Sunday, March 29, 2009
If the president wants bankers to accept the billions of taxpayer dollars they need, he's going to have to accept their outrageous demands, like bonuses forever. Wait, what?
American bankers are sitting on trillions of dollars in troubled mortgage securities they can't sell without admitting their banks are nearly worthless. So they need billions of fresh dollars from the government.But the government has been trying to take away their precious bonuses, as if they're not excellent at running banks. So the bankers are being dicks, to the president.
The GOP has no governing strategy and no alternatives-- other than the hair of the dog-- to offer voters. Instead, they are sitting back and hoping Obama fails. Well... not exactly sitting back. They are obstructing everything he wants to do, filibustering every single piece of his program, watering down the parts they can't stop. This morning Politico ran a devastating feature that, in effect, condemns the Republican leadership-- or what passes for leadership of the Grand Obstructionist Party-- as sore losers rooting for America to fail.
Mitch McConnell comes across very clearly as a villainous character who would rather see American families go through further pain than see Obama succeed in rescuing the economy.“With all due respect to the new president and the enhanced majorities in the House and the Senate, governing is tough business,” McConnell said at the time. “It’s hard. It’s very difficult to govern and not create issues, make mistakes, and I’m optimistic that the landscape in 2010 for my party will be very different than it was in ’06 and ’08.”
Pakistan is 173 million people, 100 nuclear weapons, an army bigger than the U.S. Army, and al-Qaeda headquarters sitting right there in the two-thirds of the country that the government doesn't control. The Pakistani military and police and intelligence service don't follow the civilian government; they are essentially a rogue state within a state. We're now reaching the point where within one to six months we could see the collapse of the Pakistani state, also because of the global financial crisis, which just exacerbates all these problems. . . . The collapse of Pakistan, al-Qaeda acquiring nuclear weapons, an extremist takeover -- that would dwarf everything we've seen in the war on terror today.
Even the audit log system on current versions of Premier Election Solutions' (formerly Diebold's) electronic voting and tabulating systems --- used in some 34 states across the nation --- fail to record the wholesale deletion of ballots. Even when ballots are deleted on the same day as an election. That's the shocking admission heard today from Justin Bales, Premier's Western Region manager, at a State of California public hearing on the possible decertification of Diebold/Premier's tabulator system, GEMS v. 1.18.19.--------------------------------
The Kentucky officials arrested and indicted today, "including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers" of Clay County, have been charged with "chang[ing] votes at the voting machine" and showing others how to do it!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
It's over — we're officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.
In the final three months of last year, the company lost more than $27 million every hour. That's $465,000 a minute, a yearly income for a median American household every six seconds, roughly $7,750 a second. And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society and was unable to spot holes in the national economy the size of Libya (whose entire GDP last year was smaller than AIG's 2008 losses).
So it's time to admit it: We're fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we're still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream.
I can't imagine how they get away with it and win as much support as they do.
Crooks and Liars posted some interesting information a week or so ago. Not that this is new - I've seen similar studies in the past - but given our economy this seems particularly relevant again.
Palin (R-AK) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) joined Texas' Rick Perry, Mississippi's Haley Barbour and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal in announcing they would reject some of the federal stimulus funds allocated to their states. But as the steady one-way flow of tax dollars and earmarks spreading the wealth from Washington to their states shows, de facto red state socialism is alive and well.
