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]