Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Bad Intent about MBS'

Fraud, Anyone? Another Type of Mortgage Document Fabrication Finally Getting Attention « naked capitalism:
"Evidence is mounting that for cost reasons, starting in the 2004-2005 time frame, originators like Countrywide simply quit conveying the note. We are told this practice was widespread, probably endemic. The notes are apparently are still in originator warehouses. That means the trust does not have them (the legalese is it is not the real party of interest), therefore it is not in a position to foreclose on behalf of the RMBS investors. So various ruses have been used to finesse this rather large problem."
This really is a big deal. It would mean that a lot of Mortgage Backed Securities actually were not backed by anything. Yes, that is called fraud.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Joseph Farah Might not be a WATB

WND Editor Joseph Farah To Sue Esquire Over Birther Parody | TPMMuckraker:
"World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah plans to file a lawsuit against Esquire magazine next week over a satirical article alleging he was recalling a WND-published book questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate."

But this is the kind of thing that one would do.

Tim Pawlenty May not be a gutless weasel

Pawlenty: I Should Have Been Tougher On Romney -- Who Is Obama's 'Co-Conspirator' (VIDEO) | TPMDC:
"'Well, I think in response to that direct question, I should have been much more clear during the debate, Sean,' said Pawlenty. 'I don't think we can have a nominee that was involved in the development and construction of Obamacare, and then continues to defend it. And that was the question, I should have answered it directly. Instead, I stayed focused on Obama, but the question really related to the contrast with Governor Romney. And I should have been more clear, I should have made the point that he was involved in developing it -- he really laid the ground work for Obamacare, and continues to this day to defend it. And I think that's a legitimate point in response to the question that I was asked, and I should have been more clear.'"

But he sure sounds like one.

This is beyond sad. If T-Paw doesn't have the gumption to say things straight to someone's face then he is unfit to be President. Period.


Gotta Get Me One - A Cottage

Because apparently you meet interesting people there.

Gotta Get Me one - RageGage

RageGage: The Adult Temper Tantrum Tool | Bit Rebels:
"The RageGage is a nifty little device which you can place almost anywhere. It is designed for you to smash, hit and totally temper-tantrum out on. It is programmed to detect your level of rage, and it responds accordingly with everything from hurling insults to calming techniques. If you would like to change the voice on your RageGage, you can download new voice packs which include some celebrities."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Greg Mankiw is a very smart man

Greg Mankiw's Blog: The Demagoguing of Medicare Reform:

"I have been struck at the heated rhetoric surrounding Paul Ryan's Medicare reform proposal. One thing is not often pointed out: Ryan's proposed 'premium support' structure is in some ways similar to the plan put in place under President Obama's healthcare reform law. In both cases, an individual would shop among competing private insurers, on an exchange overseen by the government regulators. In both cases, the government would provide financial support for the 'needy' (low-income households in the case of Obamacare, the elderly in the case of Ryancare)."
Which is why I say that this is a disingenuous pile of shit rather than say he is confused. He knows full well that the difference is that Obama's plan takes people that would otherwise have no coverage and give them support while the Ryan plan takes people that are fully covered and reduces that coverage.

Simply dishonest.

Weed Makes You Stupid?

Glastonbury Police: Vernon Man Places Ad On Craig's List, Looking To Purchase Marijuana -
"A 31-year-old Vernon man was arrested by police on Thursday after allegedly posting an ad on Craig's List stating that he was looking to buy some marijuana.

Michael Krebes, of 56 Mount Vernon Drive, was arrested in the parking lot of the McDonalds restaurant on Main Street. He was charged with possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana."

Good News For Puppies

Pets Unlimited gets out of puppy business - Nova Scotia - CBC News:
"A spokeswoman for Pets Unlimited — which has 18 locations across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador — confirmed Thursday the stores are no longer selling puppies."

