Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hunger Strike Grows

More detainees at Gitmo have joined the hunger strike.  If our methods, policies and procedures are correct, then we've done no wrong.  If we've done no wrong,  then we should let them starve themselves to death.

Of course if we've fucked up along the way, forcing them to stay alive is just one more fuck up.  We're forcing them to stay alive.  

We are at a point where we have to make a decision and take action today.  We have a few options.  We can let them die.  We can send them home.  Or, we can try them in a civilian court--the military owns this fuck up, so they are out.

Sticking tubes down their noses to keep them alive is like keeping someone who tried to kill themselves alive so we can execute them in the future.  But hey, Gitmo is a Bush special continued by Obama and Congress.   End it.  Close the base.  Give it back to Cuba.


Military says 100 of 166 prisoners now on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay

The Shrub's Legacy

Some might point to Iraq's elections and give little George some credit--

Election authorities said the turnout in the 12 out of 18 provinces where the polls were conducted was 51% of eligible voters, a figure identical to the last provincial elections, four years ago. In the first post-war polls, in 2005, parents brought their children to the polls and proudly held up fingers dipped in purple ink showing they had voted. This time it seemed more like hard work.

However, others gag on that --

Iraq is a country where government is now ranked among the least open and most corrupt in the world, Iraqis also have no qualms about believing that political parties provide cover for hired killers. While the security measures temporarily stopped the bombings that are still a regular feature of life (and death) in Iraq, they did not prevent assassinations of political candidates. More than a dozen were killed, all of them Sunnis, a minority among Iraq’s Arabs. Car-bombs soon resumed too—at least seven people died in the latest attack on April 24th.

The Shrub fucked up Iraq and the U.S.  Oh, I am confident that's what history will show too.

A damp squib

Marginal Competence Update -- FBI

Maybe they got their man this time.  What if they blew it again?

Miss. man arrested in investigation into poisoned letters sent to president, others

It's Spring!!!!

Our April Showers will bring our May flowers.  The trees are all abud.  Early flowering plants are abundant this year.  It's a late Spring.  It's grand.  Oh, it's Spring all across the Northern Hemisphere.  Hey, Afghanistan is in the Northern Hemisphere.   Is it flowers and sunshine over there?  Almost forgot we're still at war so it's--TIME FOR THE TALIBAN SPRING OFFENSIVE!

What can I say?

All I can say is this is weird fucking shit.  It's equally weird for all the little girls in the thrall of being a princess, all the parents who pander to their spawn, and all the sleazebags who've created a new job title--Professional Party Princess.

For ‘professional princesses,’ birthday-party gigs are big business

Originalism must rot the brain

Scalia ought to give this piece a read.  Forget it, it would not matter.  He lives in a right wing fantasyland and can't see beyond his own phlegm bag of self.

Scalia’s limited understanding of the Voting Rights Act

Quick we better declare war on somebody!

As the Trogs get their way on spending less and cutting taxes, when we throw in a move towards peace it just sucks for everybody.

A steep slowdown in defense spending tied to the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is undercutting the country’s economic recovery, new government data released Friday revealed.

The report showed gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent during the first three months of the year — significantly slower than most economists had expected. The culprit? A surprising 11.5 percent annualized drop-off in military spending.

It's time to do as Art Buchwald once suggested.  We can solve our economic malaise by declaring a war, ramping up to fight the war, spending tons of money on the war, but avoid the down side by doing every warrish thing except actually fight the war.  Art thought all Americans would accept a declaration of war on France.  Break out the Freedom Fries!

Something to think about...

Here's a piece that looks at  a simple question:  Is it too much to ask that policymakers keep in mind when they are thinking about a policy that it may enrage much of the world, and thus endanger Americans here at home,when making their calculations about where next to show the flag?

Time to Admit U.S. Policies Can Cause Terrorism

Complex in the making

We've been spending billions and will spend more.  Where?  Oh, on the border.  I think we now have a nascent Border Security Congressional Complex.  Once a complex is built, it can't be unbuilt.  We're stuck with them forever since  tax dollars become private sector incomes.  Until we elect a better class of people to Congress and the White House, all we can do is pay and pay and pay.

Billions Proposed for New Border Security. Where Would the Money Go?

Friday, April 26, 2013

What Comes After Batshit Crazy?

I'm not sure, but Louis Gomert is there.

