Someone really needs to tell Fox news that Los Angeles is not, in fact, south of San Diego.
Still think he’s on our side?
By all means, stick your head in the sand – just let the rest of us know that you are opting to do so please?
Dear universe, please give me someone good to vote for in 2012 please? Ideally someone good and Electable.
Yet another mental midget gets a choice Obamaland appointment – Would-be DOD chief over Afghanistan: War ‘is winnable’.
And this guy hasn’t even started the job yet.
The Army general chosen to take over as top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan told senators Tuesday he believes the war can be won if a proper counterinsurgency campaign is undertaken.
No, really, ignore two thousand years of history telling us that no one has ever managed to take the region (let alone hold it), let’s just site those wacky madcap Soviets and then know, just know we can do better, because we are Americans…..
Seriously, is the Obama administration using a Ouija board to select their appointees of late?
Well, let’s see. I expect that a pretty good total train wreck could come out of a collision between the Sotomayor appointment and the signal to noise discrepancy created in the wake of some religious wingnut on one of their little crusades again.
Though, on that last count, I’m amazed that so many otherwise god- (read: lobbyist) fearing Republicans have actually had the gibbering nod towards sentience to come out against blowing people away. Don’t they normally put pictures of the shooters on their websites and call them patriots or some other jingoistic flag toting thing or other?
North Korea claims to have conducted a nuclear test and the media eats it up…because North Kore is right next to President Bush in the dictionary listing of “credibility.” (Which does bring to mind an interesting point. The Bush administration was real big on “North Korea does not have nuclear weapons” which, of course, was and remains bullshit. I’m wondering what the Obama administration’s stance is – i.e. do they dwell in reality?)
How soon til we invade? Oh wait, that’s right, NO OIL. So we won’t.
Speaking of Obama, he’s selected a gravedigger for NASA though speculation about NASA having a future involving real space exploration and utilization seem overly optimistic. We still don’t have a replacement anywhere in sight for the Shuttles, which will be flying their final flight next year.
Of especial humor – the article asks about “Bush’s” plan for manned expedition to Mars – which is the same plan suggested by (of all people) Dan Quayle during his time as VP….which is just a regurgitation of the exact same plan suggested by Spiro Fucking Agnew – “Man on Mars by 1988!” Yeah, that happened.
I don’t think this is a real bus ad, but what I’d give for it to have been so.
The Obama administration has been denied the funds to close GitMo without further disclosure and I say, well fucking done. The 90-6 senate vote was – somewhat surprisingly – GOP heavy (only somewhat because expecting ideological consistency out of the GOP is a fools’ errand). This should make it that much more difficult for all of those tribunal “terrorists” (sorry but without due process I can’t take that choice of descriptors seriously) to be ferried away to other illegal and secret prisons around the world.
Of course, the reason the GOP did this was to prevent an influx of brown people out of some naieve and extremely misinformed notion of the administration’s intentions. “The American people don’t want these men walking the streets of America’s neighborhoods,” thinks Senator John Thune, an elephant from South Dakota, though he does (at least) go on to say “The American people don’t want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their back yard, either.”
So close, but yet so far from…you know, reality. I would opt for mandatory reality checks in congress if I thought it could either be done or be done well, neither of which I believe.
But hey, it beats facing what both parties have done to the world economy I suppose.
Oh How I Love to watch her TWIST IN THE WIND
Look, no one is debating that the CIA can lie to congress (That is its primary purpose right?) – but in a world where Freecreditreport.com is a lie (don’t believe me? You can’t get that report without having a credit card. Again, without a credit card and thus a line of control from a bank, you are S.O.L.) trying to turn your own lies around on the CIA smells of someone feeling themself sandbagged and having nothing else in their deck to throw into the game.
No great loss really. I remember when Nancy Pelosi as Speaker was accompanied by it’s own particular cult of “She Will Save Us” and I scoffed then too – and was quietly told to let the less cynical enjoy their victory.
Ahem. Fuck that.
Former senator Bob Graham is joining the chorus of I didn’t know likely in exchange for something else later down the line would be my guess.
Jebus, do you have any idea how fucked things are when someone has less credibility than the Central Intelligence Agency? WOW.
Really though, the proof is in the pudding.
Graham is the only other Dem aside from Pelosi to get briefed in 2002, so they are both in effect asserting that no Dem was briefed on the use of EITs that year. The date of the next briefing was in February 2003.
The key word here is DEMOCRAT. Name a single member of the GOP sitting in who can corroborate this? (Not, mind, that they would. After all, the core of the GOP right now is of the masturbates to tortured brown people variety. Right Rush?)
But of course, the Robot has to sound off because he hasn’t done enough this week to end and destroy any tiny vestige of credibility the GOP might still possess.
WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – The CIA on Thursday rejected a request by former Vice President Dick Cheney that it make public documents that he said showed the effectiveness of using harsh interrogation methods on terrorism suspects.
*QUACK*Torture Works*QUACK*We should show the people how tough and big we are*QUACK* The CIA has a long (over 50 years) history of doing bad things and then not getting caught. But really, maybe just once, we should listen to Dick and watch both the CIA and the socially conservative wingnutjobs of the right wing get sucked into the black hole that would result.
Save of course, that that would insure further Obamanocracy.
well, hopefully. Still straddling the line of being one of those damned “statistics” cited in evening news reports, but my head is yet above water. Damnit.
Not, to say, that much has changed in my absence. For example, Nancy Pelosi is just as full of shit as she was in 2006. Being the ranking democrat on the intelligence committee c. 2002 she attended a briefing on, yes, torture. Having since been called out on this, of course, she’s screaming that she was misled.
I could address this with a series of points but why? Ultimately it boils down to
“We were told that they had legal opinions that it was legal and were not told about other legal opinions to the contrary,” Pelosi said of the briefings
Ah, so it was LEGAL? Right-o. Because a fucking congressperson is just going to, you know, take the CIAs word for it that something like this is of course legal.
But more to the point – who gives a set of dingos kidneys if it’s legal or not? I’d at this point like to lump the current ‘debate’ about whether or not it was effective into the same pot – Torture is wrong regardless of whether or not it’s legal or if it gives intel. Period. End of discussion.
Nancy Pelosi has, of course, felt the need to pull on the asskicking handle in my absence – because hey, it’s not her fault, she was misled. I’d like to instigate at this point a policy whereby public officials get thrown out onto the street without pay or benefit whenever they site how something could not possible be their fault. Dodging out of your own responsibilities stops being a life skill when you gain high office. Unless you are a teenager or a gothy emo fry cook at Dennys in your twenties with no life ambitions, I don’t want to hear that shit.
In related news, it’s apparently perfectly okay for the Obama administration to just refuse to disclose further details and information about “prisoner abuse” (TORTURE) and sweep it under the rug.
And, more infuriatingly, watch the democrat lapdogs who voted for this guy stammer and mumble trying to justify how The One is incapable of error. (What, he’s the Obama 9000? I don’t think so.) The “Left”s precious Obama is now actively dodging the ACLU. Why? Ah yes, to protect Dick Cheney and his cronies. Why? (Again, I gotta wonder what Dick has on Obama….)
Okay, so the photos would provide incontrovertible proof that these things not only happened at Abu Grahib but also happened at GitMo, and happen in Afghanistan. Nice.
See, to release these photos – it would stir anti-American feeling and endanger the troops. His words. Look, the only anti-American feeling it’s going to generate is amongst AMERICANS. Rightfully so. And how will it endanger the troops exactly?
