotas that don’t allow enough time to thoroughly review documents.

“They’re pushed to do numbers," said a manager at the office who wished not to be named, referring to a department different from her own.

“My department is much more lax,” she said, “but (in that team) they’re pushing: ‘Get ‘em out, get ‘em out, get ‘em out, get em out.’”

This pressure to produce is spelled out in company e-mails to loan processors that were obtained by
Making the numbers precludes accuracy in most, if not all cases. The Great Mortgage Settlement was supposed to stop this, but all it did was stop the investigations.

Paul Ryan says not all bishops oppose him

Some have grown too fat and comfortable in their positions to believe in Church doctrine anymore. Like this guy, maybe?

As long as they are comfortable

From the pen of Stuart Carlson

Pat Toomey supports the Orange Boner

Sen. Pat Toomey has also come out to declare that the Republican/Teabagger god is better than that old Jesus dude and the bishops can go stuff their doctrines.
Toomey, who is Catholic, said that he had not read the bishops' letters and that he doubts the opinions they represent are "monolithic."
He believes that 49 Million people, and growing thanks to Republican/Teabagger policies, is a small segment of society

Bat Shit Crazies set sight on Senate this year

And one of them made his mark in West Virginia where he showed that he has no self control and thinks that is an election plus.
John Raese, running for U.S. Senate as a Republican in West Virginia, equated a county smoking ban with Hitler forcing Jews to wear the Star of David at a recent Republican event.

Speaking in Hurricane, W.Va., last Thursday at the Putnam County Lincoln Day Dinner, Raese turned to Monongalia County's recently enacted smoking ban as an example of government overreach.

"But in Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke-free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. Okay?" he said. "Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that? Same thing."

Later on in the video, Raese calls President Franklin D. Roosevelt "General Roosevelt" and "Fidel Roosevelt."
Yeah, he is just what we need in the Senate to complete Bin Laden's plan for our destruction.

They are so much fun

That the CIA is asking for permission to run even more drone strikes in Yemen.
The CIA is seeking permission to launch more airborne drone strikes in Yemen, even when there is a risk the victims might not always be terrorists, The Washington Post reported.

The targets would be chosen based on intelligence reports indicating suspicious behavior, such as images of militants unloading explosives or gathering at al-Qaeda compounds.

If President Barack Obama’s administration gives the CIA permission for the strikes, it could represent a politically dangerous escalation of US military activity in Yemen, the Post said.

There have been at least eight US airstrikes in Yemen in the past four months, the Post reported.

The Obama administration has tried until now to limit its drone operations in Yemen to avoid being drawn into internal conflicts that could turn local militants into al-Qaeda recruits, the Post reported.
Just like a video game and we know how addicting video games are.

Another day, another bunch of bombs

Today in Iraq brought us the following news:
A string of deadly explosions and other attacks shook Iraq on Thursday, with bombings in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk resulting in the most fatalities. Over all, nearly three dozen people were killed and more than 100 wounded, according to security officials.

By the standards of Iraq — where attacks occur daily, although at a much diminished rate compared with the height of the war — the wave of violence on Thursday was not extraordinary, although it was a reminder, after weeks of relative calm, that an organized insurgency remained active.
It maakes a body feel good to see how much we have improved the Iraqis lives.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I think of this as the Wal-Mart song

Simon & Garfunkel sing about what is left when The Great Box leaves.

Mittens and The Nuge

Martin Bashir discusses one more false side of Mitt Romney.

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

Quote of the Day

If there’s a problem in American politics, it’s the Republican Party, whose theological devotion to to tax cuts and “small government” has destroyed our finances—both Reagan and George W. Bush were responsible for huge explosions of debt—and made bipartisan cooperation impossible. Our government is dysfunctional, but the pox isn’t on both houses, and the media’s quest to ignore that fact has only exacerbated the problem.
Jamelle Bouie, writing in The American Prospect

Mass. Sen,. takes money from a Yankee fan

Sen. Scott "Nudie" Brown not only took money from a Yankee fan, but the fan was the President of the New York Yankees.
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown may be rooting for the Red Sox [team stats] against the Yankees this week, but the head of the hated Pinstripes is going to bat for Brown.

Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, donated the maximum $2,500 to the Massachusetts Republican’s re-election campaign last month, according to newly released campaign finance records.

That’s right, the commander of the Evil Empire is helping to pay for all those Brown ads championing his support of the Red Sox.

It’s one thing to be bipartisan, Senator, but this is taking it a little too far. There’s no compromising in baseball.

“We’re happy to accept Randy Levine’s donation,” Brown campaign spokesman Colin Reed said. “
May he choke on a Fenway Frank, with extra mustard.

Boner breaks down in tears, begs forgiveness from Bishops

Not really. What he actually did was give the Bishops a great big Fuck You and declared that the Republican/Teabaggers would continue their drive to cast as many Americans as possible into poverty, misery and death. Did you expect anything else?

Dick Clark is not immortal

Philadelphia's perpetual teenager has died of a heart attack at age 82. Rest In Peace.

I enjoy hockey

But this years Stanley Cup playoffs seem to be especially violent compared to years previous and they are still in the first round. When games run long because of the time needed to bring medical assistance to mugged players or for the linesmen and refs to sort out the melees, something has gone wrong with the game. No one pays attention to Commissioner Gary Bettmen because that weasel was only hired to increase gate receipts but Brenden Shanahan was hired to do something about it. Lynn Zinser has more to say:
Because none other than N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman sat in the stands at United Center and watched the scariest hit yet in the playoffs lay out one of his league’s glittering talents at the hands of one of its most unrepentant goons. And when asked about the state of affairs by David Haugh of The Chicago Tribune, Bettman said, “A lot of it is perception and misperception.”

Wow. Perception? Like the fortunately short-lived one that Hossa might never walk again? We can see how people can confuse that with reality.

Even for Bettman, who set new lows in his spectacular show of denial in response to the state of Derek Boogaard’s brain after he died of a drug overdose last summer, this was ludicrous. It also followed another head-scratching day in N.H.L. justice, when the Brendan Shanahan comedy hour produced four videos describing four player suspensions he was handing down as director of “player safety.” (Yes, those words should be in quote marks until anyone in the league office shows they care one whit about the safety of their players.) If you can follow the logic through those four — particularly how the Penguins’ James Neal earned only a one-game suspension for head-hunting two players on a single shift — you belong at M.I.T. Or Shanahan’s next dinner party.
Has the NHL hired Gregg Williams?

More photographs from Shitholeistan

And like previous sets from there and from Iraq they do no one any good.
Photographs apparently showing United States soldiers posing with body parts of dead insurgents drew strong condemnation on Wednesday from American officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and the commander of international forces in Afghanistan.

The Los Angeles Times published on the front page of its early editions a photograph of what it described as a soldier from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division with a dead insurgent’s hand on his shoulder. The accompanying article said the photograph was one of 18 of soldiers posing with the corpses of insurgent fighters given to the newspaper by a soldier who served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne’s Fourth Brigade Combat Team from Fort Bragg, N.C. The newspaper said the Afghan died planting a bomb, citing the police.

The article was later posted to the newspaper’s Web site with another photograph of American soldiers and Afghan security forces posing with the dismembered legs of another insurgent held upright by ropes.
War is a cruel business and the survivors have felt free to do these things since time immoral, but for the love of God do they have to take pictures? And why won't our government to what is right and remove all our troops from this temptation?

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