Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Government for the People...if by people you mean Corporations

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:57 AM Permalink

I know, I go on about it a lot, but it still feels like people think their representatives represent them, the people. And I constantly feel the need to remind people that it's simply not true. With regards to the 'public option' in the healthcare proposal:
Here's the killer sentence, spotted by Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown on Page 6 of the CBO's analysis of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "blended" House bill: "[A] public plan paying negotiated rates ... would typically have premiums that are somewhat higher [italics mine] than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges."
Seriously, it's so obvious who they represent, isn't it?

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Friday, October 30, 2009

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

posted by The Sailor @ 6:53 PM Permalink

I think this is really cool:
Like a Skyline Is Etched in His Head

In a helicopter above the city on Friday, Stephen Wiltshire of London looked down at the streets and sprawl of New York. He flew for 20 minutes. Since then, working only from the memory of that sight, he has been sketching and drawing a mighty panorama of the city, rendering the city’s 305 square miles along an arc of paper that is 19 feet long. He is working publicly in a gallery at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
“I always memorize by helicopter,” he said on Tuesday, pausing from detailing the corners of a street on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Mr. Wiltshire sees and draws. It is how he connects. Until age 5, he had never uttered a word. One day, his kindergarten class at a school for autistic children in London went on a field trip.

When they came back, he spoke.

“He said, ‘Paper,’ ” his sister, Annette Wiltshire, said. “The teacher asked him to say it again. He said it. Then they asked him to say something else, and he said, ‘Pen.’ ”
Check out his website, and check out his work.

IMHO, this is the best rendition of What A Wonderful World:

To paraphrase Warren Zevon IRT Tom Waits: I can sing like Louis ... once.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crying Over You

posted by The Sailor @ 8:00 PM Permalink

This story is a heart breaker:
Girl's 'Notes Left Behind' Made Into Book

Brooke and Keith Desserich say they never intended to write a book about their daughter.

It started as a parent's personal journal to their younger daughter Gracie, so she would be able to remember her 6-year-old sister, Elena, who was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer.

"They told us at the very beginning that she had 135 days to live," Keith Desserich said.

Though her parents didn't want her to know the severity of her cancer, they feel that she must have known what was happening. The tumor slowly took away her ability to talk.

But Elena was still able to write.

"That was her way to letting us know everything would be OK," Brooke Desserich said.

After Elena passed away, her parents discovered that their daughter had left a message behind for them -- a lot of messages, actually.

"We started to pull out notes and they would be in between CDs or between books on our bookshelf," Keith Desserich said.

Then the couple started finding them everywhere.

"We started to collect them and they would all say 'I love you Mom, Dad and Grace.' We kept finding them, and still to this day, we keep finding them," Keith Desserich said. "Literally, there are hundreds of notes that we found."

Elena’s parents each hold onto a sealed note they've never opened.

"We always want to know that there’s one more note that we haven't read yet," Keith Desserich said.
There's more, but I've got something in my eye and I can't post about this anymore.

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Look at this handsome fella.

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:30 PM Permalink

He's quite the Cassanova.

Sorry for the light posting. As soon as work lets up and Teen Vidiot calms down, I'll be back to posting.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All My Ex's Live In Texas

posted by The Sailor @ 7:17 PM Permalink

Texas Gov Perry never lets the facts get in the way of killing an innocent man:
Controversy Builds in Texas Over an Execution

Questions about whether Gov. Rick Perry allowed the execution of a man some arson experts say may have been innocent, and then hindered an investigation into the evidence, continue to reverberate across Texas, where issues surrounding capital punishment have rarely stirred such controversy.
Three weeks ago Mr. Perry replaced the chairman and two other members of the State Forensic Science Commission, which was about to hold hearings on the evidence in the case. The new chairman, a close ally of the governor, promptly canceled a hearing at which a second, independent arson expert was to testify. The commission’s expert, Craig L. Beyler of Baltimore, had concluded in a lengthy report that the evidence did not prove that Mr. Willingham set the fire that killed his three daughters in 1991.
Last week Mr. Perry defended his decision and struck back at his critics. “Willingham was a monster,” he said.
Governor Perry has also refused to release the memorandum from his general counsel on which he based his decision to let the execution proceed. He says the memorandum is protected by attorney-client privilege.
The only monster I see is a governor running for re-election that refuses to release documents that the citizens of Texas paid for.

But wait, there's more!Governor Goodhair, (big thanks to Molly Ivins wherever you are), AKA Gov Rick Perry R-TexAss, thinks it's OK to have his ABC commissioner solicit bribes campaign donations on his behalf from the very folks they regulate.

