Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wrong Bertha Lewis - Ben Smith -

Wrong Bertha Lewis - Ben Smith -
Hilarity ensues in the comment section. These two are my personal favorites.
Ben Smith is running interference for the administration. Bertha Lewis is not a common name. IF THIS IS A DIFFERENT PERSON THEN COME FORWARD. Stop lying to the American people every time a former terrorist or ACORN scumbag is caught visiting the White House.

Posted By: DJ | December 31, 2009 at 12:26 PMReport Abuse

I just searched 160+ million registered voter records---all states except CA, AZ, SD and PA on: http://www.Electorates.US and got 126 records with "Bertha Lewis" as the name. PS: There are three voters at www.Electorates.US with "Bertha E. Lewis" as a name! There are 34 named: Bertha M. Lewis. Seems plausible to me but don't let the facts ruin your theory.

Posted By: ShawnHarmon | December 31, 2009 at 09:34 PM

I had promised myself i wouldn't write about Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods IN REHAB? Golfer Forced To Arizona Clinic For Addiction Treatment, Report Says:
"This is not the first article to allege that the embattled golfer is seeking professional help. Earlier in December a report was published claiming that Woods was in an Arizona rehab clinic for 'sexual compulsion' and Vicodin and Ambien use. The officer responsible for investigating Woods' car accident reportedly requested a subpoena because he believed Ambien and Vicodin may have been a factor in the crash. Another report claimed that Woods was classified as an overdose patient when he was admitted to the hospital after his car accident."
I like getting laid and I remember that being stoned was fun too. This kind of shit pisses me off because as someone with an actual mental illness it trivializes what I and others like me go through every single day of our lives.

I was never under any illusion that Tiger Woods was a perfect person to use this BS excuse is slimy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And the Winner is

Lawyers, Guns and Money: More on race and racialism in Avatar.:
"It could be the case that all the other models for the Na'vi are white, but it seems clear to me that Cameron chose these actors for the central Na'vi characters according to racialized criteria; i.e. while he didn't necessarily choose them because they weren't white, his vision of a primitive, native culture didn't include white people. The representatives of humanity, however, were not only overwhelmingly white, even the exceptions played to stereotype: Dileep Rao played an Indian scientist and Michelle Rodriguez played a Latina tough. My point in my previous Avatar post about the film indulging in the white fantasy of becoming the proverbial other is, then, made literal by Cameron's casting decisions: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Joel Moore play three white characters who inhabit bodies otherwise occupied only by actors of color. I'm not normally one to invest much of anything argumentative based on what happens on a casting couch, but in this case, Cameron tipped his hand with all the subtlety of an overconfident drunk: the purpose of the avatars is to place white brains in blue bodies that would otherwise be inhabited by black ones."
The award is for the most pointless overanalysis of a James Cameron film.

Knighthood for Patrick Stewart!

Knighthood for Patrick Stewart? Queen says make it so -
"London, England (CNN) -- He has played kings, princes, captains and professors on stage and screen, but now actor Patrick Stewart will have a new title all his own: 'Sir.'
The 69-year-old Yorkshire, England, native tops the list of those receiving New Year's honors from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, the Cabinet Office announced Thursday."
As it should be.


GMAC to receive 3rd round of bailout funds - Dec. 30, 2009:
"NEW YORK ( -- GMAC Financial Services will receive a third round of bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury Department and the government will have a controlling stake in the company, according to a government report Wednesday.

The troubled auto and mortgage lender will collect $3.8 billion of additional aid on top of the nearly $13.5 billion already received since December 2008, the Treasury said in a statement Wednesday."
Outstanding. Not only do we own AIG and the toxic pile of shit that it sits on but we now own GMAC.

Why aren't people in the streets with pitchforks and torches chasing banksters down the street yet?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So Far, 25 States Have Emptied Their Unemployment Funds | Crooks and Liars

So Far, 25 States Have Emptied Their Unemployment Funds | Crooks and Liars:
"You have to love how utterly shameless these Republican oligarchs are. In the middle of a massive recession, a Republican governor is complaining about 'Rolls Royce' unemployment benefits in Indiana. By 'Rolls Royce,' I assume he means anyone who's getting enough money to pay for heat is living too damned high on the hog.

Maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Indiana: $360.

But that's not even news, is it? That the party that so happily poured billions of untracked dollars down the memory hole in Iraq is suddenly so thrifty when it comes to us cannot be a shock to any sentient being:

The recession's jobless toll is draining unemployment-compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections, 40 state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion in loans to keep issuing the benefit checks."
Can't disagree with a word of this


"[I]t would be helpful if certain annoying people would fuck off in 2010."

Whiskey Fire: The Hole I Dig Is Bottomless

Whiskey Fire: The Hole I Dig Is Bottomless
"Even to the layman it is quite clear that when you ram Large Hardons together at that sort of velocity and with that sort of power, accidents are bound to occur. But where is the information about proper safety precautions? Medical treatment? Notification of relatives (God forbid)? Lubricant? Nowhere! This is enough by itself to suspect wrongdoing, if not outright conspiracy.

Moreover, look at this again: 'The collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are part of an experiment to recreate conditions immediately after the Big Bang at the start of the universe.' Foolishness. If you want to understand any sort of a 'Big Bang,' you need to look at� the state of Large Hardons immediately prior to the event! What do these 'scientists' take us for, anyway? I'd say the project organizers here have egg or something all over their faces right about now."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dutch sailor found safe in St. Maarten -

Dutch sailor found safe in St. Maarten -
"THE HAGUE, Netherlands–Police tracked down 14-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker in the Caribbean territory of St. Maarten, days after she ran away from home leaving her boat behind, Dutch media reported late Sunday.

Dekker made headlines around the world earlier this year when she unsuccessfully went to court as a 13-year-old to fight for the right to set off on a single-handed circumnavigation of the world in her boat, Guppy."
oh yes, absolutely mature enough to sail round the world

Economist's View: Paul Krugman: A Dangerous Dysfunction

Economist's View: Paul Krugman: A Dangerous Dysfunction:
"Back in the mid-1990s two senators — Tom Harkin and, believe it or not, Joe Lieberman — introduced a bill to reform Senate procedures. ... Sixty votes would still be needed to end a filibuster at the beginning of debate, but if that vote failed,... eventually a simple majority could end debate. Mr. Harkin says that he’s considering reintroducing that proposal, and he should. ...
Remember, the Constitution sets up the Senate as a body with majority — not supermajority — rule. So the rule of 60 can be changed. ..."
Of course Lieberman was also for a public option before he was against it. Will be interesting to see if this ever gets to the floor

Daily Kos: First pass at health care vote breaks 60-40

Daily Kos: First pass at health care vote breaks 60-40:
After months and months and months of striving for the holy grail of bipartisanship, it comes down to this. As expected.
That is what strikes me as well. The amount of dithering and watering down of this bill to snag one or two non-democrats shows the folly of this approach. From here on out it is time to bring the hammer down on the Conservadems and Leiberman. If they want to be seen as obstructionist as the GOP then fine, but let them know that if that happens then they are on their own. You don't get committee chairs and you don't get baskets of money from the party if you aren't willing to toe the party line on the stuff that matters.

Anyone with a working braincell knew that this was going to come down to a 60/40 party line vote and it was delusional to think otherwise. Knowing this, the bill should have been crafted to start out somewhere around Medicare Part E and let it be "compromised" down to a robust public option with good cost controls. If I can figure that out then can someone explain to my why Harry Reid couldn't? I would argue that if he didn't realize the way this would go then it is time for someone with a bit more intestinal fortitude to be leading the Senate.

Yeah, I know. I am such a dreamer

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top US General Bans Pregnancies For Soldiers Under His Command | Video Cafe

Top US General Bans Pregnancies For Soldiers Under His Command | Video Cafe:
The Army general of U.S. forces in Northern Iraq has banned pregnancy among military personnel in his command, NBC News reported on Friday.

Anyone who becomes pregnant or impregnates another servicemember, including married couples assigned to the same unit, could face a court-martial and jail time, according to an order issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo.