Santorum's Choice

Daily Kos: Rick Santorum is against abortion for any reason, with one exception:
"Rick Santorum agreed to what he and his prolife cohorts define as a partial birth abortion, and for a very good reason, to save his wife's life. Karen Santorum was reportedly upset at first, but later noted had she died it would have deprived her other young children of a mother. And she's absolutley right. That's the whole freaking point of giving families privacy and the right to choose when they find themselves in the middle of a life and death tragedy they did not ask for and do not want. The same right the Santorums utilized, the same rights they would now like to take away from other American families, no phony excuses, no exceptions -- as long as they're not named Santorum."

Anonymizing Data is not dead

Don't stop anonymizing data: Report dispels myths of de-identification: "Personal information can be routinely de-identified before it is used or disclosed for a wide range of purposes, such as research, where it is not necessary to know the identity of individuals. Recently, however, the practice of de-identification as an effective tool to protect privacy has been challenged by those who claim it is possible to re-identify individuals from seemingly anonymous data. The new report refutes this position, and further validates that anonymizing data is a reliable, safe and practical way to protect personal information."

Cutting the energy budget

Code green: Energy-efficient programming to curb computers' power use:
"The basic idea is to take advantage of processes that can survive tiny errors that happen when, say, voltage is decreased or correctness checks are relaxed. Some examples of possible applications are streaming audio and video, games and real-time image recognition for augmented-reality applications on mobile devices."

More Fun Ahead for my WoW playing readers?

What gamers want: Researchers develop tool to predict player behavior:
"ScienceDaily (June 15, 2011) — Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new method that can accurately predict the behavior of players in online role-playing games. The tool could be used by the game industry to develop new game content, or to help steer players to the parts of a game they will enjoy most."

Why the Janus Ruling Matters

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community:
"The Thomas majority, in coming to its ridiculous decision, reads the statute and Rule as narrowly as possible to say that only the entity that actually signs the prospectus is the speaker or 'maker' of the false statements. Anyone who 'assists' the ultimate signer of the prospectus, even if that person wrote the entire fraudulent document, cannot be held not liable under these circumstances. Justice Thomas said that unless the false statements in the fund prospectuses were directly attributable to the Janus Manager in the language of each prospectus, no suit could be filed against the two Janus companies that assuredly controlled the Janus Fund (as evidenced by the market timing scheme they perpetrated)."

Moving To Columbus Indiana - Need Apartment Hunting Advice

It looks like I am leaving sunny and warm Atlanta for a drive up the Interstate to lovely Columbus, Indiana to take up a new job. Naturally there isn't nearly enough time to get everything organized and I am resigned to spending a little time in a hotel but I want to minimize it.

If any of my faithful readers, or just stray passersby, that know anything about Columbus and immediate vicinity would be willing to share their wisdom with me I would be eternally in your debt.

I am looking for a 3 bedroom townhouse (or a big 2 bedroom) with an easy commute to Jackson Street (anyone from the area knows who I will be working for). I have a couple of prospects but would like to get as much info as possible in the short time i have available.

Feel free to drop me a note (address is on my profile) rather than leave a comment if you would like although a comment is fine too.

Tim Pawlenty May Not be a pussy

After Debate Fumble, Pawlenty Finally Brings It...Via Twitter | TPMDC:
"Tim Pawlenty has been widely criticized for a key moment at Monday night's GOP debate, when he refused to repeat his 'Obamneycare' attack from a day earlier to Mitt Romney's face. Well, now Pawlenty is taking on Romney once more -- with a mocking comment three days later on Twitter."

But he sure acts like one

Political Tone deafness - Mitt Romney Edition

Mitt Romney -- Net Worth Over $200 Million -- Tells Unemployed People 'I'm Also Unemployed' | TPMDC:

'I should tell my story,' Romney told a group of unemployed people in Florida. 'I'm also unemployed.'

Things I am tired of - The President Must Keep us Safe

"The most important job of the President is keeping the country safe".

 Is that the #1 priority that should override all others?

If you believe it is then explain to me what you mean by "safe".

Should we  be able to dump raw sewage into the lakes and rivers?

Should we be reasonably certain that when we eat a burger it isn't contaminated with e. coli?

Should we be able to get healthcare that we need to make our lives longer and more productive irrespective of whether we are rich or poor?

