Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Keith Olbermann

I hear they need a new White House Press Secretary

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lieberman Won't Seek 5th Term, Insiders Say -

Lieberman Won't Seek 5th Term, Insiders Say - "U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has decided not to seek a fifth term in 2012, after seeing his popularity drop in polls over the past year, political insiders said Tuesday -- and those sources expect the Democrat-turned-independent to make it official at a press conference today in Stamford."

Lexulous anyone?

I occasionally play a VERY SLOW game of Lexulous on Facebook and am always interested in playing someone new. Click  here to fire up a game. I like to play "regular" with a "UK dictionary". see you there.

On Metaphors and Political Correctness

Earlier, I made a snarky rejoinder to this post over at FDL.

I want to note that the reason that I did so was that I agreed with everything substantive in the piece and then was so pissed off that they mushed out on the punchline in the name of  political correctness. If you have a good metaphor then use it. Period.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Banks’ Worst Nightmare: Homes Given to Borrowers in Utah | FDL News Desk

The Banks’ Worst Nightmare: Homes Given to Borrowers in Utah | FDL News Desk: "This gets the case entirely backwards. When the homeowners signed the mortgage contract, they didn’t request that the bank transfer it multiple times improperly and then throw it into a legal gray area where nobody could determine proper ownership. They did not request that the banks involved use a private database of questionable legal standing instead of the land recording system that worked for hundreds of years. The banks made this mess. The homeowners may be profiting from the consequences (or maybe not; we don’t know the facts of the case), but those consequences came from the actions of the banks. The investors now have every right and responsibility to invalidate the securities. If the law worked as it should, the responsible party for this colossal fuck-up would pay the price."

CBC News - Nova Scotia - Yarmouth's Rodd Inn to close

CBC News - Nova Scotia - Yarmouth's Rodd Inn to close: "The 65-room Rodd Colony Harbour Inn in Yarmouth is closing on Jan. 31, CEO and president Mark Rodd announced Monday."

Sean Hannity on Iraq

Daily Kos: Sean Hannity advocates oil for blood:
"I say why isn’t Iraq paying us back with oil, and paying every American family and their soldiers that lost loved ones or have injured soldiers — and why didn’t they pay for their own liberation?"
Maybe because they didn't ask us to liberate them?

Sarah Palin on Hannity - Major Announcement?

So, does anyone think that she will make "the announcement" tonight?

I think that it is about even money that Sarah Palin says that she is running for President tonight on Sean Hannity's show.

Remember that you heard it here first. Unless she doesn't. Then I didn't say anything.

On The Loyalty Of Dogs

Via Balloon Juice ,The Daily Dish and
Photo Credit: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

Leao sits by her owner's grave.

Bill Maher on Teahadists

Not a big fan of iframes but i am a big fan of bill maher.


This is the 2000th post here at my little blog. i am up to a couple thousand hits a month. Yay me

Video - Prince - 1999

Michael Master Speaks for MLK

MLK Holiday By Michael Master | ATLAH Media Network: "Martin Luther King would have demanded that we either add holidays for other American citizens or eliminate the one for him.  "

NPF: HOW TO DRIVE IN SNOW » Blog Archive » NPF: HOW TO DRIVE IN SNOW: "1. Southerners generally cannot drive for shit even in the most pristine road and weather conditions.
2. It doesn't snow much in the South.
3. When #2 is not true, everything shuts down and few people attempt to drive.
4. There are no plows or salt trucks in most of the South."

Beijing auto exec: China to line up 10 million EV parking spots

Beijing auto exec: China to line up 10 million EV parking spots: "'The government is working on a plan -- and I think it will be announced very, very soon -- basically calling for having, in 10 years, electric car parks of 10 million (units) or above,' said Wang Dazong, president of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC), at an industry conference concurrent to the recent Detroit auto show."

The Rude Pundit with a thought on MLK day

The Rude Pundit: "A janitor is as important as, say, Bill Gates? In this America, it's unimaginable to say such a thing. It's why King believed it was incumbent upon the government to guarantee income and health care and housing: because everyone should be given an equal playing field to attempt to achieve the American Dream, that it didn't belong to the privileged alone. To express a belief in the necessity of government as a force for good in our daily lives is not allowed now. It is not part of our debate anymore, as watered down a position as almost every one of Martin Luther King's."

The big winner at the Golden Globes, 'The Social Network' continues its march toward Oscars -

The big winner at the Golden Globes, 'The Social Network' continues its march toward Oscars - "'I'd like to quash this ridiculous rumor going around that the only reason 'The Tourist' was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie,' he continued. 'That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes.'"