Muslim Brotherhood Members In Obama Administration Are Influencing U.S. Decisions

Arm the kids

It's time to have all the little T-Ball types start packing, it may be that the only thing that stands between an unarmed adult and an adult  bad guy with a gun, is a six year old with a .357!  Keep on shooting!

Arrest in shooting at Vallejo T-ball game

Boston Bombers -- On the Road to NYC

Give this piece a read and realize that but for their screwup at a gas station, bombs probably would have gone off in NYC.

Carjacking victim describes harrowing night

The Market Speaks -- Factory Fires Are Just A Price for Good Deals At Walmart and Old Navy

Have you bought any inexpensive clothes made in Bangladesh of late?  If so, you support, condone and abet the deaths of all those textile workers.   Think about it.

BIG BRANDS REJECTED BANGLADESH FACTORY SAFETY PLAN

The Shrub Will Always Suck

Just because he's out of office and has built a library for his book* does not mean we should forget why he will always be in the bottom five of our worst presidents.  Eugene Robinson reminds us --

Bush’s legacy keeps getting worse

*His book is "My Pet Goat."

Douchebag Watch -- Issa

Issa’s absurd claim that Clinton’s ‘signature’ means she personally approved it

Government For Sale, Make That Sold

White House Correspondents’ Association dinner isn’t costly, but the parties are


Thursday, April 25, 2013

I wish she'd spoken out before the Shrub became Prez.

“There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes,” former first lady Barbara Bush told NBC’s “Today,” adding that she doesn’t think her son, the former Florida governor, will make a bid.

DOMA is DUMBA

Think not?  Well consider this--

Gay couples can’t make joint political donations from individual account, FEC rules

The law may be an ass, oh, speaking of asses, I wonder if Scalia and the Supremes have caught this one.  There's still time to ponder DOMA and trash it totally.  If they uphold DOMA, then they are infringing on the free speech of legally married gays.  Don't forget, money is speech per the Rightwing Robes.  Defend free speech and defeat DOMA.  The above may be idiotic, but DOMA is just plain dumb.

Red Line? Well....

Chemical weapons are Obama's red line.  He never said what that meant, but the implication was he would have the U.S. take some kind of overt military action.  Will he?  Meh.

If he does, I have some suggestions.

First, Congress has to declare war on Syria.

Second, the draft has to be revived and must include all females between the ages of 18-26 must register, so that 50% of all soldiers will be in the service of their country against their will.

Third, Congress has to approve of Syrian war tax before a single dime of tax revenue can be expended on any action in Syria or related to Syria.


U.S. intelligence believes Syria’s Assad used chemical weapons ‘on a small scale’

Gee, Did Anyone Expect Otherwise?

A Rise in Wealth for the Wealthy; Declines for the Lower 93%

If we, the voters, keep electing assholes who get down on their knees to service the rich, then inequity will get much worse.  It's time to make the rich bend over!

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Regulation Front -- West, Texas

I'm sure everyone is darn glad that there was no real regulation of the fertilizer plant that blew up.  Yep, the market decides who stays in business.  Of course this assumes the owners were inside the plant when it blew up, otherwise they will do it again.  I guess that's the price of freedom and liberty.  I wonder if the folks in West, Texas agree with the foregoing bullshit.  Sadly, I'm afraid many Trogs prefer the deaths of others to sensible regulation that preserves the safety of all members of any given community.

Here's a recap on West, Texas:


What Went Wrong in West, Texas — and Where Were the Regulators?

PolitiFact

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Fact-checking 'Scooby Doo'


Every now and then, we take a break from public policy to have a little fun. So this week, PolitiFact New Jersey did an in-depth analysis on Chris Christie’s comments about watching Scooby Doo when he was 4.

We’ll let you enjoy PolitiFact New Jersey’s report without giving away the ending. The report even caught the attention of Stephen Colbert. Ruh-roh!

We've also done plenty of serious fact-checking lately. Check the site this weekend for our special report on what we’ve found about gun research. In the meantime, you can read all of our recent fact-checks on guns.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yep, We Don't Need No Stinkin' Federal Government

The budget bozos of the teabaggery are proud of themselves.  They will cut government spending.  They will make government smaller. They will expect medals for their unreasoning patriotic zealousness.  Of course if the hurricane or tornado hits their district or state without warning they won't blame themselves as they appeal for non-existent FEMA funds.  I wonder if they will blame others in Congress for allowing them to be irresponsible boobs?

