Saturday, February 28, 2009

we found your weakness, and it's right outside the door, now testify

Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa Co. in AZ, has long been a toxic villian, posturing and preening on TV while he routinely violates the rights of prisoners he captures. Of course, his actions delight the anti-immigrant vigilante groups holding their watches at the border.

In fact, members of the House Judiciary Committee are interested in Sheriff Joe:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) called on Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to investigate allegations of misconduct by Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

America's Voice has created a special website, with a petition you can sign, demanding something be done about this tyrant:
With over 2,700 lawsuits against him, a history of virulently anti-immigrant and anti-Latino tactics, and 40,000 felony warrants outstanding in his jurisdiction, Arpaio has fostered a climate in which real criminals roam free while hard-working immigrants live in fear. America's Voice is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to begin a federal investigation into his tactics, giving Sheriff Arpaio the attention he really deserves.

There's even an event scheduled here in L.A.:
Event: Teach-in at UCLA on Human and Civil Rights Violations

Date & Time: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location: UCLA Labor Center, 675 South Park View Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057

America's Voice also tells us that:
As reported in the Phoenix New Times, former lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, Zack de la Rocha, joined a rally yesterday in advance of today's protest against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
The terror campaign that Mr. Arpaio is waging here in Arizona is keeping people in the shadows. They want to speak out.
Just what are they speaking out about? Arpaio's atrocious law enforcement tactics, though his "forced immigrant march" two weeks ago tops the list. In broad daylight he rounded up and paraded all of the undocumented immigrants in his jail in a chain-gang to a segregated ‘Tent City' surrounded by electrified fences in the Arizona desert.
Glad to see an artist take a public stand on an important issue. Zack has never been afraid to speak up against, well, The Machine.

On that note, here's Zack's former band doing some live Raging:

Yeah you shook me all night long

In blogger trivia, many fine blogs (and this one too!) use Haloscan as a comment engine, for a bunch of reasons: editing, managing etc., far better than standard Blogger comments.

Unfortunately, Haloscan blows up occasionally, and no comments can be made. That happened tonight. Thankfully, the clever folks over there managed to subdue and tame the ornery code, and all is once again well.

Also, in other behind-the-scenes stuff, we, like other bloggers, make use of a great website & service called Blogrolling to, you know, maintain the blogroll. Without that, one has to hand-code each entry into the blogroll in the Blogger template. Not hard, but tedious. Blogrolling places a bit of code in our template that, when you load our page, calls the blogroll from their database, and places it on the page. Unfortunately, they got hacked and severely damaged a while back, and are only now ready to go back live in a few days. When that happens, we can add some fine new additions to the blogroll.

People blog, as well as build these great utility sites like this for fun, for free, out of passion. How cool is that! Blogging has changed the world. Well, a little bit.

Now, since you've read this far, you deserve a treat: music.

There are some songs and recordings that are perfect, regardless of genre. This is one of them:

I did some work for these guy on their 1983 (Flick of the Switch) tour, and worked with this drummer, Chris Slade, a bit earlier in '82 when he was touring with Gary Numan. All nice folks.

Of course, several other groups recorded their own version of Willie Dixon's song "You Shook Me", which were very different than Acca Dacca's.

Here's Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart, back when Rod mattered:

And here are some guys called Zed Leppelin(?)

Addendum by The Sailor: And here, as far as I can tell, is the original. From Wikipedia:"You Shook Me" is a blues song written by Willie Dixon and J. B. Lenoir. Earl Hooker first recorded it as an instrumental which was then overdubbed with vocals by Muddy Waters in 1962.

The single featured Muddy Waters on vocals, J.T Brown Ernest Cotton on tenor saxophone, Johnny "Big Moose" Walker on organ, Earl Hooker on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Casey Jones on drums.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Take off, eh?

Nous cousins Américains

Huffington Post:

Canadian Jets Intercepted Russian Bomber Before Obama's Visit

TORONTO — Fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Russian bomber in the Arctic as it approached Canadian airspace on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa last week, Canada's defense minister said Friday.

Peter MacKay said the bomber never entered Canadian airspace. But he said two Canadian CF-18 jets met the bomber in international airspace and sent a "strong signal that they should back off."

Huzzah to our brave boys in the sky, running off those filthy commies from an attempt at despoiling a foreign dignitary and sending Ivan and his comrades back to their hidey holes in the Kremlin.


Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner

Just a helpful reminder to our faithful readers:
The Jonas Bros. really, really suck. They would have to improve 200% to become even relevant. They are to music what Donald Trump is to hair styling: combed over the top, to hide the barrenness below,

Thanks for stopping by.

Meanwhile, here are some brothers who really mean something:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fark'in Around

Photo credit: Lindsay Moller

This is just sad:
Sailors hit by 50,000 tonne cargo 'rescue' ship after hours at sea

ONE of two men who survived a fatal boat capsize off the New South Wales north coast has told a Sydney court how the ship sent to rescue them "creamed" them by going straight over their heads.

On its way from Queensland's Whitsundays to Sydney in September 2002, Excalibur hit rough seas off Seal Rocks. The crew tried to change the sails and head back towards Port Stephens, but the keel split and the vessel overturned, tossing all six crew members into chilly waters.
I don't blame the cargo ship trying to rescue them, I sure don't blame the sailors, and I don't even fault the boat builders. Racing boats like this are always on the bleeding edge of technology.
Posting the 1st Amendment on your business is now illegal in Clearwater Florida:
ACLU sues Clearwater in tackle shop's fish mural dispute

The federal lawsuit alleges that Clearwater is trampling on the shop’s First Amendment rights. City officials say the fish painting amounts to an unauthorized sign under Clearwater’s laws. They have fined the store nearly $700 and ordered it to paint over the mural.

But Herb Quintero, owner of The Complete Angler at 705 N Fort Harrison Ave., insists the mural is art, not a sign. Last month, in response to a city deadline to remove the mural, he covered it with a banner displaying the text of the First Amendment.

City officials said the mural violated an ordinance that bars businesses from depicting what they sell.

The city recently cited the store again for the mural and the banner.
Not only is Clearwater Farked, they actually have an ordinance that bars businesses from depicting what they sell? WTF!

The most amusing thing to me was the comments of all the folks saying they don't like the ACLU, but in this case the ACLU is doing the right thing. Gee, the ACLU fights for free speech. Jus' som' folks don't like it when it ain't their speech.
And speaking of Florida:
City official: Destin police will have to inspect for nude dancing before making a bust

Although the Oasis on Mountain Drive has admitted to nude dancing on the premises -- something that breaks Destin rules -- the city must catch them in the act before taking action, City Manager Greg Kisela says.