I Have An Action Item - Funny and Sad

I Have An Action Item | Mother Jones: "Martin Luther King Jr. was a pretty good public speaker, but what if he'd delivered his 1963 'I Have a Dream' speech with the aid of Microsoft PowerPoint? William Easterly, an economics professor at New York University, has imagined just that, with predictably inarticulate results."

Video - Elon James White - What to do when you're stopped by the police

On Electing Effective Governments

Preston L. Bannister { random memes } | A personal viewpoint about software, the web, and anything else of note.:
"Use local elections to select above-average representatives. Randomly assign representatives to roles in city, county, state, and national government. Candidate representatives would not know ahead of time to which role they would be assigned. I suspect the optimal number is one representative for every 1,000 to 5,000 citizens. (Small numbers of citizens per representative would mean some elected representatives would not be assigned roles.)"
I think this is completely unworkable as posited but there might be a germ of an idea here.

Jim Ryun leads push for Mike Pence 2012 run - Jonathan Martin -

Jim Ryun leads push for Mike Pence 2012 run - Jonathan Martin -
"“Mike Pence extraordinarily exemplifies the optimistic, pro-growth, pro-job-creation Reagan-Kemp wing of the GOP,” said Benko. “Grassroots conservatives, Republicans, the tea party and populists are looking for a man or woman of principle who can champion and unite the newly energized and engaged citizenry.”"
Mike Pence, who is widely regarded as a very stupid man.
There is your GOP standard bearer.


Homeopathy - Cure or Con - CBC

This is wonderful

Part 1

Part 2

Watch it all

Inclusiveness in Ohio

The Washington Monthly: "Kasich, a former congressman, Wall Street executive, and Fox News personality, has hired 20 full-time agency directors to make up his cabinet. Of the 20, 16 are white men, four are white women. No African Americans, no Hispanics, no Asians.

Keep in mind, in the last half-century, Ohio has had 10 governors, most of whom have been Republicans. All of them had at least some racial diversity in their cabinet -- until Kasich, who's the first Ohio governor since 1962 to have so far picked an all-white cabinet."

Leave it to the Heritage Foundation

Morning Bell: Frederick Douglass’s Irrepressible Faith in America | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.:

"While Dr. King reminded us that the country was built on the “promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” leading voices today instead reject the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as racist documents and turn away from the traditional goal of integration. If America is built on a foundation of racist ideas, then no real change is possible within the existing conditions, and the solution to the African-American predicament must lie beyond the country as we know it. America must be fundamentally transformed if the promise of justice for all is to be realized."

Leading voices? Do these people live in the same country as you and I? There are no "leading voices" saying any such thing. I defy anyone to give me examples of real leaders, not cranks, doing anything like turning away from integration.

Steve Jobs To Take ‘Medical Leave Of Absence’, Stays On As CEO

Steve Jobs To Take ‘Medical Leave Of Absence’, Stays On As CEO:
"Apple CEO Steve Jobs has just announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence according to a release issued by the company today. Here’s the email memo Jobs sent to Apple employees today."

This is unlikely to be good.

Video - Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist: The Movie - 2007 by Peter Joseph from on Vimeo.
Zeitgeist: The Movie - 2007 by Peter Joseph. (with 2010 update)
Download the Companion Source Guide (free):,%20The%20Movie-%20Companion%20Guide%20PDF.pdf

Tacky, Tacky, Tacky

CBC News - Nova Scotia - Divorce Fair returns to Halifax: "About 300 people are expected to attend, but it may be difficult for most people to meet a new flame at the divorce fair—Friday's event is for men only, Saturday is exclusively for women."

WTF - Remote controlled hunting edition

Remote-controlled shotguns found in south Georgia  |
"AUGUSTA — Georgia authorities are investigating the discovery of six loaded shotguns aimed at a food plot that were rigged to be fired through a network of Internet-controlled cameras.

A Video for MLK Day - Abraham, Martin and John - Marvin Gaye

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cloudy wireless

Hacker cracks W-LAN password in 20 mins using Amazon cloud - The Local: "A German hacker says he cracked the wireless LAN password of his neighbour in 20 minutes – using the cloud computing power available on Amazon in a demonstration which he says should sensitise people and businesses to security issues."

wtf - baby doc edition

Former dictator Baby Doc Duvalier returns to Haiti | Reuters: "Jan 16 (Reuters) - Exiled former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier returned unexpectedly to his Caribbean homeland on Sunday for the first time since he was deposed in a coup in 1986."