"What I find so amusing about all of this is that Obama's been in office 45 days roughly, and the public is blaming this all on him. It's the Obama Recession, which is kind of true, because if McCain had won, Sarah Palin would still be buying clothes." - Bill Maher
"No wonder Obama has gray hair. That was the big story in the paper yesterday, Obama has gray hair. Wow, now his hair isn't black enough." - Bill Maher
"The economy is so bad O.J. had to shut down the DNA lab he was using to find the real killers. That's how bad." - Jay Leno
"The economy is in bad shape. In fact, the economy is so bad, even people who don't like Barack Obama aren't paying their taxes." - Jay Leno
"I'd love to give you some good economic news, but here's what I got. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said that our current economic crisis is as bad as the attack on Pearl Harbor, but still not as bad as the movie 'Pearl Harbor.'" - Jimmy Fallon
"Well, in a stunning announcement, Citigroup showed a profit and had its best quarter since 2007. They made $8 billion in profit. That just goes to show you, you give a company $45 billion in government bailout money, and they'll show you how to turn it into $8 billion. See this is capitalism!" - Jay Leno
"Finally, Esquire magazine just released its list of the best dressed men in the world. Barack Obama was number four. Coming in first? Hillary Clinton." - Jimmy Fallon
"And former President George W. Bush says he'll start a national speaking tour soon. You know, as soon as he learns how to speak." - Jay Leno
"In North Korea, they're grooming President Kim Jong-il's son to take over for him. You know, we should let the of people in North Korea know, this doesn't always work out the best." - Jay Leno
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
RADICAL RIGHT -- BACHMANN: 'I WANT PEOPLE...ARMED AND DANGEROUS' TO FIGHT CAP AND TRADE:
During a Saturday interview with WWTC 1280 AM, flagged by Smart Politics, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) slammed President Obama's cap-and trade-plan, warning that it would have "the impact of forever changing our country." She was particularly incensed that the bill was meant to address global warming, which she flatly denied was a human-caused problem
Every economic apocalypse needs a good crypto-fascist representative of the working man to drum up popular outrage. Last time around, it was Father Charles Coughlin. Who's going to answer the call now?
Coughlin was a Catholic priest whose CBS radio show reached an estimated third of the country during the Great Depression. He initially supported the New Deal, but his admiration for Roosevelt quickly curdled into rank anti-Semitism and kill-all-the-bankers rage. He was among the first to use the emerging mass media to build up his audience into his own political constituency, a power that he used to talk up Hitler and Mussolini, uncover various Jewish conspiracies, and inveigh against Wall Street.
The current climate cries out for a similar media figure to focus and control our Bailout Rage. He or she could come from any medium—radio, television, the web—and any political stripe. From the left, an anti-capitalist ranter could rise to greatness by relentlessly attack the privileged elites who got us into this mess; from the right, a bilious Real American could stand athwart Obama and shout "lynch!"
So who will it be? Here are the candidates, and their odds of reaching Coughlin's heights :
From Video Cafe (and they have a local news video embedded on this issue).
OK, what do you do when your wife comes home late at night unexpectedly, only to find you in the childrens playroom with two prostitutes, whereupon she begins beating on your dumb ass with a Guitar Hero controller and punching at you? Call the cops of course, and have her arrested! is the obvious answer.
At least that's what you if you're a former GOP Chairman in Illinois.
Be that as it may, Barack is trying to fix the problems the best he can - meeting frequently with dozens of economic advisers, looking for the best ways to define the problem so that he can find the best solutions, even though many of his economic counselors can't agree on where to attack. Some folks disagree with the approach he is taking, both Democrats and Republicans.
Instead of working with Obama in attempt to make inroads on the credit crisis, many of those who oppose his policies and simply being obstructionists. Republicans in particular are saying publicly that they hope Barack fails - and one must suppose that this means that they are ready for him to fail even if it means plunging America into a deep depression. It seems as if they only care about being in power so they can "solve" the problems by cutting taxes for the wealthy. Yeah, like that's gonna work. The wealthy are doing so much for the middle class right now that we can be sure that cutting their taxes will give them cause to do even more [snark].
What is almost as interesting is that this tactic is not new for the Republicans. Being the selfish bungholes that they are, they have done this in the past. Their only consideration is for the wealthy and the rest of Americans can go pound salt for all they care. Gawker has a neat article on this phenomenon. Click on the link to read it all, but here's the first paragraph and an image from their post...
In 1932, an aristocratic, white, crippled version of Barack Obama was elected president, and the Republican Party watched in horror as he eased a weary nation into the warm embrace of European socialism.
The reason that taxpayers have had to prop up AIG to the tune of $173 billion is that AIG is now basically a conduit—it owes money to so many other companies that the cash just pours right through. If AIG doesn't pay its counterparties—the entities on other end of its bad bets on the subprime mortgage market, the counterparties might go belly-up, too. That's why the bailout of AIG is sometimes referred to as a "backdoor bailout" for other companies. The people and companies on the receiving end of the "backdoor bailout" are AIG's counterparties, and so far, the Treasury and the Fed have been keeping their names secret. Now the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) is trying to change that.