"It sounds strange to say we have to observe it ourselves, but that's our plan," Kisela said. "We're going to go in and do some inspections; if we observe that, that may be one of the steps" we take.
I don't know whether the headline was unintentional or snarky, but either way; it's nice work if you can get it.

(All entries via Fark)

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I always thought I'd be a failure

Bobby Jindal's response to the Not State of the Union address tonight will go down as a legendary Fail.

Rachel sez:


County Fair: Shuster to Rep. Issa: "Congressman, there is no project for a train from California to Las Vegas. You Republicans know better."
Sherrif/Katrina story

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes - and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.

Creepy rhythm, creepy smile. Made McCain's debate smile seem almost human. And folksy where it wasn't called for. Like a cadaver re-animated turned into a creepy "Hey kid, want to see what I've got in here?" kind of folksy.

Hits & Runs

What, 4 weeks and he hasn't turned the country around after 8 years of Bush Rules!?
The White House's missing documents

In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.
Wow, President Obama shut down Bush's "system for reviewing regulations". That's a good thing! We may actually have professionals in charge of reviewing regulations instead of incompetent politicians. (e.g. 'Heckuva job, Brownie')

And the "Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration" is just plain stupid. Republicans get a honeymoon, Democrats just get f*%ked.

Oh, and the "nary a mention" quote, well if you actually read this diatribe, (it's not a news article,) you find out they DID mention all of the changes. It's called the Federal Register. Freakin' morons!

BTW, this POS article penned by JOSH GERSTEIN of Politico is just another example of Politico's mission statement:
THE MISSION: Politico journalism drives conversation in official Washington, making us ESSENTIAL READING for anyone who is or wants to be a player, and a KEY OUTLET for anyone who is trying to shape a political or government debate.
They even admit they have no interest in reporting, um, ya know, actual news.
Now this is actual news:
Bill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.
What morons these Republicans are. In the first place, even with my humble servers, I can't afford the disk space to keep 2 years of logs! Are the rethugs going to pay for additional personnel, ($30k minimum, per year, per server, for IT professionals to perform this service), or do they think magical ponies will work for free to harvest this $hit!

In the 2nd place, it's a huge invasion of privacy! Why don't they just require the United States Post Office to open and copy every letter that is sent via snailmail?
Submitted without comment:
The World Veterans Advocates Riled by Report on Army charity

Veterans advocates are venting anger and frustration toward the biggest charity within the U.S. military after revelations that it has been packing more money into reserves than it has spent on aid during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From 2003 to 2007, the charity, also known as AER, packed $117 million into its own reserves while spending just $64 million on direct aid, records show. By contrast, smaller Navy and Air Force charities both put far more of their resources into aid than reserves. Also, more than 90 percent of AER's aid was given as no-interest loans, not outright grants.
Though tax-exempt and legally separate, AER operates largely under Army control, the AP found. Soldiers are squeezed for contributions, often rewarded for them in violation of regulations, and sometimes delayed in transfers or promotions when loans aren't repaid.

And finally a bit of good news:
In copyright lawsuit, McCain claims he wasn't aware RNC ad 'existed'

"My friends, I didn't do it. I didn't even know it was going on."

That's the line former Republican presidential nominee and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is taking in a federal lawsuit that claims he violated the copyright of Jackson Browne's 1977 hit song, "Running on Empty," when it aired in one of his presidential campaign commercials.
McCain claims the Republican Party is solely responsible for his campaign ad, not him, and has asked that he be stripped from the case.

The federal judge handling the case disagreed. Judge Gary Klausner said McCain and the GOP have an "agency relationship," meaning that "once an agency relationship is established, the principal is liable for the acts of her agent, even if the principal does not expressly authorize or instruct her agent to take any action." He also questioned how using 20 seconds of the song in a TV ad constituted fair use, as the RNC claims.
Hmm, I wonder if the RIAA will weigh in on this?

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Sunday, February 22, 2009

If you want it, here it is Come and get it

I don't usually link to big-time bloggers everyone reads because, well, everyone reads them. But in this case Atrios says it best:
But one day I hope this country grows up and recognizes that the fear that maybe someone is getting something I'm not and they don't deserve shouldn't be the primary philosophy of governance.

Indeed. The pure selfish greed of right-wingers is to be hated, but can be understood. But the continuing voting against self-interest because that guy over there may be getting something I'm not is really a mental affliction. Sadly, one that is too common.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's snowy outside, but it's Smokey in here

I don't like you, But I love you
Seems that I'm always thinking of you
You treat me badly, I love you madly
You've really got a hold on me.

They go dancing 'cross the pages of the magazine

US News & World Report takes a break from its descent into Teh Stoopid™ and veers toward tone-deaf sexism. A poll found on this page asks the question:

Of course, the only thing more stupid than the poll is the result currently:

Is there any wonder news magazines are quickly and asymptotically approaching irrelevance?

I'm not sure who's responding to this poll. Must be some of those Real Americans:
"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. ... We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation." --Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in Greensoboro, N.C., Oct. 16, 2008


Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother

Welcome Back to Pottersville has been an occasional read of mine for a long time. I've always found Jurassicpork to be funny, spot on and credible.

But when I read this post I thought JP might have gone all Malkin on me. I was wrong. I did the research and JP is right.

Rather than link to such a hating person as Hal Turner I'm just going to quote what's on Turner's website and link to the Google cache:

One of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, writing in the Federalist Papers told us how to deal with betrayals. In Federalist 28, Par., 6 Hamilton wrote: "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, . . . . . The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."

In case you don't understand what Hamilton meant, he meant that we should pick up guns and shoot them. I agree with Alexander Hamilton.

In my opinion, it would be right for us to pick up guns, walk up to each of the 246 members of the United States House of Representatives who just spent a trillion dollars without reading the spending Bill and shoot them. Dead.

This weekend, I will be researching the home addresses and private home telephone numbers for each of the 246 members of the House that betrayed us. I will publish those addresses on the internet through file sharing sites and/or through public newsgroups so the private info is dispersed quickly and widely.

I want members of Congress to be confronted at their homes -- where they don't have massive security protecting them. I want members of Congress to be intercepted when they drive from home to the store.

I want to create the conditions necessary so that Congress never again dares to do something like this for fear what happens to these present political whores might happen again.

