Monday, December 28, 2009
Dear Ms. Hamsher,
I don't care about your reasons. I don't care why you went on Fux Newz to make this announcement, and I no longer care about anything you have to say or write.
You want to complain about Rahm, cool, I'm right there with you. You think policies and laws coming out of this administration aren't what we voted for, I'm right there with you. But if you want to make nice with Grover "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub" Norquist!? on Fux Newz!?
With a little editing, The Beatles said it better than I can:
You say you want a revolution, alright.
But if you make money for people with minds that hate, you can count me out.
But when you talk about destruction you can count me out.
Jane, you can count me out.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Friday, December 25, 2009
He told me when I was pretty young that his favorite Christmas Carol was a song I had never heard of:
"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" (French: Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle) is a Christmas carol which originated from the Provence region of France in the 16th century. The song is unique among Christmas carols in that it is in 3/8 time.
The carol was first published in 1553 in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song was originally not a song to be sung at Christmas, but rather dance music for French nobility.
The carol tells the story of two milkmaids, Jeanette and Isabella, who go to milk their cows in a stable in Bethlehem, only to find the baby Jesus sleeping in the manger. The two girls run to town to tell the village of the coming of Christ, and the townspeople come with their own torches to view the sight for themselves. However, they have to keep their voices down so little Jesus can enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, while singing the carol.
I scoured Teh YouTubes™ for a version I thought would please my pop. Many wouldn't have, from well-intended Middle School choirs, to Mormon Tabernacle Choir/Renee Fleming operatic bombast.
This one, while a modern recording, seems the best. Just lovely vocals with balance between male & female singers, and the correct dance tempo:
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Large Hardon Collider had a limited success this month before having to be shut down due to a lack of lubrication. The experiment ran for four hours before scientists realized that the containment vessel had lost its charm. Truth and beauty were still trapped, but as chief scientist Adam N. Steve explained "Every experiment has it's quarks, we believe in the essential potency of the Large Hardon Collider and will explore every avenue to the Big Bang."
In this initial effort to stimulate the Big Bang it was found that spontaneous field emissions covered some sensors and resulted in the Higgs bosom being torqued, instead of tweaked. Various materials were experimented with before it was discovered that simple latex, when applied after initially exciting the protons, and before insertion into the main cyclotron, provided essential protection. Dr. Steve took some ribbing for his solution but added "this is just the tip of the reservoir of knowledge we need to expand in."
Scientists around the world immediately lepton this news. "Heisenberg would be uncertain, but I'm thrilled," exclaimed one scientist who immediately rolled over and took a nap.
Unfortunately Dr. Steve stumbled over an unpredicted fermion and hit the evacuation button prematurely. "In the final outcome," he stated, "no matter was created or destroyed ... but my humorous took quite a blow. And damn, that's gonna leave a mark."
This has been a pubic service announcement.
This post was inspired by Thers and commenters at Whiskey Fire.
Seriously, listen to this, it's wonderful.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A Tale of Christmas Magic at the Aramingo DinerI did something similar yesterday. Where I work we have a hiring freeze, raises canceled, healthcare bennies cut back, (the last strikes me as ironic because we do medical research.) But I still have a job and it pays fairly well. To quote my friend Bill Arnett:I. Am. One. Of. The. Lucky. Ones.
Last Saturday, Dec. 5th, something startling and wonderful happened at The Aramingo Diner in Port Richmond.
The manager on duty, Linda [...] tells me that a couple in their 30s paid their check at the register, then asked the cashier to let them secretly pay the check of another couple in the dining room - a couple they didn't know.
"They just wanted to do it," she said. "They thought it would be a nice thing to do."
When the unsuspecting patrons went to pay their check, they were floored to find out that strangers had picked up their tab. So they asked the cashier to let them pay another table's check, also anonymously.
For two hours, delighted customer after delighted customer continued to pay the favor forward. And a buzz began to grow. Not among patrons, who had no inkling what was going down at the register, but among the dining-room wait staff - Marvin, Rosie, Jasmine and Lynn - and other Aramingo workers moving in and out of the room.
So I took the money I would have spent on gifts for people who don't really need them and asked the supervisor of one of our tech support groups to step out into the hall because I had a complaint about his groups' work.
After we were alone I told him my complaint was that they didn't get their bonuses this year. I forked over some cash and told him it was from the research wing and he should distribute it as he saw fit.
Now this particular guy is very conservative, listens and believes Rush, but he's got a good heart and does good work, and I'm willing to bet when he handed out the 'bonuses' he probably added a bit of his own.
This was in addition to what I gave my favorite local charity that does nothing but feed people. No questions, no eval, no bureaucracy; if you walk in they give you a free meal. They're always going to be in my heart because I've been hungry, and being hungry sucks.
I'm not writing about this to tell what a great guy I am, (everyone who knows me well knows I'm not), but just to say if you've got an extra couple of bucks give it to people who need it. What I gave this year stings just a little bit. Heck, I may have to delay my vacation for a month or two. But what little I gave makes a whole lot more difference to the folks I gave it to than to me.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Monday, December 21, 2009
Fortunately for me, this time it's a great song:
SteveAudio: While we're on a Traffic roll, let's not forget this wonderful song:
So health care reform is on its way, passing its first major test in our awful dysfunctional Senate. How's that working out for regular Americans? Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the Rude Pundit:
Jacqueline Kelly died yesterday in Jersey City, New Jersey, of ovarian cancer. She also had emphysema. She was 61 years-old, a woman who was a stay-at-home mom to her six kids and a supportive wife for 44 years to John Kelly. John, 68, worked for fifty years as a truck driver and was old enough to get on Medicare when he retired. His wife could not, since she was 61.