Should we be able to go outside in our major cities without worrying that the air will be so foul it would make us wheeze?

What? You don't mean any of those things? Come back and talk to me when you are a grownup and aren't just looking for daddy to protect you from the boogeyman under the bed with a bomb because THOSE things are more important to the American way of life and Americans as individuals than any number of terrorists ever reasonably will be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Other Thoughts on Pakistan

A friend of mine pointed out that I might be entirely wrong here. It happens.

His point was that since China is more than happy to step in should the US get cranky with Pakistan perhaps there is no downside to this. Entirely possible.

On the Gömböc

Meet the Gömböc, one of the strangest shapes in the world - io9:
"The Gömböc doesn't have any power, and is a consistent weight all the way through. It has a wide curve on the bottom, surrounded by flat-ish sides and a ridged curve of a top. No matter how it's placed on a flat surface, it will right itself. It's what's called a mono-monostatic shape, and was born of mathematical theory. The theory stated that a self-righting shape was possible, and that it had one stable point of balance, and one unstable point. Placing it on the curve on its top will let it pick itself up quickly. Placing on its flat side starts a slower process. It rolls back and forward slowly, then slows almost to a stop, then rolls back and forward quickly in a tiny vibrating motion, and then falls onto its stable point of balance, righting itself again."

BooMan is correct on Libya

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "It's never good for any group or institution to flout the law with impunity. If the military action in Libya is too limited to qualify as military action under the War Powers Resoultion then the administration needs to explain how they came to that conclusion. And if they don't believe the Resolution is constitutional, then they need to argue that point in court. If the administration thinks that they've complied with the law, they may need to argue that in court, too.

It is not too much to ask for any administration to justify the use of our military in a foreign theater for more than 90 days. If Congress can't be convinced, then that should be the end of the story."

Pakistan Really Isn't Helping Itself here

Pakistan Arrests C.I.A. Informants in Bin Laden Raid - "Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Balloon Juice Comment of the day

Balloon Juice » How About You Give Us the Silent Treatment?:
"Comrade Dread - June 14, 2011 | 3:54 pm · Link

I feel like I’m living in the last days of Rome some days.

And the pundits are talking about sex scandals in the Senate and whether or not Caesar is sufficiently concerned with national greatness, all the while people are starving, their coin is increasingly worthless, and they’re starting to wonder if maybe living under the barbarians wouldn’t be all that bad."

Runaway Bride - Poor Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner Wedding -- Crystal Harris Calls It OFF!!! | "Hugh Hefner's fiancee Crystal Harris is a real-life runaway bride -- 5 days before walking down the aisle ... she bailed out of the Playboy Mansion and multiple sources say the wedding is off! "

Bipartisan Stupidity

Joe Lieberman's Medicare Proposal | Swampland:
"Maybe Joe Lieberman was feeling left out of the current debt ceiling and budget fight. That might explain why the independent Ssenator from Connecticut has chosen this moment to offer a new plan to reform Medicare. Lieberman laid out his proposal in a recent Washington Post op-ed. The headline, “How Medicare Can Be Saved,” is a stretch by any measure. But the plan itself might be the kind of compromise some Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill can endorse."

This is a very bad plan that was put together in hopes of getting precisely this kind of fluffing from the media. Lieberman knows who his constituency is and it sure as hell isn't made up of the average American.

BooMan on Pawlenty

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "He's the kind of man who will talk a lot of smack behind your back and then act like he's your best friend to your face. And it's not because he's clever; it's because he's a coward."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bush League Silliness- John Kasich Edition

Ohio Gov. Dumps On Lebron James, Praises Mavericks' NBA Title | TPMDC:
"On Monday, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) issued a declaration lauding the Dallas Mavericks for winning this year's NBA championship by defeating the Miami Heat, and naming the entire Mavericks organization and their fans honorary Ohioans. But that declaration was less a commendation for Dallas as it was a snide dig at James, the Ohio-born phenom who conducted a giant press circus last summer to announce he was jumping ship on the Cleveland Cavaliers and taking his game to Florida."
This is just petty and mean. I know that I shouldn't be shocked but still.