To me, this means that he has effectively banned heterosexual sex unless one partner is sterile since there is no 100% effective birth control method. Good luck with that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Worst Border Crossing Ever

From Peter Watts
If you buy into the Many Worlds Intepretation of quantum physics, there must be a parallel universe in which I crossed the US/Canada border without incident last Tuesday. In some other dimension, I was not waved over by a cluster of border guards who swarmed my car like army ants for no apparent reason; or perhaps they did, and I simply kept my eyes downcast and refrained from asking questions.

It gets worse, go read.

via Digby

Monday, December 7, 2009

CNN being stupid

Speaking of VirginGalactic's new toy CNN says the following
The cabin, which seats six paying passengers, is 90 inches -- nearly 9 feet -- in diameter, which provides "lots of room for zero-G fun," Branson's Web site said.
Call me old-fashioned but isnt that damn near exactly 7 1/2 feet?

The helpful explanation "-- nearly 9 feet --" is not on virgin galactic's site, only on CNN's. How fucking stupid do you have to be to think that 90" is nearly 9 feet? I can see "over 7 feet" or "nearly 8 feet" but come on.

Shaking my head.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What The Fuck?

Perino: "We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term" | Media Matters for America
Perino: "We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term"

Go watch the video. This is fucking delusional. Neither Hannity not Varney called her on her obvious bullshit. I am again reduced to sputtering.

Monday, November 23, 2009

From the "I Pulled These Numbers Out Of My Ass" Department

Statistics on homosexuals
Some statistics about the Homosexual lifestyle:

* One study reports 70% of homosexuals admitting to having sex only one time with over 50% of their partners (3).

* One study reports that the average homosexual has between 20 and 106 partners per year (6). The average heterosexual has 8 partners in a lifetime.

* Many homosexual sexual encounters occur while drunk, high on drugs, or in an orgy setting (7).

* Many homosexuals don't pay heed to warnings of their lifestyles: "Knowledge of health guidelines was quite high, but this knowledge had no relation to sexual behavior" (16).

* Homosexuals got homosexuality removed from the list of mental illnesses in the early 70s by storming the annual American Psychiatric Association (APA) conference on successive years. "Guerrilla theater tactics and more straight-forward shouting matches characterized their presence" (2). Since homosexuality has been removed from the APA list of mental illnesses, so has pedophilia (except when the adult feels "subjective distress") (27).

* Homosexuals account for 3-4% of all gonorrhea cases, 60% of all syphilis cases, and 17% of all hospital admissions (other than for STDs) in the United States (5). They make up only 1-2% of the population.
There is little I can say about this because other than the fact that it goes on and on. A lot of the sources are very old at best and questionable at worst. One of them was about AIDS being a result of a type of sperm allergy. The nice thing about science is that it is largely self correcting. Sadly the same cannot be said about stupidity.

Scenes From SinglesLand

As anyone that has heard me whine about it my faithful readers know, I am single and yes I do wander around online dating sites. Folks will also recall that I am often confused by other people's profiles. Here is the latest one that made me say WTF.
I am not interested in anyone over the age of 45. If you are over the age of 45 please do not write to me. Now that I have gotten that out of the way....Hi.
Now, truth be told I AM over 45 so I am hard pressed to complain about it because the profile did succeed in making me not want to "connect" with them but is that REALLY all they have to say about themselves?

Full disclosure, and not a surprise to anyone I am sure, my profile is SLIGHTLY longer than that. Of course since I am a 47 (damn near 48) year old man, it obviously requires slightly more of a sales pitch. Hmm, maybe I should put a note in that I absolutely will not date anyone less than a "9". Would get me some fun hate mail anyway.

And no, I don't wonder why I am single.

This is not a joke

Harmon Leon - The Infiltrator – Only Christian Side Hugs Before Marriage! - True/Slant
Yes, now it’s abstinence only for Christian teens when it comes to hugs. The basic message is that “front hugs” should be saved until marriage, This is told to us while using a lot of ghetto rap hand motions. (”Word!”) I think the fear here is if teens give each other a “full frontal hug” it’s leads towards the Satanic road of no return of crotch-to-crotch dry humping. The next thing you know, you’ll be on that slippery slope of supporting gay marriage and believing dinosaur bones aren’t a test from God. Best to keep it safe with a “side hug” (at least until one is declared man and wife). When the hell did the Christian church put out the memo about the inappropriate frontal hug!?
Just Kill Me. I mean honestly. As you can see, I am reduced to mere sputtering.

via Matthew Yglesias

Stupidest comment of the day: From Beliefnet

Psalm 109:8--A Prayer for Obama or Ourselves? - Progressive Revival
November 23, 2009 12:13 AM

Obama is not a Christian , thats why he declared our nation a none Christian nation. But He can't stop the Christians from praying . He can't stop our be leafs in GOD ! But using the bible and prayers in a harmful way upon anyone is wrong ! True Obama is doing nothing good for this country and the people. True he is Muslim , But thats his choice . When you pray its all to one God the same God. No matter what ( He ) God is called in different religions around the world. True the Muslim bible is taken in the wrong context and these people commit crimes and suicide and kill in be leaf that they will be rewarded , All wrong ! But to pray for the demise of any human being is wrong and prayer should never Ever be used that way. I don't agree with anything Obama is doing. But why not pray the God intervene and turn Obama in the right direction for this country . That would be the good way to pray .
It truly frightens me that people believe this much bullshit. Oddly enough, they are often marginally literate, ignorant of history and nearly always consider themselves good Christians. None of the truly good Christians that I know would be this delusional.

I am sure that, since "Marie" says it is wrong to pray for someone to be killed, she thinks she is a good Christian. I don't.

Why I never say anything on FB that I wouldn't say to someone's face

Canadian woman fights insurance giant after benefits cut over Facebook photos --
BROMONT, Quebec (AP) — A Canadian woman on long-term sick leave for depression says she lost her benefits because her insurance agent found photos of her on Facebook in which she appeared to be having fun.
Besides the fact that there is a common misconception about what depression is (and the rest of the article shows this) this illustrates why I say what I do about online life. Be yourself, no matter who that person is, or don't be online. If your actions can be misconstrued then don't post pictures of you doing them online.

I say some obnoxious and rude things online and share details of my life that are uncomfortable for me to type and possibly uncomfortable for others to read, there is no doubt of that. One friend of my calls that ballsy, I just call it being me. It is true that there can be, and have been, repercussions because of online activities.

Having said that, Manulife is a herd of weasels if this was in any way part of a decision to rescind this woman's disability benefits. Being in the midst of a major depressive episode doesn't mean that you have to lie in bed all day and rot. There are days when you almost feel like a real person, and when you have those days you SHOULD get out and try to enjoy it because FSM knows when the next of those days comes along. Anyone at an insurance company that seriously thinks that it would be fun to FAKE long term psychiatric illness (which a year of depression would be) needs to get a clue. You would have to be a psychopath to be able to fake it consistently over that long a period of time and there is no way I would want THAT person working beside me thanks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Free Advice For Google

Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company’s being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.
Don't object to Microsoft and News Corp getting into bed together. Murdoch and Ballmer deserve each other and it will be entertaining to see how quickly the relationship devolves into backbiting and stupidity. I will supply the popcorn.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Senator

Alter: Lieberman, Health Care, and Hurt Feelings | Newsweek Voices - Jonathan Alter |
I'm not a public-option-or-bust guy. There's enough good stuff in the legislation that the loss of a public option, while damaging, wouldn't wreck the whole thing. I'm a bill-or-bust guy. If we need to fix the legislation later—Social Security was fixed several times after enactment in 1935—we can. But failure is not an option. I don't get the impression that Lieberman agrees. If the public option is defeated, he'll find something else to complain about. The only leverage Harry Reid has over him is the threat to take away his committee chairmanship. It may yet come to that. History is littered with big moments that turned on the pettiness of small men. Now the fate of the most ambitious social legislation in a generation may come down to the hurt feelings of one senator.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look at the last 5 countries

CPI 2009 Table/2009/cpi/surveys_indices/policy_research
Corruption Perceptions Index 2009

  • The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) table shows a country's ranking and score, the number of surveys used to determine the score, and the confidence range of the scoring.
  • The rank shows how one country compares to others included in the index. The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public-sector corruption in a country/territory.
  • The CPI is based on 13 independent surveys. However, not all surveys include all countries. The surveys used column indicates how many surveys were relied upon to determine the score for that country.
  • The confidence range indicates the reliability of the CPI scores and tells us that allowing for a margin of error, we can be 90% confident that the true score for this country lies within this range.
I feel very good about the fact that we are spending huge sums of money making Iraq and Afghanistan safe for corruption. What, you mean that isn't what the idea was?