She was told she didn't qualify for Social Security disability benefits because she had never "worked." They didn't qualify for welfare assistance or Medicaid because John's pension checks were too high. So, instead, most of the money went to paying for Jacqueline's medical expenses, as much as they could, until it became a choice of chemotherapy or food. As John put it, "I worked all my life. She's being penalized for staying home and taking care of her kids." Kelly died because of a lack of health insurance, pure and simple, cause and effect.
Here's a local newspaper article about Jacqueline:
Kelly was a stay-at-home mother who raised her six children and went on to help raise her grandchildren, while her husband John worked as a truck driver for 50 years.
When John Kelly, 68, retired he was able to go on Medicare, but Kelly was not old enough.
With no private insurance, the couple was also told she didn’t qualify for social security disability because she had never worked.
When John Kelly went to Welfare, he was told his pension checks were too high for his wife to get benefits.
The family paid for Kelly’s treatments out-of-pocket until the costs recently became too much to bear.
She was treated at Christ Hospital in Jersey City through charity care and Compassionate Care Hospice treated her at home in recent weeks for free through its foundation.
Back to the Rude Pundit for analysis. I've taken his words almost completely because they need to be heard:
Think about that: John and Jacqueline Kelly were like apple pie, they fit so perfectly into the mold of ideal Americans that conservatives propagate. John was able to support his family doing a job that he stayed dedicated to. Jacqueline chose to stay at home and raise a large family. This is also death by sexism in that we live in a nation where full-time motherhood is not valued as a job and never has been. The myth of the American dream is always, always revealed as the lie it always was, and those who continue to foist it upon us are the ones least willing to make it be true. Where were all the alleged Christians, who are now so ready to kill health reform legislation? Where was the charity that's supposed to take care of such things? There was some, but not enough to get her the medical care that might have saved her.
You know who stepped up to help the Kelly family? Professional wrestlers. Yeah, Total Mayhem Pro Wrestling held a fundraiser for Jacqueline about a week ago, raising $4000 for medical expenses. That money will now be used for a funeral.
Pulls at your heartstrings, no? Really gets that lump in your throat going, this story of love and failure? Jacqueline Kelly was one of millions of Americans who would have qualified for help in just about any of the health care reform measures that actually seek to insure people. She'd have qualified for the public option. She'd have qualified for Medicare buy-in. In almost any other country in the developed world, and even in some in the undeveloped part, her care would not have even been an issue.
We are overwhelmed, yes, by tale upon tale of the sadness and horror brought on by this country's willful neglect of its citizens because we need to please some mad god of capitalism. And because we need to soothe the vanity of politicians, like Joe Lieberman.
We focus our rage on Lieberman out here in Left Blogsylvania not just because he is the kind of man who sucks his own cock in public and then grins, his semen-slicked teeth shining in the klieg lights, to the delight of Aetna and Wellpoint executives just before they shove his ass full of cash and tell him he can have it after he shits it back out. That would be enough. But it's that Lieberman actually takes pleasure in dicking over the Democratic caucus. Motherfucker said he supported the Medicare buy-in and then bailed? What kind of fuckery is that? That's just doing shit for the sake of doing shit. He's Shylock with less motivation. And that just makes us wanna go Berlusconi on his face. (Rhetorically, of course. Of course.)
But, if only to take a little power away from Lieberman, let's spread some blame around here for what is now a fairly worthless bill that is absent any control over insurance companies for jacking up prices in the wake of any new regulations. There's, of course, the Republicans, who never once negotiated in good faith (or bad faith, for that matter). There's Harry Reid, who took reconciliation off the table, thus shaking empty the compromise toolbox that had been dumped out when single payer wasn't even discussed. And there's the President, who demonstrated that if you are unwilling to say specifically what you want, then you will get nothing. Goddamnit, if Barack Obama had said he wouldn't sign a bill without a public option, if members of Congress knew he had their backs, his supporters would have rallied around the cause in a way that would have had the teabaggers grabbing their sacks in fear. He didn't, and you can't have a movement based on a vague hope that something might perhaps get done.
There's a couple of paths left now: revive reconciliation and/or try to salvage a bill that can be spun as a first step in a longer battle. The former is almost a must, because Lieberman has given anti-health care reform forces a boner for the final fucking. It might be a chance to get at least the Medicare buy-in or go back to the public option. The latter is close to surrender and is disgusting to contemplate, but there we are.
Lieberman's gotta be punished, or they gotta get rid of Reid. There's gotta be consequences for Lieberman. He's gotta lose his Homeland Security committee chair, maybe even be ejected from the caucus. He's gotta be publicly defiled. If there was any kind of justice right now, Lieberman should be locked in a glass room with the ghost of Lyndon Johnson. Motherfucker would be on his knees after five minutes, begging to give LBJ a rim job for mercy's sake.
Or, instead, Lieberman should be forced to eat the body of Jacqueline Kelly. He should have to taste her diseased organs and mutated cells. He should have to stare at her dead face as he ingests her faded skin and deteriorated muscle. And if he can't do it on his own, he should have her bones shoved down his throat until he fucking gags. Then maybe he'll understand that we're not talking about abstract numbers of people dying. We're talking about real corpses.
What's really sad, and makes a telling commentary on exactly how screwed up this country is politically, are some of the comments at the newspaper article. Talking about seeing trees rather than forest, or taking an ideology and bending it to fit the situation:
- This is so sad that an American woman can't get any type of medical coverage, but an illegal alien can get medicaid with no problem!