Jesus Christ Mister President, why don’t you just ask us why we hate freedom you jackass.
What else can I add to that?
“Move forward” apparently is Obamaland code for “we aren’t going to do shit.”
Also – Arlen Spector :: Rugged Individualist! Watch the dems buy it.
Regretfully, I’m going on hiatus, pretty much immediately – thanks to a bank screwup consuming about 1200 bucks and all of the associated fallout, we’ve been served with an eviction notice.
*le sigh* As I will soon be without (reliable) computer access for the forseeable, it seemed the time.
Now to get packing.
No folks, it’s not part of some “master plan.”
He certainly wasn’t “biding his time, so as to go after those ultimately responsible.”
No, Barrack Obama just wants to pretend it didn’t ever happen. All of those crunchy “he’s really secretly doing some good thing here” arguments I heard after he extended protections to the CIA (what about Blackwater?) just evaporated like a bad fart. He’s now pointedly not going after those responsible for the decisions made – even though, by law, he’s kind of REQUIRED TO DO SO. I’m sure he’ll site some kind of “Not wanting to start a partisan something something” kind of ‘argument’. Citing bipartisanship as trumping ethics makes you a tool.
I say, hey, who besides Barrack Obama can I vote for in 2012? Anyone? My vote is available…..
Most bizarre of all, Dick Cheney just can’t shut the fuck up. He wants to – yes, I’m serious – he’s asking for more documents to be declassified (which, remember, leads to the “Terrorists winning!”)…to prove that torture gets results.
Do the ends justify the means?
NO, they do NOT. Thus and so, Dick, your argument, true or false, has no validity. Zero, zip, nada, none. Dare I say it, you’ve got dick.
I guess, in some kind of attempt to change the subject, Obama has told the cabinet to cut 100 million dollars out of the budget. (Hey it could be worse, the last time a President needed a distraction we invaded Iraq. The last time prior to that, we bombed the shit out of a bunch of factories that may or may not have belonged to al-queda. Of course, that didn’t help Mr. Clinton. Maybe the current democrat will have better luck.) Seriously, this comes out of absolutely nowhere. He gets off the plane and…bang, “hey guys let’s cut another hundred million.”
Guessing those insipid tea bagging things did something, huh? Though how “Taxation” = “excessive spending” I still can’t fathom. Perhaps the GOP Secret Decoder wheel I got in my box of Right Wing Crunch will help it make sense.
(Because really, that “protest” was about as cohesive and well thought out as, um, a “democratic protest” – you know, the kind we had for about eight years. That worked out well.)
U.S. Rep. Jane Harman busted for being on the take. Gee, Israel, smoooooooooooooooth.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that sources said Harman, D-Calif., was caught on a U.S. government wiretap telling an Israeli agent she would help AIPAC officials acing espionage charges.
The newspaper reported the Israeli agent promised to lobby House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also D-Calif., who then was the House minority leader, to appoint Harman as chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee once Democrats gained control of Congress
BUSted. Time has been alleging this for something like three years. Though if she’s really been talking to Israeli intelligence then I expect she’ll be dead before she can be found guilty.
Stephen Hawking rushed to the hospital after some weeks of sickness. Here’s hoping that he’s okay.
Have you heard of HR 1467?
Safe and Secure America Act of 2009 – Amends the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 to extend through 2019 provisions which: (1) authorize the use of multipoint or roving wiretaps for national security and intelligence investigations; and (2) allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to grant government access to tangible items (books, records, etc.) in foreign intelligence, international terrorism, and clandestine intelligence cases.
Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to extend through 2019 the inclusion of “lone wolf” terrorists as agents of a foreign power, for purposes of the authority to obtain intelligence on non-U.S. persons engaged in international terrorism.
That would be the fault of the following asshats.
* Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21]
* and 17 Co-Sponsors
o Rep. Michele Bachmann [R, MN-6]
o Rep. John Boehner [R, OH-8]
o Rep. Eric Cantor [R, VA-7]
o Rep. Howard Coble [R, NC-6]
o Rep. Mary Fallin [R, OK-5]
o Rep. Trent Franks [R, AZ-2]
o Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24]
o Rep. Gregg Harper [R, MS-3]
o Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-52]
o Rep. Jim Jordan [R, OH-4]
o Rep. Steve King [R, IA-5]
o Rep. Daniel Lungren [R, CA-3]
o Rep. Mike Pence [R, IN-6]
o Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16]
o Rep. F. Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5]
o Rep. John Shadegg [R, AZ-3]
o Rep. John Sullivan [R, OK-1]
(Oh, and AG Holder is on board with this too unless he’s radically changed tacks since he went from being a nominee and became an AG.)
The above, in short, pretty much continues the allowance of total
surveillance (maybe on you, maybe just on a brown person) to nigh any degree (as with our media as recently as a year ago) without a warrant so long as some judge somewhere “believes in cause”*), ‘as long as you’re involved or suspected of such in terrorism’ (which has a definition about as tractable as pornography) and, this may continue indefinitely without oversight.
It’s terribly adolescent of me but I’m resisting the urge to replace every instance of PATRIOT with (alternatingly) “Flagwaving” or “Jingoistic”. After the executive branch excesses of the last eight years you’d think I’d be less critical of the legislative branch…and there you’d be wrong. Partisan nonsense.
Obama’s reprieve for CIA torturers illegal
That particular body of neo-cons that, normally, would be screaming about the notion of “international law interfering with the internal workings of the United States” (Best heard in a sort of Bill O’Reiley monotone) are Being. Really. Mighty. Quiet. Hmmmm. I wonder why……..
U.N. special rapporteur Manfred Nowak told an Austrian daily paper
“The United States, like all other states that are part of the U.N. convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court,”
Reality check – if we bother with silly and irrelevant things like international treaties, or any kind of agreement ever with any other country, we have to actually abide by them or, you know, they don’t mean anything. We can’t just pick and choose when it’s politically expedient.
Ah whatever. Either torture by us bothers you or it doesn’t. For most of you, I don’t think it does. After all, most of the country could care less, right? (Most of my bile is gone, save for a special reserve I’m holding for the liberal blogosphere which doesn’t seem to care…I mean, The Messiahelventyone Hath Spoken, dig?))
This just in, U.S. still sucking the glass cock of Israel. For some reason. Same as it ever was. (See, “white” people don’t commit terrorism, they’re “freedom fighters” – but when those nasty “brown”
people do the same, they are bloody terrorists. How’s THAT for racism for ye?)
* actually I’m not convinced they’d need it. Maybe under Obama they might need a Judge. It’s disgusting how the parties can be told apart only via “degrees of police state bullshit” they’ll allow or put up with.
CIA ‘amnesty’ dismays campaigners – um, sure. Dismayed. Right. You know, I kind of hope this costs Obama the next election (actually no, I don’t. I think it will take longer than four years for the Republican party to be reconstituted into something worthwhile….or replaced) – besides, I know that the American people are fickle. As long as they’ve got their cable, their shitty fast food, and their porn streaming in along the ‘tubes, they won’t care.
At this point, I think it’s pretty much a given that Obama’s going to pardon anyone that looks like they might actually see some prosecution. Well, unless the American people exercise Vox Populi (witness AiG) but in this case, it doesn’t actually affect their quality of life, so the outrage will blow over.