As hurricane season approaches, weather agencies gird for cuts

Another reason to do top to bottom tax reform

When federal agencies screwup consistently over time, they never seem to quite be able to correct themselves.  I guess the VA has long been the poster child for bureaucratic jackassery.  The IRS does compete well with the VA.

IRS issued billions in improper refunds, report says

Our current tax code needs to be totally scrapped.  It needs to be replaced with a simpler code that does one thing--collects taxes.  Collecting taxes does not include deductions, credits, expenditures, or any contain other creative twist that avoids paying taxes on any income garnered during a year.  If we want to do good works, we need to do it through a good works department, not the IRS.

All income or things of value received from whatever source should be taxed.  One example should allow you to see where I'm headed.  If a business wants to buy an employees health insurance, that's fine, but the recipient has to pay taxes on the "benefit."  There are no non-taxed benefits since they are actually income.  There is only one category of income and it's all taxed the same.

All businesses need to pay, not taxes on profits, but pay an annual existence tax.  If a business exists, it will have to pay a modest percentage on gross revenue.  It's more like a sales tax applied at the end of the year.  Business does get to deduct two items.  Money given to employees as wages or benefits is deductible (it's taxed at the individual level).  Money distributed to stockholders is deductible (it's taxed at the individual level).   There are no other deductions for anything.  The concepts of depreciation and cost of business become, for tax purposes,  things of the past.  If a business exists and generates any revenue, it will be taxed.

Oh, that means all individuals would have to file tax returns and all businesses and organizations would too.   The IRS should be in one business, collecting taxes, period.        

Tattoos & Obama

I agree with Obama's apparent opposition to tattoo's.  However, I doubt he'd actually follow through on his threat.  He is pretty much all talk and no walk.  I personally do not understand why people get tattoos.  I am repulsed by them.  They are not adornment or art or anything worthwhile.  Tattoos reflect a person who is basically unhinged, unstable and angry/violent.  The degree of violence realized varies directly with the number of tattoos.  

Obama: If daughters get tattoos, we will too

Remember this is the same FBI working so hard in Boston

Maybe the Trogs have a point about the FBI, Homeland Dept. and terrorist intelligence.   The ricin mess is Keystone Kops.

Charges dropped against Miss. man in ricin case as FBI searches second home

Assume both agencies decided to not share info.  Assume had they worked together the Boston bombing had not occurred.  If the bombs had not gone off, then three people would still be living.  I wonder if bureaucrats so hellbent on punching their personal success tickets ever see themselves as murderers?  I grant those are large assumptions, but I am quite cynical about the ability of our government to actually govern any more.  We get by and that's about all since it's become one giant tax revenue transfer machine that serves the rich.  Anybody got a spare pitchfork?


Will We Ever Really Know?

The Boston Marathon bombers were, per the feds (under a Democratic administration), home grown terrorists (which makes them just plain old crazy criminals).  They did it all by themselves.  Of course there are others, the Repbulicans who are sure there's a huge conspriacy full of Islamic jihadis who hate us for our freedom.

Yep, the GOP thinks the Obama team sucks--“I think there’s been some stovepipes reconstructed,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, using a term that refers to bureaucratic barriers. While the Dems think he still walks on water-- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, disputed that characterization and praised the work of investigators, saying she had “complete confidence” the case would be solved.

In other words the Boston bombing is now all about 2014 and 2016, screw Boston.  Remember the only measure of success for American politicians in good old number one land is to first, get elected, second get reelected, third get more of your party in office than the other party and fourth if there's any time left do the job actually elected to do--govern.

I am stuck by the bold assertions attributed anonymously  by investigators about the guy who was shot in the neck and can barely talk.  Before I accept their statements, I'd like some names, direct quotes, and a transcript of the Q&A.

No links seen between Boston suspects and foreign terrorist groups, officials say

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Captains of Industry At Work In a Fact Free World

Are we really sure these guys have any marbles at all?  This is the investor class, the Willards of this world.  Wow and to think these rich dorks are the GOP's job makers.  Damn we're so screwed and now you know why-- who needs facts!

U.S. stocks and the dollar briefly plunged Tuesday afternoon and U.S. Treasury bonds and gold prices soared, after a tweet from the Associated Press's Twitter account claimed that there were two explosions in the White House and that President Barrack Obama had been injured.