Secret Service Take note

Biblical anti-Obama slogan: Use of Psalm 109:8 funny or sinister? |
There’s a new slogan making its way onto car bumpers and across the Internet. It reads simply: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”

A nice sentiment?

Maybe not.

The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.

But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
I despised President G.W. Bush. I never wished him dead. This is fucking revolting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Maybe I won't read it after all

INSTAPUTZ: Review: Going Rogue
Following American politics for the last two decades (and teaching about it for the last six years) I often feel like our political spectacles have taken on the air of an elaborate Dadaist performance piece, with each “Tea Party,” Fox News segment, and Republican Savior more egregiously blurring the lines between reality, farce, and surrealism. We watch each Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal speech fully expecting Ashton Kutcher to appear and let us in on the joke, informing America that it has in fact been punk’d and laughing uproariously at our gullibility. Our collective capacity for credulity has been strained to breaking.

Now we are faced with the daunting task of wrapping our minds around the Palin memoir Going Rogue, appearing atop a bestseller list near you. Millions of copies will be sold of a book written by someone who can’t write, intended for an audience that doesn’t read, about the thoughts of a person who doesn’t think. God is dead.

If you are in a hurry, here is the succinct version of this review: Going Rogue is shit. It is groundbreaking in its banality and disregard for facts. If you are sentient, it will pain you to read it. Imagine watching your parents 69 one another while John Madden sits behind you and bellows out color commentary and you will have some idea of how excruciating and profoundly scarring it is to plow through each page of this wholly fictional monument to self-aggrandized mediocrity. Going Rogue is to the art of writing what the Holocaust is to the concept of a just God – the piece of disconfirming evidence so overwhelming that we are left questioning whether it can exist at all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can Easily Imagine This Scene

MediaPost Publications These Aren't The DROIDS You're Looking For 11/12/2009
You know that catchy little metallic "Droid" voice that emanates from the new Verizon/Motorola/Android device released last weekend? Guess when it stops being cute? About an hour into a traffic jam on I-95, while in a Mini Cooper with two women who have to pee.

"Oh my god, Dad, make it stop!" my daughter whined from the back seat. We took the DROID on a road trip from Wilmington, Del. to Baltimore to test its various geo-location features, including the turn-by-turn navigation system baked into the device.

Facebook app leaderboards - Facebook Application Metrics
Leaderboards for Sunday, November 15, 2009
#1, to no one's surprise I am sure, is FarmVille.

The subtitle says it all

Eek! Keep Those Scary Bra-Burners Away From My Sexy Feminine Self! : Thus Spake Zuska
Subtitle: It's really cool when feminists can help me advance my personal interests, as long as nobody sees me talking to them, 'cause, you know, they're ugly.
Zuska does a nice takedown of a preening little twit that thinks that feminists are icky despite the fact that she would not be where she is without them. I consider myself a feminist and I am male. A feminist, to me, is anyone that espouses equality of opportunity for the sexes, it is also what any sane person should be.

Especially amusing is when Victoria attempts to explain herself more fully.

Note: I am not saying the men and women are precisely the same because that would be delusional and, to be honest, not much fun for me.

Not merely stupid but dangerous

Skeptic North: Magician Prescriptions: Ontario Poised to Let Naturopaths Prescribe
The other day, I went to a magic show. The magician manipulated energy fields, pulled toxins out of my stomach, and then gave me a remedy - but there was nothing inside. Then he pulled out a prescription pad, prescribed some Tamiflu, and sent me on my way.

Seem unlikely? Well, the Ontario government is poised to give another type of magician -- the naturopath -- prescribing rights, despite the reams of evidence discrediting their approach to patient health. It's a move that legitimizes a well-meaning but baseless profession, and puts patients at significant risk.
I know otherwise sane people that believe in homeopathy and that naturopaths do good work. I do not think that any of those people would think that allowing a naturopath to prescribe "allopathic" medicines more powerful than tylenol is a good idea.

Shocking News

Superstar CEOs Suck
We find that award-winning CEOs subsequently underperform, both relative to their prior performance and relative to a matched sample of non-winning CEOs. At the same time, they extract more compensation following the awards, both in absolute amounts and relative to other top executives in their firms. They also spend more time on public and private activities outside their companies, such as assuming board seats or writing books.
But they have to pay them so much or they will leave... Fine, let them

Fooled By Randomness

Surprise (Not): Madoff’s Results Were Generated Via a Randomizer
Defendants knew that all of this data was, for all intents and purposes,
randomly generated and assigned to purported trades by programs they created.
Defendants knew that this was unlike the [internal] House 5 system, on which trade blotter
came from actual executed trades and was verified through data received from
counterparties and clearing agencies. Some of the House 17 programs even included
randomness checks, i.e., code that analyzed program results to ensure they were
sufficiently random.
With apologies to Nassim Nicholas Taleb

On defense spending as economic stimulus

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Obama Wants Spending Cuts, He Should Start With Military
Defense spending means that the government is pulling away resources from the uses determined by the market and instead using them to buy weapons and supplies and to pay for soldiers and other military personnel. In standard economic models, defense spending is a direct drain on the economy, reducing efficiency, slowing growth and costing jobs.

Global Insight’s model projected that after 20 years the economy would be about 0.6 percentage points smaller as a result of the additional defense spending. Slower growth would imply a loss of almost 700,000 jobs compared to a situation in which defense spending had not been increased. Construction and manufacturing were especially big job losers in the projections, losing 210,000 and 90,000 jobs, respectively.

What Scares Me about Obama

“President Obama, deficit terrorism is not the answer!” « naked capitalism
After sensibly calling for a jobs summit to deal with the problem of rising unemployment, President Obama’s Herbert Hoover-like alter ego has re-emerged again to warn us again about the evils of government deficit spending. According to, the President “plans to announce in next year’s State of the Union address that he wants to focus extensively on cutting the federal deficit in 2010 — and will downplay other new domestic spending beyond jobs programs, according to top aides involved in the planning.”

The President and his economic advisors are now being driven by the polls, which, in turn, are being driven by the deficit myths of their own creation. It is a case of the blind leading the blind down the rabbit hole. They impose political constraints on their own actions in a manner which is highly destructive in terms of securing their prized legislative goals (like the health care debate, where all decent policy proposals have foundered on the question of “how are we going to make this ‘deficit neutral’”?).

Not Left And Right - Left and Wrong

Matthew Yglesias » A Good While Longer, I Think
The Obama plan is, in my view, sort of loosely modeled on the Swiss and Dutch systems. And it’s attracted no support whatsoever from conservative politicians. But the GOP leadership did release a health care plan, focused on deregulation of health insurance companies, that would do nothing to reduce the number of uninsured people. I think it’s perfectly fair to say that universal coverage is the issue separating the left and right. When I see conservative politicians getting behind some version of universal coverage—even something like Martin Feldstein’s plan to give everyone catastrophic coverage—then I’ll stop saying conservatives don’t care about helping the uninsured.

Small Time Banksters

Calculated Risk: Orion Bank CEO Had a Plan ...
In order to improve its management, the Bank must dismiss Jerry Williams (“Williams”), its current chief executive officer, president, and chairman of its board of directors, from office and as a member of the board of directors, based on the following:

(a) Prior to June 2009, the Bank reached its legal lending limit under Florida law with respect to the aggregate loans outstanding to a borrower and his related interests. In June 2009, Williams permitted the Bank to make loans of an additional approximately $60 million to straw borrowers who were related interests of the borrower referred to above in continuing violation of the Florida legal lending limit statute (the “June 2009 loans”);

Cool Clear Water

Jim Nash - Controversial Science – Water Found on the Moon - True/Slant
“Indeed yes, we found water.”