Oh, and if any of you US Attorneys, federal Agents of federal Judges start getting uppity and think you can do anything at all to stop me from inciting my fellow citizens to pay a visit to members of Congress, YOUR personal private info will get published too.
Nope, there's no mistaking that he just advocated the killing of 246 members of congress, federal judges, US Attorneys and anyone who disagrees with him.

And he's been successful in the past about having his targets assassinated by his redneck co-conspirators.

Why isn't this man in jail!? I'm so glad you asked. It's obviously a federal crime to threaten to murder government officials or anyone else, or to incite other people to murder anyone. But Hal Turner is an FBI informant, and the FBI has different standards for their informants.

Personal note to JP: As lonely as you may feel, you are not alone.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

'Does it pay more than McDonald's?'

Have It Our Way

Alberto Gonzales: I’ll Cooperate with Leahy Truth Commission

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's in the photograph of love

Microsoft has launched a new commercial campaign, should be called "So Simple a Child Could Do It!" featuring cute kids connecting a camera to a Windows Vista computer, loading photos into Windows Live Photo Gallery, then emailing them to folks.

Wow. How special. I understand you can even get the Internets™ through phone lines now.

Why the snark? Why is this a legendary FAIL? Windows Photo Gallery, the previous version of this app, was launched in 2007. Meanwhile, Apple has been shipping iPhoto, which does all the same stuff, since 2002.

You do the math. Microsoft, bringing you yesterday's products today.

Here's the Wiki on iPhoto.

Oh yeah, title lyric is Weezer-Photograph:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm a loser, And I'm not what I appear to be

Norm Coleman, ex-senator from Minnesota, yesteryear:
Coleman Declares Victory In MN

Coleman declared himself the winner of Tuesday's election, but Franken said he would let the recount play out, hoping it would erase the incumbent's 475-vote lead out of nearly 2.9 million ballots.
"Yesterday the voters spoke. We prevailed," Coleman said Wednesday at a news conference. He noted Franken could opt to waive the recount.

"It's up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct," Coleman said, telling reporters he would "step back" if he were in Franken's position.
Coleman lawyers blast judges

After two adverse rulings, Coleman team says panel has created a "legal quagmire."

Norm Coleman's lawyers reacted to a pair of adverse rulings by accusing the judges hearing the suit of creating "a legal quagmire" and a "fatal inconsistency" by refusing to consider some rejected absentee ballots that resemble others that have already been counted.
Well Norm, actually Franken couldn't 'opt out', it was state law, people can't opt out of laws, (unless they're in the Bush administration.) And now that you're behind, and the state is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and you and the RNC are spending millions, shouldn't you step back, step off the bus, step under the bus?

BTW, Norm's last hope is to have the US Supremes do a Bush v. Gore. Since that decision was declared at the time a one time decision it probably won't happen.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

And we'll drive all the way to reno on the wrong side of the road

(Tom Waits-Wrong Side of the Road, + more)

Thoughtful, reasonable Rick Moran at RightWingNutHouse steps in shit, and thinks it smells fine. He lists parts of the Stimulus Bill that will, you know, create jobs, and market spending, and has this to offer:
Again, for dimwitted lefties who may be lurking out there, some of this spending is no doubt needed – but has absolutely no business being attached to this bill. Why can’t some of these programs be funded through normal legislative channels? Because the whole Congress knows they would never be able to spend the amounts earmarked in this stimulus package or even pass some of these spending provisions at all unless we had a president out there deliberately and cynically ginning up fear in order to scare people and thus justifying its passage as a result of a national emergency.

Let's examine this quote:
unless we had a president out there deliberately and cynically ginning up fear in order to scare people and thus justifying its passage as a result of a national emergency

Um, yeah. See, your guy did that with Iraq, when no sane person, upon examining empirical evidence, would have felt that it was a threat to the US, and its security.

But now, with Wall St. crashing and burning, with massive lay-offs and loss of health care for many Americans, does he fret that the stimulus bill is a great big wank.

I'm not going to waste my time linking to the economists, to the WSJ articles listing the EPIC FAIL of the US economy. If Rick wants to politicize the Bailout, so be it.

But let me explain something really simple:
Dude, it was your team that got us here. They were traded off to Triple-A ball. Outsourced. Let go. Layed off. The American people, sheep though they often are, became, at long last, tired of being pissed on while told it was raining.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Via WTF?!? we bring you the GOP Problem Solver (Psst, click on the "That Doesn't Make Sense" button after your first disappointment.)
Media Matters for America documents Michelle Malkin taking a photo with a man holding a swastika Obama sign
skippy congratulates our friends at Crooks and Liars for being named a Top 25 Blog of 2009 by Time Magazine!

We agree, John Amato & crew do an excellent job and are a daily read for us.

(Updated for accuracy of blog names.)

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

(Buzz)Flash - a-ah - he'll save everyone of us

Update I below.
Bump & Update II by The Sailor below.

I've been a fan of BuzzFlash for years. Editor Mark Karlin scours news sources worldwide, linking to divergent sources, exposing right-wing hypocrisy and failed policy. He's even linked to us a few times.

Today Mark has a wonderful editorial that is a must-read:
I have a modest proposal: if a U.S. Senator votes against the "Main Street Job Creation Act" (BuzzFlash's name for the "stimulus" bill), their state should lose half the funding from the bill. If both U.S. Senators from one state vote against the bill, the state loses its entire allocation from the legislation.

This may sound Draconian, but it might induce the people out of work and with piles of bills to tar and feather the "economic kamikazee" Republican Senators who got America into this mess -- and to run them out of the country.

After all, most of the GOP Neo-Confederate opposition to the "Main Street Job Creation Act" comes from Senators who represent states that already receive more money from the federal government than they pay into the treasury. With the exception of Florida, most of the Old South is still poorer than most of the rest of the nation, and needs massive federal aid to survive economically.

Read it all.

Of course, Huckleberry Graham is the first Senator whose state should lose its funding:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been one of Congress’s most vocal opponents of the economic recovery package. In fact, he and several other Republicans — including John McCain — introduced an alternative bill, which focuses mostly on massive tax breaks for corporations.

Yesterday he went on CNN to explain why he voted against the Senate’s economic recovery package. While many progressives criticized the bill because it slashed vital funding for education and state assistance, Graham is objecting because it has too much state funding:

BLITZER: Doesn’t South Carolina need some help?

GRAHAM: Yes. But there’s only one taxpayer. This is not money we found under a tree in Washington. The money we’re sending back to the states came out of the same wallet that the money going to the states came from. So, yes, South Carolina needs help. I’m all for infrastructure spending. But it’s got to be shovel ready. […]

I’m not for $75 billion slush fund for states that can be spent on anything they want to spend it on including budget problems because we’ve got our own budget problems and you’re rewarding states who have done very little to trim up their own budget.

