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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blog Posts of the Year

All worth reading.  Some political, others not.

My personal favorite is the airing of Bristol Palin's grievances.

Donald Trump - racist idiot - Suffers from extreme form of ODS

To celebrate Kwanza he also went out and raped a random selection of white women.   A number of right wing hacks have also attacked Obama for the same thing without mentioning Christmas.  For the record George W. issued a very similar pro-forma Kwanza statement every year in office.

ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) is in full bloom with Fox News running in people's heads 24/7 Obama can never do anything right in those suffering from the malady.  They dress to casually for Church on Christmas day.  They were in Hawaii where long pants are considered formal for gawd's sake.  They dress too fancy/uppity (El Rushbo's words) for gala dinners, Michelle goes shopping in way too expensive places until she goes shopping at Target incognito, get's recognized and then is accused of all sorts of opportunism.

There is a direct correlation between the severity of ODS and a total incapacity to think logically in other areas.  They may never realize this.

The genius amphibian's 'day of infamy'

Newt Gingrich isn't going to be President. He isn't going to even win the GOP nomination. His little surge in popularity has withered away and now his ragtag campaign couldn't even get him on the primary in his home state of Virginia. It was his campaign's excessive response that made the headlines, comparing the setback to Pearl Harbor. Calling him a pompous, bloviating ass would be an insult to pompous assholes.

It ranks up there with Steven Swartzman, multi-billionaire hedge fund manager who compared Obama's call for eliminating the tax breaks for hedge fund managers to Hitler invading Poland, from a Jew no less.

Rick Perry - a new frontier in stupidity

“Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source,”

This line brought out one of the biggest cheers at a recent speech in Iowa proving his supporters are about as stupid as he is.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An instant classic

The new Absolutely Fabulous on the Kardashians.

Scott Walker's race to the bottom continues unimpeded

We reported recentlythat Scott Walker, who promised jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs led the nation in job losses in October as Wisconsin shed 9,700 hundred jobs in October. To make matters worse, he fed his recall opponents the perfect TV ad fodder by openly mocking the policies of neighbors, Illinois, which ironically registered the largest employment gains.

The numbers for November are out and while Illinois is no longer #1 Wisconsin is firmly anchored again at the bottom. This time Wisconsin lost 14,700 jobs, edging out Minnesota as the only two states to lose jobs. This marks the 5th straight month of job losses in Wisconsin when Walker's budget came into effect.

There is one job loss that a majority of the state will cheer, Walker's own tenuous hold on the Governor's office. Scott Walker, creating a legacy, one lost job at a time.

Even the Wall Street Journal recognizes the suicide pact

They're worried.

GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.

Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he's spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.

House Republicans yesterday voted down the Senate's two-month extension of the two-percentage-point payroll tax holiday to 4.2% from 6.2%. They say the short extension makes no economic sense, but then neither does a one-year extension. No employer is going to hire a worker based on such a small and temporary decrease in employment costs, as this year's tax holiday has demonstrated. The entire exercise is political, but Republicans have thoroughly botched the politics.

Let's ignore the usual WSJ claptrap about Obama being a 'tax and spend' liberal, planning one of the biggest tax increases ever. He's never proposed anything other than letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the richest of Americans, which considering the current state of the deficit and the low ration between tax revenues and GDP is essential to closing the deficit.

Secondly, the editorial dismisses the payroll tax cut because it's employers won't be tempted to hire based n a 2% lower payroll tax cut. Probably not, but it doesn't even occur to those 1% brains that the tax cut puts extra money in the pockets of 160 million working Americans who might actually go out and spend that money. Most estimates peg the benefit of the tax cutadding 1 to 1.5% to GDP this year as well as job losses or gains depending on which way this circle of idiocy plays out. That doesn't enter their 1% minds.

Remember this is the paper that called people collecting unemployment or those earning so little they barely paid Federal income taxes. "those lucky duckies".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

House Republicans prepare for mass suicide on Payroll Taxes

House Republicans decide to piss off 160 million American workers by rejecting payroll tax cut extension.

And Fox as usual puts its complete ignorance on display.

Most economists as well as a number of large banks believe extending the payroll tax cut for a year will increase GDP for 2012 by between 1-1 1/2%.  That's a big deal.   They also repeat the "49% of Americans don't pay any taxes" lie.  No, 49% of Americans don't pay Federal Income taxes but they do pay many other taxes including Social Security taxes.  They pay Federal taxes at the gas pump and on many other products. They pay state and local taxes, they pay property taxes directly if they own or indirectly if they rent.  They pay sales taxes, taxes on utilities, phone service and a host of other taxes, so saying they pay no taxes at all without qualification as the Fox people would let you believe is a total lie.  Par for the course.

A short and maybe not so sweet honeymoon for Gingrich

Gingrich's super awesome baggage was bound to trip him up sooner or later once he became the latest great hope to keep Romney at bay and ascend to the While House.   The 'sooner' option is making it a runaway.  The latest polls show Gingrich bleeding support and with a smaller campaign organization than most of the other contenders and less money to spend he's taking it in the nuts.  

Witness this pleasant exchance with an Iowa voter.

Then again, I'm with Newt on his comments on the Paul Ryan economic plan.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Only the little people pay taxes"

The Gingrich - Helmsley 2012 Tax Plan.

From Paul Krugman, named after the odious Leona Helmsley who issued the above statement while being sentenced for tax evasion.  About 60% of Americans will be paying taxes at a higher rate than the top 1%.  Not that many Americans aren't already paying at a higher rate than the 1%.  

If, and there is still a big if, Gingrich is the nominee, I relish seeing him trying to explain this to the American people.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Headline of the day

Anti-Gay Alabama GOPer Secretly Donated Sperm To Lesbian Couples In New Zealand

Nuff said.

Obama's dastardly evil plot to destroy Christmas from the inside

Wingnuts tie themselves in knots. The latest outrage is that the While House is displaying 37, count 'em, Christmas trees this season. How dare they be so extravagant when times are so bleak. Never mind most of them are in the part seen by the public and rarely by the Obamas.

The details are gruesome.

The economy may be weak, unemployment strong and the first family soon to vacate the White House for another half-month of vacation in Hawaii.
But the Obamas have gone all out in decorating their house this year, including a nearly quarter-ton gingerbread White House.
They have also installed 37 different Christmas trees. Thirty of the trees are live, or were, including one nearly 19-feet tall from Wisconsin. Seven of the three dozen Christmas trees are artificial or homemade including, of course, one from recyclables.

So we know that Obama is waging an all out war against Christmas instead of Iran yet he's overdecorated the White House with Christmas trees...mmmm. Obviously some sort of devious plan to all all good Christians into thinking Obama likes Christmas when it's obvious he's going to destroy it from the inside.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Talking Heads - Life During Wartime Live

Rick Perry determined to immolate himself

His new ad attacks gays in the military and the 'war on Christmas'.  The GOP candidates, other than Gingrich who is marking time, basking in the present adulation are in a determined sprint to the precipice of destruction, trying to outcraze each other.  Perry might just be in the lead with Santorum a close second.  

