30 November 2011

What the F%$#?

It appears that Lisa Riniker, the DA for Grant County, Wisconsin, has filed a felony prosecution against a 6 year old who was "playing doctor" with a 5 year old:
The parents of a Grant County boy who authorities have accused of first-degree sexual assault for playing doctor with a 5-year-old girl when he was 6 years old have filed a federal lawsuit against the county's district attorney, a social worker and a former Sheriff's Office investigator.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Madison, seeks $12 million in damages for alleged violations of the constitutional rights of the boy and his parents.

It names as defendants Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker, as well as Jan Moravits, a social worker with Grant County Social Services, and recently retired Grant County Sheriff's Sgt. James Kopp.

…………

Among the suit's claims is that the boy was selectively accused of a felony for playing doctor with the daughter of a Grant County political figure. It also alleges that the investigations by Kopp and Moravits were haphazard and biased in favor of the girl's father because of his political status and that Riniker did not act reasonably in charging a 6-year-old with first-degree sexual assault.

…………

The boy, who is now 7 and has a developmental disability, has been diagnosed with stress disorders that medical professionals attribute to the defendants' actions, according to the suit. He has experienced fear of going to jail, as well as anxiety, depression, sleepless nights, vomiting, crying and missed school time.

The lawsuit also asks that a judge issue a permanent injunction to stop Riniker's "attempts to coerce" the boy's parents into forcing the boy to admit guilt.

…………
It gets better. The DA got a judge to slap a gag order on the parents, and the charges would mandate that he register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life.

Seriously, this juxtaposes the worst of overzealous prosecution and political cronyism.

I despair for the whole human race right now.

BTW, here is the DA's business contact info, if you feel compelled to express your opinion to her:

Lisa Riniker
130 W Maple St
Lancaster WI 53813
Phone: 608-723-4237
Fax: 608-723-4382

Regardless of party (I could not determine this from the Google machine), this is the worst elected official in all of Wisconsin.

H/t Americablog.

The filing is attached after the break:

29 November 2011

Not Enough Bullets…

Here are two bullet points for the presentation
On the morning of July 21, before the Eton Park meeting, Paulson had spoken to New York Times reporters and editors, according to his Treasury Department schedule. A Times article the next day said the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were inspecting Fannie and Freddie’s books and cited Paulson as saying he expected their examination would give a signal of confidence to the markets.

A Different Message

At the Eton Park meeting, he sent a different message, according to a fund manager who attended. Over sandwiches and pasta salad, he delivered that information to a group of men capable of profiting from any disclosure.

Around the conference room table were a dozen or so hedge- fund managers and other Wall Street executives -- at least five of them alumni of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), of which Paulson was chief executive officer and chairman from 1999 to 2006. In addition to Eton Park founder Eric Mindich, they included such boldface names as Lone Pine Capital LLC founder Stephen Mandel, Dinakar Singh of TPG-Axon Capital Management LP and Daniel Och of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.

After a perfunctory discussion of the market turmoil, the fund manager says, the discussion turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Paulson said he had erred by not punishing Bear Stearns shareholders more severely. The secretary, then 62, went on to describe a possible scenario for placing Fannie and Freddie into “conservatorship” -- a government seizure designed to allow the firms to continue operations despite heavy losses in the mortgage markets.

Stock Wipeout

Paulson explained that under this scenario, the common stock of the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, would be effectively wiped out. So too would the various classes of preferred stock, he said.

The fund manager says he was shocked that Paulson would furnish such specific information -- to his mind, leaving little doubt that the Treasury Department would carry out the plan. The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information.
I think that the next two paragraphs, while appearing to exonerate those involved, actually reveal the criminality:
There’s no evidence that they did so after the meeting; tracking firm-specific short stock sales isn’t possible using public documents.

And law professors say that Paulson himself broke no law by disclosing what amounted to inside information.
I understand where the reporter is coming from: He knows what could be done with information, and what probably was done with the information, but his legal department said that he could not connect the dots.

This is Wall Street and the "Vampire Squid" we are talking about.  Of course they would use this information to profit.  It's what they do.

As to the morality of Hank Paulson, I will refer you to the fact that he does not use email, and "People who meticulously avoid email should not be trusted, because it is simply too calculating, as if they know they are regularly committing crimes."

And this guy was the f%$#ing Secretary of the F%$#ing Treasury of the United States of America
The first ever GAO(Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke(pictured to the left), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning: http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3

What was revealed in the audit was startling: $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious — the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.
Seriously, if we don't start prosecuting these folks, this is never going to end, and by these folks, I mean Hank Paulson, and any member of the Federal Reserve who did anything beyond jaywalking.

We need to start throwing asses in jail, serious time in serious prisons, because if we don't, they are just going to keep looting.

OK, Epic Meal Time Has Humped* Jumped the Shark

I don't mean to complain, but it seems that they have run out of ideas.

It was always about the whimsey of excess, but I think that they have lost the whimsey, so now they are just relying on excess, to the tune of 802,42 Calories.

It's kind of sad, really.



*It was a typo, and then I realized that they didn't just jump the shark, they f%$#ed the shark.

This is Odd

Well, the last thing didn't work out, so I am looking for a job.

Basically, one of the rules of thumb is that November and December are pretty dead, particularly after Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure why, but since the first week of November, things, at least those things that are presented to me by recruiters, are on a fairly sharp upswing.

I'm not sure why this is so, and it could be that my experience is an outlier.

28 November 2011

Frank Will Not Run for Reelection

He is citing redistricting as the reason for this:
US Representative Barney Frank, the state’s highest-profile congressman and one of the nation’s leading liberal voices after being among its first openly gay elected officials, announced today that he will not seek reelection next year.

The Newton Democrat faced the prospect of a bruising reelection campaign next year after surviving a brutal battle in 2010. He also would have run in an altered district that retained his Newton stronghold but encompassed more conservative towns like Walpole.
The PV on the new district was about +10 PV for the Dems, as opposed to about +18 PV in the old one, so the idea of a "bruising" reelection campaign is a joke.

I will take him at his word, that redistricting was the straw that broke the camel's back, but I also think that it is also an indication of the fact that he does not believe that Democrats will take back the house in 2012, and I also get the sense that he is sick and tired of fighting the Obama administration over financial regulation, where his own admittedly weak tea is watered down.

I'll miss him.

Our Liberal Media (#wordingfail)



The following image has been floating around Twitter (hash tag #wordingfail). I added the emphasis.

It appears that CNN thinks that any accusations of sexual impropriety against a Republican is "false".

I'm not sure how much is the increased corporate ownership/consolidation and how much of this is 40+ years of the 'Phants playing the ref.

FWIW, the this time, it's not just an allegation of sexual harassment, it's an allegation of a 13 year long affair that ended a few months before he entered the Presidential race, and she has records of repeated cell phone calls and text messages.

