Archive for September, 2011
Hey, believe me. I know the election is more than a year away and “anything can happen between now and then” (and it probably will) but I’ve been one to say that President Obama might want to try being the hope and change Democrat he ran as instead of a Bush Republican and I’m thinking people might agree with me:
Connecticut isn’t a place that would go on anybody’s list of swing states but Barack Obama is in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney there, leading only 47-45.
Obama’s poor showing in Connecticut is mostly a function of his own unpopularity. Despite having won it by 23 points in 2008 his approval numbers are now under water at 48/49. That represents a 17 point net shift in the wrong direction since PPP last polled the state in March- at that time Obama’s approval was a positive 55/39 spread.
After all, again, he ran on hope and change and he won! Which, silly me, means the voters wanted that. So, yo, Obama, is it any wonder people are disappointed?
P.S. Where is the Democratic Party in all this? Answer: Sitting by, watching the party collapse. (What’s happening in Colorado is a good example.)
This would be Kim Kardashian at an aquarium in Connecticut the other day.
Does she ever — ever — relax?
Tell me those shoes are comfortable.
Ugh. What a “life.”
I spend time every week at my local food bank. The goal there is to keep people off the street — to keep them from being homeless. The thinking is that if people get assistance with their food needs, they will be able to pay their rent and thus stay in their home.
The big topic of discussion today was that food banks all around the western United States are running out of food. My particular bank used to let clients come through once a month. Roughly two years ago they expanded that and let people come through once a week. Now they’re thinking about going back to the once a month deal.
All the food we give out is based on family size. For example, a “family” of one is entitled to roughly 30-40 pounds of food based on the once-a-week plan. Turn that into a once-a-month plan and that person has to stretch that 30-40 pounds of food over four weeks. A watermelon weighs what? 8 pounds. A turkey can weigh 24 pounds.
Imagine being dependent on the help of a food bank as the line between being having dependable shelter and living in your car.
With that in mind, I got home and saw this tweet:
They send me to the store to buy ramen soup, but only if it’s selling for 10c or less.
How’s that for a perspective on our political system?
Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, recently ordered that the clerks in both Denver and Pueblo counties (heavily Democratic districts) not send mail-in ballots to anyone who did not cast a vote in 2010 — declaring them “inactive voters.”
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz gave Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler until this morning to specifically and formally address another of the charged ramifications of his new interpretation of state election law. Gessler got in under the wire. Thursday evening, he sent Ortiz a letter ordering him not to send ballots to any of the county’s “inactive voters”– legally registered voters who failed to cast ballots in the previous even-year general election– including roughly 70 soldiers on the Pueblo County inactive voter rolls serving out-of-state. In Pueblo as elsewhere in the state, inactive voters are now meant to visit the clerk’s office or a polling place to retrieve ballots. With the election a month away, Gessler’s directive seems likely to effectively disenfranchise the soldiers.
Imagine you’re a soldier in Iraq, fighting for our freedom (which — hello — fundamentally includes the right to vote) and oops, you were ah, engaged in a war and golly gee, you just didn’t find the time to vote in 2010. Now — per this Republican a**hole, you can’t vote at all come November. How outrageous is that?! These are our men and women in uniform for God’s sake.
And you know why Republicans are so fixated on finding ways to make it harder for people to vote? Because their proposals and policies are so unpopular, the only way they can win is by rigging the system and keeping as many people from voting as possible. After all, the only voices they care to hear come from Wall Street and K Street.
Oh, and one last thing. Colorado state Democrats are hopping mad right? They’re jumping up and down, calling for a special session to deal with this, right? No. They seem to have Stockholm Syndrome. They are well, the only sound I hear are crickets.
Too bad we don’t have a two-party system in this country any fucking more.
I don’t care how much you hate “illegals,” we’re talking little kids here:
Many of the 223 Hispanic students at Foley Elementary [in Foley, Alabama] came to school Thursday crying and afraid, said Principal Bill Lawrence.
Nineteen of them withdrew, and another 39 were absent, Lawrence said, the day after a federal judge upheld much of Alabama’s strict new immigration law, which authorizes law enforcement to detain people suspected of not being U.S. citizens and requires schools to ask new enrollees for a copy of their birth certificate.
“It’s been a challenging day, an emotional day. My children have been in tears today. They’re afraid,” he said. “We have been in crisis-management mode, trying to help our children get over this.”
On Thursday, Lawrence said he wanted to get a message across to his students that they are safe at Foley Elementary.
Lawrence said that parents are afraid that they’ll get arrested and detained, and be cut off from their children.
What a horrible situation.