I think Salon about called it and did so back in August. Specifically that Obama is only interested in the criminal occurances of the last eight years insofar as he wants to appear to be involved – likely in the time honored tradition of a ‘blue ribbon fact finding team’ which, as all such teams are, given the answers on hiring.
I mean, to go after BushCo he’d have to appear partisan now wouldn’t he? You know, if I believed in any tinfoil hat nonsense about the whole world being run by six people in a locked room, it’d be shit like that that I would cite as evidence.
Of course, I’m waiting for Dick Cheney to speak up. I mean, Mr. Credibility won’t be able to resist rubbing his robotic face in it. Hell, he probably really does think that “this has helped the American people”
“…and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
Dick Cheney NBC’s “Meet the Press”, March 16, 2003
“I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11.”
Dick Cheney, 2nd Presidential Debate, October 5, 2004
“I think there’s overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government.”
Dick Cheney National Public Radio’s, “Morning Edition,” January 22, 2004
“I’m up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they’re in session.”
Dick Cheney, 2nd Presidential Debate, October 5, 2004 (Per Senate records, Cheney had only presided over the Senate twice in four years as Vice President prior to this statement)
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”
Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002
Yes, that Dick Cheney. I mean, the way is now clear for Dick to tell the world that he viagra’d himself to videotaped “confessions” – the worst that could happen is that Obama will wait an extra day to Gerald Ford the whole thing.
Obama exempts torture staff from prosecution Thursday the Obama administration published four memos (previously secret) detailing legal “justification” for CIA interrogation (wait, torture* – interrogation involves getting intel from it) programs during the Bush era. Following this, President Obama gave assurances that those who participated in these acts will be not be prosecuted.
“those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice… will not be subject to prosecution”.
Fuck you Mr. President. The only thing stopping me from making impassioned statements expressing hope that you might fall into a pool of 12 molar acid or die in a fire is the thought that that would leave The Biden in charge and ….. yeah not worth it.
Seriously, Mr. Obama, WHAT KIND OF SIDE DEAL DID YOU CUT WITH THESE PEOPLE? I really cannot see any reason why you would do this without benefit? Unless you really are so ideologically sold on this increasingly disconnected from reality notion of unity that puts you as “in touch” with the real world as your predecessor. (Apparently in the 20th century we had crooks in the White House. Now we have bluepills.)
This is all on the heels of the release of documents describing what precisely was “allowed”
So, what was allowed?
Prisoners could be kept awake for more than a week. They could be fed nothing but liquid and thrown against a wall 30 times. Prisoners could be kept awake for more than a week. They could be fed nothing but liquid and thrown against a wall 30 times.
Using a plastic neck collar to slam detainees into walls.
“One of the documents contained legal authorisation for a list of specific harsh interrogation techniques, including pushing detainees against a wall, facial slaps, cramped confinement, stress positions and sleep deprivation.
The memo also authorises the use of “waterboarding”, or simulated drowning, and the placing of a detainee into a confined space with an insect.
One technique approved but never used (ha!) involved putting a detainee who had shown a fear of insects into a box filled with caterpillars.
Remember those pictures from Abu-Grahb? Funny how nothing we see there corresponds to anything being described here. Again, we’re not really getting the full truth here (all of those blacked out parts of the memos released should attest to that).
Leon Panetta, the Director of the CIA told agency employees that they should be “fully confident that, as you defend the nation, I will defend you.” Just as Attorney General Eric Holder said “It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department.”
WHAT THE FUCK? Thank you Mr. Obama for effectively raising to the status of law the “I was only following orders doctrine”. I’m sure it will serve our nation’s clandestine service as well as it has for the last fifty years.
Obama said he wanted to move beyond “a dark and painful chapter in our history.”
Aside from pointing out that this does leave those who made these “legal decisions” open for prosecution (well, aside from whatever side deals THEY cut) I have nothing further to add but more frothing anger and outrage.
* of course, lots of things are cited in the “hey we stopped X, Y, and Z” from happening by doing this. People who offer this argument up do rather miss the point.
Besides, do you believe them? I do not.
Miss him, miss him, miss him – Phil Spector has been convicted of murder, specifically of shooting Lana Clarkson in the mouth thus accruing a second degree murder rap. For the interested, this joins the ranks of bizarre, sleezy noir LA murder trials alongside OJ Simpson and (moreover) the sheer fucking wierdness of the Robert Blake Trial.
Yesterday I reported that Amazon was trying very hard to pretend we TBLG people don’t exist – well now they’re saying That was a technical glitch. Yes really. Actually, at first they blamed a troll on the internet (when the first reaction is to blame someone else…..) but now they’re saying it was “purely an internal error”. Hmmmmmmmm.
Goldman Sachs promises to repay rescue money suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure. This as they posted 1.66 billion dollars in net profit during Q1. Hey, if you’re still turning billions of dollars in profits – you don’t need government assistance. (It received 10 billion last year.) “Profits are down” does not an economic catastrophe make.
Judges in Minnesota declare Franken winner in Senate race. You know, long ago and far away I would have just shot both of them in the head and put a third party candidate in there. Of course, had I awesome judiciary powers, I might well have not waited for the long and drawn out outcome, declared the state of Minnesota contaminated on the grounds that Michele Bachmann exists there and throw a Simpsons dome around the whole works.
(Nothing personal against Minnesota – okay, that’s not true. I can name precisely three good things that came out of Minnesota that didn’t turn sour. A friend of mine named Bonnie, the Replacements, and Youaredumb.net. That’s it. Everything else spoils eventually.)
In another move displaying the type of innovation I’ve come to expect from the Obama White House, The Justice Department hires it’s fifth ex-RIAA lawyer, proving that yes Virginia, law can continue to be rooted in the 20th century and that a scarcity based economy is always the way to go.
No one has increased taxes*. Shut the fuck up. You’re making real conservatives look bad.
* No, you aren’t allowed to protest things “that haven’t happened yet.”
Amazon.com criticized for removing ‘adult’ books from it’s ranking system where ‘adult’ is a codeword for TBLG materials. Anyone who doubts that last fact can be directed here which makes it pretty clear that American Psycho is included in the ranking system but a book detailing the ban of bisexual, lesbian, and gay people from the military is not.
Certainly many of the books that are no longer ranked are no more “adult” than many of those that are — as the list above shows, the same book, by different publishers, might meet either fate. And Kindle editions of some books remain ranked. “Unfriendly Fire,” for example, is #1 in Gay and Lesbian Nonfiction on the Kindle — even as the hardcover of the book, which was released on March 3, does not show up at all when searched for.
As near as can be determined, this is only (predictably) occurring on Amazon proper – Amazon Canada et. al. aren’t having to put up with this nonsense.
Someone else in the blogosphere inquired about this practice and the response was…almost Federal in it’s whitewashedness.
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.
A partial list of the books being deranked exists here. Remember, they aren’t removing the books from sale …. just pretending that they aren’t there when they have to release their sales figures; it’s well known that many online retailers use Amazon sales rankings as a relative indicator of a given book’s success.
Wouldn’t want any of those fine upstanding repressed straight folk to think any income was being derived from those dirty faggots, dykes, queers, and shemales now would we?
The sad thing is that I can’t really see who specifically being catered to – it’s such an obscure (to most users) barometer of success/failure. It does seem to make hunting for certain things a bit trickier but (for the most part) they are still there with an extra step or two. So…if their intent is to cater to the ZombieJesusDay Right then….well, they’re doing it wrong.