Jon Stewart is rejoicing.

Deep Thought

If you blow chunks, make sure that the last thing you have had was a 40 ounce cherry Slurpee.*

*I did this today. I got a cherry Slurpee because I wanted to cut down on my caffeine. It looks like you are vomiting blood.
It's how I handle extreme emotions. When the storm blows over, I heave, and yesterday, when we had to put Tudza to sleep. Charlie was inconsolable,§ Natalie was teary, and my wife was bumming
It's how I've handled such things since I was 7 years old. It scared the crap out of my parents at the time.§
§He couldn't function. He wouldn't eat dinner or breakfast, and he was hopeless at school until lunch. Now that he's back to normalcy, he is back to functioning and eating, we are giving him, the ultimate comfort food, my baked spaghetti and cheese, because his appetite has returned with a vengeance.

27 November 2011

And the Banksters Win Yet Again

It looks like the Euro Zone may be letting the big banks get 100¢ on the dollar for bad sovereign debts:
Euro zone states may ditch plans to impose losses on private bondholders should countries need to restructure their debt under a new bailout fund due to launch in mid-2013, four EU officials told Reuters on Friday.

The possible move helped push stocks up in Europe and the U.S.

Discussions are taking place against a backdrop of flagging market confidence in the region's debt and as part of wider negotiations over introducing stricter fiscal rules to the EU treaty.

Euro zone powerhouse Germany is insisting on tighter budgets and private sector involvement (PSI) in bailouts as a precondition for deeper economic integration among euro zone countries.

Commercial banks and insurance companies are still expected to take a hit on their holdings of Greek sovereign bonds as part of the second bailout package being finalized for Athens.

But clauses relating to PSI in the statutes of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — the permanent facility scheduled to start operating from July 2013 — could be withdrawn, with the majority of euro zone states now opposed to them.

The concern is that forcing the private sector bondholders to take losses if a country restructures its debt is undermining confidence in euro zone sovereign bonds. If those stipulations are removed, most countries in the euro zone argue, market sentiment might improve.
What is going on here is that the European Central Bank (ECB) was structured to eschew one of the most basic activities of a central bank, back-stopping debt sales in the presence of an investor panic.

The problem is that the ECB was structured largely in response to the German experience with hyperinflation in the 1920s, which led to the creation of the ECB as an organization committed to austerity and battling inflation to the exclusion of all other concerns.

I guess I kind of understand this, because, after all, they think that this period of extreme inflation led to the collapse of the German economy in the 1930s, and the rise of the Nazis, and WWII.

Of course, the German central bank of the 1930s was among the tightest of the central banks, and made the German depression particularly brutal, which could also tagged as leading to rise of the Nazis, and WWII.

Of course, if subscribe to the theory that roughly every century a war occurs in Europe, the parallels now, and 1914, when the Very Serious People in Europe, with the memory of the Napoleonic wars (1812), frantically tried to integrate the economies of Europe, which also sounds a lot like the entire Euro currency project.

My brother has predicted a new war in Europe, (see the comments)and this has led me to start looking at rather alarming echos of the past.

When Our Ally is Not Our Ally

In response to airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, US forces have been ejected from the Shamsi air base and the border crossings have been closed.

Note that this airbase is a primary drone base for the US, so this is a big deal.

I think that something that no one is acknowledging is the fact that we are at war with some or all of the Pakistani state security apparatus.

So Long Old Friend

We had to put Tudza to sleep today.

His kidney numbers continued to rise, and his hematocrit fell to 10%, and it was time.

We're going to bury him in the back yard now.

26 November 2011

OK, Props to Obama on This One

If there is one area where he differs from his predecessor, it is his anti-trust enforcement.

Another example of this is the pushback against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, where FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has come out strongly against the deal, and now has appeared to have killed it:
AT&T and T-Mobile USA edged closer to scrapping their proposed merger, saying on Thursday that they had withdrawn their application to the Federal Communications Commission to join their cellular phone operations.

Deutsche Telekom, the parent of T-Mobile, and AT&T said in a joint statement that they still intended to pursue the $39 billion merger and would prepare for a federal antitrust lawsuit that is seeking to block the deal. But the companies also said that AT&T planned to take a $4 billion charge against earnings to reflect the potential breakup fees that AT&T would have to pay Deutsche Telekom if the deal failed to go through.

The actions followed the decision this week by Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, that the merger did not meet the commission’s standard for approval. Mr. Genachowski sent other commissioners a proposed order to refer the case to an administrative law judge, the first step toward a commission move to block the deal, which would combine the second- and fourth-largest cellphone carriers in the United States.

The application withdrawal appears in part meant to prevent the F.C.C. from making public AT&T and T-Mobile records about the potential effects of the merger, records that could then be used by the Justice Department in the antitrust trial.

The companies have maintained publicly that the deal would not lessen competition and that it would create jobs in the United States. But the Justice Department has said that the merger would severely restrict competition, and F.C.C. officials have said that AT&T’s confidential filings indicate the merger would eliminate jobs.

The withdrawal of the F.C.C. application “is a tacit acknowledgment by AT&T that this story is all but over,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “The fat lady hasn’t started singing yet, but she’s holding the mike, and the band is about to play.”
While Genachowski is still too timid for my tastes, compared to the Republican appointees, particularly the execrable Michael Powell, he is doing a creditable job.

25 November 2011

Bummer

It looks like my cat, Tudza, has only a few months left.

Renal failure.

Deep Thought

24 November 2011

The Unbelievable Wankitude that is Sam Brownback

Seriously. It appears that a girl watching Sam Brownback address a mock legislature tweeted that he "sucked", and Brownback's office found her tweet and contacted school authorities:
A Kansas teenager is in trouble after mocking Gov. Sam Brownback during a mock legislative assembly for high school students.

Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, was in Topeka on Monday as part of Kansas Youth in Government, a program for students interested in politics and government.

During the session, in which Brownback addressed the group, Sullivan posted on her personal Twitter page:

“Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”

On Tuesday, Sullivan was called to her principal’s office and told that the tweet had been flagged by someone on Brownback’s staff and reported to organizers of the Youth in Government program.

The principal “laid into me about how this was unacceptable and an embarrassment,” Sullivan said. “He said I had created this huge controversy and everyone was up in arms about it … and now he had to do damage control.

“I’m mainly shocked that they would even see that tweet and be concerned about me,” she said. “I just honestly feel they’re making a lot bigger deal out of it than it actually was.”

Sullivan said the principal ordered her to write letters of apology to Brownback, the school’s Youth in Government sponsor, the district’s social studies coordinator and others.

Karl Krawitz, the school principal, did not return calls or e-mails Wednesday.
It goes without saying that Krawitz is a bully and a coward, full of demands when he's leaning on a student, and silent when the press calls, though in all fairness, being a bully and a coward depending on circumstances is pretty much the definition of a Principal's job.

That being said, the fact that any political operation decided to go after a teenager over a tweet is pathetic beyond belief.  This is "Michelle Malkin stalking a 12-year old over his support of S-Chip" pathetic.

It's also deeply evil, and un-American.

Just when I think that the 'Phants could not go any lower, I am disabused of this quaint notion.

Happy Thanksgiving from William Shatner

23 November 2011

Hopefully They'll Get the Clue

Click for full size



H/t Buzzfeed for the pics


Look at his eyes. He is not a happy camper.
But I doubt it.

In any case, representatives of OWS have "Mic Checked"* Barack Obama:
President Obama was heckled on Tuesday during an appearance at a New Hampshire high school.

Obama had traveled north to the Granite State, which holds the nation’s first presidential primary, to discuss the economy and his proposal to extend a current payroll tax cut.

Just as the president started his speech, protesters, apparently from the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, used the “human mic” technique to amplify their voices. It was unclear what the protesters were saying, or what point they were attempting to make.

The president smiled through the disruption, saying: “No, it's OK,” as other parts of the crowd sought to hush the protesters by chanting his name and old campaign slogan, “Yes We Can.”
In Chicago, another group mic checked Rahm Emmanuel too.

I don't expect either of them to sympathize with OWS' goals, ever.

They are both products of the wing of the Democratic party that is beholden to big money, and the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) sector's money in particular, so to the degree that we see any movement towards accountability and meaningful regulations for the banksters, it will be because they are dragged kicking and screaming toward doing the right thing.

22 November 2011

Republicans Lose One in Arizona (For Now)

The Arizona Supreme court has overturned the removal of the head of the Arizona independent redistricting panel:
The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday rebuffed Gov. Jan Brewer’s efforts to remake the state panel that draws political maps by reinstating the chairwoman Brewer recently ousted.

The court ruled that Brewer’s letter removing Colleen Mathis from the panel fell short in showing “substantial neglect of duty” or “gross misconduct,” as state law requires, the Arizona Republic reported. A Brewer spokesman told the paper that the Republican governor “strongly disagrees” with the decision and was considering her next step.

The once-a-decade map-making, though somewhat technical and arcane, can help cement a political party's grasp on power for several election cycles. While redistricting often results in political battles, the one unfolding in Arizona has been particularly brutal.

In 2000, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure that made redistricting the responsibility of a panel composed of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent chair, which was supposed to tamp down partisan warfare. (This year, California’s political lines were drawn for the first time by a similar independent panel.)
What the court basically said was that the governor had to actually show neglect of duty or misconduct, and not just because "I said so."

The head of the panel, as per the law, has to be an independent, and it appears that the 'Phants objections consist of the fact that she is married to a Democrat, and that the proposals for a map are too "fair and balanced."

I have not doubt that the Republicans will take a 2nd bite at this apple, and probably a 3rd bite as the apple, as they attempt to trump up charges that can pass a court's smell test.

I think that we are going to see court drawn  districts in Arizona.

21 November 2011

CoIntelPro for Banksters


Someone is sh%$ting bricks
I'm not sure if the Banksters have signed off on a disinformation, disruption, and infiltration program against Occupy Wall Street, but a a prominent Washington lobbying firm is trying to sell it to them:
A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”
It's amusing, but it's not time for a happy dance.

The thing to remember, and Chris Hayes is clear on this in the vid, is that this memo is just one pitch at creating a CoIntelPro type program, even if the American Bankers Association turned down this proposal.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of similar proposals in the works, and people who are trying to find someone obscenely rich mother f%$#er to bankroll them, so you have to figure that there are similar programs in process.

We are, after all, juxtaposing unconscionable levels of wealth with a sense of entitlement, and that's a toxic brew.

Deep Thought



H/t DC at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

20 November 2011

Snipers Were Given Instructions to Shoot Kanye West on Sight

That's my guess anyway, because, at the insistence of my daughter, we had to watch the American Music Awards, and Taylor Swift won a number of awards.

You gotta figure that there were at least 3 security staff who were assigned to prevent West from doing anything if Swift won.

This May be the Most Powerful OWS Video Yet

Following the blatant police brutality via pepper spray at University of California, Davis, the Chancellor Linda Katehi held a press conference, where hundreds (at least) of Occupy Davis protesters showed up outside, and demanded to be heard.

After cowering in the building for hours, she finally came out, and the protesters lined the path to her car with arms linked, and sat silently as she walked past as a mark of disdain:



This is a powerful video, and my guess is that Katehi discovered the limits of her deodorant on her little stroll.

I don't think that she's going to serve out the full term of her contract.

Well, I Never Expected to See This in a Trader Joe's Parking Lot

Click for full size


I did not "butt check" the seats



Not a great job of parking



The name plate is clear here



Interior looks well laid out



Big honking cooling fans



It looks rather conventional from the front



An environmental performance sticker



The fact that it is basically a Lotus chassis shows
Yep, it's a Tesla Roadster.

I guess that people with more bucks than brains.

I just could not bring myself to take a $107,000.00 (!) sports car to the grocery store.

I'm just not a car guy, I guess.

19 November 2011

Rachel is Right, Cain Has Punk'd Us All

Because, as entertaining as the Republican presidential primary, aka "the Clown Show," is, our man Herman takes this to a whole new level of assholitude:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has suggested that the Taliban are playing a role in Libya's new government, adding another foreign policy misstep to his stumbling campaign.

The week opened with Cain struggling to answer whether he supported US president Barack Obama's foreign policy in Libya. He ended it trying to blame reporters for the moment, which was captured on video and quickly spread around the internet.

Cain's critics seized on Monday's incoherent answer as the latest evidence that he is unprepared to be the party's nominee. On Friday, Cain gave his critics more grist for their increasingly substantial mill.

"Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Gaddafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you've got Taliban and al-Qaida that's going to be part of the government?" Cain asked reporters in Orlando, Florida. "Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to – which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn't be specific."
(emphasis mine)

Seriously, the Taliban?  The Taliban is inflitrating the government of Libya?

I guess that must be because Afghanistan is located right next to Libya.

Jeebus, they are 2½ hours apart.  That's two and one half freaking time zones apart!

They don't even border on the same freaking time zone.

I'm with Rachel Maddow. This is not primarily a Presidential campaign, it is performance art:

If You Believe in His Hope and Change, You Are Deluded

Because financial fraud prosecutions have fallen even further under Obama than under Bush:
During the first 11 months of the 2011 fiscal year, the federal government filed 1,251 new prosecutions for financial institution fraud. If that pace continues, TRAC projects a total of 1,365 prosecutions for the fiscal year. That’s less than half the total a decade ago.

The decline in these new cases stands in contrast to the government’s broader approach to federal criminal prosecutions. Federal prosecutions for other crimes have grown tremendously, with the number of total new prosecutions filed for all federal crimes nearly doubling over the last decade:
(emphasis original)

As you can see, federal prosecutions have skyrocketed:



But prosecutions for financial fraud have fallen.



If you were wondering whether or not Obama was a willing captive of Wall Street, this should disabuse you of this.

The only hope here is to play on his weakness and cowardice to force him to do the right thing, because it's clear that his better angels lie with the Vampire Squid.*

*Alas, I cannot claim credit for the bon mot describing Goldman Sachs as a, "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." This was coined by the great Matt Taibbi, in his article on the massive criminal conspiracy investment firm, The Great American Bubble Machine.

Deja Vu

Congress is looking at declaring pizza a vegetable:
The Obama administration's push to limit the starchy vegetables and tomato paste served to millions of children at school each day was derailed by lawmakers this week, in effect enabling school cafeterias to continue offering pizza and french fries.

………

The proposal also would have nixed the favorable treatment granted to tomato paste. Currently, an eighth of a cup of tomato paste is credited with as much nutritional value as half a cup of vegetables and thus counts as one vegetable serving. That enables food makers to better market their pizzas to schools.

………

Ordinarily, these type of issues would be hashed out as the USDA gathers comments from the public while finalizing the proposal. But several lawmakers made an end run around the process. They added amendments to block the two changes, on starchy vegetables and tomato paste, to agriculture spending bills moving through the Senate and House.

Late Monday, Senate and House negotiators reconciled the differences between their two spending bills and unveiled the final version, which included language to halt the potato and tomato paste changes.

Just like Ronald Reagan declaring ketchup, but the tomato(e)* is a fruit.

I'm expecting to see a Mr. Fusion powered DeLorean back on the big screen.

*It's an homage to J. Danforth Quayle, who has more brains and common sense than any of the current 'Phant hopefuls.

Karl Marx is Laughing

Because Congress is less popular than Communism:



There is a deeper message, which is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell has managed to take an institution which already held in low esteem, and absolutely trash it.

While the "very serious people" in the Democratic Party think that this is a political advantage, they are wrong.

You see, the foundation of conservative electioneering is the idea that government does not work, and as much as they might damage themselves in the short term, they are, in the long term, undermining the very idea that government can regulate the banksters, keep the poor from starving, protect us in the work place, and provide healthcare for the rest of us.

While someone like John Boehner may be too gin soaked and stupid to consciously understand this, he, and His Evil Minions, do understand that constant gridlock and dysfunction plays to their strengths, and that it's a lot easier than doing something constructive.

It's Bank Failure Friday!!!! (on Saturday)

And here they are, ordered, and numbered for the year so far.
  1. Polk County Bank, Johnston, ID
  2. Central Progressive Bank, Lacombe, LA
Full FDIC list.

2 a week is pretty close to trend. I would also note that while have been 9 credit union closing this year, but none since mid-July.

So, here is the graph pr0n with last years numbers for comparison (FDIC only):

Yeah, This is a Vote of Confidence in the JSF

The US Marines have decided to buy Harriers from the UK to extend the life of their fleet:
Britain has agreed to sell all of its 74 decommissioned Harrier jump jets, along with engines and spare parts, to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps - a move expected to help the Marines operate Harriers into the mid-2020s and provide extra planes to replace aging two-seat F-18D Hornet strike fighters.

Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich, chief of the U.S. Navy's Supply Corps, confirmed the two-part deal Nov. 10 during a conference in New York sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in association with Defense News.

Heinrich negotiated the $50 million purchase of all Harrier spare parts, while Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, the U.S. Navy's program executive officer for tactical aircraft, is overseeing discussions to buy the Harrier aircraft and their Rolls-Royce engines, Heinrich said.
The US Marine Corps does not seem to be completely sanguine about Lockheed-Martin meeting schedule, even the new schedule which slides IOC another 2 years to the right.

18 November 2011

Deep Thought


H/t JR at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

I Remember Cracked Magazine

And it was a Really lame knock off of Mad magazine.

Well, through some rather odd machinations the magazine morphed into a web site that is really hip and funny.

Case in point, their mash-up of the Atlas Shrugged trailer:

Charles Schulz's War on Christmas


H/t Calamities of Nature.

17 November 2011

I Was Just in a Car Accident

I was involved in a low speed accident (sneezed and rear ended a SUV) about 2 hours ago.

The kids were in the car, but there were no injuries, and I could drive my car home.

16 November 2011

This is Literally the Worst Idea I Have Ever Heard

The Department of Justice is seeking to expand anti-hacking laws to make it a criminal offense to violate the terms of a click-through license on a web site:
A commonly invoked anti-hacking law is so overbroad that it criminalizes conduct as innocuous as using a fake user name on Facebook or fibbing about your weight in a Match.com profile, one of the nation's most respected legal authorities has said.
This came to prominence when the DoJ decided to prosecute the infamous (and unsuccessful) Lori Drew Myspace cyberbulling prosecution.

And the Response of the USDepartment of Justice?
In fact, quite the opposite: Downing and the Justice Department want to expand the law’s scope and impose harsher sentences on cybercriminals.

As CNET reported, the Justice Department is after an expansion of its powers under CFAA because of what happened when the agency attempted to prosecute Lori Drew, a Missouri mother who created a phony MySpace account to harass her 13-year-old neighbor, who later committed suicide. Drew was in 2008 convicted under CFAA of felony conspiracy and three counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization.
What you have to understand here is that the goal of the DoJ is to have another "arrow in their quiver".

They want to have a world where everyone can be criminally prosecuted for something, because that way, they can go after anyone that they find inconvenient.

The fact that the Obama DoJ is in full throated support of this is why I refer to him as the "The Worst Constitutional Law Professor Ever".

When you give the state security apparatus the power to manufacture criminality, which is the desire of most agents of the state security apparatus, you create a blueprint for tyranny.

I Will Write No More About Penn State, No More, Forever

Because I can add absolutely nothing to what Charlie Pierce has said:
It was midway through the pregame prayer session that the gorge hit high tide. There is always something a little nauseating in large spectacles of conspicuous public piety, but watching everyone on the field take a knee before the Penn State-Nebraska game, and listening to the commentary about how devoutly everybody was praying for the victims at Penn State, was enough to get me reaching for a bucket and a Bible all at once. It was as though the players and coaches had devised some sort of new training regimen to get past the awful reality of what had happened. Prayer as a new form of two-a-days. Jesus is my strength coach. Contrition in the context of a football game seemed almost obscene in its obvious vanity.

…………

If that blights Joe Paterno's declining years, that's too bad. If that takes a chunk out of the endowment, hold a damn bake sale. If that means that Penn State spends some time being known as the university where a child got raped, that's what happens when you're a university where a child got raped. Any sympathy for this institution went down the drain in the shower room in the Lasch Building. There's nothing that can happen to the university, or to the people sunk up to their eyeballs in this incredible moral quagmire, that's worse than what happened to the children who got raped at Penn State. Good Lord, people, get up off your knees and get over yourselves.

…………
This is a searing, and completely relevant, indictment of the hypocrisy surrounding the response of Penn States, and its apologists.

Read the whole thing.

15 November 2011

Payback's A Bitch

Case in point, the official drive to recall Koch sucker Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has officially begun, and right now the polls show a majority supporting kicking his sorry ass out:
Gov. Scott Walker has lost support among his Republican base, according to a poll released Tuesday that shows a majority of respondents want to recall him from office.

The Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College Survey was released the same day that Democrats, labor unions and others, angry over his moves to curb union rights, began circulating petitions to get the 540,000 signatures needed to force a recall election next year.

The poll showed that 58 percent of respondents believe Walker should be recalled from office. That compares with 47 percent who said in April that he should be recalled.

The growth in support for a recall came, surprisingly, from Republicans. In the spring, only 7 percent of Republicans supported recalling Walker but that grew to 24 percent in the fall. Support among Democrats held mainly steady at 88 percent in the spring and 92 percent in the fall.
Let's be clear: The recall effort is not a done deal.

They have to collect 540,000 signatures in just 60 days for Walker, and smaller numbers for the State Senators that they are targeting, and the Republicans are in full whine mode over this, complaining that this is an "abuse" of the law.

Case in point, Wasuau Senenator Pam Galloway, who bleated that, "I don't know why I am being recalled. I haven't broken any laws."

Ma'am, you are being targeted for recall because you are a jerk who does not represent the interests of her constituents. That's what the law is for, we have the criminal justice system to handle corruption.

If I were collecting signatures for this, I would be seeing how to get people who are part of the "Occupy" movement involved.

So,the Sweep Against the Occupy Movement is in Process

Or maybe done.

Culminating with a police assault on Zuccotti Park, mirrorring the actions in Portland, Oakland, Albany, and Salt Lake City.

It was a classically classy affair, with Police dressed for the apocalypse, and journalists being detained as they attempted to record the whole sordid affair.

We also have the Mayor of Oakland admitting that the mayors coordinated the crackdown on a conference call, which appears to have been coordinated by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security:
Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict "Occupy" protesters from city parks and other public spaces. As was the case in last night's move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.

The official, who spoke on background to me late Monday evening, said that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement.

According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.
If you don't think that the control freaks that are Barack Obama and his administration were setting this up, and took steps to ensure that it happened when Obama was out of country.

This is all about comforting his Wall Street buddies, while attempting to co-opt the Occupy movement.

Olbermann goes to town on Bloomberg, but avoids the elephant in the room (Obama):

14 November 2011

I'd Say Pass the Popcorn, but I Think That This is Just Theater………

*Which is why I'm not going with the MJ popcorn GIF
Talk about mangling a metaphor, huh?*

But that's the way I see the reports that the CFTC will be auditing all futures firms, in the hopes of preventing the theft co-mingling of funds that MF Global did under John Corzine:
Federal regulators have ordered an audit of every American futures trading firm to verify that customer money is protected, a move that comes after roughly $600 million in client funds were discovered to be missing from MF Global, the bankrupt brokerage firm once run by Jon S. Corzine.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal regulator searching for the missing money at MF Global, will audit many of the nation’s largest futures commission merchants, according to a person briefed on the decision. Exchanges like the CME Group will examine smaller firms to ensure they are keeping customer money separate from company money, a fundamental rule on Wall Street.

The futures commission also announced on Thursday that it had formally opened an investigation into MF Global, a largely symbolic move that indicated the seriousness of the case. The agency has already issued subpoenas to MF Global and its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, but the commission had to vote before announcing a full-scale investigation.

“The commission has determined it is in the public interest to confirm the existence of this particular investigation,” the agency said in a statement.
The thing here is that what MF Global did may be considered legal by regulators, as Jesse notes (BTW, he's been on this like white on rice):
This is most likely a distortion of the principle known as 'rehypothecation' in which a broker can use customer positions and holdings as collateral pledged for a margin loan for the purpose of securing funding from a third party to service that loan.

The principle at play here may be closer to a type of droit du seigneur, in which any assets you have posted at a futures brokerage may be used at will by the broker for their own purposes without regard to any customer obligations. It depends on the extent to which MF took customer assets and leveraged them.

In a way it is just making the unbalanced relationship between Wall Street and its customers official.

It means that customers are bearing hidden counterparty risks on assets to which they thought they had a clear title, such as Treasuries, and foreign currencies, and warehouse receipts for precious metals.

It means that brokers can go beyond the mere provision of funding for loss, and use customer accounts to fund their own leveraged speculation under exemptions duly granted by their 'regulators.'
(emphasis mine)

Basically, what it means is that MF Global was allowed to use customer funds as collateral, without telling the customers, and without sharing any of the profits derived from this leverage.

What is going to happen here is that no one (except perhaps Corzine, since he's clearly a Democrat) will see any serious jail time, and there will be no change in the rules, because, after all the system must be preserved, which is pretty much a mantra of both the professional staff at the various regulatory agencies and the White House.

As to preserving the existing system, it is merely a system of rent-taking, and if we were to take it down completely, and replace it trained elephants doling out loans, we'd probably do better, because elephants, at least, work for peanuts.

Buh By Buddy!

It's official, Silvio Berlusconi resigns as Prime Minister, excising a cancer to Italy's body politic.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that this was to make way for a "technocrat" PM who will proceed to wreck Italy's economy by implementing Hoovernomics.

Why You Should Tell Your Local Public Radio Station to Go Pound Sand During Pledge Week

In the latest case, we have Warren Olney, the host of "On Point," equating homosexuality with child rape:
Allegations of child sex abuse have destroyed the carefully cultivated image of Penn State's football team and brought down the university's administration. They've also exposed once more the vulnerability of children, when a sexual predator can hide behind the façade of an institution bent on protecting its reputation. Foster children were assigned to former coach Jerry Sandusky's care, even though charges against him were investigated for years. Today, Penn State's Board of Trustees expanded its probe into the cover-up. With 500,000 children desperate for loving homes, we look at efforts to widen the pool of available parents. Should gays and lesbians qualify?
That's Olney's lede from his show on gay foster parents.

And then he lets an anti-gay bigot, Jerry Cox of the Arkansas' Family Council, which has been designated as a hate group by the SPLC, spew his filth without challenging his cherry picking and outright lies.

But Warren Olney still has a job, while Lisa Simeone, an entertainment reporter, got fired for being a spokesman for a Occupy Wall Street Group, and now NPR has dropped its distribution of World of Opera produced by WDAV in an attempt to get her fired from that show.

Yep, you got it. They are trying to get an entertainment reporter fired, and shut down an opera show.

To be fair, On Point is distributed by PRI, not NPR, though PRI was weaseled big time on this, "Thank you for contacting Public Radio International. We share your concern. Although PRI does not have editorial control over the show -we distribute the program and KCRW produces-once we heard the program yesterday, we began having discussions with the editorial staff of To the Point, and those discussions will continue."


The problem is that public broadcasting suffers from Barack Obama syndrome:  It sees liberals as a captive audience to be belittled and scorned in an attempt to suck up to to right wingers who will hate them anyway.

If you give, they will continue to do this, so when they call, write back, and say that balance does not involve sanctioning hate speech and leaving outright lies unchallenged.

As it stands today, Warren Olney is still secure in his job, and NPR is still trying to get Lisa Simeone fired, so public broadcasting is not is not an institution for "mindful human beings," to quote Ronald Reagan, Jr. on Dick Cheney.

I'm not saying that these people are inherently evil, but they are so weak that they are willing allies of evil.

13 November 2011

APKWS Certified for Marine UH-1Y

Which means that the modified 2.75" (70mm) rocket, is likely to be purchased by the Corps as a lower cost, and lower blast, alternative to the Hellfire. (background here)

In a related development, the US Navy is looking at arming the Firescout UAVwith the APKWS as well:
Northrop Grumman Corporation has started work outfitting the U.S. Navy’s MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) laser-guided 70mm rocket. Such an armed unmanned platform will provide naval platforms, specifically the Littoral Combat Ship an autonomous engagement capability highly suitable for littoral warfare.

Photo: U.S. Navy

This light weight precison guided weapon is in production for the Navy since 2010. Arming the FireScout with the guided rocket will enable the unmanned helicopter flying off Littoral Combat Ships to engage hostile targets independent of air support from carrier groups or shore based aircraft.

“By arming Fire Scout, the Navy will have a system that can locate and prosecute targets of interest,” said George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for tactical unmanned systems. “This capability shortens the kill chain and lessens the need to put our soldiers in harm’s way.”
The original offensive capibility of the LCS was the now-canceled Non Line Of Sight (N.L.O.S.) Precision Attack Missile (P.A.M.), a 40km range missile with an 8 kg warhead.

This has been replaced with the much smaller 3.5 mile range Raytheon Griffin, which is best described as a "Pea shooter", with a warhead about as powerful as a man portable ATGW.

What this means is that the LCS had effectively no meaningful capability as either a surface combatant or to support ground forces. (In the latter case, the ship would be in range of man portable missiles and medium anti-aircraft artillery)

By hanging a 2.75 in rocket on a Fire Scout the LCS will have a marginally capable offensive capability.  The APKWS does not have a particularly large warhead, but with the UAV as a launch platform, the ship will at least be able to put some distance between itself and its potential opponents.

It Sucks to be Dassault Right Now

It looks like United Arab Emirates has reopened its fighter competition, meaning that the "done deal" to be the first export customer for the Rafale is now in doubt:
France’s long-running campaign to sell up to 60 Dassault Rafales to the United Arab Emirates faces a shock last-minute challenge, with the Eurofighter consortium having been asked to submit a proposal based on its Typhoon combat aircraft.

News of the development broke on the eve of the Dubai air show, where both types are scheduled to take part in the daily flying display.

Sources have confirmed that the UK provided a formal briefing about the Typhoon to UAE officials on 17 October, after being asked to explore how it might meet future fast jet requirements.
The same thing happened with Morocco, when what appeared to be a done deal fell through.

The Wiki says that the F/A-18 is still in the mix, but I think that it would be a long shot, since the primary driver for going with the Rafale in the first place was to have part of their inventory be non-US built.

Stephen Trimble seems to think that this might be an effort to make Dassault more flexible on price:
Riad Kahwaji, chief executive officer of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), told The DEW Line that latest manoeuvres are a clear signal: the UAE air force thinks France's price for the Rafale is too high. Major fighter deals are never immune from politics, but this deal is purely political. The UAE is buying the Rafale to balance its reliance on US-made weapons, including its fleet of 80 Lockheed F-16 Block 60s. Perhaps thinking the UAE has no other options, Dassault may have submitted a monopolistic price, Kahwaji said.

Even after negotiating exclusively with France for more than three years, the UAE has just re-opened the competition. The DEW Line's colleague, Craig Hoyle, broke the story on Flightglobal yesterday that the UAE issued a request for proposals to the Typhoon, setting up a second competition between the same pair of fighters vying for India's medium multi-role aircraft (MMRCA).
I'd love to have the antacid concession to Dassault's corporate offices right now.

12 November 2011

Some Perspective on the F-22 Onboard Oxygen Generator Problems

If you have followed this all, you know that there have been number of restrictions and groundings on the F-22 due to repeated failures of its onboard Oxygen Generation system, well Stephen Trimble puts it all in perspective:


This is the internet, it all comes down to cats.

I'm Beginning to Wonder if This is all Anti-Mormon bigotry

It seems that the Republican base is determined to find an alternative to Mitt Romney, and they seem to cycle through a series of brain dead clowns who are destined to fail. So, after cycling through Bachmann, Perry, and Cain, it looks like the 'Phants are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel, with Newt Gingrich rising in the polls:
It’s come to this.

In the wake of Herman Cain’s multiple sexual harassment accusations, the media narrative of Romney-the-Inevitable has continued to grow. But it seems the anti-Mitt crowd is continuing to grasp for other choices. The latest alternative?

Newt Gingrich.

Months ago, many declared Gingrich’s campaign dead barely after it had begun, when he criticized Paul Ryan’s medicare-killing house budget, and lost his top campaign staffers in a major shakeup. But polls released Friday suggest growing momentum.

Let’s review the mounting evidence, shall we?

A national CBS News poll shows Gingrich as the choice of 15% of GOP voters, tied with Mitt Romney and three points behind Herman Cain, who is slipping.

A national McClatchy/Marist poll shows Gingrich in second place with 19% of the vote — four points behind Romney. Also notable is that 43% of Gingrich’s supporters say they are firmly committed to his candidacy — compared to 30% for Romney, and 31% for Cain. In total, only 30% of voters supporting a candidate say they are firmly committed. Gingrich’s higher-than-average floor of support could prove significant moving forward.
This is a guy who served his 1st wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer, and dumped his 2nd on Mother's Day when he knew that she had MS, and conducted a years long affair with his current wife while pursuing the impeachment of Bill Clinton for a blow job.

That and the fact that he's a smarmy bastard.

The base is thrashing around for a non-Mormon and non-Catholic alternative to Romney, so the hapless Huntsman and the batsh%$ insane Santorum* are not viable alternatives.

I'm wondering who the Republicans next "Great White Hope" will be.

*The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.

Who Says Irony Is Dead?

Do you remember the theatrical release of the Atlas Shrugged Movie, imaginatively named Atlas Shrugged Part I? It was first movie of a 3 part series based on Ayn Rand's magnum opus.

Yeah, I didn't think so. It left theaters so fast that I don't think that they had time to finishing the lettering on the sign.

Well, in their attempt to further
rip-off
monetize their gullible objectivist fanboi base, they made a fairly substantial DVD release that they are now having to recall:

100,000 "Atlas Shrugged" DVDs have been recalled for an important danger they posed to unwary consumers: the title sheet suggested that viewers help someone out besides themselves.

Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand that tells the story of an alternate reality version of America where all the millionaires get sick of the government taking over their inventions so they go on strike. The original title sheet for the movie said that in it, "AYN RAND's timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life..." This grave error posed a risk of fire. As in, it would make Ayn Rand fan's heads spontaneously immolate upon reading it. So the producers recalled the 100,000 DVDs to replace the sheet.

The new sheet will read, "AYN RAND's timeless novel of rational self-interest comes to life..." (Emphasis added.)
Needless to say, the idea that the overpaid* self-styled supermen succeeded in refuting Ayn Rand's core message and now feel ethically compelled to correct this, at significant personal cost, is just chock full of Irony.

*If they are paid at all they are overpaid.

11 November 2011

OK, I Was Probably Wrong About Yesterday's Bank Closing

It was probably just because today is Veteran's Day, and while a lot of people were at work today, the FDIC wasn't.

88 failures so far this year.

At this point, I would say that it's 50-50 whether or not we hit 3 digits for bank failures this year:

It's Got a Mean Streak a Mile Wide!!!!



I never miss a chance for a Monty Python reference.

H/t Uberhumor.

Seen on Facebook

Today is Nigel Tufnel Day



It's a Spılal Tap thing
And yes, it has its own Facebook page.

If you haven't seen the move, you've missed a good laugh.

The Reality is That Obama is Preparing for a Post Election F%$# You to Environmentalists

Obama is in election mode.

He's criticizing Republicans and trying for a new jobs program.

And now the State Department as delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the election.

They want a study on another route, one that might be a bit less likely to contaminate the Ogallala aquifer.

This is not a policy change.  This is an cynical exercise in electioneering, and once Obama doesn't need the environmentalists, he will once again go out of his way to sh%$ all over them once again.

10 November 2011

Taibbi Explains it All

While I have been generally supportive of Occupy Wall Street, I've also had a problem wrapping my head about the specifics of what they want.

Well, Matt Taibb had the same problem, but he grocks it now:
People want out of this fiendish system, rigged to inexorably circumvent every hope we have for a more balanced world. They want major changes. I think I understand now that this is what the Occupy movement is all about. It's about dropping out, if only for a moment, and trying something new, the same way that the civil rights movement of the 1960s strived to create a "beloved community" free of racial segregation. Eventually the Occupy movement will need to be specific about how it wants to change the world. But for right now, it just needs to grow. And if it wants to sleep on the streets for a while and not structure itself into a traditional campaign of grassroots organizing, it should. It doesn't need to tell the world what it wants. It is succeeding, for now, just by being something different.
Just go read the rest.

What Can I Say About Rick Perry That Jon Stewart Won't?


Epic Fail!
Still, this is an amazing brain fart.

It's like Texas elected Homer Simpson governor.

Media Wonks Mourn

Jim Romenesko has resigned from the Poynter Institute

His blog there was the go-to place for media happenings like M&A, layoffs, and scandals.

He was already weeks away from a long planned retirement from the site, when he would go part time, and start his own blog.  (Now updated on my blogroll, but the RSS feed is not yet active.)

The cause was lack of quote marks around some of the quotes.

Romenensko has been meticulously linking and attributing while summarizing for years, and has never gotten a complaint, and the fact that it is a quote is clear from context.

There is some sort of dumb ass pissing contest going on at Poynter.

Where Am I Going to Go for Dipping Dots and Bubble Tea?


This is a busy day at the mall!
It looks like the Owings Mall is going to be torn down.

Not surprising.  The mall has been in slow decline for some time, with at least one wing on the top floor shut down for the past two years.

Some of the anchor stores, as well as the theater, will remain, but it's not going to be a classic mall anymore.

I'm not sure exactly why it failed, it's located at the terminus of the Metro, and there is a rather large mixed used development in the area reaching completion.

Of note is that the operator of the mall, GGP, is in Bankruptcy, and is is owned by the Bucksbaum family, and Ann Bucksbaum Friedman is the wife of New York Times columnist (Who I would never call a schmuck because a schmuck has a head) Thomas Friedman.

I can't avoid negative effects of this guy even if I never read his incoherent crap.

Bank Failure………Thursday?

Community Bank of Rockmart in Rockmart, GA.

This is obviously out of the ordinary for the FDIC (the NCUA doesn't wait until Fridays), so I'm wondering if something is odd, as in criminal indictments to follow, or if this Thursday is Friday, because of the
Nigel Tufnel
Veteran's Day holiday.

We'll find out tomorrow, when I'll post my regular update, with graph, tomorrow.

It Just Gets Better

So, Joe Paterno has been fired, and is alleged to have hired a criminal defense attorney, and a Pittsburgh radio host is alleging that some of the young boys were pimped out to rich donors.

You know, this is what happens when you have an organization like the NCAA which creates a multi-billion dollar money machine on the backs of what are little more than slaves.

Division I sports is a mass of corruption, hypocrisy, and immorality which has as much to do with education as a prostate exam does with haute cuisine.

Playing Around With Rage Builder


Link

Here's a question for my reader(s).

Should this become a more regular feature?

I think that it should be good for covering the clown show that is the Republican primary.

09 November 2011

Well What Do You Know? The Penn State Football is a Bunch of 'Phants!

Or, more accurately Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno are both registered Republicans, which is not as odd as it sounds, as coaching staffs tend to lean that way (with the notable exception of Bill Belichick).

Let is cede the fact that Republican does not equal pedophile, nor does it imply that Republicans support Pedophilia, though the abuse of power and self-entitlement bit, where Paterno and the Penn State sports program let it slide because Sandusky was one of them, does seem to be symptomatic of Republican party registration.

The point that the author makes in the article, and the one that I agree with, is that if either Sandusky or Paterno were Democrats, you would hear Rush Limbaugh making animal noises and Deliverance references while implying that Democrats support pedophilia.

FWIW, I agree with Olbermann, Paterno should be filed.

Who Knew that Mike F%$#ing Tyson Was So F%$#ing Funny?

Here he is doing a spot on impression of Herman Cain:




H/t MP at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

If This Doesn't Enrage You, There is Something Wrong With You

While it remains online, here is the movie The Inside Job:

Inside Job / Trabalho Interno (2010) Legendado PT from MDDVTM TV12 on Vimeo.


H/t DC on the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

I've watched the first 15 minutes so far.

Desperately Seeking Anger Management Counseling

I give you deadbeat dad teabagger Congressman Joe Walsh:



I've seen politicians at confrontational meet and greets, and heard of one where the politician walked out (The well justified action of MD State Senator Bobby Zirkin when dealing with the [literally] insane CB screaming at him).

Sometimes a politician replies with mockery and scorn, see Barney Franks' epic take-down of teabagger hecklers.

As you can see above, Joe "Not the Guitar God" Walsh is not even attempting an epic take-down, he's just throwing an epic hissy fit.

I was half expecting him to throw a stroke.

No wonder his wife dumped his sorry ass.

Remember When I Said that Stewart Was Brutal to Corzine Last Night?

Well, here is the evidence:

08 November 2011

It's a Good Election Night

But not a great one, with Ohio overturning Governor John Kasich's union busting bill, while in Mississippi, they defeated the "fetal personhood" referendum, and Maine defeated the elimination of same day voter registration by the 'Phants.

On the other side, it's likely that Virginia's state Senate will flip to the 'Phants, (actually a 20-20 tie, but the Lt. Gov, who breaks ties is a Republican) with the pivotal seat having the Republican leading by 86 votes, and Mississippi approved a poll tax strict photo ID requirements.

I will say that the recall of über wingnut, and state senate leader, Steve Pearce in Arizona, made famous as the sponsor of Arizona's "Papers Please" law, does make me chuckle.

Bill Daley Being Shuffled Out the Door

Well, it looks like Obama's more prominent efforts to completely capitulate to the Washington, DC insider consensus, his appointment of William Daley, political insider and bankster, as his chief of staff, is now inoperative:
President Obama’s chief of staff, William M. Daley, has turned over some of his day-to-day management responsibilities to another senior aide, Pete Rouse, according to several officials with knowledge of the change. The shift comes after a turbulent period in which the White House has struggled with a weak economy and a hostile Congress.

Mr. Daley made the announcement in a staff meeting on Monday, these officials said, though it was unclear exactly what his new role would look like. He told a Chicago television station recently that he planned to return to his home there after the 2012 election.

The news of the management changes was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

A banker with deep connections on Wall Street and in Democratic politics, Mr. Daley was recruited by Mr. Obama last fall to smooth relations with the business world. But after the administration’s failure to strike a deficit-reduction deal with the House speaker, John A. Boehner, Mr. Daley found that his deal-making skills were of less use.
Yeah, that whole "Kissing Republican and bankster ass," post partisan unity schtick strategy worked so well, didn't it.

Don't worry though, you can be sure that a year from now, we'll see it back, just as soon as the polls close.

Stewart Unleashes Hell on John Corzine

Comedy central does not have his monologue up yet, but I'm watching Jon Stewart talk about Jon Corzine's clusterf%$# at MF Capital.

It's not up on the web yet, but this is unbelievably brutal.

As I've said before, don't piss this man off.

I'll post it tomorrow.

Worse Than Wal-Mart

The big banks, who are so dedicated to nickel and diming their customers that Wal-Marthas experienced explosive growth in its check cashing services as people desperately try to find a bank that does not cheat them:
Americans say they are fed up with banks. They are protesting on Wall Street and raising a ruckus over outsize fees. Now there is a surprising beneficiary: Wal-Mart.

Geoffrey Cardone, a 26-year-old factory worker, said he dumped his bank account because he felt that he was being nickeled and dimed by fees. His new payday ritual includes a trip to the Wal-Mart here in northeastern Pennsylvania.

“It’s cheaper,” said Mr. Cardone, who was charged a flat fee of $3 to cash his paycheck. Many check-cashing stores keep a percentage of the check, which tends to be higher.

The Wal-Mart here has a clerk in a brightly painted Money Center near the entrance, like more than 1,000 other Wal-Marts across the country. Customers can cash work and government checks, pay bills, wire money overseas or load money on to a prepaid debit card. At most Wal-Marts without dedicated Money Centers, the financial services are available at the customer service desks or kiosks.

Four years ago, Wal-Mart abandoned its plans to obtain a long-sought federal bank charter amid opposition from the banking industry and lawmakers, who feared the huge retailer would drive small bankers out of business and potentially conflate its banking and retail operations. Ever since, Wal-Mart has been quietly building up à la carte financial services, becoming a force among the unbanked and “unhappily banked,” as one Wal-Mart executive put it.

Even before the recent outcry against banks, the services had become popular with cash-poor customers, many of whom never had a bank account and found the services more affordable than traditional check-cashing operations. Now newcomers to the ranks of the banking disaffected are helping to swell the numbers, Wal-Mart officials said.
Here is the kicker:
In research conducted a year and a half ago, Wal-Mart found that more than 60 percent of the customers using its financial services had bank accounts. When Wal-Mart asked those people how much their banking activities cost them over the last six months, the answer was between $200 and $400, Mr. Eckert said, with overdraft fees, minimum-balance charges and so forth.
 (emphasis mine)

So for the privilege of giving customers ¼% on their own money, money that they then lend to them at 23% as revolving credit, they are also charging them around $500 a year.

Let's see, 500 a year, ¼% … So the break even point is about $200,000.00.

And the VSPs wonder why people hate the banksters.

Italy's Cancer of the Body Politic Offers to Step Down

Silvio Berlusconi has offered to resign:
The European debt crisis appeared to claim its most prominent victim on Tuesday when Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, cornered by world markets and humiliated by a parliamentary setback, pledged to resign after Italy’s Parliament passes austerity measures demanded by the European Union.

Although Mr. Berlusconi’s exit was not immediate — weeks of political wrangling over the austerity measures probably lie ahead — political commentators said they could see no escape this time for the prime minister, whose Houdini-like ability to wriggle free from scandals is legendary.

“A season is over,” said Mario Calabresi, the editor in chief of the Turin daily newspaper La Stampa, who said Mr. Berlusconi told him that he was not only stepping down, but also would not run for office again.

In the end, it was not the sex scandals, the corruption trials against him or even a loss of popular consensus that appeared to end Mr. Berlusconi’s 17 years as a dominant figure in Italian political life. It was, instead, the pressure of the markets — which drove Italy’s borrowing costs to record highs this week — and the European Union, which could not risk his dragging down the euro and with it the world economy.
It's good that he's going, but the bigger picture is that Berlusconi's continued political success has been almost entirely due to his near complete dominance of Italian television.

Self-serving clowns like Silvio are the inevitable result of media consolidation, whether it's the Italian monopoly on commercial TV (and effective control of state TV), or the media oligopoly in the United States.

The problem is that while one can have free and fair elections, but without an independent and heterogeneous media, you stand a real risk of not having a free and fair campaign.

Why I Haven't Written About L'Affaire Cain

Because it is the Republican presidential primary, and it's so whacky that all I can do is make fun of them.

Unfortunately, the reality that is Herman Cain simply beyond my meager literary gifts to ridicule.  I can't beat the straight news.

A quick search of The Onion reveals that they haven't covered it either, to their (far better) writers appear to be flummoxed by this as well.

Will Rogers I ain't.