Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To preserve (themselves) and protect (themselves)

What apparently passes for good police work in Ohio (and undoubtedly elsewhere):

Police aggressively questioned the tearful girlfriend of a young black man they had just shot dead as he held a BB gun in an Ohio supermarket – accusing her of lying, threatening her with jail, and suggesting that she was high on drugs.

Tasha Thomas was reduced to swearing on the lives of her relatives that John Crawford III had not been carrying a firearm when they entered the Walmart in Beavercreek, near Dayton, to buy crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars on the evening of 5 August.

“You lie to me and you might be on your way to jail,” detective Rodney Curd told Thomas, as she wept and repeatedly offered to take a lie-detector test. After more than an hour and a half of questioning and statement-taking, Curd finally told Thomas that Crawford, 22, had died.

But it's people wearing t-shirts that are the real problem.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, December 15, 2014

At least Operation Paperclip

Had arguably redeeming qualities...it wasn't an out-and-out sequel.
The CIA officer tasked with interrogating the most important prisoners in America's secret detention programme allegedly abused captives during the agency's covert operations in Latin America in the 1980s, it has emerged. The US Senate's three-year inquiry into the CIA's use of torture after September 11 reveals that a senior agent involved in the programme was recommended for censure decades earlier for “inappropriate use of interrogation techniques”.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nah..."one parting rectal probe" would be more accurate

Mr. Turtle has gummed:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bashed a CIA torture report released by Democrats on Tuesday as just one last "thumb in the eye of the Bush administration."

Might want to work on that quality control...

A woman in Los Angeles discovered a swastika in the design of a roll of wrapping paper while she was shopping on Saturday in the Hanukkah section of a Walgreens, television station KNBC reported.

Thursday, December 04, 2014


And guess what ethnicity that guy is?
On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to return an indictment for the police officer who put Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in a chokehold shortly before his death. A different Staten Island grand jury was less sympathetic to Ramsey Orta, however, the man who filmed the entire incident. In August, less than a month after filming the fatal July 17 encounter in which Daniel Pantaleo and other NYPD police officers confronted Garner for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, a grand jury indicted Orta on weapons charges stemming from an arrest by undercover officers earlier that month.
You know, maybe Mr. Orta deserved to be indicted...just like Daniel Pantaleo?

Well that's rich...

From a walking moral calamity.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said on Wednesday that slain Ferguson, Mo. teenager Michael Brown would still be alive if he'd acted "like something other than a thug."
Which is rich considering...
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee had a hand pardoning or commuting many more prisoners than his three immediate predecessors combined. Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in Sunday's slaying of four Seattle-area police officers, was among them.
I suppose if Mike Huckabee had a conscience these sorts of statements would bother him. Fortunately... [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Priorities people! Not, "priorities, people"

Sounds like at least a good start.
The New York City mayor wants to spend $130 million over four years to overhaul how the nation's most populous city deals with mentally ill and drug-addicted suspects, diverting many to treatment instead of the city's troubled Rikers Island jail complex. Mayor Bill de Blasio's plans, announced Tuesday, are based on the recommendations of a task force he appointed following a series of reports by The Associated Press detailing problems at Rikers, including the deaths of two inmates suffering from serious mental illness.
Undoubtedly this amount will be decried as a massive waste of tax-payer dollars. As opposed to the incredible value that comes from spending $1.8 billion on a pair of baseball stadiums. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Assange's Revenge...served cold...and at Ikea.

Karl Rove is gonna be so mad...it is after all undoubtedly part of Sweden's plan for global domination.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance. Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.
Meanwhile, America is about a month away from giving Michelle Duggar's womb a Medal of Freedom. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, December 01, 2014

It takes a hypocrite to know one

Every county on Earth can pretty much point an accusatory finger at another nation for its history of abuses or current awfulness.

However, some hit home more than others.

Condemned at the UN for rights abuses, North Korea hit back Friday, describing the United States as a human rights "tundra" where racial discrimination flourishes.

..."This is clear proof of the real picture of the US as a tundra of human rights, where extreme racial discrimination acts are openly practised," the spokesman was quoted as saying by the North's official KCNA news agency.

His remarks came a week after the UN adopted a landmark resolution urging the Security Council to refer North Korea's leaders to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible indictment on crimes against humanity.
The have a point. Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'm thankful for Hypocrisy

And self-delusion. Because as a middle-aged white guy I can imagine that everything is hunky-dory, because I've got it pretty sweet. I can walk out the door 365 days 24/7 and not worry about being sexually harassed or killed by a "peace-officer".
Wilson said the incident with Brown was the first time he'd ever used his gun. When Stephanopoulos asked if there was any way the incident could've been handled differently, Wilson replied, "no."

Wilson said he has a "clean conscience" about the way he handled the incident with Brown. ...

"The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right," Wilson added.
You did your job "right" alright.  Enjoy that show you co-host on FoxNews with Mark Fuhrman in the next six months.

And THAT is a reflection not just of modern America, but the entirety of American history in a nutshell.

Have some more white-meat America...you're choking on it.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

If there's one thing that is true

Being "calm" is for others with respect to the haves.

Because staying calm has truly always been the avenue to justice.

Why, remember the time Martin Luther King stayed home rather than march?

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Smartest" of bombs

The never ending line of "immeasurable" successes in America's War on the ill-defined and renewable "enemies" is its own reward...or something.

The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on 13 January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the man who would become al-Qaida’s leader, this time in Bajaur. Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. Seventy-six children and 29 adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not...

... A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals – the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls “targeted killing” – they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November.
We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 24, 2014

How thoroughly and completed unexpected

I mean all us anti-interventionist peaceniks predict stuff like this every time, and every time we turn out to be right...because every time nobody listens.

Damn us and our non-existent patchouli-loving stereotypes.

US air strikes in Syria are encouraging anti-regime fighters to forge alliances with or even defect to Islamic State (Isis), according to a series of interviews conducted by the Guardian.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic military groups are joining forces with Isis, which has gained control of swaths of Syria and Iraq and has beheaded six western hostages in the past few months.

Some brigades have transferred their allegiance, while others are forming tactical alliances or truces. Support among civilians also appears to be growing in some areas as a result of resentment over US-led military action.

On the other hand, it does guarantee perpetual war and unending military expenditure.   Which is probably the point.