This Time Shia Killed Sunni

In the land of Bush's legacy, the sectarians keep exacerbating each other to death.  Today, the government (Shia) raided a Sunni (disgruntled, militant, jihadi, al Qaedas) and killed a few dozen.  This means we'll see coming to an Iraqi shithole soon, "the slaughter of the Shia, part 273."  The Shrub and his Uncle Dork did bang up job of nation building.

IRAQ: 36 DEAD AFTER RAID ON SUNNI PROTEST SITE

Prez Yada, Yada, Yada

If Syria uses chemical weapons, the Prez says it's a game changer. It's his red line.  Okay, what the hell does that mean?  Maybe we'll find out--

ISRAELI OFFICIAL: SYRIA'S ASSAD USED CHEMICAL ARMS

We're going to invade Syria over chemical weapons?  Come on, all we can really do is make more speeches and try to boycott the shithole.  Of course we could see a speech a day on Syria from Obama!


Former AIC (Asshole In Chief) -- The Shrub

Captain T-Ball has built a library.  It will house his book, "My Pet Goat."  He thinks he's cool.  He's sure history will judge him well.  He remains a dolt.  For those more charitible than myself, give Mr. Balz's piece a read.

As Bush library opening puts his presidency back in the spotlight, his approval rating is up

Some presidents can never be redeemed, for example Nixon and Clinton.  Bush joins them.

Radicalize Them

What does it mean for a young male Chechnyan Muslim to be radicalized?  Maybe this--

Radical Islam is the demand for a strict adherence to specific theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology, primarily to promote continuity and accuracy.  The term "radicalist" was originally coined by its supporters to describe a specific package of theological beliefs that developed into a movement within the Muslim community in the early part of the 20th century, and that had its roots in the Radical Islam–Modernist Controversy of that time. The term usually has a religious connotation indicating unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs. "Radicalist" is sometimes used as a pejorative term, particularly when combined with other epithets (as in the phrase "jihadi radicalist").

Now that you've read this, I have to confess, I edited the above paragraph about fundamentalism that was focused on Christians.  Funny, nuts are nuts no matter the faith.  The Christian fundies scare me as much at the Muslim jihadis.

George W. Obama

I do not understand why Dems tolerate the Republican in the White House.   Every time I think the man might stand like a Democrat, he caves and gives me evidence that he is truly a moderate Republican.  If you think he does not want to make everybody pay more taxes, then you are a fool.

Analysis of Obama’s budget finds a higher tax burden for most Americans


2016 Race -- Asshole Division

Rand Paul is pretty much an educated idiot.  His statements about the Boston Bombers and immigration show us he's ready, willing and able to say any moronic thought which he thinks will win him votes and donations for his next election.   The only thing sadder than a Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate are those people, outside of Kentucky, who are impressed by his words and deeds.  Kentucky, well, since Mr. Paul is representative of the State that makes it a good place to not visit.

Rand Paul’s misguided question on how the Tsarnaev brothers arrived in the United States

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston

I have not posted much on the Boston bombings.  I have, as have many, spent hours glued to to CNN following the story from the initial blast, through the capture and on into the analysis of the event.  From all the coverage I can say it appears two young men blew up a couple of bombs at the marathon finish line.  Subsequently, a few days later,  they killed a MIT campus cop for some unknown reason.  They hijacked a car.  Then they engaged by police had a joyride with bombs ending in a shootout with the police.  The older of the two was shot by police and apparently was run over by his brother who escaped from police.   A policeman was critically injured in the shootout.  The younger brother fled on foot.   The Watertown area of Boston went into lockdown the next day.  No one was out or about.  All buses, taxis and other means of transportation were idled.  After hours and hours the police did not find the bomber.  The police ended the lockdown.  Then they received a 911 call about a bloody body in a boat.  It was the surviving bomber.  After more police, than I imagined existed in any one area, converged on the boat he surrendered.  He was taken to a hospital and is in the process of being treated and questioned.

What I do not know is if this was an act of two really pissed off stupid people or an act of terrorism.  I do not know what hell this has to do with altering the Immigration Bill in the Senate (other than using this as a new way to not deal with immigration).  I do not have any idea why they did what they did much less if they had other violent acts planned.  No one does.  TV provides a tad too much speculation.  This is not a political matter, it's a violent act that must be dealt with by Boston and the State of Massachusetts justice system.  It did not take long for the federal level pols to get free air time by making inane demands and idiotic charges (anything for votes I guess).  Until we all know a lot more than we do today, we need to temper our statements about the brothers, the bombs, and what should happen to them.  There is a little matter of due process and a trial.  

