Archive for January 3, 2011

Darrell Issa: The $160 Million Man

Folks, here’s something you should know about Darrell Issa (R-CA) as he prepares to take the podium to talk about cutting your Social Security:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), with a net worth of $160.1 million, is the second-richest member of Congress under The Hill’s formula, even though his wealth declined by more than $4 million in 2009.

He lost $4 million but he’s still worth $160.1 million?

Poor thing.

I will never see $4 million in my life much less have it to lose and come out the other side with $160.1 million.

I can’t fathom having that much money.

All I’m asking is that the government pay me — return to me –  the Social Security money that was deducted from my paycheck. We’re talking maybe $300 a month.

Please.

Please.

Pretty please.

January 3, 2011 at 9:20 PM Leave a comment

Obama — I Can’t Think of a Worse Move

There are no words to describe how tone-deaf this would be:

President Barack Obama is considering naming William Daley, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive and former U.S. Commerce secretary, to a high-level White House post, possibly as his chief of staff, people familiar with the matter said.

Just what we need:  Another embedded (so embedded he’s practically part of the sidewalk outside the NY Stock Exchange) Wall Streeter advising Obama on what to do about the plight of working people.

Ahhhhhhhhh.

January 3, 2011 at 9:07 PM Leave a comment

No Republican Ever Said This About George W.

Gosh, did I miss something?  I don’t recall hearing anything along these lines when George W. traveled to the Middle East.  As a matter of fact, the heightened security and steep take-offs from the airport in Baghdad and the midnight landings were all hyped as being very macho.

Rep. Alan West (R-FL):

NYT: Do you think those in the military respect him?

WEST: I don’t know, you gotta ask guys in the military, but I will tell you this: I think that going in in the middle of the night doesn’t show leadership.

NYT: Are you referring to that recent three-hour trip to a base in Afghanistan? He needs to consider his own safety, doesn’t he?

WEST: Leaders lead by example, and if I’m asking my young men and women to go out there and put their lives on the line, I should be willing and able to do the exact same thing. As I told my soldiers when I was commander in Iraq in 2003, the most expendable person in our battalion was me.

January 3, 2011 at 5:45 PM Leave a comment

Bacon Porn

Sizzling hot bacon.  Yumm!

(Via uberbex.)

January 3, 2011 at 4:52 PM Leave a comment

100,000 Fish Dead in Arkansas River

You probably heard about the two to three thousand Red-winged Blackbirds that fell, en masse, from the sky over the weekend in Arkansas.  (The prevailing hypothesis, that they were hit by lighting or killed by hail sounds preposterous to me.)

Well, as if that wasn’t weird enough, now we learn that 100,000 (100,000!) “drum fish” died in the Arkansas River last week:

First birds dropped dead from the skies, now thousands of fish have died in Arkansas.

Officials are investigating what may have killed some 100,000 fish in the Arkansas River in the northwestern section of the state, authorities said on Sunday.

Deceased drum fish littered 20 miles of the river near Ozark, Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told CNN.

The dead fish were first found on Thursday, and fisheries officials are conducting tests to understand what killed them.

“The fish kill only affected one species of fish,” Stephens said. “If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish.”

Apocalyptic.

Maybe they worried themselves to death thinking about a Huckabee run in 2012.

January 3, 2011 at 3:27 PM 3 comments

Republicans to “Conduct Oversight Hearings?”

Ah yes, let the bullshit begin.

Former Faux News reporter Major Garrett,

who is now with the National Journal, was a guest on The Bill Press Show this morning talking about what we can expect from House Republicans once they get up and running.  Garrett, of course, talked about Darrell Issa’s litany of proposed investigations and in doing so he repeatedly referred to Issa as “conducting oversight hearings.”  Unfortunately, the person substituting for Press didn’t say anything, but he should have.  What Issa, and the likes of Peter King are proposing, aren’t “oversight hearings.”  Calling them that totally glosses over what they really are, which is — there’s no better word in the English language — a coordinated witch hunt designed to make Obama, his administration, and Democrats look bad so, hopefully, Republicans win the White House and the Senate in 2012.

So, let’s not fall into using terms Republicans want us to use, because they are designed to make Republicans look as good as possible (“conduct oversight hearings”  — what a joke) and to obscure the truth.

UPDATE:  As usual, when Democrats “conduct oversight hearings,” it takes only minutes before Republicans are screaming “partisan witch hunt.”

January 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM Leave a comment

When Zillionaires Pay Lower Property Taxes Than Inner-City Poor

Another example of how American society is skewed toward the rich:

Amid the country clubs, swimming pools and tennis courts in the wealthy enclave of Cherry Hills Village, some residents benefit from agricultural-land designations that save them tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes a year.

Cherry Hills is known as a haven for lawyers, surgeons and top-flight professional athletes. The area has some of the priciest estates in the Denver area, with an acre of vacant land there fetching $600,000 on the private market.

But getting that land designated as agricultural lowers the value for tax purposes to below $1,000 an acre, far less than what it would cost in the poorest inner-city neighborhoods of Denver.

A review of property-tax rolls in Cherry Hills Village showed one family slashed about $35,000 from its annual property-tax bill by allowing hay to be baled on a 20-acre estate.

A star investment-fund manager parlayed his family’s equestrian pursuits into a yearly tax break of more than $30,000.

Outrageous.  Period.

January 3, 2011 at 2:09 PM 1 comment

Italy Bans Plastic Shopping Bags

Good news:

Italy is a nation known as much for its food as for the ubiquitous plastic bag, given out freely with every purchase around the country and often left to litter streets or landfills. A new ban coming into effect January 1, however, may change that.

The Italian Environment Ministry is banning shopkeepers from handing out plastic bags in order to help the environment. Even though the January 1 date is firm, the ministry says shopkeepers will be allowed to use up their existing stock of plastic bags without penalties.

“It is a great innovation,” Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said of the ban. It “marks a step forward of fundamental importance in the fight against pollution, making us all more responsible for using and recycling.

More…

Kudos to Italy.  Such a sane thing to do.

January 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM 4 comments

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it…

•••  In March, a majority of Americans thought the war in Afghanistan was going well.  Today a majority think it’s going badly

•••  CNN is closing its San Francisco bureau.  Geez.  News organizations have already closed their overseas bureaus, and now they’re shutting those in major U.S. cities?  Hey why not.  When you have people willing to send in cell phone pictures i.e., be “iReporters,” who needs actual paid employees?

•••  The Denver Broncos, who have sucked since John Elway left the team in the 80′s, seem to think giving him an office job will add the fairy dust they’ve been missing.

•••  New Jersey is trying to balance its budget by seizing old, unused gift cards and cashing them in.  Pitiful.

•••  CNN’s John Roberts is moving over to Fox.  Never liked the guy.  He seems like a very angry man.  He looks like one too:

January 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM Leave a comment


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