Archive for January 31, 2011

My Heart is With the People of Egypt Tonight

Egypt goes entirely offline:



January 31, 2011 at 10:25 PM 1 comment

Hate the Public Mandate? Freeloader Alert!

Anthony Weiner was on “The Last Word” tonight talking about the ruling that came down today overturning “Obamacare,” including the part of the bill known as the “public mandate,” which states that people who don’t purchase health insurance will be fined.

Wingers, cheer all you want but think about this for a sec:  You’re driving your car on an icy road tonight and a slacker slides into you.  You both get out of your car and the slackerass guy says he doesn’t have insurance.

Fast forward three months and your insurance company says oops, sorry bud.  You pay.  The other guy doesn’t have any money.

You’d call that a**hole a freeloader, right?  You’d be pissed.  He got off scot-free and he didn’t pay a dime but the cost of what he did is spread amongst everyone in your insurance pool.  You pay for what happened as does the next guy and the next guy and the next guy who got hit by someone who didn’t have insurance.

Well, that would be you if you don’t buy health insurance.

We all pay and if you don’t, you’re a  freeloader, mooching off those of us who — as you love to say — take responsibility, pay their bills and “do the right thing.”


January 31, 2011 at 9:19 PM Leave a comment

The Boss at Goldman Saks Just Got a 300% Raise

We peasants can only look in from the outside and try to imagine what this must be like:

Goldman Sachs Group tripled Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein’s base salary and awarded him $12.6 million (7.9 million pounds) of stock, even after the bank’s net income plunged last year.

Blankfein is receiving base pay of $2 million effective Jan 1, up from $600,000, he company said in a filing.

The shares awarded to Blankfein amount to a 42 percent increase from the all-stock bonus he received for 2009, and are the latest sign that U.S. banks are moving away from some of the austerities imposed by the financial crisis.

Legislators, regulators, and others pressed banks to reduce bonuses for 2009, soon after the financial system was rescued by more than a trillion dollars of support from the U.S. government. Many critics complained that banks privatise their profits and socialize their losses. Big bonuses paid for 2009 would have intensified public outrage.

Blankfein’s 2009 bonus was worth $8.9 million when awarded in February 2010, far below the $67.9 million that he received for 2007.

Public outrage over Wall Street pay seems to be receding, and bonuses for the top executives for 2010 are likely to head higher, analysts have said.

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, who had pledged to take a $1 salary until the bank returned to sustained profitability, last week got a $1,749,999 raise just days after the bank reported its first full-year profit since 2007.

Unimaginable amounts of money.

January 31, 2011 at 6:51 PM 2 comments

Time to be Embarrassed to be a Democrat

Ray Rockefeller (D-WV) has visions of campaign contributions from the coal industry dancing in his head:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced his bill to delay by two years the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions Monday.

“We must give Congress enough time to consider a comprehensive energy bill to develop the clean coal technologies we need and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, protect West Virginia and improve our environment,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “We can address emissions and secure a future for the U.S. coal industry, but we need the time to get it right and to move clean coal technology forward.”

If an extension is granted “we” will diddle and come the end of the two years, the coal industry will say oh, wait, we need another two years.

(This used to be a forest-covered mountaintop where birds and animals lived and people walked and enjoyed fresh air and fall colors.  Jay Rockefeller sold that mountain to the coal industry for campaign cash and he’s doing the same thing with this EPA extension.)

A mountain-top mine in West Virginia. NRDC photo


People go to hell for this kind of thing.

January 31, 2011 at 6:28 PM Leave a comment

Google Pulls Through For Egypt

This, from Google, is wonderful:

Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired  last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to

We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.

Problem is, Egypt is shutting down its cell phone networks (the Internet is already down).

January 31, 2011 at 6:19 PM Leave a comment

Report: All Internet Service Now Down in Egypt

Per the BBC:

  1. 2220: Noor Group “started disappearing from the internet” at about 2046 GMT, according to US-based firm Renesys. Egypt’s four main internet service providers cut off access to their customers on Thursday.
  1. 2214: Egypt’s last working internet service provider, Noor Group, is now down, according to a US web monitoring organisation.

I’m feeling some trepidation about tomorrow’s “million man march.

January 31, 2011 at 5:36 PM Leave a comment

Miniature Pencil Art

Break time!

This.  Is.  Incredible.  Pencil lead turned into teeny tiny sculptures:

Photograph by Dalton Ghetti/Solent News


Photograph by Dalton Ghetti/Solent News

Wow.  Just wow.

Look at the detail on that shoe.

More info and amazing photos here.

January 31, 2011 at 5:19 PM Leave a comment

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