Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Worst Neighborhood in America

Undoubtedly quite a competition, but still a winner seems clear.
More horrific news from the Cleveland neighborhood where Ariel Castro tortured three women for a decade: On Monday, Elias Acevedo Sr, Castro's neighbor, pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges, including two counts of murder and the rape of his three daughters and sister-in-law. Over the course of two decades, Acevedo repeatedly raped his three daughters. In 1993, he raped his sister-in-law, who, at the time, was 18 years old and 5-months pregnant with his brother's child.

But it has been such an ethical operation thus far?

You have to credit the Japanese kleptocracy for at least being consistent.
(Reuters) - Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men. He isn't a social worker. He's a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan's nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head. "This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day," Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold. It's also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.
Killing two birds with one radioactive stone.

And yet, the shame lies only with the victims of homelessness, apparently.

Some of America's biggest jerks libertarians will read this story with their biggest 'free market boners'.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, December 30, 2013

Fu...I mean, Ducked

Phil Robertson is really into making dumbass statements.
At a Sportsmen’s Ministry talk in 2009, Robertson had some advice for a young man. “Make sure that she can cook a meal, you need to eat some meals that she cooks, check that out,” he said. “Make sure she carries her Bible. That’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road. And if she picks your ducks, now, that’s a woman.” “They got to where they’re getting hard to find,” Robertson remarked. “Mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em. Look, you wait until they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket.” The Duck Commander company founder added: “You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16, they’ll pick your ducks.

There is only one viable war strategy...er, strategery

And clearly that is a perpetual one.
A new U.S. intelligence estimate predicts that gains the United States and allies have made in the Afghanistan war in the past three years will be significantly rolled back by 2017, even if some U.S. troops remain, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing officials familiar with the report.
And the people that will shriek loudest are the people who unleashed the original bad and "perpetual war" plan to begin with. It's been a GOP favorite since Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese government fell in the 1940s [had to get over the stigma of ignoring the Nazis by claiming everyone else were the appeasers].

The only real consistency of American foreign policy in the post-WWII era is the ability to always eventually make the same mistake the same way.

We're either staying in Afghanistan forever, or finding a new version of Afghanistan.

Oh, who am I kidding, we'll probably do both.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Father Chippendale

Apparently this is an annual thing...much like confidential settlements in an American District Court.

And FoxNews says "Lalalalalala - War on Christbenghazimas!"

Oh dear and after all this time on a repeating narrative.
Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.
How dare the original version of events, turn out to be the actual original version of events?

You mean the nutjobs of America actually facilitated the extremists of Libya?

That's "unpossible!"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I've been out of town for a while...

Returning this weekend, normal poor service will resume soon.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Meanwhile, in pending mass tragedies

Last month, Senator James Imhofe's son died in a plane crash. Obviously, that is a personal family tragedy. But in discussing this, Inhofe had a rather disconcerting statement to make...I know he makes disconcerting statements all the time...but this was rather revealing.
"I probably shouldn't say this, but I seem to have gotten more, at least as many, maybe more, of communications from some of my Democrat friends. And I'm a pretty partisan Republican," Inhofe said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "They realize that you've lost someone, and that brings us closer together." ... "

Something like this happens, and all of a sudden the old barriers that were there, the old differences, those things that keep us apart just disappear," he said. "Those defined positions, they don't change. But your attitude changes. And I can't help but think when I'm confronting someone on something on which we disagree, that I know how they responded to my loss."
Again, sorry for your loss...but did you really think people on the other side really were that much of a cartoon portrait that you believed them incapable of expressing actual humanity? That.is.pathetic. But no more so than the actual policy positions of James Inhofe.
Organizations that actively block efforts to address climate change are funded by a large network of conservative donors to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year, according to the first in-depth study into the dark money that fuels the denial effort.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's projection

One of the reasons Republicans want to pass voter frauds laws (well after the joy they get at keeping minorities from having any power) is that they think everyone else is the filthy moral assholes they are.

Liz Cheney's Senate campaign in Wyoming continues to be dogged with news about her family.

Politico reported Wednesday that Cheney's husband was registered to vote in both Virginia and Wyoming despite signing a document in the latter state saying he was not registered elsewhere.

Use stay classy pig-face

Another day ending in "y":

The OC Weekly on Thursday published a report on the "horrific pigsty" that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) left behind in a Costa Mesa, Calif. home he lived in from 2010 to 2012. And there are photographs.

According to the newspaper, Rohrabacher moved into the four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 6,300-square-foot home on April Fool's Day 2010. Rent was $3,350 a month. The carpets were new, and the backyard featured "thriving" flowers, plants, and grass. But when homeowner Robert Polyniak's longtime girlfriend, Darlene Whitsell, entered the home shortly after the Rohrabachers left the property, things looked different. 

"It was disgusting," Whitsell told the OC Weekly. "It was unbelievable. Who lives like that?"
Among the damage: the carpeting was covered in "massive black stains and muck;" appliances were damaged and rusted; the plants outside had dried up and died; there were holes in the walls; every toilet seat in the house was broken; light switches and doors had been cracked; an overflowing tub cracked a ceiling with water damage; phone lines were "strangely severed;" and more.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

With enough urchins you can have a heckuva musical

Jack Kingston, a representative of Georgia, paid $170,000 annually to engage in the part-time job of legislating and the full-time job of fund-raising for Jack Kingston knows from moochers.
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wants kids to learn early in life that there's no such thing as a free lunch. To make sure they absorb that lesson, he's proposing that low-income children do some manual labor in exchange for their subsidized meals.