With those words, relayed by the New York Times, NASA investigator Anthony Colaprete ended one of the biggest Moon debates since we first landed there in ‘69 and found no green cheese.

Stupak Stupid?

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
Stupak also displays a stunning lack of understanding about what his legislation actually does, and what the original language, the Capps amendment did, to maintain Hyde. Particularly deceptive is his assertion that "There is no greater restriction placed on anyone."

There's very much a greater restriction placed on those women whose employers might currently be offering insurance coverage, which is very likely to include abortion coverage, and decide to move into the exchange for a better deal. those women are very likely to lose coverage, because the chances are pretty good, they or someone else in their plan with them will be getting a federal subsidy to help with coverage. How many might it be? Potentially millions

Missing the Obvious

Jim VanDeHei said on MSNBC that there's no way to cut the deficit without cutting entitlement programs unless we can grow our way out of the deficits with a growing economy.

Kos Makes a Funny

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
Thanks for making clear that "home of the brave" refers only to US liberals, since we aren't pissing our pants at the thought of Gitmo inmates on US soil.

Althouse vs the Palin Worshippers with a side order of Bush

INSTAPUTZ: Althouse finds out what happens when you cross the 20-percenters.
The problem with a Bush supporter like Althouse (Frum is guilty of this, too) calling Sarah Palin "dumb" is -- I'm pretty sure she's a hell of a lot smarter than Shrubya.

Yes, she might be pig ignorant and intellectually lazy -- I doubt she can name half the state capitals. But she did a hell of a lot more with what she started out with in life -- pretty much nothing -- than Chimpy did.

Jobs Saved

RGE - Counting "Jobs Saved" by Obama Fiscal Stimulus
I am astounded by claims that fiscal stimulus under recession circumstances doesn’t create jobs. Or at least I am astounded when such claims come even from some reputable economists. Do they think that a construction job on a road-building project doesn’t count as a real job if the funding comes from the government? Or do they think that the increase in demand doesn’t raise output in the aggregate, because the federal debt crowds out private production and so someone else somewhere loses his or her job? That would be hard to believe, at a time when the Fed is keeping interest rates at zero, long-term interest rates are also quite low, and capacity is lying idle. Moreover, Republican lectures to Democrats about the evils of the national debt take real chutzpah, after Presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II increased the debt ten-fold during periods when no national emergency required it.

Balloon Juice Comment Of The Day

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » I Want You, I Don’t Want Anybody Else, And When I Think About You
Has “No, I won’t put this on the internet” replaced “No, I won’t come in your mouth” as the lie most often told in bed these days?

Comedy Podcasts - Marc Maron Edition

Brian Donovan - NewsCast Aside – The Comedy Podcasts You Should Be Listening To - True/Slant
2. WTF with Marc Maron (bi-weekly): Marc Maron is another comic who should be bigger than he is. Smart, intellectual, and a good bit angry, Marc is George Carlin meets Sam Kinison but with a baking fetish and a lot of cats. His podcast feels a bit more “show-y” than Fitzsimmons’, as he has actual segments, and a regular opening monologue/rant. Maron is an Air America graduate, and that’s not hard to guess from his show’s bent, but he rarely gets preachy. Recent must listen interviews are Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, and Todd Barry. Seriously, you see what I’m talking about here? Marc and Greg are offering you some of the best comics in the COUNTRY totally for free. Get on that, would ya! Oh and the Caroline Rhea episode is a clinic in passive aggression, so check that one out too.
Personally I think Marc Maron is hilarious. If you know who the rest are, you know what to do.

Wingnut Begging

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » About That Free Market
And I just love how they are using the market collapse as a Reason to keep them in wingnut welfare. Let the financial market crash, and then deregulate even more! Invisible hand!
The part that amuses me the most is that they want people to give money to the foundation that publishes the magazine because that way it will be tax deductible...


RGE - An Open Letter to Harry Reid on Controlling Health Care Costs
Nobody promised you this would be easy, Harry. But, hell, why are you there, anyway? Your responsibility isn't just to pass whatever will muster 60 votes and that the President and Dems can later call "health care reform." It's to do the right thing by the American people and bring down future health-care costs. Don't cave in to Lieberman or Nelson or the drug companies or the private insurers or the AMA or anyone else. Lead the charge.

Real Filibustering

Latest Installment of Make ‘em Filibuster - Swampland -
So do it, Harry Reid. Don't try to stop a filibuster on the health care bill. Let them. Make them. Also, while you're at it, if Tom Coburn wants to read the bill on the Senate floor, let him do it--with two stipulations. It should be Coburn himself who does the reading, not the poor overworked clerk. And the entire Senate should be forced to sit there in the Chamber and listen.
Bring on the popcorn

Not Paying Attention

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
Seriously? They voted against an amendment that was prompted by the brutal gang-rape of a young woman by her co-workers while she was working for a company under contract for the United States government, after which she was locked in a shipping container without food or water, threatened if she left to seek medical treatment, and was then prevented from bringing criminal charges against her assailants. And they failed to anticipate the political consequences?

Boy, are they stupid (among other, less flattering things).

The 900 Lb Gorilla in the 9/11 trials - Torture

Emptywheel » The 9/11 Trials: The Torture Question
Isikoff: [inaudible] harsh interrogation techniques. Inevitably, defense attorneys are going to seek full disclosure about the circumstances of how these detainees were treated while they were in US custody and get as much of that before the jury as they can. What is the department’s position on whether the defense will be entitled to know the full story of how these detainees were treated while they were in US custody?

Holder: Well, I think the question … among the questions that have to be asked in that regard is relevance. How relevant were those statements? Will those statements be used? I don’t know what the defense will try to do–it’s hard for me to speculate at this point, so it’s hard to know exactly what our response will be. But I’m quite confident on the basis of the evidence that we will be able to present, some of which I said has not been even publicly discussed before that we will be successful in our attempts to convict those men.

Zero Tolerance

Karen Dukess - Monkey Bars – High School Girl Gets 2-Week Suspension for Taking Birth Control Pill - True/Slant
Does this punishment fit the crime? A Virginia high school girl broke a school rule against taking any kind of drugs in school by taking her daily birth control pill. She got caught, and got a two-week suspension and a recommendation for expulsion.
Zero tolerance rules are there so that administrators don't actually have to make tough decisions. But isn't that precisely what they are paid for?


What's wrong with 'meep'? It's all in how you say it -, Salem, MA
DANVERS — It's no surprise that using bad language in school can get you into hot water. But "meep"?

Danvers High parents recently got an automated call from the principal warning them that if students say or display the word "meep" at school, they could face suspension.

Meep doesn't mean much, unless you are Beaker — the hapless, orange-haired assistant to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew on "The Muppet Show."

While meep may be nonsense, what it represented was no laughing matter to the high school's administration. High school Principal Thomas Murray said students were using it and other words to disrupt school in a particular part of the building on Cabot Road. The term later became part of a disruption some students were planning online.

Here Endeth The lesson

Halperin: 'It Paints Such a Different Picture' if Obama's Standing With Republicans When Announcing Afghan Policy | Video Cafe
Yeah, that’s just what he need Halperin. Obama and Mr. Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran standing hand in hand announcing his Afghanistan policy. News flash to Halperin—McCain lost the election. And Obama needs to be listening to his base, not McCain.

Thus Spake Digby

I'm not saying that we should panic. These people are politically weak in their own right. But when I see the liberal gasbags on TV blithely dismissing this as if it''s impossible that Americans could ever fall for such lunacy, I feel a little frisson of alarm. I've read too many accounts of people who, 80 or so years ago, complacently made the same assumption. And the whole world found out that under the right circumstances even the most civilized nations can throw in with the crazies.