- if this was a woman from a foregn country she would have been flown here and treated for free so some hospital,doctor and politician would look good in the newspaper.my sympathy to her family.
- You are so right, Bayonne is under attack by immigrants and the governing bodies are addicted to serving them their free housing, their free medical, there free education, their free cell clothes, their free school uniforms, their free everything, Just so the local governing bodies and workers and County and State and Fed. employees can justify their existence and have a wonderful Christmas time....more pork please.....the employess need their bennies too.
And Bill Nelson, Joe Lieberman, and the rest of he conservadems wank hard about their petty issues.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
That said, I have a great relationship with Christmas music, having loved & collected it all my life. I have no trouble singing "Christ the Saviour is born..." while not being sure that is actually what took place. The music, along with the ideas it represents, are wonderful.
I've praised these women for years, and I'm not going to stop now. The Roches, 3 sisters with serious vocal skills, did a Christmas album in 1990 that I still love, "We Three Kings". Comprising both traditional songs as well as a few lovely originals, it combines the best of the Christmas spirit with their populist folky vocal stylings. While not classically trained, the sisters represent to me the way singing must have been during the middle ages & the Renaissance, technically skillful yet not overly mannered.
Here they are live, singing a medley of several of their versions of traditional Christmas carold:
And if you have any doubts about their vocal skills, listen to them rock Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" live in '82:
Point is, you don't have to believe the mythology to love the music and the spirit of Christmas.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I thought in this post I would be bringing my insight, my medical expertise, my observations, my personal experiences into one cogent, devastating argument. As it turns out, I'm not only un-original in my thinking, but others have stated my case better.
Point 1) Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and all civil rights bills were opposed by a powerful minority and barely passed in weakened form. Then they were expanded upon.
Point 2) The process isn't over. If the Senate passes their bill and then it goes to reconciliation with the House bill. That's where we need to focus our attention. But for this to happen the Senate needs to vote for cloture and then vote for their bill.
Point 3) The rethugs are so against anything happening that they've been employing tactics against it since its mere suggestion, and they are on record as having done so. It really wouldn't matter what President Obama said was his his main agenda, or any agenda this President has, they will do anything, say anything, to do their best to see Obama's administration fail. If it means 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of healthcare, they don't care. It's how they roll.
And if the history of HCR is any measure, and this bill doesn't happen, then nothing will happen for at least a decade. I can't live with that ... and neither can 450,000 of my fellow citizens.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, Dec. 16, 2024
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman, disgraced former Senator from Connecticut, died today after a long illness, Cause of death was heart failure. He was 82.
Lieberman was recently the victim of bad luck, when he was recently told the only drug that would keep his condition in check was no longer sold in the U.S. Instead, according to Merck-LaRoche-Lilly, the one remaining pharmaceuticals manufacturer in the U.S., the entire output of Dickophil™, once considered a wonder drug for heart-related ilnesses, is now sold only in China. In fact, lobbying by PhRMA, the drug industry lobbying company for whom his wife Hadassah worked, had resulted in Dickophil™ being illegal in the U.S.
Lieberman lost his Senate seat in the '12 election by a wide margin. In fact, many politicians & consultants, both Democratic, Democratic-Socialist, Republican, and Tea Party counseled Lieberman not to run. But run he did, and he was beaten soundly by former Admiral Joe Sestak. After this defeat, he stayed out of public view, and was largely absent from politics.
Lieberman's downfall occurred when, in 2009, he opposed his former party, the wishes of the majority of the U.S. population, and his own constituents in CT by opposing all progressive portions of then Pres. Obama's Health Care Reform. While the much weakened bill did pass, voters in his state would never turn out in favor of Lieberman again. In fact, during the '12 campaign, he was assigned extra Secret Service details after many people at one town hall meeting threw rotten fruit and used toilet paper at the Senator. He was called Crappy Joe after this by several progressive blogs, and the name stuck.
Former Surgeon General Howard Dean said of Lieberman: "He voted his conscience, which unfortunately was weak and petty". Former Sec'y of State and Vice President Hilary Clinton said: "I liked Joe, until I got to know him." And former running mate and former Senator John Kerry said: "I thought I knew Joe, until I selected him to be my VP candidate. Then I discovered what a mean, miserable prick he was". And Sarah Palin, his V.P pick in his failed Presidential run in 2008, said: "Wow, I didn't know the old dude was still alive. I mean, he was like so old when he campaigned with me. If it hadn't been for him, I would have won, also".
Lieberman is survived by, well, no one, because his disastrous health care decisions resulted in several deaths in his family, including, at the end, his own.
He will not be missed.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
If you're not moved by this music, regardless of your faith tradition, then I'm sorry for you. That may seem elitist, but it's not. This is seriously good music, performed spectacularly.
Monday, December 14, 2009
He called out the Republicans for their (lack of) Health Care Proposal on the House floor:"That is about the most mean-spirited partisan statement that I've ever heard made on this floor, and I, for one, don't appreciate it," Rep. Jimmy Duncan, R-Tennessee.
Grayson did:"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America"
And now he calls out
Cheney: I saw [Obama], when he got elected, as a liberal Democrat -- but conventional, in the sense of sort of falling within the parameters of the national Democratic Party. I think he's demonstrated pretty conclusively now during his first year in office that he's more radical than that. That he's farther outside the parameters, if you will, of what we've traditionally had in Democratic presidents in years past.Grayson's reply was made on Hardball->
Grayson: I don't know, you know, on the internet there's an acronym that's used to apply to situations like this, it's STFU. I don't think I can say that on the air, but I think you know what that means."Each time, of course, the republicans and their M$M allies clutch their pearls like Margaret Dumont in a bad outtake from a Marx Brothers film. (Fainting couches are optional.)