Because being born poor is there problem, just ask Bloomberg.

But you cannot have a new 'Gilded Age' if you don't offset kickin' the poor with some sweet gild.

Kingston co-sponsored a $6.3 million earmark in 2008 to replenish the beach on Tybee Island, where he owns a cottage about 900 feet from the beach. "It's absurd to suggest that this benefits me," he said.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I hope other nations follow suit.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his delegates to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. And, in what may be a thumb in the eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin over his crackdown on gay rights, two of Obama's delegates are openly gay.

The Spirit of the Season

Being accused of the occasional murder of a teenager and a series of sexual assaults. In many instances that would make you socially anathema. But not in our modern FoxNews America!
George Zimmerman has a new hobby. He's auctioning his first hand painted artwork on eBay. The oil painting drew a bidding frenzy as soon as it was posted Monday on the auctioning site. As of Tuesday morning, there were 98 bids, with the leading bid standing at $99,966. In the description, Zimmerman says painting has been a way to express himself, his emotions, and the symbols that represent his experiences
I'd like to sell a painting I made expressing my opinion of George Zimmerman and his horrible enablers. But the late Mr. Cash long ago beat me to it.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I guess in a round-about way he was close to being right.

Harold Camping Dead: Judgment Day 'Family Radio' Host Dies At 92 After Controversial Career

And at long-last what all our wars have really been about

Profit laid-bare:
If Mohammed Ibrahim Caravan smells fear about Afghanistan's future, he doesn't show it. He strolls around like a country squire in the glittering new gated community he helped build, dressed in a spotless white shalwar kameez tunic, stylish shades and polished wingtips. Advertisement "Worried?" the 28-year-old asked. "Hah — not me. I'm confident in the future. If you don't invest in your own country, who will?" Caravan's company is plunging $160 million into the family-run Saleem Caravan City, with its rows of salmon-colored villas with balconies and rose gardens, like some ersatz Miami Beach condo community. He's moved his family into a lavish 7,500-square-foot mansion with a pool, hot tub and guest kitchen.
Yes, surely, at the end of the day (or decade-plus) what it all comes down to is the kind of place Thomas Friedman can relax and pontificate about what the riff-raff outside the gate will be up to in another six-months. Nice to see that billions in debt, thousands of deaths, and a decade of bullshit have led to an American-sponsored salute to America's one percent. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well, here's something you don't expect to see everyday...

Triple X fan fiction about Republican Congressmen Aaron Schock and Paul Ryan.

There you have it, your unregulated marketplace of ideas.

Obviously, we have the “moral” solution for this

In what was seriously a tragedy and fully deserving of international condemnation...
Thirty-six people, nearly half of them children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army helicopters dropped improvised "barrel bombs" on the disputed northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Obviously, this is a horrible thing for any nation to have done and the Syrian government will be quickly condemned by any number of American political leaders. Meanwhile, at about the same time this week.
Anger over the American drone campaign against militants in Yemen swelled Friday with word that most of those killed in a strike a day earlier were civilians in a wedding party.
If there's one thing American politicians love more than condemning other countries, it's hypocrisy. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day ending in "Y"...

Time for someone to ask, yet again... 

"Why do they hate us?"

How's breakfast working for you?

Keeping it down?

Read no further then.

“They need better ideas, not ‘Mad Men’ style sensitivity training,” said Representative Nita Lowey of New York. Lowey, who serves as the top Democrat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, thinks that Republicans’ problem is anti-women policies, not their inability to talk with the opposite sex.  “Believe it or not, Paul Ryan is a good friend,” she said. “He calls me Mom. I call him Naughty Boy.” 

Yeah, he's one naughty boy alright.
Republicans Unite on Budget Rule, Beat Back Push on Unemployment Benefits
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Okay, maybe I made a small mistake

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., sent out a release Wednesday morning announcing that his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, is being put on leave over allegations involving child pornography. "I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned," the senator said in a statement. Loskarn, 35, was arrested in the afternoon by the Postal Inspection Service "based on probable cause for possession and distribution of child pornography charges," said Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr.
Well, at least he's a movement conservative.

And hey, he was considered "one of their top strategists"!

"I suggest free candy!"

The New York Post has its usual "holiday spirit"

And it's hardened heart is, as usual, about as small as Rupert Murdoch's conscience.

The New York Times ran a five-part series on the struggles of a very, very poor family struggling to survive in New York City in a subpar (to say the least) government-provided living space.

The Post's reaction?

Yes, the family’s housing has problems, including mice and reports of sexual assaults and other crimes. But...
And you know how it is going to go from there.

At least Murdoch's rag isn't giving out lumps of coal this year...no, they'll go with the floggings instead.

Happy Holidays!

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"And here's another paintin' of Barney playin' poker...he he he"

That must have been one long flight.

Not the Casting Decision I would have made

But if Netflix is going to pick up yet another season of Arrested Development, Mitch Hurwitz has never let me down.

Netflix Picks Up Mitt Romney Documentary

Dopes, on a Funeral

Oh how deep the "intercourse" the modern conservative movement will let you engage in outside of straight-matrimony.
Sen. Marco Rubio criticized President Barack Obama on Tuesday for shaking hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro while attending the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
The only solution, of course, to the latest round of Republican's outrage over events at a funeral is to elect Norm Coleman. But hey, at least it wasn't one of these.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today...okay, the last five minutes in FoxNews Idiocy!

