Mar 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m between naps.  The medical appointment tired me out.  All in all, I spent over two hours waiting for the lift bus, and because the medical complex is so huge, I still walked about a mile.  Fortunately I did the research for this article before I left.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:40 (average 5:36).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Salon.com: Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation.  They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

We’re losing people like my father to the despair of Fox News, and it’s all by design.

My dad is 67 years old, a full year younger than the average Fox viewer, who is 68, according to an analysis in New York magazine by columnist Frank Rich. I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria.

This is a fascinating read on how the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda brainwashes people to promote irrational hatred. Click through.

From NY Times:

Recently the Federal Reserve released transcripts of its monetary policy meetings during the fateful year of 2008. And, boy, are they discouraging reading.

Partly that’s because Fed officials come across as essentially clueless about the gathering economic storm. But we knew that already. What’s really striking is the extent to which they were obsessed with the wrong thing. The economy was plunging, yet all many people at the Fed wanted to talk about was inflation.

Matthew O’Brien at The Atlantic has done the math. In August 2008 there were 322 mentions of inflation, versus only 28 of unemployment and 19 of systemic risks or crises. In the meeting on Sept. 16, 2008 — the day after Lehman fell! — there were 129 mentions of inflation versus 26 mentions of unemployment and only four of systemic risks or crises.

Historians of the Great Depression have long marveled at the folly of policy discussion at the time. For example, the Bank of England, faced with a devastating deflationary spiral, kept obsessing over the imagined threat of inflation. As the economist Ralph Hawtrey famously observed, “That was to cry ‘Fire, fire!’ in Noah’s flood.” But it turns out that modern monetary officials facing financial crisis were just as obsessed with the wrong thing as their predecessors three generations before.

Click through for most interesting analysis by Paul Krugman. What Krugman did not cover is the reason Banksters fear inflation so much. It devalues the stored wealth of the 0.1%.

From Crooks and Liars: Last month, “Christians” launched the next great hate-based initiative in the guise of a beneficial community program: Trail Life. The organization says it is the “premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens,” but really amounts to just another attempt by the Christian right to discriminate against America’s LGBT youth.

The Trail Life Scout Oath includes an order to be “morally straight.” Ron Orr, whose almost-Eagle Scout son left BSA to join Trail Life, explains that “As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin.” He says that it’s important to “hold a strong line” and “set a consistent example for our young men,” though some would question what positive example a youth organization based in hatred can possibly provide.

I disagree with the author on one key point.  These are not “Christians”.  They are Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, making them completely anti-Christian.  This is a picture of the Trail Life scouts’ salute. Need I say more?

0304TrailLife

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Feb 202014
 

I trust you all remember how Little Lord Willard was etching his sketch faster than Lyin’ Ryan’s nose grows, when we were treated to the definitive moment of the 2012 campaign.  Thinking he was speaking only to his vulture capitalists cronies, he made the infamous 47% comments, making it crystal clear that he and his party truly represent only billionaires and corporate criminals.  It seems that when Banksters think they are out of the public view, they behave altogether different then they do, when they think the world is watching.  Experiencing this first hand, engendered the following conclusion.

0220Kappa…As I walked through the streets of midtown in my ill-fitting tuxedo, I thought about the implications of what I’d just seen.

The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.

The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fear-based organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.

The last thought I had, and the saddest, was that many of these self-righteous Kappa Beta Phi members had surely been first-year bankers once. And in the 20, 30, or 40 years since, something fundamental about them had changed. Their pursuit of money and power had removed them from the larger world to the sad extent that, now, in the primes of their careers, the only people with whom they could be truly themselves were a handful of other prominent financiers. [emphasis added]

Perhaps, I realized, this social isolation is why despite extraordinary evidence to the contrary, one-percenters like Ross keep saying how badly persecuted they are. When you’re a member of the fraternity of money, it can be hard to see past the foie gras to the real world.

Inserted from <NY magazine> Hat-Tip: Daily Kos

Bear in mind, this is just the conclusion.  The rest of the article is packed material so intense that it make’s Little Lord Willard’s 47% rant seem infantile in comparison.  It includes several pictures and audio clips of these leaches who are sucking America dry, while having the unmitigated hubris to call themselves “job creators”.  It is far too important an article not to click through for all it has to offer.

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Dec 182013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and although I still feel sick as a dawg, I have to be up, waiting for service people, so you get a real Open Thread.  Tomorrow, I have to be out, so I doubt I shall have much. 

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

Here’s the updated Playoffs Bracket from our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

15Bracket

Kudos to the winners.  Sadly, I do not number among you.  All of my starting running backs, and wide receivers at the beginning of the year were out with injuries by last weekend.