However, when Blitzer asked him whether South Carolina should “take the money, Graham replied: “I think that, yes, from my point of view, I — you don’t want to be crazy here. I mean, if there’s going to be money on the table that will help my state, but I’ve got a job to do up here, and that is to try to help people and not damn the next generation.” Watch it:

And in a non-related topic, Graham should lose his closet-case status.


Update & correction: It's not just Mark, but his entire fearless, tireless staff who provide all those links. Go support them. Please.

Update II: ThinkProgress notes some of the Republicans who voted against the bill but are trying to take credit for it:
– Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) slammed President Obama’s recovery and reinvestment plan. “Hold on to your wallets folks because with the passage of this trillion-dollar baby the Democrats will be poised to spend as much as $3 trillion in your tax dollars,” Bond said. “Unfortunately, this bill stimulates the debt, it stimulates the growth of government, but it doesn’t stimulate jobs,” Bond insisted.

However, today Bond is touring Missouri to tout the very stimulus plan he railed against. In a press release, Bond boasted about an amendment he included in the bill to provide more funding for affordable housing — and that will create jobs:
This provision will have a real impact in Missouri, especially for low-income, working families in need of safe and affordable housing. … Bond’s amendment will save more than 700 housing units and create 3,000 new jobs in Missouri.

– Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who complained that the “federal government is spending money they don’t have,” told Rachel Maddow he would nevertheless accept funds for Minnesota: “Our view is, if you buy the pizza, it’s OK if you have a slice.”

– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who also campaigned ardently against the bill, said he would nevertheless gladly accept its funds for his state. “You don’t want to be crazy here,” he said.

– Rep. John Mica (R-FL) gushed over the bill, which he, too, voted against. “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future,” he said in a press release.

– Rep. Don Young (R-AK) boasted that he “won a victory for…Alaska small business owners” in the recovery bill he refused to vote for.

– Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) boasted about the educational benefits of the recovery act

– Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) said his office "will do what we can to direct as much money as we can." Neither voted for the bill.

– Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) joins in, praising the stimulus' "generous" incentives for home buyers on his Twitter feed:

petehoekstra If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time.Stimulus incentive is very generous!Up to 8k!Check it out.

– Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) to the growing list. After insisting last Friday that the recovery bill "would have exploded our national debt without providing meaningful job growth," Lance toured construction sites in his district yesterday, touting funds that would come from the stimulus bill. "This is a classic example of a "shovel-ready' project," Lance said after the tour.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Daisy Recount Draws To A Close

The Daisy Recount Draws To A Close

What do bears do to popes?

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present you Benny the Rat (and devil take the hindmost):
I'm not sure why these folks are apologizing, it's not like they Photoshopped it.

And maybe this image is just as 'sanctified' as all those images of the Virgin Mary that appear on walls, and potatoes, and toast.

In case you haven't been following the news, Pope Benedict has chosen to to rescind the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson a holocaust denier.

BTW, I've never mentioned this before, but did you know Pope Benny was a member of the Hitler Youth?

We all should be forgiven our youthful indiscretions, but when we choose to do them as adults it's fair game.
What has become a STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Mormon ... &tc, &tc, believers. I do have a problem with some leaders of those religions who insist on ignoring facts and killing other people or justify the killing of other people. I'm just funny that way.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

but boy could he play guitar

I've been doing some work lately for a really state-of-the-art modern rock guitarist, truly nice fellow with Mad Skillz™. But sometimes we need a grounding in history. So all you shredders out there, go away and don't come back until you can play this:

Yeah, I thought so.

Here's some more about the old dude with fat fingers:
The status of the classical guitar at the beginning of the twentieth century had declined, and only in Barcelona and in the Rio de la Plata region of South America could it have been said to be of any significance. When Segovia arrived on the scene, this situation was just beginning to change, largely through the efforts of Llobet. It was in this changing milieu that Segovia, whose strength of personality and artistry coupled with new technological advances such as recording, radio, and air travel, succeeded in moving the guitar forward to become more popular again.


And here he is, a little younger, playing some serious rock'n'roll:

Rock on.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cause I'm a loser and sooner or later, You know I'll be dead

How about a nice big case of STFU John!?
McCain says Obama needs to work on bipartisanship

Senator John McCain said on Friday that President Barack Obama should include Republicans in his plans sooner if he really wants their support after the bitter debate over the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Obama, and other Republicans complained they had been left out of negotiations on the legislation by Democrats who hold majorities in both houses of Congress.
The Arizona senator said many other issues coming up will require a bipartisan effort that he said has been lacking so far from Obama and the Democrats.

"I hope they've learned a lesson," he said. "I hope that they will reverse course, and sit down, negotiate from the beginning, so you're in on the takeoff, so you can be in on the landing."
"The message of the election was, sit down and work together."
Gosh John, what more do you want? rethugs got their tax cuts, got family planning axed, got their amendments in and were courted & consulted by the WH.

Oh, and the last quote from you? Nope the message from the election was YOU LOST. Big time! And all you and your cohorts have done since then is try to make sure the country fails so you can say 'I told you so.' Your tin god Rush Oxycontin has stated as much. Your policies failed, deregulation failed, tax cuts failed. You failed.

So Senator McLame, STFU.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Friday, February 13, 2009

the crying game

(Boehner throws copy of stimulus bill on the floor)

When your Boner experiences an Epic Fail, use Viagra.

And they think this will help make them popular again.

And you know it's all drama, not based in reality:
"When I came back to the cloak room after coming to the agreement a week ago today," said Specter, "one of my colleagues said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' My Republican colleague said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.'

I said, 'Are you going to vote with me?'

And he said, 'No, I might have a primary.' And I said, 'Well, you know very well I'm going to have a primary.'"

. . . "I think there are a lot of people in the Republican caucus who are glad to see this action taken without their fingerprints, without their participation," he said.

That's standing up for principles you can believe in.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

It Can't Happen Here

The Road To Ragnarök

...well, of course it can.

Bangor Daily News:

Report: 'Dirty bomb' parts found in slain man's home, By Walter Griffin/BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials in his home suitable for building a “dirty bomb.”

According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center posted online by WikiLeaks (PDF), an investigation into the case revealed that radioactive materials were removed from Cummings’ home after his shooting death on Dec. 9.

(...) four 1-gallon containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon were found in the home.