I don’t think these things work, but for those of you who do there’s an online petition that can help you feel like you’ve done something.
Amazon – we still exist, and will go on existing no matter how hard you stick your head in the Box of Pretend World. Ttthhhhllllllpppppptttt!
Edit to the foregoing I can’t really be the only one who finds these a little creepy can I?
Barney Frank wants a cookie
Too little too late for my sympathy. Try again I guess.
While I’m on the subject, I’m still not a fan of the HRC. Duh. Just in case there was doubt.
/Moment of pure bitchy
Pakistan calls bullshit on U.S. … and there was much rejoicing as I’ve been waiting years to see this or similar happen. Iran did the same later on but in a special backhanded sort of way.
Newsflash – President Obama you can’t just flash your Obama smile and make the last eight (twelve…twenty eight…fifty) years go away magically. As good a game as you’ve talked (incessantly) it’s time for you to deliver on that “gaining the world’s respect” thing…it’s not going to be easy.
Speaking of which, Spain, I’m waiting. Please be my hero and make as giant a stink as possible. Really – at the least it will show just how invested the Obama administration isn’t in seeing justice. At most, it will put the heat on Cheney and the rest of those smug bastards.
And in the I’m apparently in the wrong damn state department, New Hampshire passes transgender rights protections into law – by one vote. Mind, it deals with “the bathroom issue” and Not A Damn Thing Else (and really, is this where the focus of our struggle should be? I think not)…but there are similar bills, in varying degrees of activity, in both Massachusetts & Connecticut.
So poopoo on the Prebublickan Potty Patrol.
Wow. Iowa and Vermont (Vermont?) have their shit together, but California “the great liberal vacuum” can’t. Why not?
I’m guessing it might have something to do with neither Iowa, nor Vermont, being all the close to Mormon country, and not y’know sexy enough* a place to crusade against the Evils of Tolerance and Acceptance.
I suspect that, in the case of Vermont, it might also have something to do with the decision resting before a legislature rather than some nonsense referendum (which doesn’t do much more than tally how many from which side show up**)
Excuse me if I’m sighted singing “Going to the Chapel” anytime soon.
*well, in a funny underwear, polyamory-only-if-it-keeps-the-wemmin-down sort of way
** clearly, the cornerstone of a great democracy
US deficit nearly one trillion in first half of fiscal year 2009 which, recall, begins October 1. Apparently, some kind of reward is given for those that break new records in government spending.
A US Judge has ruled that foreign suspects held by the US in Afghanistan do in fact have the right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts just as do those at GitMo. Last year the Supreme Court said that while detainees at GitMo had such a right, the Justice Department (You know, those stalwart nonpartisan guys!) ruled that those being held at Bagram did not have such a right.
Yeah, fuck you Bush Era Justice Department. (In common with the rest of you I have to take my victories where I can get them.)
The national geographic society would like you to know that the arctic ice got smaller, thinner, and younger this past winter this on the heels of a BBC report detailing the rupturing of an ice bridge in Antarctica putting the wilkins ice shelf on the verge of breaking away, and the disappearance of another Antarctic ice shelf puts all of this firmly in the category of Our Doomed World.
Expert on numbers fixing nominated for head of Census Bureau. I’ve pretty much already washed my hands of next year’s census, for reasons I’ve discussed previously, but this isn’t making things any easier. President Obama has nominated Professor Robert Groves, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan to head the Census Bureau. Sounds fine so far, right?
Mr. Groves, who served as associate director of statistical design at the Census Bureau from 1990 to 1992, is an expert on “sampling,” the practice of adjusting statistics in order to compensate for undercounting. This tends to bolster the number of people counted in urban areas that are typically Democratic strongholds. The census, which takes place next April, is used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and disburse billions in federal dollars
Yes, so statistics should be based on “approximations” and fuzzy logic, apparently? I don’t think so. The only sample we’ll have then is that of the sampler. Not representative of the whole country methinks. Of course, the GOP is screaming – not because of funny numbers which clearly they don’t have a problem with *koff*Florida*koff* but because they think it will increase the number of democratic votes in the inner cities. This despite the Supreme Court having already ruled that such sampling is not useful for apportionment purposes*.
Tell you what guys – let ye who have never gerrymandered cast the first stone, ‘kay? Hear that buzzer? That means you’ve been disqualified so quit your bitching.
No, the issue with sampling is that it flies in the face of what the census is supposed to be doing in the first place. In a statistics class, how many times are the students allowed to just shrug and go for the make-shit-up button? Why should it apply in the real world?
It gets better.
Professor Groves worked as director of statistical design with the US Census in 1990. 1990? Yes, the 1990 which gave us hits like the “1990 census vastly undercounted minority populations in large cities”. Yet his experience with “sampling” is going to correct this problem? Please Democrats, break out the new math and graph this for me.
Speaking of corruption and adjusted numbers, the TARP math is already being fully muddied – to the tune of a 100 million $ discrepancy. Oops, someone forgot to carry the two. It’s getting to the point now that every time I hear TARP or FIRREA or any of those “acronyms that mean you’re getting screwed” I start making up primary school word problems in my head – for the betterment of children’s education of course.
“If the democratic senator takes one campaign contribution of 5,000 $, and another contribution for 16,000 $, and is appointed to the finance subcommitte, when will the recession be?”
On a wholly unrelated note, will someone please tell me who Ted Stevens had to blow to get the charges dismissed? In fine and upstanding criminal form, as the ink cools on the dismissal, the Alaskan GOP is calling for a special election. Why? Because
Alaska GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich said a special election should be held “so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.”
My brain collapses under the weight of all of the absolute bullshit in that sentence. On the flip side, it’s taken this long to finally indict Rod Blagojevich but it has finally happened.
with 16 felony counts, among them racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion conspiracy in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive residents of “honest government,” prosecutors said
Okay, firstly, prosecutors accusing him (or…anyone) of depriving residents of “honest government”? Please. Twelve year old kids can see through that one faster than Michelle Malkin speed dialing Homeland Security during Food Network reruns. Lose the high and mighty – we know you’re dirty too, okay?
* which is itself contradictory; one of the big uses the US census is put to (and the only reason politicians care about the US census at all) is because “the results are used to allocate Congressional seats (congressional apportionment), electoral votes, and government program funding”. source
I find that “libertarian” as a word and as an ideological concept is inching up close and right behind “socialism” as a word being presently appropriated by those who lack any real understanding of what the word means. Of particular example I direct you to the Sam Adams Alliance which is apparently neo-con code for “listen to Michelle Malkin speak.”
Sorry I think I have to rearrange my sock drawer that night.
Proposed House climate bill has no fangs – a cap and trade plan that was audacious when first introduced c. 1990 with a few other, fairly random, elements tacked on.
If wishing made it so I’d petition the universe for a passel of climate scientists (hell, scientists period) to run for Congress. That would make me happy. (I can entertain myself with dreams of the “Science Party” surrounded by an art deco future later when it’s bed time.)
If naught else, it would (I hope) put a stop – or at least a crimp – in the Fifth grade antics between the two mobs of angry civics examples on capital hill.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The partisan sniping over President Barack Obama’s expensive 2010 budget plan became a battle of posters and charts in a show-and-tell debate on the U.S. Senate floor on Tuesday.