Somehow repubs don't mind Cheney saying "Go fuck yourself" on the Senate floor, GW Bush calling the US Constitution a "goddamn piece of paper" or their constant cries of people like me being called terrorist supporters because we think torture and violating the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution is a very bad thing.
Did I mention Grayson was rich? That's not a bad thing:
"I don't need the job for income or satisfaction," said Grayson, sitting on a bench outside the House chamber in between votes. "The truth is, it's really a hardship. I took an enormous pay cut to take the job. Every week, I leave five young children and my wife to come up here.Well said sir. It's always a pleasure to see rich people, like FDR and George Soros and even Bill Gates do the right thing. It's especially nice when they have FY money and they choose not to say FY to the people who don't.
"I don't owe anything to anyone here. I don't owe anything to lobbyists. I don't owe anything to leadership. The only thing I owe to anybody is the well-being of 800,000 people who depend on me."
And now a special treat:
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Dolores O'Riordan-Adeste Fideles:
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
What in the world you thinking of, Laughing in the face of love, What on earth you tryin’ to do, It’s up to you, yeah you
I listened to Lennon's last BBC interview with Andy Peebles. I read the Rolling Stone tribute issue that told me how my hero's last word was "yeah." I remember watching Elton John singing "Empty Garden." I remember listening to Paul's tribute "Here Today." But nothing really helped in a murder as senseless as this one. Nothing, sad to say, but the passing of time.
Almost 30 years later, I still can't believe what happened that cold night in December 1980. But tonight, I will kiss my 6-year-old daughter goodnight under the sign on her wall that reads "All You Need Is Love." Then I'll be listening to Lennon on my iPod when I walk a few blocks over to 72nd Street and Central Park West. When I reach the Dakota, I'll keep pushing my iPod's button until "Merry Xmas (War is Over)" starts playing in my ears.
It's ironic that Joe doesn't understand Lennon would Joe's Republican positions on everything distasteful at best, and appalling at worst.
Like so many self-centered people, Joe's concern is not what the music actually meant, but only what it meant to him. Joe should have listened more to John's words:
Disney CEO Robert Iger, for example, used one of the break-out sessions to propose a cut in the corporate tax rate – a move that would cost the Treasury billions in uncollected funds at a time when the deficit is already $1.4 trillion.
“I think that’s where I would start,” Iger said. “It’s definitely an issue not just for the Disney company but for the whole television industry.”
Yes, because helping Disney's bottom line is good for America. Thing is:
Burbank, Calif.-based Disney said it earned $895 million during the three months that ended Oct. 3, compared with $760 million a year ago. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $9.9 billion.
Operating profit at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts fell 17 percent during the quarter to $344 million, on revenue that slid 4 percent to $2.8 billion. Park attendance improved, but ongoing discounts continued to eat into profit margins.
The results capped a difficult fiscal year in which Disney was squeezed hard by the recession. Disney said it netted $3.3 billion for the year, down 25 percent from last year, on sales of $36.1 billion, down 4 percent.
So even in this soft economy, the Mouse earned $3,300,000,000. That's 3300 times $1,000,000. That's serious bank. And against sales of $36,100,000,000. That's over 9% profit!
Disney has had layoffs, forced salaried employees to work hourly shifts, forced hourly employees to take shift cuts, etc., etc. Yet how has Iger's income been affected? 2009 numbers are not in yet, but for 2008, the result is pretty startling:
3. Walt Disney - DIS: Robert Iger earned around $1,965,384 for every 1% his stock dropped, giving him a total salary package of $51.1 million based on DIS shares declining 26% over the past year.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Best New Artist
(For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.)
- Zac Brown Band
- Keri Hilson
- Silversun Pickups
- The Ting Tings
While I really like The Ting Tings, Silversun Pickups are on Dangerbird Records, the label for which I'm currently finishing a recording studio installation. I had nothing to do with the album, but the label folks are friends The producer, Dave Cooley, is also a client & good friend, and it's a great album. If I didn't think so I wouldn't bother to blog about it.
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For established duos or groups, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)
- Never Say Never[Epic]
Track from: The Fray
Best Pop Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
- The Fray
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)
- Jonathan Winters — A Very Special Time
Jonathan Winters (Music By Verne Langdon & Skip Edwards)
[Dejavu Record Company/The Orchard]
Here's The Fray:
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Sheriff Joe is at it again: July 18th
Apology ordered in court paper flapI've excerpted this article not to cherry pick quotes but to fall in the guidelines of copyright protection. The whole article is much more damning.
A Maricopa County Sheriff's detention officer has been ordered to apologize to a public defender for taking a document from files on her desk during a sentencing in Superior Court.
Judge Gary Donahoe said Officer Adam Stoddard must issue his apology at a news conference on the north plaza of the Central Court Building on or before Nov. 30 or face jail for contempt of court.
Stoddard was pictured on courtroom video Oct. 19 taking a piece of paper from the courtroom desk of Public Defense Joanne Cuccia.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday [...] "Superior Court judges do not order my officers to hold press conferences," Arpaio said in a statement. "I decide who holds press conferences and when they are held regarding this Sheriff's Office."
The defense counsel, the prosecutor and ALL cops are officers of the court. To have a sheriff's deputy steal defense records, copy them and send them to the government's side is not only theft it's against federal law and a violation of the Constitution.