Also found was literature on how to build “dirty bombs” and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60, radioactive materials.
The FBI report also stated there was evidence linking James Cummings to white supremacist groups. This would seem to confirm observations by local tradesmen who worked at the Cummings home that he was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a collection of Nazi memorabilia around the house, including a prominently displayed flag with swastika.
An application for membership in the National Socialist Movement filled out by Cummings also was found in the residence, according to the report.
Cummings’ wife, Amber B. Cummings, 31, told investigators that her husband spoke of “dirty bombs,” according to the report, and mixed chemicals in her kitchen sink.
She allegedly told police that Cummings subjected her to years of mental, physical and sexual abuse. She also said that Cummings was “very upset” when Barack Obama was elected president.

Just to fill in the blanks here...An emotionally unstable individual with a rather large trust fund and somewhat extreme political viewpoints was on their way to creating a weapon of mass destruction in a cozy suburban basement, and the only thing that foiled the plan was a well-deserved mariticide.

The greatest threat to America will not be from without, in spite of the last 8 years of global bad faith and cowboy diplomacy.
It will be from within, and from reactionary and racist elements that will stop at nothing to achieve their ends. Be aware.

h/t The Brain Police.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What do you think the teacher's gonna look like this year?

(Bergen, McCarthy, Snerd, WCFields-You Can't Cheat an Honest Man)

Chapman University (used to be called Chapman College; University sounds much more chi chi) is a small college deep in Orange Co., CA. My mom lived a few miles away, as did I once upon a time. And my brother even took a class or 3 there.

Notable faculty include Hugh (I'm actually a tool) Hewitt, so that doesn't speak well of the staff. In fact, 2 quotes from Wikipedia (yeah, I know) clearly demonstrate HH's bias and hypocrisy:

  1. A recurring theme on Hewitt's show is accusing the mainstream media of liberal bias and lack of transparency, and the unwillingness of its members to answer questions about their own political beliefs. Hewitt has said that the modern paradigm of reportage, whereby journalists make a claim to objectivity while never answering questions about their own beliefs, allows a deep-seated culture of liberal media bias to be perpetuated.
  2. He returned to California in 1989 to oversee construction of the Richard M. Nixon Library as the Library's executive director from groundbreaking through dedication and opening. In 1990, Hewitt sparked controversy by proposing screening of researchers wishing to use the library resources — e.g., Hewitt suggested refusing admission to researchers deemed "unfriendly," — specifically Bob Woodward — because he was "not a responsible journalist."

Yeah, so HH's bias is OK, anyone else's is, you know Teh Liberal Bias™.

But Chapman U. has landed an even more important fish. As Ian points out:
Academic freedom is very important. Universities exist to produce knowledge, uncontrained by political winds or the whims of wealthy donors. If professors live in fear of termination without good cause, they cannot contribute their university’s mission.

So even though I would have fired John Yoo from the Berkley faculty—not because of his repugnant viewpoints, but because his incompetent representation of a former client, the United States of America, calls into question his ethical fitness to train young lawyers—I am sympathetic to the reasons why Berkley allows him to stay.

What is completely incomprehensible to me, however, is why a different university, which is not bound by a tenure agreement with Professor Yoo, would nonetheless hire him as a visiting faculty member. Admittedly, that school is Chapman Law School, whose faculty boasts such legal luminaries as Rush Limbaugh wannabe Hugh Hewitt, but Chapman’s most recent hire can do little more than take a school whose most famous professor makes them a punchline, and turn that school into a tragic embarrassment.

Chapman Law Dean John Eastman, who worked with Yoo as co-clerks to Justice Thomas, claims that this new hire is to bring “publicity” to his relatively young law school, and it has already accomplished that goal. I could also garner publicity by advising my client to torture helpless captives, but I doubt it would turn out well for any organization foolish enough to hire me afterwards.

John Yoo, who wrote the comically awful memos approving anything done to prisoners of war that GWBush dared to dream, that John Yoo. The John Yoo who deemed Habeus Corpus too lenient. John Yoo, who sat alongside David Addington on Dick Cheney's lap like Mortimer Snerd & Charlie McCarthy, saying the words of the master who pulled the strings inside his back.

John Yoo; a legal mind for the ages. The Dark Ages.

Good on you, Chapman U. Fight on for . . . torture.


Hits & Runs

Just walk away Renee
University Alert Status:
UCONN Police Reporting a Suspicious Occurrence and Safety Alert:

On 2/7/09 at approximately 6:35 PM a suspicious incident occurred at Hilltop Apartments, in the parking lot between the Beard and French buildings. A male approached a female from the opposite direction and came up within several feet of her personal space. The female turned around and left the area. The male walked away in the opposite direction. The male did not say anything or make physical contact with the female. The intention of the male is unknown.
I know we should err on the side of caution, but WTF does "came up within several feet of her personal space" mean!?
AF colonel accused of imposing religion

An Air Force colonel is being criticized for improperly referring airmen under her command to a far-right religious Web site.
In the Feb. 2 letter to Toney, Thompson contended in his letter that the e-mail violated Air Force regulations regarding religious proselytizing. He also said the Web site "explicitly promotes an atmosphere that is hostile to our commander-in-chief, which is potentially detrimental to the good order and discipline of our unit."

One posting on the Web site features President Barack Obama in a Nazi uniform with a Hitler-style moustache, while other content claims Obama "wants to murder babies that have survived abortion."
Gosh, it's a good thing she lives in a democracy where calling your CIC a baby killer is protected by Freedom of Speech.
AP Impact: Pentagon boosts spending on PR

As it fights two wars, the Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing money spent on winning what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, concerns have been raised that this is spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law.

An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006.

This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department.
4.7 BILLION DOLLARS and they still can't give Pat Tillman's family a straight answer!?

I have a humble suggestion for the Pentagon: Stop raping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians and you won't need 4.7 BILLION DOLLARS to convince folks here and abroad that you aren't raping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians! And then you can spend the money on body armour & MRAPS to protect the troops who have no choice in playing your game of RISK.

Of course the 1st option would be bring our troops home. 4.7 BILLION DOLLARS buys a lot of 1st class seats on aircraft heading away from an illegal, immoral, war founded on lies.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

I walk away, walk away, I will follow

(U2-I Will Follow)

All the kidz™ know about Teh Twitter, where you can send updates to your team, and can follow peoplez to see what they are Tweeting about.

Well, I was checking out a well-known pundit/blogger, seeing who she was following, and it was an interesting group. Mostly lefty bloggers, as well as news people, but some big-time Righty folks, including the lovely and talented, impish and cute, Karl Rove.