Republican and Democratic senators paraded to the floor to supplement their debate over Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget with stacks of posters blasting exploding deficit figures as well as highlighting lists of tax cut benefits.
There’s more but I can summarize it for you.
Majority: blah blah harumph open government we’re spending this money FOR THE FUTURE rhubarb harumph.
Minority: blah blah tax and spend harumph Jesus rhubarb freedom blah blah.
Conversely, you could get a monkey (or a six year old – functionally little difference I guess), wire them up on crack and have them bounce up and down screaming “LOOK AT MY CHART!!!!”
The Fed continues trying to strongarm the car companies into acting so that they won’t have to meddle. Nothing much has changed since November IOW.
Israeli installs new PM a giant question mark with the name of Business As Usual which is nowhere near as entertaining as the US having the audacity (after the last eight years especially) to seek election to the UN Human Rights Council because as every democrat knows, it’s easier to fix the outcome when you’re part of the committee. (Mind, the GOP knows the “committee secret” too, but they’re fonder of the three drink lunch aspect I think.)
Tell me, is this weekend Zombie-Jesus We-stole-your-holiday day yet? I want to know because I keep seeing media references to it, and I want to know which weekend my wife has off.
Speaking of such nonsense, a Baltimore woman pleads guilty to starvation death of her son. Okay, deplorable and she needs to get hit by a bus, right? The 22 year old woman has co-defendants, allegedly members of a cult with the mail order ‘deals’ in the back of magazines name “1 Mind Ministries.”
It gets better.
The woman is being released from jail in exchange for her cooperation against her co-defendants. This particular plea bargin includes a “process of deprogramming” clause including
the promise that charges will be dropped if 2-year-old Javon Thompson is resurrected. Ramkissoon’s attorney said his client insisted on the clause, which he believes is a first in American legal history, because she still holds out hope that her son will be brought back to life.
Actual law. wtf?
The five named suspects belonged to a small group of adults, and by default, their children, led by someone named Queen Antoinette.
Really – how many drugs do you need to be on to not read the sign on the wall that says “Not In Touch With Reality, Grab Your Kid and Run”???
Apparently, the extremely convincing Queen Antoinette ordered members to withhold food and water from the child, believing he was a demon who did not say “Amen” after he was fed. The rest of the facts of this case involving dancing around the child with a knife and carrying the body in a green suitcase while moving.
After spending the morning catching up on my blog reading, it continues to nauseate and disgust me how many “progressive” people are in favor of genital mutilation on the basis of some Very shaky science*, from people who’ve been trying to find a reason to continue that practice for something like 40 years.
(If someone were to advance the notion that the spread of certain STDs could be reduced by – for example – surgically reducing the external female genitalia, heads. would. roll.)
Anyway, moving on….
Spain will now do with the US seems incapable of doing and good on them. It’s about time – I was starting to wonder if previous “threats” to do this precise sort of thing by certain (say, European) powers were going to come to anything. Well the vote’s not in yet but…..
elsewhere in the EU, France is threatening a G20 walkout (remember, this is the country that just recently decided to re-up their NATO command roll). Seeking a stronger regulator of global finances (well, stronger than the US and it’s Albionese lapdogs would like) it would appear that this is more a case of France (among many other countries) no longer being satisfied with U.S. “leadership” in this arena.
Good work America. France – feel free to provide global leadership for a change.
The New Yorker is running a fascinating piece on Syria and the Middle East peace process. Among the highlights? This lovely bit from The Robot.
“Cheney began getting messages from the Israelis about pressure from Obama” when he was President-elect. Cheney, who worked closely with the Israeli leadership in the lead-up to the Gaza war, portrayed Obama to the Israelis as a “pro-Palestinian,” who would not support their efforts (and, in private, disparaged Obama, referring to him at one point as someone who would “never make it in the major leagues”)
Given the Obama administration’s Mid-eastern policies, I think they’d nothing to worry about – BAU. But it’s not like Cheney has ever had anything to say – here he’s being ironic by being the mouthpiece for the GOP party line c. January 2009. Ironic as the GOP has spent the last eight years being his ass puppet.
Really though can I just say that somehow Cheney wins with the phrase “perfidious Albion”. (Which is so far removed from reality as to be comic. “Albion” has been supping on the cock of the US State Department for decades.)
Obama goes Clinton on DADT
And by “goes Clinton” I mean – fails to live up to campaign promises.
And finally, in an utterly unsurprising turn, Neocon godboy wingnut changes tracks and becomes Democrat. Gotta get out of those tax woes somehow.
No really. That’s why he changed. Such integrity.
* see if you can identify all of the instances of bias in that article.
Skype for iPhone arrives – surely I’m not the only one amused by this.
Seriously, the charges for data service apparently make up for otherwise lost revenue.
I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
Yes I’m behind a few days, sue me.
Piffle headed environmentalists hail ‘Earth Hour’ as a big success Yesterday lots of people (and moreover, lots of businesses and other private concerns) turned their lights off to, er, say….something. I think it was “global warming is bad, mmkay?”
We know that. Enough with the rhetoric. You want to do something about global warming? Try keeping those damn lights off. Like most ‘activists’ many environmentalists don’t so much as want change as something to bitch about. I guess living without those lights would be too hard and/or expensive, neh?
Yeah, que the dismissive attitude.
Federal Election Commission has found the PAC of five TARP recipients has doled out 85 grand to members and that’s just by the end of February.
A NEWSWEEK review of recent filings with the Federal Election Commission found that the political action committees of five big TARP recipients doled out $85,300 to members in the first two months of this year—with most of the cash going to those who serves on committees who oversee the TARP program. Among them: Bank of America (which got $15 billion in bailout money) sent out $24,500 in the first two months of 2009, including $1,500 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and another $15,000 to members of the House and Senate banking panels. Citigroup ($25 billion) dished out $29,620, including $2,500 to House GOPWhip Eric Cantor, who also got $10,000 from UBS which, while not a TARP recipient, got $5 billion in bailout funds as an AIG “counterparty.” “This certainly appears to be a case of TARP funds being recycled into campaign contributions,” says Brett Kappel, a D.C. lawyer who tracks donations. (A spokesman for Cantor did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Hoyer said it’s his “policy to accept legal contributions.”)
Surely, change you can believe in. A bank lobbyist that didn’t (‘natch) want to be identified said, ‘The last thing I want to do is wake up one morning and see our PAC check being burned on C-Span.’ Which is sad because that’s the first thing I want to see, ever, on C-Span.
An interesting yet abhorrent article in Time suggests that faith is the act of powering down* the parietal lobe which is redeeming for the body – but just because it’s biology doesn’t mean it’s good. Jealousy doesn’t do anyone any good either – nor hardwired territoriality, nor a thousand such things. Primates are just wired to do stupid things.
More good news – apparently, there really are other people taking Obama to task about his ‘war on terror’ policy
Hey, Let’s Give Tim Geithner MORE power – oh, too late. Yeah about that. 90% of the TARP funds are committed out – how long before the corporate begging bowls get rattled again? Weeks I’d reckon. Months at most. Geithner of course defends his own actions (Did you expect him not to? Okay, yes, me too a little.)
North Korea is still waving that missile launch around like a giant dildo – and Japan is deploying guided three missile destroyers … just in case. South Korea is warning them away, and of course the US State department does nothing. Hey, they’re good at that. So far I think the latest N. Korean propaganda attempt can be classed as Total Victory.
* like many so-called environmentalists I suspect.