A Cesspool of Ambivalence

Last week, I noted an article which indicated that the Los Angeles County Police Department was hiring -- as peace officers -- the kind of folks who would normally be incarcerated.

Well, maybe they were just hiring people they had a lot in common with?

Federal officials on Monday unsealed five criminal cases filed against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption in the nation's largest jail system.
Lovely, anything else to make it extra disturbing?
Among those charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the 18-page indictment are two lieutenants, one of whom oversaw the department's safe jails program and another who investigated allegations of local crimes committed by sheriff's personnel, two sergeants and three deputies.
It's the kind of thing that would happen when people are taught to not give a damn what happens to people...who are not them.

How could something like that happen here?

Oh, right, it is here.

David Simon: 'There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show'
Indeed it is. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, December 09, 2013

Funny, seems a little low

Were the other two-thirds too busy condemning Nelson Mandela or something?
At Least One Third Of The Featured Speakers At Virginia GOP Retreat Say Medicare Is Unconstitutional

Profiles in being Discouraged

Let them not be able to afford cake to eat!
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday he opposes extending unemployment benefits for workers, arguing that it would be a "disservice" to jobless individuals.
Yep...apparently not being able to afford to eat or pay rent is just another character-building exercise for the child born wealthy enough to love libertarianism...it's like he was named after somebody. But there is no malicious policy that the GOP cannot seem to browbeat into a Democrat.
A senior Democrat said on Sunday he hoped an emerging deal on the US budget would include an extension of unemployment benefits but added that his party would not necessarily walk away from an agreement that left it out. "I don't think we've reached that point where we've said, 'This is it, take it or leave it,'" Senator Richard Durbin told ABC's This Week
Merry Christmas to the unemployed with a hearty "fuck you" from both parties. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Good to see Eddie Murphy is maintaining that stirling record of movie choices

Also, how bad does a script have to be for Eddie Murphy to initially turn it down?

When are he, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro going to get together and film their movie, "Just Pay Us Not to Make this Movie"?   A sequel to Michael Caine's 1980s movies?

Friday, December 06, 2013


Perhaps the best contemporary argument against "drones" is that imagine if the Apartheid government of South Africa had them in the late 1950s when Nelson Mandela was in hiding and deemed a leader of a terrorist group, the ANC.  You think they'd not have used them to try to take him out?

This is not to defend many of the targets at present (though it certainly is to defend the collateral damage of innocent victims).

Dammit! We're gonna have to drone more weddings and funerals!

All those dead not as special innocent civilians that we are killing is supposed to stop Al Qaeda from killing the "extra" innocent civilians that are not being droned!
SANAA, Yemen — More than 50 people were killed in a deadly attack in the Yemeni capital Thursday when militants penetrated the headquarters of the nation’s Ministry of Defense in a two-stage assault that began shortly after the start of the workday.
Despite our best efforts at collateral damage, there has not been enough collateral damage. Clearly we are going to be droning some more!

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, December 05, 2013

RIP Nelson Mandela

When Nelson Mandela was my age, he still had another 24 years left as a political prisoner.

Of all the miraculous events that surround his life, living to 95 has to be up there.

Apparently asking "How Much?" is not a good electoral strategy...

It's 2013 and one of America's political parties actually feels the need to offer this...
The National Republican Congressional Committee is offering tutorials to staffers of men up for election next year on how not to offend women. Politico reports the sessions are meant specifically to assist Republican men in how to speak on the campaign trail when they are up against Democratic women.
Maybe the classes are led by these fellows?

FoxNews has FoxNewsiest headline of all time...

Oh look at that "new reality" we created

‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors.. and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’ ” - Unnamed Bush Administration Aide to Ron Suskind 2002.

And in that "Reality" we created in Iraq, a decade plus after "Shock and Awe" and Commander Codpieces being flown to an aircraft carrier to proclaim "Mission Accomplished"...
A spate of execution-style killings in Iraq has rekindled memories of attacks carried out at the height of the country's sectarian bloodshed and raised fears of a widespread return to such violence. In the past week Iraqi police have found the bodies of at least 41 men who were either shot in the head or decapitated in a wave of killings in Baghdad and northern Iraq.
Of course, maybe they were just trying to give Iraq the kind of reality America has all too often?
NBC Chicago pointed out that, as of Sunday, 12 people had been murdered in Chicago this year, which, at a rate of two a day, but the city on a pace for a devastating 730 homicides, higher than any one-year murder total in Chicago since 1997.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Still comes with a side-order of homophobia!

If you get enough donations maybe you can buy a slew of tiny violins for yourselves

And to think, Karen Handel, the right-winger who brought down the Susan B. Koman Foundation, was only involved in spirit.

The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the "Prodigal Son Project".

The target firms include commercial giants such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald's and Walmart, all of which cut ties with the group following the furore over the killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012.

I'm surprised they did not call it the "Prodigal Gun Project" because they are classy like that.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sensible priorities

What's that you say?

Is there a way to combine an unhealthy percentage of the South's insane affection with guns and their insane over-valuing of college athletics over, say, college?

Why, yes, yes indeed there is.

Well, this should be good with the popcorn

Always good in 2013 to trot out the best lines of the 1840 and 1850s "Know-Nothings" but who better to do it, than America's Oxycontin Poster Boy and International Sex Tourist?

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh last week called Pope Francis' economic views laid out in his Vatican mission statement "pure marxism."

Should have written about the joys of turkey killin'

Apparently, despite the best efforts of the "so-called liberal media" people do NOT give a crap about Sarah Palin.