Short Takes:

From my Senator’s campaign by email: There is good news for those who want a safe and sound financial system that doesn’t blow up our economy. Last week regulators finalized a rule authored by Senator Merkley along with Senator Carl Levin of Michigan to rein in the big bets by banks on Wall Street. The rule will ban risky trades by banks that take taxpayer-insured deposits. The rule, dubbed the Volcker Rule, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, would create a firewall between traditional banking and hedge fund-style gambling.

Hedge fund-style trading at our nation’s largest financial firms was a high-risk, conflict-ridden activity that played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis. Banks should be in the business of serving customers on Main Street – including taking deposits from and making loans to ordinary families and businesses. It’s fine for people to make speculative investments, but it needs to happen outside of banks so if the bets go bad they don’t imperil the lending so critical to our economic growth.

To read more about Jeff’s efforts, check out this story in the New Republic.

Way to go Jeff! Once again, Oregon leads the way!

From Upworthy: If You Need An Example Of How Silly Our Standards Have Gotten For How Women Look … Ta-Da!

 

The way I see it, this is what a woman needs to have great legs. They have to be just long enough to reach from her ass to her ankles.

From Right Wing Watch:

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan is completely enamored with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and is particularly excited about his anti-gay crackdown. In his syndicated column today, Buchanan lauds [hate propaganda delinked] Putin as a leader of “conservatives and traditionalists in every country” who are resisting “the militant secularism of a multicultural and transnational elite” who push “abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values.”

Putin is a champion of “conservatives, traditionalists and nationalists of all continents and countries” and has taken up their fight “against the cultural and ideological imperialism of what he sees as a decadent West,” Buchanan writes.

Republicans just love their Pootie (R-RU). Why? Republicans love to hate.

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Oct 302013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and running very late, because Stuck on Stupid went on a tear with the buildings power last night.  I overslept and then had to put groceries away.  I’m pooped!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 5:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

8Scores

Judy almost got me!

Standings:

8Standings

I’m coming up, but I’m in trouble this week, because Peyton is bye.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Responding to the firestorm of controversy over its spying on European allies, the head of the National Security Agency said today it would do everything in its power to avoid being caught doing it in the future.

“There are two important jobs for every spy agency: spying on people and avoiding detection,” said the N.S.A. chief General Keith Alexander. “Unfortunately, at the N.S.A. we have only done the first job well.”

“We have abused the trust of some of our closest allies,” he said. “And none of this would have happened if they hadn’t found out.”

General Alexander said that the agency was instituting strict new practices that amounted to “a zero-tolerance policy on getting caught.”

Given the level of incompetence that burrowed-in Republicans bring to the NSA, that’s a promise they just can’t keep.

From NY Times: The House is scheduled to vote on two bills this week that would undercut new financial regulations and hand Wall Street a victory. The legislation has garnered broad bipartisan support in the House, even after lawmakers learned that Citigroup lobbyists helped write one of the bills, which would exempt a wide array of derivatives trading from new regulation.

The bills are part of a broader campaign in the House, among Republicans and business-friendly Democrats, to roll back elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the most comprehensive regulatory overhaul since the Depression. Of 10 recent bills that alter Dodd-Frank or other financial regulation, six have passed the House this year. This week, if the House approves Citigroup’s legislation and another bill that would delay heightened standards for firms that offer investment advice to retirees, the tally would rise to eight.

Both the Treasury Department and consumer groups have urged lawmakers to reject the bills, warning that they could leave the nation vulnerable again to excessive financial risk taking. The House proposals stand little chance of becoming law, having received a much chillier reception in the Senate and at the White House, which on Monday threatened to veto the bill on investment advice for retirees.

If your Rep or Senators vote for these, hit them with a cactus suppository!

From Bing Video: Idiot is sooooooooo original!

Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after idiot approaches elections and speeches in the same way: he steals them.  (Those of you who are out of country, let me know if this works.  I’m trying to source Rachel from outside of MSNBC, when I can, so you can see it too.)

Cartoon:

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Sep 192013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 97.  I’m hoping fall is upon us, as there is only one hot day forecast in the next ten.  Fantasy football players, set your lineups.  There is a Thursday Night game this week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 4:35).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: If anyone doubts the complicity between the mainstream media and the titans of finance, one simply needed to watch Meet The Press with David Gregory yesterday. The seven plus minute segment started with David Gregory stating the obvious: An economy five years ago that was on the brink of collapse is now a high flying economy for the 1 percent and on the brink of collapse for the working middle class.

His guests were then-Secretary of Treasury and past CEO of Goldman Sachs Henry Paulson, CNBC mouthpiece and apologist Maria Bartiromo, and ex-Congressman Barney Frank. Most of the segment was the standard blabber of nonsensical statements on the economy…

…The zinger of the segment however came from Barney Frank’s comment about the bankers. He said:

I do want to add one thing though to your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much to keep from not being able to pay their debts, that they can’t lend money. If they really are running businesses that are so stressed that they can’t do their basic work, why are they paying themselves so much money?