The cop is lucky he was only found in civil contempt. He should go down! (By 'down' I meant to the corner and apologize.) Personally, I think the Feds should prosecute him & Sheriff Joe et al for Federal crimes, (no way that the County Atty will prosecute the theft that was involved), because they think that cops run the gov't.
But wait, there's more:
MCSO officer files motion to delay judge's rulingINAL, but as I understand it there is no recourse when a judge sentences you for civil contempt. Criminal contempt, yes, civil, no.
Video footage shows Stoddard glancing at the documents during a sentencing hearing for Antonio Solis Lozano, 26. He's then shown removing the handwritten notes and having them copied.
Justice might be served if Arpaio & Lozano were sentenced to live in tents and made to wear pink panties.
Gosh, I bet they'd never flout the law again! Like Bull Connor never did.[/sarcasm]
Sheriff Joe has got to go. He's not just a criminal, he runs a criminal enterprise.
Mother of mercy, can this be the end of RICO?*
*Under RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity." RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such an enterprise to file a civil suit; if successful, the individual can collect treble damages.Update: A commenter thought I was over the top by suggesting RICO charges against Sheriff Joe. In a twist of irony, Joe has filed a lawsuit alleging RICO charges be applied to the Superior Court Judge Donahoe & county Supervisors.
When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he or she has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond.
Alleging widespread conspiracy, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday against county administrators, elected officials, judges and attorneys. Those defendants, they say, are violating federal racketeering laws by hindering criminal investigations and depriving their offices of resources.And speaking of "depriving their offices of resources" check this out:
Now, with Sheriff Arpaio's support, officers who protect the Superior Court where Judge Donahoe works are calling in sick in sufficient numbers to shut down business. The courthouse was also evacuated when a bomb threat against public defenders was phoned in (Cuccia is a public defender).AZ is the new Alabama! Great job Alazonians! [/snark]
Notice he files the lawsuit in civil court. Not state criminal, not Federal criminal, but civil. Why? Because civil courts have a much lower standard of proof than criminal courts. It's still not gonna work.
He's cost Maricopa County taxpayers more money in lost Fed & state lawsuits against him and his thugs than any illegal alien has. But he doesn't care because the good citizens of the county pay for it. The good citizens of Maricopa county are also paying for him to sue ... wait for it ... wait for it ... Maricopa County!
Sher'f Joe has got to go.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Saturday, November 28, 2009
So I decided to amuse myself, and hopefully you.
This place is awesome, I spent a whole evening just following these links:Sadly, No! is always brilliant, but you reeeeealy have to read the comments to get the full effect:Howie Klein went to a WH dinner!?
David Bowie Has Still Never Attended A State Dinner At The White HouseRead it all, it just gets funnier every time I do.
I have a half-baked reason for telling the story of the state dinner I went to in September, 1998
Jon Ronson of The Guardian says:Fafablog! Need I say more?
Breaking Terror Update!And now, since you've been wondering about the post title, here is the bestest ever version of Bohemian Rhapsody:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his friends are going to stand trial! It's taken about six and a half years for this to happen, during which they were all presumably kept waiting in the parlor of a sumptuous mansion along with the Colonel, the Countess, the jewel thief, the butler and the maid while a brilliant but eccentric sleuth attempted to discern the identity of the true culprit through the use of the deductive method, the thorough examination of evidence, and simulated drowning.
Everybody else has to stay in Special Torture Jail forever on accounta they have all come down with Schrodinger's Guilt. If they stay in the box they might be guilty, but if we open the box they might not be.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, in no particular order:
Monday, November 23, 2009
Some people pay good money to get booted in the nuts, but when there's no shortage of out-of-work placekickers willing to do it for free why bother, right?
Case in point - say somebody gets a nice job, even though their reputation for truthtelling and non-partisanship is verifiably sketchy, insofar as they were the last in a long line of professional prevaricators and timewasters hired to keep the Bad Ship Lollipop stacked to the gunwales with fresh bullshit for eight long years.
No biggie - somebody else wants to look professionally magnanimous, extend a hand, build a bridge to...where?
Meh, looks good for the networks...On in five, boss. Kiss kiss.
Not so fast.
First, this legacy hire on the half-shell's former employer claimed he quit golf 'in solidarity' with the troops on a day deemed convenient to do so (In the reality-based world, a dense executive's poorly timed piece of optics management theater) even though that story of staunch sacrifice wasn't quite true...OK, make it a whole lot untrue, but that was sort of par for the course with that fellow, pardon the pun.
Fast forward, he's gone bye-bye...probably out golfing, shooting smack with some caddies in the arbusto behind the 15th hole, who cares?...He's not there anymore.
In the words of Bette Davis - 'Good'.
Meanwhile in the Now, this rogueish ingrate's not even in the saddle of a cushy job for a week and already she's shit-talking her open-armed buddy with the sweet job offer, right there on the teevee, about the same thing she ham-handedly pimped for in a briefing a week after her old pal busted out his feckless fib for the feebleminded...
Plainly put, this poison plum's not even smart enough to shut her mouth and keep from drawing attention via her mere presence to the fact that her former boss, his sidekick, and every other operational body within that place of employment for that period of time is a kleptocratic war criminal or hearts them very much.
President Obama - with all due respect, your countryfolk spent a lot of time and effort to get people like this out of American government jobs so that people who don't bend truth for a living could help float the ship of state a while.
You're bringing them back in.
Indulge an old carny, pal - what's the angle?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Big Guy™ is back! After a long summer vacation, TRex's batteries are recharged and he's sizzling:
Hey, y’all, yes, it’s me. I’m back. Nearly two years after getting fired from FDL and a year after tapering off the political beat at the end of the ‘08 elections, I am coming up hard against the fact that I’m apparently constitutionally incapable of disconnecting completely from the media stream and tuning out the noise of the political world. It’s been backing up in my brain and as much as I may try to ignore it, I can’t. Grumble.