And she has the pending remainder-bin book deposits to prove it.

A real "boost" to public confidence

One has to imagine that the image problem public safety officers in the greater Los Angeles Area could not be any greater... But, apparently the pit is bottomless.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department hired dozens of officers even though background investigators found they had committed serious misconduct on or off duty, sheriff's files show...
Ultimately, about 280 county officers were given jobs, including applicants who had accidentally fired their weapons, had sex at work and solicited prostitutes, the records show.
For nearly 100 hires, investigators discovered evidence of dishonesty, such as making untrue statements or falsifying police records. At least 15 were caught cheating on the department's own polygraph exams.

Twenty-nine of those given jobs had previously had been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies over concerns about misconduct or workplace performance problems. Nearly 200 had been rejected from other agencies because of past misdeeds, failed entrance exams or other issues.
But I'm sure all these folks learned their lesson.


[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, December 02, 2013

Or maybe you just stop rolling out bad product?

While the new Pontiff, with one notable exception, seems to be determined to remind people the Catholic Church wants to be on the side of the poor, the old Bishops of the new world, just keep not understanding the marketplace.
While speaking with David Gregory on Meet The Press this weekend, a top Catholic official (Cardinal Dolan) claimed that the church is ‘out-marketed‘ by supporters of marriage equality.
Yeah, I suppose when on one side you have people wishing for a legal sanction to a loving committed relationship, just like everyone else, while the other side has been busy paying off child abuse claims you can call that bad marketing. Among other things. But you know, you might also point out that statements like this are not helpful.
After lobbying against New York’s marriage equality law, Dolan prohibited by decree any Church personnel or property from being utilized for same-sex marriage ceremonies under penalty of “canonical sanctions,” calling the state’s law “irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law.” He has also compared the “threat” posed to marriage by gays and lesbians to that of polygamy, adultery, forced marriage, communist dictatorships, and incest.
Yeah, hard to believe that kind of statement could be out-marketed. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Saturday, November 30, 2013

When is he moving to Alabama?

He sounds well-qualified for Republican primaries.

An Italian court has accused the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his lawyers of tampering with evidence by paying off witnesses in a trial related to his notorious "bunga bunga" parties and has asked prosecutors to investigate the possible corruption of a judicial process.

The accusation in the court's ruling could lead to a new legal headache for Berlusconi, who this week was kicked out of parliament for at least six years because of another, unrelated problem: a tax fraud conviction.

The court suggested Berlusconi paid off the would-be showgirls who attended his dinner parties so they would play down the sexually charged nature of the evenings when they testified. He did so, the judges asserted, because he was facing related charges in another case involving accusations that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute who was also a "bunga bunga" guest.

Citing testimony and telephone wiretaps, the Milan court said Berlusconi convened about a dozen young women at his Milan mansion on 15 January 2011 to meet his lawyers after the women's homes were searched as part of a police investigation into the parties.

From then on, the judges wrote, the women each received €2,500 (£2,000) every month from Berlusconi and subsequently offered unusually identical testimony in court, denying the parties had sexual overtones.
Making this famously fake video more accurate than ever.

Friday, November 29, 2013

So close...

Looks like Comet Ison will not end up being a spectacular show as it emerges its solar encounter quite damaged. Stupid Sun...giver of all life...but destroyer of cool comets.
Bill Kristol just came out for invading it. Have at it Bill, get working on that rocket there and take care of it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Forget taking the Lions and the Points

It's Thanksgiving, you have another more personal spread to work on. And remember at least you are not Mike Huckabee's tailor. But you could be his radio network programmer.
Mike Huckabee's radio show is coming to an end. “The Mike Huckabee Show on radio, which was heard 3 hours a day on over 200 radio stations across the country since April of 2012 will conclude its run at the end of the final show on Thursday, December 12,” Huckabee wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Hr thanked the affiliate stations who aired his show, his listeners and Cumulus Media, adding that he and the company "mutually agreed to conclude" to end the show.
Just like today Mike and his wife will mutually agree that four servings of mashed potatoes is enough. Hard to believe a show with such trenchant analysis as this, is unable to survive.
Mike Huckabee labels Lara Logan a ‘hero journalist’ for discredited Benghazi report
But as you are not Mike Huckabee, have a great Thanksgiving...and if you want nostalgia, you might consider recreating the Thanksgivings of your youth. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Every classic Thanksgiving rolled into one...

This is brilliant and deadly accurate.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Way to slander 'em when they're down fellas

While the Catholic Church actually talked about the poor like you might expect a humanitarian organization to do...another more usually reliable group decided not to pay much attention.
The World Health Organisation has been forced to retract claims that crisis-hit Greeks are intentionally injecting themselves with the HIV virus to collect state benefits almost two months after the shocking allegation was revealed in a report that triggered global media coverage. Blaming the mistake on an "editing error", the Geneva-based body issued an unreserved apology on Tuesday, saying it had been wrong to claim that "about half" of the debt-stricken country's new HIV infections had been self-inflicted.
Two months? Way to get on that folks. Beaten even by a 60 Minutes producer.

Of course, corrections are only for some folks -- better to perpetuate lies that keep you employed as a pundit.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two days to Perihelion!

Will Comet Ison survive and give us an awesome sight to see at sunset (or will it be sunrise)in December? Or is it gonna disintegrate (it comes without 3/4 of a million miles of the Sun...and relatively that's damn close)? Until then, here is is as it appeared recently just before sunrise (captured in the Canary Islands).

