29 July 2016

North Carolina Voter ID Law Struck Down

Most importantly, the court found that the law was specifically and deliberately discriminatory:
Most damming, [sic] The appeals court — citing a lower court’s findings — noted that North Carolina legislators not only sought data breaking down voting practices by race, but then crated the law’s new provisions to single out practices disproportionately popular among African Americans, like early voting and provisional ballots.
This means that the court may place the state of North Carolina under the preclearance requirement of Section 3 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  (It was Section 4(b) that was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court), because there was a finding of deliberate discrimination.

My Heard Bleeds Borscht for These Rat F%$#S

What a surprise, since the US Treasury has started to require more disclosure in cash only real estate purchases in the United States, this market has imploded.

Seriously, there is no way that everyone involved in the process that it wasn't money laundering, and as the saying goes, "You f%$# with the bull, you get the horns."

More of this:
Cash sales of homes – mostly the domain of foreign and affluent buyers – fell to 32% of total home sales in April, down 2.8 percentage points from a year ago, according to a new report from CoreLogic. For the first four months, cash sales dropped to 34%, the lowest since 2008.

In Florida, the number one destination for foreign homebuyers, cash sales accounted for 46% of sales, and in New York, for 44%, both decreasing as well. The “strong dollar” and “global uncertainty” were blamed.

In Manhattan and Miami, the luxury condo markets are already getting mauled. For example, we reported that in Manhattan, condo prices plunged 14% in just three months.

We also reported that foreign investors were pulling back, particularly Chinese investors, the most prolific of all foreign buyers. The number of homes they purchased over the 12-month period had plunged 15%.

So is it just the “strong dollar” and “global uncertainty?” Or could there be more to the story?

Today, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that it would expand a program it had kicked off in January to identify and track secret homebuyers who hide behind shell companies.

The expanded program will “temporarily require US title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay ‘all cash’ for high-end residential real estate in six major metropolitan areas,” up from the two areas designated in January, Manhattan and Miami, among the biggest destinations of global wealth:

FinCEN remains concerned that all-cash purchases (i.e., those without bank financing) may be conducted by individuals attempting to hide their assets and identity by purchasing residential properties through limited liability companies or other opaque structures.
Real estate purchases in the US have been a perfectly good way to launder large amounts of money, no questions asked. Brokers and banks and other industry professionals have played along. Everyone in the world knew it. And they came to launder their cash.

These folks don’t mind paying a little extra. So as an industry-pleasing side effect of this influx of opaque money, luxury home prices soared, from where they trickled down to the rest of the market.
The criminal activity in the real estate market is increasingly pricing ordinary people out of homes, so it's nice that the T-men are doing this.

Economy Grew at Less Than ½ of Forecasts in Q2



Forecasts were generally at a 2.5% annual rate, and the actual rate was 1.2%:
The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the second quarter after a weaker start to the year than previously estimated as companies slimmed down inventories and remained wary of investing amid shaky global demand.

Gross domestic product rose at a 1.2 percent annualized rate after a 0.8 percent advance the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.5 percent second-quarter increase.

The report raises the risk to the outlook at a time Federal Reserve policy makers are looking for sustained improvement. While consumers were resilient last quarter, businesses were cautious -- cutting back on investment and aggressively reducing stockpiles amid weak global markets, heightened uncertainty and the lingering drag from a stronger dollar.
So it's 3 months until the general election, and the economy is slowing down.

Lovely.

Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty We Are Free at Last!

Today, the Windows 10 free upgrade offer and its associated nagware ends. I am so ready to be done with this crap:
Microsoft has offered its free upgrade to Windows 10 for one year to the day now. Although most users interested in the upgrade have probably already taken it, anyone who has been putting off the move to Windows 10 has mere hours left to install the new OS.

The free upgrade to Windows 10 officially ends July 29 11:59 PM UTC-10. That translates to 2:59 AM PDT and 5:59 AM EST July 30. According to a Microsoft representative, all upgrades must be completely finished prior to this time.
BTW, if you are interested, there are a number of law suits suits against Microflaccid's remarkably persistent and deceptive attempts to force an upgrade on unsuspecting users.

Linkage


This is f%$#ing mind boggling: (H/t Charlie for finding it)



Wow.