So I clicked on the "Follow" button, to see what Mr. Rove might be tweeting, figuring that it would be interesting as oppo research.

Imagine my surprise when I checked Twitter today, and discovered the aforementione Mr. Rove was now following me!:
Karl Rove KarlRove / Karl Rove You are following KarlRove

Wow. I'm not sure whether to feel like part of the in-crowd, or run screaming for the showers. All I can say is that technology can be a great equaliser.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hits & Runs

Bill lets child-abuse victims sue until 50

ANNAPOLIS — Saying child-abuse victims are often not ready to confront their attackers until middle age, a senator on Thursday urged her fellow lawmakers to raise from 25 to 50 the age by which a person may sue his or her abuser.

“Ideally, there shouldn’t be a statute of limitations for a crime such as this
,” Sen. Delores G. Kelley told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. But Kelley said 50 was an appropriate age limit because victims of abuse, until they themselves are well into adulthood, cannot “muster the courage, the emotional ability” to confront their attackers, let alone take them to court.
The proposed 25-year increase to the limitations period has drawn opposition from Catholic groups
The Catholic Church has acknowledged that sexual abuse by priests has occurred and that the church has settled many of those cases, even when the alleged offenses occurred decades earlier, the conference’s statement said.

It told the committee that the fight against child abuse would be better waged the way the church is fighting it: by requiring all employees and volunteers to undergo criminal background checks and training, and by paying for and providing counseling for victims. Conference members include the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington.
Yeees, the Catholic Church has done such a wonderful job policing themselves.
Bill Calls for More Scrutiny Of SWAT Teams by Police

Upset about the shooting death of two dogs during a botched police raid at the home of a Prince George's County mayor, some Maryland lawmakers have proposed a bill to require state police departments to better monitor their use of special tactical SWAT teams.

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo visited Annapolis yesterday to urge passage of the measure, which would require every police department that operates a SWAT team to submit a monthly public report on its activities, including where and when it was deployed and whether an operation resulted in arrests, evidence seizures or injuries.

Calvo said he thinks police forces are using SWAT teams, tactical units usually equipped with heavy-duty weapons, more often for ordinary police work.
From the comments on that article it appears cops insist on the same self policing that Catholic priests want. And for the same reason.
HPD considering changes for red-light cameras

The Houston Police Department is considering changes — possibly even expansion — to its red-light camera program after a city-commissioned study showed that crashes went up at intersections where the devices have been installed.
Because it's worked so well in the past!
Army official: Suicides in January 'terrifying'

One week after the U.S. Army announced record suicide rates among its soldiers last year, the service is worried about a spike in possible suicides in the new year.

The Army said 24 soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in January alone -- six times as many as killed themselves in January 2008, according to statistics released Thursday.

The Army said it already has confirmed seven suicides, with 17 additional cases pending that it believes investigators will confirm as suicides for January.

If those prove true, more soldiers will have killed themselves than died in combat last month. According to Pentagon statistics, there were 16 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq in January.
No comment, it's just too sad.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Now I'm just stupid, I'm so awful

Quick thought:
The Jonas Brothers suck. Really suck. They have no idea how much they suck. And that's part of why they suck. They actually think they matter.

Gawd, they're awful.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Get a job

Not to go all Krugman on your ass, but when the dude's right, he's righteous:
Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

Booyah. Here's a bit from the CBO report he mentions in the article:
As the possibility of another round of fiscal stimulus is debated, it is not a surprise that employment effects of stimulus have emerged as a key measuring stick. According to CBO’s estimates, with enactment of H.R. 1, the number of jobs would be between 0.8 million and 2.1 million higher at the end of this year, 1.2 million to 3.6 million higher at the end of next year, and 0.7 million to 2.1 million higher at the end of 2011 than under current law.

Hope your job isn't one McCaskill, Nelson, and the centrists pissed down the drain.

i tell you once more before i get off the floor

In the interest of encouraging writers here to do some "Quick Hits", here's my first of the day.

Eamon Javers of Politico, on MSNBC today, repeating the Right-wing Zombie lie that Roosevelt didn't end the depression, that job loss in '37 was as bad as in '30. The MSNBC talking bouffant, of course, agreed.

Idiots. Too stupid to live, too dumb to die.

Krugman explains:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

How can people be so heartless, How can people be so cruel?

Does this sound reasonable to you?
Israel Defends Gazan Deaths
Military says shelling that killed 3 daughters and niece of Palestinian doctor was `reasonable'

The Israeli military has defended the actions of its troops in an incident last month that resulted in the deaths of three daughters of a Palestinian doctor in Gaza.

A niece of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish was also killed.

The tragedy unfolded on Israeli television Jan. 16 as the doctor was being interviewed via cellphone by an Israeli reporter. The 55-year-old physician related the deaths of the children moments after his house was bombed.

Abu al-Aish's story deeply touched the Israeli audience: even Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged crying as he heard the doctor speak.

The Israeli military said its personnel contacted the doctor by phone "several times" in the days before the incident, urging him to evacuate his home because of fighting in the area, as many of his neighbours had done. But Abu al-Aish insisted on remaining.
"I am telling you 100 per cent no," said Abu al-Aish. "There is no need for them to falsify."

He said the Israeli military action was unprovoked.

The Israeli military said its forces in the area on Jan. 16 came under mortar and sniper fire from Hamas gunmen located in a building "adjacent" to the one occupied by the Abu al-Aish family.

"During the counter-fire opened by the IDF forces, suspicious figures were identified in the upper level of (Abu al-Aish's) house and were thought to be spotters who directed the Hamas sniper and mortar fire," the Israeli military said.

The military said its field commander assessed the situation under the pressure of combat and gave the order to open fire on the suspicious figures. Shortly afterward, two tank shells slammed into a bedroom occupied by four of the physician's daughters and a niece.
It seems to me that Israeli troops deliberately targeted the bedroom of the doctors house, and I suspect their targeting optics could identify exactly who the 'suspicious figures' were. This was pure and simple retaliation on the doctor's family. Approved by Israel's government and carried out by their military.

If you think I'm engaging in paranoia or hyperbole, read the following:
Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinain schoolgirl

An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident.
A recording of radio exchanges between Capt R and his troops obtained by Israeli television revealed that from the beginning soldiers identified Iman as a child.