The Virtuosi: Benford's Law

The Virtuosi: Benford's Law: "Given a large set of data (bank accounts, river lengths, populations, etc) what is the probability that the first non-zero digit is a one? My first thought was that it would be 1/9. There are nine non-zero numbers to choose from and they should be uniformly distributed, right?

Turns out that for almost all data sets naturally collected, this is not the case. In most cases, one occurs as the first digit most frequently, then two, then three, etc. That this seemingly paradoxical result should be the case is the essence of Benford's Law."

Guns as Penis Extensions

Scientists discover that no matter how many guns you own, your penis will remain small and insignificant « Humor « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles:
"Still, some have called the research misleading. Ron Schmeits, President of the NRA said that the problem was that the men in the research sample were not encouraged to buy enough guns.

“These small men will get larger if they own more guns,” said Schmeits, handing out checks to Republican congressmen on the steps of the nation’s capital. “They need pistols and shotguns and guns that have guns attached to them and guns that shoot guns. That will fix them right up.”"

On Blaming Wingnuts and Sarah Palin For Tucson

I was wrong. They had nothing to do with the shootings in Tucson.

They still suck.

National Debt - What National Debt?

June 26, 2000

  • Instead of a $455 billion deficit, a $211 billion surplus this year -- the largest ever. In 1992, the deficit in the Federal budget was $290 billion -- the largest dollar deficit in American history. In January 1993, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would grow to $455 billion by 2000. Today, the Office of Management and Budget is projecting a $211 billion surplus -- the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever, even after adjusting for inflation. Compared with original projections, that is $666 billion less in government drain on the economy and $666 billion more potentially available for private investment in this one year alone.

  • Largest unified surplus as a share of the economy since 1948. The 2000 surplus is projected to be 2.2 percent of GDP -- the largest surplus as a share of GDP since 1948.

  • Third surplus in a row -- for the first time in over 50 years. The $211 billion projected surplus in FY2000 follows a surplus of $124 billion in FY 1999 and $69 billion in FY 1998. The last time America had three surpluses in a row was over fifty years ago in 1947-49. The FY2000 surplus marks the eighth consecutive year of fiscal improvement, for the first time in American history --surpassing the pre-Clinton-Gore best of five straight years.

  • The second consecutive surplus excluding Social Security. Excluding Social Security, the surplus is projected to be $63 billion this year. This is the second consecutive surplus on this basis, for the first time since 1956-57.

  • The first on-budget surplus in the history of Medicare. The on-budget surplus, which excludes the Social Security and Medicare surpluses, is projected to be $39 billion this year. This is the only on-budget surplus on this basis since Medicare was established in 1965.

  • The President’s plan would eliminate the debt by 2012 -- one year earlier than previously projected. President Clinton’s budget proposes to reduce the national debt by $2.9 trillion over the next decade and to eliminate it by 2012, one year ahead of the projection in the February budget. The President’s debt reduction comes from saving the entire $2.3 trillion Social Security surplus, the entire $403 billion Medicare surplus, and $192 billion of the on-budget surplus for debt reduction.

  • Interest payments would be eliminated. Currently we spend 12 cents of every Federal dollar on interest payments. These payments, which were once projected to grow to 25 percent of all federal spending in 2012, would be eliminated under the President’s plan by that time.

  • On track to pay down $324 billion in debt held by the public over three years. In 1998 and 1999, the debt held by the public was reduced by $140 billion. OMB is projecting that the government will pay down an additional $184 billion in debt held by the public this fiscal year alone. That will bring the total debt pay down to $324 billion – the largest three-year debt pay-down in American history. In contrast, under Presidents Reagan and Bush, the debt held by the public quadrupled.

  • The debt held by the public is on track to be $2.4 trillion lower in 2000 than was projected when the President took office. In 1993, the debt held by the public was projected by the Office of Management and Budget to balloon to $5.85 trillion by 2000. Instead, shrinking deficits and growing surpluses in the last three years are projected to bring the debt down to $3.45 trillion in 2000 -- $2.4 trillion less than expected. In 1993, the debt held by the public was 50 percent of GDP and projected to rise to 65 percent of GDP in 2000. Instead, it has been slashed to a projected 35 percent of GDP. Under the President’s plan, it would be completely eliminated by 2012.

  • As a result, interest payments on the debt in 2000 are $125 billion lower than projected. In 1993, the net interest payments on the debt held by the public were projected to grow to $348 billion in 2000. This Administration’s fiscal discipline has slashed this figure to a projected $223 billion -- a $125 billion improvement for one year alone.