Shitty Legisation

Because the bill was held up for so long in the Senate, an end-of-the-year filing deadline will prevent anyone from accessing the final six weeks of benefits, according to state officials and sources on Capitol Hill. On Friday, President Obama signed into law legislation extending jobless benefits by 14 weeks nationwide, with an additional six weeks for those states where unemployment rates top 8.5 percent. Those benefits kicked in on Sunday. But there’s a glitch. The new law treats the 20-week extension as two separate extensions of 14 weeks and six weeks, with participants required to exhaust the first 14 weeks before applying for the next six. However, the current law keeps a Dec. 31 application deadline, roughly seven weeks from now, making collecting the full 20 weeks impossible.
Why the fuck do the GOP legislators keep outsmarting the Dems on things like this? I refuse to believe it is because they are actually smarter. Unfortunately it leaves me with the conclusion that they have some sort of pact with Satan and since I am an atheist that seriously fucks with my worldview.

This piece has no title

CO Republican's Tweet Compares Obama To 9/11 Hijackers | Crooks and Liars
Schultheis' full tweet Tuesday was: "Don't for a second think Obama wants what is best for U.S. He is flying the U.S. plane right into the ground at full speed. Let's roll."
Untitled because I couldn't figure out whether to call this esteemed gentleman an asshole, a douchebag or a fuckwit.


Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » A Question
Without google, who are AC Wharton and John Peyton?

Answer: The mayors of Memphis and Jacksonville, respectively, both of whom govern cities with population sizes comparable to Alaska. I’m betting 99% of you have never heard of them.

I have noticed this trend too

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Feel the Thunementum
In for a Broder, in for a Brooks. Am I alone in thinking that “prairie background” sounds like a euphemism? And why do so many profiles of Republican presidential candidates read like soft-core gay male pornography (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?

Via Atrios

Looney Birther Lawyer Won't Pay Up

Judge Directs US Attorney To Collect $20K From Orly Taitz After Failure To Pay Fine | TPMMuckraker
"Orly Taitz has failed to pay the $20,000.00 sanction ordered by the Court on October 13, 2009. Accordingly, the Clerk is ordered to enter final judgment in favor of the United States of America and against Orly Taitz in the principal amount of $20,000.00. The United States Attorney is authorized and directed to collect the judgment as provided by law.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 13th day of November, 2009. "

Headshakingly Disingenuous

Daily Kos: Really, GOP? Dems are Anti-Woman?
It's not that you really expect honest debate out of Republicans, but seriously, how do they come up with this stuff?

Justice II

O'Reilly thinks letting terrorists have their day in court is a waste of taxpayer money | Crooks and Liars
O'Reilly just wound up shouting at them about the four-year trial of Zacarias Moussaoui -- who in fact was convicted. But to O'Reilly, what was intolerable was that Moussaoui was able to use the trial as "propaganda" for radical Islam.

O'Reilly just doesn't believe in the American way of justice, and is afraid to let the world see our justice. Fortunately, many more of us are not so cowardly.



WASHINGTON — In the official record of the historic House debate on overhauling health care, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with similarities. Often, that was no accident.

Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.

Problem Bank List

Calculated Risk: Unofficial Problem Bank List increases to 507
Note: This was before the three FDIC bank seizures today.

This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks.

Mark Sanford doesnt think he should resign

AP NewsBreak: US governor says he considered resigning over affair, but will remain in office
The governor admitted last week to a yearlong affair with a woman in Argentina. He and his wife say they will try to reconcile. Some lawmakers are calling for him to resign because he used public money to see the mistress during one trip, and because he was out of touch with his staff during his recent weeklong tryst.
Sanford repeatedly said he did not use public money for the trip, so it was not clear why he has agreed to reimburse the state for some of the more-than $8,000 in taxpayer money spent on the Argentina leg of an economic development trip to South America last year.

I think it is pretty clear. Mark Sanford is a lying sack of shit. Something that is no surprise to his wife at this point.

Addendum: I originally wrote this in June and didn't publish it for some reason. He didn't resign. He is still a sack of shit.

Michael Scherer Being Simultaneously Pedantic and Obtuse

Barack Obama: First Pacific President? Not exactly. - Swampland -
It seems awkward for Obama to claim that the United States and Asia are "bound" by the Pacific Ocean, but those born on the U.S. side of that bind do not count as "Pacific" people. But then I guess "first Pacific president" sounds better than "me and Richard Nixon are two Pacific presidents."
I know a fair number of folks that live or have lived in CA and I don't know of one of them that thinks that they are of the Pacific unless they were born somewhere else, like on an island. Feel free to correct me but does any non-politician really see the US, or Canada for that matter, as a Pacific country?

This is weak even for Scherer.

Precisely Right

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Saturday Night Open Thread
5.) There is a strong relationship between those who do not think we should trust our democracy and try terrorists as criminals and those who got their panties in a bunch because the President shows his respect to foreign leaders. So much of understanding the current Republican party and their behavior can be explained away as small penis syndrome. Just a bunch of bedwetters.


Internal Moon Church Memo: Fired Wash Times Publisher Was Escorted Out By Security, Cell Phone Seized | TPM LiveWire
When Washington Times Publisher Thomas McDevitt was fired last Sunday, his successor Jonathan Slevin and two security guards escorted him from the Times headquarters to his car and confiscated his cell phone and computer, according to an internal Unification Church memo provided to TPM by multiple church members.
I like TPM a lot but what is described here is no big deal. If I was terminated by my employer I would expect to be escorted out to my car and have my work supplied computer and cell phone confiscated. I wouldn't like it, but I would expect it. It may not seem polite but terminating someone who has been in a position of trust is not a polite circumstance.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Imagine My Shock

FDL Action » Goldman Sachs: Insurance Stocks Would Drop 36% By 2019 With House Public Option
Pretty interesting. Goldman Sachs evaluates the impact of the Finance Committee health care bill, the House bill and no bill on the value of insurance stocks over the next 10 years. They focused on the impact of Wall Street’s biggest insurance stocks: Aetna, UnitedHealth, WellPoint, CIGNA and Humana.

The best scenario for the insurance companies is doing nothing:


The Seminal » Does Wolf Blitzer Think It’s Time To Call Out the Lynch Mob?
What happened at Fort Hood was terrifying, it was horrible, it is dislocating, and it is beyond disturbing. But it is not grounds for setting aside the Constitution. Unless everyone has constitutional rights, none of us is guaranteed that our own rights will be protected. When we say that Nazis have a right to free speech, that suspected terrorists have a right to be free from torture, that accused murderers have a right to a fair trial, it doesn’t mean we are endorsing Nazis, terrorists, or murderers (or murderers who are also terrorists). It means that we recognize what the Constitution requires–as it says on the Supreme Court building, "equal justice under law."

Having a Constitution isn’t easy, but it’s something many of us think is worth the effort. As Congress said in 1963 "No persons should be more entitled to protection of their constitutional rights then the servicemen engaged in protecting the sovereignty of the United States." It’s easy to repeat those words when we’re thinking of brave, wrongly accused soldiers caught up in a Kafkaesque misunderstanding. The test of whether the Constitution means what it says is whether we can apply the principle of equal justice to those who appear repellent. I’m glad to answer "yes"–the Constitution must apply to everyone, without exception. That’s the only way we can be sure that we, ourselves, will be protected.
A speedy trial followed by an execution. That is precisely what too many people seem to want here.

A Canadian View On The Vampire Squid

CBC News - World - Shamelessness on Wall Street, who knew?
Put more precisely, this was a brilliant exercise in privatizing profit and socializing risk.

Which is the American way, no matter what conservatives here want to believe about the risk-taking, enterprising, can-do spirit of rugged individualism that supposedly separates American businesses from their spoiled counterparts in the socialist nanny states of Europe and Canada.

To their credit, a great many Americans have seen this for what it is, are angry about it and have called their politicians.

Some of those politicians have had the courage to call people like Blankfein on their nonsense about doing God's work.

Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell has a better term: "casino capitalism."

"Wall Street is not providing access to capital for companies that make things," she says. "Wall Street is using government bailouts to lever up."

Why I no longer consider myself cynical

The Seminal » EMILY’s List Notices, Fundraises Off Of, Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Ellen Malcolm’s cynical email amounts to political malpractice: writing to EMILY’s List large list, asking for money and petition-signing to Harry Reid, when everyone who understands Capitol Hill knows the time to start fighting Stupak-Pitts was when it was announced in July, not now after it has passed the House and can only be stopped in the Senate. "We’ll fix it in conference" is a fools errand for progressives.