I think that's usually called a 'protection racket.' He's as crooked as a snake in a hall of fractured mirrors.

I know most Texans loves them some death penalty, but are they willing to kill an innocent man!? I think not. I lived in Texas. Justice was harsh, but it wasn't crooked.

Think of your better angels. In the mean time enjoy this:

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Monday, October 26, 2009

My Friends Know What's In Store

posted by The Sailor @ 5:54 PM Permalink

Perhaps you've seen the distraction, (ooh look, something shiny!), between Faux News & the White House. What has been lost in the 'analysis' from all the MMM (Millionaire Multi-Media) is the same thing these stenographers always manage to avoid: are the Admin's accusations true?

Is Faux News an arm of the republican party? Are their news division and opinion division intertwined?


They've been attacking President Obama since he started running. "Terrorist fist jab" came directly from their newsroom. The chairman of Faux News, Roger Ailes worked for the Nixon, Reagan and Bush I campaigns. No need to work 'for' Bush II, Ailes ran the news division.

And while rethiglicans are screaming about 'unprecedented attacks on the media!', MediaMatters have lined up a slew of precedent.

(Quick aside: Something that especially offended me was the NYT's headline Behind the War Between White House and Fox You'd think by now they'd know the difference between statements and people dying in a WAR!)

IRT the 'liberal media', the WaPo and the NYT are both on record as saying they need to cover wrongwing news more (see above link.) Politco founders are on record saying "Drudge rules our world." CNN host Lou Dobbs pushed the birther conspiracy, and the bete noir of conservatives, MSNBC, has 3 straight hours of a rightwing ex-congressman Joe Scarborough spewing in the morning. (BTW Joe, what did happen to that dead intern on your desk?)

One would think that after all the MMM did to push the Bush WH's completely erroneous message on the need for an Iraq War on the American public, and all they did to promote the Clinton WH 'scandals' we could drop the 'liberal media' canard.

The 'he said/she said' skool of reporting only works if you don't have evidence. I think if you investigate abuse and only one person has scars and bruises you can find the truth. But you have to be willing to look. Maybe, just maybe, reporters do tend to be Democrats, but their editors aren't, their owners aren't and the board of directors of the corporations aren't.

But none of them are proven to be such blatant, top down, regurgitating republican talking points of the republican party as Fox News.

Time for some clean up in Ailes 1:

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Web is a Weird Weird Place.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:50 PM Permalink

I just found out that one of my favorite bloggers has died.
The news that good friend, fellow author and Fortean writer and researcher Mac Tonnies has passed away suddenly at the age of only 34, is tragic, mind-numbing and overwhelmingly saddening.
I'd mentioned him on this blog and I commented on his, so we exchanged a few words, not many, but I loved reading his blog and checked it for updates often. I had noticed he hadn't updated for a while and I was beginning to wonder, then I saw the notice.

Here's why the web is a weird weird place: I didn't know him, never met him, we exchanged a few comments on our blogs, and that's it. Yet, I'm troubled by his early demise. Why? Like I said, I didn't know the guy. But I FELT like I did.

And that's what's weird. You read someone's blog, and they write about personal stuff, or personal thoughts, and you feel like you know them. But of course, you don't. But we FEEL like we do. It's very confusing. What does it mean to know someone now? I've never met my blogmates, The Sailor or Bill, but I feel like I know them well. What has the web done to interpersonal relationships? Has it minimized them? Maximized them? Altered them for the better or worse?

Has our reality become such a mish-mosh that the lines of true interpersonal relationships has become confounded with digital or media-driven ones? What does that mean for our humanity that we can so easily conjure emotions in completely manufactured situations?

Hopefully it's not creating a society where real human connections will be displaced by digital ones. Digital ones are clean and simple. Real human connections are messy, exciting, and occasionally pitifully annoying and dealing with them can be a huge pain in the ass. A digital relationship, when it becomes a bother, is easy to avoid; just don't read that email or respond to that blogpost or twitter. Hopefully, digital relationships will only add to the human experience and not detract from it. But, my jury is still out on all 'dat.

Well, whatever. Thoughts on humanity don't really get you anywhere fast.

Mac Tonnies, may ye' rest in peace.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If You Don't Know Me By Now

posted by The Sailor @ 5:50 PM Permalink

If you don't know these blogs by now, check them out, you might find you have a new daily read.

Siri at WTF Is It Now?!? has an excellent post about a new monument we need in DC:

It occurs to me that what we really need here in this country is a national memorial, perhaps like the Viet Nam memorial, a wall, upon which is carved each and every American's name who has lost his or her life, made the "ultimate sacrifice", because of the lack of or inadequate health care/insurance. Only this memorial would be more like a 9/11 memorial than the Viet Nam wall because none of these names volunteered or signed up for their ultimate UNECESSARY demise....