Monday, March 23, 2009
"AIG, which already received $170 billion in taxpayers' money, paid $165 million in bonuses. But they say the bonuses are justified because the company made an extra $170 billion last year." --Jay Leno
"Earlier this week, Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said that AIG executives should follow the Japanese model by publicly apologizing and then doing one of two things -- either resign or kill themselves. But why not have them resign, then kill themselves on pay per view, huh? That would raise enough money to pay off everybody they screwed." --Jay Leno
"People think it's amazing that the President would take the time to leave Washington, DC, and fly 3,000 miles to come to California. But that happens to a lot of guys when their mother-in-law moves in with them." --Jay Leno, on Obama's appearance on "The Tonight Show"
"They had a big St. Patty's Day party at the White House tonight with corned beef and cabbage, green beer - the whole thing. It's an important part of Obama's everybody get drunk and forget about the economy policy. Everyone had a nice time, but I guess things got ugly for a second when Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, mistook Dennis Kucinich for a leprechaun and tried to choke him for his gold." --Jimmy Kimmel
"We were also going to have Vice President Joe Biden come out and say a few words, but it's only an hour show." --Jay Leno
"George Bush is writing a book. No, that's not the joke. It's a serious book about the 12 toughest decisions he made as President. It's called 'The Ten Toughest Decisions I Made As President.' It's a good book. It's a pop-up book."--Jimmy Fallon
"Bristol Palin, remember Bristol Palin? Sarah Palin's knocked up daughter? She was going to marry the young hockey player, Levi. Remember Levi? Free Levi, I love Levi. Well, apparently Bristol and Levi broke up. Bristol said she wants her baby raised free of ignorance and backwoods superstition. But you can't stop Mom from visiting." --Bill Maher
"And some sad news. Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin's daughter, has broken up with babydaddy Levi Johnston. I was stunned when I heard. I mean, really, if two kids without a decent education and no jobs and a baby can't make it, what hope is there for the rest of us?" --Jay Leno
"No, Levi told a friend, 'I should have spent more time picking a mate,' which is the same thing John McCain said about Sarah Palin." --Jay Leno
"The U.S. Justice department said they will no longer use the term 'enemy combatant' when talking about detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The new name will be 'guys who make you nervous when they're on your flight.' --Jay Leno
"Former presidential candidate John Edwards spoke to Brown University last night to a crowd of 600 people. I think the topic was 'From Hair to Paternity.' He spoke to the students at Brown about poverty and morals. Yeah, and who better to lecture young people about poverty and morals than a rich personal injury attorney who knocked up his mistress?" -- Jay Leno
The Nine Principles
1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
"Everyone is suffering," President Obama said in his speech to a joint session of Congress in late February. He was referring to the global financial and economic crisis, but he didn't have it exactly right. There are some people who are doing well: dollar-store owners, bankruptcy lawyers, gun manufacturers (sales are up!), short-sellers of stock, foreclosure experts, and so on. But some individuals who are doing well are doing really well. Here's a rundown of 10 of the financial crisis' biggest winners:
Sir Fred Goodwin
John Maynard Keynes
He looked out into a sea of people and recognized faces: technicians, secretaries, administrators, therapists, nurses, the people who are the heart and soul of any hospital. People who knew that Beth Israel had hired about a quarter of its 8,000 staff over the last six years and that the chances that they could all keep their jobs and benefits in an economy in freefall ranged between slim and none.
"I want to run an idea by you that I think is important, and I'd like to get your reaction to it," Levy began. "I'd like to do what we can to protect the lower-wage earners - the transporters, the housekeepers, the food service people. A lot of these people work really hard, and I don't want to put an additional burden on them.
"Now, if we protect these workers, it means the rest of us will have to make a bigger sacrifice," he continued. "It means that others will have to give up more of their salary or benefits."
He had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when Sherman Auditorium erupted in applause. Thunderous, heartfelt, sustained applause.
Friday, March 20, 2009
But, I gotta tell you - the Republicans who produced this make it look like the government will do a terrible job running the bank.
[Sarcasm Mode on here]. Yeah - like the managers did such a beautiful fucking job running the business when it was in private hands! THEY BANKRUPTED THE COMPANY AND THE NATION'S ECONOMY! YOU THINK THAT WAS BETTER? HUNH? HUH?
“According to a new study, people are sleeping less because they’re worried about the economy. I think also it might have something to do with the fact they’re sleeping under bridges.”
- Craig Ferguson
“Was it nice outside today or not? Yeah! Sunny. I thought it was a very sunny day. I’m driving to work today and I saw a foreclosure sign with an awning.”