For some reason this post has been sitting in limbo for the better part of a week. Not that you’re missing out on anything by it’s absence mind……
Marriage equality bill likely to pass Vermont house, Governor likely to veto – while in New Hampshire, a similar measure having failed on Thursday is being voted on again today ….. but then goes on to zorch a bill enacting certain protections for transgendered folk.
What a mixed up batch today, eh?
Barney Frank called Antony Scalia homophobic – you know what, big deal! That Scalia is probably homophobic is a fact is so underwhelming so as to be beneath notice save for the loftiness of his position. Barney Frank? Hey, he’s transphobic – so what the hell should I care?
Geithner’s regulatory agenda:
The media is aflutter about this radical new idea President Obama has unveiled. I call it a messageboard. Seriously – that we finally have a President who isn’t a luddite with values and vision from the 1940s is commendable but for fuck’s sake, it’s not like he’s reinvented the wheel. (And no, Bill Clinton having read Nicholson Baker does not count.)
What is with all of this media attention that the drug war in Mexico is getting – oh, wait, that’s right, there’s that memo that says “fixing the economy is hard, let’s get distracted” from, er, the American people to the powers that be….democratic.
Right, because the Drug War (Whoo!) has only been going on in Mexico for about ten minutes. Sure.
Hey, I’m not the one drinking the bong water, okay?
Obama still trying to contain skepticism on economic plans. I know it would certainly be convenient if everything revolved around AiG Mr. Obama, but it doesn’t. Part of the outrage over AiG is that the American people, who generally display very sheeple-like attitudes regarding bad news, know on some level that the AiG nonsense is only the visible slivers of a much larger problem. It’s not confined to AiG. Businesses are reluctant to work with the government – they fear increased regulation, they (in many cases) don’t want to give up their cushy less-than-legal practices….and at the end of the day, the Federal government has no business running a business. Any of them. (C’mon, again, the proof rolls in that Whenever Tim Geithner speaks the market tumbles.) The Federal government is notoriously bad at spending money wisely.
Some people seem more aware of this than others. The President of the EU calls Obama’s stimulus package “a way to hell”. The rest of the EU is scurrying to appear united and not upset the delicate sensibilities of the market (what, are fiscal traders made of fine china now?) at next week’s G-20 summit. The signal to noise ratio of many in the EU who are shuffling to agree with Obama before next week is a familiar sound – there’s the usual bunch of stuffed shirts wanting to keep as much of the wealth in their corner in the old ways for as long as possible.
G20, when the industrialized countries, and their lapdogs, tell the rest of the world how it’s going to be. Another wonderful vestige of colonial privilege. (For more on the G20, click here.)
Speaking of Europe, it would seem that dissatisfaction is not limited to the U.S. Israeli-Europe ties appear to be deteriorating. But perhaps that’s again just signs that people are getting sick of their shabby crap. And with good reason, too.
The European governments generally accept the Israeli narrative on the Gaza war: It was legitimate self-defense against an Iranian-backed outpost of anti-Western jihadism. By contrast, the European media and public opinion sympathized more with the Palestinian narrative: that Israel used disproportionate force, causing the deaths of large numbers of innocent civilians.
If the Bush presidency was good for anything, I think it may be proven with time to have finally put the nail in the coffin of the U.S. as an unquestioned world leader that the rest of the west will unhesitatingly follow the lead of. Not, in my estimation, a bad thing necessarily.
But hey, not to worry – North Korea has what is believed to be a long range ballistic missile on the launch pad right now – those are the things that (can) throw mystery items like nukes around. Again, like the Bush administration previously, the government is sticking their head in the sand (and their ass in the air) and hoping N. Korea will just go away or something.
Pretext of WMD? Invade and occupy the country for six + years. Increasing likelihood of actually WMD? Ignore it.
In any case, I expect this is just another example of N. Korea fucking around to watch the US Media react. Well, that or sometime soon I will be replaced by a thermonuclear cloud. Cheerful, eh?
US home resales mysteriously up in February – the mysteriously isn’t mine. I think someone finally realized “hey, houses are ten thousand dollars!” (Last I checked, similar stories were emanating from both Detroit and from Atlanta.)
After much speculation Geithner unveils his master plan, creation of a new entity which will combine resources (funding, legal ability? Of course, he doesn’t say.) with the FDIC, the Federal reserve, andunspecified private companies. The so-called Public Investment Corp. will then purchase one trillion dollars in toxic assets from banks.
Oh, it will also be funded by 75 – 100 billion from TARP.
The initiative will seek to entice private investors, including big hedge funds, to participate by offering billions of dollars in low-interest loans to finance the purchases and also sharing risks if the assets fall further in value.
When Geithner released the initial outlines of the administration’s overhaul of the bank rescue program on Feb. 10, the markets took a nosedive. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged by 380 points as investors expressed disappointment about a lack of details.
Aside from increasing funding for US Black Hole research, I don’t see what the point of this is aside from moving money around (thus ensuring more chances exist to dip ones fingers in the well – ‘sharing the wealth’) and appearing to do something.
Obama appears on 60 minutes in brief – Geithner has job security…..for some reason, and he may be rethinking his Afghanistan strategy (pity that he’s already spent billions on the latter. Well, on the former too actually). Mr. Obama, you were on Jay Leno but recently and now 60 minutes. Your effort to win hearts and minds is transparent. Please return to the work of government. Oh, and lose Geithner – stat.
Or not. Our tech savy leader has, by action, declared George Bush “the Innovator” by adopting Bush’s policy position on file sharing – 150,000$ fine per track – So I must ask, how does the teat of the recording industry taste? (And really, “per track” – so I suppose stealing books or magazines or something one, you know, reads, isn’t illegal? That’s Bush Logic.)
The position — that the Copyright Act’s monetary damages are not unconstitutionally excessive — mirrors the one taken by the Bush administration and should come as no surprise.
Two top lawyers in President Barack Obama’s Justice Department are former RIAA lawyers: Donald Verrilli Jr. is the associate deputy attorney general who brought down Grokster and fought to prevent a retrial in the Jammie Thomas case. Then there’s the No. 2 in the DOJ, Tom Perrilli. As Verrilli’s former boss, Perrilli argued in 2002 that internet service providers should release customer information to the RIAA even without a court subpoena.
Presidential administrations often intervene in lawsuits in which the constitutionality of a federal law is in question. This case concerns a former Boston University student challenging a peer-to-peer file sharing case.
Still, parts of the government’s brief sounded as if it was taken from the RIAA’s public relations playbook.
A summary of the ruling can be found in pdf here (though I do warn – the ‘summary’ is 39 pages.) You can like it, or hate it, consider it theft or not, but the technology isn’t going back in the bottle. But in America it’s apparently still very fashionable for Big Media to fight the future.
The Pope responds to cries of GITFO and leaves Africa. It heartens me somewhat to know that the RCC has come under immense amounts of fire since The “Doddering old man who doesn’t want anything to change even if people die” Pope was allowed to open his yammerhole and spill toxic crap into the ears of thronging African masses. Personally I’m just glad he’s left Africa and thus won’t be appearing in public there any longer saying stupid shit. Regrettably, he will be returning to the Vatican to continue issuing increasingly irrelevant statements to the world.