The most modern 'Murican story EVER!

Amazingly, it happened in my home state, not Texas.
Centerville Police have made an arrest in connection with the gun shot fired inside of the Walmart Supercenter in Centerville Sunday afternoon. Christopher William Strube, 50 of Centerville, was arrested and charged with discharging a weapon within the city limits of Centerville. Police made the arrest at approximately 9 a.m. Monday morning. According to a press release from the Centerville Police Department late Monday morning, Strube said he was carrying a .45-caliber gun in his pants pocket. He stated that a bottle that he was carrying hit the handgun and caused it to fire one round. The press release continues to say that Strube advised that after the gun went off he paid for his items and left the store.
A bottle of what? I think it would be irresponsible not to speculate. Note that AFTER his gun went off, he continued shopping. You don't even do that at an adult bookstore. *rim shot*

Cinema Veritank

Hard to believe a movie produced by the fertile mind of Rick Santorum would be a critical and commercial flop.

The power of prayer has failed to save The Christmas Candle, the new release from Rick Santorum's faith based film studio, EchoLight.

The Christmas Candle, set in the fictional English village of Gladbury and billed as "a timeless holiday film for the entire family", attracted widespread critical scorn as well as dismal box-office results, having grossed just over $1.6m (£988,000) after two weeks on release.
Yes, nothing spells box-office like Dickens without the, uh, Dickens but all the schmaltz as well as a ton of preachiness.

By now it's pretty clear that your openly religious movies make money only when they come with a heavy dose of torture-porn.

If there's a silver lining...okay an additional silver lining...it's that Ted Cruz's "Life with Father" is going to be a very very limited direct-to-video release.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bibi the Bozo

Gawker found that Netanyahu, or as he is more commonly known among American Conservatives, "the Secretary of State" seems to think a LOT of things are "historic mistakes":

12. This weekend's groundbreaking multilateral agreement with Iran to shut down that nation's nascent nuclear weapons development program
11. Israel's 2005 agreement to withdraw from its occupation of the Gaza Strip
10. Israel's landmark Oslo Peace Accords between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat
7. Not bombing Iran in 2012
6. Not making the red line in his bomb diagram bigger
5. Making this gesture and this one

Just like "Jeopardy"

Wolf Blitzer, genius -- full-stop.

Flagrente Derangedio

Well, as you all know, after five years that clever President Obama finally engaged in 12-dimensional chess -- but not enough to fool John Cornyn.

Nope, Cornyn was on to the attempt of Barack Obama -- and five other nations in addition to Iran -- to agree to a deal JUST TO SAVE "Obamacare".

Thus two long-time wishes of conservatives everywhere have come to fruition.

1. They get to bemoan the continued existence of the underwhelming medical reform legislation they always dreamed of passing, until Democrats passed it.

2. They get to continue to bemoan "appeasing" things like not war via bombing brown people in the name of peace without actually having to do so.

This will not stand, well it may stand, but the dream of bombing the Iranians until the rubble bounces is such a long-standing right-wing wet dream it will not be given up so easily.

And naturally, the conservatives designee as Secretary of State (they consider him more American than the current American President) comes through for them...so to speak.

And, of course, the Democrats have their own enablers.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, November 22, 2013

Oh C'mon!

Obviously this is all because of gay marriage.

Charles Manson may be getting married -- or at least, that's what one of his biggest fans claims.

"I'll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married," the supposed fiancee, known only as "Star," told Rolling Stone. "I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband. Charlie told me to tell you this."...

... "Charlie," however, has a different story. "That's a bunch of garbage ... That's trash," Manson told Rolling Stone. "We're just playing that for public consumption."

When Charles Manson is the SANE half of the couple, that's not a good sign.

The more things never change, the more they stay the same

Fresh as yesterday's third page of the business section headlines:

Chiquita Brands International Inc.’s bid to stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from releasing documents on payments to Colombian terrorist groups was thrown out of court. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington rejected the company’s argument that the damage it would suffer from disclosure of the records, in a case in Florida connected to the Colombian payments, should bar their release to a public- interest group under the Freedom of Information Act.
Chiquita used to operate as United Fruit Company, one can wonder what could be so worrisome with a glorious history like this?

The Banana Massacre.

Being responsible for the term "Banana Republic".

Pretty much being responsible for the invasion and overthrow of governments who were not sufficiently servile enough to "big Banana".

After a century of this, well, bullshit, they are afraid of what documents may show? Isn't it enough that they can do all this and the story still ends up buried in the business section?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I heartily approve of this ironic turn of events

Oh dear...oh dear, dear, dear.  

You did not truly known boredom until you

Know that this exists...

Million-Dollar Hobby: Inside the World of Big-Money Bridge

And you guessed it...Wall Street Money is behind this.

The International We broke it, you bought it proviso

Yeah, can anyone really blame them?
Representatives of most of the world's poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015.
Sure they are ironically led by China, the world's newest mass polluter, but otherwise, why should the countries who have been most screwed economically by the countries that have done their best to ruin the planet for everyone not expect some form of justice?

Of course, when Europe, the US and Australia say "only after 2015" they really mean "never".

So again, who can really blame them?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Don't worry, FoxNews tells me he'll be even more dangerous armed with Skittles!!!

Just over a week until Turkey Day

And already it will be the best Thanksgiving in years... Even if you are alone.

Oh, and here is the ultimate site for those of you who wish you could see every episode online.