“Beautiful day. It was so sunny, as a matter of fact, down on Wall Street, the stockbrokers were applying sunscreen before they jumped.”
“And according to a top Russian scholar, the US economy will collapse next year, which comes as a huge shock to most people. I think we thought it was going to collapse this year, so we’ve got another year to party. Yeah!”
“I’ll tell you, the economy is in bad shape in this country, but the local economy here in Los Angeles is improving, especially if your name is Manny Ramirez. Yeah. Hear about this? Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million deal with pro baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers. And Ramirez played hardball for that money. He told the Dodgers that if they did not give him the money he was asking for, he was going to leave and go over to AIG, who has plenty of dough.”
“You guys know anything about this weasel, this rodent, Bernie Madoff? He decided what he would do would be to swindle his friends. And so he did a pretty good job. He got them for $50 billion, and now his lovely wife Ruth was able to get 69 million. And she wants to keep that. She and her husband say it’s not fraud money, it’s money they saved on gas by fully inflating their tires.”
“And Bernard Madoff, the man who operated the Ponzi scream that screwed $50 billion out of people is now saying he should be allowed to keep $62 million and his $7 million penthouse. Yeah. His lawyers are arguing he needs that money to live out the rest of his life. You know, I’ve got a solution for that, okay? It’s called the death penalty.”
“Hey, quite, quite a scare in Washington, DC, today. You may have heard about this. Police were called to the White House. Apparently, President Obama was in a meeting with some potential cabinet nominees. Someone noticed a suspicious looking document on the table no one had ever seen before. Turns out it was just a tax form, but it gave them quite a fright.”
“I love this story. The President’s latest nominee, this one for US trade representative, a man named Ron Kirk, who owes the government $10,000 in back taxes, has agreed to pay his taxes. That’s what the paper said today. He’s agreed to pay them. When was there a choice?”
“As you know now, Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican Party, but they’ll probably go with a different body. I don’t want to say Rush is fat but he is a red state.”
“Here’s a cute story. You know the Obama kids? They got a swing set there on the White House lawn. And here’s the nice thing. This is what you like about Obama. He is a very conscientious guy. Thinks of everything, because the swing set didn’t cost the taxpayers anything. They built the swing set out of old pieces of Dick Cheney’s guard tower.”
They say that as you get older, most people get more conservative politically - I don't think that has happened to me because of my lack of religious conviction. To me, our existence is all about the people. Suze Orman, the TV economist, sums it up pretty well in my book - "people first, then money, then things - in that order."
Here is the link to the quiz.
You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, so-called free market deregulation and the Neoconservative love of war to light a fire that has consumed America. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America just hired -- President Obama -- to rebuild from the ashes. You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess you created.
I used to be one of you. As recently as 2000 I worked to get Senator McCain elected in that year's primary. (McCain and Gen. Tommy Franks wrote glowing endorsements regarding my book about military service, AWOL.). I have a file of handwritten thank you notes from Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush I and II. In the 1970s and early 80s I hung out with Jack Kemp and bought into his "supply side" myth and even wrote a book he endorsed pushing his ideas.) There's more, but take it from me; my parents (evangelical leaders Francis and Edith Schaeffer) and I were about as tight with -- and useful to -- the Republican Party as anyone. We played a big part creating the Religious Right.
In the mid 1980s I left the Religious Right, after I realized just how very anti-American they are, (the theme I explore in my book Crazy For God). They wanted America to fail in order to prove they were right about America's "moral decline." Soon after McCain lost in 2000 I re-registered as an independent in disgust with W. Bush. But I still respected many Republicans. Not today.
The sentencing of a 75-year-old widow to 40 lashes and four months in prison for mingling with two young men who were reportedly bringing her bread has sparked new criticism of Saudi Arabia's ultraconservative religious police and judiciary.If the God of their religion is the true God - most Americans are in for a rough time of it in the after life because he's a real prick.
Khamisa Sawadi, who is Syrian but was married to a Saudi, was convicted and sentenced last week for meeting with men who were not her immediate relatives. The two men, including one who was Sawadi's late husband's nephew, were also found guilty and sentenced to prison terms and lashes.
The woman's lawyer, Abdel Rahman al-Lahem, told The Associated Press on Monday that he plans to appeal the verdict, which also demands that Sawadi be deported after serving her prison term. He declined to provide more details and said his client, who is not serving her sentence yet, was not speaking with the media.