His ad might set an all time record on Youtube for dislikes. As of a couple of dislikes were at 496,954 and likes were at 13,089.  Within a few minutes dislikes were up by over 300 while 12 more people liked the ad.  All this in three days.

By comparison, the odious Rebecca Black video has racked up about 258,000 dislikes in three months.  

Perry should double Rebecca's total within a few hours.  

Imaginary Farm Dust Regulation Banned By House

"We have spent an entire day debating about a bill that does not address an existing problem," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).
"This entire session of Congress has felt to many of us like a trip into Alice's Wonderland," said DeGette. "To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat, 'We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad. ... You must be mad or you wouldn't have come here.' Sadly for the American people, H.R. 1633 simply underscores the 'madness' of this body right now."
No wonder Congress is polling only slightly better than Gonorrhea.    Somehow a legal requirement for the EPA to review ambient air pollution every five years has morphed into a hysterical meme that the EPA is going to make dust illegal and that, naturally will kill millions of jobs.  Fox News has only amplified the faux hysteria until the House Republican were forced into action.  Next up for these paranoid cretins is exempting UFO's from FAA regulations.  The entire party has become a sick joke.  On the plus side, bloggers will never run out of material.

Prohibiting  the regulation of dust, the bill also removed regulations on open pit and asbestos mines.  What's a little asbestos dust in the lungs?

Santorum - 'keep science out of poliics'

God forbid we should base any political decision on scientific fact.  Let medieval superstition and ignorance reign instead.
Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”
Teaching evolution, teaching about human sexuality, teaching about global warming isn't a 'politically correct perspective', it's a correct perspective   He argues that parents love their children and want to give them the best opportunity possible so they should decide about their education.  What a crock?  Loving your kids doesn't make you an expert on education.  Santorum said his seven children were all schooled differently but all were home schooled from the 8th grade.  So now we have seven mini brainwashed Santorums who are comfortable with a pickled fetus on the mantelpiece and are now fully equipped to become blithering idiots living in the 18th century.  There should be a law against that.

More if his ignorant drool at the link..

Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Lennon - It was 31 years today R.I.P.

Power to the People.  I'm sure John's up there smiling down at the OWS protesters in Zuccoti Park and across the world.  If he was still with us he would have showed up, sang and cheered on the crowd.

Charlies Pierce advises the GOP "get out of Iowa, now!"

I wish I could write half as well as he does.  I was still laughing on the second read. Just read his blog.

In other words, the first serious event in the winnowing out of the Republican party's presidential field will be largely in the hands of people who consider Sean Hannity either too godless, or too intellectually challenging, or insufficiently conservative. The panel went on to discuss this judiciously, as a matter of political reality. But, really, that in itself is an indication of something, and it's not a healthy situation to find yourself in.Look at the available evidence just this week. Having to appeal to this electorate first sent Jon Huntsman into a fan-dance over climate science. It resulted in Rick Perry's releasing a singularly idiotic television ad on the basic theme of "My God's Dong Is Bigger Than Your God's Dong."
(Really, Goodhair, if you've got that much money left, just send every registered Republican in Iowa 25 large. Sure, it's illegal, but it's whole lot less embarrassing.)
And it prompted Willard Romney to "come out swinging" — oh, Willard, you're so...rugged! — at Newt Gingrich, whom Iowa seems poised to make the frontrunner for the nomination. (And, dammit, isn't that fact alone enough for you to beat feet for the Illinois border?) Unfortunately, Willard chose to make the basis for his counterstrike the notion that Newt isnot conservative enough, and that Newt's primary heresy is his insufficient devotion to the economic philosophy of the bold boy-genius Paul Ryan, particularly Gingrich's at one point calling Ryan's put-granny-on-the-ice-floe changes in Medicare "right-wing social engineering." So, if you're keeping score at home, Mitt Romney has managed to become simultaneously Dr. Mandrake Q. Mandate From The People's Republic Of Taxachusetts and the newest champion of a completely voucherized health-care plan that will explode the deficit, inflate prices, leave millions of people uninsured, and which has proven to poll approximately as well as the mange. Well-played, Willard!

Read the whole post here.

Orrin Hatch loses it on CNN - Consumer Financial Protection version

Hatch may me as right wing as they come even though he's always been considered a relatively sane elder statesman in the formerly venerable Senate, now little more than a kiddie romper room but with less decorum..

The GOP filibuster in the Senate today killed the nomination of Richard Cordray (not the Cordray formerly on the Daily show) to head the bureau.  The Republicans say they have no objection to the qualifications of Obama's choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) they're not going to nominate anyone even if Ayn Rand can be cloned and nominated.  The reality is the Director can only make recommendations not law.

.  If my effing toaster oven gets fried a week after I bought it and the manufacturer won't take responsibility I have a Federal consumer bureau I can take my complaint to.  Get screwed by the fine print on page 11 of my new credit card agreement and i'ts 'tough luck bub, if you can't understand the legalese fine print on page 11 you shouldn't be getting a credit card or you should have consulted your lawyer first.'

He's another Czar screamed Hatch, no oversight, He can dictate everyone's credit rating arbitrarily, they're job killers, it's even worse than Obamacare and that was the worst thing ever, no maybe Pearl Harbor and 9/11 was worse; it's our American Holocaust.  Sure, the Director of the Bureau is going to have 400 employees sifting through over  200 million people's credit records and is going to take away credit from all the rich people except for Democrats and is going to give all those lazy people collecting unemployment rich people's credit ratings.

How about some oversight on credit card companies and the banks?  Can't have that - job killer, job killer, job killer, baby killer (oops wrong department).  Truth is they don't want the Bureau to exist in any form .

As a side note, the Bureau is working to come up with a standard two page credit card contract that will actually make it easier to understand and shop for the best deal.  They're working with the banks to do this.  The kicker is the banks won't even be required to comply.  So much for omnipotent power.  Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, these people are so far up the banks asses they can talk out of their throats.  THEY DON'T WANT ANY REGULATIONS ON THE BANKS.  It's as simple as that. The recession was all Barney Frank's fault anyway, the banks have integrity so we don't need oversight and they're job creators.

Madness, I tell you.

Santorum - people are fat so they don't need food stamps

Santorum is an anal wart on humanity.  For a 'good Christian' he hates a lot of stuff.  The irony is that the right rail against any attempts to curb obesity, yelling 'nanny state, nanny state' against every idea while they continue to support labeling pizza as a vegetable for school nutrition.  People are obese therefore food stamps are unnecessary.

Michelle Obama has got nothing but abuse for her attempts to fight obesity including this bit of derangement from the fat tub of lard Rush Limbaugh.

Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.
Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.
If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

Santorum is lucky he gets paid extremely well by the wingnut welfare program for his warped ideas.  Try working a real job dipshit.  Maybe more people need food stamps because more of the unemployed and underemployed have run through their savings and food stamps make a real difference for people who cant earn a living talking shit.

There is also no better stimulant for the economy.  All that money gets spent immediately.  Take this report from NBC News: .  Waiting for Midnight, hungry families on food samps give Walmart 'enormous spike'

Ricky, want to really tackle obesity instead of just using it as an excuse.  You can't by hot food with food stamps in a supermarket.  Exclude sugared sodas and candy as well.  Give an extra 10% if people by a certain percentage of fruits and vegetables.  Mayor Bloomberg, who isn't always an asshole suggested that.

A few days ago I saw three more than tubby kids waddle into a 7/11 and buy a bucketload of candy with a food stamp card.  That should not be allowed and shame on the parents.

And Newtie, here is some info you should file away.  You can't book a flight to Hawaii with a food stamps card.  You can't even get a hot dog or a hot chicken wing and you certainly can't get any alcohol.  It's not a fucking credit card.

Classic Jethro Tull - My Sunday Feeling at the Isle of Wight

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Justice in America" - Matt Taibbi

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.
Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps.
Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.
The total "cost" of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.
Compare that to Wall Street

 All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. The closest we've come is in a fraud case involving Citi, in which a pair of executives, Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, were fined the token amounts of $100,000 and $80,000, respectively, for lying to shareholders about the extent of Citi’s debt.Neither man was forced to admit to intentional fraud. Both got to keep their jobs.

Financial fraud, no problem, OWS: crush them, people lying to feed their family:  Throw them in jail..  The full

30 large US corporations paid more to lobbyists than in taxes

30 companies, $163 billion in profits, minus $10 billion in taxes and $475 million to lobbyists.  That investment paid back like a penny stock on steroids. 

'Obamacare' to the rescue

The ACA act, commonly known as 'Obamacare' is stealthily gaining more support as more Americans are feeling it's benefits. One key issue is the availability of health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. Another is a partial filling of the 'doughnut hole' in Medicare drug benefits which has reduced out of pocket expenses after the threshold of $2,700 to $6,154 where all expenses are borne by the patient. Millions of Medicare patients are already reaping the benefit of reducing that expense.

Those 25 or younger who are having the toughest time finding jobs, never mind jobs with health benefits can stay on their parent's plans are feeling the effect. Rescission, where health insurers can cancel a policy because the policy can be cancelled because of an omission in the original application is a thing of history. One of the more notorious cases was where a woman's policy was cancelled after being diagnosed with breast cancer because she neglected to mention she was treated for acne as an 18 year old won't happen again.

This personal story in the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times has been getting a lot of attention.

I want to apologize to President Obama. But first, some background.

I found out three weeks ago I have cancer. I'm 49 years old, have been married for almost 20 years and have two kids. My husband has his own small computer business, and I run a small nonprofit in the San Fernando Valley. I am also an artist. Money is tight, and we don't spend it frivolously. We're just ordinary, middle-class people, making an honest living, raising great kids and participating in our community, the kids' schools and church.

We're good people, and we work hard. But we haven't been able to afford health insurance for more than two years. And now I have third-stage breast cancer and am facing months of expensive treatment.

The full article here.

Jon Stewart on Trump as debate moderator

The day before Jon Stewart was lamenting the departure of Herman Cain from the race, fearing for future comedy material. He didn't have to worry, not with The Donald waiting in the wings.

If you thought political debate couldn't go any lower hold on to your hat.

The insane quest to target Obama for everything continues unabated

More evidence Obama is an American hating Muslim socialist.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merle Haggard - If we make it through December

Never an easy time.

Fox News goes after the Muppets

Those damned Communists aren't just occupying our parks. They're going after our kids. The new Muppets movie features an oil tycoon as a villain. Is nothing sacred? How dare they go after cuddly oil tycoons who are job creators after all. The Simpsons were bad enough but this is outrageous and that purple Barney, I love you, you love me - socialism at it's most insidious.

Think Progress has the details including Fox News' video.

How to confuse the police trying to shut down OWS tents

Courtesy of some innovative Aussies in Melbourne.

Scott Walker makes people pay for free speech

The irrepressible Charles Pierce is in Wisconsin reporting on the recall efforts and a new scheme to repress First Amendment rights for people who want to express their disapproval of worse of the continual flow of schemes to screw the people of Wisconsin. The good news is it looks the 540,000 signatures needed to trigger the recall will be comfortable exceeded. The bad news is it will take more than a recall election to undo the damage already done.

This day's new rule was a doozy. Henceforth, according to the governor's office, anyone wishing to stage "an event" in the capitol would have to pay for the cost of the capitol police at a rate of $50 an hour, per officer. Moreover, the people organizing the "event" also would be liable for any clean-up costs. (Walker's administration already has been caught inflating the cost of cleaning up after last winter's mass demonstrations at the capitol.) You might also have to post an insurance bond in advance. Yes, in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, your First Amendment rights come with a security deposit. And thus did Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, securely armored in bureaucratic chickenshit and surrounded by aging veterans functioning as human shields against the people who have come to believe him a walking pustulation, inaugurate the festive holiday season in the people's capitol building.

Happy 79th birthday to Little Richard

Irony alert

The owners of Zuccotti Park, ground zero for the Occupy Wall Street protests owe New York $139,000 in back taxes.

Isn't that part of the rationale behind the protests, the powerful being able to flaunt the law?

Maureen Dowd on Gingrich

Dowd can be incredibly trivial and snarky at times but she sums up Gingrich perfectly. sums up Gingrich perfectly.

Newt Gingrich’s mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

If he wins the nomination will these failings sink him? Not necessarily. His glibness has a way of making his most absurd ideas sound reasonable.

His glibness will serve him better than any of the other GOP hopefuls in debating Obama. His baggage may hurt but then again Americans have notoriously short memories. The best political strategy for the Democrats may be to use a PAC to attack him from the right for his vast arsenal of contradictions. Their best hope may be to peel away a percentage of the Tea Party zealots from voting for him, then again their obsessive hatred for Obama may cause them to hold their noses while voting for Gingrich.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Milk Cow Blues - Doc Watson

Quote of the day

"Newt Gingrich is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like."

Paul Krugman

Explaining the Inexplicable

Fred Upton (R-Curly Socialist Lightbulbs)a member of the Supercommittee can't explain the core of modern Republican economic policy. All it took was Al Hunt of Bloomberg to ask the right questions, something that is sadly a rarity among journalists these days.

Here's the exchange:

HUNT: Why under those pre-Bush tax cut tax rates did the economy do so well in the ‘90s? And why under the Bush tax rates, less for the wealthy, to do so poorly in this decade?

UPTON: Well, a couple things. One, spending went up, Al, the wars. I mean, that’s trillions of dollars. And also there was no change in the entitlements. And we also know -

HUNT: But that shouldn’t hurt the economy. That shouldn’t hurt economic growth.