Cookie Jill at skippy's place caught this at the LA Times. Read it and weep:
97 years old and homeless
..."it makes me feel like i'm a bum," bessie said. "i don't mind living at the mercy of the public because some of the public is good -- they're nice to me. but there are some that are nasty. some of them laugh at me and my sign. they say they don't think i'm 97 years old."

reaching slowly into a pocket, she pulls out a laminated california state identification card that shows her date of birth: march 2, 1912.

Heather at Crooks and Liars watches Grayson's Anatomy:
Rachel Maddow talks to Rep. Alan Grayson
Maddow: On health reform let me ask you right now how you feel about the two sides right now. We talked about it at the top of the show. Sen. Jon Kyl, Republican, this weekend saying he doesn’t believe that death rates are higher for people who don’t have health insurance. The chair of the Republican Party says we just don’t need health reform. How do you see the two sides right now.

Grayson: I think that the Democrats have been fooled now for months by this fantasy of bipartisanship. Bipartisanship is a concept that’s become a weapon of mass distraction to keep us from actually doing what we need to do—to give people in this country universal health care—to give them affordable health care—and to give them comprehensive health care.

Dr. Sardonicus is in at Pole Hill Sanitarium and is doing a project on The Beatles. I think everyone, whether a Beatleologist or just curious about them could learn something. I know I did.
Album project: Beatles For Sale

The Beatles spent most of 1964 touring the world, In June, they did 19 shows in 32 days, visiting Denmark, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. They folowed this with a triumphant return to the United States in August, performing 30 shows in 23 cities during the month. The tours became a monotonous grind, with the time before shows spent with promotional appearances, and dealing with obnoxious promoters, journalists, and DJs. The shows themselves were frustrating experiences, the group usually hurrying through 15 songs in 25 minutes that neither band nor audience could hear over all the screaming - as John Lennon remarked, "We might as well had been playing broomsticks."
Full disclosure: Dr. S occasionally writes for SteveAudio. He was invited to write there because I think he writes well and suggested him to Steve.

edroso at alicublog constantly covers the outer wingnuttia, (by outer, I mean mainstream wingnut blogs), so that we don't have to. The whole blog is great so I'll just give you this small sample:
Being a bit of a crank myself, I generally applaud non-joiners, holdouts, and antiquarians. But to go on for over 2,200 words about all the things he hasn't seen and won't see suggests, despite his insistence to the contrary, that Hanson is proud of it. He's proud as an observantly religious man might be that he scrupulously avoids the near occasion of sin, and has done so long and faithfully enough that he can truly say he's untempted.
The examples he gives are proof that peak wingnut can never be achieved. As Einstein said: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Friday, October 16, 2009

Birth of the Liberalitarians?

posted by Global Patriot Worker @ 8:17 AM Permalink

One often wonders how the intellectual processes work and how strange conclusions can be reached. Needless to say, I've been thinking lately.

Is it my imagination or are we witnessing the birthing of an odd set of bedfellows? Are liberals and libertarians finding a good bit of common ground as of late? I hear the screaming voices bellowing in horror at the thought of the "government as your friend crowd" whooping it up with the "they didn't say anything about that in the Constitution" folks. But there is something happening ...albeit as I see it......which counts for nothing.

As I understand it, Libertarians do not want government to exercise anymore power than they are strictly mandated to use and it is best to let the true primal forces of freedom flourish, short of anarchy. Am I close?

Also, as I understand it Liberals focus closely on the corporate beast and its cold manipulations of the market in search of profit, most often to the detriment of average folks, the environment and other areas of the commons. Is that a fairly accurate summary?

Follow me here. I sense that both groups hate the unstoppable monster, its giant swinging arms of power and the ground it walks on. It matters only what they envision that monster to be.

Here is the rub: Has it not become abundantly clear that the revolving door between the Wall street corporate boardroom and the halls of the government needs hourly lubrication due to the intense RPM's? Is it not now obvious after the latest rape of the United States of America via the Wall Street bailouts -- without public disclosures mind you -- that government and business are one in the same? I don't know anyone who approved of those bailouts except those with a cynical interest in their own reelection or huge portfolio in Bank of America! The calls to our so-called representatives were nine to one against any bailouts. I ask one elementary question....did they listen? Apparently our opinions are too mundane, uninformed and simplistic to be considered in the equation of how our money gets spent. Oh wake from the grave ye fathers of this great nation, speak to these folks in their fitful sleep.