His horse has already died of thirst.
He’s crawling through the sand, certain that he has breathed his last breath, when all of a sudden he sees an object sticking out of the sand several yards ahead of him.
He crawls to the object, pulls it out of the sand, and discovers what looks to be an old briefcase.
He opens it and out pops a genie. But this is no ordinary genie. She is wearing a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) ID badge and a dull gray dress.
There’s a calculator in her pocketbook. She has a pencil tucked behind one ear. ‘Well, cowboy,’ says the genie.. ‘You know how I work….You have three wishes.’
‘I’m not falling for this,’ said the cowboy… ‘I’m not going trust a FEMA genie…..’
‘What do you have to lose? You’ve got no transportation, and it looks like you’re a goner anyway!’
The cowboy thinks about this for a minute, and decides that the genie is right.
‘OK!, I wish I were in a lush oasis with plenty of food and drink.’
***POOF*** The cowboy finds himself in the most beautiful oasis he has ever seen, and he is surrounded with jugs of wine and platters of delicacies.
‘OK, cowpoke, what’s your second wish?’
‘My second wish is that I was rich beyond my wildest dreams.’
***POOF*** The cowboy finds himself surrounded by treasure chests filled with rare gold coins and precious gems.
‘OK, cowpuncher, you have just one more wish. Better make it a good one!’
After thinking for a few minutes, the cowboy says… ‘I wish that no matter where I go, beautiful women will want and need me.’
***POOF*** He was turned into a tampon.
The moral of the story: If the government offers to help you, there’s going to be a string attached.
From The Examiner (click on the link to read more)...
The call by some right wing leaders for rebellion and for the military to refuse the commander in chief’s orders is joined by Chuck Norris who claims that thousands of right wing cell groups have organized and are ready for a second American Revolution. During an appearance on the Glen Beck radio show he promised that if things get any worse from his point of view he may “run for president of Texas.” The martial artist/actor/activist claims that Texas was never formally a part of the United States in the first place and that if rebellion is to come through secession Texas would lead the way.Today in his syndicated column on WorldNetDaily Norris reiterates the point: “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”
For 200 years, Randy Mumme’s family has raised cattle on the same plot of southeast Texas land. Then, about 10 years ago, something began to change. His steers were losing weight. Cows were miscarrying; one gave birth to a calf with three legs. Many calves were stillborn.
The family’s ranching practices had not changed over the centuries, but the environment had: His ranch is four miles downwind of large industrial plants that spew tons of carcinogens and other toxic substances into the air. Mumme and other ranchers in Point Comfort suspect the factories are contributing to the ill-health of their cattle.
Tests have revealed that herds as far as six miles downwind of the factories have more DNA disturbances than other herds not downwind, according to scientists at Texas A & M University. The changes in chromosome structure and other genetic damage can increase the animal’s risk of cancer and reproductive damage.
One can't help but wonder if the droughts in the western and southern US might eventually result in desert like conditions here as well.
The Sahara has crossed the Mediterranean, forcing thousands to migrate as a lethal combination of soil degradation and climate change turns parts of southern Europe into desert.
A major UN conference was told yesterday that up to a third of Europe's soil could eventually be affected.
A fifth of Spanish land is so degraded that it is turning into desert, according to figures released for the first time yesterday, and in Italy tracts of land in the south are now abandoned and technically desert.
Where are insurance giant AIG's bailout billions really going? The White House doesn't want to tell us. But the Wall Street Journal, bless its Rupert Murdoch-owned heart, found out anyway: Foreign banks, lots of them!
The Federal Reserve began propping up AIG last September; a recent $30 billion infusion has brought the total bill to $173 billion. The government now owns 80 percent of the many-tentacled insurer, meaning that taxpayers are essentially on the hook for its liabilities. And AIG has spent roughly $50 billion fulfilling contracts it issued to banks to guarantee the value of various derivatives. Those complex financial bets went disastrously wrong as first the mortgage business and then the entire stock market imploded. U.S. legislators have been asking administration officials for names all week after the Treasury . They refused. But the WSJ got them:Goldman Sachs
Royal Bank of Scotland
Bank of America
Lloyds Banking Group
Ah yes, Rabobank, that pillar of the American economy.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
If you've ever had any doubt that Republicans can be heartless, vicious bastards, then let that doubt vanish now. The following report is from Progress Report, 3/17/2009.