In the recording, a soldier in a watchtower radioed a colleague in the army post's operations room and describes Iman as "a little girl" who was "scared to death". After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot.
On the tape, Capt R then "clarifies" to the soldiers under his command why he killed Iman: "This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the [security] zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed."
Capt R claimed that he had not fired the shots at the girl but near her. However, Dr Mohammed al-Hams, who inspected the child's body at Rafah hospital, counted numerous wounds. "She has at least 17 bullets in several parts of the body, all along the chest, hands, arms, legs," he told the Guardian shortly afterwards. "The bullets were large and shot from a close distance.
When I read this today it made me sick. I mean that literally, I scan the news on my lunch hour and after I read that I left the lab and walked around outside trying not to vomit. When I came back in, pale with frozen tears on my face, my boss asked me if I needed to go home for the day. She thought I had the flu until I showed her the article.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Joe And Sarahlent Knob Dislike Macs

Joe And Sarahlent Knob Dislike Macs

I hate you and everything you do

(Slayer-I Hate You)

The press conference that should have been:
As part of the reforms we are announcing today, top executives at firms receiving extraordinary help from U.S. taxpayers will have their compensation capped at $500,000 - a fraction of the salaries that have been reported recently. And if these executives receive any additional compensation, it will come in the form of stock that can't be paid up until taxpayers are paid back for their assistance.

Now, I know one Wall St. Executive Compensation guru has stated that $500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus. He said also that Wall St. and banks will have a hard time finding qualified executives if they only pay that much. To him I would respond: blow it out your ass.

These motherfuckers have been getting rich while wasting investors' money on worthless real estate loans and other complex financial instruments that not one of them is smart enough to understand. They should be driven down Wall St. like cattle on their knees, and whipped until their blood stains the pavement.

These guys are the best and brightest we have in this country? Man, have I got a bridge to sell you. Look, I'm tired of these guys whining that they can't live on $500,000 per year. Do you have any idea how many Walmart jobs that money could support? Do you know how much Social Security pays?

So to the investment tycoons who suddenly believe in socialism when it saves their asses, I say, fuck you very much. You guys screwed the pooch. You're now out of jobs. Using the Federal Asset Forfeiture laws, we have taken you bank accounts, your savings and stock holdings, and your homes, cars, and private jets. You are now broke, which is better than you deserve.

That's change you can believe in, assholes.

Thanks you, and God bless America.


How very Appealing

Justice William W. Bedsworth is my best friend, OK he's a pen pal, uh ... would you believe we've exchanged emails a couple of times!? Anyhoo, he's an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal. He writes a blawg called A Criminal Waste of Space. His latest offering contains:
Ms. Doe(4) closed the book on Chopin and Haydn one day and fired up the computer for a round of monster-battling, only to receive the disconcerting news that her virtual spouse had divorced her avatar. Divorced! Without warning!

No lipstick on the collar, no long unexplained business trips, no emotional withdrawal, no couples counseling, nothing! The sonofagun just said, “I divorce you,”(5) and moved on. Without explanation. Just left her there to fight the monsters alone.

She was, of course, distraught. Divorce is always difficult. And this one was greatly complicated by the whole monster thing.(6) Apparently unable to retain a virtual Gloria Allred, Ms. Doe released her own statement: “I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry.”(7)

But as commonplace as her public statement might have been, Ms. Doe’s revenge was a tour de force of imagination befitting someone with a background in monster eradication. Using login information she obtained when their characters were happily married – virtually – Ms. Doe logged in with her virtual husband’s password and caused his avatar to walk in front of a truck.

Yep. Flattened him. Dead before the virtual paramedics arrived.
Read the whole thing, the Beds Notes alone are worth the price of admission.

And speaking of The California Court of Appeal, (notice the lack of an 's' on Appeal, man that's a tough system!), Beds' colleague is the Presiding Justice David G. Sills who recently saw red, but couldn't see the cameras, or maybe it was en camera. Well, it might as well have been en camera because the city didn't bother to send an attorney:
California Appeals Court Rejects Attempt to Unpublish Red Light Camera Decision
Decision overturning California red light camera ticket remains final and could affect cities throughout the state.

The district attorney was properly served with all briefs and notices required during the course of the court's proceedings, but Fletcher insisted that the city attorney's office had sole jurisdiction over the matter. Neither party showed up for proceedings before the appellate division. In a pair of letters to defendant Thomas Fischetti prior to his trial, the city attorney's office denied that it had jurisdiction over his case.

"The district attorney's office is charged with prosecution of California Vehicle Code violations," Deputy City Attorney Laura A. Rossini wrote on March 13, 2008.

"As we discussed on the telephone, the Santa Ana City Attorney's Office is not the prosecuting agency for this citation and therefore does not have authority to dismiss it," Rossini wrote in a second letter dated March 27.
Now INAL, but even I know that if you don't show up for your court date there are bound to be consequences! The DA & the CA were AWOL!? I'm LOL!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

You say you got a real solution Well, you know We'd all love to see the plan

(Revolution-The Beatles)

I went to a meet-up today with a guy running for Congress. He came highly recommended, but still, I was a little unsure.

When he started talking, though, I was mesmerized. This guy is smart, his ideas are solid and progressive, and I hope he kicks ass and wins the seat in the Illinois-05 district recently vacated by Rahm Emmanuel.

Ladies, gentlemen, wake the neighbors, call the kids, I introduce you to Tom Geoghegan (pronounced Gay-gun):
In my life as a lawyer I have lived out a commitment to one cause above all – to bring economic security to working Americans, in our District, in our country. That’s the same commitment I will bring to Congress. We’re deep in an economic crisis unlike any other we’ve known. It may last years. We need new and creative ways to protect working Americans, especially our older working people who have no real pensions to live on.

For years we’ve heard the doomsayers: “We can’t afford Social Security.” “We can’t afford ‘single payer’ national health.” One thing we all learned from the $700 billion bailout: We’ve got the money to do all of this and more. At the moment, the Federal Reserve is literally printing money, to give not billions but trillions to banks and financial firms. To the people of this District, the banks and others have gotten their money. Now it’s your turn. Here’s the bailout I will go to Congress to get:
First, I want to expand Social Security, our public pension system, to replace, not overnight but in stages, the private pension system which has collapsed. Social Security now pays about 38 to 39 percent of your working income. In other developed countries, it averages 65 percent. That’s where our fiscal stimulus should be: a commitment to reach this goal, a public pension that ordinary working people can live on.

