Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Evolutionary Psychiatry: Magnesium and the Brain

Evolutionary Psychiatry: Magnesium and the Brain: "Time to go back to Eby and Eby. I have an inexplicable fondness for this paper. The information is decent if a touch unorganized, and the..."

Evolutionary Psychiatry: Pleasure, Pain, Wheat, and Psychopharm

Evolutionary Psychiatry: Pleasure, Pain, Wheat, and Psychopharm: "There is something of an addiction theme out in the blogosphere today.  Mark Sisson is talking kicking the junkfood habit, and Dr. BG i..."

Evolutionary Psychiatry: That Tapeworm Ate Your Depression

Evolutionary Psychiatry: That Tapeworm Ate Your Depression: "I'm a little embarrassed that Mark Sisson got to this one before I did.  But I'm sure he has several minions to scan the literature for..."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Journo to Red China: Have You *Studied* Confucius? [Epic Fail]

An article demonstrating that, when it comes to the brand new spontaneously-arising Confucius Peace Prize, Red China is very confuscshed.

Ya rly. Srsly.

It was an event for the benefit of foreign media. But if the organisers had hoped the Confucius Peace Prize would convince the world China is right, it failed. And, in the opinion of this correspondent, it was an epic public relations fail.

During the question and answer period in the increasingly stuffy conference room of a central Beijing hotel, the Confucius Peace Prize Awards Committee couldn't even bring themselves to say Liu Xiaobo's name, instead circuitously referring to him as "he of the three-character name you mentioned".

When Liu Xiaobo conjures up Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort, the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, you know some Chinese are experiencing a crisis.

The press conference went from bad to worse, as question after question was asked.

"Jimmy Carter was one of your nominees for the first Confucius Peace Prize. Carter signed a letter asking for the release of Liu. Does this make you a supporter of a supporter of Liu?"

Or, "Doesn't it bother you and speak volumes if Lien Chan, the winner, hasn't shown up? Do you just have a hard time accepting the truth?"

Or this one, by a Hong Kong journalist, "Have you studied Confucius? Because you appear to have gotten the concepts wrong..."



[Pardon my abbreviated blogging of late. Things are ch-ch-ch-changing. Hopefully, for the better.]

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yes, let's let them hypnotize America because why not eh?



"Democrats Pressing Pelosi to Step Aside!"


Ooooh, Nancy Pelosi is being dumped by Democrats, ooh!

Lookit the headline! Everybody knowz!

Cuz she's too librul, oooooh!

[Expletives deleted].

Go ahead, people, wallow in the Koch-Rove-fueled propaganda-fest, why don'tcha?

Which Democrats? Are they Democrats?

Because we're waaay too skeered to be progressive, aren't we? Or else we're waaay too purist?

Something's got to explain Coakley and Russ Feingold going down, shouldn't it? Oh, wait, Martha Coakley just got hugely re-elected, with the help of a local Boston Republican paper! Apparently it didn't know about or didn't care about all of Coakley's intentional sueing of Goldman-Sachs! Which she did waaaay before it was fashionable!

So, yuh, sure: bad Nancy! bad Nancy! bad Nancy!


(I am always read to dump progressives under the bus, and I always have very good reasons, do I not?)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Misogynist Minister Sembiring Blames Mrs. Obama For Own Behavior



Oh noes!
Indonesian Minister Sembiring FORCED to touch unrelated female!
"I tried to prevent [being touched] with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me [so] we touched,’ Sembiring tweeted.
Footage on YouTube shows otherwise, sparking a debate that has lit up Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the blogosphere."


Note victimized Sembiring's wide sh*t-eating grin and his hand, extended much farther than Mrs. Obama's hand.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Die, Healthcare Serf-Slave Mommy! Die! Die!

Yuh, we hear of employers who want to dump providing health insurance for employees.


This worker's dumping work to dump her health insurance provider-profiteer.

Yes, Ms NBFH just quit her job because the insurance her not-quite-ex-employer offers so sucks.

Big-time insurance profiteering company. Cost $12K a year. New plan began July 1 of this year, effects became clear in the past 3 weeks. Same outrageous price, but even worse coverage. If that is imaginable. $12K for family "coverage," with a huge deductible. You get an ultrasound for $525, they pay all of $125, you get stuck with--surprise! A bill for $400! And they tell you if you'd just driven an hour and a half away for a potentially life-threatening condition, they gladly would have picked up more of the tab.

I've been a healthcare insurance serf-slave to this company for years. And it's just not worth it anymore. I will be saving money by not working, because for the last six weeks, every penny I earn there has gone only to pay this crappy insurance company's crappy rates for crappy coverage.

So I'm done.

I can't be the only one who's re-cycling Paddy Chayevsky: mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

Thus Empire crumbles under the weight of its own stupidity and greed.

Midterms: money changes everything - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Midterms: money changes everything - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Are You Going to Man Up, Or Just Lie There and Bleed?"

This is from the NYT on the phrase, "man up."

Yes, Virginia, flagrantly gender-biased language remains invisible, because sexism just, well, you know, it just is how things is, isn't it?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

NBFH to Corporate Sickness Profiteers: Drop Dead

So. So. So.

So I had a family member with a potentially life-threatening condition who needed an ultrasound, two ultrasounds, in fact. The employer through whom our family has health insurance dropped our secondary coverage on July 1, saying they could no longer afford to provide a secondary coverage benefit, essentially giving us a $4K cut in salary.

So our family's health insurance serf-slave had to drop PPO coverage, and get into a HMO just to keep some benefits. These "benefits" cost us ~$1400 month.

So today we get a bill for $375 out of the blue, for the first ultrasound. The first ultrasound cost $504 at our local hospital. Corporate Sickness Profiteer paid all of $125 of this. Remember, our family is paying them $16,800 for "coverage," and now, it turns out, we must absorb a $4000 deductible in addition for services such as this ultrasound. Oh, and the CSP would have reimbursed more if sick person with potentially life-threatening condition had been driven sixty miles away to have ultrasound at a "cheaper" hospital.

So really the first $20K of earnings (which is nearly all of earnings from this employer) is going to CSP to provide us sh*tty coverage.

Question is -- serf-slave is working there, why? Serf-slave is paying extortionate rates to CSP because, why?

Serf-slave will be better off unemployed, serf-slave thinketh.

What thinketh our gentle readerth?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Consciousness of Guilt (Or, Yes, Bush/Cheney's Still Getting Away With Murder)

It's Rosemary Woods on crack and steroids: the convenient "disappearance" of evidence which, by federal law, must not be disappeared. Not a miserable few minutes on Nixon's tapes, but ALL SORTSA emails. Especially Dick Cheney's emails. You know, sensitive emails. Stuff that is meant to be preserved.

But it did disappear.

No biggie.

I mean, cui bono? These things just happen! Why would you think this spontaneous event involved destruction of evidence? Why?




Hat-tip to Corrente.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Buffalo Cops Save Life of Live Cat Being Marinated Prior to Becoming Owner's Meal


Yikes.

Owner said cat was mean to him.

No wonder.

Also called his cat "possessive, greedy, and wasteful."


Yuh, somebody's got issues.



Buffalo police rescued a cat from a Cheektowaga man who apparently was planning to make a meal out of his pet because he thought it was ill-tempered, authorities said Monday.

When Ferry-Fillmore District officers pulled over a car driven by Gary L. Korkuc on Sunday night during a traffic stop, they said they heard a cat crying from inside the trunk and investigated.

What they found has left animal lovers at the SPCA Serving Erie County in shock.

The cat, according to police, was in a cage “marinating” in a mixture of crushed red peppers, chili pepper, salt and oil.

“It’s disgusting. It surprises me every day what people are capable of when it comes to violence, whether it is animals or people,” said Gina M. Browning, the SPCA’s director of public relations. “I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”

Korkuc, 51, was arrested on one count of cruelty to animals by Officers Jerry Guilian and John Poisson, shortly after he was stopped on the 1100 block of Broadway at about 7:45 p. m. for allegedly passing a stop sign.

Police took the 4-year-old cat to the SPCA on Ensminger Road in the Town of Tonawanda, where Korkuc had adopted it May 11. He told police the cat had been “mean” to him, authorities said.

In condemning the treatment of the cat, whose name is Navarro, Browning read from an SPCA memo put together in part from information provided by the officers and shelter staff:

“Do not under any circumstances adopt to this man ever again. He claims he did not want the cat because it was ‘possessive, greedy and wasteful.’ That the cat got pregnant after ‘spaying,’ even though it was a neutered male. This man is a danger to animals. . . . was soaking cat in marinade to ‘cook.’ ”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

People Who Love You Get to Hit You and Hurt You, Cape Cod Church Edition

Cape Cod Calvary Church pastor Silas Coellner advocates causing children -- and crawling infants -- pain. On purpose. To teach them that people who love you get to hit you and hurt you, a lesson they will carry with them forever.

MATTAPOISETT — A pastor and father of three poised to become the assistant principal at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School is under fire for sermonizing that spanking children is "critical" — starting with when they crawl.

"I have this little bundle of innocence. When do I start dealing with them?" Silas Coellner said in an online podcast he took down after the Herald inquired about it.

"There's something about when they reach that crawling stage, I have found, in my experience, when you can suddenly see that heart of defiance, of rebellion, for the first time. That's when you begin."

Pastor Silas is one sick puppy. Maybe he needs someone to beat some sense into him?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Shock And Awe: Trickle-down Ace Reaganomicist David Stockman, of All People, Sees Da Light

They said it couldn't be done.

Th[e ] debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Oilist Outrage: BP Uses Prisoners, Mainly Black Prisoners, For Gusher Clean-Up

Full story here.

Let me guess why.

They're cheaper?

They're expendable?

They're helpless?

They're uh, you know, prisoners?


In the first few days after BP's Deepwater Horizon wellhead exploded, spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, cleanup workers could be seen on Louisiana beaches wearing scarlet pants and white t-shirts with the words "Inmate Labor" printed in large red block letters. Coastal residents, many of whom had just seen their livelihoods disappear, expressed outrage at community meetings; why should BP be using cheap or free prison labor when so many people were desperate for work? The outfits disappeared overnight.

Work crews in Grand Isle, Louisiana, still stand out. In a region where nine out of ten residents are white, the cleanup workers are almost exclusively African-American men. The racialized nature of the cleanup is so conspicuous that Ben Jealous, the president of the NAACP, sent a public letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward on July 9, demanding to know why black people were over-represented in "the most physically difficult, lowest paying jobs, with the most significant exposure to toxins."

Hiring prison labor is more than a way for BP to save money while cleaning up the biggest oil spill in history. By tapping into the inmate workforce, the company and its subcontractors get workers who are not only cheap but easily silenced—and they get lucrative tax write-offs in the process.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bankster Lenders Discriminate Against the Pregnant

Just when you think Banksters couldn't have any more egg on their faces--or whatever that viscous stuff is--they come up with a new outrage.

Here's a NY Times story about banksters and mortgages for the pregnant--long story short, if banksters find out you're pregnant, they'll screw up your mortgage! Wow!

Mortgage lenders are taking a harder look at prospective borrowers whose income has temporarily fallen while they are on leave, including new parents at home taking care of a baby. Even if a parent plans on returning to work within weeks, some lenders are balking at approving the loans.

“If you are not back at work, it’s a huge problem,” said Rick Cason, owner of Integrity Mortgage, a mortgage firm in Orlando, Fla. “Banks only deal in guaranteed income these days. It makes sense, but the guidelines are sometimes actually harsher than they need to be.”

Back in the slapdash days of easy credit, lenders were more likely to overlook the fact that a parent was out on maternity or paternity leave. But now that lenders have become more conservative, they are requiring new parents to jump through more hoops to prove their income will be enough to cover the mortgage.

So before some prospective parents start spending their Sundays at open houses, they should be prepared to deal with some complications. They may have to delay the purchase, deal with the banks’ bureaucracy (and requests for extra paperwork) or buy a home they can afford on one salary.

“Maternity leave or any other leave of absence often prevents a person from obtaining a mortgage,” said John Councilman, president of AMC Mortgage in Fallston, Md. “There are some who long for the days when such strict proof of income was not required.”

The lenders’ new attitude can be traced, in part, to new loan quality-control measures that went into effect earlier this year. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two quasi-governmental mortgage giants that buy the bulk of conventional loans from lenders, have not changed their rules for qualifying for a mortgage. But the system of checks and balances has been tightened, making lenders increasingly skittish.

Fannie, for instance, now requires lenders to recheck a borrower’s financial situation right before the loan closes. That includes calling an employer to verify employment. Before, lenders required only a statement in writing. Fannie’s new rules went into effect on June 1. Freddie’s similar rule took effect in January.

Both Fannie and Freddie have always required that borrowers have enough income to pay for the loan on closing day — and the lender must document that the income is likely to continue for at least three years.

But here is how some lenders are interpreting the guidelines for, say, a new mother receiving short-term disability insurance for a couple of months (new mothers may receive disability payments while on maternity leave, though the amount and length depend on state law and company policies).

Since the disability payments will not continue for three years, these lenders will not count it as qualifying income, brokers said, and will require the new mother to reapply for the mortgage once she returns to work. (The same logic may apply to an injured employee receiving worker’s compensation.)

That is what happened to Elizabeth Budde, a 33-year-old oncologist who lives in Kenmore, Wash. She nearly lost her mortgage after a loan officer learned she was home with her newborn.

With stellar credit and a solid job, Dr. Budde said she had been notified via e-mail that she was approved for a loan on June 15. But that note prompted an automatic, “out of the office” e-mail reply from Dr. Budde’s work account, which said she was out on maternity leave.

The next day, Dr. Budde received a second e-mail message from the lender, this time denying her loan approval.
Since “maternity leave is classified as paid via short-term or temporary disability income,” the e-mail message said, it could not be used because it would not continue for three years.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And now for something completely different. Again.

Got a lot on my plate.

But shrieking with laughter helps my mood a lot:

Rev. BillyBob Neck on "Soccer: America's Path to Socialism."





Soccer -- America's Path to Socialism.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nobody Coulda Predicted . . . Oilist Boilerplate (or, Oilism Triumphant!)


After the Exxon Valdez disaster, nobody coulda predicted another environmental disaster would happen again.

And nobody did.

Hat-tip to quixote at Corrente, this article from McClatchy, pointing out blatant rubber-stamping of drilling proposals by separate companies who apparently all use the very same same xerox machine, typist, and well, um, the very same rubber stamp!

And y' know what all the identical triplet rubber stamps say?

Environmental impact?

Pfft!

Zero, zip, no way, nada!

No worries!


WASHINGTON — The names, locations and geographical coordinates are different. Otherwise the drilling plans for three oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico contain identical fonts, footnotes, overly optimistic projections and even typographical errors.

The companies employed the same small Houston consulting firm, R.E.M. Solutions, to prepare environmental information to submit to federal regulators for drill sites hundreds of miles from each other. R.E.M.'s analyses read like photocopies, each saying 11 times that an oil spill was "unlikely to have an impact based on the industry wide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses."

The Obama administration has cracked down on oil companies and federal regulators for the failures that led to the BP spill, but the private consulting firms that helped prepare many Gulf drilling plans have received far less scrutiny. A McClatchy review of plans approved by the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service in 2009 and 2010 found that consultants were widely used but that in nearly all cases they wrote plans with the same flaws that experts and members of Congress have identified in BP's.

The Obama administration ordered oil companies on June 2 to resubmit drilling plans for the Gulf of Mexico with more environmental information, but it made no mention of the role of consultants. Some experts charge that these small, little-known firms — based throughout the Gulf Coast and often staffed by former employees of oil companies — are part of a self-serving culture among regulators and drillers that's sought for years to process as many plans as possible while ignoring environmental concerns.

"Since you know exactly what to say — you've been saying it for years and you know that MMS is going to rubber-stamp it — if you're a consultant, you're just going to cut and paste from project to project," said Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation organization. "Why would you spend any money on doing any analysis if no one's looking for it?"

Department of Interior officials said that federal regulators didn't oversee third-party consultants and oil companies were "ultimately responsible for the information they submit."

In the case of offshore drilling, oil companies included environmental impact information as part of their drilling applications, officials said. The MMS — renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement under a recent major restructuring — could request or seek out additional information before deciding whether to approve a drilling project.

Yet for each of the three identical plans written by R.E.M. Solutions, the agency granted waivers that exempted the projects from further environmental review.

Interior officials said that "a limiting factor" in how the MMS evaluated those plans was a law requiring regulators to approve or reject them within 30 days.

"As part of the reforms we are implementing, we have asked Congress to amend the laws governing BOEM's review of exploration plans to provide the agency more time to conduct the reviews," said Matt Lee-Ashley, an Interior spokesman.

The documents McClatchy examined included the plan for BP's ill-fated Macondo well, which didn't list consultants among the preparers. More than 20 plans the MMS approved for the Gulf in 2009 and 2010 were drafted at least in part by consultants, though.

Interior officials said there were no federal guidelines or licenses pertaining to these consultants, who seem to operate in a small, obscure corner of the mammoth Gulf oil industry.

R.E.M. lists 10 employees on its website and says that it provides "information and documents that will benefit our client, our company and the governing agencies." The firm was founded in 2002 by Connie Goers, who "has over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry."

Three of the plans that R.E.M. prepared — for Rooster Petroleum, Tana Exploration and Marathon Oil, all of Houston — used the same language to say that the risk of a major oil spill was minimal, the companies were equipped to respond to a disaster and drilling activities posed little or no risk to marine life or fisheries.

Each contains the same typographical error near the beginning of the document, where the word "emissions" appears extraneously in a discussion of the physical impact on the drilling site. "There are no anticipated emissions, effluents, emissions physical disturbances to the seafloor, wastes sent to shore, and/or accidents from the proposed activities that could cause impacts to Eastern Gulf live bottoms," all three plans say.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

BP Oil Volcano Butterfly-effects Cape Cod Wildlife


Nobody could have predicted . . .

ORLEANS — The BP oil spill is creating uncertainty among the people who watch over some of the threatened and endangered wildlife that visit Cape Cod.

Many piping plovers born here this summer, for example, will eventually fly to winter grounds in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP's Deepwater Horizon rig has been releasing oil since April 20. And rare Kemp's ridley turtles, which ride the Gulf Stream to Cape Cod, now face a gauntlet of burning oil slicks and chemical dispersants as they cross the Gulf from their breeding grounds.

Gulf Coast beaches are also the winter home to terns and oystercatchers that migrate to the Cape.

"How do we face the fact that all of our hard-won successes on breeding beaches might be wiped out in an instant, as birds migrate and flock to their familiar beaches, only to find them covered in oil and their invertebrate meals tainted and smothered?" wrote Becky Harris, coastal water bird director for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, in a blog last week.

After struggling to protect plovers, least terns and oystercatchers from oversand vehicles, coyotes, crows, kites and dogs, wildlife experts feel the new threat looms large.

"They've said (this spill) will have a dramatic effect for five to 10 years, and maybe longer. It's sad," Orleans Parks and Beaches Superintendent Paul Fulcher said Tuesday.

Thanks to banding, bird experts have a good handle on the distribution of the Massachusetts population of American oystercatchers, Ellen Jedrey, assistant director of Massachusetts Audubon's Coastal Waterbird program, said Tuesday. "An estimated 30 percent of the Massachusetts population of oystercatchers — about 200 pairs — does winter along the Gulf Coast," she said.

The distinctive-looking oystercatchers — black and white with a long orange bill for opening shellfish — don't get as much press as piping plovers but need the same barrier beaches and marshes to breed and feed. The oystercatchers are relatively few in number — about 11,000 in the United States.

Piping plovers also are likely at risk from the spill, according to field ornithologist Chris Leahy at the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The birds migrate south in August and September to a variety of wintering grounds along the East Coast and Gulf Coast.

"If you look at the wintering range of the piping plover, it would be very good luck if New England piping plovers happened to winter outside the spill. There's a high likelihood that they will get onto wintering beaches where they will be affected by the oil," Leahy said.

The Kemp's ridley turtle, however, is in immediate danger. The rare sea turtle's only two breeding grounds are on the west side of the Gulf Coast, in Mexico and Texas' Padre Island, and young juveniles are believed to float across the Gulf on clumps of algae.

Now the clumps of algae, many covered with oil, are death traps because BP is burning off great patches of oil to keep it from coming ashore, according to Robert Prescott, executive director at the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary of the Massachusetts Audubon society.

"There's a group of volunteers that is racing around in the Gulf and trying to net as many juvenile turtles as they can before the burning," he said Wednesday. "A lot of organisms, including turtles, are dying."

For years, Cape Codders have followed the fate of the dinner-plate-size turtles, the world's most endangered sea turtle. Each fall, volunteers walk Cape beaches to rescue cold-stunned ridleys that failed to leave the region before the water temperature gets too cold for them.

Globe: Coakley, Greatest Loser

Globe columnist Adrian Walker:

"Six months ago Martha Coakley was one of the most famous politicians in America for a few agonizing and awkward weeks. Her loss to Scott Brown catapulted him to cover boy status, while people wondered what on earth could be next for the suddenly toxic attorney general.

This week furnished some answers. First, Coakley’s office reached a $102 million settlement with Morgan Stanley, after accusing the Wall Street giant of unscrupulous mortgage lending. On Thursday, US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, partly as a result of a suit filed by Coakley’s office.

She also went public with some tough questions about Cape Wind and has the final call on whether a New York investment firm can scarf up the Caritas Christi hospital chain. . .

Yesterday, Coakley, with her usual calm, noted that the failures of her Senate campaign had nothing to do with her service as attorney general.

. . .

While Brown became a national celebrity, Coakley simply went back to work. “It’s great to be back working,’’ she said, “especially when we get these kinds of results.’’

The settlement with Morgan Stanley was the latest — and by far the most successful — of several suits against companies that contributed to the subprime mortgage mess. Morgan backed bad loans by a company called New Century, on which many homeowners defaulted. Coakley successfully argued that the loans violated basic guidelines and that the homeowners had been sold loans they clearly could not pay back. About $58 million will go to beleaguered subprime borrowers.

“I think we were able to shed a little bit of light on the way they operated,’’ Coakley said.

Of course, the fight against the Defense of Marriage Act strikes close to home to many in Massachusetts. In essence, the battle is over whether married gay couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as other married couples.

Coakley’s challenge followed one by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. She was approached by GLAD after it filed suit and invited to play a role, which grew into filing a separate lawsuit.

“We thought it was an uphill battle, but we made a strong argument that the burden in terms of Massachusetts was unconstitutional,’’ Coakley said.

Many observers believe that Tauro’s ruling, which is certain to be appealed, will have little immediate impact. Coakley, however, chooses to take a longer view.

“If you’re a student of constitutional history, you see that changes that are dramatic rarely happen overnight,’’ she said. “There are steps forward and some steps backward. But this is a big step forward for all Massachusetts married couples.’’

For all the scorn heaped on Coakley after the Senate campaign, she is unopposed in her bid for reelection, as the predicted crowd of opponents never materialized.

If she has hit a political glass ceiling, it is in a job she clearly loves.

“We were able to make a little bit of progress in the area of civil rights and able to make life a little better for the people of Massachusetts,’’ Coakley said.
"







Full story here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Meanwhile, In Other News . . . .

Exxon Mobile

Morgan Stanley

BP

Securing $3 Billion in Loan Modifications for Homeowners

More here.

Scott "Bankster" Brown: MA's Beloved New Senator

So it turns out that EVERYONE LOVES The Bankster!

From the Globe:

"Now more than ever, it truly rocks to be Scott Brown.

The freshman US Senator, a Republican, is this blue state’s most beloved politician — more popular than even the president, according to a Globe poll this week. Our pollster didn’t ask how Brown’s favorables compare to God’s, but my bet is it would be a pretty close call.

And though it hardly seems possible, Brown is even more popular in Washington than he is here. His phones ring night and day: Everybody — the Treasury secretary, Arnold Schwarzenegger, House and Senate leaders, jobless workers — has been begging him to support their causes.

Five months on the job, and already he’s parting legislative seas.

With all of that love and power, you can’t blame Brown for getting a big head. And as an interview he gave two of his fans on WEEI last Friday made clear, it is pretty darned big.

“So, last night I got off the plane and I’m driving through Wrentham saying, ‘Man, I just can’t believe I’m a United States Senator,’ ’’ he crowed to his adoring interlocutors. “And then Tim Geithner calls me on the phone and says, ‘Scott, I just wanted to go through some things that we’re working on right now . . .’ He just called me a minute ago, too . . .

“Obviously, I am the key vote. They know they have to keep me in the loop.’’

No matter what Brown does, he’s a populist hero.

For example, repeatedly voting against an extension of unemployment benefits for laid-off workers, and for extra money to preserve services for the mentally disabled, makes him a hero because he’s holding down the deficit, saving the Average Guy taxes down the line.

Nobody seems to care that lots of folks, including some respected deficit hawks, think that’s a shortsighted, destructive stance in a recession.

“We need stimulus now and restraint later,’’ says Isabel Sawhill, a budget expert at the Brookings Institution. “On strictly economic grounds, it makes sense to extend the payments, otherwise these groups will be a tremendous drag on the economy.’’

Talk to the truck, ma’am.

Or take Brown’s stance on the bill Treasury Secretary Geithner was calling about: A Wall Street reform package aimed at taming the Wild West that is our financial system.

Voters sent Brown to Washington partly because he promised an end to backroom dealing. But it turns out he’s rather an ace at it himself: Holding his vote over Democrats’ heads, he got them to weaken restrictions on the kinds of risky bets that led to the financial crisis.

Having secured that gift for banks and hedge funds, Brown voted for the Senate version of the bill — even though its cost would add to the deficit.

Then, after House and Senate negotiators found another way to pay for the bill — namely, $19 billion in charges imposed on the biggest financial institutions themselves — Brown jumped ship.

He wasn’t protecting banks, Brown said. It’s just a coincidence that they hated the charges. He was looking out for the Little Guy, since the banks would just pass along the $19 billion to customers in higher fees.

It didn’t matter that the new rules would make it harder for banks to raise those fees. And it didn’t matter that any other way of funding the new system would also use taxpayer money, only more directly.

Brown’s balk was praised as another heroic, populist move. It sent 43 legislators sprinting back to a conference committee to come up with another way to pay for the bill: They’re now proposing to use leftover bank bailout money — taxpayers’ money, of course. Brown . . . says he needs the July Fourth recess to decide whether to vote for the Wall Street reforms.

But he needn’t lose any sleep. Whatever he decides, Scott Brown can do no wrong."


But wait!

Maybe he can do wrong! Maybe he must!

With his coming vote on Kagan, which way will the Bankster go?

Will it be flip? Or flop?

WASHINGTON — The upcoming vote on the Supreme Court nomination of former Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan will present Republican Scott Brown with the most defining ideological test yet of his young Senate career, forcing him into a stark choice that is bound to anger some of his supporters no matter how he decides.

Kagan’s solid performance during committee hearings last week all but assures her confirmation by a comfortable margin, so Brown is not in a position to affect the outcome. But analysts say the political stakes are high for Brown personally.

If he supports her, Brown risks angering conservative activists across the country, an important source of campaign contributions. If he opposes such a highly accomplished woman with strong Massachusetts ties, the state’s independents, particularly women, may question his assertion that being a “Scott Brown Republican’’ does not automatically mean toeing the GOP line.


[[cough]{choke}[cough]]

In beating Democrat Martha Coakley in January, Brown won two-thirds of critical independent voters, according to exit polls. Independents, many of whom lean left politically in Massachusetts, will again be a key constituency in 2012.

“Due to the lack of concrete issues with Kagan’s candidacy offered by her critics, it would be difficult for Brown to vote against Kagan and not expect some electoral consequences particularly among independents and female voters who turned out for Brown’’ in his race against Coakley, said Tatishe Nteta, political science professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst.


I'm still enjoying the electoral consequences of those voters who turned out for the Bankster, believe me. How about you?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Say, sir, would you care for a little class warfare garnish on your spanky new pro-am blogframe?

This is interesting article by Chris Bowers, who is suggesting a new division of labor: amateur bloggers versus "pro" (sic) bloggers, in his article "Amateur Blogosphere: RIP."

[Say, might that be pro-blogese for "STFU, the rest of you bloggers who aren't yet corporate and/or special interest shills?" Oh, okay, maybe not.]

Pro blogs are, like, money blogs. And they count, see. Because of the money. Tom Paine, alas, was no pro blogger. Bummer.

Anyhow, one of the blogs he names as a super big fab pro blogger is--HuffPo.

Now, I dunno about you, but when I look at HuffPo my heart sinks and I have to take a real hefty suck on my inhaler, because so much of HuffPo is not about politics, but about sleazy, tabloid-y, sexist, ageist, intrusive, superficial, ridiculous, rabid-mob-hysterical, unapologetically- Mean-Girls-Mean-Boys-High-School mean, worthless.

I think, "what a waste of bandwidth."

I'm not buyin' HuffPo as pro, as in pro = good.

And what's up with Bowers positing this split?

Why's he cooking up this bloggy dualism about pro versus am? Cui bono?

Like we were in need of raising our class consciousness?

Like we hadn't heard of the ol' "Us" versus "Them"?

Haves versus have-nots?

It's kinda classic. Uh--one-up? One-down? Ring a bell?

Why mention it at all?

Guys and gals, might it not be a smoke-and-mirror cover-up frame to obscure the fact that the very definition of this awesome (sic) pro (sic) status is that it's All About the Benjamins?

You betcha!!


Only five years ago, the progressive political blogosphere was still predominately a gathering place for amateur (that is, unpaid or barely paid) journalists and activists unattached to existing media companies and advocacy organizations. Those days are almost completely over. Now, the progressive blogosphere is almost entirely professionalized, and inextricably linked to existing media companies and advocacy organizations.

This transformation has been brought about by three developments (fellow bloggers, please forgive me in advance if I fail to mention your or your blog as an example):

1. Established media companies and advocacy organizations hiring bloggers to blog, full-time: The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Center for American Progress, Salon, CQ, Atlantic, Washington Monthly, the American Independent News Network, and more have all hired hired bloggers to blog, full-time. Many of these bloggers, such as fivethirtyeight, Unclaimed Territory, or the Carpetbagger Report, operated their blogs independently of any established organization, and were key hubs in the "amateur" or "independent" progressive blogosphere. Now, those bloggers do pretty much the same thing they did before, they just (quite understandably) do it for a much better salary from an established organization.

2. Previously "amateur" progressive blogs became professional operations: Another trend, less common than the first, has been for blogs like Daily Kos, Firedoglake and Talking Points Memo to transform themselves from hobbies into professional media outlets and/or activist organizations. These blogs have increased their revenue stream to the point where they can hire multiple full-time staff.

3. Bloggers translate blogging into consulting and advocacy work: Many bloggers have also found a way to make a living by combining their blogging with blog-friendly advocacy and consulting work. This is actually the path I am currently following, as are, I believe, Oliver Willis, Atrios, Jerome Armstrong, and more. This involves finding part-time or full time work in politics that is conducive to still maintaining a full-time blog (which also generates a part-time income).

Add up all three of these paths, not even to mention the emergence of the utterly dominant Huffington Post, and the progressive political blogosphere is now both thoroughly professionalized and integrated into the progressive media an political ecosystem.

That didn't take very long. The progressive blogosphere really first emerged onto the political scene in late 2002 over fights like the run up to Iraq, the 2003 Democratic primaries, and Trent Lott's comments at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. In less than eight years, it went from a loosely knit, rag-tag network of amateur outsiders into a fixture in the world of professional political advocacy and media.

I want to make it clear that I know there are still "amateur" independent blogs around. Also, I do not begrudge a single person for taking any of these various routes to professionalism. Hell, I have wanted to be a professional blogger since Kos first began selling ads in late 2003. I am simply describing a trend that has, quite obviously, been underway for years now. In fact, my first post ever at Open Left was on this very subject).

It was, really, inevitable. Avant-garde, "outsider" developments which prove to have real support are invariably co-opted by any successful, institutional establishment. At the same time, these avant-garde movements are often willing to be co-opted, since established institutions usually have vastly greater resources than the independent, shoestring distribution networks of the avant-garde. Before I became a blogger, I was an ABD graduate student in English, and I was going to write my dissertation about this phenomenon in 20th century American poetry. I am quite thrilled that instead of writing that dissertation, I was able to participate in a real-life example of it.


Wow, dude! Kewl! You've made it! Isn't Townhouse List da bomb?

Genocidal Red Chinese Tap Selves to Pick Next Dalai Lama. Is That Egg on Their Faces, or Something Even More Embarrassing?


Yes, it's true.

Noted experts in cultural genocide, the Red Chinese, apparently consider themselves experts in the ins and outs of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. Considering they prolly can't even name the four noble truths, much less practice them, it's quite a stretch.

Anyhow, they've just decided that they're going to pick the next Dalai Lama after this one (Nobel prize-winning Number 14, above, wearing Red Sox hat in Foxboro) clags it.

It's hilarious.

If they only knew how much they're embarrassing themselves, they'd probably stop.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Serfin' U-S-A: A Reprise of No Blood for Hubris' Post Written for the 2006 CorruptCo Blogfest

How do we love thee, Bushist fascist corporate corporations of America?

Let us count the ways:

We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of pensions.
We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of job security.
We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of health benefits.
We love thee for pimp-slapping us out of the very notion of a single job being enough to support anyone, much less a family.

We love thee for destroying unions and making us love you for it lest we lose our jobs.

We love thee for disabusing us of the notion that "factory workers at successful companies can achieve a secure, relatively prosperous middle-class life for themselves."

We love thee for creatively creating useless products like Coke and Pepsi which have no nutritional value and yet make beeg money.

We love thee for creatively creating and selling useless products like Camels, Marlboros, etc. etc., totally unecessary & addictive items which actually ruin health and/or kill and yet make beeg money.

We love thee for creatively creating and hypnotically selling products like McDonald's and Burger King and Wendy's junk food made out of junk which contribute to obesity and illness and yet make beeg money (see Left of Center's Corruptco post here on high fructose corn syrup and bring your barf bag).

We love thee for successfully poisoning the natural environment and getting away with it, so far.

We love thee for buying and installing Preznit Toad-Exploder who has never actually held an actual job, like both his daughters and I think his mother, and who therefore is able to slap an innocent lady citizen on the back as congratulations to her for her good luck to be living in a country like America where she can hold three jobs--three!--at once.

We love thee for buying and installing Preznit Toad-Exploder who exploded toads in his youth.
We love thee for buying and installing Preznit Toad-Exploder who thinks that invading Iraq and thus making money for Halliburton, the Carlisle Group, and KBR and the rest of the military-industrial complex is way more important than the actual lives of actual troops or the actual lives of actual citizens.

We love thee for always putting profits before people and therefore providing us a sense of security in this impermanent world.

We love thee for your iron grip on corporate media, and your continuing hypnotic hold on the American populace.

We love thee for Enron's happiness at successfully stealing money from little old ladies in California.

We love thee for replacing the notion of American labor with the notion of American serfdom; for replacing noblesse oblige with pure greed and ego; for replacing three classes with the classic two: haves and have -nots--and for blaming the have-nots for not having.

We love thee for not giving a shit about anyone but yourselves.
We love thee for thinking that giving a shit about anyone but yourselves is somehow "quaint," not unlike the Geneva Conventions.

Not only do we love thee, but we worship thee and to thee we bow down.

Ha.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This post is part of the CorruptCo Blogfest, created by LosetheNoose.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kill Bill: "Bankster" Brown Throws Weight Around

No one could have predicted that Wall Street darling Scott "Bankster" Brown would singlehandedly kill a $19 billion bank tax. Except maybe Goldman-Sachs-slayer Martha Coakley, who, incidentally, is not in the Senate representing the people of Massachusetts.

Brown’s threat gets bank tax removed
Finance bill’s funding reworked

WASHINGTON — Senator Scott Brown yesterday forced Democrats to remove a $19 billion tax on big banks and hedge funds from the proposed Wall Street regulatory overhaul, the second time the Massachusetts Republican has used his pivotal role in the Senate to influence the legislation in favor of major financial institutions.

After Brown threatened in writing yesterday to oppose the package unless the $19 billion tax was eliminated, House and Senate lawmakers reconvened late yesterday and agreed on a new way to pay for the additional regulatory oversight in the sweeping legislation, which is intended to help prevent another economic crisis like the 2008 market meltdown.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scott Brown, Wall Street Darling

Special interests?

You betcha!

Why would Wall Street throw money at Goldman-Sachs-slayer Martha Coakley, when they could throw their ill-gotten gains at Scotty Brown?

From Media Matters on Scott "Heckuva Job, Brownie!" Brown.


In the final days of Scott Brown's tough campaign against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, every cent counted. With polls so close, it was clear that the election would likely come down to which campaign was able to spend the most money and run the most ads during the last stretch.

Thanks to Wall Street, Scott Brown won.

As the Boston Globe reported: "In a six-day span just before the US Senate election, Republican Scott Brown collected nearly $450,000 from donors who work at financial companies, a sign the industry is prepared to spend heavily in the upcoming midterm elections to beat back new controls and taxes President Obama wants to impose."

The Globe interviewed Richard Hillman, an analyst for First Wilshire Securities, who decided to give $2,400 to Brown at the last minute because, "I thought making him the 41st Republican vote in the Senate would prevent some really terrible legislation from getting through."

Hillman (along with hundreds of other Wall Street donors) seems to be getting his money's worth. After receiving more than $390,000 from Wall Street, Brown is now doing the industry's bidding in the Senate by threatening to kill Wall Street Reform.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Coup-coup ka Joob

Aussie aussie aussie, oy oy oy.

Another way to overturn an election.

Who needs the Supremes when you gotta little deuce coup?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Serfin' U-S-A: Voluntary Culinary Peasant Edition


You can wrap it up in a big red earth-consciousness locavore bow, but corporatocracy's triumph via our demise is creating voluntary premature peasants; those people who are adjusting to the fall of the Empire well in advance, becoming unplugged by eating cheap food, same food, jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, never jam today, because it's always cabbage soup.

For breakfast, it's cold porridge. For lunch, it's cabbage soup. Every day. For dinner, its lentils and rice. Why it's just like a third world country! I've been saying that for years. Really, I have. Lentils and rice? It's dhal-bat. The national dish of Nepal. A very poor country.

Coming your way.

So pass the daily borscht. I mean, the cabbage soup. Every day. Every day. Every day. Pass the dhal-bat. Pass the fish-heads and rice. Please pass the yuca.


Try to make a virtue out of less is more.

But, hey.

Less is less.

Really.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Primary source:
The 10 in 10 Diet is a total system that makes it easy to transition off meat and cook healthy food conveniently while keeping your grocery bill under $150 a month per person, and reducing our contribution to climate change – with a goal in mind of 10% reduction of CO2 in 2010. It's a way to fast track to a simpler, more peaceful life. It's totally possible to really enjoy food while eating more like the majority of people in the world.


THE CLIMATE CHANGE DIET
Eating a diet for climate change doesn't mean you have to become a stick-in-the-mud vegetarian who won't take a little piece of turkey at Christmas dinner at your mother's. In order to make a difference in global warming, we need a wave of change in eating patterns across populations, enough to affect agribusiness and shipping traffic. So, here I am, jumping in with both feet to help people stop hemming and hawing in the grocery aisles and get set up to be clear and consistent with lowering the environmental impact of what they eat by eating no meat on a day-to-day basis and very little dairy. The climate change diet begins with a classic breakfast.


Breakfast
Daily:
Oatmeal Porridge with raisins, honey and apples [THINK: PLEASE PASS THE GRUEL]

Occasionally:
Buttermilk pancakes with a fried egg on top

Lunch

Daily:
Cabbage soup
Peanut butter sandwich
Hot drink

1/2 cup fruit
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Occasionally:
Miso soup with kale and carrots
Egg salad sandwich
Hot drink
1/2 cup fruit
1/2 cup plain yogurt


Supper

Big batches to freeze in single servings:
1. Black bean soup with either polenta or quick baking powder biscuits
2. Pinto beans
a) refried (mashed) served with salsa in corn tortillas
b) served over rice with salsa
Both ways can be garnished with a little grated cheddar cheese, or not.
3. Beet & Bean Stew - a kind of hearty beet borscht
4. Squash soup with hummus on bread or biscuits
5. Chili served with a dollop of kasha

Cook tonight in 45 minutes (2 or 3 servings) and have some leftovers

6. Black & Orange – black lentil stew and mashed rutabaga and sweet potatoes
7. Curried red lentils and veggies served on rice
8. Ratatouille, rice and lentils

Cook quickly tonight with one hour's notice

9. Falafel served either in pita with sprouts & yogurt or with quinoa or millet, gravy, and veggies

Make ahead to share for summer picnics, pot lucks or to pack a cold supper.

9. Quinoa salad Everyone likes this moist, yummy salad made with a fluffy ancient grain instead of rice. You can vary the cold veggies and nuts. Great to take to pot lucks

A New Understanding of the Nature of Emptiness.

Stirling Newberry at Corrente: Sorry, People, the Government Can Run Out of Money, and In Fact it Already Has.

Things that make you go "Hmm . . ."



So an idea popped into my head. What would it be like if BP is, technically, unable to stop its well from gushing oil?

What if they're not just lying because they want to find a way to save their oil and save their well?

What if the whole thing is totally, technically, out of control?

What is to be done if there is nothing that can be done?





Lambert Strether at Corrente: Are oil leaks really down hole?

Geologist Chris Landau. Wearing tin hat abiotic oil theory, but the other stuff seems ok.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What he said

Stirling Newberry via Corrente.





(NBFH seems like it's morphing into minimalism. I'm busier. I have less to say that hasn't already been said. So. We'll see what happens.)

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Oil Drum

Something to keep your mind off the endless misery of samsara?

Nope.

The Oil Drum.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Topkill Fails

BP announces the failure of its "topkill" plan to plug the Oilmaggedon leak.

BP began a risky operation known as "top kill" on Wednesday. The procedure involves pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well in a bid to stop the oil. It's never been tried in 5,000 feet of water.

The oil spill began after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded last month, killing 11 people. It's the worst spill in U.S. history, dumping between 18 million and 40 million gallons into the Gulf.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Um, This Is Fun

VastLeft dialogue with Lotus at whoviating.

Smearing Elena Kagan: Grey Lady Smear-Sandwich Edition

I read the NYT this AM and realized that I was actually reading the National Enquirer.

No, really.

On the front page, to which I shall not link, is a charming piece smearing Kagan with the "A" word -- gentle readers, you must know what that one is, the thing that uppity women must not be -- (whispers) ambitiouss -- ooooooooooooo so scarey --- and on the inside back page, NYT features comments on Kagan's views of executive powers as parsed by --- insert drum roll here --- pro-torturer-in-chief John Yoo.

Oh, my. Who thought that one up? The Heathers? ("Hey, whatcha say we ask John Yoo what he thinks about Kagan's views on executive power?" [Crowd chortles, all dig elbows into one another's ribs.] "Hyuk, hyuk!" "Do it! Do it!")

Really I do get sick of this sh*t.

But -- why am I so alone?

So lucky that early adopter Goldman-Sachs-slayer Obama Afghanistan-surge non-supporter public optionist Martha Coakley didn't win over uber-charmer Scott Brown, isn't it?

Brown? Coakley? [Insert The Big Shrug.]

It really doesn't make any difference, does it? It's all hopeless, so who cares?

And then we have a wonderful blogger to whom I shall not link who's very generally wonderful save for relatively rare spasms of bad madness who's spending his precious time on earth helpfully calling Hillary Clinton a war criminal.


Jeez, people.

Wake the f*ck up.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Domestic Violence Homicides Up, Way Up, in MA

Interesting story, save for the unbelievable blame-the-victim-ism.

It's never too late to keep victimizing victims, is it?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Dunno About All This

I love the Daily Howler.

But I don't love this.


The Kagan pie-fight has nothing to do with Kagan any more, it's a pie fight about having pie fights, and about having had pie fights, and having lost them.

And about being righteously enraged that liberal-progressive-green-socialdem-whatever you call them, keep on losing the actual serious fights, and not winning even when we should have won, and not winning when we have (supposedly) won.

Beyond the meta-piefight, it's rage about the machine, even about the continuing existence of suffering in samsara. One had been expecting a reprieve, perhaps, had one? Good luck with that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Uh-oh. It's the Old Tribalism Thing Again. Pile On Kagan NOW, or Or Else!

What can I say?

I'm with Larry Lessig.

Lessig Calls Greenwald's Take on Kagan "Absurd"

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig took Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald to task for his opposition to Kagan, the current U.S. Solicitor General. Lessig took particular exception to Greenwald's contention that Kagan lacks a clear judicial record.

"The hyperbole in what Glenn is saying here is something we really have to check. He said right at the top of your show that there's a complete blank slate here. That every substantive legal question she has left unanswered," Lessig told Maddow Monday night. "That is just absurd."


And I think those who are getting all hysterical need to recognize their own groupthink hysteria. It's pretty hopey-change, with us or agin' us, rabid mob rule kinda thing.

Not pretty.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Ladies: Celebrating the Fact That It's Never Too Early to Start Making Fun of a Female's Appearance

.


















Hey, let's hear it for diversity! Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's taking flak from all sides! And she deserves it! The ever-compassionate HuffPo started it last week, posting arguably the most unattractive pic of Kagan ever. (Not the pic above. It was waaay worse).

BUT--this morning on my local TV that one was topped by an even MORE unattractive pic of Kagan, ever, because she was looking unattractive AND scowling!! Scare-y!

Wow, let's talk about Hillary's thick ankles! Let's talk about Obama saying she was only "likable enough"! Let's talk about Menino not supporting Goldman-Sachs-slayer AG Martha Coakley because "no one" (meaning Menino) likes her"?

Yes, Virginia, girls R fair game!

We smear them on their girly appearances and likeability and scariness/non-scariness factor -- because that's just how it is! And because -- we can!



.
Note non-scary pic of Elena Kagan, above, which was not chosen by the bostonchannel.com

Thursday, May 06, 2010

AG Martha Coakley Expands Jobs Programs for Youth

Thinking outside the box, AG Coakley expands jobs for youth program with monies from her successful suits against Big Pharma and Big "Health."

Shame on us for failing to elect her to the US Senate.

-----
From the Boston Globe:
"With the economic crunch squeezing the number of jobs available for young people, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced yesterday that her office would devote another $100,000 to employment programs, creating 64 more positions for at-risk youths in programs across Massachusetts.

The funding — which came from settlements of cases against health care and pharmaceutical companies — will boost the $1.5 million the attorney general’s office already committed to 16 programs through Project YES, or Youth Employment Solutions. The grants were open to municipalities, public school districts, and nonprofit groups that serve low-income or at-risk youth and include physical fitness in their programs.

With yesterday’s announcement, the program is now expected to create a total of 225 jobs.

“It’s not enough. But it’s a good start,’’ Coakley told about 100 teenagers assembled in the gym at the Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter in Dorchester, where she was joined by Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Mayor Thomas M. Menino. . . "


Considering how he backstabbed her in the election by failing to turn out his machine on her behalf, it must be challenging to share a stage with Menino.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Talibangelical Anti-Homosexual Evangelist Snagged Hiring Hired Hand at Rentboy.com

What if it weren't all about teh gay, and was all about those who doth protest too much?

Like Family Research Council's Dr. James Dobson, who advocated adult males showering with little boys so they could use comparing their penis sizes (no I'm not making this up) as a method of preventing them from becoming gay? He's also the guy who belt-beat his "beloved" Dachshund puppy, Sigmund, (no I'm not making that up either) in order to show who was Teh Boss.

Now there's George Reker, Dr. Dobson's choice, who, while being profoundly anti-gay in an official capacity, hired a hot blond professional "rentboy" to "help" him with the junk that's in his trunk. (Will he help him with what's in his closet?)

Dr. George Reker, co-founder of the Talibangelical "Family Research Council," sure has something on his face. Maybe it's egg.

Or, um, not.


----

See also Jesus' General.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Swiftingboating Martha Coakley

Using Twitter.

And let's keep in mind that Attorney General Coakley's going after Goldman Sachs pretty much right after her 2007 election as AG had absolutely nothing to do with [insert special interest here] needing her to be smeared into defeat in 2010. That was just because she spent too much time with her family and didn't know the name of a conservative Republican baseball player and was both too feeble and too ambitious. Ok?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Love that Dirty Water

American Extremists - Love that dirty water

Love that dirty water

Cardinal Calls Priestly Pedophilia Plague: "Petty Gossip"

Why?
Because they still don't get it.

Except for those who do get it, because they do it, and want to keep on keeping on.

Feh.
Catholic Cardinal rejects sex abuse 'gossip'
A senior cardinal has said the Roman Catholic faithful will not be swayed by "petty gossip" about child sex-abuse allegations.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, made the remark in an unusual message of support to Pope Benedict XVI during Easter Mass.

"For every 10 people you hear saying they were abused, 10,000 have kept silent.

Empire Stated

American Extremists - Empire stated

Empire stated

Saturday, March 27, 2010

$250 Million Dollars of Our Tax Dollars Wasted On Cost-Free Message: "Just Say No"

What a scandal.

Health bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds


"A little-noticed provision of the health legislation has rescued federal support for a controversial form of sex education: teaching youths to remain virgins until marriage.

The bill restores $250 million over five years for states to sponsor programs aimed at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by focusing exclusively on encouraging children and adolescents. . ."

not to have sex.

Full story here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OK, Where were we?

Sorry about the hiatus. I am, anyhow. Been working on a play. Been working on it for three years. (That's quick playwriting for me -- got another I've been working on for decades.)

So anyway, let's catch up.

Most fun piece today:

Noam Chomsky Supports Health Care Bill.


Second most fun piece, as Dems throw half the population under the bus, again:

Democrats Woo Foes of Abortion.

Because why bother supporting a woman's right to choose? Why bother, when you can support rightwing fetus-firsters instead, and get away with it?

Speaking of which, I bet you've been wondering, "Hmm, what does become of all those unwanted feti once they're post-born into families who wish they had never been born?"

We turn to Parents Behaving Badly, which features the things actual parents/step-parents actually do to their actual kids.

Scroll down to my favorite so far:

7-year-old Beaten To Death By Father on Father's Day.

What's yours?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Yuh, read this.

Ethics.


And from commenter, Kia:

Let me put my answer in the form of a question: what does civilization, or society, provide for us? The low-wage workers in this story face the choice between working for starvation wages and simply starving. In what possible sense can this be described as freedom? How does it differ from the freedom that a pirate offers me to give him all I have or get killed? Isn't society supposed to protect us from piracy and brigandage?

I thought the whole point was that we would not have to prey on one another.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sorries All Around

OK, so I've been sick, Mr. NBFH has been sick (I gave what I had to him, unhappy sharing), doggie NBFH has been sick, work is sick as in oy vey, and I just have too f* much on my plate, thus this blog too is suffering, alas alas.

[Sighs, shrugs.]

As they say in Nepali -- "ke garne?"

Which they really do.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Department of Coakley As Collateral Damage (Not to Mention Menino Throwing Coakley to the Wolves, Which I Won't Mention, As I've Mentioned It Before)


Just found this diary by peterboy.

"Scott Brown got the same vote total as McCain, but Coakley got 900k
fewer votes.

Dem turnout and independent turnout just disappeared.

MA Election results
2010 election

1,168,000 brown
1,059,000 coakley
20,000 others
2,247,000 total

2008 election

1,109,000 mccain
1,904,000 obama
100,000 others
3,113,000 total


Brown wins with about the same vote as McCain got.

Where were the 900k or so voters that didnt show up at all and who just a year ago gave Obama the win?

Brown ran identical numbers to McCain, but Coakley drew 900k fewer.

Dems and independents just didn't turn out. It is as Howard Dean tried to say but then didnt have the data to support it--Progressives are mad at Obama for talking tough on Corporations, HMOs, Big Rx, and Wall Street. But then playing kissy face with them.


Too bad progressives failed to notice that actual progressive Martha Coakley don't play that kinda kissy face. But they did not. Scott Brown attracted lots of late money from Wall Streeters wanting Brown to kissyface them.

In her bid to become the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Massachusetts, Ms. Coakley has thrown her support behind the proposed health care overhaul, the issue that has given this special election a national focus. She has said, though, that she supports a public option to encourage competition and reduce costs.

As attorney general, Ms. Coakley investigated subprime lending practices and helped provide relief for Massachusetts homeowners beset by foreclosures. In 2009, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay up to $60 million to end an inquiry by her office into whether the firm helped promote unfair home loans in the state.

Ms. Coakley supports President Obama’s proposal to tax financial institutions to recoup taxpayers’ investments and would vote to end tax cuts that favor wealthy Americans.

However, Ms. Coakley has said she does not support Mr. Obama’s decision to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, saying instead that Afghan leadership must be strengthened.

On civil liberties issues, Ms. Coakley was the first state attorney general to sue the federal government to overturn a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and woman. She also opposes the death penalty and advocates civilian trials for terrorism suspects.


Elections have consequences.

Department of Remind Me Again Why Wingers Think Kids Need a Mommy and a Daddy?

Because they sure don't need a Daddy like this.

Daddy waterboards his 4 year old daughter as punishment for her failure to recite the alphabet on command. No, really, I am not making this up. I don't have to. I never have to.

Hat-tip to Bookem/Seattle Tammy.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Bush/Cheney Depression: A Gift That Keeps On Giving, Domestic Violence/Murder Edition

Sudden rise in domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts linked to economic stressors.

Rising economic stress cited in domestic violence increase


The Westford man who shot his wife Monday, critically wounding her, before fatally shooting his daughter and himself is the second to allegedly kill a family member in this suburb in less than a month, and the fatal shootings are the latest in a rash of domestic killings in Massachusetts this year.

Since Jan. 9, at least five women have been killed in domestic violence. Two others were severely wounded in the total of six different incidents.

The violence has alarmed authorities and advocates for women, who point out that women’s groups are reporting dramatic increases in domestic abuse in Massachusetts and across the country.

“I haven’t seen this level of violence - and it’s not just the homicides, it’s the assaults and attempted murders - and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years.’’ said Joanne Tulonen, director of the YWCA/Battered Women’s Resources organization in Leominster, where a domestic dispute led to a knife attack on two women Sunday morning.

There seem to be few common threads in the deadly domestic violence that began Jan. 9 in Westford, where a man allegedly shot his 43-year-old wife before turning the gun on himself. In Spencer the following week, a man facing a foreclosure auction took his own life after shooting and killing his sick wife and their horse, setting fire to their home, and torching his pickup truck.

On Jan. 16, a Fall River man allegedly shot his wife at a Westport restaurant before killing himself. His wife survived. The next day, a 23-year-old Seekonk man and a 20-year-old woman died in an apparent murder-suicide at a motel in North Attleborough after police tried to arrest the man on an outstanding warrant.

A Fitchburg State College freshman, Allison Myrick, 19, of Groton, was stabbed to death Jan. 23, allegedly by her 19-year-old boyfriend, Robert Gulla of Shirley. Gulla stabbed and shot himself, but survived, police said. In Leominster on Sunday morning, a 23-year-old man allegedly slashed the throat of his girlfriend

Women’s advocates said they believe that despite the varying circumstances, at least one underlying cause is an unforgiving economy that has intensified family disputes, inflamed some men’s abusive tendencies, and left some women more reluctant to leave violent relationships.

“The story behind the story is the economy,’’ said Suzanne Dubus, executive director of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, a domestic violence organization in Newburyport. “Bad economic times do not create batterers, but they do exacerbate problems. And women who are lying in the dark at night, thinking about leaving, they have no idea how they’ll support themselves and their kids on their own.’’

Monday, February 01, 2010

Black Box Voting: Rage Against the (Diebold) Machine(s)?

So Coakley won the hand count?


I didn't know that.

A little something from Black Box voting re: Coakley vs Brown in MA.

This article is about our right to know, not about Martha Coakley or Scott Brown. And lest you think something here favors a Democrat, just you wait, I'm still working on anomalies in the NY-23 election that are just plain hard to 'splain. As Richard Hayes Phillips says when people tell him to forget it, "I'm a historian, I've got all the time in the world." NY-23 still has history to be written. My public records are starting to arrive. But that's another story.

Back to Massachusetts, I think you have a right to know that Coakley won the hand counts there.

That's right.

According to preliminary media results by municipality, Democrat Martha Coakley won Massachusetts overall in its hand counted locations,* with 51.12% of the vote (32,247 hand counted votes) to Brown's 30,136, which garnered him 47.77% of hand counted votes. Margin: 3.35% lead for Coakley.

Massachusetts has 71 hand count locations, 91 ES&S locations, and 187 Diebold locations, with two I call the mystery municipalities (Northbridge and Milton) apparently using optical scanners, not sure what kind.

ES&S RESULTS

The greatest margin between the candidates was with ES&S machines -- 53.64% for Brown, 45.31% for Coakley, a margin for Brown of 8.33%. It looks like ES&S counted a total of 620,388 votes, with 332,812 going to Brown and 281,118 going to Coakley. Taken overall, the difference -- 8.33% Brown (ES&S) added to 3.35% Coakley (Hand Count) shows an 11.68% difference between the ES&S and the Hand Counts. Of course, as Mark Twain used to say, there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. These statistics don't prove anything, and probably shouldn't be discussed without a grain of salt handy before examining more detailed demographics.

As a point of reference, however, in the Maine gay marriage issue recently there was no significant overall difference between machine count and hand count locations.

DIEBOLD RESULTS

Diebold's results are 51.42% for Brown, with 791,272 Republican votes counted by Diebold, vs. 47.61% for Coakley, with 732,633 Democratic votes counted by Diebold, for a spread of 3.81% favoring Brown.

LATE-REPORTED RESULTS

It's always interesting to watch hand counts beat machine count results to the newspaper.

In the Massachusetts special senate election, results from six of 71 hand count locations were reported about 2 1/2 hours after the polls closed, with the remaining 65 hand count locations in right away. The slower hand count results represent 8.45% of all hand count locations.

These latecoming hand-counted results favored Coakley very heavily (she got 55.68% of these, earning 4,610 votes to Brown's 42.9%, representing 3,552, a 12.78% margin) Whether the reports came to the media late or the media posted them late is unclear.

ES&S SLOWPOKE VOTES

ES&S had 12 of its 91 locations reported at least 2 1/2 hours after polls closed, a total of 13.2% of all its locations (as compared with just 8.45% of slower reporting hand count locations). So ES&S certainly wasn't faster than hand counts, overall!

These slow-arriving votes represented 88,288 of ES&S's 620,388 votes. Overall Brown got 46,257, for 52.39% of the late-arriving ES&S votes, and Coakley got 41,238, for 46.71%, yielding a margin of 5.68% of the late-arriving votes going to Brown, for a net gain of 5,019 votes to Brown.

North Attleboro and Paxton appear to be the last locations in the state to be reported, and they are both ES&S. North Attleboro brought in 10,881
very late votes, 71.48% of them going to Brown; Paxton brought in 2,036 votes, 65.37% going to Brown.

THE SLOW BOAT FROM DIEBOLD

Yes, I know they're supposed to be called Premier machines now, and ES&S bought the company so it's now all one big monopoly family, and then the whole kit and kaboodle in New England -- Premier and ES&S -- is programmed by the juicy little LHS Associates guys. But I like to just call them Diebold, that familiar name which we all know and love.

Twenty-four of Diebold's 187 locations wandered in late, smoking cigarettes and wearing a bathrobe. That's 12.83% of all its locations. Apparently it was faster to hand count 8,497 ballots, as they did promptly in Newburyport, or 7,339 ballots, as they hand counted in public for all to see in Milton, than to push a button and wait five minutes for the machine to spit out a Diebold results report in Pelham where they had 725 votes. East Brookfield's 899 Diebold votes must have run out of gas somewhere; they weren't reported for hours.

All in all, a total of 170,594 Diebold votes took a long time to stumble in the door, These votes -- surprise! -- favored Coakley. She got 86,214 of them, for 50.54%, and Brown got 82,911 tardy Diebold votes, for 48.60%, putting Coakley on the plus side of the late arrivers by a 1.94% margin, for a net gain of 3,303 slow-moving votes.

They'd called the election by the time the 170,594 tardy Diebold votes showed up. Coakley had conceded. And of course, there are many ways to look at this if you don't trust voting machines, and why should you? It's hard to know who was fooling around, or if anybody was.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2L4O? Plus--Rage Against the Old Boy Machine


Progressive Martha Coakley caught between 2L4O rock and Old Boy "Dem" Machine hard place?

Looks like the Old Boy "Dem" machine failed to turn out for Coakley.

From a Kos diarist:

. . . after the primary, everyone usually comes together. The coming together just didn't happen this time. . . . [this long-time Democratic Party worker] . . .didn't get called to campaign like she does for every other local, statewide, or national campaign. The machine volunteers did not deploy from Boston.



Yeah, let's all lather/rinse/repeat the hypnotic "she's weeeeak, she's weeak, she's weeaak" theme again. Cui bono? Coakley too liberal for the Old Boy Machine? Or does Capuano have ambitions that will be best served by trying to knock out Coakley (who beat him in the primary, and was not supposed to) at this point, so he can face Brown in 2012? Dunno.

All politics is local, turns out. Cause the Old Boys did not turn out for Martha.

The Old Boy Dems, even across blogtopia, continue to spin Martha's really excellent demonstration of good personal boundaries setting aside time to spend with her family as "lazy" because no one will notice what a sexist spin that is, since family time is just silly gurrl stuff and real men oops candidates work round the clock and ignore their families because that's how they stay big and strong.

[insert chest-pounding here.]


That uppity, uppity Coakley.

Really, who does she think she is?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

MASen: First Battle In the 2L4O Rebellion

Five thirty eight has the stats, but they think their eyes deceive them!

Which is really rather amusing.

By a 68-27 margin, voters in last Tuesday's election supported the universal health care law in Massachusetts; this included a majority of Scott Brown voters! But these same voters opposed the Democratic health care plan, which is quite similar to the Massacuhsetts law, by a 43-48 margin.

What accounts for the discrepancy?


I know. But they don't.

Here are stats for "Brown" voters:

QUESTION: Would you favor or oppose the national government offering everyone the choice of a government administered health insurance plan -- something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get -- that would compete with private health insurance plans?
FAVOR OPPOSE NOT SURE
ALL 86% 7% 7%
MEN 84% 8% 8%
WOMEN 88% 6% 6%
DEMOCRATS 88% 6% 6%
REPUBLICANS 63% 22% 15%
INDEPENDENTS 78% 14% 8%


"Brown" was "elected" by Medicare for All/Public Option/single payer people.

And that, boys and girls, its what is now known as the first battle in The 2L4O Rebellion.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Progressive Martha Coakley: Collateral Damage in the Public-Option Rebellion

The numbers are in; the truth comes out.

This turns the MA election upside down: MA was not a victory for GOP, not at all. In fact, it was the exact opposite.

It was a defeat for conservatives, and a triumph for liberals: the Public-Option Rebellion.

From RJ Eskow:

Here are the first results from after-vote polling in Massachusetts: By a 3 to 2 margin, Obama voters who voted for Brown thought that Obama's reform bill "doesn't go far enough." And those Obama voters who didn't bother voting felt that way by a 6 to 1 margin. 82% of Obama voters who went for Brown (and 86% of those who stayed home) support a public option. And 57% of Brown voters said that Obama is "not delivering enough" on change.


In this stunning victory for progressives that sent a sudden shocking a wake-up call to timid Dems in Washington, it's ironic that talented, passionate progressive Dem Martha Coakley wound up being sacrificed as collateral damage.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dean Poll: pro-public option voters defeated pro-public option Coakley

This is a black swan game-changer, and really worth viewing.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Dean says his polls show pro-public option Martha Coakley's loss in MA as protest against Obama centrism by pro-public option Dems and independents.