  • Federal spending as a share of the economy is the lowest since 1966. The spending restraint under President Clinton has brought spending down from 22.2 percent of GDP in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent of GDP in 2000 -- the lowest since 1966. At the same time, President Clinton has increased investments in education, technology and other areas that are vital to growth.

  • Non-defense discretionary Federal spending as a share of the economy is the lowest on record. Since President Clinton took office, non-defense discretionary spending has fallen from 3.7 percent of GDP in 1992 to 3.3 percent of GDP in 1999 -- the lowest as a share of the economy on record. Over this period, total discretionary spending fell from 8.6 percent of GDP to 6.3 percent of GDP, also the lowest on record. (Comparable data for these categories go back to 1962.)

  • The smallest Federal civilian workforce in 40 years. The Federal civilian workforce increased from when President Reagan took office to when President Bush left office. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the Federal workforce has been cut by 377,000 -- nearly a fifth -- and is now lower than any time since 1960.

  • While balancing the budget and paying down the debt, the Clinton-Gore Administration has provided tax relief for working families. The tax cuts signed into law by the President in 1993 and 1997 – for example, the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, the $500 child tax credit, the $1,500 HOPE Scholarship Tax Credit, and expanded IRAs have reduced taxes for American families. The total Federal tax rate for middle-income families has dropped from 24.5 percent in 1992 to 22.8 percent in 1999 – that’s the lowest tax rate since 1978. For families at one-half the median income, the effective Federal tax rate has been slashed from 19.8 percent in 1992 to 14.1 percent in 1999 – that’s the lowest tax rate since 1968.

  • Goldman Sachs credits deficit and debt reduction with lowering interest rates by 2 percentage points. "According to the model, the swing in the federal budget position from a deficit of $290 billion in 1992 to a surplus of $124 billion in 1999 -- roughly matching the improvement in the general government position -- has lowered equilibrium bond yields by a full 200 basis points." [Goldman Sachs, GSWIRE Undistorted by the Budget Surplus, April 14, 2000.]

  • Lower interest rates have already cut mortgage payments by $2,000 for families with a $100,000 mortgage. Because of deficit and debt reduction, it is estimated that a family taking out a home mortgage of $100,000 expects to save roughly $2,000 per year in mortgage payments. This has helped raise the homeownership rate to 66.8 percent in 1999 --the highest rate on record.

  • Lower interest rates cut car payments by $200 annually for families taking out a typical car loan.

  • Lower interest rates cut student loan payments by $200 annually for a person with a typical student loan.

  • Lower debt will help maintain strong economic growth. With the government no longer draining resources out of capital markets, businesses have more funds for productive investment. This has helped to fuel a 12.6 percent real annual increase in productive equipment and software investment since 1993 – the seventh consecutive year of double-digit growth and the strongest period of growth on record. This compares to 4.7 percent annual growth from 1981-92, a period that saw the debt held by the public quadruple.

  • Rising investment has contributed to a pickup in productivity growth. Non-farm business productivity has grown at a 2.6 percent average annual rate for the last five years, and a 3.1 percent average annual rate for the last three years. This is more than double the 1.4 percent annual growth from the 1973 through 1990.

Experts agree that President Clinton’s 1993 economic plan helped reduce the deficit, lower interest rates, spur business investment, and strengthen the economy. The economy and the budget are now working in a virtuous circle – lower deficits have led to lower interest rates, which led to faster business investment, which led to faster growth, which led to more revenues and lower spending and even lower deficits. Experts agree that the President’s 1993 Economic Plan helped create this virtuous circle:
  • Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Board Chairman, 1/04/00 with President Clinton at Chairman Greenspan’s re-nomination announcement: "My colleagues and I have been very appreciative of your [President Clinton’s] support of the Fed over the years, and your commitment to fiscal discipline-- has been instrumental in achieving what in a few weeks -- will be the longest economic expansion in the nation’s history."

  • Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve Board Chairman (1979-1987), in Audacity, Fall 1994: "The deficit has come down, and I give the Clinton Administration and President Clinton himself a lot of credit for that. [He] did something about it, fast. And I think we are seeing some benefits."

  • Business Week, 5/19/97: "Clinton’s 1993 budget cuts, which reduced projected red ink by more than $400 billion over five years, sparked a major drop in interest rates that helped boost investment in all the equipment and systems that brought forth the New Age economy of technological innovation and rising productivity."

  • Goldman Sachs, March 1998: One of the reasons Goldman Sachs cites for the "best economy ever" is that "on the policy side, trade, fiscal, and monetary policies have been excellent, working in ways that have facilitated growth without inflation. The Clinton Administration has worked to liberalize trade and has used any revenue windfalls to reduce the federal budget deficit."