And Ellen Malcolm, as head of a long-time Washington institution, should know this.

But three-alarm fundraising and list-building can only be accomplished when women’s rights have actually been put on the chopping block. It wouldn’t suit EMILY’s list, or any other women’s rights Veal Pen denizens, to try to actually stop Stupak back when it mattered and could be headed off completely — much better for any organization’s visibility to let the issue come to a full boil.

Sarah Should Know better

Palin's Enemies List: Lashes Out At The Media, Bloggers, And SNL Writers
"I looked at the script," she writes of the preparation for her appearance on the show. "It wasn't all that funny. SNL writers had taken the campaign's 'Drill, baby, drill' mantra and turned it into a risqué double entendre about Todd and me. I thought, Nah. C'mon, New York talent, we can do better than that."
The last people that you take on are comedians. They will fuck you up!

Shocking News

Women Now Hold Half of U.S. Jobs - For Less Money Than Men | Crooks and Liars
When these stories come out, I have to laugh. Because women on the working-class end of the economic spectrum have had to work for a very long time. Pay raises haven't get pace with the cost of living, to the point where paychecks aren't worth what they were in the 70s. Women stepped in to pick up the slack.

No, what the Wall St. Journal means is that the sort of women who are married to the men who read the Journal have to work now. (It's a class thing!) But some things remain the same: Women still get paid less.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Digby Said

I have a moral objection to paying for any kind of erectile dysfunction medicine in the new health reform bill and I think men who want to use it should just pay for it out of pocket. After all, I won't ever need such a pill. And anyway, it's no biggie. Just because most of them can get it under their insurance today doesn't mean they shouldn't have it stripped from their coverage in the future because of my moral objections. (I don't think there's even been a Supreme Court ruling making wood a constitutional right. I might be wrong about that.)
All over the blogosphere people link to Digby and simply say "what she said". This is one such post.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A good question

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Unspoofable
I have been wondering why very very robust public options for flood and crop insurance are OK, but not for health insurance?
Lifted from the comments

John Cole on stuff

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Whatever
Nothing short of breaking up all the large banks, executing the credit ratings agencies, and then a strict and ruthless enforcement regime will help, and there simply is no willpower for that. Not only is there no willpower for this, as both parties are bought and paid for in full, but if there was any movement on this front, wingnut teabaggers would scream about socialism and tyranny, Reason magazine would scream about government involvement in the private sector and the free flow of capital and the glory of the invisible hand, moderate Democrats everywhere would worry about such public involvement, Joe Lieberman would spend months posturing in front of cameras with a furrowed brow, and whoever was tasked with enforcement would be found in bed with a hooker or whatever else is required to destroy them.

In short, we’re just screwed. Learn your place, deal with it, and learn how to grow food. Watching the way the big money boys have shaped the debate, whipping people who would be helped into a froth about socialism, it just seems so clear to me now after spending the last two decades in a haze. “Sorry unemployment is at 10 percent and you are losing your health insurance while I give myself a couple million dollar bonus, but socialism and Hitler and abortion on demand and death tax oh my God two gay men want the same rights as you! SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE! SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE!”

Such a joke.

John Cole is a recovering Republican

Yglesias on US internet infrastructure

Matthew Yglesias » Open Access Needed
* A certain strain of conservative persists in a perverse effort to try to deny this reality, pointing out irrelevant things like that Sweden is smaller than the U.S. or more urbanized. This is true, but the U.S. contains urban areas that are the exact same size as Stockholm and Göteberg and they have slower internet than those Swedish cities. Meanwhile one of our fastest states—about the same on average as Sweden—is the very rural New Hampshire. Our internet is slower because it’s slower, and it’s clearly slower.

On Patina

Caitlin Kelly - Broadside – Patina — The Beauty Of The Weathered And Worn - True/Slant
Some things are best enjoyed shiny and new: electronics, cookware, lingerie. When it comes to decorative and functional objects, patina rules. Patina is the change in appearance that occurs after years, decades, centuries — even millenia — of use. It comes with delicious names: craquelure, foxing, crazing, all of which denote what is, in effect, decay and ruin of the orginal, but a ruin that shows its age. Some can be repaired or restored and some must be left alone — like the paint on good, old furniture — to retain its commercial value.

Bank oversight

Wow. The banks are trying to create a new oversight board that can change accounting standards whenever they need to hide risk and insolvency from investors and the public. Seriously. And they are doing it in the name of making the economy more stable, if you can believe that. See the real problem comes when people know that banks are failing. So they need to keep that information hidden lest the whole system becomes unstable.


The Freak Show We Live In | Talking Points Memo
It's a pretty unhappy commentary that it has to be reported as news that people are taking issue with the use of pictures of the Dachau death camp as an illustration of the horrors of health care reform. But, alas, such is the world we're living in.
Funny how it seems to be more important to maintain it when it is the DFH's that are making a racket.

Yglesias vs Frum

Matthew Yglesias » Frum on Nuclear Socialism
We seem to me to be in agreement here. Even though carbon pricing ought to make nuclear power profitable on an operating cost basis, it would be prohibitively expensive to raise the capital necessary to construct nuclear plants. I think you could resolve this by having the state step in and do the financing. He thinks, I guess, that some counterfactual private utility could do it if it were far larger than any existing utility. But how would you make these mergers happen? That sounds to me like you need an active state.

I am not upset by this

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
When it's a choice between strengthening the Patriot Act, or showing up for the Tea Party Patriots, what's a GOP lawmaker to do? We'll give you one guess...

Several Republican members of Congress yesterday blew off votes on the signature anti-terror legislation of the post 9/11 era to attend Michele Bachmann's Tea Party rally against health-care reform.
It makes me laugh.


I haz not a sad after visiting this site

The Greening of IT

Greening Your IT Through Your Software Choices
Do your software choices affect the environment? They might. Computers and servers can consume a tremendous amount of natural resources, both through their manufacturing and the power they require to run day in and day out. Improperly disposing of old computers can have a significant negative environmental impact, as well. The carbon footprint of IT equipment in the United States is roughly equal to that of the U.S. airline industry, and growing rapidly, so there’s an environmental imperative for those who recommend and make IT decisions to look for ways to implement IT in a way that is less detrimental to the environment.

The opportunity to reduce environmental impact is not all that’s driving the growing interest in “green IT,” though. There’s a confluence of other opportunities, including cost savings and good technology, that make it compelling. Additional external factors like the Federal government's increasing focus on incentives and regulations may also be relevant for some organizations. Many green changes can be implemented in ways that don’t require the majority of staff members to change their habits, removing what is often a significant obstacle to other greening efforts.

How can you use software to enable more efficient, environmentally friendly IT? In this article, we round up some common examples.

Stupak amendment

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community
So, it turns out that the price of passing health care reform in the House is selling women down the river. There will be a vote on the Stupak Amendment after all. And, no doubt, that amendment will pass. Private insurers will have to drop abortion coverage from plans that have it (which is most of them) in order to participate in the exchanges. The Public Option will not provide abortion coverage. People will get access to affordable health care, but they'll have to pay out of pocket for an abortion. If people want to move to a plan on the exchange, they'll lose the coverage that they currently have.

Problem Bank List

Calculated Risk: Unofficial Problem Bank List Grows to 505
The steady climb in members on the Unofficial Problem Bank list continued this week despite the failure of the multi-bank holding company FBOP Corporation, which took down 9 banks including 5 banks with aggregate assets of $17.5 billion that were on the Unofficial Problem Bank List.

There were 10 additions this week, which pushes the total number of institutions on the list to 505, up from 500 last week. Aggregate assets did drop to $330 billion from $341 billion a week ago.
There were 5 new bank failures yesterday as well.

Krugman FTW

Reagan! Reagan! Reagan! - Paul Krugman Blog -
Growth in per capita real GDP from 1950 to 1980: 2.2 percent per year
Growth in per capita real GDP from 1980 to 2007: 2.0 percent per year

Oh, and if we look at real median family income instead, we get:

Growth from 1950 to 1980: 2.3 percent per year
Growth from 1980 to 2007: 0.7 percent per year

Sorry: there’s no measure I can think of by which the U.S. economy has done better since 1980 than it did over an equivalent time span before 1980. It may be something you’ve heard, it may be something you’d like to believe, but it just didn’t happen.