That certainly isn't tea

Glad to see there's no hypocrisy there. Congressman Trey Radel, a tea party freshman lawmaker from Fort Myers, was arrested on Oct. 29 for cocaine possession in Washington, D.C, Politico reported. And to think, just a hooker away from the rock-star lifestyle.

It will be forthcoming...in oblivion

One could say better late than never. One hundred and fifty years ago, give or take a few days, Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address. A local Pennsylvania paper was not impressed.
We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of
As they never said then, "whoopsy!" This week the same paper finally got around to a retraction. In the same vein, we can look forward to about the Spring of 2153 when the remnant of the Washington Post, which no longer is publish in the District of Columbia --as its under water, has Zombie Fred Hiatt do the same for supporting the invasion of Iraq. In between editorials about the need to cut Social Security and Medicare and supporting the latest possible war. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A little real life salute to Mellonville Mayor Tommy Shanks!

Rob Ford, does his best SCTV impression, with a little extra Johnny LaRue tossed in.

Rob Ford, the embattled mayor of Toronto, was stripped of many of his powers on Monday after a heated city council debate during which he knocked over a woman councillor and heckled members of the public.

In a series of votes, the council voted to cut his office budget by 60%, and allow members of his staff to transfer to the deputy mayor. He will no longer be able to chair the council's executive committee, retaining only his ceremonial powers.

Wonder which part he says is at fault?

As opposed to just general assholery?

Craig Cobb, a white supremacist who recently found out he's part black, was arrested on Saturday according to a report from The Bismark Tribune.

Cobb and fellow neo-Nazi Kynan Dutton were taken into custody after Leith, N.D., residents called 911 to tell police that the men had confronted them with a rifle and a shotgun. The sheriff told the Tribune that the men will be charged with three counts of terrorizing.

Well that seems like Florida justice

Obviously George Zimmerman had to be arrested because this woman apparently was not armed with skittles...and was white.

Well at least reality isn't bothering them

It's a good thing that aside from the occasional report about unemployment and the monthly jobs report ALL economic reporting is based on one thing, and one thing only.
Stocks broke new ground today with the Dow moving past the 16,000-point threshold during intraday trading, before pulling back to finish at 15,975.
Because the economy is so awesomely healthy!
There were nearly 700,000 fewer middle-income households since the began than during the economic crisis, according to new Census Bureau data. The economy has grown more top- and bottom-heavy in 2010 through 2012 as compared to 2007-2009, the data show. Most of the erosion came at the bottom end of the middle-income range. At the same time, the ranks of both upper- and lower-income people swelled by hundreds of thousands
But speaking about such things is simply impolite...no matter which country you are in. The real victims are, as always, the poor oppressed rich.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has told people to stop “bashing” the super-rich, comparing them to hard-pressed minorities like the homeless, Irish travellers or ex-gang members.
The guy with the discount Trump toupee (who isn't actually Trump) is clearly a serious person! [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's happening! It's happening!

Maybe it won't fizzle out into a giant dud.
A one in a lifetime galactic fireworks display appears to have begun after astronomers confirmed that Comet Ison, dubbed the “comet of the century”, has entered the Earth’s orbit. The comet has dramatically brightened with an outburst of gases in recent days as it draws ever closer to the sun, the Times reported, and if it survives it could be the greatest celestial display in more the 300 years. It is now visible to the naked eye and is expected to continue brightening over the next few weeks until it outshines the moon.
Well, we'll see about that last part...but if you live out in the country you can probably see it in the early morning near Mercury...so aim for 4 a.m. or so.

But most importantly, the checks are still clearing

FIFA, the governing body of international football is one of the the most corrupt sports organization in the world, which is saying something with the International Olympic Committee's having as its secret motto: Higher, Boozier, Unmarked Bills Only. So unsurprisingly this statement...
Fifa's president, Sepp Blatter, met the country's emir and declared Qatar was "on the right track" in dealing with workers' rights
Was followed days later by this report:
[Amnesty International's] report, based on two recent investigations in Qatar and scores of interviews, found workers living in squalid, overcrowded accommodation exposed to sewage and sometimes without running water. It found that many workers, faced with mounting debts and unable to return home, have suffered "severe psychological distress", with some driven to the brink of suicide. Discrimination is common, according to the report, which says that one manager referred to workers as "the animals".
But at the end of the day, what do human beings matter, really? The money was placed in the right hands (not the morally right ones, of course). [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, November 15, 2013

I know less about Cricket

Than I know about string-theory in physics...and I know very little about that.  But I love stories like this.

A deafening roar greeted Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday at his home ground in Mumbai as India's favourite son walked out to bat in his farewell Test to a guard of honour from his opponents.

Tendulkar's 200th Test, against West Indies, at the Wankhede Stadium will also be his last, as the Little Master brings the curtain down on a glittering 24-year career at the age of 40.

Only 20 million tried to see his last performance in a stadium the held less than 40,000.

Thank goodness we're on top of this!

Well, this is the opposite of comforting:
"The coldest years now are warmer than the hottest years before 1998." Those are the words of World Meteorological Organization secretary-general Michel Jarraud at the presentation of their latest report.