So, apparently the only answer is to start back on blogging, if only to provide a pressure release valve for the overwhelming feelings of “ZOMG!!” and “WTF??!!” that are the inevitable human reactions to the farcical circus that is the current political climate. Between Princess Jesus Boobies and The White Witch of the North, Nazi Doughboy Glenn Beck, and that bloated intestinal polyp Rush Limbaugh, I just can’t sit here quietly any longer.
Halle-freakin'-lujah! David's blog has always been one of our fave's, and we're glad he's back on duty.
‘Read the stimulus’ advocate Dick Armey slammed for not bothering to read the stimulus.This is the best republicans can do? They bring in an expert who hasn't read the bill!
Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform committee held a hearing on the implementation of the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus. Republican members invited former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey, who now leads the corporate front group FreedomWorks, to testify as their expert witness.
[...]VAN HOLLEN: Let me ask you think. You keep saying ‘if there were,’ did you read the Economic Recovery bill?Ironically, as part of an effort to obstruct and derail the bill, Armey launched an online petition called “ReadTheStimulus.org.”
ARMEY: No I didn’t. I had no reason to read it, I wasn’t voting on it.
It just goes to show that the best thing republicans have to offer is willful ignorance.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Friday, November 20, 2009
USDA: Hunger rises in U.S.I'm just going to bypass any argument about adults going hungry, because we all know they just brought in on themselves, all those white collar people who now go on welfare are just lazy.[/snark] [Editor's Note: I felt compelled to add the 'snark' tag because things are just so damn crazy that The Onion articles can't even begin to approach reality as seen thru GOP whiteout goggles.]
America is hungry and getting hungrier, with 49 million people - 17 million of them children - last year unable to consistently get enough food to eat, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
These figures represent 14.6 percent of all households, a 3.5-percentage-point jump over 2007, and they are the largest recorded since the agency began measuring hunger in 1995.
Of those 49 million, 12 million adults and 5.2 million children reported experiencing the country's most severe hunger, possibly going days without eating. Among the children, nearly half a million in the developmentally critical years under age 6 were going hungry. That's three times the number in 2006.
The study documented both "low food security," which describes people unable to consistently get enough to eat, and "very low food security," in which people reported being hungry various times over the year but were unable to eat because there wasn't enough money for food.
So I'll cry out the constant republican theme, What About The Children! Seriously, why does any child in America, or the rest of the world, go hungry?
There is no excuse, we have the food, we have the means of distribution, what we lack is adults in charge to make this happen.
Texas ranks second-worst in hunger risk, U.S. saysI really don't have anything else to say, the facts speak for themselves.
[Jan Pruitt, president and chief executive officer of the North Texas Food Bank] we're seeing a lot more professional people now."
Outreach workers who help people sign up for food stamps recently met a man who lost his job when Hewlett-Packard acquired EDS.
"He was an engineer – he made $100,000 a year ago," Pruitt said. "But he lost his job, his house and his savings, and now he's on food stamps."
"And Texas does lead the nation in the number of food-insecure children," Pruitt said.
"Every fifth child in Texas is in a food-insecure household," she said. "Every fourth child in Dallas County lives in poverty. And every third child in the city of Dallas lives in poverty."
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Officer Shocks Girl, 10There's more:
An Ozark police officer used a stun gun on a 10-year-old girl Thursday, an action the child's father has publicly spoken against.
Officer Dustin Bradshaw used a stun gun to subdue the girl, whose mother had called police in response to her daughter misbehaving at the woman's residence, according to an Ozark police report.
Bradshaw said the child's mother attempted to place the girl in the shower to get her ready for bed.
"I witnessed (the child) screaming, kicking and resisting every time her mother tried to touch her," Bradshaw stated. "Her mother told me to Tase her if I needed to."
Bradshaw said he and the mother carried the child to the shower, but the child refused to cooperate.
Bradshaw said after realizing there would not be a "peaceful resolution," he moved the child to the living room and told her he was going to place her under arrest, according to the report.
"She was jerking her arms away from me violently while I was trying to cuff her and thrashing about wildly," Bradshaw stated. "While she was violently kicking and verbally combative, (she) struck me with her legs and feet in the groin."
Bradshaw said because he had difficulty placing handcuffs on the girl, he administered a brief drive stun to the child's back with his stun gun, the report states.
"She immediately stopped resisting and was placed into handcuffs," Bradshaw stated. "She
would not[ED: could not, FIFY cop] walk on her own and I had to carry her to my police car."
[Ozark's Police Chief Jim Noggle] said the officer properly used his discretion when he fired his Taser at the girl.OMG, where to start? The Mom is a bad parent and should have custody taken away from her. No responsible person calls the cops on a 10 year old for having a tantrum. And especially not for encouraging a cop to taze their child.
The cop should go to jail for child abuse. This a$$hole managed to carry her into the shower and into a squad car (given, she was incapacitated by 50 thousand volts in the latter instance), yet he can't subdue a 10 year old girl without a potentially lethal weapon?
The police chief needs to be fired and never have another job in a supervisory position, and be sued personally. Who the hell sticks up for a cop that does this?
Addendum: Ozark police argued that had the officer grabbed the girl, he could have hurt her. "If you grab somebody, you can slip an arm out of joint," the police chief added. "They can slip from you and fall on the ground."