[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, November 21, 2014

Well...that sucked

Over the years I've posted pictures of my long-time long-shedding companion of more than 15 years.

Sadly, yesterday was the day I held her as it ended.

And that is the terrible price of having a pet.

You were one hell of a dog ol' girl, but an even better companion.

If you can read this

Then despite the latest forecast of Obama unleashing hell by doing what Reagan once did the world did not end last night. 

Though if you live in Buffalo, perhaps you wish it had.

We cannot recognize the basic humanity of immigrants apparently...or for a few, anybody at all.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just below a gathering of Juggalos

What good is being in the ol' Confederacy without a gathering of dunces?
The nation’s Republican governors gathered at a Florida resort Wednesday for talks, celebrations, and looking ahead to 2016 – because a lot of these governors have their eye on the White House.

The most anticipated event of the event at the posh Boca Raton Resort Club comes later Wednesday.

A discussion of “The Road Ahead” features most of the 2016 hopefuls, including Govs. Mike Pence of Indiana, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will get other time in the spotlight
Oh the "most Christian fellowship" of a prayer-breakfast filled with knives just aching to see a back.

I do not know where the Democratic dunces are gathering this year, but undoubtedly they do not need as much room.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


The Discovery Channel has engendered controversy by planning to broadcast a guy (wearing a special suit) getting swallowed by a python.

Apparently this most fetishy of stunts is a bad idea for a number of reasons, but one is that it is not surprisingly very unhealthy and dangerous for the snake to swallow a full-grown human being (that isn't say, Sean Hannity -- which would be unhealthy and dangerous but still a positive for non-snakes).

But this is the Discovery Channel, which is owned by the same people that own TLC, which specializes in exploiting human flesh.

So in the spirit of compromise and consistent with their oeuvre, why not offer to have the python swallow a little person, or the latest little termite to ooze out of a Duggar womb -- you know they'll get crankin' on another?

#badtaste...but not as bad as TLC's badtaste

White Stuff

There are times when some places in the United States get worse weather than others...such as Buffalo.
The unrelenting lake effect storm that pummeling everything south of Walden Avenue today already has dumped an astonishing 48 inches of snow on Lancaster. Similar totals are being reported in West Seneca, Alden, Depew and parts of South Buffalo and Orchard Park. It may turn out to be a six footer.
Any more snow and we may have to send this to western New York.
The probe that landed on the surface of a comet has discovered organic molecules, the most rudimentary building blocks of life, according to the German agency involved in the mission.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Billionaire Sports Ownership...not just for getting the taxpayers to build 'em stadiums anymore

Nothing begats success more than owning an unsuccessful franchise, A few months ago Steve Balmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers (lifetime .379 winning percentage) for $2 billion or so.

What's he get out of is other than being a dancing fool?

More than you may realize.

Buying a team isn't like buying a factory full of machines; Ballmer got few physical assets for his $2 billion. Instead, he paid top dollar to join a successful league and acquire the rights to a star-studded roster.

The IRS offers specific tax breaks to any business loaded with such intangible assets.

So, in addition to taking a normal deduction for Paul's annual salary, Ballmer could claim the point guard is worth additional millions in terms of selling tickets and driving broadcast revenue.
This added value, he could say, was part of the original purchase price. The IRS would then allow him to amortize a significant portion of the $2 billion over 15 years in much the same way a factory owner depreciates aging machinery.
Must be tough making such a sacrifice.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Once again, I think the people that were ALREADY HERE might have a comment to make...

Oh the joys of somewhat pointless debates (but hey, he didn't mention the Armenian Genocide).
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has claimed that Muslim sailors reached the Americas more than 300 years before explorer Christopher Columbus. Speaking on Saturday at a gathering of Muslim leaders from Latin America, Erdogan said contact between Islam and Latin America dated back to the 12th century.
If they did...I hope they made it all the way to Tennessee and built a latrine. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, November 14, 2014

Seems familiar

The perpetual knocking off of "Number Threes" goes on though.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State (Isis), has apparently surfaced alive after he was rumoured to have been killed in a US air strike last week, calling for attacks in Saudi Arabia and for “volcanoes of jihad” across the world.
He is certainly looking more lively than his rhetoric. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mission "Accompliced"

Thank goodness for the many bounties of our spread freedom through bombs policy.
Afghan opium cultivation again reached a historic high in 2014, United Nations officials reported on Wednesday. And in a sign of how deeply entwined drug trafficking and the Afghan political system have become, the officials said the protracted elections this year were at least part of the cause.

“With the presidential election ongoing there was a huge demand of funding,” said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, a senior official with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “And that funding is not available in the licit economy, and that money has to come from somewhere, so they turned to the illicit economy.”
Thanks in no small part to America, Heroin may be cheaper this Christmas.  It's like there's money in it or something.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Alright everybody, let's take off our suitcoats, roll up our sleeves and get down to fucking this up again"

The only question will be who's turn it is to pull the football away at the last moment.
With only two weeks to a deadline for a breakthrough deal, senior envoys of Iran, the United States and European Union met in Oman on Sunday to try to advance efforts to defuse a standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Reiterating Iran’s official line, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted by Iranian media as saying the Islamic Republic would not abandon its nuclear “rights” but was committed to the negotiations under Khamenei’s leadership.
Iran is purportedly sending Khamenei's most trusted associate...no word whether that means he's more a Fredo or Tom Hagen.

Meanwhile, we sure have an awful lot of potential Sonnys and Carlos out there hoping for the "Best Thanksgiving" ever.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 06, 2014


It was an off-year election .... which means the usual:

Low youth voter turnout in midterms has parties pondering new ways to engage

Four Words:

Mitch McConnell Grindr profile.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Make 'em hate stuff so much they just don't take part

It's hard to claim a tsunami with so little participation...but it IS a strategy to make sure as many as possible are turned off.

Congrats on your 36.6% turn-out Election 2014.

A special "shout-out" to Ol' Dixie and their participation rates.

Texas 28.5%
Mississippi 29.7%
Alabama 33.5%

And I didn't miss out on Indiana's nation-leading apathy of 28%


That kind of sucked.

And so they turned out to vote en masse for those who support that idea...

Except, of course, they did not.