28 July 2016

Google™ Adsense™ F%$#s it Up Again

I don't live in Pennsylvania.

I'm well on the pink side of the Democratic Party.

And still Google™ Adsense™, somehow figures that I need to have ads from Republicans on my site.

Oh well, I suppose that it's better that they spend their money here, as opposed to somewhere useful.

My standard disclaimer on any post about the aforementioned service applies:
Also, please note, this should be in no way construed as an inducement or a request for my reader(s) to click on any ad that they would not otherwise be inclined to investigate further. This would be a violation of the terms of service for Google Adsense.

So Not a Surprise

Research has found that gun fondling (the ammosexual life style) is closely associated with bigoted attitudes:
In America, support for some gun control policies, such as universal background checks, is above 90% percent, and yet mass shooting after mass shooting fails to incite action from politicians.

The popular explanation for this failure to act, so well evoked by commentators like Igor Volsky, is that the NRA has bought and paid for many politicians, who refuse to vote against their paymasters to support common sense gun control measures. And it’s true that the NRA has used its leverage and war chest to apply pressure to politicians and beat back gun control efforts

However, this NRA-centric narrative is inadequate to explain why efforts to control America’s gun violence epidemic keep failing.

Recently, we analyzed two separate data sources about Americans’ attitudes toward guns and gun control, and found that there is major, less-examined factor that influences the gun control debate: the racial identity and racial attitudes of gun owners, and those who support or oppose gun control legislation.

Put simply, America’s gun problem is a white supremacy problem in disguise.
This is not a surprise.

The modern history of gun control begins with restrictive gun legislation signed into law in California in the 1960s by Ronald Reagan.

It was in response to the open carry activism of the Black Panthers, which culminated with them walking into the state legislature packing heat.

The rather tepid Gun Control Act of 1968, followed California's law, and this, along with white panic over the perceived threat of Black radicals led to the NRA going batsh%$ insane, and now we have a significant portion of our political process driven by the paranoid ammosexual movement.

Debbie Wasserman Thrown Under Bus

Then they backed up the bus, ran her over again, then broke out the steamroller, then got some kerosene and set fire to the remains, and finally sprinkled holy water over the ashes to ensure that she would never rise again.

This Politico article is as nasty a hit job I've seen on anyone in the media,

Among other revelations:
  • Ignoring a DNC fund raising need to raise funds for her own campaign from Joe Biden.
  • She also ignored another DNC need at the same meeting to ask Biden to show up to her daughter's bat Mitzvah.
  •  Described her as, "An increasingly imperious and politically tone-deaf chair who often put her own interests ahead of party functions.."
  • Hassled Obama staffers seats at an event, allegedly for her big donors, and then gave those seats to her family.
Read the rest:  It's brutal.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz may very well be more loathed by her fellow party members than Ted Cruz is loathed by his.

I cannot help but think that they actually want her to lose the primary to Tim Canova this August.

h/t JR at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

27 July 2016

This is an Insanely Good Idea

The Labour party should set up a fund to help people on low incomes become MPs, the frontrunner for the party’s leadership has said.

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour’s members of parliament needed to be drawn from people who were facing the brunt of government policy so that they would understand what was at stake.

The diversity fund would help party members in the top 100 target seats from working class backgrounds with selection costs, which the Corbyn campaign says can amount to as much as £4,500.

“If the party is to win back the five million predominantly working-class voters lost since 1997, then we must reflect those we seek to represent. It is not enough to be for working people – we have to be of working people as well,” the candidate argued.

“Because if at the next election we as a party have hardly any candidates from the frontline of Tory cuts then it will be very hard to be heard by voters we need to win back.
I think that this should be considered in the United States as well..

Who Needs Legal Ethics?

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are requesting that the organization's "White Shoe" law firm, Perkins Coie, be removed from the case for gross conflicts of interest:
A high profile law firm is now caught up in the DNC WikiLeaks mess. A group of Bernie Sanders supporters filed a class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee, and the now-former chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. In a letter sent Monday, they are demanding that attorneys from Perkins Coie LLP be removed from the case due to a conflict of interest. New emails discovered through the WikiLeaks dump show that attorneys from the law firm have given strategy advice to hurt Sanders, well before he dropped out. To add fuel to their claim, they’ve now discovered that attorneys from Perkins Coie are representing both the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign.

………

Internal emails discovered through WikiLeaks show that Perkins Coie attorneys advised the DNC on how to fight allegations from Bernie Sanders. This spring, the Sanders campaign accused Hillary Clinton of ‘laundering’ money through the Clinton Victory Fund. Marc Elias, who serves as the Clinton campaign’s general counsel and also a partner at Perkins Coie, fired off an email to DNC staff stating:
My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true. The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem. Here, Sanders is attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over “rigged system”, the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful the Democratic party. [emphasis added]
………

However, attorneys for Bernie Sanders supporters contend that the federal court rules bar Perkins Coie lawyers from representing the DNC as defense counsel in the case. They say that the Perkins Coie attorneys may become “potential material witnesses” or “defendants” in the case and should be disqualified. They plan to file an official motion in court.
Seriously, what is up with this?

Some of the partners, i.e. the bosses at the firms, are working for a political campaign, and are likely to be called as witnesses, and they are still representing the DNC?

This is f%$#ed up.

Headline of the Day

Why I’m Supporting the Demonic Creature That Emerged From the Depths of Hell In This Year’s Presidential Election
Gavin Speiller
I don't need to explain this one, do I?

And No One Goes to Jail for Killing Freddie Gray


I am so voting for Marilyn Mosby next time she runs
Following repeated setbacks in court, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped charges against the remaining Freddie Gray defendants:
The criminal case in the death of Freddie Gray has ended with the top prosecutor failing to convict any of the six police officers involved in the arrest last year that sparked riots in the city and fueled nationwide debate over fatal police encounters involving black men.

Facing a judge who repeatedly said there was insufficient evidence in the cases, the Baltimore state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, on Wednesday dropped criminal charges against three officers still awaiting trial. A judge found three other officers not guilty after separate trials in May, June and July.

After a brief court hearing, Mosby spoke in the West Baltimore neighborhood where Gray had been arrested and described her decision to drop the charges as “agonizing.”

The prosecutor conceded that Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams “does not agree” with the state’s argument that officers committed crimes by failing to buckle Gray in the back of a police van in which he later fell and broke his neck. If the government continued with more trials, she said, prosecutors faced a “dismal likelihood of conviction.”
On the way out, she explicitly accused elements of the Baltimore PD of conspiring to sabotage the investigation, which they clearly did:
Mosby also accused police of undermining — and in some cases impeding — the investigation by refusing to serve search warrants against fellow officers and making up memos to impugn key witnesses. The city’s police commissioner issued a statement defending the integrity of the investigation, saying 30 seasoned detectives “worked the case tirelessly to uncover facts.”

Attorneys and other advocates for the officers have defended the pursuit of Gray, a frequent target of arrests who ran from a high-crime area when he saw an officer.
One of the lessons here is that you cannot allow a police department to investigate its own members ……… ever.

He's just F%$#ing with Us Now


This is an epic troll
At a press conference, Donald Trump just called for Russia to hack Hillary's emails:
Donald Trump appeared to incite Russia to hack into and publish Hillary Clinton’s private emails, as her campaign sounded “alarm” at growing evidence of a foreign power “interfering in an American election”.

………

Trump, meanwhile, speaking at a press conference in Florida, raised the stakes again, as he urged Russia to hack into and release Clinton’s emails from the personal server she used while she was secretary of state.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said.

“I think you you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.”

The Republican nominee added: “They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted ... I hope they do ... because you’d see some beauties there.”
Trump has since stated that he was being sarcastic, which is no surprise.

Over the past week, we've seen what can only be described as a campaign of Red baiting by the Clinton campaign (seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?), I would be inclined to be sarcastic as well:
Donald Trump says he was "being sarcastic" when he suggested Wednesday that Russia should find Hillary Clinton's missing emails.

"Of course I'm being sarcastic. And they don't even know frankly if it's Russia," Trump said in an interview with Fox News' Brian Kilmeade set to air in full Thursday morning.
Even by the standards of the the crazy season that is a Presidential campaign, this season is completely batsh%$ insane.

Sean Hannity: Turd of the Day

It appears that Sean Hannity went into a Wawa in Philadelphia, tried to cut in line for a sandwich, did not know how to use their ordering system, and then blamed Black Lives Matter for the fact that people did not appreciate his rudeness.

He had two bodyguards with him, which probably explains why he thought that he was safe trying to cut in a hoagie line.

Do not get in between a Philadelphian and their sammich, capiche?
Conservative radio pundit and Fox News host Sean Hannity came to Philadelphia presumably to stain the Democratic National Convention.

Instead, he seems to have disrespected the region's favorite convenience store and gratuitously insulted African-Americans, thereby staining his own reputation.

At least that's the story according to a few different sources, led by Twitter satirist E. Mo Black.

There's documented proof that Hannity was at the Wawa on Broad and Walnut streets in Center City at some point on Monday night.
Unfortunately, the man who took this picture left before Hannity allegedly lost his composure and demanded service ahead of everyone else.

That account of what happened was shared by E. Mo Black in a series of glorious tweets you can read in full here. Below is the abridged version.

The wilful display of elitist bigotry depicted here, followed by such a laudable show of nonviolent vigilante justice, is so becoming of the universe that we all sort of want it to be the truth.
Two of the tweets:




People of Philadelphia, I salute you.

26 July 2016

Yeah, Well, Whatever………

Hillary Clinton has now been officially nominated for President by the Democratic Party.

I need a drink.

Ha Ha!

Notwithstanding the fact that the his Blairite opposition has settled on a single competitor to run against Jeremy Corbyn to head labour, but the current Labour leader still has a strong majority in polls:
Jeremy Corbyn is the overwhelming favourite to win the Labour leadership contest, according to the latest Opinium/Observer poll, which shows he has more than twice the level of support among party supporters as his challenger, Owen Smith.

The online poll finds that among those who say they back Labour, 54% support Corbyn against just 22% who would prefer Smith. Some 20% say they are undecided and 4% say they do not intend to vote.

The findings offer further proof that grassroots support for Corbyn remains firm despite weeks of bitter conflict between the leader and Labour MPs at Westminster, a large majority of whom backed a vote of no confidence in him after the EU referendum.
This is not a surprise.

What is also not a surprise is that Labour is not polling well, because they managed to appear more f%$#d up than the Tories, which is no small thing, considering that they just made Boris f%$#ing Johnson their foreign minister.

The Blairites are more than willing to destroy Labour to maintain their positions within the party.

Not ISIS/ISIL/IS/Whatever

After the shootings in Munich, everyone seemed intent on claiming that it was ISIS/ISIL/IS/Whatever.

I was dubious because the shooter was of Iranian extraction, and thus probably Shia rather than Sunni, and because it was reported that he was shouting anti-Turkish slurs.

Well, police now think that was inspired by Anders Behring Breivik's shooting spree in Norway:
The 18-year-old gunman who killed nine people in Munich was obsessed with mass shootings but had no known links to the Islamic State group, German police say.

Written material on such attacks was found in his room, and Munich's police chief spoke of links to the massacre by Norway's Anders Behring Breivik.

The gunman, who had dual German-Iranian nationality, later killed himself.

His name has not been officially released but he is being named locally as David Ali Sonboly.

………

Friday evening's attack at the Olympia shopping mall also left 27 people injured, including children. Ten of them are critically ill, including a 13-year-old boy, police say.

Seven of the dead were teenagers. Three victims were from Kosovo, three from Turkey and one from Greece.

Police say the Munich-born gunman had been in psychiatric care, receiving treatment for depression.

Authorities are also checking reports that he may have been bullied by his peers, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

………

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said there was an "obvious" link between the attack and Friday's fifth anniversary of Breivik's attacks in Norway, when he murdered 77 people.

The killer reportedly shouted anti-foreigner slurs during the rampage and yelled "I'm German" at one man who challenged him.

Literature about mass killings was found at his home including a German-language translation of the book Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters.

Mr De Maiziere said the suspect had researched a 2009 school shooting in Germany as well as the Breivik attack.
So it appears not to be terrorism, but what qualifies as run of the mill white male American type violence.

That last sentence is so f%$#ing depressing.

At Some Point in the Not Too Distant Future, Chris Pine Will Be the Only Actor in Hollywood



Seriously, he's in EVERYTHING these days.