RADICAL RIGHT -- CONSERVATIVES SUGGEST DEATH FOR AIG EXECS SET TO RECEIVE BONUSES: Politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle have expressed outrage at the recent news that bailed-out insurance giant AIG will be paying $165 million in bonuses to same executives that "brought the company to the brink of collapse." President Obama and members of Congress are trying to figure out a way to revoke the bonuses, while others have called for top executives to be fired. While conservatives have joined in the mass discontent with AIG, some are taking their anger a bit too far. Yesterday on a local Iowa radio show, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) suggested that AIG executives consider committing suicide. And last night on Fox News, far right pundit Charles Krauthammer and his milder counterpart Mort Kondracke argued that some should be put to death. "I would be for an exemplary hanging or two. Have it in Times Square, invite Madame DuFarge. You borrow a guillotine from the French and we could have a party," Krauthammer exclaimed. Kondracke agreed. "I was going to recommend boiling in oil in Times Square, but look, because these are the people who invented these crazy credit default swaps that are leading to the whole disaster," he said.
Monday, March 16, 2009
A former congressional staffer was indicted Friday on corruption charges for taking a free trip to the 2003 World Series.
In the latest case to arise out of the scandal surrounding ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, prosecutors charged Fraser Verrusio, 39, who worked under Republican Rep. Don Young when the Alaska congressman chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Officials say Verrusio and another Capitol Hill staffer accepted an illegal gratuity when lobbyists gave them an all-expense paid trip to New York, including the World Series game and a visit to a strip club.
RIO DE JANEIRO — A Roman Catholic archbishop says the abortion of twins carried by a 9-year-old girl who allegedly was raped by her stepfather means excommunication for the girl's mother and her doctors.But that's not what REALLY makes me angry about the buffoons running the church. Did you notice something missing? Something unusual?
"The law of God is higher than any human laws," he said. "When a human law — that is, a law enacted by human legislators — is against the law of God, that law has no value. The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication."
THE FATHER THAT RAPED THE 9-YEAR-OLD-GIRL WAS NOT EXCOMMUNICATED!
I guess because those church priests and bishops like a little rape themselves, now and again.
Then this from Mother Jones Blog...
[Professor Philip Tetlock of the University of California, Berkeley] studied pundits and discovered they were, to a rough approximation, always wrong when making predictions. He took 284 pundits and asked them questions about the future. Their performance was worse than chance. With three possible answers, they were right less than 33 per cent of the time. A monkey chucking darts would have done better. This is consoling. More consoling still is Tetlock's further finding that the more certain a pundit was, the more likely he was to be wrong. Their problem being that they couldn't self-correct, presumably because they'd invested so much of their personality and self-esteem in a specific view.
Top Ten Reasons to Make Gay Marriage Illegal
01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all like many of the principles on which this great country was founded; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of marriages like Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
"Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson have broken up. That's right. That's right. And apparently it was not that big a surprise. Even the Russians saw it coming. I think secretly, Rush Limbaugh wanted them to fail. But right about now, Sarah Palin is in a helicopter hunting for the boyfriend with her rifle." -- David Letterman
"Over the weekend in D.C., first lady Michelle Obama was at a homeless shelter serving food to the homeless. Isn't that nice? Reaching out to the middle class." --Jay Leno
"The federal government agreed on Sunday to provide an additional $30 billion to AIG. According to AIG, $15 billion will be used to build the world's biggest toilet, down which the other $15 billion will be flushed." --Seth Meyers
"John McCain's daughter, Meghan, she wrote yesterday that Ann Coulter is 'offensive,' 'radical,' and 'insulting.' Wow. That is by far the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Ann." -- Jimmy Fallon
"According to a new study, people are sleeping less because they're worried about the economy. I think it might also have something to do with the fact that they are sleeping under bridges." --Craig Ferguson
"And astronomers say they have discovered enormous black holes 5 billion light years from Earth that is sucking up everything in their path. They named the black holes 'AIG-1' and 'AIG-2.'" -- Jay Leno
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Obama administration is trying to curtail some of the excesses of the banks and businesses that the TARP money and stimulus money has gone to. As you must be aware, nothing upsets the taxpayers more than having their money bailout a bank only to have them pay out billions of dollars in bonuses to the officers who created the deficits in the first place. Well, the bankers are having none of that!
From the New York Times...