That statement left Bartiromo, Paulson and Gregory temporarily speechless with facial expressions that said it all. They were trapped and unable to speak to acknowledge the fact laid out by Frank. Their enslavement to the plutocracy was evident. Gregory had a nervous laugh as Bartiromo again deflected…

 

OOOPS! Busted!!!!

From NY Times: Details buried in the United Nations report on the Syrian chemical weapons attack point directly at elite military formations loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, some of the strongest findings to date that suggest the government gassed its own people.

The inspectors, instructed to investigate the attack but not to assign blame, nonetheless listed the precise compass directions of flight for two rocket strikes that appeared to lead back toward the government’s elite redoubt in Damascus, Mount Qasioun, which overlooks and protects neighborhoods and Mr. Assad’s presidential palace and where his Republican Guard and the army’s powerful Fourth Division are entrenched…

Tinfoil hats on both sides of the aisle are misrepresenting the contents of this report, to claim there is no justification for military intervention. I also oppose military intervention, but lefties should not be playing fast and loose with the facts. Integrity is how people can tell us from Republicans.

From TPM: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared Tuesday that Republicans intend to use the debt limit as "leverage" to extract concessions from Democrats, setting up a direct confrontation with President Barack Obama, who has vowed that raising the debt limit is non-negotiable…

The sabotage and sedition to allow America to default on paying the bills for what Congress has already spent is not just the demesne of the lunatic fringe of the party, aka the base. If it were not Republican policy, Bought Bitch Mitch, the Senate Majority Leader, would not be supporting it.

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Aug 242013
 

Writing for tomorrow, day 71, it’s still relatively cool.  I may actually have a few days respite from this horrid summer.  The meeting went well.  We brought in a writers’ panel headed by a writer from our local newspaper, and they read essays to the guys.  I had the enjoyment of upbraiding one of the guys, telling him that he’s stinking up the place so bad, he ought to be thrown right out of the prison.  Several of the guys joined in giving him a hard time.  He didn’t mind.  His release date is today.  I was so tired, I slept the clock around.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:06 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: …In short, the main lesson of this age of bubbles — a lesson that India, Brazil, and others are learning once again — is that when the financial industry is set loose to do its thing, it lurches from crisis to crisis.

An excellent conclusion by Paul Krugman at the end of a fascinating article. Click through.

From Alternet: Koch Industries confirmed it will not be buying the Tribune Company’s eight newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times.

Progressive activists have heavily opposed the business and political activities of Koch Industries’ leadership, organizing a number of protests against the takeover. Activists in May had demonstrated outside the LA Times building protesting the sale on the grounds that the Koch brothers are  “ radical ideologues” who would use the paper as a mouthpiece to advance their political objectives. The Other 98% organized a crowd-sourcing campaign to "Free the Press" and raise the $600 million required to buy the Trib before Koch could. 

Even local city councils expressed opposition. Hartford City Council passed a resolution denouncing the takeover of Tribune…

Wooo Hooo!! There are to few newspapers left to allow any to become Koch suckers!

From MSNBC: Faux Noise lies to promote racism

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

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda is simply trying to project their own racism onto us while stirring up blood-lust in their rabid followers.

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Jul 282013
 

In my opinion, Obama’s worst appointees of his Presidency have been the Three Blind Mice: Ben “Bankster Boy” Bernanke, Larry “So Wrong” Summers, and “Timmy the Tool” Geithner.  He should have kept his economic team for campaign 2000, instead of adopting Hillary’s.  He could not make a bigger mistake than to pick either of the other two to replace Bankster Boy at the Fed.  Especially when he has an excellent alternative in Janet Yellen.

28Fedchair

Whoever said "What you don’t know can’t hurt you" doesn’t know much about economics.  That goes double for the nomination of Lawrence Summers to head the Federal Reserve. For all the ink that’s been spilled on the topic, there’s at least one surprise ending people don’t seem to be considering.

Remember the last time Summers was strapped to a trial balloon and exposed to this kind of a public dart-throwing contest? It was back when Obama was searching for his first Treasury Secretary. There was a public outcry against Summers then, too, and guess what happened:

We got Tim Geithner instead.

I’m against the Summers nomination too, but as they say: Be careful what you wish for…

Inserted from <Alternet>

Chris Hayes compared Summers and Yellen, but he missed the possibility of Geithner.

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

You’ve already learned my opinion of hiring Summers: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Let me add my opinion of hiring Geithner: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! We already have one of the three blind mice at the Fed now. The last thing we need is either of the other two.

Yellen works for me, but if not her, here is how Obama should make that choice. He should say, "Lizzie, whom should I hire?" Then he should pick whomever Elizabeth Warren tells him to hire.

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