U.S. Senator indicted on charges of slashing his girlfriend’s face with glass in a jealous rage. Freshman senator Hiram Monserrate, 41 and an ex police officer was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of second degree felony assault and three counts of third degree misdemeanor assault. If convicted, he faces up to 7 years in prison. Senator Monserrate was arrested after Karla Giraldo’s face was slashed at his New York city home on December 19 of last year.
The gash over her eye required 25 stitches. Both said it was an accident.
Monserrate, who was in Albany on Monday for a legislative session, issued a statement saying he did not commit a crime.
“I’ve said all along this was accident. Karla has said all along this was accident. The district attorney’s politically motivated decision to pursue this case doesn’t change the fact that this was an accident,” he said.
Monserrate told police he tripped while holding a glass of water and that the glass accidentally hit Giraldo.
Holding a glass of water? The glass slipped when he tripped? Not a crime? I hope this jackass cooks.
A new UN report claims that Israel targeted civillians in Gaza. “Civilian targets, particularly homes and their occupants, appear to have taken the brunt of the attacks, but schools and medical facilities have also been hit,” reported Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. The report is bursting with human rights abuses. Some of the highlights.
In one, she said, Israeli soldiers shot a father after ordering him out of his house and then opened fire into the room where the rest of the family was sheltering, wounding the mother and three brothers and killing a fourth.
In another, on January 15, at Tal al Hawa south-west of Gaza City, Israeli soldiers forced an 11-year-old boy to walk in front of them for several hours as they moved through the town, even after they had been shot at.
Of course despite the report laying some of the blame at Hamas as well, Israeli diplomats continue to insist that this is all part of a pattern of ‘demonizing Israel’ (because any criticism is clearly ‘demonizing’).
Following a few things up from last week
D.C. Health officials state HIV infection is serious but not critical – the shocking part is that apparently the 3% infection rate is accurate. While dismissing a lot of what was said last week as hyperbole, they did site improved antiviral therapies and longer lifespans as being largely responsible for that 3% figure.
Detained US reporters likely being held in Pyongyang. A press release issued Saturday accused two Americans of illegal intruding into its territory after crossing the border from China, word of which hit the internet late Tuesday. A South Korean missionary identified the two women as Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for Current TV.
Speaking in Angola, the Pope condemns “corruption” ranting against the number of non-democratic tyrannies scattered about the continent. Of course, he also repeated his words from Cameroon that modern culture is ‘destroying traditional African family values’ (which are not, I should mention, Catholic) and equated abortion with sexual violence.
I’m sure his vision for a democratic and prosperous Africa does not involve any significant role for women, features reinforced dominant male gender roles, a hate for sexual minorities and non-Catholics, as well as advocating that all lands adopt a European cultural model.
Sacrimento Hooverville coming down – but those involved are allegedly being moved into apartments, shelters, and “other accomodations.”
Some stories portrayed Tent City as a modern day Hooverville, a reference to the shanty towns built by homeless men driven into poverty during the Great Depression. With foreclosure rates in the Sacramento region among the highest in the nation, the ragtag camp has been depicted as a symbol of the economic meltdown — people who’d lost their homes and were suddenly pitching tents along
The truth is somewhat less dramatic.
Although a sliver of the roughly 200 Tent City residents are recently middle class people who lost their homes, the overwhelming majority — 80 to 90 percent by several estimates — have been homeless for years, even decades.
Here’s a local news item on the Tent City from last week:
It remains to be seen how civilized this will actually be – and how much news that will or will not generate. Sad to say, no one seems much to be mentioning the pre-existing homeless problem, only that of the middle-class suddenly faced with a dwindling economy.
The Treasury Department is running job postings for experts on Executive Bonuses. Officially, the ads were placed in October to fill jobs for the bailout (but they run until this Saturday). The job postings list duties like “recovery of bonuses” and ” limitations on senior executives” – maybe if they’d filled those positions the DoT wouldn’t be in this mess.
Again, hiring til Saturday. I doubt you could possibly do a worse job than Timothy Geithner
Let’s start this off right – from Wikihow: How to recognize bias in a newspaper article – kind of basic, but neat. Double bonus points for suggesting blogs be subjected to the same kind of scrutiny (um….duh).
Following the lead of Governor Goodhair, Sarah Palin rejects stimulus funds in an attempt to increase her GOP credibility. Note that I don’t think a crane could increase her credibility with anyone remotely sane. Also, she’s only rejecting *some* of the stimulus funds. (See, this is a woman who’s high school teachers employed “partial credit” on failing exams.) In fact, she’s accepting over half the money. 69% in fact. (Yes, really. Like the best parodies – it’s both true and it writes itself.) Still 69% of 930 million dollars is a fair chunk of change. Most of it is, allegedly, being directed to capital improvement projects (which the GOP have been quick to point out aren’t really necessary, being – you know – infrastructure) and a boost to her state’s Medicaid.
And while I’m contemplating the at once amusing and yet sheer mortal terror of a Goodhair/Self-Parody 2012 GOP ticket, I should point out that Mark Sanford of South Carolina and – wait for it – Bobby Jindal have joined the ranks of the “Not taking the money” brigade. Are all of them being groomed for something? Do they think they have a shot in ’12? Well Jindal is refusing 100 million – for unemployment benefits specifically…and Sanford will take the money but – supposedly – only to pay down debt.
We’ll see about that.
Federal culpability in the AiG fiasco is starting to come to light. Christopher Dodd is coming under fire for his alleged role in changing the rules being put into place regarding an upper limit for executive compensation – at the last minute – which affects AiG and supposedly others. He claims that he was directed to do so by the Treasury department (not unlikely in my estimation) despite the fact that AiG was a big contributor to Mr. Dodd’s political campaign of last year. (A little over a hundred thousand dollars according to many sources. Which is, admittedly, pocket change to AiG.) Interesting that the above suggests legal documents between the Fed and AiG – though I suspect the “rules” spoken of were internal to the Fed. Again I repeat – if there is such a contract, I’d LOOOVE to see it.
But it gets better.
Apparently, elements of the Federal government knew about the full extent of the AiG bailouts but deliberately kept Obama in the dark which sounds a little too Iran-Contra and more than a little too Watergate to me. Of course the President didn’t know. I mean, why the fuck would he be told anything? While I can most certainly buy that keeping the boss in the dark is standard operating procedure in Washington, it still chafes.
As pressure mounted on AIG employees to return the bonuses, new details emerged yesterday about what the Fed, the Treasury Department and the White House knew regarding the payments and when. AIG executives said the Fed was informed three months ago by the company that it would pay $165 million by March 15 to employees working at its most troubled division. The Treasury and White House said they learned of the payments from Fed officials only days before they were due.
Oops. As recently as March 10, Tim Geithner was claiming to be “stunned” when the bonus payments came out. As Paul Kanjorski (congressman from Pennslyvania) said “I’m sick and tired of hearing the administration and the Secretary of the Treasury say, ‘I just found out about it.'”
In the more good news department, previous projections of the US Federal deficit are apparently inadequate to the task as
the deficit soars past previous expectations. What irritates me? The numbers being bandied about are about half of what I’ve seen to this point. I suspect another white washing occurred and I missed it. (The Federal government would never massage the numbers obviously.) Either way, even with the new math, it’s projected to grow at an estimated one trillion dollars a year for the next ten years.
Did we secretly elect Walter Mondale wearing one of those masks from the Mission Impossible movies? The Congressional Budget Offices estimates that the national debt will make up 82% of the national economy by 2019. THIS NEEDS TO STOP. The Democrats are talking about “adjustments” needing to be made to the new budget going into effect October 1. They need to be talking about Slashing Spending. Nancy Pelosi, of course, dismissed the report from the CBO. Tool.