Second, we have to move to single payer health care program, at least in phases: we might begin with extending Medicare to children, but the government should ultimately be the single payer for all. That’s not because single payer is the only ethical and efficient way to protect us all. No, it’s also because it is crucial to making us competitive globally. Through single payer and expanded Social Security, the goal is to pick up the “non-wage” labor costs that employers now have to pay. That’s already how other countries out-compete us: they have the government and not the private employer pick up these non-wage health and pension costs.
Here's Tom in his own words:

The event today, at the offices of Brave New Films, was videotaped. When the editing is done, I'll post it.

This is a deeply serious guy, with complex, nuanced positions and proposals. While he is totally capable of throwing out the pithy slogan, his answers to questions posed today clearly indicate that's he's been thinking about this for a while. Not a political naif, but a well-prepared candidate.

Makes me wish I could vote in Illinois. Tom will make a great addition to a Democratically controlled congress.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Now, you knew damn well I was a snake, Before you brought me in

The Snake by Al Wilson
U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo [R-NJ] voted against the House version of the economic stimulus package.

LoBiondo signaled out the following examples of provisions within the House bill that do not meet the explicit requirements of immediately stimulating the economy:

* $1.9 billion for high-level physics research;

* $1.5 billion for universities to improve their biomedical research programs;

* $600 million for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to purchase new satellites to improve weather forecasts;

* $600 million to buy new cars for federal government workers, adding to the existing inventory of 640,000 vehicles; and,

* $335 million for education and prevention programs regarding sexually transmitted diseases.
Now reporters get a lot of things wrong. But since this is from The Honorable's own office I guess it's straight from the horse's ass.

And, while I don't know his voting record, and his office had a disclaimer before what I quoted, I say he's wrong to vote against this bill. But he's a republican and they vote in lockstep just to be obstructionists. They want President Obama to fail.

For one thing, all the provisions he can find to complain about only amount to 5 billion out of 800 billion. (1/160th of the bill.)

Now let's toss some more numbers around. 1.9 billion for 'High level physics research.' I don't know what programs he's talking about, but I do know that if this bill passes physics labs don't have to lose scientists, grad students, lab workers, janitors &c, &c, &c.

The same with biomedical research programs.

$600 million to build, buy and staff and launch weather satellites. Well gosh, the ones we have are failing and now more than ever we need to predict the weather better so our farmers, fishermen, neighbors &c, &c, &c can prepare and survive extreme weather. And an ounce of prevention IS CHEAPER than a pound of cure. And the folks in those fields get to keep their jobs and this will add new ones. It's sure nice to know that if you can graduate college you can get a job in a highly technical field that you love and the world needs.

$600 million to buy federal workers cars that are cheaper and more fuel efficient from our Big 3 auto companies.

Yep, no new jobs there! Just the autoworkers, designers, managers, parts makers, truck drivers, waiters & cooks and maintenance and sanitation workers, and their mangers &c, &c, &c.

$335 million to keep our children safer thru education and treatment that replace the failed abstinence programs that Bush & republicans insisted on. (BTW, nice job Gov Palin for keeping your daughter from getting pregnant out of wedlock ... and how is that shotgun marriage coming?)

Gee, all those are immediate jobs and infrastructure spending and pay off in the long run. And did I mention they were only 160th of the spending bill? And the only parts republicans are using for talking points?

Pardon me if I sound cynical, but republicans, all the way from their spokes model drug addict Rush Limbaugh, down to and including their rank & file members of congress, don't care about America or Americans.

Don't listen to what they say, watch how they act. 68% of the country has caught on. The only folks left are the rich, the pundits (also rich), and folks who can't afford teeth or health care for them or their kids and are too stupid to figure out that they've been lied to.

President Obama, We don't need bi-partisanship, we need solutions and fast. By catering to these copperheads all you are doing is slowing down the rest of the country's desperate needs and it won't help you get us what we need to survive.

Now you knew damn well they were snakes, Before you brought them in.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Money for nothing

Firms That Got Bailout Money Keep Lobbying

[Citigroup] While trying to keep a low profile, the company is still fielding an army of Washington lobbyists working on a host of issues, including the bailout. In the fourth quarter, it spent $1.77 million on lobbying fees, according to its lobbyists’ filings.
During the last three months of 2008, at least seven other firms receiving bailout funds — American Express, Capital One, Goldman Sachs, KeyCorp, Morgan Stanley, PNC and Bank of New York Mellon — all lobbied the government about the bailout, according to a review of their most recent disclosure reports.
Does anyone else see a problem with that?

Or how about this, Wall Streetwalkers (OK, maybe they take a limo but that doesn't mean they aren't whores) are trying to justify the 18.4 BILLION DOLLARS they gave/got in bonuses of our tax money for failing. And not just a small fail, a fail that is epic beyond belief. Greed works my ass! I'm with Senator McCaskill:
Senator wants pay cap for Wall Street 'idiots'

"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer," an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses."
I agree with the Senator on most counts, but I'm thinking she isn't allowed to call them greedy bastards from the Senate floor.

And then there's the justification from the greedy bastards (faithfully scribed by AP mediawhores):
Bonuses no luxury for some Wall Street workers

While Wall Street investment banks and other financial firms make headlines for the millions paid out to certain executives, more modest bonuses go to workers from human resources representatives to secretaries as well as employees who actually made money for their companies last year.

Jason Weisberg, vice president of the Wall Street brokerage Seaport Securities, said bank employees count on performance bonuses like salesmen count on commissions.

"What are you supposed to pay them?" Weisberg asked. "Or are you not supposed to pay them? And if you don't pay them, how do you expect that employee to stay employed at that company?"
One, salespeople work on commissions, managers & secretaries don't.
Two, 'little people' in your Wall Street office aren't your waiters or waitresses, they make a salary, not rely on tips.
Three, If you want to retain those workers, DON'T LAY THEM OFF! I'm pretty sure they'd be just happy to have a job right now. Or maybe they should unionize and force you to pay them what they're worth.

I know the HR people and secretaries where I work, along with me and every employee that I know of, work for our wages. One employee each year gets a $500 bonus. And that employee is voted that bonus by their fellow employees. And I still think $500 is a lot of money.

And I work in a nice place with wonderful people who are going to make a positive difference in peoples lives, not like these greedy bastards who have done nothing for this country or the world except cause misery while they insist on profiting thru their skill & heartlessness at clever manipulations of other people's money. And now they're bitchin' that they might lose money too!

That's not a skill to be proud of, that's a parasite that bleeds & bleeds the host until the host dies. The host has died and now they want more. Parasites always want more.

p.s I apologize to the whores and bastards I've known and worked with over the years. They've mainly been good people, and I've really got to come up with some new terms for this level of evil and incompetence.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak