Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tallying O'Blunders

The Price of Health Care -

...This was not a mistake the icons of the liberal past made. Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent two years defining himself as a Depression-fighter before he set out to establish Social Security; Lyndon Johnson pushed through the Great Society amid an economic boom.

Had Obama followed Roosevelt’s first-term example, the initial stimulus bill might have been broken up into smaller (and perhaps more popular) components, financial reform and perhaps tax reform would have preceded health care reform, and the kinds of jobs bills the White House demanded of a recalcitrant Republican Congress in 2011 might have been sought from a Democratic Congress in 2009 and 2010 instead. Even if this policy approach didn’t dramatically accelerate the recovery, it would have given independent voters more confidence that the president had their economic interests rather than his history-making ambitions uppermost in mind...

GOP Gets Hooker Profits

Many, many semi-witty and snarkish comments could be made. Go ahead, make my day.

Former Employee Says GOP's Biggest Donor Sheldon Adelson Approved Prostitution At Macau Casinos | Crooks and Liars

I'm sure he wouldn't dream of allowing such a thing. After all, everyone knows the Republicans are the party of family values, right? But on the off chance that it's true, I'm sure the Republican leadership will be happy to return their Chinese prostitution money. (It's fungible!)...

No On Busting Holder

Holder? Prosecuted? White House says forget it | The Ticket - Yahoo! News

The Department of Justice will not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder after the Republican-led House of Representatives voted to hold him in contempt of Congress, the White House said Friday.

"Prosecutions will not take place in this circumstance," spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Barack Obama headed to wildfire-ravaged Colorado. Carney dismissed the contempt vote, which grew out of Holder's refusal to turn over Justice Department documents tied to the Fast and Furious operation, as "pure politics..."

Past As Prologue: Obamacare

Seven Consequences of the Health Care Ruling -

“I have had some bitter disappointments as president,” Harry S. Truman wrote in his memoirs, “but the one that has troubled me most, in a personal way, has been the failure to defeat the organized opposition to a national compulsory health insurance program.” He was just the first in a long line of presidents stymied by health reform. Now Barack Obama has succeeded where his predecessors failed. Or has he?...

Fond Farewells For Military

Bye, bye, GI: Deep impact for many Germans as US troops downsize - World News

...But when the leaves begin to fall in the autumn of 2013, the U.S. Army is scheduled to shut down its Campbell Barracks in Gritzbach's home city.

For the 86-year-old German, an era will come to an end with the U.S. troop pullout.

"I owe a lot to the Americans. They paved the way for what I am today," the widower said in a soft, choked voice...

The Next Level Of Stupid

People Who Say They're Moving To Canada Because Of ObamaCare


Friday, June 29, 2012

Reagan Likes Taxes

...And Buffett, too.

George & Bill Pontificate

I don't know why they didn't dub over Skippy...

SOS Clinton Sets Record

Say what ye will, both Clintons know how to work.

Frequent flier Clinton hits 100-country mark - Yahoo! News

Hillary Rodham Clinton made and marked history on Thursday, setting a new frequent-flier record for American secretaries of state by touching down in her 100th country and commemorating the strong stand one of her predecessors took against Soviet expansion.

The globe-trotting Clinton hit the century mark when she stepped off her Air Force Boeing 757 plane in the Latvian capital of Riga. No previous secretary of state has visited more than 96 countries while in office, according to the State Department. The previous record-holder was Madeleine Albright, who served as secretary of state during President Bill Clinton's second term in office...

Capt. Kirk Exposed

Via Simply Left Behind: Shatner drops pants at L.A. airport | Celebrities | Entertainment | Toronto Sun

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Dark Side Emerging Again

Ex-Militia Blogger Who Spawned Fast And Furious Scandal Predicts Armed Insurrection Over Health Care Decision | Media Matters for America

Mike Vanderboegh, the ex-militia blogger who calls himself one of the "midwives" of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, recently predicted that if the Supreme Court declared the health care reform bill to be constitutional, it would lead to violent insurrection against "government tyranny..."

Holder In Contempt

If hypocrisy were hydrogen, the Capitol would either float away or explode. House holds Eric Holder in contempt: What happens to him now? (+video) -

Comment Of The Day: SCOTUS Edition

SCOTUS Ruling Day: Affordable Care Act « Uppity Woman

Oh snap!

Syria, Turkey, And War

Carl talks chess here, though it plays like Risk. Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: World War III

NC GOPers Can't Fool Mother Nature

North Carolina Sea Level Rises Despite Senators: Scientific American

Could nature be mocking North Carolina's law-makers? Less than two weeks after the state's senate passed a bill banning state agencies from reporting that sea-level rise is accelerating, research has shown that the coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts is experiencing the fastest sea-level rise in the world...

The Jersey Bully Bellows Again

Christie's insults distract from hot issues -

Governor Christie has urged reporters to “take the bat out” on a North Jersey lawmaker who’s also a widow and a grandmother, labeled a non-partisan budget analyst “Dr. Kevorkian” and called a gay lawmaker “numbnuts...”

Nora's Best

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Other Sandusky Monster

TheSpec - There were two monsters in the Sandusky house
Evil can come in many forms. It can come in the likes of Stalin or Hitler, or it can come in the gentle grey softness of a grandmother like Dottie Sandusky.
While the world’s focus has been on former Pennsylvania State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was very recently convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse, we have failed to notice the second Sandusky monster.
Dorothy Sandusky, who has been married to the now infamous pedophile for more than 40 years, was allegedly home during some of the attacks. Sandusky’s accusers claim to have been raped in the basement of his Pennsylvania home while Dottie puttered away upstairs...

Mitt The Liar

Good,though not exhaustive list of the, uh, fact-challenged, statements of Mitt Romney. Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXIII - The Maddow Blog

O Protects Raygun Portraits

White House rebukes guests who flipped bird at Reagan portrait | Fox News

O Leads In Key States

Obama Tops Romney in Poll of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida Voters - SFGate

President Barack Obama holds an edge over presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the election battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, a Quinnipiac University poll shows...

Latest Electoral Map

TPM Electoral Scoreboard

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another Dem Jumping Ship?

The Associated Press: McCaskill to skip Democratic National Convention

More Voter Suppression Admissions

Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law Spurs Debate -
A top Pennsylvania Republican’s remark this weekend that the state’s new voter ID law would help Mitt Romney win the state has reignited a debate over whether the law is intended to curb fraud, as Republicans say, or to depress Democratic turnout, as Democrats charge...

The Rangel Factor

Rangel was one of my favorite players during the reign of Skippy The Lesser Shrub. Charlie always seemed to be speaking truth-to-power back then. Now days,his star seems much diminished. Inside the Biggest Fight of Charlie Rangel's Career -- Daily Intel

Monday, June 25, 2012

Obama Roast of The Month

Want some really flaming O flogging then check out this post:

The Source of Barack Obama’s Power to Trick Us Comes from Our Willingness to Be Tricked « naked capitalism

...[Obama] He gets left-wing ideas.  But he hates the left, with the passion of any bully towards his victims.  To him, they are chumps, weak, pathetic, losers.  They are such pathetic losers, in fact, that they will believe anything he tells them.  And Obama has no better nature, he is what he’s done in office, someone who murders children with drone strikes and then jokes about it to his rich friends...

More Regionalism

Too bad I couldn't make a comment about the call for the rich states to secede from the Union. Does anyone really want another Civil War? Has the Time Come to Break Up the Union? « Sky Dancing

SOS Clinton For POTUS

SOS Clinton is better qualified to be president than anyone, including current, former, and now-serving politicians. Period. Her values more closely tune to the great unserved Middle than anyone else, though both Sanders and Warren warm the cockles of my old heart. Mitt is a moderately crazy Republican in-service to the 1%. Obama is a lame DINO in service to the 1%. So unless the ghost of LBJ possesses Obama, our Middle options are severely limited.

I'd love to be able to support a reasonable third party-- one that puts winning elections,and therefore ultimately obtaining the results you wanted to begin with, first, not taking immovable principled stands on every issue coming and going. Yes, take immovable positions on some things, like social security, the public option, equal pay and opportunity for all, and tax fairness. Do not take hard positions on every detail of every issue-- that leaves no room for compromise, which is the art of governing. I generally like The Coffee Party, though they seem more inclined to work within the Democratic Party (sidebar-- never let the GOP rename anything, especially your own political party) rather than running their own third party candidates.

Lingering Sandusky Questions

Unanswered Question Remains about Sandusky Case | The Smirking Chimp

...All of those powerful PSU officials who heard about the March 2001 incident did nothing. When they were interviewed by police and called before the grand jury, they claimed that McQueary never explicitly mentioned sexual activity. The grand jury and trial juries disagreed.

What power did Sandusky have?

Did he know something so compromising about the university that it got him off the hook?

Did he have friends even more powerful than Paterno, Curly, Schultz, and Spanier?

If so, what favors did they owe Sandusky to enlist their protective services?

Until we know who Sandusky had on his side to allow his flagrant public deviance, we won't know the true story of the Sandusky case

The Dissent Is Right

Justice Breyer: Montana Case Shows Citizens United Was Wrong | TPM2012

The Supreme Court sided with a conservative group on Monday to invalidate a Montana law restricting corporate spending on elections that had been on the books for 100 years, saying it clearly conflicted with their ruling in Citizens United...

As Arrogant As A Politician

Dr. Conrad Murray -- How DARE You Judge Me |

It's the Conrad Murray video you were never meant to see -- a secret, emotional recording made days after Michael Jackson died ... in which Murray lies through his teeth about his relationship with the singer, blasts the public for blaming him for MJ's death, and even says he's a victim of MJ's deceptions...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Supreme Corruption

Meme Alleges Clarence Thomas's Wife Got $1.5M From Healthcare Act Foes - Washington Whispers (

A new meme is making its way around the Internet, showing a photo of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with the caption: "This [man's] family received $1.5 million from health care opponents... And is about to rule on health care reform..."

No Good News, Please!

Romney Campaign Said to Ask Scott to Downplay Job Gains - Bloomberg

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter...

From The "All Business Is Personal" Department

Report: Issa Staffer Offered To Stop Holder Contempt Vote For DOJ Scalp | TPMMuckraker
Rep. Darrell Issa’s chief investigative counsel offered to stop the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder in exchange for the resignation of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Newsweek’s Dan Klaidman is reporting.
Issa staffer Stephen Castor brought up the issue of “accountability” during a phone call with a senior DOJ official last week, according to the report. Castor reportedly said they could head off the contempt vote if Breuer stepped down...

AL vs. The World

Alabama defeats communism with anti-sustainability law - AlterNet -

With chronic budget shortfalls, dangerously overcrowded prisons and the nation’s biggest municipal bankruptcy filing, we here in Alabama have a lot on our minds.

But at least we can cross one worry off the list: Our property cannot be confiscated by the United Nations or any of its myriad stealth agents in the name of “sustainability,” “smart growth” or “environmentalism...”

GOP To Keep House?

Do Democrats Have a Shot at the House? -

...In short, the signs so far are that Republican incumbents are holding up well enough in the House, and that there is not much of a wave breaking in either direction. But, it is quite early, and I do not think we have a keen sense yet of how anti-Congressional sentiment might translate into individual races. Betting markets give Democrats about 4-to-1 odds against re-claiming the House. This is not completely out of line, but I might take Democrats’ side of the bet just on the general principle of long uncertainty early in a political cycle.


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Daily Uh-Oh: Turkish Jet Edition

Syria shoots down Turkish warplane: al-Manar TV | Reuters

- Syria shot down a Turkish warplane on Friday, Lebanon's al-Manar television reported, risking a new crisis between Middle Eastern neighbors already at bitter odds over a 16-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad...

The Problem With O

Tom In Paine: Obama and MoveOn's circular firing squad.

... Obama in his four years in office gutted, reneged, buried and otherwise destroyed just about every aspect of the Democratic party agenda, squandering the biggest congressional majority any president had in 60 years, capitulated to Republicans on almost every front when it was completely unnecessary and destroyed the chance to pass the most transformative legislation in decades from genuine health care reform with a public option to sweeping financial reform, simply because he lacked the spine, principle, conviction or desire for that matter to accomplish anything. Instead what we got from Obama was blatant lying and misrepresenting of the truth on just about everything and doing it more easily than any politician in recent memory. And this is who 91% of MoveOn's membership voted to support...

The Great SS Lie

The great Social Security lie - 1 - retirement planning - MSN Money

...The "aging workforce" narrative serves to encourage and support the critics who claim that our problem is too many retirees lining up to collect their entitlements only to find that the government has failed to properly manage the Social Security Trust -- leaving the next generation of beneficiaries to be shortchanged 25 years down the line. As a result, the privatization pushers argue that Americans would be far better off looking out for their own retirement accounts so that government mismanagement will not come between hard-working citizens and their retirement money.

This is the Great American Social Security Lie.

It is a lie concocted by those seeking to fulfill Wall Street's eternal quest to get its sweaty palms on trillions of dollars of our retirement cash, allowing them to expand their casino operations beyond their wildest imaginations -- and Wall Street has a very healthy imagination...

The Cost Of Churches

Activist churches bait IRS, but agency won't bite so far - Bottom Line

...Using tax data from the U.S. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation and data on giving to churches from the Indiana Center, a Reuters analysis found that tax breaks on church giving shaved $12 billion or so from total U.S. tax collections in 2011 and approximately $145 billion over the last decade.

The property tax break is probably even bigger. In their 2011 book "Politics, Taxes, and the Pulpit," law professors Nina Crimm and Laurence Winer calculated that houses of worship received $12.7 billion in property tax exemptions on $685 billion of property in 2006, a figure large enough to have played a role in city and state budget deficits of recent years...

Pay Discrimination Still Occurring

Equal Pay Plaintiffs' Burden of Proof - Businessweek
...Pay discrimination is a silent offense. Women know when they’re being harassed and abused, of course, and they can often tell if they’re being discriminated against in hiring and promotion—all they have to do is count the men with lesser skills and credentials doing jobs they still aspire to. But in many workplaces, discussing pay is frowned upon; in some, it’s a dismissible offense. So, like Ledbetter, women often don’t know when they’re getting paid less than men. So they don’t complain. So the problem continues...
At one institution that I know well, the situation was reversed--the women made far more than the men-- on average. Of course,the top managers, all men, raked in the most dough. No, it had nothing to do with education, experience or productivity. The situation has now normalized and everyone seems happy with the rates because the differences are justified by one of the previous three reasons. Don't get me wrong-- overall, women are roundly discriminated against. You would think all women would get behind efforts to correct this injustice, but you would be in error, and that, I think is the primary reason why the ERA never passed and why we don't now have a competent president.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vets Scammed

Someone scammed most of my father's benefits, then another relative managed to get his estate. The VA could certainly improve in this area.There is a petition at the link.

Tell the US Department of Veterans Affairs to increase its oversight of fiduciaries responsible for managing the funds of mentally-disabled veterans | Support Veterans |

...Until recently, 83 year-old veteran Henry Ashurst had no idea that for a decade he’d been unwittingly financing the gambling habits of crooks Robert Morong Tabbutt and Jack Perry. Robert, a VA field examiner, conspired with Jack, a fiduciary in Memphis, to steal the VA funds designated for nearly a dozen other mentally disabled veterans. The shameless pair managed to siphon away nearly $900,000 from Henry and others, the majority of which they gambled away in Mississippi casinos. Their scheme continued until 2008 when Jack finally came forward and confessed their crimes to the FBI...

Weird Appointments In Ohio

Ohio governor appoints dropout quarterback to state Board of Education | The Raw Story

...Indeed, the Dispatch reported that Jackson makes Kasich’s third appointment to the state’s board with “no education experience...”

R U Better Off?

More Americans Say They're Better Off Than They Were 4 Years Ago | Crooks and Liars

Bad news for Team Willard on Wednesday. In addition to a new Bloomberg poll that showed Obama with a 13-point lead, there was this interesting tidbit.

A plurality of Americans now say they are better off than they were when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, providing a surprising lift to Obama’s re- election campaign despite troublesome economic news.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed in a Bloomberg National Poll say they are better off than at the beginning of 2009 compared with 36 percent who say they are worse off. In March, poll respondents split almost evenly on that question after having been decidedly negative since the aftermath of the worst recession in seven decades...

Corporate Takeover At UVA

A bit of advice from a pharma researcher to UVA « The Confluence

...UVA is now engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that university founded by T.J. himself and dedicated to the proposition of respect and reverence for the liberal arts can long endure.  I’m here to tell you that if Helen Dragas hasn’t been forced to resign yet you are losing.  It doesn’t matter at this point if Teresa Sullivan is coming back.  She may be a great administrator but this fight is not about her anymore.  It is about how your future is being compromised by the usurpation of your university by a bunch of rich people who think that their success in business makes them smarter and more equal than you are.  If you let UVA go under without a fight, similar power struggles will happen at other schools.  And they too will go down like dominos.  Before you know it, you will be run by a corporate president who will look after the shareholders’ needs.  There will be a marketing department who will design your curriculum based on what’s hot this year.  Your faculty will have to compete for their jobs and will spend (even) more time undermining each other at your expense.  And the cost of everything will go up.  It will go into some fund that will be used to increase the value of the endowment or take risks in Malaysia on some upcoming business initiative...

Martin Threatened Zimmerman

... brought to you by the Jumping Conclusions Department, sponsored by Duke Lacross.

George Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin threatened my life -

Just hours after fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman told police investigators the shooting followed a life-and-death struggle in which the teen told him, "You're going to die tonight..."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Contempt Ok-- If You're A GOPer


...By the way, if you want to know the specific charge on which Karl Rove could have been arrested, it's simple. In July of 2008, the House was investigating the allegations that Karl Rove had engineered state-level prosecutions of various Democrats. Rove was summoned to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on July 10; he refused to show up. He was cited for contempt. Nothing came of it.

Baseball And Politics

Going after Clemens stupid, political - CNN

...It's true. With Monday's acquittal of charges that Clemens lied to Congress in 2008 when he insisted he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his 24-year big league career, Americans across all boundaries came together as one. Republicans and Democrats, tea partiers and Occupiers, Christians and Jews, blacks and whites, dog lovers and cat lovers, nuns and death row inmates -- all could hold hands and sing in one loud, harmonious voice, "What the hell is our government doing?"...

John Edwards wondered the same thing. The impeachment of Bill Clinton has certainly set some precedents,including the penchant for useless, wasteful, political prosecutions.

O Sez No

Obama Claims Executive Privilege in Gun Case -

President Obama on Wednesday invoked executive privilege to withhold from a Congressional oversight committee some documents and communications among his advisers regarding the failed gun enforcement operation known as “Fast and Furious,” in which weapons purchased in the United States were allowed to cross into Mexico...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From The "You Go,Girl" Department: Vagina Monologues Edition

Silenced Mich. lawmaker does 'Vagina Monologues' - Yahoo! News
A state lawmaker who says she was barred from speaking in the Michigan House because Republicans objected to her saying "vagina" during debate over anti-abortion legislation performed "The Vagina Monologues" on the Statehouse steps — with a hand from the author.
Eve Ensler, whose groundbreaking play about women's sexuality still packs theaters 16 years after it debuted, oversaw Monday night's performance by Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown, 10 other lawmakers and several actresses...

Killing Schools

Disaster Capitalism, K-12 Education, and Corporate Takeovers of Progressive Organizations | Crooks and Liars

This is how fundamental democratic institutions and progressive organizations get co-opted by corporate interests. Find an issue like, say, education reform, partner up with right-wing interests to undermine public education as a fundamental right of every child in this country, and let billionaires direct the flow of dollars into competing efforts.

Along the way, it's useful to toss some corporate money at progressive organizations in order to give the appearance  that right-wing corporate policies are somehow progressive. This is exactly what has happened with Stand for Children and Their union-busting petition microtargeted at Chicago teachers highlights how they have been played "at the edges" to promote ideas that are not at all progressive...

Are They Really John's Bones?

Did archaeologists really find bones belonging to John the Baptist? -

A small handful of bones found in an ancient church in Bulgaria may belong to John the Baptist, the biblical figure said to have baptized Jesus.

There's no way to be sure, of course, as there are no confirmed pieces of John the Baptist to compare to the fragments of bone. But the sarcophagus holding the bones was found near a second box bearing the name of St. John and his feast date (also called a holy day) of June 24. Now, new radiocarbon dating of the collagen in one of the bones pegs its age to the early first century, consistent with the New Testament and Jewish histories of John the Baptist's life...

Dimon Unkissed Here

Jamie Dimon Disagrees With Us ’Wild Socialists’ - Bloomberg

Monday, June 18, 2012

Presidential Leadership In Higher Ed

Patricia McGuire: Presidential Politics (College Edition)

Pressuring Google

Google reports 'alarming' rise in government censorship requests -

Western governments, including the United States, appear to be stepping up efforts to censor Internet search results and YouTube videos, according to a "transparency report" released by Google.

"It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect -- Western democracies not typically associated with censorship," Dorothy Chou, a senior policy analyst at Google, wrote in a blog post on Sunday night...

The Devil's Doin' It

Vatican accuses media of imitating Dan Brown | Reuters

The Vatican's number 2 accused the media on Monday of trying "to imitate Dan Brown" in their coverage of the VatiLeaks scandal and said the Roman Catholic Church's latest travails were part of the Devil's attempt to destabilize it...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Accidental Truth

We Don’t Need No Education -

...In the remarks Mr. Romney later tried to deny, he derided President Obama: “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.” Then he declared, “It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

You can see why I was ready to give points for honesty. For once, he actually admitted what he and his allies mean when they talk about shrinking government. Conservatives love to pretend that there are vast armies of government bureaucrats doing who knows what; in reality, a majority of government workers are employed providing either education (teachers) or public protection (police officers and firefighters)...

Frisking Protest

Sharpton heads up 'stop and frisk' protest

The Rev. Al Sharpton, the New York-based activist, led a gathering of about 200 protesters at the headquarters of his National Action Network earlier today in advance of the planned march to protest the police department's "stop and frisk" policies, reports...

Rats & Sinking Ships

Carville Memo Signifies Despair Of Democrats Over Obama Re-Election Chances -

On To The Next Crisis

Greek election now likely to have little impact - CBS News

Greece's pro-bailout New Democracy party narrowly won a victory Sunday in an election once seen as critical to Europe's economy. Despite all the attention, the issue of whether the Greeks remain in the euro is now a secondary concern. Its importance has been entirely eclipsed by the increasing danger of Spain's economic collapse...

Aegism Trumps Sexism?

Solid post. Intriguing connections.
Daily PUMA: In Politics, Ageism is far far worse than Sexism when it comes to electing a Female President.
...While women can make a solid case for how sexism keeps them down, there are some men who have been financially and emotionally brutalized by society as well. The end result is the focus on sexism drives a wedge between the sexes, whereas ageism does not. There are many in society who are both a victim of sexism, AND ageism...

Paul Wins

Ron Paul wins 21 of 25 delegates elected in Iowa | Fox News

Friday, June 15, 2012

Air Force Space Ship Set To Land

(My bold) Secret U.S. space plane prepares to land -

A U.S. Air Force space plane in orbit for more than a year will come back to Earth this weekend, say officials who remained mum on the mission's purpose...

Creepy Ricky Backstabs

Santorum endorses Hatch's opponent in Utah primary - ABC News

Rick Santorum took sides in Utah's Republican Senate primary on Friday, endorsing challenger Dan Liljenquist over his former colleague, Sen. Orrin Hatch...

Mitt Getting Chinese Funding

John McCain Helpfully Accuses Romney Campaign of Benefiting From Chinese Money -- Daily Intel

O Caters?

Obama administration to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants -

In an election-year policy change, the Obama administration said Friday it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

SCOTUS Pegs Outrage Meter

Supreme Court OKs police tasering pregnant women
...Unfortunately, this is where what happened to Malaika Brooks at the hands of the police—behavior that should be roundly condemned and prohibited—becomes yet another example of the cowardice of our justice system and the corrupt nature of life in a police state. Even though the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals recognized that Malaika posed no threat to anyone, nor did she pose a physical threat to the officers, that none of her offenses were serious, and that officers clearly used “excessive force” against her, the justices granted qualified immunity to the officers—a ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court ostensibly upheld when it refused to hear the case. In doing so, the courts have essentially given police carte blanche authority when it comes to using tasers against American citizens.
Indeed, this case highlights a growing trend in which police officers use tasers to force individuals into compliance in relatively non-threatening situations. Originally designed to restrain violent criminals, tasers are now used with impunity against individuals who pose no bodily harm to the police. Rowdy schoolchildren, the elderly, and mentally ill individuals are increasingly finding themselves on the receiving end of these sometimes lethal electroshock devices. Cops who have been shocked in the course of their training have described being tased as “the most profound pain,” and “like getting punched 100 times in a row...”

More GOPer Outrage

Big deal... HBO apologizes after ‘Game of Thrones’ scene featured severed head resembling former President George W. Bush  - NY Daily News

Not "No" But "Hell No" this invasion of privacy!

Auto Insurance Enters the 'Pay-per-View' Era -

A warning to motorists who take speed limits as suggestions, screech around tight turns or favor extra-long road trips: You might not like where the auto-insurance industry is heading.

Big insurers like Progressive and Allstate are pushing out so-called use-based policies that track mileage, average speed and other measures that can result in substantial discounts for good drivers. Joe White has details on Lunch Break. Photo: AP.

Insurers are accelerating efforts to tap into the systems that enable a car to communicate with satellites and mobile data networks, and use information about how you drive to set your rates. The companies say that basing your premiums on how and how much you drive—a concept known as user-based insurance or "pay-as-you-drive" insurance—will allow them to accurately target discounts at careful drivers, and charge more spirited customers an appropriately higher amount...

The Golden Age Of (Natural) Gas

Zakaria: The game-changer in the geopolitics of energy – Global Public Square - Blogs

Americans Aren't Completely Stupid

Gallup Poll: Americans Still Blame Bush More Than Obama For Economic Woes | Mediaite

A new Gallup poll released Thursday morning claims that, despite his leaving office three years ago, Americans place more blame for the nation’s economic woes on former President George W. Bush than on current President Barack Obama...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Buying The White House

Adelson gives $10M to Romney Super PAC |
The news that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is pumping $10 million into a "super PAC" backing Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney underscores how swiftly this campaign's state of play can be affected by a single wealthy donor...

I Agree With Newt

Gingrich: Elections ‘rigged' for the rich  |

Our Uncivil Politics

Politics Is Driving Incivility In America, According To New National Poll - MarketWatch

Barber Wins

POLITICS: Barber's re-election campaign begins instantly | The Daily Times |

Minutes after Democrat Ron Barber won the special election in Arizona to replace his wounded former boss Gabrielle Giffords, the campaign was underway to determine how long he gets to stay...

Overthinking 101

The Politics Of Ridley Scott's Blockbuster Film Prometheus - Forbes

Evil GOPers, Part 9 Million

It really ain't news, but it is certainly worth repeating.

Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy? | Michael Cohen | Comment is free |

...In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country's economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama's key political adviser, David Axelrod.

For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically. Considering that presidents – and rarely opposition parties – are held electorally responsible for economic calamity, it's not a bad political strategy...

Betting Against US

They  lost because they were banking (groan) on the economy tanking, i.e. they were betting against America. No sympathy, vampires!

JPMorgan CEO Dimon: 'This Is an Isolated Incident' - CNBC

...He defended the intent of the traders, telling the Senate Banking Committee it was a genuine hedge that would have made the bank a lot of money if a credit crisis hit. He said the bank's senior management failed to police the London office behind the trades...

Muslim Troubles Elsewhere

State of Emergency Declared in Western Myanmar -

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Run, Clinton, Run!

Of course, she will have to put-up with a lot of silly crap:

Why Can’t We Stop Skewering Hillary Clinton? « Uppity Woman

...Next, of course, we have to criticize her age.  I wonder how the baby boomers feel being told that someone who will be 68 during her next campaign in 2016 (should it happen) will be too old to run the country.  Secretary Clinton is now 64.  Mitt Romney is 65.  Is anyone telling the Republican nominee to make himself some warm milk and put his teeth in a cup?  Sexism plus ageism is quite the double whammy for a woman...

Religious Immigration

Evangelicals push Congress for immigration changes

Leaders from a wide-ranging group of evangelical organizations -- from Focus on the Family to the Southern Baptist Convention to the National Latino Evangelical Association -- came together in Washington to push for a revamped immigration system that provides a path to citizenship for some of the country's 11 million illegal immigrants...

Mitt And Health Care

It's AP so no quotes: The Associated Press: Romney health care vision short on detail

Monday, June 11, 2012

On The Obama Legacy

What Would a Second Obama Term Bring? : The New Yorker

Spain Gets US Disease

Another Bank Bailout -

GOPer Tax Liars

WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Top Stories - FACT CHECK: GOP Taxmageddon is not the biggest tax increase in history

Republicans are calling it "Taxmageddon," the big tax increase awaiting nearly every American family at the end of the year, when a long list of tax cuts are scheduled to expire unless Congress acts.

It would be, GOP leaders in Congress say again and again, "the largest tax increase in American history."

Except it wouldn't be, not when you take into account population growth, rising wages, and most importantly, the size of the U.S. economy. When those factors are taken into account, the largest tax increases were those imposed to help pay for World War II - back when the U.S. raised additional revenue to pay for wars instead of simply borrowing.

Nevertheless, it is an exaggeration that has proved too tempting for top Republican leaders in Congress:...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Other People You Love To Hate

Why cellphone carriers get away with bad customer service -

..."Phone carriers aren't trying to gain consumers through quality service," says Parul Desai, the communications policy counsel for Consumers Union. No phone company "says we'll take care of this; we'll come right over and fix it."

They have no reason to: Their mandatory arbitration clauses make it all but impossible for disgruntled customers to sue them, and their early termination fees lock those customers into their contracts. In a 2009 Government Accountability Office survey mobile phone users said they wouldn't switch carriers because of those fees. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced a bill that year that would have limited those charges, but it didn't go anyplace...

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Legislators Screwing Pension Systems

State Politicians and the Public Pension Cookie Jar -

Crooks For Sheriff!

SC Sheriff's Race Marred by Kidnapping Allegation - ABC News

Voters choosing a sheriff in one South Carolina county can pick from four men accused of doing something wrong, including a former Secret Service agent accused of trying to kidnap someone and a second man investigated by state agents.

If neither suits their fancy, voters also can pick from a former deputy who was fired last year after his bosses accused him of lying on his time sheets, or the current chief deputy, who was the No. 2 man at the agency when a former office manager stole more than $500,000 forfeited by drug dealers. All four men deny any wrongdoing...

Friday, June 08, 2012

Lest We Forget: Leaking Edition

From jimbo123 @ White House Leak Inquiry Sought - The Daily Beast re: evil Democrats giving up government secrets:
35 Minutes Ago

yes of course, what in the world would make you think one is less than the other? 

Here's a list of a number of republican leaks and scandals throughout the Bush admim. Might interest you.

Philip Cooney – chief of staff, White House Council on Environmental Quality – a former oil industry lawyer with no scientific expertise, Cooney resigned after it was revealed he had watered down reports on global warming.

* George Deutsch – press aide, NASA – resigned amid allegations he prevented the agency’s top climate scientist from speaking publicly about global warming.

* Michael Elston – chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty – announced his resignation on June 15, 2007. Despite allegations that he’d threatened at least four of the eight fired US Attorneys, McNulty said Elston had served the Justice Department “with distinction for nearly eight years.”

* Kyle Dustin “Dusty” Foggo – appointed executive director of the CIA, the agency’s third-highest post, in October 2004 – resigned and was ultimately indicted on bribery charges related to the Duke Cunningham scandal.

* Alberto Gonzales – former Attorney General – resigned without explanation amidst investigations of the firings of U.S. Attorneys, the politicization of the Justice Department, warrantless surveillance, and the torture and mistreatment of detainees.

* Monica Goodling – former Justice Department liaison to the White House and senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales – resigned on April 7, 2007 amidst the investigation of the firings of U.S. Attorneys.

* Michelle Larson Korsmo – deputy chief of staff, Department of Labor – Helped her husband (see John Korsmo, above) with his donor scam. Quietly left her Labor plum job in February 2004, about two weeks before news broke that she and her husband were the targets of a criminal probe.

* Howard “Cookie” Krongard – former State Department inspector general — accused of not properly investigating State Department contractor fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan; of retaliating against whistleblowers in his own office; and of not telling the truth about his knowledge of his brother’s ties with Blackwater, a State Department contractor. Faced with a possible perjury investigation, Howard Krongard resigned on December 7, 2007.

* Julie Macdonald – former deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at the Interior Department – resigned in May 2007 after an “inspector general’s report found she had improperly leaked information to private organizations, bullied staff scientists and broken federal rules.” The Department of the Interior is investigating many of her decisions regarding endangered species; so far seven have been overturned.

* Paul McNulty – Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice – resigned, after questions about his involvement in the U.S. attorney firings and his testimony to Congress about the firings.

* Richard Perle – Chairman, Defense Policy Board – resigned from Pentagon advisory panel amid conflict-of-interest charges.

* Susan Ralston – assistant, White House – resigned amidst revelations that she had accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from Abramoff without compensating him, counter to White House ethics rules.

* Janet Rehnquist – inspector general, Department of Health and Human Services – resigned on June 1, 2003 in the face of an investigation into her alleged efforts to block a politically dangerous probe on behalf of the Bush family.

* James Roche – secretary, U.S. Air Force – resigned in the wake of the Boeing tanker lease scandal, after it was revealed he had rather crudely pushed for Boeing to win a $23 billion contract.

* Kyle Sampson -former chief of staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales – resigned amidst the investigation of the firings of U.S. Attorneys.

* Joseph Schmitz – Inspector General, Defense – Resigned amid charges he personally intervened to protect top political appointees.

* Bradley Schlozman – resigned from his third and final post with the Justice Department after accusations of actively politicizing the department. He’s currently under investigation by the Department’s inspector general.

* Thomas Scully – Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – shortly after Scully resigned in 2003, an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general found that Scully had pressured the agency’s actuary to underestimate the full cost of the Medicare reform bill by approximately $100 billion until after Congress passed the bill into law. Scully was also hit with conflict of interest charges by the U.S. attorney’s office for billing CMS for expenses incurred during a job search while he still headed the agency. He settled those charges by paying $9,782. 

Oh, and don't forget Scooter and Dead Eye Dick destroyed an entire intelligence network and probably got people murdered via the Plame scandal.

The Third Republican Party

Former presidential candidate Santorum forms conservative group | Reuters

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum launched a new conservative group on Friday with the goal of recruiting 1 million members to help get Democratic President Barack Obama out of the White House...

Or is all this just a way for Creepy Ricky to stay on the Koch Dole?

"Real" Vampires Get Political

'True Blood' sinks its teeth into politics for fifth season –

In its fifth season — which happens to coincide with a U.S. presidential campaign —True Blood, returning Sunday (9 p.m. ET/PT), explores political maneuverings in the vampire realm between The Authority, a mainstream group that seeks accommodation with humans, and the Sanguinistas, fundamentalists who believe mortals are simply food for their vampire superiors...

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Tax Cut Heaven (Or Hell?)

U.S. has tax-cut its way into debt -

...By contrast, Mitt Romney’s first major ad is substantive — and wrong. He tells us that on his first day in office — after approving the Keystone XL pipeline — he will introduce tax cuts “that reward job creators not punish them.” The one idea that is almost certain not to jump-start this economy is a tax cut.

Why can we be sure of this? Because this is what we have done for the past three years. For those who think President Obama’s policies have done little to produce growth, keep in mind that the single largest piece of his policies — in dollar terms — has been tax cuts. They actually began before Obama took office, with the tax cut passed under the George W. Bush administration in response to the financial crisis in 2008. Then came the stimulus bill, of which tax cuts were the largest chunk by far — one-third of the total. The Department of Transportation, by contrast, got 6 per cent of the total to fix infrastructure...

Solving The Financial Mess

Paul Krugman: 'I'm sick of being Cassandra. I'd like to win for once' | Business | The Guardian

,,,President Obama is the only world leader who has attempted a Keynesian stimulus programme. Why has it been only minimally effective? Why do most other western leaders still insist the only way out is to tighten our belts and pay off our debts, when that clearly isn't working either? And how come the bankers, credit agencies and bond traders are still treated with cowed reverence – don't frighten the markets! – when they got us into this mess?

These mysteries were beginning to make me feel as if I must be going mad – but since reading Paul Krugman's new book, I fear I'm in danger instead of becoming a bore. It's the sort of book you wish were compulsory reading, and want to quote to anyone who'll listen, because End This Depression Now! provides a comprehensive narrative of how we have ended up doing the opposite of what logic and history tell us we must do to get out of this crisis...

Supreme Bad News

44 Percent of Americans Approve of Supreme Court in New Poll -

WASHINGTON — Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News...

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Disgusting Turn In Egypt

Alarming Assaults On Women In Egypt's Tahrir : NPR

Evil Apple Strikes Again

Apple Seeks to Block Sales of Samsung’s New Galaxy Phone - Bloomberg

Apple Inc. (AAPL) asked a federal judge in San Jose, California, to include Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S III smartphone in its request to block sales of Samsung products in the U.S...

Bearly Justice

Rory Nelson Wagner, Convicted Murderer, Eaten By Bear In Canada

Crime-- And Too Much Punishment?

Massachusetts teen sentenced to prison for texting while driving - U.S. News

A Massachusetts teenager was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years for causing a fatal crash by texting while driving...

No Headline Necessary

By: The Pragmatic Progressive Page

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Woman Shafted By Super Marjority Rule

Senate GOP blocks Democrats' equal pay bill - CBS News

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a Democratic bill calling for equal pay in the workplace. But President Barack Obama and his congressional allies aren't finished appealing to women on the No. 1 concern for all voters: the cash in their wallets on the heels of recession.

As expected, the pay equity bill failed along party lines, 52-47, short of the required 60-vote threshold. But for majority Democrats, passage wasn't the only point. The debate itself was aimed at putting Republicans on the defensive on yet another women's issue, this one overtly economic after a government report showing slower-than-expected job growth...

Note: In a real democracy, this bill would have passed by a two vote margin.

Bad News In WI

Wisconsin's Walker will survive recall, networks say | Reuters

Monday, June 04, 2012

War On Women Update

Democrats campaign for Paycheck Fairness Act ahead of Tuesday vote -

The Paycheck  Fairness Act (PFA) would offer several additional protections for women in the workplace, including increased ability to pursue punitive damages for unequal pay claims; prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who inquire about payment practices or who disclose their own salaries; and require businesses to prove that differences in pay between genders were rooted in business requirements...

Forgotten Conflicts

Long ago, during Vietnam, we had numerous "border flares" and other "special missions,"often a half-world removed from Southeast Asia, that required troops to get in harm's way-- operations for which they received no honor, no credit, no recognition. The casualities from these operations were usually listed as accidents, or so I was told. Anyway, let us not forget the troops, both military and "civilian" who give their all for their country.
Clinton warns of wider Caucasus conflict | Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced concern on Monday that violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan could lead to a broader regional conflict as three Armenian soldiers died in a border incident...

The GOPer Con

This Republican Economy -

What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.

So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed...

The Return Of Civil Liberties?

War on terror: Closing a legal loophole -

Can a U.S. citizen arrested in this country on terrorism charges be detained without trial? As with other aspects of the war on terror, the answer isn't clear. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has proposed important legislation that would end the ambiguity and explicitly prohibit indefinite detention in such cases...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Warren Wins

- The Washington Post

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren won her party’s overwhelming endorsement Saturday, shutting out a potential primary election opponent and becoming the presumptive nominee to face Republican Sen. Scott Brown in what is expected to be one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races...

The Power Of Negative Media

A Pension Battle Erupts in San Jose With Cops and Firefights at Center -

Firefighter Brian Endicott got an early taste of the pension battle brewing here when a man at the grocery store angrily pointed to the steaks in his cart.

"Who do you think you are, wasting taxpayers' money on a meal like this?" the man yelled at 46-year-old Mr. Endicott, who was shopping for dinner with three other firefighters from San Jose Fire Station No. 1...

Friday, June 01, 2012

Will Jeb Get Tea-Bagged?

Jeb Bush bashes Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge -

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he opposes Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge because it asks politicians to “outsource your principles and convictions...”

The Real Extremists

Political Scene: Republican Extremism and the Future of American Politics : The New Yorker

At least since President Obama’s Inauguration, political observers have been taking note of the Republican Party’s trend toward the right, and away from compromise. “After 2010, it was impossible for a fair-minded person who knew what was going on in Washington and around the country to maintain the fiction that there was an equivalent extremism, and polarization, and ugliness on both sides,” George Packer says in this week’s Political Scene podcast. But there was an impulse among pundits and citizens alike to believe that Democrats, too, bear some of the blame for the country’s polarization, an impulse only now beginning to fade. Packer joins Amy Davidson and host Amelia Lester to discuss why that’s happening, and how extreme conservatism is affecting American politics and governance...