Most voters, regardless of the party they support, said income inequality was increasing, including 79 percent of those voting for a Democrat and 63 percent voting for a Republican. Democratic voters, though, overwhelmingly supported a federal minimum wage increase, while just 25 percent of GOP voters wanted one. More than half of Republican voters also said income inequality has received too much attention, compared with just 4 percent of Democratic voters.
Because who is more likely to support a minimum wage hike than the Republican Party?

Oh, yeah, I guess everyone else.

 [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Makers and Takers

Here is the kind of situation Mitt Romney could vote for:
...the United States Department of Labor just caught EFI red-handed in an investigation, which found that "about eight employees" were flown in from India to work 120-hour weeks for $1.21 per hour. EFI apparently thought it was okay to pay the employees the same wages they'd be paid in India (in Indian rupees). Here's the unbelievably crazy sounding quote EFI gave to NBC's Bay Area affiliate: "We unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards."
"We didn't know an American company was supposed to follow the law!"

In their defense, I imagine that is a common refrain on the rare occasions they are busted.

The company earned $109 million last year and awarded CEO Guy Gecht with a pay package valued at nearly $6 million, including more than $1.2 million in salary and bonuses.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 03, 2014

Chris Christie, et al, approve

When it comes to disinformation and paranoia it's hard to tell where America starts and North Korea ends.
Young children sit on the laps of medical staff, watching intently as a briefing describes the dangers of Ebola. Foreigners and citizens arriving at the capital’s airport are held in quarantine for weeks. Tourists are banned outright. The world’s most draconian measures against the disease have been imposed not in the worst-affected west African countries, nor their neighbours, but in North Korea, thousands of miles from the outbreak. They are increasing the isolation of a country already known for its tight controls on contact with outsiders, and risk damaging its fragile economy.
Yeah, the world's most "open" society...just ask any North Korea leader, they may answer you seconds before you disappear. But, as they say, tragedy is just another name for opportunity.
Each night, the country’s television news broadcasts a lengthy section on the disease, filling the screen with images of grieving families, ailing patients and medical workers in protective gear – as well as some coverage of its own measures, including footage of the session at the children’s hospital.
I do believe that could have been any news clip on any American broadcast or cable news program the last two weeks. But by all means lets ignore that and talk about those wacky North Koreans some more. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, October 31, 2014

Your world, as described by Murdoch

Good job Rupert...it's all going according to plan.
Australians believe the proportion of Muslims in the country is nine times higher than it really is, according to a new international survey comparing public perceptions with actual data. The Ipsos Mori poll conducted across 14 countries also showed Australians are wildly wrong in their estimations of the number of pregnant teenagers, unemployed people, immigrants and Christians in the country. ...Australians said that Muslims made up 18% of the country’s population, far higher than their actual proportion, just 2%.
Of course, Murdoch's original homeland is actually on par with his present self-proclaimed one. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fox News Democrat

This guy is Dr. Keith Ablow...with hair.

America...home also to, the lame

An actor who recorded 10 hours of catcalls and remarks from passersby in New York City...
...of course:

...has received rape threats in response to a video detailing the harassment, the advocacy group that commissioned the video said on Tuesday.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Engage in social discourse much?


"The Good Guys..."

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" - Wayne LaPierre

Ladies and gentlemen...you can guess where Mr. LaPierre's logic train rests here, just a portion of one day in America:
A Seattle grandfather shot and killed his daughter and granddaughter in front of his 10-year-old grandson before turning the gun on himself Monday night, police said.
More heroes.
After initially saying he had only heard the gunshot, Galen Hawk, 26, allegedly confessed to detectives that he shot Lonato Moran-Allen, 3, on Wednesday night, according to reports from the Billings Gazette newspaper and Montana television station KECI.
I'm sure these folks were just intending to defend themselves from the government. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Hey, this amount of hypocrisy is OUR job now!"

Sure, in the 19th and 20th Centuries when the British were not just exporting teen moppets but offending whole nations via petty ignorance you'd expect this sort of thing. But the 21st Century has placed such profitable immoral simplicities on the Americans...so really how dare they!
Britain is planning to increase the sale of arms to Qatar, identifying the rich Gulf state as a “priority market” for its weapons, documents seen by the Guardian show. Last year the Qatari Amiri Guard ordered more than £3m-worth of British-made Heckler and Koch assault rifles, according to a copy of a “purchase order” document obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).
This will do a fine job keeping immigrants in docile indentured status.  

Which is usually America's the fine-honed edge of the profit margin today.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, October 24, 2014

Only Condi Rice could not have anticipated

Pretty much how one would figure this would come to, other than sugar coma [and wait a bit, could be both]

And then with Ebola, we can make it so ONLY WASPS aren't bothered...y'know like every other fucking day in America!

Must be one of those "y-ending" days

Given the unimpeachable integrity of the claimants, it is hard to believe that FoxNews failed to stretch it's string of time without a factual error beyond the then-existing 7 consecutive minutes when this was proclaimed.

 Tuesday's episode of a Fox News host Megyn Kelly's program incorrectly told viewers that Colorado voters are now able to print ballots using their home computers and vote by turning them in.

And those sources of high-integrity?
The comments on Fox News came as a set-up to a segment featuring Michelle Malkin and David Bossie, who created a film called Rocky Mountain Heist for the conservative group Citizens United.
I thought Malkin was busy breaking her own vertical leap record?

Meanwhile, in places recently half-heartedly administered by FoxNews commenters, metaphorical progress went unmentioned.

USDA Brings Indoor Plumbing to Alaska Village

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How could we all be in semi-retirement when this is going on?

Many of us have stopped blogging so anally ("hey, I have a regular job, a workout routine, and a semi-life!") or have stopped blogging altogether ("Dependable" Renegade my ass [I kid Watertiger, wherever you are]).

It looks like we picked the wrong-time to get a life.

At some point, men at the party at family friend Korey Klingenmeyer's house allegedly badmouthed the Palin daughters, leading to father Todd and son Track punching their friend Steve. "He's like a little pussy you know what I'm saying?" Track told the officer. "Like he's not gonna fight nobody. Most innocent, basically a gay guy, but he's not."

More men then apparently became involved. Track took his shirt off.
"I just bought this brand new shirt, so I took it off. I don't want to rip it," Track tells the officer. "Let's fucking fight. Four guys came on me, I hit one. One picked me up, tackled me, I hit one."

He insists, however, that had it been a fair, one-on-one fight, he'd have won. 

"If it was one-on-one, I'd beat the shit out of them," he said. "One-on-one, like I'll beat their ass. I'm not trying to be gay or nothing. But they're four guys, man, like come on. I've done jujitsu my whole life, wrestled forever. Like let's fucking roll."

A real man-of-letters that Track (like his whole family...I believe he has perhaps advanced to "B" by this point) ... and as you can see, a bastion of tolerance.

And that Limo story...

It's times like this when I sort of regret having shit to do.

Well that is cinematic

The story of the ending of the terrorist attack on the Canadian Parliament had a real badass ending...in Canada...that normally occurs only in American Cop films set in New York (and, of course, actually filmed in Canada).

And then there is this rather Hollywood inspired insanity.

The legislature was minutes away from convening when Lortie entered the building through a side door carrying two submachine guns, and at one point sat in the Speaker's chair firing wildly. He killed three people and wounded 13 others.

A Universal Truth...well, almost!

Hey, look a non-American ironically sums up America's shared little secret.
Representatives from trade unions, women's groups and left-leaning political parties marched on the house of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive C.Y. Leung on Wednesday after he told media outlets that free elections would give poor people too much power.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive said in an interview that Hong Kong required a nominating committee to screen electoral candidates, claiming that if the city allowed the direct civil nomination demanded by democracy protesters, “you’d be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month.”
Yeah, we cannot have that...and by that I really mean "we".
Members of Congress 14 Times More Wealthy Than Average American

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oh good plan!

I'm sure it will make you all sad and depressed to think that Scott Walker has a fighting shot at once again retaining his Governorship of Wisconsin. But this may make you feel a bit better...
In a tight election it’s common to flatter voters or promise them the earth, but a top Republican supporting governor Scott Walker’s campaign in Wisconsin has tried a novel approach: insulting them. “I don’t want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters,” Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, told an audience, “but some of them might not be as sharp as a knife.”
Well-done Sharon, well-done. You are dull as a...well as a Party that may think about nominating Mitt Romney again. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"C'mon it is not like they are bankers or anything!

I imagine this really builds one's faith in governmental decision-making.
The US government has paid dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals millions of dollars in social security after forcing them to leave the US. The payments, funded by taxpayers, were made through a legal loophole, an Associated Press investigation has uncovered. Some are still being paid. Former guards at Nazi labour camps, where millions died, are among them.
Believe it or not, all - or at least most - of these people were not employed by Bank of America or Wells Fargo. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Let's not get ahead of the 19th century here or anything..."

For those of you who've been mildly surprised with the almost modern Papacy of Pope Frank, the week started out pretty well.
In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said on Monday that homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer" and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognize positive aspects of same-sex couples. The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops on the family, said the Church should challenge itself to find "a fraternal space" for homosexuals without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony.
But finishing what you start, is not exactly a strong point on Vatican Hill.
Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.
So much for lightening up, Francis.

Of course, in reality it matters not.

Overwhelming 85% Of Young American Catholics Support Gays And Lesbian, Pew Report
If you cannot lead, and refuse to follow...get out of the way. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, October 17, 2014

All in for crazy

Jodi Ernst the Republican half of one of the nastier senatorial campaigns in the nation ("you hate farmers" versus "you hate everyone") is in a very tight battle. Counter-intuitively this may help.
Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst said she would support a federal bill that gives legal personhood rights to fetuses from the moment of fertilization, effectively wiping out legal abortion in the United States.
Which is a crazy position, held by crazy people...let's welcome the latest potential group of attempted murderers under that scenario.

But in an off-year election, crazy votes an especially large share of the vote.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Imagine if we'd added them to the bombing rolls?

The Bush Administration's clever plan of not so cleverly creating Iran's largest client state has a least one advantage.

When the rest of the left-overs rise up, they have an interest in maintaining their inadvertently gotten gains.
General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force - one of the key players in the war against Islamic State (Isis), normally keeps a very low profile. But a recent spate of photographs – showing a shy, silvery-haired man in his late 50s wearing a revolutionary scarf around his neck – point to a striking shift in Tehran’s strategy in its fight against the jihadi insurgents who have taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria. Once rare and amateurish, images of Suleimani are now taken professionally as Iran publicises its indispensable role in Iraq
Strange...and ignored bedfellows and all that.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Simulate this!!!

Yeah, this is undoubtedly intended to give comfort to somebody...
Regulators from the United States and the United Kingdom will get together in a war room next week to see if they can cope with any possible fall-out when the next big bank topples over, the two countries said on Friday. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Monday will run a joint exercise simulating how they would prop up a large bank with operations in both countries that has landed in trouble.
How many times do you have to simulate giving really rich people, the great wealth deprives masses' money? Isn't that any day ending in "Y"? [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why we haven't even bombed these people...yet

Let's see off the top of my head which countries in the Islamic World we've bombed in the last decade: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, and Somalia. And, of course, it's been habit forming...with lots of coincidences.
The US Has Bombed at Least Eight Wedding Parties Since 2001
In fairness, that last story is ten months old. One could assume this is a sign things are not working too awesomely.
Though Tunisia is in many senses the most advanced and secular of Arab states – and the only country to have come through the revolutions of 2011 relatively unscathed – that is only half the story. According to some estimates, there are more Tunisians fighting for Isis than from any other single country.
...but of course, it will be argued it just means we have to bomb another country. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey 'murica

It's been yet another tough week to not be a Walton or Koch family member.

But hey, there's still good news out there if you look hard enough (or spend a couple minutes on Google) but it is out there.
Prison officials unveiled the renovated execution chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Thursday and expressed confidence that the agency would be ready for the state's next scheduled execution in November. The $71,000 reconstruction of the death chamber and adjacent witness rooms gives executioners more space in which to operate. Department of Corrections also spent about $34,000 on new medical equipment, including $12,500 for a surgical table and $6,000 for an ultrasound machine to help locate veins.
Finally, Oklahoma's pressing "claustrophobic executioners" dilemma has been eased.

So one problem solved.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Everybody chill...


A Texas health care worker who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for an Ebola patient who later died has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S.


 On the western edge of Iraq's capital, Islamic State group militants battle government forces and exchange mortar fire, only adding to the sense of siege in Baghdad despite airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oh more of this!

Austerity has worked so well in hurting as many people in as many ways as possible. And the gift keeps on giving.
On 8 August, the WHO director, Margaret Chan, finally declared Ebola an international public health emergency. There had been 1,711 cases and 932 deaths. “Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” she said. She urged the international community to provide support. Everybody now agrees this should have happened much earlier. “They clearly underestimated the situation, partly because the African office dropped the ball, partly because member states, including the UK, cut [the] WHO’s budget for emergencies and haemorrhagic fevers (as proposed by WHO management),” said Piot.
Oh we need more of where that came from. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"We cannot afford that!"

Hmmm, has a familiar ring (emphasis on "familiar"):
Starting Jan. 1, Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week..."We had to make some tough decisions," Sally Wellborn, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of benefits, told The Associated Press.
"Wellborn"? Only somewhat ironic, certainly poetic.
The six Waltons on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans have a net worth of $144.7 billion. This fiscal year three Waltons—Rob, Jim, and Alice (and the various entities that they control)—will receive an estimated $3.1 billion in Walmart dividends from their majority stake in the company. The Waltons aren’t just the face of the 1%; they’re the face of the 0.000001%. The Waltons have more wealth than 42% of American families combined.
"Tough decisions" indeed. "Do we make $3 billion more each this year? Of merely $2.75 billion? Let's go with the former, it's not like poor people need health insurance!" [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Not a bad start to the day

Too walk about with a beautiful view of a lunar eclipse.

No bad at all.

Meet the new holdouts...same as the old holdouts

One could say it is strange or funny that the same states holding out against marriage equality are the ones that generally hold the country back in general.

Except it is neither funny nor at all surprising.

I am willing to bet that these same states would conversely lead polling in thinking there's a link between Ebola and Benghazi -- after all, they both originated in Africa..."just like Obama".

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

This is a consonant away from being a real "dick move"

To me personally.

A last cup of tea for all mankind

The happy news just keeps getting happier!
Research published Sunday concluded that the upper 2,300 feet of the Southern Hemisphere’s oceans may have warmed twice as quickly after 1970 than had previously been thought. Gathering reliable ocean data in the Southern Hemisphere has historically been a challenge, given its remoteness and its relative paucity of commercial shipping, which helps gather ocean data. Argo floats and satellites are now helping to plug Austral ocean data gaps, and improving the accuracy of Northern Hemisphere measurements and estimates. “The Argo data is really critical,” said Paul Durack, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher who led the new study, which was published in Climate Nature Change. “The estimates that we had up until now have been pretty systematically underestimating the likely changes.”
“We continue to be stunned at how rapidly the ocean is warming,” said Sarah Gille, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor.
Just throw some lemons in there...for when the lobsters' flesh turns white. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, October 06, 2014

Bury him in a casket of recycled tin-pots...don't forget the 'Murican Flag while you're at it

After all...how could we forget a friend?
Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who ruled the impoverished Caribbean nation with an iron fist from 1971 until his ouster in 1986, died of a heart attack. He was 63.
'Baby Doc' was the "merit-based fetus" of 'Papa Doc' Duvalier who took power in 1971 at the age of 19 upon the death of his father. He was always good at staying on the good side of the nation that also supported his father -- usually by mentioning how nice that Castro fella seemed.

A better summary of this early template of Bill Kristol/Liz Cheney can be seen below:
“On Duvalier’s death, I’m thinking of the look in my mother’s eyes when she talks about her brother Joel, who was disappeared by that dictator,” Patrick Gaspard, the American ambassador to South Africa, who is Haitian-American, posted on Twitter on Saturday. “News of the passing of Duvalier makes me honor my father and generations of Haitians who resisted that vicious dictatorship.”
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, October 03, 2014

The "best" revenge

This is more like it...unless they pass enough voter restrictions on time.
More than 3,000 people have registered to vote in Ferguson, Mo., since the death of Michael Brown — a surge in interest that may mean the city of 21,000 people is ready for a change. Since a white police officer shot the unarmed black 18-year-old on Aug. 9, voter registration booths and cards have popped up alongside protests in the city and surrounding neighborhoods. The result: 4,839 people in St. Louis County have registered to vote since the shooting; 3,287 of them live in Ferguson.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 29, 2014

War Cry

Not his boots of course...nor the boots of anyone who also ramps up for ever more war in the Forever War.
"At the end of the day, I think it's going to take more than airstrikes to drive them out of there," Boehner said Sunday. "At some point, somebody's boots have to be on the ground."

Asked if those boots had to be American, Boehner said, "We have no choice."
Unleash the "sophisticated" sophistry:
"These are barbarians," Boehner said. "They intend to kill us. And if we don't destroy them first, we're going to pay the price."

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Top 10 headlines

Thanks Josh Marshall:

PA Gov. Rocked By News Of Ex-
Staffers' Hardcore Porn Email Trove

Corbett is currently running for re-election as governor. The TPM Polltracker average on Friday showed him trailing his Democratic challenger, Tom Wolf, by 18.2 percent.
OTH this should stabilize his free-fall and "firm up" his "hard core" base. "Two wetsuits and Two Dildos!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

"We want to be bribed with a clean conscience!"

The International Olympic Committee, currently trailing FIFA in their never ending battle for most hypocritical sports organization (despite a recent challenge from the NFL) has done what it is so often best at.

Wait until the stakes are lowest and their pockets' fullest before sort of paying lip service to the right thing.

After the controversy that surrounded Russia’s anti-gay laws before the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has introduced a specific anti-discrimination clause to its host city contract.

In a letter to prospective bidders for the 2022 Winter Olympics informing them of changes to the contract, which acts as a binding agreement between the IOC and the winner, director of sport Christophe Dubi said the new clause would be based on principle 6 of the Olympic charter.

The clause reads: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement.”
One would think they could just say "sexual orientation", but no "otherwise" is a nice elastic statement allowing a nice payment for definitional obtuseness in the future.

 [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Better armed Baby Boomers

Violent crime has plummeted as the baby boomers get too old to physically dominate others (and they ingest less lead). But thanks to the NRA there is one thing they and their paranoia (passed down to the young) can do... Overcompensate:
A new study released Wednesday by the FBI shows that mass shootings, or "active shooter incidents," as the bureau calls them, are increasing in frequency. The study tracked 160 shootings between 2000 and 2013. Between 2000 and 2007, an average of 6.4 incidents occurred annually, according to the study. That number more than doubled—to 16.4 incidents annually—between 2008 and 2013.
God forbid they just work out more, or get a prescription for Viagra. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Winning those hearts and minds

Nice to know we're as smart with those "smart bombs" as ever.
When the bombs rained down on Raqqa in eastern Syria early on Tuesday, many families were already huddled in their homes awaiting the inevitable. The first strikes landed just after 2am, directed at sites that Islamic State (Isis) has openly used and that had long been flagged as targets. The jihadis were no longer there though, having blended in with Raqqa’s civilian population, where they knew they would be safer.
More fans of 'Murica that we earn via remote control.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Alaska, it's what they do!

"Fuck It, I Quit": Cannabis Club-Owning Reporter Quits On Air At least, unlike Sarah Palin, this quitter appears to have not only a more viable, but more legitimate, gig.


You would think after all these years of being demonstrably dishonest and even the "and" and the "the" the CIA remains the worst liars in Washington, which is a title like being the worst racist at a Klan rally. Get a load of this one:
Stung by the backlash over a German caught selling secrets to the US and the revelations of surveillance by the National Security Agency, the CIA has stopped spying on friendly governments in western Europe, according to current and former US officials.
. Oh yeah, real credible. "We're not spying on you anymore Angela Merkel...but you should really get that new mole on your backside checked out. Sincerely, the CIA." [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, September 19, 2014

Something new to "drone" on about

Over the past several years several scandals have hit the Air Force with a familiar theme.
The AFA has long struggled with setting boundaries for religious expression. In 2004 a team of Yale Divinity School students and professors found "challenges to pluralism" at the academy. A memo expressed "concern that the overwhelmingly evangelical tone of general Protestant worship encouraged religious divisions rather than fostering understanding among basic cadets." An internal AFA investigative panel in 2005 found religious "insensitivity," but not "overt religious discrimination."
When steps were taken to end this over religious preference throughout the Air Force, you can guess what happened.
The gay agenda’s bullying tactics have escalated in the military. Evangelical Christians at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, are being persecuted for their position on gay marriage and, in some cases, are being ordered to support it.
One can only guess the fainting that will occur with this.
Air Force drops requirement to use 'So help me God' in oaths
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Wonder of it all

Today Scotland is voting whether to go for full independence. It is very close (which may not necessarily be the way you want it when you are right next door to the other country). Funny, it only took about 900 years for this to possibly happen peacefully...so far. (So good luck Iraq!)

So how would a "yes" vote go over in Northern Ireland, where things have not been of more recent vintage, so peaceful?

That really is a conundrum, especially with the old lately-compromising extremists are dying off.

But of all the results, maybe a 50-50 split is the most opaque possible outcome.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Speaking Truth to Glower

Oh oh, somebody said something clearly accurate and on point...WE...CANNOT...HAVE...THAT!

Bill Clinton has been recorded going off-message and criticising the Israeli government’s unwillingness to seek peace with Palestinians in unguarded comments that contrast with other leading Democrats, including his wife, potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to a member of the public at a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa this weekend, the former president agreed with the suggestion that Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu was “not the guy” to strike a lasting peace deal in the region.

“If we don’t force him to make peace, we will not have peace,” added Clinton, who proceeded to list the advantages for Israel of signing up to earlier peace efforts in the region allegedly on the table during his administration.
Strong series of pretend and/or ignorant blather to follow.

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Next time, fly Northwest

Delays like this are expected.
Fury with a "VIP culture" that routinely sees commercial flights in Pakistan delayed to accommodate the schedule of politicians boiled over this week when passengers angrily prevented the country's former interior minister from boarding an aircraft. Fuming travellers had been waiting in their seats when Rehman Malik, one of the country's most recognisable politicians, sauntered down the air bridge to the Pakistan International Airlines jet more than 90 minutes after its scheduled departure from Karachi to Islamabad on Monday. Malik promptly turned tail when a furious group of travellers waiting by the door to the aircraft began heckling, with some chasing him back to the terminal building shouting and calling him a "stupid dog".
Some may call these passengers heroes.

 In this country, they'd be patted down by TSA twice before boarding.

Take it with a grain of salt...and Americans love taking salt by the pound!

Alright, the voters know the score!
An astounding 72 percent of Americans say they are unhappy with Republicans in Congress, according to a recent poll.
The sure do.
The findings may not have a strong bearing on the GOP's midterm elections chances. Recent polls show the Republicans have an edge in both the Senate and the House.
Americans may hate one side more than the other...but by golly they will still vote for 'em.

At least they stand for something...awful...well, more awful.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 15, 2014

Four Score and 7 reported villains ago

Remember Boko Harem? The Nigerian terror-group that believed in mass kidnappings and viral videos that lost out to much better produced viral videos. There's been an update.
Soldiers killed scores of Islamic extremists in a rare victory, as the insurgents advanced on a town near the northeast city of Maiduguri, an officer and other witnesses said. One officer said a feared Boko Haram commander known only as Amir was among some 200 militants killed in a battle Friday in Konduga town, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and birthplace of the extremist group. Also killed was a Boko Haram video journalist and a suicide bomber, he said.
I'm not quite sure about the suicide bomber, but the others may be an accomplishment...at least until another couple dozen new aspirant for "ultimate villain" comes forward...should be by noon today EST. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, September 12, 2014

After a week of horrible videos

I just pray there's a video of this!
This weekend, Sarah Palin and many members of her family were reportedly involved in a big ol’, 20-person drunken brawl at a Wasilla snowmobile party, which, if you’re playing Palin bingo, means you’ve won. Anchorage police confirmed that an incident had indeed occurred, and that the Palins were definitely there, and it was real nasty. “None of the involved parties wanted to press charges at the time of the incident and no arrests were made,” they added, but did not disclose names. “Alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident.”
Oh please, oh please let somebody have pulled out there cell-phone for this. But it being the Palin's this technology is as difficult to use as birth-control, or reserved just for drunken internet rants. And finally:
It’s something to hear when Sarah screams, “Don’t you know who I am!” And it was particularly wonderful when someone in the crowd screamed back, “This isn’t some damned Hillbilly reality show!”
I beg to differ.

Allow me to ...

Broadly generalize.