The WMO report says that, looking at the data from January to September, 2013 will be the seventh warmest year in recorded climate history.
But fortunately we've got just the people you want to handle this kind of problem.
Over 56 percent — 131 members — of the current Republican caucus in the House of Representatives deny the basic tenets of climate science. 65 percent (30 members) of the Senate Republican caucus also deny climate change. What this means is that they have made public statements indicating that they question or reject that climate change is real, is happening, and is caused by human consumption of fossil fuels.
That's really, uh, not awesome, is there an even more depressing kicker?
Congressman Interrupts Climate Hearing To Ask Whether EPA Chief Enrolled In Obamacare
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 14, 2013

America 2013

Officially beyond parody:
According to television station WXII, an employee at a Wilkesboro, N.C. store was talking about guns and the Second Amendment with a customer on Tuesday night. The customer pulled out his handgun, which "accidentally discharged and the shot went through a printer," according to the employee's account to police. The customer fled the store after firing the shot. Police are looking for the male suspect, who is looking at a charge of discharging a firearm within city limits, according to WXII.

How dare they!

Giving your employees Thanksgiving off? Why it's Un'murikan.
“Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families,” Paul Latham, the company’s vice president for membership and marketing, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “Nothing more complicated than that.”
Republicans in Congress are going to start demanding Costco be forced to celebrate Thanksgiving in October, like those commie-Canadians.

Land of the Thousands to never be free

Yesterday I wrote about the faux outrage of the membership of certain countries to the rather fauxesque "United Nations Humans Rights Council", noting that the Americans who always need a another reason to vent, just manufactured another, while ignoring their own nation's drone program.

But maybe while we pat ourselves on the back about how "human rightsy" we are, we could look at a few ugly truths at home too.
At about 12.40pm on 2 January 1996, Timothy Jackson took a jacket from the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans, draped it over his arm, and walked out of the store without paying for it. When he was accosted by a security guard, Jackson said: “I just needed another jacket, man.”

A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159.

Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. Some, like him, were given the most extreme punishment short of execution for shoplifting; one was condemned to die in prison for siphoning petrol from a truck; another for stealing tools from a tool shed; yet another for attempting to cash a stolen cheque.
Sadly, no one will be surprised to find out the overwhelming majority of these individuals -- the perfect example of individuals deprived of a basic human right, forever -- are non-whites.

But hey, we have every self-justified right to criticize everyone else.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yeah, and they're sending black helicopters to take your guns

The all-powerful UN is ready to generate those right-wing blog commentaries...like they need a reason:
China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria won seats Tuesday on the U.N. Human Rights Council, riling independent human rights groups who said their election undermined the rights watchdog's credibility.
Yeah, how dare those states get seats on a committee whose every word is the opposite of law. That sort of stuff should be reserved ONLY for those states respecting human rights...and who do so by having drones operating over other nations at all times ready to reign fiery death upon random weddings and funerals. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trolliest Concern Troll that ever Concerned!




Well, as long as you guys don't look like assholes...

Hey look...white guys!

And then they went home and touched their small, small, small penises.

"Hey, who cares, we don't represent them!"

The sounds of someone defending hypothetical "small business"* is in the air.
With momentum building at the federal and state level to increase hourly base pay, more than three-quarters of Americans (76%) say they would vote for raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour (it is currently $7.25) in a hypothetical national referendum, a five-percentage-point increase since March. About one-fifth (22%) would vote against this.
That includes 3 out of every 5 Republicans. So you know this is NOT going to be allowed to happen.

*Small Business is defined as Koch Industries.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm tellin' ya'

Effective 2004, you can get away with murder if:

A. You are a celebrity; and

B. The Kerning checks out.

The Frightening Shape of things to come

There have been hurricanes throughout recorded history, but their scale seems to be getting greater...better not do something about it. Meanwhile the size of the recent disaster in the Philippines is truly staggering.
As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after one of the worst storms ever recorded unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.
In...one...city...alone. Here are some places to go to help. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, November 08, 2013

But the "kerning" is fantastic!

Oh dear, dear, dear, this would never have happened if Morley Safer was a zombie.

CBS' "60 Minutes" announced Thursday night that it's reviewing a controversial Oct. 27 report on the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, to determine if its eyewitness, security officer Dylan Davies, "misled" the network. "60 Minutes" said it had "learned of new information that undercuts" the harrowing account given on air. 

The New York Times reported Thursday that Davies previously told the FBI that he was not at the U.S. compound on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 -- an account that directly contradicts his "eyewitness" statements on air.

Quick, there's a possiblity that peace may break out

You cannot boogie without a boogieman.
A senior Iranian official has claimed a significant step forward at nuclear talks in Geneva, saying Tehran's proposed plan for resolving the decade-long impasse over its atomic programme has been accepted. Abbas Araqchi, the deputy foreign minister, said the six world powers at the talks had "accepted the framework of Iran's proposal". "The aim of both sides is to sign the agreement," he told Iranian journalists after the first session of talks.
We cannot have that!
John Bolton is reiterating his calls for Israel to unleash a military strike against Iran, saying he doesn't "think Israel has much time" to make that "fateful decision" and that ultimately it should "have done this years ago."...

Bolton slammed the Obama administration's policies towards what he called "Iran's nuclear weapons program" as "utterly feckless," and criticized the negotiations the U.S. has undertaken with Iran because they "will lead to a diplomatic victory for Iran."
Yes, a world where ANYTHING that avoids Iran being bombed, is a victory for Iran and hence a loss for Bolton.

With that kind of sober, rational analysis it's no wonder that...
In 2016, the most interesting wild card is former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Bolton's plain spoken "no surrender" approach to America's role in the world has particular resonance with Republicans who will have watched eight years of President Obama's "apology tour" with dismay and distress. Bolton's brand has grown since leaving the Bush administration as Fox News has given him a national audience.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Oh, I remember the 80s

When you could find a stripmall Typewriter store next to the Blockbuster.