The Well Duh Files - PalinEmail Edition

The Absurdity of Sending Palin’s E-mails Via Snail-Mail | Swampland:
"Looking to the letter of the law, it’s hard to imagine anyone bold enough to argue that it was more “feasible” for the government workers to print and copy all these e-mails than to leave them in electronic form. It was, however, much, much more costly for everyone involved. And this logical conundrum pushes us toward a more cynical answer: that they turned them into paper copies simply because they could."

Eric Bolling Might Not Be Racist Fuckwit

Fox's Eric Bolling's Race Problem | Media Matters for America:

"Bolling: 'What's With All The Hoods In The Hizzy?' During the June 10 edition of his Fox Business show, Follow the Money, Bolling teased a segment about Obama hosting Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, by saying: 'Guess who's coming to dinner? A dictator. Mr. Obama shares a laugh with one of Africa's kleptocrats. It's not the first time he's had a hoodlum in the hizzouse.' In a subsequent tease, Bolling said, 'Smile for the birdie,' while footage of a smiling Bongo with a flashing tooth, apparently made to resemble a gold-plated tooth, was shown on-air. Bolling continued: 'Our president's sitting with one of Africa's most wanted. It's not the first time he's had a hood in the big crib.' Footage of rapper Common appeared on air as Bolling spoke. Bolling began the actual segment by saying: 'So what's with all the hoods in the hizzy?' [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 6/10/11, via Media Matters]"

He might only be a pandering fuckwit.

You choose.

Via Atrios

A fool and his money - Bill Warren Edition

California Diver Taking Hunt For Bin Laden Underwater | TPMMuckraker:
"Beyond the photo, Warren told CNN he is 'mainly' searching for bin Laden's body 'to see if he is really dead.' If Warren happens to come across bin Laden on the ocean floor, he plans to photograph the body and perform his own DNA test.

According to the Post's estimate, Warren wills spend about $400,000 on his quest. Warren -- apparently an experienced salvage diver -- is confident it will pay off.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tom MacMaster Is an asshole

A Gay Girl in Damascus: Apology to readers:
"Apology to readers
I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voıce may have been fictional, the facts on thıs blog are true and not mısleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone -- I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.

I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in thıs year of revolutions. The events there are beıng shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.

This experience has sadly only confirmed my feelings regarding the often superficial coverage of the Middle East and the pervasiveness of new forms of liberal Orientalism.

However, I have been deeply touched by the reactions of readers.

Tom MacMaster,
Istanbul, Turkey
July 12, 2011

The sole author of all posts on this blog"

I don't normally copy and paste an entire post from someone but quite frankly I have no guilt about it in this case. The amount of damage that this kind of bullshit performance art causes is huge and the kind of person that would perpetrate it is evil. Best intentions my ass.

The Closest Most Of Us Will get to Driving the Nurburgring

I wonder how our PT Cruiser would do here ... hmmm

Who Is River Song

Gotta say that I did NOT see this coming.

More Evidence that people don't understand risk

Japan's Earless Rabbit Sparks Worries About Radiation, Mutation:
"It's no Godzilla, but an earless rabbit allegedly born near Japan's severely-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has become the latest poster child for the side-effects of radiation exposure."

Steven Heller Might not be an insensitive ahistorical clod

Daily Heller A Curious Similarity — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers:
"I don’t want to trivialize the inhumane horrors that African slaves endured on slave ships (above) destined for the Americas. But after a recent airplane trip, sitting tightly next to my neighbor in steerage seats, I feel the discomfort and pain endemic to the current air experience has certain curious similarities."

But he sure sounds like one.

On Sex in American Life

Morality, Sexuality, and, uh, Politics. : Lawyers, Guns & Money:
"America’s sex scandals (not the behavior, the “scandals”) are dangerous because they’re always about an interest in non-authorized sex. And because the lesson we’re always told they teach is that “too much” interest in sex, or “too little control” over our sexual impulses, or “too unusual” sexual desires are dangerous. And that the other kind of sexuality—one loaded down with guilt, shame, terror, and frigidity—is merely inconvenient, rather than a menace to society."