The people who are “keeping us safe” in Washington, D.C. don’t get out much. (1) They apparently have never heard of The Onion. (2) They have absolutely no sense of humor. (3) They seem to have endless money to blow. And (4), they don’t have a whole lot to do:
The Twitter feed operated by the satirical national newspaper The Onion created some confusion in Washington on Thursday with a series of tweets proclaiming breaking news of a hostage situation inside the Capitol building.
A pair of tweets started the apparent commotion. “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building,” the first tweet read, followed by another: “BREAKING: Capitol building being evacuated. 12 children held hostage by group of armed congressmen #CongressHostage”
The tweets recalled a similar flurry last month, when the Twitter feed for NBC News issued several false reports of an apparent attack on New York two days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11. NBC said it was the victim of a hack, and that the FBI was investigating the incident.
“It has come to our attention that recent Twitter feeds are reporting false information concerning current conditions at the U.S. Capitol. Conditions at the U.S. Capitol are currently normal,” U.S. Capitol police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said in a press release. “There is no credibility to these stories or the twitter feeds. The U.S. Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting.”
Are we in some sort of weird reality/time warp? The Capitol police are behaving more like the Onion than the Onion.
They look like Absolute Fools.
Filed under: Dumbed Down, Fear, Terror, and Your Tax Dollars.
I just came across this:
U.S. utilities and other crucial industries face an increasing number of cyber break-ins by attackers using more sophisticated methods, a senior Homeland Security Department official told reporters during the first tour of the government’s secretive defense labs intended to protect the nation’s power grid, water and communications systems.
Acting DHS Deputy Undersecretary Greg Schaffer told reporters Thursday at one of several nondescript buildings that house Control System Security Program facilities that the world’s utilities and industries increasingly are becoming vulnerable as they wire their industrial machinery to the Internet.
“We are connecting equipment that has never been connected before to these global networks,” Schaffer said. Disgruntled employees, hackers and perhaps foreign governments “are knocking on the doors of these systems and there have been intrusions.”
My initial reaction was ah, yeah. So get your act together already and deal with it.
Oops. And then I remembered we’re broke because we’re spending billions in Iraq and Afghanistan and on really stupid stuff like this:
New fencing designed to deter terrorist attempts is being installed around all the major bridges on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
The 8-foot fences are part of a $7 million project funded by the federal Department of Homeland Security.
The fencing will be an effective deterrent, according to retired Newark police lieutenant Jim O’Connor is a security consultant and certified anti-terrorism specialist.
O’Connor says the fencing could help prevent terrorists from blowing up a bridge or causing other extensive damage.
Wow. We’re getting a real bang for our buck, huh? I mean, I’m pretty sure terrorists know about this little gizmo:
Say it ain’t so already. Please.
So, where are all those jobs the
job creators rich were going to create after George W. Bush (and Barack Obama) cut their taxes?
This would be our Tweet of the Day:
Well, here’s a little bit of good news:
Puppy lovers, rejoice. Officials in eastern China last week canceled the Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival. If that name makes you a little queasy—well, there’s good reason for that. The 600-year-old tradition saw at least 5,000 of dogs slaughtered on the spot, and served up as the main dish.
As the story goes, the festival stemmed from a tradition begun in the 14th century, when the barking dogs that revealed an army’s position were fed to the soldiers on the general’s angry orders, reports the New York Times. The ancient custom was scuttled following a Web campaign staged by animal-rights advocates, who posted graphic images from past festivals of cooked dogs and leftover carcasses. The People’s Dailyshares the observations of one blogger, “I’ve seen the dogs being stabbed, strangled, and even beaten into comas and thrown into boiling water.” Some say it’s an encouraging sign that, as pet ownership gains steam in China, so too does the animal-rights movement.
I look at my two puppies (well, they’re 4- and 5-years old) and I imagine them going through a slaughter like this and I can’t bear the thought.
Ugh. I Googled around a bit to learn more about this practice and it’s just horrible.
In 2008 during the bank bailout crisis — when the banksters were strutting around as if they owned the place, talking down to us little people, you know, the ones who bailed them out — my husband and I dumped Wells Fargo and joined a local credit union. We’ve never looked back.
If you bank at Bank of America, you might want to consider doing the same thing:
Bank of America will slap a $5 monthly fee on some customers who use their debit cards to make purchases starting early next year, reports Dow Jones Newswires.
“The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations,” a spokeswoman told Dow Jones. (Customers that only use debit cards at an ATM machine may avoid the monthly fee.)
Why would anyone want to give their hard-earned cash to one of these arrogant corporate hogs who are nickel and diming their customers to death?
Just think, this is the moral and ethical rot that is Bill Daley, President Obama’s chief of staff:
As commerce secretary under Bill Clinton, William Daley worked with U.S. pharmaceutical giants to curb the use of cheaper generic drugs abroad. As a board member for Abbott Laboratories, he had a front-row seat on a brutal clash between a major drug company and a developing nation over access to life-saving medication. And as White House chief of staff today, Daley has President Barack Obama’s ear.
Add up Daley’s power and experience, and experts who follow public health policy suspect his influence in the U.S. stance in negotiations over a major international trade deal — a stance with hugely profitable implications for giant American drugmakers.
The United States is in talks with eight other Pacific nations to establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the administration hopes will serve as a template for other trade pacts. According to leaked documents from the negotiations, the Obama administration is using the deal to push hard-line intellectual property standards that could drive up medicine prices overseas, boosting the bottom line for U.S. drugmakers like Abbott Labs at the expense of public health.
Sickening. Just sickening. Not exactly the hope and change we had in mind when we went to the voting booth in November, ’08.
This would be our picture of the day:
One of the 2012 GOP primary collectibles featured in my post yesterday was a 6′ Rick Perry Chia head statue. And now, for those of you who drooled over it, it can be yours for a mere $4,500. Find it here on eBay!
Class warfare? Hell yes, and Wall Street won.
Follow OccupyWallStreet here.
You too Tea Partiers. This is a pic from a Tea Party rally in Madison, Wisconsin in April, 2010:
Hey. They’re ripping all of us off. Let’s get together.
Make no mistake about it, Rick Perry is a real man. None of that wimpy golf stuff for him. No siree. Shooting sniper rifles and hanging out with “true patriots” is his golf!
Oh my God. Check out this “catalogue” of 2012 Republican primary trinkets.
This is one of my faves:
Check out this NASA image of a sunspot taken on September 22, 2011. The Earth is inserted into the picture in the upper right hand corner “for a size comparison.”
Wow. Just wow.
Peter Orszag, the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama (he left recently to become a Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup), recently wrote an article in The New Republic two weeks ago titled: Too Much of a Good Thing: Why We Need Less Democracy:
In an 1814 letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge: During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing. If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congress—and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.
So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.
So, you got that? A former official from the change-we-can-believe-in Obama administration, who paid his dues and then moved into a million dollar position atop Citigroup, one of the primary culprits in the destruction of the global economy, writes from on high to us small people about how we should have a little less democracy around here.
Hey, someone, please pass the cake.
It’s a story too good to be true for the anti-Obama and anti-regulation crowd: The hated Environmental Protection Agency is looking to spend $21 billion per year to hire an additional 230,000 people to enforce greenhouse gas regulations.
One problem: It’s not true.
Patient zero for this story is The Daily Caller, which on Monday wrote that the EPA is “asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.”
To put that to scale: EPA currently has 17,000 employees at an annual budget of $8.7 billion.
“Much of what is said or written about EPA these days is entirely inaccurate — but The Daily Caller’s report is comically wrong,” EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan told POLITICO. “At least one job clearly needs to be created: They’re clearly in the market for a fact-checker.”
It’s amazing how gullible right wingers are. The Daily Caller was founded by Tucker Carlson, a right wing nut job for God’s sake.
Wake up people.
This would be Dr. Cornell West yesterday at the OccupyWallStreet protest in lower Manhattan:
Nancy Grace, the host of the Nancy Grace show on HLN and a former commentator on CNN and Court TV, is denying today that she had a “wardrobe malfunction” during Monday night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars. In fact, she’s whining that she is being “judged guilty without a trial.”
I could care less about the wardrobe malfunction but I do find Grace’s wimpering about being “judged guilty without a trial” pretty darn delicious because Grace has a black belt in doing just that. As a matter of fact, in 2006, a 21-year-old woman committed suicide hours after being interviewed by Grace. Melinda Duckett’s son went missing and when Grace interviewed her about the child’s disappearance, Grace essentially accused Duckett of having killed the boy.
Two weeks after telling police that her son had been snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with CNN’s famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over, Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to know: “Where were you? Why aren’t you telling us where you were that day?”
A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death, deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy.
Police have refused to say whether she left a suicide note and said nothing they have found so far in their investigation of her death has shed light on the whereabouts of her 2-year-old son, Trenton.
So Nancy Grace doesn’t get an ounce of sympathy from me.
I’m willing to bet you didn’t hear about this yesterday (I didn’t):
Over 700 hundred [sic] Continental and United pilots, joined by additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, demonstrate in front of Wall Street on September 27, 2011 in New York City. The pilots want to draw attention to the lack of progress on negotiations of the pilots’ joint collective bargaining agreement ahead of the one-year anniversary of the corporate merger close date of United and Continental airlines.
More photos here.
If 700 Teabaggers gathered anywhere to do anything the “liberal” media would be all over it.
God I hope this comes to fruition:
U.S. cable operators are privately working on a plan to force programmers to unbundle their networks and allow customers to subscribe to channels on an individual basis.
The plan represents a complete reversal from cable operators’ long-held opposition to what is known as “a la carte” programming. Over the last decade, the cable industry battled ferociously with regulators to protect the right to bundle programming, arguing it offered customers the best value.
But executives now say the change is a necessary response to shifting dynamics such as higher carriage costs and using the Web to watch programs, as well as a weak economic recovery that has forced many consumers to cancel cable television subscriptions.
Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable, the two largest operators have lost 1.2 million video customers in the 12 months to June 30.
I was watching N.J. Governor Chris Christy’s speech at the Reagan library just now on Fox. It wasn’t going well — boring — and woohah, all of a sudden Sean Hannity broke in and said “we’re going to continue to monitor” this situation.
Not. A. Good. Sign.
UPDATE: Hannity went back to the “keynote speech” and Christy, in essence said, “Reagan,” “Reagan,” “Reagan.”
So, wooha. New stuff!
As a whole, the wingnutistan is looking ever more desperate.
I have no doubt Florida’s Tea Party Governor, Rick Scott, will blow this off as stupid stuff. After all, he’s gotta look tough:
The head of a Danish drug company has written to Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, to protest about the use of one of its anaesthetics in the execution of a Cuban national scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Staffan Schuberg, president of Lundbeck, the manufacturers of pentobarbital under the trademark Nembutal, has sent two letters to the governor expressing his “adamant” opposition to what would be Florida’s first use of the drug as part of a lethal injection. Barring an eleventh-hour stay, the three-drug cocktail will be administered to Manuel Valle, 61, at 3pm for the 1989 murder of a police officer.
The company also enlisted the support of the Danish government, which has written to the governors of the states using the drug through its embassy in Washington.
Studies show that an attractive politician tends to have an advantage over an unattractive politician.
Studies show that attractive people have an edge over unattractive people.
So desperate (emphasis on desperate) Republicans are going to showcase their last best hope tonight via New Jersey Governor Chris Christy giving a speech at the Reagan Library.
OK. No prob.
But does anyone think that fat, sweaty guy above is electable in this age of being obsessed with skinniness and fitness?
To all the folks who want to do away with corporate regulation, get ready for more of this (and for God’s sake, don’t come crying to me when your loved one dies):
As many as 14 people may be dead in a still-widening outbreak of listeria food poisoning tied to contaminated cantaloupes, according to a tally of state health officials’ counts.
Officials in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming have added six victims to an official count of eight dead and 55 ill reported last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC officials were expected to update the official toll late Tuesday, but food safety lawyer Bill Marler of Seattle reported an unofficial count first. An earlier version of this story reported 15 deaths, but that later was revised.
And then there’s this from February of this year:
House Republicans Thursday released a more detailed picture of the cuts that would be required under their budget proposal for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which is slated to be considered on the House floor next week. Food and public health regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [i.e., the CDC] would face significant spending cuts under the plan.
So, if the Tea Party has its way, you’re on your own America. Good luck!
Memo to the GOP:
Don’t talk to me about how the so-called “job creators” need fewer regulations and tax cuts in order to create those jobs we’ve been waiting for for the last ten years.
Far from creating jobs, the big boys are even downsizing their drinking cups for God’s sake to save money — not to create jobs — but to give bigger bonuses to their already filthy rich CEOs:
Wall Street is planning to lay off thousands of workers in a supposedly underperforming quarter, and Goldman Sachs is no exception, saying that it plans to cut $1.2 billion in costs by laying off 1,000 people, roughly 3 percent of its workforce. The mega-bank is also going after small savings by downsizing its drinking cups.
Even plants aren’t safe from the bank’s tightened budget. The London office removed potted plants, reportedly causing “disquiet” among employees and led “to a stand-off between the plant pickers and staff.” Morgan Stanley has also cut back on office foliage, while Bank of America skipped an annual field day.
However, the real measure of whether Wall Street is serious about cutting costs will be if bonuses go down during lean times. And so far, the chances do not look good. The New York Times’ Dealbook reports that banks, including Goldman, have set aside $65.69 billion for bonuses at the end year, an 8 percent increase over last year.
When was the last time you got an 8 percent raise?
Mr. SayItAin’tSoAlready, a guy who carried mail for the United States Postal Service for 33 years, is rallying with his fellow carriers right now at the corner of Baseline and 47th Street in Boulder, Colorado to save the U.S. Postal Service.
You go sweetie!