Yeah, like adults who are Tazed don't have spastic contractions of their muscles, dislocate their joints, and/or die. TASERs are less lethal than hand guns, not less than lethal.
What a brave and fierce thin blue line we have to protect us from ... 10 year old girls.
Let this be a lesson to you kids; the monster isn't under your bed, he's not in your closet, he's your Mom and Officer Friendly. And if you don't take your shower you'll be Tazed and sent to Juvie.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We know you're out there, we can see the hit count. We appreciate the fact that you stop by, and we are humbled that you care enough to drop by over and over. We hope you feel welcome here, even if you disagree with a given post or all posts.
That's why we've made it easy for you to make your opinion known. You don't have to comment, (tho we really like it when you do), but if you're not comfortable with that all you have to do is click on the 'stars' below each post to let us know how you felt about a post.
It's a simple scale, just like when we were in school.
1 Star = F
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It's easy, it's quick, it's anonymous, and unlike your teachers, we are grateful for your input.
And if you don't, we'll we've seen what happens
Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatumWith the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church and evangelicals churches advocating political actions I think they abrogated any right to the 1st Amendment when they crossed the line between church and state.
Same-sex marriage bill, as written, called a threat to social service contracts
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
City leaders said the church is not the dominant provider of any particular social service, but the church pointed out that it supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers.
From 2006 through 2008, Catania said, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, as well as several hundred thousand dollars' worth this year through his committee.
Personally, I never understood why religions get a break in taxes. Now pardon me while I go shear my flock for tax exempt dollars.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Monday, November 16, 2009
GOP amendment allows ‘mentally incapacitated’ vets to buy guns*************
A press release issued by Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr explained his reasoning
"Currently, when the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) appoints a fiduciary to assist a veteran with managing their financial affairs, VA also deems the veteran mentally incompetent and reports him or her to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)," Burr's release wrote. "The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would require a judicial body to deem a veteran, surviving spouse, or child as a danger to himself or others before being listed in NICS, which would prohibit the veteran from being able to purchase certain firearms.
Camp Lejeune whistle-blower fired*************
A psychiatrist who tried to prevent Fort Hood-style violence among Marines about to "lose it" instead loses his job
Last April, two Marines at Camp Lejeune predicted to a psychiatrist that some Marine back from war was going to "lose it." Concerned, the psychiatrist asked what that meant. One of the Marines responded, "One of these guys is liable to come back with a loaded weapon and open fire."
Upon returning home, troops suffering mental health problems were getting dumped into an overwhelmed healthcare system that responded ineptly to their crises, the men reported, and they also faced harassment from Marine Corps superiors ignorant of the severity of their problems and disdainful of those who sought psychiatric help.
God, the Army, and PTSD*************Senator Coburn said he will remove the hold if Senators approve amendments he has proposed.
“God doesn’t like ugly,” one political appointee told Paul Sullivan, an analyst in the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration, in a clumsy attempt to reduce the cost of caring for psychologically traumatized veterans. “You need to make the numbers lower.”
Sullivan was working as an analyst at the Veterans Benefits Administration in Washington in early 2005 when he was called to a meeting with a top political appointee at the VA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Michael McLendon. McLendon, an intensely focused man in a neatly pressed suit, kept a Bible on his desk at the office. Sullivan explained to McLendon and the other attendees that the rise in benefits claims the VA was noticing was caused partly by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were suffering from PTSD. “That’s too many,” McLendon said, then hit his hand on the table. “They are too young” to be filing claims, and they are doing it “too soon.” He hit the table again. The claims, he said, are “costing us too much money,” and if the veterans “believed in God and country . . . they would not come home with PTSD.”
So this moron threatens to take his ball and go home if the other 99 senators don't pass his amendments. (Senate - n. definition: A dysfunctional political body that is elected by the people and controlled by lobbyists and obstructed by one f**king moron.)
I'd like to say I'm outraged, but the truth is that nothing these people do or say anymore shocks me. The lies, the hypocrisy, the hate mongering have become SOP for the GOP.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama health care reform despite the drubbing their party took in the '09 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support.
Um, yeah. Say, Dick. Go ahead, say Dick, because you are. Seriously, I appreciate the concern trollphrase "suicidal Democratic congressmen", but first, some of them are women, and I do agree with you, some of them are suicidal but for far different reasons that you propose. And "drubbing their party took..."? Yes, we lost 2 Governors, which has NO Federal impact, but gained 2 Congresspersons, which does. Say Dick.
Sadly, Dick goes on:
•The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5 percent to 6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21 percent. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill ... or else!
So Congress was brave when they refused to let physician reimbursements be cut, but when Obama does it, it's blackmail. I see, Congress good, Obama bad. Say Dick.
But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.Not so fast, Sparky. Medicare advantage offers exactly the same coverage Medicare offers, with a few extra meaningless perks, yet bills the government higher rates. And has higher overheads. Who wins? Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, that's who. So when Morris et al complain about cuts in Medicare to scare seniors, what they're talking about is stopping the taxpayer support for insurance companies profiting on what Medicare gives seniors for free.
Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medi-gap, but the AARP – which supposedly represents them – will make more money. (If this galls you, join the American Seniors Association, the alternative group. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and about the American Seniors Association? From Avenging Angel's diary at Kos:
A little digging into Stuart Barton's 60,000 member American Seniors Association would have made that clear. Founded in 2005 by Barton's father Jerry as the National Association for Senior Concerns (NASCON), the group targeted the "radical agenda" of the AARP. Topping its program is Social Security privatization, hard-line opposition to immigration reform, and an overhaul of Medicare, which Barton deemed "the most abused and wasteful of all federal programs that could be bankrupt even before Social Security." As its press page shows, the ASA is a right-wing talking point regurgitation machine:
"On page 425 of the bill, a person must go to counseling every five years to basically learn how to die," Barton says. "As I read this and hear about no preventative care, it dawned on me that Obama's plan is to let all these baby boomers die quicker so we don't have to care for them in old age."