UPTON: Yeah, but that impacts the debt and the deficit.

HUNT: But I’m asking, why did the economy grow a lot? Why were more jobs created in the previous decade under higher taxes than in this decade under lower taxes?

UPTON: I don’t know specifically the answer to that question. I can – I can maybe merit a guess. But, I mean, in large part is because our job – we lost jobs. I mean, look at the jobs report that came out this last week, three-hundred- some-thousand people actually stopped looking for jobs.

Could this be the Republican's Achilles heel in the election? All polls show anywhere from 60-70% support raising taxes on the rich.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Going after the banks with the full force of the law - finally

Martha Coakley may well be remembered as the Democratic Senatorial candidate who managed to lose Ted Kennedy's seat with a campaign so bad that "lame" doesn't even begin to describe it.  The positive side to that is she returned to her position as Attorney General for Massachusetts and she's fired a full salvo at five banks at the center of the mortgage mess. suing them for fraud that goes to the heart of the mess.

Foremost is the massive amounts of fraudulent title deeds called 'robosigning'.  The banks failed to transfer title deeds as legally required.  With the actual title deeds lost in the murk of multiple transfers mortgage servicing companies started forging deeds at record pace.  No-one knows how many such titles were forged but the numbers could run into the millions.  People were paid $10 an hour to sign the forged deeds as long as they could sing 300 titles an hour.

The banks have been trying to negotiate an overall settlement with all 50 AG's for a relative pittance of $50 billion which would get them off the hook for everything.  Fortunately a few AG's including Coakey and Eric Sneiderman in New York aren't playing ball and as long as a state like New York doesn't go along with the deal, it's dead in the water.

A couple of weeks ago Nevada indicted a couple of mid level employees of a locally based robosigning companiy, hoping to squeeze them as the AG moves up the food chain.  The ultimate goal would be to prove that the banks were complicit in this, something that is an unknown at the present time but the odds that they were must be incredibly short.  If that happens, things coulld get interesting.

Hullabaloo has an excellent analysis of the case and its implications.

 1. Engaging in unfair and deceptive foreclosure practices by conducting foreclosures when the defendants lacked the right to do so and misrepresenting to homeowners their roles as mortgagees or as the holders of the mortgages;

2. Engaging in false documentation practices to facilitate their foreclosure practices;

3. Deceiving homeowners in the course of servicing mortgage loans by misrepresenting to borrowers regarding its loan modification programs, acting deceptively in implementing loan modifications and deceiving borrowers regarding foreclosure proceedings; and

4. Failing to comply with Massachusetts’ registration statute.

Bob Marley - No Woman N Cry, live from 1979

Cain suspends his campiagn.

Feel the Newtmemtun.

Headlines we don't need

From the Washington Post:

Newt Gingrich as President can turn the White House 
into an "Ideas Factory"
This could solve the whole jobs crisis.  We can have basement upon basement filled with the previously unemployed, earning minimum wage to keep Newt supplied with ideas.  He'll need some help judging by a couple of recent doozies. 

First off is his solution to Social Security.  Let the individual take his social security to the Wall Street casino with an ironclad guarantee.  If Wall Street produces less than the current system would have earned, the government will step in and make up the difference.  Talk about 'moral hazard'.  TARP for everyone, we're all too big to fail now.  Penny stocks,, why not, the Internets told me I can make up to 28,000%, Uncle Sam's got my back.  Every American becomes "too big to fail".  The Republican base will lap this up, without realizing it's implications which can only lead to the eventual bankruptcy of America.

Another brilliant idea from Newtie is to abolish child labor laws so we can teach all those poor kids (read minority kids) who only know how to make money illegally.  He wants to fire all school janitors and replace them with poor kids.  Talk about building self esteem.  Those 'poor kids' will end up cleaning the messes left behind by heir fellow school mates for a couple of dollars an hour.

Idea factory indeed.  Here's an idea for Newt.  Keep this up and you'll guarantee another term for Obama.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Big announcement from Herman Cain tomorrow

Until then, for your amusement.


In his announcement, announcing his forthcoming announcement, Cain still claims he is "The Democrats worst nightmare." Maybe he's just coming out with a new campaign slogan, "Reach out and touch someone."

Republican priorities

So Republicans tell us they will sign on to extending Payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance as long as it's all paid for with cuts elsewhere but huge tax cuts for the wealthy don't have to be paid for because, you know, they're going to 'job creators'.

Just wanted to make sure.

Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grover Norquist doesn't view a tax hike on the middle class as a tax hike

More than a few Republicans are indicating they will vote to accept extending the payroll tax cut suggesting that Republicans aren't yet willing to commit mass suicide.

In other news John Boehner claimed he "isn't an economist.". No shit, skippy, that much has been obvious for years.

More Bank Malfeasance - Ghetto Loans

A former Chase banker has told The New York Times that Chase pushed most unsophisticated borrowers into more expensive Sub Prime loans which were far more profitable for the bank. At Wells Fargo, they were called Ghetto Loans.

One memory particularly troubles Theckston. He says that some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers — those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English — and nudged them toward subprime loans.
These less savvy borrowers were disproportionately blacks and Latinos, he said, and they ended up paying a higher rate so that they were more likely to lose their homes. Senior executives seemed aware of this racial mismatch, he recalled, and frantically tried to cover it up.
The bigwigs of the corporations knew this, but they figured we’re going to make billions out of it, so who cares? The government is going to bail us out. And the problem loans will be out of here, maybe even overseas,” Theckston explained.

The full NT Times article here.

Midnight Oil - Dreamland

They knew how to rock

Michelle Bachmann is an idiot...hypothetically

Picking on Michelle Bachmann is almost like picking on the nerdiest kid in the school. It's wrong but dammit, I can't help myself. At least the school nerd played to character. Michelle Bachmann believes that she would make a great President. She has absolutely zero self awareness,' spouting nonsenseand still believing she is the smartest woman in the room because only she has the genius to say what she just said.

I've known too many women who need a barrow load of psych meds and tranquilizers to make it through the day. They have a semi-glazed, deer in the headlights look that I see on Bachmann. It doesn't take more than a few minutes of watching her know something is out of whack in there. At least we only see her in full makeup when she looks pretty to arouse a good portion of Republican manhood as well as Herman Cain. Poor Marcus, her husband has to see her when she wakes up sans the layers of her public face.

I suspect one of his other jobs is to keep all her meds in order, which must be a living hell.
He has a Ph. D in Clinical Psychology which does allow him to write a script or two. That combination has caused him to turn to his Christian counselling group, Bachmann & Associates which is just a front company for their version of God and how to guide troubled people. His is from Union Institute University, a long distance learning college which is the bullshitters way of saying 'online college'. A little research revealed that the Union didn't offer a Ph.D in clinical psychology at the time he was there and that the entire Ph. D program had to be dissolved and reauthorized by the state of Ohio some years after Graduated.

Nonetheless his Ph.D allows him to suck in a regular stream of State and Federal money while his wife lambasts just that in her political theatrical appearances. Bachmann & Assiciates also prays the gay away. An undercover team filmed them doing just that but there is evdience that the undercover specifically requested the 'pray away the gay' treatment.

Nonetheless, knowing The Bachmann's. one can only assume something strange is going on there.

Back to the mind of Michelle. Despite lingering in the polling netherworld she can still come up with a zinger and at least get some minor headlines; the liberal brogs love to pounce on Bachmann and her dwindling band giving opportunity to whine about how nasty and viscous those liberal people are.

Today she made the headlines inadvertently. After Britain's little to-do with some Iranian students Bachmann was reported to have said that if she were President she would close the U.S. Embassy in Iran. It came from an NBC News tweet. We haven't had an embassy Iran since 1980.

There have been rumors abounding that Bachmann barely had a functioning Press team left. Most of them seem to have buggered off after having to explain yet another brain fart. By the end of the evening they pushed a release from under the door.

“Congresswoman Bachmann is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and is fully aware that we do not have an embassy in Iran and have not had one since 1980. She was agreeing with the actions taken by the British to secure their embassy personnel and was speaking in the hypothetical, that if she was President of the United States and if we had an embassy in Iran, she would have taken the same actions as the British. Her remarks are being taken out of context, given that she has spoken on this subject several times in the past 24 hours and made it clear that she knew we did not have an Iranian embassy

The "When I'm President" bit of her statement is hypothetical to the 20th power. The release goes on use the usual Obama Derangement Syndrome boileplate; it's all the Muslin Sosulusts fault.

Just another gaffe for Michelle.

Then there is the well reasoned policy point rather than the spontaneous idiot gaffe. that requires thought; idiot doesn't work for that so they have to go to the 'full moron' because it's always wrong on so many levels.

When Michelle Bachman claimed during one debate she has always worked in the private sector, she was speaking hypothetically so all of it was taken out of context.

For the record, Bachmann because a Lawyer for the IRS and is rumored to have handled at least one case in about five years. She retired, wanting to keep her almost perfect record to temporarily adopt every kid from 3-13 from a mid sized African nation to burnish her humanitarian resume. She then went on to be the perpetual Congresswoman from Minnesota. It's possible she imagined she was 'working in the private sector' during her monthly sexual assignation with Marcus.

She also went into full moron mode this afternoon, claiming that teaching only evolution in school is censorship climaxing with the 'anyway, it's only a theory' dismissal which is so moronic only a moron can harrumpph quietly thinking they have completely out though their wily opponent. Hey moron, gravity is still regarded as a 'theory' in the scientific world. My theory that your dumber than a box of rocks doesn't quality.

It's not easy being Bachmann, especially now that she's too deep in the spotlight. The early classic, when Bachmann ran screaming into the toilet and locked herself to escape 3 Nuns who just wanted to talk to.

Then there is the 'bat shit crazy' Bachmann. If the Coen Brothers ever made a film on LSD, Bat Shit Crazy Bachmann would be perfect for a significant if not leading role. Witness a week ago.
In a speech in Iowa she claimed that during a previous speech a 7 ft 4 inch doctor had stood up at a town hall meeting and claimed that he couldn't perform any medical procedure before getting permission from the IRS because of Obamacare.

How Sasquatch became a licensed doctor in Minnesota is a bit of a mystery itself but that Sasquatch had to deal with the IRS? A sane Bachmann would have said, 'thank's for the input, if you need to, I've got some extra meds you can have on the way out.

Nope, Instead she believes it, swallows it completely, taking Sasquatch at his world and a new lie for the simple minded is born. This gives me an idea. All I need is her direct e-mail. I'll tell how much I'm behind her and how she's the perfect person for the job and then it er with the Ngerian letter. Hey, it's free Nigerial Federal money, even better. Go Get It!

She will be gone from the election soon and we will miss her.

She does 'dumb' with panache. She would be perfect for a sad, cynical midwestern family drama mixing 18th century thinking with 21st century psych meds.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scott Walker, the emperor without clothes

Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin was elected in 2010 as a stealth Tea Party loon running as a moderate. The people of Wisconsin soon learned as he and his compliant legislature handed out huge tax breaks to corporations while assaulting public unions as a guise to dealing with an essentially fake budget crisis.

A war of sorts broke out, with Walker claiming public school teachers (starting salary in Wisconsin $20,000 a year) were essentially greedy and lazy parasites. Walker won the initial battle but then had to deal with a recall effort against some of his state senators that ended one close victory from him losing power in the state senate.

Undeterred he's soldiered on, predicting success for his great job creating policies. He's now facing a potential recall election next year and it's going swimmingly, that is if you loathe Walker. Something like 600,000 signatures for recall are needed. The recall has aout 2 months to reach that number to trigger the election. They have about half the total in two weeks.

While touting his 'soon to be evident' economic miracle h's been hammering away at neighbor Illinois' policies which are basically doing the exact opposite of Walker.

Bad move. The numbers are just out for state-by-state job creation for October. Walker is going to learn a bitter lesson about what you say these days as a politician. Everything is recorded and he's used the Illinois comparison enough times to create a DVD feature's worth of highlights.

Oh, yes those pesky job creation numbers. Illinois created 30,000 private sector jobs leading the nation. Wisconsin...not so good. It leads the jobs lost, about 9,700 in October. The state lost jobs in September, August and July. In fact the state has been shedding jobs since Walker's 'reforms' kicked in.

Elections are funny and unpredictable things, but Scott Walker will be out of a job next year. He's even created the opposition ad campaign all by himself.

Slim Harpo - Baby Scratch My Back

Get your groove on.

Nothing evokes the spirit of Christmas quite like...........

a machine gun wielding kid posing with Santa.

From the Scottsdale, Arizona Gun Club. "Santa's back with his bag of goodies". "Blam, Blam, Blam, have a Merry Christmas, motherfuckers".  Granny better not give me another sweater with reindeers.

Richie Havens - Freedom

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rick Perry joins the voter suppression brigade....unintentionally

Republicans always want to stop likely Democrats from voting. They do this by passing voter ID laws making it much harder for some to vote chasing phantom voter fraud, often alleged but rarely proved. Close to the election they send out mailers to minority areas with confusing information. They do the same with phone calls. Democrats, on the othe hand try to register as many new voters as possible.

Rick Perry tried the 'confuse a voter' ruse, unfortunately he chose to try it on his own supporters.

For those who are unaware, the legal voting age is 18. Just another reason Perry is heading straight to the trash heap of Presidential candidates.

Banks likely foreclosed on 5,000 members of the military illegally

Nothing to see here.  Just business as usual.

Why am I not surprised? Will they be punished? Probably not.

Tarika - "Avelo!"

Some entrancing music from Madagascar to help your day.

Maassive crimes that go unpunished

Rampant fraud among mortgage services continues unabated and unpunished.  Why follow the law when not following the law increases profits with no consequence.

From Naked Capitalism, a blog worth reading if you're interested in the truth about the economy and the causes and results of the meltdown.

And what happens when this kind of fraud goes unprosecuted? It continues, even today. The same banks that ran the corrupt home mortgage securitization chain are now committing rampant fraud in the foreclosure crisis. Here’s New Orleans Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Magner discussing problems at Lender Processing Services, the company that handles 80 percent of foreclosures on behalf of large banks (emphasis added):

"In Jones v. Wells Fargo, this Court discovered that a highly automated software package owned by LPS and identified as MSP administered loans for servicers and note holders but was programed to apply payments contrary to the terms of the notes and mortgages."
Read the whole article.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Creating jobs

The cornerstone of the GOP economic plan is cutting taxes for the rich, already at their lowest level since WWII even lower .  "Rich people are 'job creators'" is their standard mantra as to why capital gains taxes and estate taxes should be eliminated.  Never mind that about half of all capital gains taxes are paid by the top 10% of the 1%.  These people got extremely rich because they didn't use their money to create jobs. They used other people's money to do that.if they created jobs at all.

Willard 'Mitt' Romney's tax plan would add another $6.6 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years and although he has refused to release his own tax records he alone would stand to pocket a couple of million extra a year from his own tax cut.

To say this idea is horseshit would be an insult to horseshit which at least can be used as fertilizer. Good luck selling that idea to the nation in its current mood.

Reagan started this bullshit idea, which has since been repudiated by David Stockman, his budget director.  It took the U.S. 204 years to rack up a trillion dollars in debt.  Reagan more than doubled that in 8 years adding $1.8 trillion to the debt.  Bush senior added another $1.4 trillion in only 4 years.

Then in 1993 President Clinton raised taxes and the Republicans, including Newt Gingrich leading the charge lined up to predict the collapse of the economy and America as we know it.  They were correct in the latter.  Under Clinton 23 million jobs were created and for the first time since the 1950's his he left office creating budget surpluses.

Then along came Bush Jnr. the master of disaster who cut taxes in 2001 and 2003.  It was the first time in history that a President had cut taxes while paying for war(s).  Bush managed to add almost $6.7 trillion to the Federal debt.  In all these five Presidential terms created 87% of America's total debt since 1776.

His job creation - not so hot.  He created virtually no new jobs in 8 years.

Enough said.  

How our tax dollars are spent

Here is a breakdown of how the discretionary spending in the Federal budget are spent.

Defense spending has risen from $295 billion annually to almost double in just over a decade.  Part of that is the boondoggle spending on Homeland Security of almost $100 billion a year.  America spends more than the rest of the world combined on defense and the Republicans want to spend even more yet they believe they can balance the budget with massive tax cuts for the rich and increased spending on the military.

Quote of the day

From retiring Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democratic Congressman on the GOP led House.

"It consists half of people who think like Michele Bachmann and half of people who are afraid of losing a primary to people who think like Michele Bachmann and that leaves very little room to work things out."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pete Seeger - Which Side Are You On

For the times we live in

It's back/I'm back

My last post was in early July when the debt ceiling debate was raging with mind numbing fury and the certain knowledge that it wouldn't end well. We expect mindless idiocy from the Republicans, it's in their DNA and they really can't help it. We expect, although I doubt anymore, something a little better than mindless idiocy from the media.

The issue was simple. Increase the debt ceiling for money already spent or a host of really horrible things could happen. A sufficient number of Republicans in Congress, showing a complete lack of understanding basic reality thought that Bill Clinton sticking cigars where they don't belong or the President trying to fix our broken health care system were more horrible to the power of twenty took it to the brink before marginally saner heads prevailed.

Raising the deficit has always been a pro-forma vote. We've raised it 106 times since 1940. Reagan raised it 18 times while Bush Jnr. raised it 7 times with nary a peep. The most recent episode was political theater of the worst kind, playing politics, and incoherent politics at that. The media instead decided to report it as a death cage match between two lumbering masses of brawn without bothering to let the audience get an inkling of its history.

It ended with S&P downgrading the U.S debt. Never mind the absurdity that S&P now officially considered the worthiness of the U.S. debt to be less than the mortgage backed derivatives designed to fail that they happily rated as AAA just so Goldman Sachs could offload them on unsuspecting suckers.

The kindergarten sandbox argument even spooked the financial markets. I was too pissed off, too disillusioned and personally weary from all of this.

An expanding workload and burnout caused me to stop blogging. I didn't even bother to check my blog to see if anyone was still clicking on it...until today. Rather surprisingly people are still checking in daily, hopefully to see if my blog was ever going to be resurrected.

It has, and is.

Things have changed since early July. We've seen the clown car cavalcade of the Republican nominees ans their endless weekly reality show "America's Best Candidate" AKA the Primary debates or the "Anyone but Mitt" show. Call off the election and bring in some new faces to humiliate themselves. I'm sure the show will be renewed for another season.

If it weren't for a fickle and sometimes dim electorate common sense says it should be Obama, who has rediscovered some of his mojo, in a canter. There are some promising signs. Gov. Kasich had his ass handed to him in Ohio in the elections a few weeks ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement, for all its negative press has shown extreme resilience and the issues it raises have become part of the national conversation. Polls show steady support for raising taxes on the rich averaging well into the 60% range, even touching 70%.

It's not going to be easy running on a pro 1% ticket, especially for Mitt Romney who is the complete embodiment of privilege. What has surprised even jaded old me is the weakness and vapidity of the republican field. We always knew Michelle Bachman was somewhat crazy and a dim bulb to boot. It's taken the spotlight of the debates to show she isn't 'somewhat crazy' but a complete loon as well as a blithering idiot. That she sits on the Intelligence Committee in the House is a cruel joke on the idea of rational government. Rick Perry; 'oops' says it all and Herman Cain makes Perry look marginally intelligent. It says a lot about corporate America hat such a doofus can be CEO of a large corporation even if they only make crappy pizza.

Newtie has more baggage than the Vanderbilts packing to winter n Florida and that only leaves Romney who seems to be more hated by his own party than by the Democrats. Even the vast sums of money that corporate America will throw at the election can't save this lot.

America has far more often than not, shown it has the capacity to correct itself relatively peaceful when the pendulum swings to far. It won't be easy with the Republicans completely wedded to economic policies that want to take the nation back to the days of the robber barons and enough Democrats who still believe in compromising with people who should be in padded cells.

We're a little less than a year away from what is one of the most important elections in American history. It's going to be quite a ride. I will be here to document it, hopefully with some insight, some wit, a lot of snark and a fair amount of bemusement. I hope you all keep coming back.\, oh and click on an ad once in a while so I can at least get paid a pittance for my efforts.