Blog Comment of the Day So Far

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » So Why Didn’t You?
What we need to do in order to get the Republicans to vote for Healthcare Reform is to simply declare it to be The War On Health. They will fall over each other to vote yes.

I have come to the conclusion that the Repubs that are left simply do not give a shit about anyone other than themselves. Period.

House Health Care Debate part 9878

Infants Against Health Reform (IAHR) - Swampland -
GOP Congressman John Shadeeg just used the ultimate prop in his floor statement, hoisting six-month-old Maddie and telling his colleagues that the infant opposes the current health reform bill because, among other things, "she wants choices in her health care."
I know that members of the Republican Party do not have a monopoly on silliness. It does sometimes seem that try harder at it though.

Dating and Logic

From an online dating site that will remain nameless, this is the opening line of a lady's profile.

I am 5'6" and usually wear heels, so im looking for a man 5'10" or taller.

How does the 2nd part of that sentence follow from the first? A leap like that was enough to make me stop reading the profile for fear of having my computer disappear in a puff of logic. I don't mind if a woman says that she prefers that her male companion be several inches taller. I do mind that she assumes that it is the only logical choice to make.

Before anyone asks, I do meet her height requirements. This is not a matter of short man's syndrome in action.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tancredo and Kos and Mental Health

My regular readers know that I have a significant mental illness. Tom Tancredo got a deferment from serving in Viet Nam due to depression. That illness is basically all that he and I have in common.

I initially thought that it was a cheap shot for Kos to mention the reason for Tancredo's deferment until I saw (via a comment to the original story) that Tancredo had voted against a law that would require insurance companies to treat mental illness the same way as they treat physical illness.

I guess that it was ok for him to stay out of the war due to mental illness but not ok to have people with mental illness treated in the same manner by their insurance company as people with any other chronic (or acute) condition.

Dumbfuckery of the highest order.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Think Progress » Rep. Foxx: Health care reform is a bigger threat than ‘any terrorist right now in any country.’
Everywhere I go in my district, people tell me they are frightened. … I share that fear, and I believe they should be fearful. And I believe the greatest fear that we all should have to our freedom comes from this room — this very room — and what may happen later this week in terms of a tax increase bill masquerading as a health care bill. I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country.
This is the dumbest fucking thing that I have heard all day. And to make sure that there isn't anything dumber out there that will make my head explode ... I am off to bed!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Now that is a lot of pork

Jeff Koyen - The Places You\’ll Go – Loan default leaves Russian bank with 40,000 quarantined pigs as collateral - True/Slant
When billionaire Alexander Lebedev’s National Reserve Bank seized collateral offered against a loan from a cash-strapped borrower, a health quarantine was slapped on the security: 40,450 pigs.

“We had a court decision to take away the collateral, which is the pigs,” Lebedev, 49, said in an interview. The borrower, a farm near Samara, agreed “with the local authorities to establish a quarantine” against African swine fever. Lebedev is still waiting to collect the pigs offered against a loan of 100 million rubles ($3.5 million). Live pig costs an average of 78.4 rubles ($2.70) per kilogram, the National Meat Association says.

Maine Same-Sex Marriage Vote Too Close to call

Daily Kos: ME-Init: Still tied
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/26-28. Likely voters. (9/14-16 results)

As you may know, there will be one question on the ballot this November in Maine addressing the issue of same-sex unions. In part, it will read "Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry?" A "YES" vote takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry. A "NO" vote keeps the right of same-sex couples to marry. If the election were held today, would you vote YES or NO on this question?

Yes 47 (48)
No 48 (46)

That's a 3-point swing in the right direction, but it's within the poll's margin of error, so it could all be float. What we've got is a tied race, which was the case six weeks ago, and is the case this week. This will come down to field.
Would be nice for Maine to actually do the right thing here.

Maddow and Greenwald on Lieberman and Bayh

Glenn Greenwald: Lieberman and Bayh Enriching Themselves and Their Spouses with Opposition to Health Reform | Video Cafe
They went on to discuss the promises made by Joe Lieberman when he was allowed to keep his chairmanship and the way these corporate Democrats have been allowed to do anything they want while liberal Democrats have been threatened with loss of support unless they voted for the war supplemental bill.

It's just pathetic that this type of reporting is the rarity instead of the norm on cable television. If Lieberman and Bayh want to filibuster their own caucus in the Senate, I say break out the cots and the diapers.
Just another reason to love Rachel and Glennzilla

Charges pending?

Bush Nuclear Regulator Contacted Potential Employers With Business Before Agency | TPMMuckraker
A Bush administration official on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which oversees the safety of nuclear sites, is facing a criminal probe after an internal NRC report concluded that he broke ethics rules by approaching companies with business before the agency, and inquiring about employment.

Before his term expired in mid 2007, Jeffrey Merrifield contacted the Shaw Group, Westinghouse, and G.E. about jobs. Twice, he voted on issues that could have affected the financial fortunes of those companies, according to the report by the NRC's inspector general. The case has been referred to the Justice Department.
Usually these morons have enough sense to wait until after they have actually cleaned out the desks at their government office before they whore themselves out.

More hopeful news for the public option

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
Procedurally, having a public option reach the floor means that removing it will effectively take 60 votes. (As David Waldman explained to me, the hurdle would be set at 60 either by unanimous consent agreement or by the willingness of at least 41 senators to filibuster an amendment to strip the public option from the bill.)

As long as senators don't remove the public option from the bill (and there aren't 60 votes against the public option), the only way to stop the public option once it's on the floor will be to wage a successful filibuster against the entire bill -- and despite some loud bluffs, that isn't likely to happen.
They still need to get my douchebag of a esteemed senator onside.

These people make my brain hurt

Health Care Reform = Hellfire | Talking Points Memo
Randall Terry and fellow anti-abortion protestors staked out congressional staffers this morning with costumes and street theater dramatizing how said staffers will soon be burning in hellfire along with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for supporting health care reform.
Go watch the video for yourself. I couldn't make this shit up.

Dick Cheney, Wrong again

Michael Hastings - The Hastings Report – ‘The Taliban is out of business, permanently.’ (Or why Cheney has no credibility on Afghanistan, Part II) - True/Slant
Seven years ago, Dick Cheney proclaimed: “The Taliban is out of business, permanently.” Last week, the former vice-president came close to accusing Barack Obama of lacking the guts to “do what it takes” to win the war against the very same Taliban.

CIT Finally Files For Bankruptcy

CIT Files for Bankruptcy - DealBook Blog -
Update | 3:46 p.m. Three months ago, the CIT Group barely averted what it considered to be a ruinous bankruptcy filing that would likely have put the 101-year-old lender out of business.

On Sunday afternoon, the company filed for Chapter 11 — but under a so-called prepackaged bankruptcy plan that will enable it to emerge from court protection by the end of the year, under the control of its debtholders. (Read the filing after the jump.)

The filing, made in a Manhattan federal court, will still mean much pain for many parties, beginning with taxpayers. CIT received $2.3 billion in government aid last year, a bailout that came in the form of preferred stock. That will almost certainly be wiped out in the bankruptcy process, the first realized loss in the government’s rescue of the financial system.

Sports Betting and News - Strange Bedfellows

Matt Steinglass - Accumulating Peripherals – Funding the news through sports betting? Seriously? - True/Slant
Basically, the logic of the internet disaggregates this kind of stuff. The idea of funding newsrooms through online sports betting is the kind of arbitrary coupling that the internet tends to uncouple. If you had a company whose revenue came entirely from sports betting and it had to make some decisions about how much of that revenue to spend on news reporting, the chances are it would constantly cut the amount it spent on reporting and increase the amount it spent on advertising its betting services, or take it as profit, or whatever. Under the old newspaper model, people bought the paper to read the stories, and got the ads on the side. But people who want to do online betting don’t come to a site to read about Iran or the mayoral race and then do some sports betting on the side. They come to the site to bet on sports. Trying to couple that to newsgathering doesn’t make any sense and isn’t going to work.