The ASA's "Four Pillars," also extolled by former Hollywood Squares game show host and honorary chairman Peter Marshall, are a hardliner's dream and a senior citizen's nightmare:Medicare Reform: This most abused and wasteful of all federal programs could be bankrupt before the Social Security System runs dry!
Social Security Reform: Voluntary personal accounts safe from government meddling must be approved providing senior citizens options and keeping the system solvent.
Illegal Aliens: Lawbreakers do not deserve Social Security payments intended for you and your family who are citizens.
Tax Reform: An easily understood and simplified tax code in the form of the Fair Tax.
Swell. Remember Little Red Riding Hood? Granny, meet fox (pun fully intended).
But you get the idea. Dick Morris will lie, say anything anyone wants him to, as long as he has toes to suck:
On the eve of the Democratic Convention in September 1996, Morris was forced to resign as head of Pres. Clinton’s reelection campaign after Sherry Rowlands, a call girl with whom he had a long-term for-pay relationship, sold her story to the supermarket tabloid “The Star” for around $50,000. In the article, Rowlands revealed that Morris had a fetish for toe sucking, a fact that will always have a place in the TMI hall of fame.
She also offered a glimpse into Morris’ marriage that may have some saliency today, if his phone number does appear on Palfrey’s list:Asked about Morris’s wife, Rowlands said: “I’m sure this is hurting her, and was not meant to hurt her. He’s the one who hurt her, not me. . . . He loves his wife — that’s why he would pay me . . . to come see him. That makes him feel he is not cheating on his wife. This is business as long as he’s paying for it.”
Shorter: It isn’t adultery if you pay for it.
Since the Clintons kicked him out, Morris has earned millions as a professional Clinton hater inside the GOP noise machine. He bloviates regularly on the Fox News Channel, writes a syndicated column for the Fox aligned New York Post and has authored several books trashing the senator and ex-president.
He also converted to Catholicism.
After all the bad Dick, here's some good Dick: Dick Dale
Yoo's Lawyers Warn of Flood of Political SuitsThe article didn't go quite far enough about Yoo's position. Yoo held that Americans can be arrested & tortured by our government.
A ruling that allowed a prisoner to sue former Bush administration attorney John Yoo for devising the legal theories that justified his alleged torture threatens to "open the floodgates to politically motivated lawsuits" against government officials, Yoo's lawyers say.
Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, was a Justice Department lawyer from 2001 to 2003 and wrote a series of memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers.
The best known was a 2002 document that said that rough treatment of captives amounted to torture only if it caused the same level of pain as "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death." The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.
Another Yoo memo said that U.S. military forces could use any means necessary to seize and hold terror suspects in the United States.
Personally? I think justice would be served if Yoo should be abducted, tortured and confess to his crimes against the Constitution ... or maybe just disbarred and lose his tenure.
Extra Special bonus points!that!' you've really crossed the line.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Italy Convicts 23 Americans for C.I.A. RenditionsBut wait, there's more:
In a landmark ruling, an Italian judge on Wednesday convicted a base chief for the Central Intelligence Agency and 22 other Americans, almost all C.I.A. operatives, of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan in 2003.
In June, Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by the brother of Mr. Berlusconi, published an interview that it said it had conducted via Skype with Mr. Lady, the former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, whose whereabouts are unknown. In the interview, he said of Abu Omar’s abduction: “Of course it was an illegal operation. But that’s our job. We’re at war against terrorism.”
Both Mr. Castelli and Mr. Lady have retired from the C.I.A., according to former agency officials.
Most of the top C.I.A. officers said to have planned the Abu Omar rendition have left the agency, with the exception of Stephen R. Kappes, who at the time was the assistant director of the C.I.A.’s clandestine branch.
He is now the C.I.A.’s second ranking official.
EXCLUSIVE: Convicted CIA Spy Says "We Broke the Law"Ah yes, The Nuremberg Defense, 'we vas only following orders.'
Sabrina deSousa Says U.S. "Betrayed" Her and Others Found Guilty in Kidnapping of Muslim Cleric in Italy
One of the 23 Americans convicted today by an Italian court says the United States "broke the law" in the CIA kidnapping of a Muslim cleric Abu Omar in Milan in 2003.
"And we are paying for the mistakes right now, whoever authorized and approved this," said former CIA officer Sabrina deSousa in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson.
DeSousa says the U.S. "abandoned and betrayed" her and the others who were put on trial for the kidnapping. She was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.
"Everything I did was approved back in Washington," she said.
Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), a member of the House Intelligence Committee told ABC News that the trial was a disaster for CIA officers like DeSousa on the frontline.
"I think these people have been put out there. They've been hung out to dry. They're taking the fall potentially for a decision that was made by their superiors in our agencies. It's the wrong place to go."
"He was the wrong guy," said Baer. "It was not worth putting the reputation of the United Sates on the line going after somebody like this."
It didn't work then and it shouldn't work now.
Yo Pete, you're right in one way, the decision was made in WH & CIA Headquarters, but that just means they should all stand trial for war crimes. As I recall the Nuremberg Trials, the minions got jail time. The puppet masters got death.
They broke US, Italian and International laws. They did it willingly. and they knew at the time they were breaking the laws.
In US criminal courts I believe that's called premeditation.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak