Thursday, May 31, 2012

I guess I could say that I don't mean to offend

When I call some religious practices asinine...but I'd be lying:

A "serpent-handling" West Virginia pastor died after his rattlesnake bit him during a church ritual, just as the man had apparently watched a snake kill his father years before. 

Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford, 44, hosted an outdoor service at the Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia Sunday, which he touted on his Facebook page prior to the event...

Robin Vanover, Wolford's sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him. 

"He laid it on the ground," Vanover said in the interview, "and he sat down next to the snake, and it bit him on the thigh."

The ultimate in tragic irony

The Party who is desperately attempting to eliminate from the voting rolls all those who may vote against this (with virtually no media coverage of this attack on a fundamental and sacred right) is the ONLY one that appears to be engaging in voting fraud at all.

And here's the new poster child:

A criminal probe into doctored petitions for U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter may be uncharted territory as officials say they've never encountered such widespread signature problems.

About 87 percent of McCotter's signatures to get on the primary ballot were tossed because of duplicated copies and apparent copying and pasting of past signatures on his nominating petitions which the state's election chief said Tuesday was "frankly unheard of."

"No one has heard of anything so over the top before," echoed former Republican Attorney General Mike Cox. He added: "To have really overt massive potential fraud is really very unusual."

And, of course...
McCotter is a frequent guest on the late-night Fox News Channel television show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld. McCotter is also a regular guest on Dennis Miller's radio show, where the comedian-host refers to him as "young Thad" and "T-Mac" and frequently comments that he "likes the cut of [his] jib."

I have to admit

I'm a bid stunned that there's a point where even FoxNews feels something went too far.

I thought in order for that to happen, Doocy would literally have to kill an establishment liberal on air with an airhammer while hosting a Klan rally.

Because that is going to happen eventually.

The distillation of our times

The Right Wing has apparently adopted a spin on Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign tailored for the clinically depressed - we can make it even worse.
On 23 December 2010 Shuai became so depressed after she had been abandoned by her boyfriend – a married Chinese man who broke his promise to set up a family with her – that she decided to end her life. She consumed rat poison, and after confessing to friends was rushed to the Methodist hospital...

Doctors took steps to save her, but on 31 December there were signs that the baby, then at 33 weeks gestation, was in distress and a Caesarian was performed. On the second day of Angel's life the baby was found to have a massive brain haemorrhage and on 2 January was taken off life support.

Shuai held Angel for five hours as the baby gradually faded and died. "Why do they want to take my baby away?" she kept asking, in between bouts of fainting. Shuai begged for her own life to be taken so that her child's might be spared.
Like many states, Indiana long ago passed a feticide law aimed at protecting pregnant women from physical abuse by violent men. Now we have gone to the point where these laws, in the hands of conservative right-to-lifers can criminally charge women for having a bad ending to a pregancy. If one thinks Ms. Shuai acted badly remember the law as applied here doesn't just go after those who are suiciidally depressed -- what of the woman who smokes or eats poorly and has a stillborn child? Or maybe we'll just push on to a system when every poor birth outcome is a potential felony -- aimed against the offending/unfortunate woman.

If you can pair it up with a country that doesn't allow contraceptives or the criminal prosecution of priests you'll have Cardinal Dolan's heaven-on-earth.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

As I was saying...real pros

Nice job again Mitt's flacks:

I tell ya' their real pros over there...

Rest easy 'Murica:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney walks off of his campaign plane -- past Donald Trump's plane -- after landing at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / May 29, 2012)
Romney was scheduled to raise as much as $2 million with Donald Trump at two events Tuesday evening, but his public schedule was designed to avoid highlighting his relationship with the controversial mogul, who continues to espouse disproven theories that Obama was not born in the United States. That was a challenge from the moment Romney landed at Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport. As Romney’s chartered plane taxied down the runway, a private plane emblazoned with Trump’s surname sat parked near the terminal. Romney’s staffers tried to move photographers and reporters into a position where they could not see Trump’s shining-black aircraft as Romney alighted from his plane. They were not successful, and the first images of Romney arriving in Las Vegas and quickly beamed around the nation showed Trump’s plane over his shoulder.

The War on talkin' about War...oh, and women

On Memorial Day, as I learned from one of Bill O'Reilly's "for kids" books, there is something that occurs but once a year (ok, twice).  GI Joe comes from the D.E.W. Line in his magical tank and bestows gifts upon military veterans for their service ("hope you weren't counting on the 'Dream Act' but here's the gift of PTSD Jose").  Hey, it's right there on page 1, 29, or 187, look it up.

But then, just like Christmas,  liberal grinchulist workers party member Chris Hayes had to ruin it by distinguishing veterans from the wars they were required to fight. How dare you question the expansion of Arlington Cemetery, sir -- have you a normal amount of shame?!

All our soldiers are heroes...until they are not Republican enough -- or do not perform to Ann Coulter's satisfaction. Same thing.

It's quite simple really.

But now that we've knocked shouted that issue down that we can get back to statements about our soldiers that are not to be criticized.
Fox's Ablow: Women Wanting To Serve In Combat Is "Narcissism" And Allowing It Would "Shoot Holes In Our Culture"
I hope we all can be properly contrite and move on from this. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fair and Balanced all around

It's an amazing close call as to who the bigger asshole is in this story. Roger Ailes who just lied his ass off, or Howard Kurtz who pretty much did the same in trying to apologize for Ailes being an asshole.

Okay it's Ailes.

But still it's like Charles Manson being defended by Uriah Heep.

It could be more American

Dip it in batter and deep-fat fry it...I expect that to be done by the time the Iowa State Fair rolls around...sing first verse of "God Bless America" will probably not make it to the second verse.

Profile in Courage

Not even a vestigial spine:
Asked Monday to weigh in on Trump’s support for the so-called birther movement, Romney declined to condemn Trump’s latest suggestion that Obama was born in Kenya.

“I don’t agree with all the people who support me. And my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney told reporters before flying from California to Colorado Monday evening. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Uh...come again?

A couple months ago on the perpetual campaign trail Mitt Romney showed the kind of "evolving" contemporary foreign policy he envisioned.
Mitt Romney referred to Russia as the United State’s “number one geopolitical foe”
Romney really does think he is running against Jimmy Carter.
And now at a Memorial Day speech probably also attended by his sons Tag, Buffy, Joffrey, Jagoff and Poindexter, Romney added a wrinkle:
Speaking at a Memorial Day tribute event in San Diego with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Mitt Romney honored the nation’s fallen and military families for their honorable service to their country, but he also warned of a shrinking military going the “course of Europe.”

“There are two courses we could follow in dangerous world,” Romney said. “The first is the course of Europe…and the other is the course of America.”
I'd say something snarky, but I have no fricking clue what that is even supposed to mean other than Europe = Bad; America = Good.

For Republicans maybe that is enough.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kindred Spirits

Who drive one to drink.

First of all, how often to I agree with George Will?
This morning on "This Week," ABC News' George Will called Donald Trump a "bloviating ignoramus,"... "Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics," Will dded. "Again, I don't understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?"
Well, in the short-term Mittens gets to obtain a haul of cash when he does a fund-raiser with the asshole.

Second, he gets to hang out with another spoiled rich brat of a father who actually made him rich and thinks he made it all on his own talents. And they must stick together.

Let's hope for plenty of pictures and video of Romney praising the moron...goodness knows Romney will try to keep that from happening.

Pulitzer Prize winner journalism, part infinity

The Huffington Post continues to reach new highs:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another day

Another bit of crazy shit out of Kansas...the Tennessee of the Midwest:
Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill aimed at keeping state courts and agencies from using Islamic or other non-U.S. laws when making decisions, his office said on Friday, drawing criticism from a national Muslim group.
Because goodness knows Al Qaeda's long had its eyes on Wichita.

Yeah, that'll happen

Here's the deal -- the world is full of people that do not care about facts or evidence. They are called the Republican base.
Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history... Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that "even the skeptics can accept it."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

There's got to be a joke in there somewhere

And it's really filthy, involves the billiard room and a candlestick, or maybe rope for the autoerotic asphyxiation part:
The Vatican confirmed on Saturday that the pope's butler has been arrested in its embarrassing leaks scandal, adding a Hollywood twist to a sordid tale of power struggles, intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of Catholic Church governance.


How many more capital ships do we have than the rest of the world combined? Why are we constantly involved in "strategic wars"? Oh...right.
The U.S. Navy is gearing up to show off its Great Green Fleet at this summer's biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) fleet exercises. The collection of 48 ships and more than 200 aircraft will operate on 50/50 blends of conventional fossil fuel and various biofuels that have been under development.
So we're trying to reduce our dependence on oil AND reduce pollution simultaneously, who could possibly resist? know where this is going:

Several House Republicans are trying to shoot it down. To them, it costs more than conventional fuel, end of story. But the story doesn't end there. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), who chairs a House Armed Services subcommittee, said that rather than spending defense dollars on developing alternative fuels production and developing its market capability, the navy should be focused on building more ships and planes
Yes, build ships we don't really need to keep fighting wars we don't really need to fight.

Reason number infinity why Republicans should not be allowed to rule.


This isn't good Rupert:
A private detective working for Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers used a legally questionable tactic to obtain a hotel bill that a New York financier ran up at one of London's swankest hotels, records reviewed by Reuters show. A database of business records compiled by British government investigators shows that some time before his arrest in March 2003, private investigator Steve Whittamore, or someone working for him, misrepresented themselves to obtain from Claridge's Hotel a copy of a bill belonging to Robert Agostinelli, an American who runs the Rhone Group private equity firm.
But Murdoch Co. insures us there's no way they hacked American phones. Suuuuuuuure.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Pulitzer "worthy", probably unpaid, journalism

From HuffPo:

Well that must have been "interesting"

President Obama took to twitter yesterday to answer the tweets of various tweeters and the occasional twit.

I can only imagine what George Tierney must have shat out -- if his twitter account was not suspended again that is.

A fitting epitaph to the inanity of our times.

There are more than forty individuals who have been placed in the Hall of Famous Missourians. From Mark Twain and Harry Truman to General John J. Persing and Josephine Baker.

But only one, just one has been provided with a security camera to protect the security of his sculpted visage.

No, not Dred Scott, Walter Cronkite or Omar Bradley.

No, only this guy.

The Missouri House has spent more than $1,100 in taxpayer money on a security camera to keep watch over a new bronze bust of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
So if you want to go to Jefferson City, Missouri and pretend to bowl with Scott Joplin's bust you'll have time to pick up the spare. But touch the Oxycontin Kid and they'll be one you before you can say it looks about 50 pounds too light. (pic via Teresia at [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Well this is pretty self-explanatory

Via AmericaBlog:
It's perfectly fine for whatever predilections Roger Aisles obviously has to run the Network (I'm thinking it involves talcum powder and diapering) but Rupert forbid a an uncloseted gay person get a gig.

Speaking of which what does Shepard Smith think?

Oh Holy Jeebus please make this happen!

As I never have another Calculus Test I'll never ask you for another thing again (plus I'm agnostic so there's that):
Donald Trump Floats Self As Vice President Says he's the “best choice of all” to run alongside Mitt Romney. Earlier this week, he would have settled for the keynote speaking slot at the RNC.

(pic from here)

Once again

Science has spoken:

People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox did much worse.
FoxNews viewers, know less than the non-informed. It should really be its own DSM-IV category.

You want to rephrase that one, bub?

Earlier this week over 40 Catholic institutions filed a dozen separate suits against the Obama administration’s regulation requiring employers and insurers to cover contraceptive services at no additional cost to employees. To which one can only say, "well, considering how this went before, good luck with that."

It will cost the Church millions to bring these lawsuits, which I guess is at least a change of pace from paying tens of millions to end them. But still one does wonder how those who give to the Church feel about this? After all they accept birth control as an important medical treatment overwhelmingly -- will there be a turn of the tithe?

And back again, to show that Bill Donohue isn't the voice of the Church, but the echo, is Cardinal Timothy Dolan:
ROSE: So if the president said, I’ve tried to compromise here, I’m suggesting we let insurers pay for contraception. That’s not far enough for you?

DOLAN: That’s rather superficial [...] It still gives no attention to these choking mandates, this choking definition of religion that we find to be so strangling.
I'm pretty sure that isn't the "choking" that has been harming the Church in America. Maybe somebody should ask Dolan about his role in those?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This should be quite the show

I have to admit, I'm a big ol' luddite when it comes to Facebook.  I don't enjoy the little capers, I don't enjoy the "how many followers you got?" bullshit, I certainly don't enjoy the constant "poking" it's a big annoying mess as far as I'm concerned.

While I like Twitter a lot.

So I've never really understood why Facebook is such a "big" deal for investors...and it looks like after drolling over it like Pavlov's Dogs the last several months, within a day or two of public trading beginning investors are wondering the same thing.

Suck it Zuckerberg!

"Is that rain?"

No Zoey Deschanel a giant is pissing on your house.

Honestly, I know I spend too much time thinking about this, but if I had "Siri" I'd use it to determine the extent to which it would allow me to ask twisted questions like:

"How does one dispose of a dead body?"

"Who killed Steve Jobs?"

Enjoy that one with your delivered Tomato Soup Deschanel!

...and while I am in cranky old man mode, who the fuck is "Pitbull" and what exactly is his talent?  He doesn't seem to rap or sing, he just pushes beer and soft drinks.

Oh sure, he says this now

And we know what this means:

After days of ridicule for launching a conspiracy theory-fueled investigation into Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on Tuesday backed off his threat to keep the president off the ballot in November and apologized to his state.
He knew all along that Obama was a citizen but claimed it was the thousand or so teabagger requests that made him do it. But suddenly he called it off.

And you know why?

He had uncovered the truth of the Mitt Romney is a unicorn conspiracy.

The Truth is out there.

 (pic from here)

Iowa's Shame

Classy with several K's as ever Steve King:
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting yesterday, telling constituents that the U.S. should pick only the best immigrants the way one chooses the “pick of the litter.”
One guess who Steve King thinks isn't a good enough breed.

First dogs, now immigrants are cattle:

I am starting to sense an ever more disturbed theme:
[King] compared undocumented immigrants to cockroaches...
Again, he's not in my district, but I apologize on behalf of the State again. In large part because this idiot is hardly alone.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yeah right...

Somebody's ass must be kissed: 

 Pressed in a network interview to say whether he's backing Obama, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff demurred Tuesday.

Powell tells NBC's "Today" show, quote, "I always keep my powder dry, as they say in the military."
Yeah, he likes to keep his "power dry" and in small glass tubes to use in drumming up cases for wars he later says he knew better than to argue for.
Nice job sport.

But, of course

This makes all the sense in the world..

Before you write off Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett as another one of those fringy state officials diving deep into the birther waters of Hawaii, consider this: He is one of the co-chairs of the Romney campaign in Arizona. 

Then again, that honorary position already comes with a few smudge marks. Another of Romney’s co-chairs was Paul Babeu, the virulently anti-immigrant Arizona sheriff who resigned as co-chair in February when he was forced out of the closet by allegations of an affair with … an illegal Mexican immigrant.
Romney also tried his damnedest before the Arizona primary to get Joe Arpaio's endorsement.

I want evidence about Mitt

Do we know for sure Mitt wasn't born in Mexico, test-tubed from the Seychelles, found in a Swiss bank deposit box, is he actually a human being or for that matter organic? The people demand to know...and in this case, according to a comment at TPM he wins the plurality:
Deb Dean Ken Bennett [Arizona's Secretary of State] said he was investigating President Obama's birth because he had received more than 1,200 requests from concerned citizens. The group Left Action has asked folks to send requests to Secretary Bennett to investigate whether Mitt Romney is a unicorn. To date, more than 3,600 requests have been sent. ::heh::

The big lie

Republicans who have been the beneficiary of the three Presidential elections in American history (remember Pres. Tilden, the three terms of Grover Cleveland and of course America's greatest President Al Gore) where the winner of the popular vote was the eventual loser naturally proclaim voter fraud to be a problem -- through fantasy. Which brings us to Scott Walker, Kock Prostitute:
"I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially." That’s enough to change the outcome of the election. “Absolutely. I mean there’s no question why they went to court and fought [to undo] voter ID.”
That's a LOT of alleged fraud in a state with three-million voters, tens of thousands. Which makes you wonder, as Dave Weigel does, why...
The voter fraud issue was investigated in Wisconsin fairly recently, in the form of an Election Fraud Task Force and a deep dive into 2008's vote results. The yearlong investigation charged 20 people

Monday, May 21, 2012

Apparently Godwin's Law is yet another one which doesn't apply to Republicans


Inspired by the actions of Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who renounced his citizenship ahead of a large tax payment associated with the company’s much-ballyhooed initial public offering, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) unveiled a bill Thursday to force such tax-dodgers to pay a 30 percent tax rate on all future U.S. investments and ban them from ever setting foot in the country again.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist compared it to the actions of Nazi Germany.

“I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this. It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the ’70s and in South Africa as well,” Norquist said, as quoted by The Hill. “He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German.”
Yes, that's a real probative and not-at-all illogical reaction to it -- jackass.

It was just his Mitt Romney impression

Corey Booker was just doing the "Mitt Romney" but with asbestos rather than sacred underwear.

Well at least we know she's actually involved

What a surprise:

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal's Tim Carpenter, Palin's recorded calls have been dispatched in Kansas. While the call begins with a cheerful "Hello, Texas!" greeting from Palin, Carpenter reported Sunday that he had received the message while at his office at the Topeka newspaper, hundreds of miles from the Lone Star State's border.

Global Warming is tragic enough

Now we're being threatened by what you'd find emanating from the Limbaugh estate:

Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere.

The methane has been trapped by ice, but is able to escape as the ice melts.

Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this ancient gas could have a significant impact on climate change.
I'm sure the G20 managed to ignore this news today in the name of making the average greeks life more miserable.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

No one could have predicted

That Phyllis Schaffley's group would NOT have gone down this path:
...the USA is being transformed by immigrants who do not share those values, and who have high rates of illiteracy, illegitimacy, and gang crime, and they will vote Democrat when the Democrats promise them more food stamps.
If it had included drugs and porn it would have been the most condensed sentence of wingnuttery ever written.

Of course

While the new French Government recognizes that symbolically at least they should have their pay cut...the Mistress of Austerity and her German counterparts give themselves a big fat raise.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

But, but

We didn't have a chance to bomb or threaten to bomb fuck all!?
Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng - who was at the centre of a diplomatic crisis with Washington - is on his way to the United States. The blind activist and his family boarded a flight to Newark, near New York, after being taken from a Beijing hospital to the capital's airport.
But two weeks ago...
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday the Obama administration had "failed" to protect a blind Chinese dissident by factoring political considerations into the negotiations that ultimately led him to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
On the other hand, with Mr. Guangcheng in this country, there are plenty of opportunities for Romney to get his giggles by tricking him into walking into closed doors or closets.


Oh dear:

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took some time, in an interview with National Review published Thursday, to praise Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman, who lost her 2010 bid to become governor of California.
Meanwhile, same day:
Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive, Meg Whitman, plans to cut 30,000 or more jobs next week, according to officials familiar with the plan.
But then again:

You can't have nice things...

You just can't.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your Republican "libertarian" of the day.

When is Curt Schilling's next rant about welfare?

Solid journalism as always

Is it possible you will learn to actually read shit before you accuse said shit of being plagiarized?
I took down my earlier post on Elizabeth Warren plagiarizing from the book Getting On the Money Track. On, the Warren book All Your Worth is listed as having been published January 9, 2006. As it turns out, that is the paperback publication date; the hardback book was published in March 2005. As such, it appears that Getting on the Money Track (published in October 2005) plagiarized from All Your Worth, not the other way around.
National Review, your home of the misplaced term "editor" since the date of its inception.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Once again "Natty Light" is overlooked--like me every year in 'People's Sexiest Man' issue

I believe this contestant received bonus points for the name:
The Bay Area has a plethora of brewing companies churning out some of the best beers in the country, but one lucky beer was given top honors when Beer Advocate deemed it the best in the world. Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Younger sends beer lovers to bars like bees to honey, all because it currently holds the top spot at the user-drive review site.
I guess it edged out the similarly themed but less-lyrically pleasant "Pitt, the Elder".

Here is the famous painting of Pliny the Younger and Pliny the Elder, the latter watching Vesuvius erupt and being inspired to invent the all-you-can-eat "Indian Restaurant Lunch Buffet".

No need to ask what your evidence is...

Via D.U. actual FoxNews screenshot:

That's nice and all, but they also show strong support for 'Community'

Tweets show strong support for gay marriage
Of course count me on board for both gay marriage and #sixseasonsandamovie.

So remember watching 'Big Bang Theory' is like supporting Pat Robertson.

Were there not 'Special Episodes' to keep this from happening?

And then a book on when to start wars...

Just what the world has been demanding:
according to the New York Times, [George W. Bush] plans to release a book in two months that will lay out his advice on boosting economic growth...
Let me guess:

"First, have someone buy you a flight suit...hehehe...preferably somebody with one of those Harvard Ph.Ds. Next have someone buy you an aircraft carrier..."

Sure, this sounds jaw-droppingly stupid.

On the other hand TED would probably release video of him talking about the subject.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You really want to bring up that one bub?

You realize Mittens that if you bring up Reverend Wright it's open season on asking you questions about magic undies, post-death baptisms, and your quasi-Mexican heritage?

Despite the efforts of Michelle and Jism Bob Duggar

The Republican Party is losing the long war:
For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing.

A billion here a billion there

And soon you're talking real money:
The trading losses suffered by JPMorgan Chase have surged in recent days, surpassing the bank’s initial $2 billion estimate by at least $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the losses.
More Winners! As Willard Romney would say.

Yeah Mitt, just like Bernie Madoff

Dear Obama Campaign...bury him:
In an interview with conservative blogger Ed Morrissey, Mitt Romney defended banking giant JPMorgan and its CEO Jamie Dimon from criticisms from Wall Street reformers after the company lost $2 billion betting with customer money... This was a loss to shareholders and owners of JPMorgan and that’s the way America works Some people experienced a loss in this case because of a bad decision. By the way, there was someone who made a gain. The $2 billion JPMorgan lost someone else gained.”
I'm sure getting ripped off by somebody at JPMorgan is just fine by those investors who take comfort in someone gaining from their misfortune.

Good luck with that

When reality meets better policy and better politics...
Barack Obama is to press German chancellor Angela Merkel to support a growth package to help bail out Europe at the G8 summit this weekend amid fears in the White House that the eurozone crisis could damage the president's re-election chances.
I mean sure, by this point a growth package is virtually humanitarian relief, but there is one gigantic flaw in such a appeal -- Germany didn't become the major supporter and enforcer of "austerity" for nothing:
Germany's economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 0.5% in the first three months of the year despite Europe's debt crisis...

Germany remains a standout performer despite Europe's troubles with too much debt in several countries. Unemployment is low and exports of manufactured goods such as cars and machinery remain robust.
It's almost as if that was all part of the plan.

Good luck with that one Barack.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nice job

Mittens newest ad contains people complaining about their unemployment as an attempt to pin it all on the current incumbent.

Of course, such ads are not exactly novel or out of bounds -- but they might require some minor vetting:

Jason Clausen, a Mason City, Iowa, man featured in Mitt Romney's new video featuring unemployed people has a lengthy rap sheet and served ten days in jail for "assault on a peace officer," public records show...

The records show Clausen had nearly 20 busts, tickets or fines, a number of them traffic infractions related to things like driving while intoxicated, or with a suspended license. Some were related to accidents, others to driving without seat belts.
Some of these like seatbelts and possibly speeding are exceedingly minor. But as criminal background checks are common place (and Mason City is not exactly New York or Chicago) a guy with an assault against the police is not exactly a strong candidate to make it past a conditional offer.

Where are the dildos?

Oh shock of shocks, James O'Keefe gets something 100 percent wrong again.  That's slightly worse than Drudge.

Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released a new video today supposedly exposing voter fraud in North Carolina by highlighting non-citizens like Zbigniew Gorzkowski who have voted in recent elections.

The problem: Gorzkowski is an American citizen.

Unbiased testimonials are going to cost you

Last week saw Mitt Romney desperately trying to find someone at the world's most stereotypically named elitist Prep School to deny that even among the spoiled scions of old money he stood out as a gigantic prick.

So on to this week, who can Mitt bring forth to say that Willard is not a heartless corporate raider, but a living saint?
“The people that know him — the picture the media paints is not the Mitt that I know,” Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, told The Daily. “And I wish I could do something about it. I can’t tell you how many people tell me that.”
Yes, but how many people could tell you that...and also this?
Mitt Romney's five sons -- Matt, Tagg, Craig, Ben and Josh -- are sitting pretty with a trust fund worth $100 million.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012's good for those who impose it on others

Well looky here, while the governments they are imposing austerity upon collapse, Germany is deriving a favorable profit.

 Germany's economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 0.5% in the first three months of the year despite Europe's debt crisis...

 Germany remains a standout performer despite Europe's troubles with too much debt in several countries. Unemployment is low and exports of manufactured goods such as cars and machinery remain robust.

Who just anticipated?

And down go the minions

The Brits are working their way up the food-chain to the Murdoch family:
Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, is to be charged with perverting the course of justice, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Tuesday.

She faces three charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice including the alleged removal of seven cases of material from the archive of News International and the alleged concealment of documents and computers from officers investigating phone hacking.

Brooks, who was arrested in March by Scotland Yard police officers investigating phone hacking, is the first person to face charges in the major criminal investigation into hacking and allegations of bribing public officials.

Her husband, Charlie Brooks, the racehorse trainer and friend of the prime minister, is also to be charged, the CPS announced.

Okay, okay, sometimes invasive searches are permissible

At least in this instance:

The Clown-Show will not be publicized

Nothing denotes a greater honor than not letting anyone know.
Controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh made a surprise visit to the state Capitol on Monday to be inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians...The ceremony today was unusual in that it was not announced until 20 minutes before it was scheduled to begin and was not open to the public.
And please enjoy the damning of faint praise from the Republican behind it all, Speaker Steve Tilley.
"it’s not the ‘Hall of Universally Loved Missourians.'"
And without irony it should be noted Limbaugh's induction was bookended by the other honorees, Dred Scott and the recently departed, and beloved, African-American baseball legend Buck O'Neil. Thereby denoting the only way they'd have been caught in the same room with Rush Limbaugh.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, May 14, 2012

How long did this guy write for National Review?

Rhetorical, it was a dozen years as this link states:

White supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements History has come up with.
And oh how they loved "the Derb" over there -- and I find it hard to believe that in a dozen years, and many parties, confabs, and cruises Derbyshire didn't proudly wave his racist-freak flag high to giggles and nods of agreement from many of his co-horts.

Lacking in much acumen

I know that Bain & Associates already existed, but one would think when Bill Bain suggested the politically ambitious Mitt Romney set up a corporate raider division he might have suggested another name other than one that sounds identical to a word meaning "blight", "plague" or "scourge".

Oh sure, that's appropriate, but still...

The natural solution

At JPMorgan for their two-billion dollar loss isn't to punish the big boss at all, Jamie Dimon.  No, they'll fire their three highest ranking minority group members.

The bank - the biggest in the United States by assets - is expected to accept the resignation of Ina Drew, its New York-based chief investment officer and one of its highest-paid executives, in the next few days, the sources said. Two of Drew's subordinates who were involved with the trades, London-based Achilles Macris and Javier Martin-Artajo, are expected to be asked to leave, they said.

The Rebellion Spreads

Having seen anti-austerity votes take place in France, Italy, the UK, and Greece it is noteworthy that the voters rebellion has spread to the intellectual "fatherland" of austerity, Germany.
Support for the Christian Democrats dropped from 35% to 26% in North Rhine-Westphalia, with the Social Democrats set to return to power with the Greens.

It is the Christian Democrats' worst result in the state.

Analysts say many voters rejected Mrs Merkel's tough line on fiscal discipline as a cure for state debt.
If this has spread to Germany, the one state that is arguably benefiting the most from its widespread implementation one could anticipate the policy is going to be changing soon...well, maybe.

But by all means, feel free to demand the same changes here Republicans.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Rotessirie Mitt

Fresh off of say it was okay for gay couples to adopt children on Friday, Mitt Romney flip-flop-sweated against it by Saturday.

Of course.

But wait, as always with Romney, there's more:
But marriage is not solely about adults. Marriage is also for children. In fact, marriage is principally for the nurturing and development of children. The children of America have the right to have a mother and a father.

Of course, even today, circumstances can take a parent from the home, but the child still has a mother and a father. If the parents are unmarried or divorced, the child can visit each of them. If a mother or a father is deceased, the child can learn about the qualities of their departed parent. His or her psychological development can still be influenced by the contrasting features of both genders.
In other words, a dead straight parent beats a living same-sex parent.


But this cuts across the presumed narrative

Conservatives have worked hard to have the media accept the military as being reflexively pro-Republican and Rovian talking points:
...when it comes to the 2012 presidential election, Master Sergeant McDowell is no hawk. In South Carolina's January primary, the one-time Reagan supporter voted for Ron Paul "because of his unchanging stand against overseas involvement." In November, McDowell plans to vote for the candidate least likely to wage "knee-jerk reaction wars." Disaffection with the politics of shock and awe runs deep among men and women who have served in the military during the past decade of conflict. Only 32 percent think the war in Iraq ended successfully, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. And far more of them would pull out of Afghanistan than continue military operations there.
Which is why Obama leads Romney in military donations. But something needs to be bombed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The sickest thing you'll read today

Just wow:

An unidentified entrepreneur admits he is trying to profit off Trayvon Martin's death by selling gun range targets featuring the teen who's death has sparked a nationwide controversy.

Although Martin's face does not appear on the paper targets, they feature a hoodie with crosshairs aimed at the chest.  A bag of Skittles is tucked in the pocket and a hand is holding a can resembling iced tea.

Prolapsed in Courage

Well it looks like Mitt Romney is going to talk as "bravely" as usual in front of a bunch of evangelicals.

I wonder if he'll ride into Liberty University on his jesus-horse?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Something you want to tell us about your particular qualifications there...

Rush Limbaugh: "Michelle Obama's Never Been Gay A Day In Her Life" So How Can She Advise Obama On Gay Marriage?

Well, that was timely

30 Rock had a line last night that was well-done -- when discussing what has occurred to a newly returned wife from North Korea, Jack Donaghy states:
"There's an iPod 3 ... oh ... and there is a Mitt Romney 4, they worked out the bugs -- he's no longer killing hobos now!"

Something you don't see everyday

Prince Charles doing a job:

Oh, now you are getting around to that huh?

Boehner's reaction to Obama's gay marriage statements are rather muted:

"The president can talk about it all he wants," Boehner said. "I'm going to stay focused on what the American people want us to stay focused on, and that's jobs."

Oh, now you want to get around to that huh bub?

There was one little kicker:

 Boehner said he believes marriage is "the union of one man and one woman."

In particular one Orange Man and one very pale Woman joining together to create Tangerine children.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt Romney, a rich brat of the first order

Sorry this is a long ass excerpt. But Mitt Romney is who the folks in the "It Gets Better" videos have to try to recover from.

It isn't just that Lord Romney doesn't like to be questioned by the proles -- it's that even more than Commander Bunnypants he as born rich and thought he earned it from a young age.

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled. 

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. 


“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

“It was a hack job,” recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.”

“He was just easy pickins,” said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.

The incident transpired in a flash, and Friedemann said Romney then led his cheering schoolmates back to his bay-windowed room in Stevens Hall. 

Friedemann, guilt ridden, made a point of not talking about it with his friend and waited to see what form of discipline would befall Romney at the famously strict institution. Nothing happened. 

Romney is now the presumed Republican presidential nominee. His campaign spokeswoman said the former Massachusetts governor has no recollection of the incident.

“Anyone who knows Mitt Romney knows that he doesn’t have a mean-spirited bone in his body,” Andrea Saul said in a statement. “The stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents.”
Mr. "Not a mean bone in his body" the Bain Corporate Raider laying off thousands ("I like firing people")... but oh he's such a swell guy...well maybe just a swell. In short, prick then, bigger prick now.

Plus, notice how rather than apologize or say it was a youthful error -- the asshole just denies having any memory of it -- while five of his school friends remember it and regret their part in it quite distinctly, many even going out of their way to apologize.

But ol' Mittster has never committed an admitted wrong in his life.  Not on Joe Smith's grave has he done anything wrong ever.

Today in Chuck Grassley's attempt to master technology and just one language

He launches campaign to take down world's second highest mountain peak...and apparently murder a constituent in cold blood.

Oh yeah, let's go back to that guy

Aside from being a "franking" wanker:
The war, which President Barack Obama officially brought to an end Dec. 31, cost the U.S. government around $3 trilllion, left 4,487 U.S. servicemembers dead and killed more than 100,000 Iraqis. The Pentagon counts 32,226 U.S. servicemembers wounded, but the toll, including cumulative psychological and physiological damage, may be as high as half a million.
And, as an extra bonus:

 An analysis of the historical record by the National Security Archives in 2010 concluded that, “In contrast to an extensive record of planning for actual military operations, there is no record that President George W. Bush ever made a considered decision for war. All of the numerous White House and Pentagon meetings concerned moving the project forward, not whether a march into conflict was a proper course for the United States and its allies. Deliberations were instrumental to furthering the war project, not considerations of the basic course.”

What I really want to know

Is George W. Bush's position on austerity?
I'm sure it is completely hypocritical, as ever.
George W. Bush is slated to receive $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars for fiscal year 2013, including $85,000 in phone costs and $26,000 in printing costs, according to a budget proposal compiled by the General Services Administration...

Bush's anticipated phone bill is five times higher than the next closest request, which was submitted by George Bush senior. George W. Bush also had the highest requests for unspecified office equipment ($86,000), travel ($60,000), postage ($20,000) and "other services" ($26,000).
"Other services" involves a flight-suit with a special flap...

Oh no

Apparently his position on same-sex marriage is going to cost Barack Obama voters who were not going to vote for him anyway.

Too bad.

Better late than never

Sure President Obama would have been braver to express his support of gay marriage sooner, and certainly a stronger statement that marriage is a right could have been expressed. But it is not like he went out and announced awarded himself two Pulitzer Prize nominations. It is still a significant moment.

And it must have been a conflicted news day for FoxNews Viewers.

Which puts him a century ahead of Rupert, two ahead of Roger Ailes, and three ahead of Hannity, who's still miffed about the Emancipation Proclamation.

Speaking of the Emancipation Proclamation it was nice of the Log Cabin Republicans to cut and paste the response of Jefferson Davis nearly 150 years later.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

All the usual wise-ass remarks aside

This is a big and historic day in the United States -- while it may have been a braver stance somewhat earlier, it is still a big one for the President of the United States to come out for marriage equality.

And it shows a big difference between Barack Obama and the smug pettiness and cramped morals of Mitt Romney.

Little known fact

Jonah Goldberg AND Mitt Romney both claimed to have first diagnosed the illness Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome.

Congratulations to me, nominated for People's Sexiest Man of the Year

Thanks mom.

So Jonah claimed not one, but two, Pulitzer Prize nominations as if he "almost" won one. It must have been us conniving "liberal fascists" or more accurately "liberal factists".

By the way, Goldberg's newest *cough* book?

 “The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas”

What a gigantic tool.

Things that get reported 24/7 if from a "modern black panther" but get a big shrug when they come from the GOP

How very very quaint indeed:

A monthly newsletter published by the Greene County Republican Committee in Virginia is raising eyebrows for including a column in its March edition that calls for an "armed revolution" if President Barack Obama is elected to a second term in November.
Meanwhile, I'm sure FoxNews is screeching about Hillary Clinton without makeup or something.

Well that's "real" classy

After one of her teabagging supporters says "We have to kill" Claire McCaskill, Sarah Steelman shows a profile in courage only Mitt Romney could envy.

"I may disagree with the words Mr. Boston chose in his statement, but I understand his frustration and I emphatically support his right to express his views,"
That's Missouri conservative candidate Sarah Steelman, who apparently is saying:
I don't agree with saying you want to kill someone, but I can understand why it is okay.

Wait a minute, that's Newt Gingrich's strategy!

He's gonna be pissed:

Rep. Michele Bachmann is now officially a Swiss miss.

Bachmann (R-Minn.) recently became a citizen of Switzerland, making her eligible to run for office in the tiny European nation, according to a Swiss TV report Tuesday.

Now she thinks with her dream of a Wheaties Box Cover over, she'll make it on to Swiss Miss.

Nice job assholes

So North Carolina is now First in Flight and Last in Equality -- (and what a proud history it is).  The Wright Brothers and the God Botherers.

[engage asshole mode]

This is ironic as North Carolina's state motto in Latin means "to be, rather than to seem (to be)" and its seal contains two ladies who are so gay married:

This says it best

I saw something along this line somewhere on the intertubes yesterday and cannot recall where, sorry. 

So Obama is arrogant to claim ANY credit in the killing of Bin Laden, but Mitt Romney gets to claim credit for saving America's Auto Industry?

The Maidenform Terrorist - You never know where they'll turn up

I know that to be a patriotic 'murican yesterday I was supposed to soil my pants over Al Qaeda's new and improved "super-explosive underwear". But alas, plot devices straight out of "The Pink Panther" do not really have that effect on me. I just cannot get over this alleged bunch of criminal masterminds deciding to terrorize the world via 'Fruit of the Boom'.

Yes, Al Qaeda has committed heinous acts of mass murder -- but they are also buffoons -- who were dealt with exclusively in a completely moronic way for years.

Oh, and once again the vilified and mocked police actions that John Kerry mentioned as the most effected way to fight international terrorism came through.
Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, working closely with the CIA, used an informant to pose as a would-be suicide bomber. His job was to convince the Al Qaeda franchise in Yemen to give him a new kind of non-metallic bomb that the militants were designing to easily pass through airport security.
But the double agent instead arranged to deliver the explosive device to U.S. and other intelligence authorities waiting in another country, officials said Tuesday. The agent is now safely outside Yemen and is being debriefed.
Serpico not Gitmo works again. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lies Away!

The he'll say anything strategy in action:

EUCLID, Ohio (AP) — Campaigning in the backyard of America's auto industry, Mitt Romney re-ignited the bailout debate by suggesting he deserves "a lot of credit" for the recent successes of the nation's largest car companies.

That claims comes in spite of his stance that Detroit should have been allowed to go bankrupt.
Next up,

* Unlike some people, Mitt Romney will ACTUALLY claim to have invented the internet.

* Last Spring you didn't see much of Mitt Romney because he was the leader of Seal Team Six.

* Mitt Romney personally, at the age of 9 dressed up as a middle-aged black woman named Rosa Parks and launched the Civil Rights black people did not yet exist in 1955.  Simultaneously, though he doesn't want to admit it, Mitt Romney invented drag and lauched both Milton Berle's and Ru Paul's career (job creator!!!)
* Mitt Romney also invented dental floss, Sponge Bob, the Jarvik Heart and Kettle Korn.

* Mitt Romney saved Latin, what did you ever do?

* He also gave a kidney to save Ferris.

* Spent much of 1967 brainwashing his dad.

* Mitt Romney would have won the Vietnam War from France...telekinetically, but for the fact his conduit was shot in the back by John Kerry AND Bob Kerrey.

* Romney once had a conversation with Nixon that lasted 18 minutes...and it saved the world. Although it was also coaching pointers for Don Shula's 1972 Dolphins before the season started.

* Mitt took a bullet for Reagan.

* Mitt Romney spiked the hippies acid at Woodstock.

* Mitt Romney tried to warn NASA about cryogenic tanks, but took matters into his own hands to bring Apollo 13 home, only to have liberal Tom Hanks and Opie Cunningham write him out of the script.

Allow me to be the first to say

A new study suggests that dinosaurs may have helped keep an already overheated world warmer with their flatulence and burps 200 million years ago.

I'm just proud to live in the world

Where we start panicking over the possibility of our semi-manufactured "Bond Villains" creating a more sophisticated underwear bomb.

And he, on this saluting/slandering Mitt theme, I'm going to say this inspired by the Church of Latter Day Saints.

In this post

In honor of his "bravery" in public today...

I will sit idly by and not comment as you call Mitt Romney a variety of insulting names and engage in a mixture of truth and slanders.

What Atrios said

If you as an editor are completely incapable of y'know e-d-i-t-i-n-g you should probably not be paid to do your job anymore.

When we published Naomi Schaefer Riley’s blog posting on Brainstorm last week (“The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations”), several thousand of you spoke out in outrage and disappointment that The Chronicle had published an article that did not conform to the journalistic standards and civil tone that you expect from us.

We’ve heard you, and we have taken to heart what you said.

We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.
Of course, if you do quit, as a non-editing editor you'd be perfect for National Review.

If Bush was still "the decider"

This would probably be accurate:

Following today's reports of a Yemen-based underwear bombing plot thwarted by CIA operatives, TSA officials have acted swiftly and rationally to ensure the safety of all American airline passengers.

Beginning tomorrow (May 8) at 7 a.m. EST, passengers will no longer be permitted to wear undergarments of any kind on all domestic flights originating from within the contiguous United States.
But we're more rational now. I'm sure we'll just be required to wear thongs.

Golly, sounds fair

Well, this seems quite equitable -- Wells Fargo managed to help guide the country into an economic collapse as well as robo-sign and otherwise abuse tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of home owners out of their mortgages and only on occasion received a mild talking too.

But if you are but a worker for Wells Fargo, well, the rich -- especially when they come in the personhood of a large corporation -- are just better people than you:
Yolanda Quesada was fired when a background check revealed she shoplifted in 1972.
"[I'm] very good at what I do for Wells Fargo," Quesada says.

Quesada says she was a good employee, and has the pins, certificates and photos to prove it. But, her supervisor walked her out the door last week after more than five years of service at Wells Fargo...

Quesada says she worked in phone customer service and never handled cash.
Obviously her real problem was not working in management.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, May 07, 2012


What craven assholes -- but of course IOKIYAR!
The no-holds-barred Texas rocker told CBS' "This Morning" that Romney's campaign told him to "stay on course" and not to tone it down after Nugent said he will "either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Obama is re-elected.
As John Avarosis notes, the Romney Campaign isn't denying the story. God forbid the national media inquire further as to why they are encouraging violent, insane, conduct.

Oh the nerve

So how many former USS Abraham Lincoln sailors should be recruited to talk about how Commander Codpiece delayed their well-earned leave so he could play Top Gun?

And one named Inhofe refused to believe it was happening

Apparently Cypress Trees were around to see the break up of Pangaea

And they did nothing about it, lazy bastards.

People versus Austerity Weekend

Late last week gave us a taste of things to come when the British local elections revealed that the ruling Tories and their austerity program took a good thrashing.

But the weekend revealed more discontent, it was relatively close, but one of the parents of Europe's austerity measures Nicholas Sarkozy went down to defeat to Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande. Sarkozy becomes the first French President to lose an election in more than three decades. Hollande becomes the first Socialist President in 17 years.

And in the land where austerity has bitten the deepest, Greece, the ruling party lost so many votes they may not be able to hold their coalition together. Although the fact that they may be able to do so, despite Greece's disastrous economy, makes you wonder how ineffective the opposition manages to be.

But in some places the governments really know how to make sure democracy doesn't break out too strongly.
Russian riot police beat protesters about the head with batons and detained more than 400 on Sunday after clashes broke out at a Moscow rally by thousands of people against Vladimir Putin on the eve of his return to the presidency.

Opposition leaders Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Udaltsov were among those detained during violence that showed the depth of divisions and tensions in Russia as the former KGB spy starts his six-year third term on Monday.
That's another kind of austerity altogether.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]