America's Concern Troll

Comes to a dramatic conclusion, 150 years after it was relevant.

Shorter Richard Cohen.

"Slavery bad"

Way to go out on a limb there Chief.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

All part of the plan...

How could this end, any other way

Than this?

A Sasquatch hunting expedition in Oklahoma ended in tragedy this weekend when one hunter accidentally shot another in the back. A subsequent investigation led to three arrests: the trigger-happy hunter, the trigger-happy hunter's father, and the trigger-happy hunter's wife.

The incident took place Saturday afternoon in Rogers County. According to Sheriff Scott Walton, two men claim they were hunting the mythical apelike creature when a “barking noise” caused one of the men, 21-year-old Omar Pineda, to turn and fire his weapon. Unfortunately for everyone, Pineda's friend happened to be standing in between the noise and Pineda, and was shot. The friend, while seriously injured, is expected to survive.

Okay, first of all, Oklahoma?  Second of all, the myth continues...the myth of an intelligent person who searches for Bigfoot.

This reminds me of the great "Noah's Ark massacre of aught-six" in Idaho.

Election rigor, er, post-mortum

Well it appears that despite the best efforts of America's most racist newspaper Bill de Blasio has been elected General Secretary of the Peoples Republic of New York, by the kind of margin a Party Congress usually provided. Unleash the workers paradise.

Why do I have a feeling the above will pretty much be the New York Post's lede the next four years, between ghoulish race-baiting, while those voting for de Blasio spend the same period disappointed it isn't more accurate? Perhaps because that's the way it always goes.

Meanwhile, in Virginia the last desperate effort of Ayatolla Cuccinelli was made.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has been getting a last-minute boost in his bid for governor, with a number of robocalls accusing his Democratic opponent of profiting off a dying man and favoring "abortion on demand."
Ooh, Virginia remains for incompetent lovers -- a slight bit of good news for Kenny the Cooch. Kenny asked God for a miracle, and apparently the Almighty said, "meh, not with Santorum involved".

On the other hand, no American Pol came out and admitted they were, in fact, smoking crack, but ONLY because they were as usually rip-roaring drunk. So, uh, Freedom?

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The "outreach" continues

Go ahead and click on the link and look at the picture of this moron. Could not be more of a cartoon, right down to the hideous tie...and his family looks full of both "happy pills" and loathing.
A Republican congressional candidate from Alabama with a history of combating homosexuality said on the campaign trail in 2002 that gays should return to California or Vermont or "wherever they came from." Mother Jones on Monday surfaced a Associated Press interview from 2002 with real estate developer Dean Young, who is vying for the Republican nomination in a runoff election Tuesday for Alabama's first congressional district, in which the candidate suggested gays must have moved to Alabama from other areas since they're not native to the state.
Yeah, gay people, they're just like pelicans or okra.

"Aha! Here's my chance!"

Sincerely, Brett Favre, and Brett Favre's camera-phone.

Voters, we can't have too many of those

Well it's another off-year election day, and what better day than for people who do not actually want voters to, y'know vote. Behold Virginia, where self-annointed as God's proxy Ken Cuccinelli and his Republican handlers have announced the secret to their victory:
...only Republicans are actively hoping that moderate floating voters stay home this time. “If turnout is in the 30s, the low 30s, we’re gonna win,” Virginia Republican party chairman Pat Mullins was reported to have told supporters this weekend. “If it gets higher up in Fairfax [in Democratic-leaning northern Virginia], say, like, 40, it’s likely we won’t. I don’t think it’s going to hit 40 anywhere. I’m looking at 32.”
If only their Party had a systemic plan to effectuate this dream? [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, November 04, 2013

American Nutrition: The latest example of "we just gave up"

Sometimes you really need something salty and something sweet come dessert time. But it’s just so much work to combine those two mouth experiences. For those lazy snackers among us, Lay’s is rolling out chocolate-covered potato chips this week. The offering is a limited-time deal, meaning if you want to get yours hands on Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate, you won’t have an eternity to get your hands on some. Each five-ounce bag goes for $3.49 and will be sold only at Target stores through the holidays.

There's a second video?

Apparently Rob Ford isn't just in a video smoking crack...he apparently is in another one. Perhaps he was doing the Whitman's Drug Sampler (available only in Canada I guess).

Broken Clock still one up on her...

Still, undoubtedly a hilarious scene involving Michele Bachmann last year after she bit the dust in the Iowa Caucus.
Sitting in her campaign bus, in the same seat where she cried with joy in August, she now sobbed over her drubbing. “God, I’m a loser,” Bachmann said.

The operative question on the NSA remains...

Who have they not spied upon?
Israel has been the target of spying by the U.S. National Security Agency and also collaborates on intelligence gathering with the United States, The New York Times reported.
Of course, the U.S. and Israel spying on each other is a long-standing tradition, ask Jonathan Pollard. But the answer to the question is, probably everyone except the people they should probably actually be spying on. This information comes through information provided by Russia's No. 1 IT hire, Edward Snowden. Meanwhile, as noticed by Digby, contributing as always to the self-parody that is the perpetual defense of the police state, Diane Feinstein actually stated: "...if Snowden had been a true whistle-blower, he could have reported it to her committee privately." Yeah, because there's been no lesser proponent of the privacy of American citizens and proponent of excusing spying excesses than good ol' DiFi. I'm sure Snowden considered that about a millisecond. [Cross-posted at Firedoglake]