-The President: "Bomb some, at a slightly higher level than we are bombing now, but allow me to explain we have been bombing all along -- and bombing is important to some folks, real important to others. I have...uh....over these five and a half years, learned to enjoy some bombing."  

- Other politicians with a microphone in front of them: "Bombing is not a some time thing, Bombing is an all-the-time thing! America wants to bomb shit as much as possible!! Why won't this President bomb more than just some, but bomb bomb bomb. It is what America wants, indiscriminate death from the skies is the only thing that gets me off anymore!"

 -"America": "Actually we wish we were Japan, because apparently they want this.

 ...okay, maybe not that...but we are not all that keen on bombing. Some decent jobs would be nice though".

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Roll Back to the 1880s

In other news, as I just cannot keep track of who's getting bombed this time? -- after all it's "9/11, 9/11 9/1l" and I don't know yet whether Rudy Giuliani has seen his hairline yet and has proclaimed six more wars. So today in other iniquities. Last year, the heirs to the Walton empire...who have accomplished nothing in life so much as surviving birth...each accumulated another $3.3 billion in wealth. Or as some call them, makers. Meanwhile, how is it going for the people propping them up on their medically uninsured backs?
Richard Reynoso, a Walmart employee working in a southern California store, sent a letter to Walmart’s corporate headquarters on Monday, claiming that he couldn’t afford to comply with a new company dress code that takes effect on September 29. It was written on letterhead with the logo of OUR Walmart, a union-backed organization advocating for Walmart workers. Under the new code, workers will have to a wear a collared blue or white shirt and black or khaki pants, along with a Walmart vest the company will provide. Employees can use clothes they already own or buy new clothes anywhere they want, but they have to pay for the shirts and pants out of their own pockets.
Seems fair. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Class with a big "C" instead of three "Ks"

Luol Deng...a man with more than just a "little African" in him...along with a lot of class.

You cannot beat a good P.R. campaign

Is Qatar taking advice from FIFA as well as the NFL?
Krishna Upadhyaya and Gundev Ghimire, the two British human rights researchers detained in Qatar for almost nine days, have reportedly been released from custody, but have not yet left the country.
There have been myriad reports on the virtual slave conditions foreign workers have suffered as blood money for the wealthy crooken financiers and FIFA officials (redundant?) behind the 2022 World Cup. So you know where this is going.
Upadhyaya and Ghimire went missing in Qatar on 31 August. After almost a week without any official statement on the men's whereabouts, the ministry of foreign affairs in Qatar announced on Sunday that the men had been arrested and were "being interrogated for having violated the provisions of the laws of the state of Qatar". According to their employer, the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), the men were in Qatar researching a forthcoming report on the working and living conditions of Nepalese migrant labourers.
If there's video of their findings, Sepp Blatter has as strong an interest in not knowing about it as his American counterpart Roger Goodell. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Let's not go to the videotape

Remember ladies and gentlemen, If you are a prominent person, admitted domestic abuse only goes so far...without the videotape. And God forbid you are not a prominent person, and especially a non-prominent person of color -- because then you cannot ever see the videotape...unless the guy who got you killed gets to interpret it for you.
When Ronald Ritchie called 911 from the aisles of a Walmart in western Ohio last month to report that a black man was “walking around with a gun in the store”, he said that shoppers were coming under direct threat. “He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told the dispatcher. Later that evening, after John Crawford III had been shot dead by one of the police officers who hurried to the scene in Beavercreek, Ritchie repeated to reporters: “He was pointing at people. Children walking by.” One month later, Ritchie puts it differently. “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody,” the 24-year-old said, in an interview with the Guardian.
And there's a videotape...but TMZ is not on the case.
They have pleaded with Mike DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, to release the store’s surveillance footage of the shooting to the public. Having viewed it, they say that it disproves Ritchie’s version of what led to the deaths of both Crawford and a 37-year-old woman who collapsed and died in the ensuing panic. “It was an execution, no doubt about it,” alleged Crawford’s father, John Crawford II. “It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.” DeWine has said that releasing the footage would be “playing with dynamite”
Guess who DOES get to play with dynamite?
Ritchie told the Guardian that he, too, was shown the surveillance footage by officials in the attorney general’s bureau of criminal investigation, who are investigating the shooting. “That is very improper,” said attorney Michael Wright, who said that Ritchie’s statement on what happened should have been based only on what he remembered seeing. Ritchie said that he had also become aware of past criminal allegations against Crawford, which were dropped. He declined to say if he had learned this from DeWine’s officials. Asked four times by the Guardian whether they had told the witness about Crawford’s court record, a spokesman for DeWine declined to comment.
Under any reasonable standards, Mr. Ritchie should at a minimum be ashamed of playing the part in getting an innocent man murdered. But this is Mike DeWine's Ohio, and the Ferguson Playbook is in full-effect. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 08, 2014

Let me guess

He wanted to draw the line at Ass-Kissing for access, while the remaining sycophants were for complete full-service rim-jobs?
Politico executive editor Rick Berke announced Sunday evening that he is parting with the Beltway-centric outlet, a surprise resignation that comes less than a year after his hire. In a memo sent to staff, and obtained by the Huffington Post, Berke said while he was leaving on amicable terms, he no longer saw eye-to-eye with Politico's co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei. "While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals," he wrote in the memo.
Yep, time to taste the tainty-tang of John Boehner. "Mmmmm, that's a smokey oriface...both ends!"

Apparently, you can never dig deeply enough

FIFA, sure it's corrupt.  After all, it let itself be bribed into placing its biggest event consecutively in a place notable for invading other places (but not the U.S., trick question I know) and a place notable for modern slavery.

But fortunately for FIFA it has no conscience...and a penchant for ironic comedy.

FIFA's financial monitoring panel has asked one of its members to explain his arrest in a corruption case.

Canover Watson was detained in his native Cayman Islands on Aug. 28 by police anti-corruption and financial crime units.

Local media reported that Watson was quizzed about alleged money laundering and abuse of public office.

News story should come with laugh track.

Oh, and speaking of corrupt people.
 Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that Iran "is a bigger problem than ISIS."
So many targets, so many bombs, so many assholes willing to drop them.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Meanwhile Politco requests -- nay, DEMANDS! -- you consider Glenn Greenwald as a big ol' meany!

It's about the important things people...you know like how Benghazi relates to this?

The Justice Department released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails — a program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The broad outlines of the argument — that the president has inherent constitutional power to monitor Americans’ communications without a warrant in a time of war — were known, but the sweep of the reasoning becomes even clearer in the memos written by then-Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith, who was head of President George W. Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“We conclude only that when the nation has been thrust into an armed conflict by a foreign attack on the United States and the president determines in his role as commander in chief . . . that it is essential for defense against a further foreign attack to use the [wiretapping] capabilities of the [National Security Agency] within the United States, he has inherent constitutional authority” to order warrantless wiretapping — “an authority that Congress cannot curtail,” Goldsmith wrote in a redacted 108-page memo dated May 6, 2004.

Friday, September 05, 2014

"Please do not think me irrelevant"

Oh the plight of the former person to be feared, but now sliding to irrelevance as a cartoonish villain.

But enough about Dick Cheney, he can still get on "Meet the Press"

No, this guy.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida, has announced the formation of an Indian branch of the extremist organisation, calling on Muslims across the subcontinent to join the "caravan of jihad".
"Caravan of jihad"?   Nice little title, but the lyrics are pretty bad.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, September 04, 2014

9th or 10th verse, same as the first

Well, looky here, self-proclaimed genius Donald Trump has managed to unleash that brilliant "I inherited at least a quarter billion from my dad...making me a GENIUS at BUSINESS!" mind and have another enterprise go belly up.

Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal warned in a recent financial filing that it was in danger of running out of money to pay its bills and make debt payments.

Trump Taj Mahal Associates L.L.C., the legal name of the entity that owns the 24-year-old casino, said in the filing August 22 that it needed to borrow more money or restructure the existing $232 million in debt it had on June 30.

Can you please stop torturing your tortured analogies?

Why always he?
David Cameron has told European leaders that the west risks making similar mistakes in appeasing Vladimir Putin over Ukraine as Britain and France did with Adolf Hitler in the run-up to the second world war.
And David Cameron officially becomes the one millionth political leader since 1938 to make this analogy...and I think Putin becomes approximately the 10,000th political leader compared to history's greatest asshole.

They each should get something in celebration, maybe a case of Budvar or some other quality Czech product.

Can we not get better and more educated bad analogies from history from our political leaders? What's wrong with comparing Putin from land-grabbing war lords of the past? A Napoleon, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan or Pompey?

Have some imagination in your accusations people.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Touchy and Feely

And all of them, rather inappropriate. Anthony Mozilo spent much of the 1990s and early 2000s building up Countrywide into being the nation's number one Ponzi Scheme subprime lender...(strike the strikeout). So, on reflection how's he feeling? One would think if he is not a sociopath, sort of bad. So you know how this will go.
Six years after he lost control of the largest mortgage lender in the U.S., and days after news that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles plans to sue him, the Countrywide Financial Corp. founder is baffled by a new effort to punish him, proud of past triumphs and incensed by criticism.
Oh those accomplishments.
He remains a defender of Countrywide, even after Bank of America Corp., which bought it in 2008, agreed last month to pay more than $16 billion to end probes into mortgage-bond sales on top of about $55 billion in fines that came before. Mozilo doesn’t understand why he and his firm, blamed by lawmakers and authorities for lax underwriting and predatory lending, have been seen as villains. Photographer: Jay Mallin/Bloomberg Angelo Mozilo, former chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial Corp. “No, no, no, we didn’t do anything wrong,” he said
Yes, he didn't do anything wrong...and never earned a dime he doesn't think he deserved.
Mozilo's compensation during the United States housing bubble of 2001–06 has come under scrutiny. During that period, his total compensation (including salary, bonuses, options and restricted stock) approached $470 million.
But still what a guy.
Two of his friends, former Countrywide director Robert J. Donato and fellow mortgage-industry veteran Howard Levine, praised his spirit. Levine, a friend for at least 50 years, said Mozilo gives a $5 bill to each homeless person he sees on New York’s Fifth Avenue when they visit from California.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Allow me to summarize the sophisticated advice of our nation's Congressional "leadership"


By my observation, Barack Obama has bombed a lot of shit in his tenure.

There's not a wedding or funeral in the general area of The Levant that is not potential drone-bait. I'd put him up there in the top-six of bombin' Presidents, right behind the Bushes, LBJ, FDR, Nixon, and Truman -- but ahead of Reagan and Clinton. Y'know right on the mid-level of the distribution of sky-borne murder-boners we have come to expect from our modern Commander-in-Chiefs.

Nonetheless, in modern parlance, no matter how much you make the rubble bounce, there are always almost universal calls four our "serious" 535 or so aspirants for the White House to bomb until the rubble turns to sand...and then glass...and then sand again...just for good measure.
Barack Obama was on Sunday urged to take a tougher approach towards Russia and Syria, as Republicans and Democrats returned from their summer vacations in confrontational mood.
Oh those "moods" without consequence...a summation of modern American Foreign Policy.

A sophisticated people who elect the sophisticated leadership we deserve...even if the rest of the world does not.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, September 01, 2014

Don't worry we're good for it

There is something missing to add context to this story.
Israel has been presented with a hefty bill for 50 days of war in Gaza, as the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, moved to slash government spending by 2% this year to offset the $2.52 bn (£1.51bn) cost of the conflict. With only the Israeli military and domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet exempt from the sharp spending reductions, the area to be hit hardest emerged as the Israeli education system, with critics – including members of Netanyahu's cabinet – predicting that the poorest Israelis will feel the brunt of the cuts.
Of course they will. You cannot have the wealthy ever have a burden...as Israel knows, that's Un-American!

But in lieu of this, how will these expenses on a debatably over-reaction be borne?

I have an idea...well, less an idea, than a notion of history.
The FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L . 113-76) provides the President’s full $3.1 billion request in FMF for Israel. In addition, it provides another $504 million in funding for research, development, and production of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system ($235 million) and of the joint U.S.-Israel missile defense sy stems David’s Sling ($149.7 million), the Arrow improvement program (or Arrow II, $44.3 million), and Arrow III ($74.7 million). For FY2015, the Administration is requesting $3.1 billion in FMF to Israel and $10 million in Migration and Refugee Assistance. The Missile Defense Agency’s FY2015 request for joint U.S.- Israeli programs is $96.8 million. The Administration also is requesting $175.9 million for Iron Dome.
Why should the Israeli poor have the burden, when American poor will do?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]