Thursday Night Menu: Garlic, Garlic Edition « What’s 4 Dinner Solutions
I know this sounds like a crazy recipe, but the Garlic, Garlic Chicken is a keeper. The garlic roasts to a nice, nutty, sweet flavor, perfect with a slice of bread. Friends made this for me and after the first bite, I was sold, I couldn’t believe how good it was. The Sliced Pepper Salad came about because I was at the store last week and they had a huge sale on peppers of every color. Each one has a different flavor, so I didn’t want to do much too overwhelm that, but you can add sliced onion if it appeals to you. Get a really good Artisan bread and you’ve got a dinner that takes less than 20 minutes to prep.
There is no such thing as too much garlic in a meal!

via Balloon Juice

Diversity on Twitter

Jessica Faye Carter - Hyphenated – 6 great resources for diversity on Twitter - True/Slant
6 great resources for diversity on Twitter

Twitter has so many users that it can be hard to find and keep up with people whose interests dovetail with your own. If you’re interested in diversity-related topics, the following six people/accounts on Twitter are great resources for the latest news and information:
This is something every company thinks about nowadays and it is a very interesting topic because it doesn't necessarily mean what many executives think it does.


Whitney Little - A Little Dose Of Reality – And so ends the greatest love story of our time - True/Slant
Well, color me shocked: Father of the year Jon Gosselin and his attention-seeking girlfriend, Hailey Glassman, have called it quits. Strange, since they seemed perfectly stable after Hailey appeared on The Insider to cry about how Jon emotionally abuses her and throws “mantrums.”

There is a happy ending to this story

Michigan Gets a First Amendment Case : Dispatches from the Culture Wars
The Corunna board of education in Michigan has just stepped into a major First Amendment problem with a rash decision to remove a poster put up by the Diversity Club. The poster in question was nothing more than pictures of nine prominent gay people from sports, politics and entertainment.
The Corunna Board of Education voted Monday to remove a club project in a display case at Corunna High School that highlighted the acceptance of homosexuality and alternative lifestyles.

The Diversity Club's display featured about nine photos of athletes, politicians and educators who live a homosexual lifestyle, Corunna Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said.

Ack, no. Not nine people who "live in a homosexual lifestyle" -- there is no such thing -- but just nine homosexual people. Homosexuals have no more common a lifestyle than straight people.

Probably after they consulted their lawyers, the school board has changed their decision.

On Vampire Squid and Financial Reform

Pruning back the power of the executive branch - Pruning Shears - It Isn't Reform Unless It Gives Goldman an Aneurysm
Still, it would be nice to have a rule of thumb, compass point or guiding principle to go by. Having been a reasonably close observer of the meltdown and its aftermath, here is one I have come up with: It is necessary (but not sufficient) that any proposal be strenuously opposed by Goldman Sachs (GS). In a largely protected industry Goldman appears to be the closest thing to untouchable as we have. It is in Matt Taibbi’s already-legendary description “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” It has installed a revolving door between the highest levels of the government and its board room, enjoys privileged lines of communication with the Treasury secretary exceeding even that of our closest allies, was happily positioned as a key competitor died, then days later benefited as a key debtor was drenched in cash (Yves Smith called it a “massive backdoor subsidy to the likes of Goldman”), and as it happens was the second largest contributor to the president in the 2008 election cycle. More so than any other player in financial services, GS always seems to be nearby when bad things happen.

Via Crooks and Liars

More Sarah Palin Love

Beck's prediction: Sarah Palin positioning herself for third-party run -- and a third party will win in 2012 | Crooks and Liars
Bill O'Reilly is "fascinated" with Sarah Palin, and has been featuring segments on her a lot of late. He had Glenn Beck on The O'Reilly Factor on Thursday night to talk about her prospects.

They agreed that her upcoming book tour is a "make or break" situation regarding her political future -- but that if she fares well with the media, she'll be well positioned for 2012. They also agree that resigning as governor before had even completed her first term was a "smart move."

Which gave Beck a launching pad for his prophesying mode:

Beck: Smart move. And I think she's also positioning herself for a third party. By the time this election runs around for the president, I'm sorry, but unless the Republicans and the Democrats wake up, a third party will win.

Presumably, by "wake up" Beck means "embrace the tea party philosophy of small government and big wingnuttery". The Democrats won't, but most likely the Republicans will. But I don't think it's going to be the recipe for victory Glenn Beck thinks it will be.
I very rarely lift an entire post from someone else but I couldn't figure out how to excerpt it that made sense. I don't feel too badly though because now I can point you to their site and get you to watch the actual O'Reilly/Beck droolfest.

The End of Federal Funding for Abstinence Only "Sex Ed"

Best News I've Heard All Week : Dispatches from the Culture Wars
This is very good news. Every dollar the religious right's money people have to spend on this is one less dollar they spend on other things. The ridiculous idea of abstinence-only sex ed is finally starting to be turned back. And on this one, let us praise Obama for doing exactly what he promised to do and getting rid of federal funding for this very, very bad policy.
I have never believed that "just say no" was a very effective way to teach kids about sex.

More Puppy Kicking

Bush Makes Bank : Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Am I the only one who sees "George Bush: Motivational Speaker" and thinks "Paul Blartz: Mall Cop"?
I really did laugh out loud at this one.

Another SuperFreakonomics Smackdown

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » How They Do It In Chicago
As much as I love the professional climatologists who write RealClimate, they rarely let the anti-science crowd bait them into the kind of high dudgeon that makes PZ Myers or Tom Levenson so much fun to read.

Part of the reason for their patient tone is that most denialists are either too limited (e.g., Inhofe) or too mercenary (TechCentralStation, George Will) to absorb any correction. Since the debate opponent won’t even acknowledge that you exist most of the time, real climate scientists usually write for interested third parties. That is what makes the response from RC to the pseudo-denialist authors of Superfreakonomics (in truth, contrarians of the vanity kind that DougJ writes about), professionals with credibility to defend, so worthwhile to read.
I know that at this point it is kind of like kicking a puppy but I had to share this. Wander over to Balloon Juice to read the comments and then to RealClimate to read the full post.

Dede Scozzafava pulls out

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Not Much Question What Will Happen Now
An earned day of rest and celebration for teabaggers, who claimed their first political scalp today.
Congratulations to them for helping to ensure that the GOP will not gain as many seats as usual during the off-year elections in 2010. If they seriously think that the US has lurched to the right they are in for a reality check next fall.

The Family Research Council good Christianists that they are, hate LGBT folk

Family Research Council: Gay Elderly? What Gay Elderly? : Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Well yes, of course. Giving medical treatment to gay people is rewarding their "lifestyle" (whatever the hell that means). I wish they'd just stop all this bullshit pretense in trying to construct arguments for their position. Everything they say really just comes down to them yelling "EWWWWWWW, WE DON'T LIKE THEM GAY PEOPLE!"
File this under dumbfuckery.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Comment of the day at Charisma Magazine

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
It is clear by the comments prior to mine the lack of knowledge that prevails within Chritendom today-it is clear that neither one of you really understnad the spiritual warfare that we face on a daily basis-and especially during these satanic high holy days! Apparently only Kim Daniels the author of the article has provided the truth to the level of warfare we face in the simply things that surround Halloween even at church events. The same goes for Christmas, New Years DAy, Valentines Day, and Easter-all originiated from the pagans/occult!

I pray that this article will open the eyes of those with a teachable spirit! Blessings!
The interesting thing is that the writer of this note is largely correct in their comment about the timing of those holidays. Christmas does appear to have been coopted from midwinter festivals of pre-christian religions. The timing of Easter, however, is based on the timing of Passover. Whether Passover was a cooption of spring festivals I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on. There is some evidence that Valentine's day was swiped from the festival of Lupercalia. As for New Year's Day, well that is something that is celebrated by nearly every culture that has any seasonal festivals (not all at the same time of course) and to try to conflate it with the others is just stupid.

Now, the conclusion that they draw, namely that Christians are somehow in danger of becoming paganized if they celebrate these holidays completely missed the point. It was Christians that used the holidays to make the religion more palatable to early non-believers and to draw them into the church. It takes a lot of work to get the facts mostly correct and then draw completely the wrong conclusion.