While appearing on Jay Leno last night (for some damn reason) President Obama compares his bowling skills to participants in the Special Olympics, gets served by the media – thus eroding the cuddly bunny friendly to everyone image of the democratic party, which they have never put themselves out as but lots of people seem to think is there. (And of course, the media is spinning this as some kind of “education in humanity.” rather than what it was – a slip up.)
Both the US and Israel make appeals to Iran by tape today for…some reason. Oh, yes it’s the Persian New Year (And Happy New Year if anyone is reading from there!) but that doesn’t fully explain the sudden and erratic turn in policy – from either country. The U.S. which has been casting about for some way of putting Iran in a bad light, is now randomly being conciliatory. (Maybe they too think Iran might be invading Iraq in about two years.) While I’m not opposed to this possible shift in policy from Washington, I don’t pretend to – from the point of view of the policymakers – understand it.
France is formally requesting to rejoin NATO command – a move which will no doubt create a partisan debate for some time to come in France. I for one hope they can maintain their own way in the alliance without being compromised by U.S. foreign policy.
That’s days. Another way of framing it would be six years.
We’re still in Iraq. That’s 2,192 days since it was still very much the general perception that it was shameful to speak out against this bullshit war. That’s 4,259 casualties since this day in 2003. When Apophis rolled into Mesopotamia.
Six years ago today, I came in to work and read an article in the San Angelo Standard Times about a tank crew which had deployed to the Mid-East in anticipation of action. They’d named their tank, quite appropirately, Apophis. I looked to see if I find the article on-line somewhere but their electronic archives only go back to 2004.
I’ve always wondered what happened to them, in the time since.
4,259 casualties since this day in 2003. 4,120 casualties since Mission Accomplished and 3,798 casualties since one or more actors was arrested as Saddam Hussein (I’m of the opinion that the real guy was quite dead by that point).
3,401 casualties since the Handover in 2004, just in time for Bush to get re-elected. And those are just American dead – the numbers of enemy combatants and “collateral damage” range into the hundreds of thousands.
All so that a cokehead frat boy could convince the American people that he was doing something about terrorism.
For a number of reasons, I’m in a pretty wretched mood today, but let me say that Merriam-Webster have managed to put a giant smile on my face
I reported last night that North Korea is holding a pair of US Journalists near the border with China but the series of tubes gobbled it up. The link works however.
I don’t recall where I got this image, it’s been sitting on my hard drive for a while now (at least three years) but it about sums up my feelings on all of this.
The Federal Reserve announced today that it plans to buy 1.2 trillion dollars in Mortgage backed securities and bonds – specifically it’s doubling it’s purchasing of the Freddie/Fannie debt and increasing it’s planned purchasing of mortgage backed securities from 5 to 700 billion…all this on top of buying 300 billion dollars in long term treasury bonds, all in the name of stimulating the economy.
The reaction? The dollar falls. Every time the government has stepped in and done something to “help” the economy this year, stocks take a hit; on Wall Street, there is no confidence in what government involvement will do. How can the Fed’s economists and fiscal leaders not see this?
There’s lots of news about the AiG snowball going on but I think we’ve fully hit the recriminations & masturbation segment of the news cycle. Everyone is now just posturing and trying to wring what they can out of situation, especially our increasingly populist government (which is fine – in the short term). However, did you know that rental car companies are now seeking a bailout?
Now, Avis Budget Group Inc., Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and other rental-car companies are lobbying Congress to allow them to use Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to finance new auto purchases. The House of Representatives included a clause in a TARP reform bill that it passed last week to give the government authority to back loans to rental-car companies and other fleet purchasers. The bill has now moved on to the Senate.
I’m waiting for one of the fast food companies to come begging for TARP scraps.
Oh, and IBM – please please please don’t buy Sun. Firstly, it’s a bad business idea – Sun isn’t the golden child that it was in the early part of the decade, okay? Second – I know you, I’ve worked for you, you’ll kill open office. And I don’t think I could go back to using Word, you know? (Actually they won’t really kill it – they’ll take it off the market*, rebrand it, and rerelease a gimped version of it 18 months later. I’m not bagging on IBM necessarily, but they acquire a LOT of companies, and most of those companies’ products, in my opinion, get digested pretty quickly.)
The country of Australia censors wikileaks – which for the record is the site with a link just to your right on this page. Why? For posting a list of websites banned by the Dutch. (…wtf?)
The Australian Communications and Media Authority added two Wikileaks pages to its censorship list: one for the Dutch Danish government’s secret index of banned child porn sites as well as Wikileaks’ press release about how the index was used and why the site was publishing it.
ACMA’s list is estimated to hold more than a thousand URLs currently and is distributed to Australian ISPs, which are required by law to make filters available to users.
Wikileaks, the net’s foremost site for leaked documents, responded by announcing the ban, writing “The first rule of censorship is that you cannot talk about censorship.”
The Australian government has recently been keen on trying to make all ISPs adhere to the ACMAs list. Hopefully it will fail miserably. In related news, the White House Chief Information Officer is back in his office after the FBI raided his office following the FBI arrest of his predecessor on corruption charges (and why is this the first I’ve heard of this?) Apparently, the investigation involves a alleged kickbacks over government tech contracts. Transparency in action.
The Vatican defends Papal stance rejecting condoms which involves Pope Benedict’s statements that distributing condoms “increases” the AIDS problem. Precisely what he said was this:
“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” he said. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”
Going to west Africa and exercising that kind of influence to tell people that condoms are bad and it makes the AIDS problem worse because of your stupid tiny minded political agenda is criminal. The only problem that is increased is that backwards fucking hegemony called Catholicism. I hope it crumbles, I hope it crumbles in his lifetime, on his watch.
He told Cameroon’s 31 bishops that Christians must fight for social justice and urged them to defend the traditional African family from the dangers of modernity and secularization. He also asked them to help protect the poor from the impact of globalization.
Benedict said that while the Catholic church in Africa is the fastest growing in the world, it faces competition from increasingly popular evangelical movements and “the growing influence of superstitious forms of religion.”
The German-born pope also said that exuberant African rites should not “obstruct” the liturgy of the Mass.
Ah yes, we wouldn’t want the new Catholics preserving their own culture now would we? It might get in the way of Catholicism becoming the dominant paradigm in their way of life, eh? The ‘dangers of modernity and secularization’ – which means anyone who questions this fucking German drug dealer pushing his Invisible Sky Daddy Crack. Cultural appropriation and lies to perpetuate itself and overwrite the native culture. Proof fucking positive that the Catholic Church hasn’t changed since the time of the Conquistadors, 500 years ago. (Don’t disregard the recurrence of a certain popular bullshit phrase – “Traditional American*koff*African Families” because we don’t know what that means.) Speaking of, a similar plan regarding condoms and misinformation was in effect for the last eight years in this country, with official sources saying “condoms – bad!” and look how that worked out. (The principle difference is that the Fundamentalist nutjobs fail to understand how this works. The Catholic Church perpetuates it’s own existence by discouraging birth control, as children brought up in a Catholic family tend to become Catholics. However, children brought up in a poor or minority family tend not to grow up to become Republicans, so the BushCo type strategy is ultimately self-defeating.)
* which will be interesting, given that it’s freeware.