Hmph. I guess they didn't need the money all that badly after all. I hope they give it back quickly - plus interest.
Financial institutions that are getting government bailout funds have been told to put off evictions and modify mortgages for distressed homeowners. They must let shareholders vote on executive pay packages. They must slash dividends, cancel employee training and morale-building exercises, and withdraw job offers to foreign citizens.
As public outrage swells over the rapidly growing cost of bailing out financial institutions, the Obama administration and lawmakers are attaching more and more strings to rescue funds.
The conditions are necessary to prevent Wall Street executives from paying lavish bonuses and buying corporate jets, some experts say, but others say the conditions go beyond protecting taxpayers and border on social engineering.Some bankers say the conditions have become so onerous that they want to return the bailout money. The list includes small banks like the TCF Financial Corporation of Wayzata, Minn., and Iberia Bank of Lafayette, La., as well as giants like Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.
The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.
Dozens of specially trained agents work on the third floor of DCM Services here, calling up the dear departed’s next of kin and kindly asking if they want to settle the balance on a credit card or bank loan, or perhaps make that final utility bill or cellphone payment.The people on the other end of the line often have no legal obligation to assume the debt of a spouse, sibling or parent. But they take responsibility for it anyway.
Fairly or not, Countrywide Financial and its top executives would be on most lists of those who share blame for the nation’s economic crisis. After all, the banking behemoth made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering.
So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess.Stanford L. Kurland, Countrywide’s former president, and his team have been buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over from other failed banks, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. They get a piece of what they can collect.
In the meantime, the Republicans are a gift that just keeps giving. Their leadership is inept and poorly spoken. The following is a clip from CNN.
Democrats will continue Wednesday to portray Rush Limbaugh as the spokesman for the Republican Party by launching a Web page that mocks GOP leaders for apologizing to the radio host for criticizing or publicly disagreeing with him.I checked out the website and it's just a "fill-in-the-blank" sort of page, so it wasn't as cute as it might have been.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hosting the page — www.imsorryrush.com – which allows visitors to create an apology to Limbaugh on behalf of Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Georgia; South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford; or Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
Rush Limbaugh Has Balls Of Steele
Lapdog of the Right. A ha ha ha, we had to do a Google search to make sure nobody had put that crack in a headline yet. So anyway yes, Michael Steele spoke ill of Rush Limbaugh on late-night television, and then Rush Limbaugh said mean things about Michael Steele on the radio, and then Steele had to apologize because Rush Limbaugh makes a gazillion dollars a year putting cigars in his face and pontificating on the radio whereas Michael Steele is just some loser from Maryland.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
|From Acerbic Politics|
This is from Fark...
Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.
A man who gained notoriety for stopping a gay man from adopting a girl under his foster care was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison for molesting her.
Earl Kimmerling, pleaded guilty in January to four counts of molesting his foster daughter, now 9. He and his wife, Saundra, fought in 1998 to keep the girl from being adopted by Craig Peterson, a homosexual who had adopted the girl's three brothers.
At sentencing, Kimmerling tearfully apologized and pleaded for leniency. But Judge Frederick Spencer called Kimmerling's crime a betrayal of trust and ordered him to serve 40 years.
"It's hypocrisy at its highest level. He holds himself out to be a person of God, as a representative of the Christian community, and at the same time engaging in outrageous behavior," said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.
During the adoption fight, the Kimmerlings gained support from political figures including Anderson Mayor Mark Lawler and Republican state Reps. Jack Lutz of Anderson and Woody Burton of Greenwood, whose proposal to ban gay adoptions failed in the Legislature.
The Kimmerlings eventually succeeded in adopting the girl, but in May 1998 Kimmerling was charged with 10 counts of sexual molestation after Saundra Kimmerling notified police.
The Washington Times, which is a conservative newspaper out of D. C. had to admit this one is just not right - another Republican scandal.
"The pharmaceutical industry that long has benefited from Sen. Orrin G. Hatch's legislative efforts has directed large sums of money to a charity he helped found -- and still raises money for -- while also hiring the Republican lawmaker's son as a lobbyist.
Though Congress boasts that it is more transparent after passing new disclosure rules, Americans have had no way of knowing about the drugmakers' largesse to the charity, Utah Families Foundation. No way, that is, until a normally confidential tax filing was mistakenly released by the Internal Revenue Service to a nonprofit database last year."
|From Acerbic Politics|
|From Acerbic Politics|