  • Lehman Brothers, 1/10/94: "Lower deficits, lower long-term rates and higher real growth was the overall promise. With the data now rolling in for December 1993, it seems clear that President Clinton delivered on all three counts..."
Original archived here

Guest Post: How Many Senators Does It Take To Screw A Taxpayer? | zero hedge

Guest Post: How Many Senators Does It Take To Screw A Taxpayer? | zero hedge: "The energy bill signed by that free market capitalist George Bush in 2008 mandates that increasing amounts of corn based ethanol must be used in gasoline sold in the U.S. This energy legislation requires a five-fold increase in ethanol use by 2022. Some 15 billion gallons must come from traditional corn-blended ethanol. Nothing like combining PhD models and political corruption to cause worldwide chaos. Ben Bernanke and Charley Grassley have joined forces to bring down the President of 23 years in Tunisia. People tend to get angry when they are starving. Bringing home the bacon for your constituents has consequences. In the U.S. only about 10% of disposable income is spent on food. By contrast, in India, about 40% of personal disposable income is spent on food. In the Philippines, it’s about 47.5%. In some sub-Saharan Africa, consumers spend about 50% of the household budget on food. And according to the U.S.D.A., “In some of the poorest countries in the region such as Madagascar, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, this ratio is more than 60%.”"

My favorite MLK Quote

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Not coincidentally, it also states what I see as the difference between liberals and conservatives.

On Risk Literacy

THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2011 — Page 8: "Unlike basic literacy, risk literacy requires emotional re-wiring: rejecting comforting paternalism and illusions of certainty, and learning to take responsibility and to live with uncertainty. Daring to know. But there is still a long way to go. Studies indicate that most patients want to believe in their doctors' omniscience and don't dare to ask for backing evidence, yet nevertheless feel well-informed after consultations. Similarly, even after the banking crisis, many customers still blindly trust their financial advisors, jeopardizing their fortune in a consultation that takes less time than they'd spend watching a football game. Many people cling to the belief that others can predict the future and pay fortune sellers for illusory certainty. Every fall, renowned financial institutions forecast next year's Dow and dollar exchange rate, even though their track record is hardly better than chance. We pay $200 billion yearly to a forecasting industry that delivers mostly erroneous future predictions."

Greg Laden must be fun at a party

What is meant by "mosaic evolution" and other matters : Greg Laden's Blog: "A discussion of misconceptions in evolution ... about missing links, or great chains of being, or teleology (the idea that evolution is goal-directed) has got to be the most fun you can have with your pants on."

From the "yesterday's news" file

McCain, Palin Appear to Be Split on Obama - ABC News: "There appears to be a serious difference opinion at the top of the 2008 Republican ticket, with John McCain and Sarah Palin split on the issue of President Obama."

Google Reader just suggested I read Conor Friedersdorf

To my amusement it was his former home at the now defunct true/slant. methinks I will be waiting a while for a new post. Way to go Google!

I love virtualbox

OTN Garage: "Virtualbox is geek manna: a bunch of computers in one. As long as you have enough memory, LOL. Version 4.0 was just released. Here are some resources."

Commenter of the day at Joe My God

Joe. My. God.: Rosanne Barr: I'm Running For President
: "You know, she came off a little kooky at times, but what she says makes 10x the sense of Obama or any of the other potential candidates. "
This is the dumbest thing that I have seen on a blog today but it is early.

Yglesias is confused that conservatives are inconsistent

Yglesias » What’s the Vitriol About?: "I sympathize with this argument, but as I said yesterday the strange thing is that so much of this furious opposition to activist government appears to be make-believe. The American Enterprise Institute did a poll of self-identified conservatives and found that “only 3 percent of respondents favored reforming Social Security and Medicare.” The 2010 elections put a lot of new conservative governors in office, and I’m guessing that exactly zero of them will abolish mandatory minimum parking requirements in their states. Nor do I expect to see Rep Frank Lewis slash farm subsidies."

On What Wont Be Fixed

Via Daily Kos comes Frank Rich: "For the sake of this discussion, let’s stipulate that Loughner was a 'lone nutjob' who had never listened to Glenn Beck or been a card-carrying member of either the Tea or Communist parties. Let’s also face another tragedy: The only two civic reforms that might have actually stopped him — tighter gun control and an effective mental health safety net — won’t materialize even now."

On Reactions to Memorial Services

Who taught you how to mourn? : Lawyers, Guns & Money: "Plainly put, if you criticize the way someone runs a memorial service because it differs from how you would, you reveal more about yourself than you might think."