I forgot to mention all the CNN experts and analysts they have on retainer.  They haul them out to fill air time.  They may have had some expertise once in their lives, but for the most part today they have little if anything to add to our factual knowledge.  These aces seem to make things murky rather than provide clarity.  It was hard enough for the "reporters" to get it right as the story unfolded.
    


Where do bullies come from?

Can you guess?  If you know or knew a child that's a bully, think back to that line about apples falling from a tree.  Think not?  Well, let's take a peek at T-Shirts, kids, guns and school.  I bet the tykes are, independent of parents, scholars of the 2nd Amendment, have their own sources of income, and make all their clothing purchase decisions for themselves.  Yep, there's no way Mom and Dad influence their urchin spawn.

Argument over NRA T-shirt gets eighth-grader jailed. Dress code run amok?


Fantasy Alert

I bet they had "faith" that the plant was well run and safe too.   I bet they had faith that god was on their side before the blast.  I bet they have faith that god righteously decided some had to die (I'm waiting for Pat Robertson to single out queers and abortionists in West, Texas on this one).  Faith must show them that an all knowing, powerful, and loving god, did not think too highly of West, Texas.  Now, those  bitter Texans can turn to god but not their guns since they were blown sky high too.

In aftermath of West, Texas, explosion, a town turns to faith

Hunger Strikes At Gitmo

Hunger strikes have never made much sense to me.  I don't quite understand the reaction to prisoners who opt to not eat.  Who really gives a shit about this?  If they want to die, let them.  It's their right.  If the prisoners at Gitmo die by self administered starvation, we'd solve our Gitmo problem.  We won't try them.  We won't release them.  I bet we don't even know why most of them are actually incarcerated in Cube.  Now we're forcing them to keep on living.  Let them starve.  Let them die.  Or instead of forcing them to live, then maybe we should force them to go home.  We do so much by force don't we.

Nearly half of Guantánamo prisoners now on hunger strike

What a foundation

We all know how well the Shrub and his Uncle Dork wrecked and rebuilt Iraq.  How'd they do in the other place, Afghanistan?   After almost of dozen years of the overseas contingency operation (war in Obamaspeak) the foundation shows through--

Taliban take 11 hostages, including 8 Turks, after emergency helicopter landing in Afghanistan

Suck Up Watch

When you put a suck up and a snobbish Supreme together you get an infringement of the 1st Amendment.  Of course folks don't get as riled up about this as they do guns.   Judges are appointed federal employees, no more, no less.  If they can't take public scrutiny then they should not have sought or accepted the appointment.  Suck ups need to hold their breath, turn blue and maybe die (the world would be a better place).  They can't but they can and should be replaced.

Law school dean regrets ‘censorship’ of Chief Justice Roberts visit

Guns Don't Kill People Front

Yep, a gun is an inanimate object, that, when in the possession of a person, can be used by that person to kill another person.  There are times when I wish all of our staunch and rabid defenders of the 2nd Amendment would form into a circle and simultaneously all fire towards the center of the circle.

I seriously doubt that the 2nd was intended to abet the barbarism of gun nutiness we see today.  Look, those guys really did fuck it up on slavery.  Perhaps they did the same with guns.  They kicked the gun can down the road and we have not figured out what to do about it yet.  My god, will we have to have a domestic gun war?

If so, the sides would be about the same, look at a map of today's red (gun) and blue (control) states.  Now substitute grey for red and here we go again.  

If gun owners would always be sure those they shoot are also gun owners I'd let them blast away all day and even set them up with festivals of death and dying.   Hell, a football game half time shooting show would play well throughout the South.   However, bullets go in all directions and kill non-gun owners, so maybe we need to make it a skosh harder for people to put guns in their hands.

Police: 5 dead in shootings at apartment complex south of Seattle

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Once Again

Between the new puppy--he is a bit time consuming--and lack of Interest service today until now, I can't say I'll be posting much at all.  As it was, I planned to read my papers this morning via the Internet--no papers were delivered or available at the nearby convenient store.  Then my WISP wasn't.  That just meant more time for the pup and the Cav who still has little to do with the pup.