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 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 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 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 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]