Lastly a thanks to Amber of Occupy the San Fernando Valley who I met at the Studio City farmer's market yesterday. We chatted for a while and I mentioned my dormant blog. After telling her I had taken a longer than expected or desired hiatus from blogging she insisted that I resume.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taliban 'lite' comes to America: The war on pregnant women

The only difference is that we don't stone women to death.

Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.

In Alabama prosecutors have come up with a new innovative way to apply a "chemical endangerment" law designed to protect children whose parents were cooking methamphetamine in the home and thus putting their children at risk from inhaling the fumes.

Amanda Kimbrough has been sentenced to 10 years in jail. While pregnant, her fetus was diagnosed as possibly having Down's Syndrome and she was advised to consider terminating the pregnancy. She chose not to, because she didn't believe in abortion. She gave birth prematurely via a cesarean section but the baby only survived 19 minutes.

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with "chemical endangerment" of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.

"That shocked me, it really did," Kimbrough said. "I had lost a child, that was enough."

She now awaits an appeal ruling from the higher courts in Alabama, which if she loses will see her begin a 10-year sentence behind bars. "I'm just living one day at a time, looking after my three other kids," she said. "They say I'm a criminal, how do I answer that? I'm a good mother."

In Amicus Briefs used used by Gibbs' defense lawyers advocates argue that such prosecutions will deter pregnant drug addicts to seek help for their addiction and may instead be motivated to seek to terminate the pregnancy themselves for fear of prosecution.

Ground zero for the assault on pregnant women who use drugs is South Carolina. From a paper presented by the NAPW (National Advocates for Pregnant Women). Click on 'download file' for the full report.

South Carolina’s former Attorney General, Charles Molony Condon, and frequent Republican candidate for statewide office, has made a career based on extremist positions. His most extreme position—edging out his advocacy of an electric sofa to expedite executions and his effort to keep the confederate flag flying above the state capitol—is his commitment to the prosecution and punishment of poor pregnant women. Although he has repeatedly claimed that this was a policy of “last resort” that “was not punitive…not designed to put people in jail,” but designed to promote treatment of pregnant women with drug problems, the record makes clear that punishment was and continues to be the first and only response for many South Carolina women seeking medical help for themselves and their children.

Needless to say the targets of Condon's policy are low income African American women. Although Condon has continually maintained that the program's goal was treatment not punishment the Supreme Court ruled that the policy violated the 4th Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure.

Condon and South Carolina has continued undaunted. Condon, without a trace of irony claimed that the program offers amnesty and treatment and the only way a pregnant drug addicted woman would land up in jail is if they refused both or literally "broke into jail."

The record tells another story.

Sandra Powell did not break into jail.

Sandra Powell, an African-American woman, was also arrested in 1989, at MUSC. Ms. Powell had been receiving prenatal care at MUSC without ever being offered drug treatment. She would later testify under oath that she would have accepted drug treatment had it been offered. In fact, Ms. Powell’s medical records indicate that while the hospital was aware of her cocaine use during her pregnancy there was no offer of treatment prior to—or on the day of—the delivery. Medical records do indicate, however, that on the day of the delivery, October 13th, the hospital staff would notify the police and coordinate her in hospital arrest at the time of her discharge. Ms. Powell was arrested just hours after giving birth, while she was still bleeding and in pain.

The 'war on drugs' has been an abject failure in so many ways. It's the main reason America sends more people per capita to prison than any other country in the world. exceeding such bastions of freedom as Myanmar, Iran and Libya.

This particularly cruel and vindictive assault on pregnant women takes the war on drugs and adds the fanaticism of the religious right which has led to well over 900 separate bills being tabled at both the state and federal level since the beginning of the year to either limit access to reproductive services, re-define personhood or punish women for neglecting their bodies while pregnant.

The additional shame is that this report had to come from a newspaper in England. It's a story that the American media have ignored because it just doesn't have the pizazz of the Casey Anthony story.

This man could be the Republican presidential candidate.

Gov. Rick Perry’s call for a day-long event of prayer and fasting Aug. 6 at a sports stadium in Houston is a dramatic escalation of government meddling in religion. Called “The Response,” the event is being coordinated by the American Family Association (AFA), an extreme Religious Right group, as well as other far-right religious groups and figures with controversial theological and political ideas. The rally is exclusively Christian in nature; in fact, it reflects a certain type of Christianity – the fringes of fundamentalism.

What brought this about? Perry’s theological allies claim that America is being punished by God for its wicked ways. They see a national day of repentance as the solution.

On The Response’s website, Perry writes, “Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.”

No separation of church and state in Rick Perry's world.

With Romney looking more and more like the putative candidate among those who have already announced it's looking more and more as though Perry will step into the race.

Here's a better idea than prayer. Good government that does the things government does, or should do effectively, a little bit of sanity on climate change and a fucking calculator used by people with brains, like real economists.

If the results of Perry's weekend of prayer in late April for rain are any indication we're fucked. Here's a graphic image of how successful that prayer shindig worked.

Above:  A map of drought area on April 26 a couple of days after Perry's weekend of prayer.

Here's the most recent map of the drought in Texas.  Rick, has it occurred to you that maybe God thinks you're an asshole/.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Best July 4th song ever

Dave Alvin, titled The 4th of July obviously.

Bonus live version.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

":Historically unprecedented"

“Between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, real national income in the U.S. increased by $528 billion. Pre-tax corporate profits by themselves had increased by $464 billion while aggregate real wages and salaries rose by only $7 billion or only .1%. Over this six quarter period, corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income. …The absence of any positive share of national income growth due to wages and salaries received by American workers during the current economic recovery is historically unprecedented.”

A recent study by economists at Northeastern University illustrates one of the reasons the current "economic recovery" is illusory for most Americans. Average real hourly earnings for all employees actually declined by 1.1 percent from June 2009, when the recovery began, to May 2011, the month for which the most recent earnings numbers are available.

When almost all the benefits are going to corporate America there can be no real recovery. With 90% of Americans treading water in uncertain times, demand for products won't rise significantly. Most corporations have squeezed out profits because productivity has risen 6% in that same time frame. Something has to give and as long as there is this 'historically unprecedented' distribution of growth it will be the stability and growth that made America the most powerful nation on earth.

This apparently isn't a joke

Possible replacements to be President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, according to a senior administration official, include Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and Roger Altman, a prominent investment banker and former deputy Treasury secretary.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, is considered a strong dark-horse candidate.Dimon has said he is not interested in public office but many on Wall Street believe he would accept the job if asked by Obama. But the White House will have to decide whether Dimon, who leads the most successful bank in the U.S., is too closely aligned with Wall Street.

WTF. The revolving door between the Treasury and Wall Street is one of the reasons the economy is still fucked and will be for a long long time.

While Dimon does occasionally redeem himself, mainly in coming out in support of Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau he still whines and carps about financial reform at every opportunity.

He claimed financial reform is stalling the economy from Robert Reich.

Simon Johnson called him the most dangerous man in America.

Thelast thing we need is another Wall Street banker running the Treasury. Dimon is smart and capable which makes him,as Johnson says, far too dangerous to steer the economy right now.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jidge David Prosser grabs reporters microphone

The man has issues. He checked himself and handed it right back this time but the man has some anger issues.

Favorite 4th of July songs # 1

Bruce Springsteen - 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy). Live at the Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ in 1978 when he still breathed fire.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why regulations matter

Massey Energy Co. could have prevented the West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 workers last year and the company failed to disclose some hazards in reports it provided to government inspectors, federal safety officials said Wednesday.

Patricia Smith, the U.S. Labor Department's top lawyer, said not recording hazards where required was a potential criminal violation of the Mine Act and "we have notified the U.S. attorney of that."

The Justice Department's probe of the accident is continuing, it said recently. Its investigation has so far resulted in a criminal indictment against the former head of safety at the Upper Big Branch mine for allegedly attempting to destroy evidence. He has pleaded not guilty.

At a briefing Wednesday in Beaver, W.Va., Kevin Stricklin, coal administrator for mine safety and health at the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said, "We found there to be two sets of books" kept by Massey.

Republicans hate regulations and Corporations hate getting caught.

Santorum is outraged that Obama picked on corporate jet owners

Howdare he attack rich corporate jet owners. He promised to bring Americans together. Why aren't those 400,000 teachers who lot their jobs in the last couple of years not be marching in the streets to oppose this divisiveness. Why aren't all those low income women who we denied nutritional aid to marching in solidarity. He's picking on our constituency, rich assholes. How dare he.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"No one could have predicted" - State budget cuts would cost jobs

Republicans stand by their credo that cutting public spending will lead to an increase in private sector job growth as well as overall economic growth. A recent Harvard University study of 107 economies where government spending was cut during recessionary times resulted in further economic decline in all but 3 of the economies. The three economies that didn't decline all saw significant easing of the money supply by the central bank.

This hasn't stopped Republicans at both the Federal and state level from insisting that the 'cut and grow' policy is the only way to stimulate private sector growth.

Logic would predicate that they are wrong. Government cuts inevitably involve reductions on government employment as well as in spending. People who have lost their jobs tend to spend less. That's so fucking obvious is doesn't even warrant explaining but with GOP economics even the glaringly obvious has to be explained.

A new study confirms the obvious. States that have cut more tend to have employment rates in both the public and private sector that have performed worse than average while states that haven't cut spending performed above the national average.

Relative to national economic trends, states that increased spending enjoyed on average:

0.2 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate

1.4 percent increase in private employment

0.5 percent real economic growth since the start of the recession

In contrast, states that cut spending saw on average

1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate

2.1 percent loss of private employment

2.9 percent real economic contraction relative to the national economic trend

Steep state spending cuts have gone hand-in-hand with rising unemployment rates, falling private-sector payroll employment, and lower growth in state’s gross domestic product, or GDP.

Michelle Bahmann and facts - casual acquaintances at best

She's managed to be one of the chief promulgators of the 'lie of the year' according to the non-partisan Politifact. She's become the Meryl Streep of Politifact's lie of the year award. Last year she won for claiming health care reform was a government takeover of health, She won that award jointly with many others, but not to be outdone was also nominated for her lie that President Obama's trip to India was costing the taxpaper over $200 million a day.

Her impeccable source for that bit of twaddle was the renowned investigative journalist Matt Drudge who's impeccable source for that item was a single newspaper in India.

She was separated twice in 2009, once jointly with many others for the 'Death Panel' claim but also separately for claiming page 92 of the ACA would bar people from buying private insurance after a certain date. Forget that she had the wrong page but she couldn't have misinterpreted the offending quote, (actually on page 91) if she had tried.

Today she officially launched her Presidential campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, where she as born. She's a bit confuse about the history of Waterloo however. At least the one in Iowa. In an interview with Fox News today she said, ""But what I want them to know, just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that's the kind of spirit that I have, too."

She was a tad confused, The John Wayne she was probably referring to was born Marion Morrison (way to gay a name for someone like John Wayne) in Winterset IA, wbout 120 miles away. The John Wayne who is connected to Waterloo IA, was John Wayne Gacy who raped and murdered over 30 men before being caught, tried and executed.

Just a slight mix up.

At this rate, her end won't be that different from another delusional little megalomaniac who also had his ass handed to him at Waterloo; not the one in Iowa.

Amy McDonald - Mr. Rock n' Roll

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rick Santorum "There is no such thing as global warming"

97% of scientists are wrong according to 'fetus in a jar' Ricky.

He found a friendly interviewer in Glenn Beck:

BECK: Oil?

SANTORUM: Drill. Drill everywhere.

BECK: Coal?

SANTORUM: Absolutely. Natural gas. We have huge stores. 263 years of oil at the current rate, almost 200 years of gas, and 300 years of coal.

He wants to make sure we use every bit of it as quickly as possible. Who needs clean air. Not Ricky or his family.

David Prosser, the controversial Wisconsin Judge takes judicial activism to new level

During a heated meeting, Judge David Prosser who was recently re-elected with a razor thin margin recently allegedly attacked a fellow judge physically by grabbing her by the neck.

Prosser supporters at the scene claim Ann Walsh Bradley, a fellow Supreme Court judge charged him with raised fists and all he was doing was defending himself after Bradley asked him to leave her chambers during a meeting attended by six of the seven judges.

Prpsser had previously called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "total bitch" and had vowed to "destroy her.

Based on prior behavior I would tend to side with the account that claims he was the instigator.

Redemption Song - Playing for Change

Another great song from Playing For Change,a great and worthy organization that truly brings the world together through music. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

American justice

Steal $3 billion get a slap on the wrist.  Steal $100 because you're homeless, hungry and need the money to stay in a detox center, then turn yourself in to the police the next day because you feel bad about stealing the $100 - 15 years in prison.

Taken from a Facebook post.

 Clink on image to enlarge.

A couple of charts from Mother Jones

More here.

Michele Bachmann's holy war - Matt Taibbi strikes again

Admittedly, she's an easy target.

This background is significant considering Bachmann's leadership role in the Tea Party, a movement ostensibly founded on ideas of limited government. Bachmann says she believes in a limited state, but she was educated in an extremist Christian tradition that rejects the entire notion of a separate, secular legal authority and views earthly law as an instrument for interpreting biblical values. As a legislator, she not only worked to impose a ban on gay marriage, she also endorsed a report that proposed banning anyone who "espoused or supported Shariah law" from immigrating to the U.S. (Bachmann seems so unduly obsessed with Shariah law that, after listening to her frequent pronouncements on the subject, one begins to wonder if her crazed antipathy isn't born of professional jealousy.)Miche

She would be quite at hope other than believing in the wrong religion.

Some light entertainment

Animals being dicks

Click on older below the video for more.

Fox News - classy as always

A new Gallup poll shows President Obama has lost more support from white women than any other sex/race group. Fox News' response.

The racist dog whistle blows loud and clear.