So apparently the enemy of the Libertarian has morphed with the enemy of the Liberal and we have, in essence, a common adversary! Are we, at least temporarily, Liberalitarians?

So I say let’s have a beer and party together. We need to make the nation safe again so that we may go to back to having fun the old-fashioned each other's throats and enjoying every minute of it. How, say you, is this supposed to transpire? I can only tell you what I know and what I don't know. First and foremost, our Constitution is in trouble. As Liberalitarians we must insist that all enactments, such as The Military Commissions Act, P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Acts one and two and whatever other piece of garbage that tampers with the Bill of Rights be summarily dismissed and repealed as un-American. The "Unitary Executive" theory should be made the bane of American intellectual discussion in its inherent disdain for the principles of the founding of this country. We must insist on an honest banking system, free from the ravages of slash-and-burn economics and rooted in sound money, treasury-printed and silver-backed currency. In short, the Federal (actually private domestic and foreign consortium) Reserve (which it has none) must be held up as the money laundering, game playing, interest-rate manipulating, currency counterfeiting failure it is. That system simply has to go. And on the other side...wars based on false premises must end immediately in an organized way, apologies to the countries full of dead innocents and particles of depleted uranium must be made, the quest for empire must end and a policy of simple national defense must ensue. Also the infrastructure of a violent existence must be dismantled and the quest for the peaceful entrepreneurial spirit must be enhanced. We can never have peace and we can never be free with an economy based on the manufacture of devices used for subduing other human beings. ALL nations in possession of nuclear stockpiles should be at the table 24-7 until all abilities to manufacture these ultimate destructive weapons are under control and made illegal on an international level. Speaking from both perspectives, the idea of corporate personhood has gone too far and needs to be dumped or severely curtailed. Elections should be publicly funded with equal time for all to present ideas. Donations to campaigns should be limited to small amounts by American citizens only and campaign contributions by business interests (especially large corporations) implicitly illegal. Elections should be by hand counted paper ballots over the course of a weeklong counting cycle starting with a national two-day voting holiday. Fantasy maybe, but you get the point. This is just a start. If common sense points us, as Americans, in the right direction there is an awful lot of common cause to be made between the Liberals and the Libertarians.

Now let me digress.

After campaigning for small government, no nation building or interventionalism, conservative fiscal policies and keeping government off of your back, how did George W. Bush impress you? Do you feel a little bit betrayed?

Oh yeah... Obama voters.... after campaigning for an end to illegal wars, some sort of public health guarantees, accountability for past abuses of power, transparency in government, reigning in of the corporate dogs and no more cronyism (laughable on its face coming from a Chicago politician) how does the young Barak make you feel?

Do any of you get my point?....somebody?....anybody? A tinted glass office full of invisible monsters is urinating on our great American parade and calling it mild precipitation. We need to put up with each others foul body odors and make common cause against the true enemies of our freedom.....unbridled corporatism in a wicked marriage of convenience to unbridled government enabling.

So basking in the afterglow of another great Fighting Bob Fest progressive rally this past September I had a chance encounter. I was sipping the remnants of a waning keg of beer with friends as a similarly aged individual approached promoting his unique blend of solutions to what ails America. He was a dyed in the wool Libertarian type with a fistful of pamphlets about honest money, small government and the iron curtain of socialism now descending on America. Fortunately we both liked beer. We actually had a great time. I reminded him of the true tradition of the great progressive rallies of the past with open dialogue, free exchange of ideas, music and beer, etc. I assured him that he was welcome and Ed Garvey was not Satan reincarnate. I reflected back to another great Bob Fest when Libertarian Ed Thompson broke his ideas to a not so adoring yet respectful crowd at the grandstand lunch breakout and related that to my newfound friend. We talked about everything under the sun and I came to the conclusion that what drove this individual was what also drove me......a need to know just what in hell is actually going on! Who in God's name is actually pulling the strings in our governance? We both instinctively knew that it was not US!

So what famous Latin word forms the root of the words Liberal or Libertarian? Liberus....libertus....libus.....libelous (couldn't be that)...I don't know my Latin at all. But I do know the word liberty and I think it has something to do with freedom from tyranny....government and corporate tyranny. The two behemoths have belittled the people to such an extent that we don't even talk to each other anymore. That is the desired outcome as they see it and for that reason I am now, at least temporarily, a liberalitarian. I am willing to talk in earnest to my Libertarian friends and seek solutions to our dilemmas. For example, the powers that be know well the benefits of technological tyranny....the ability to use the ever increasing benefits of unfathomable technologies to defeat one's detractors. But that is a subject for an entirely different missive.

My goodness we sure have work to do. And if government and business can make fascist-like alliances I can damn sure make my own alliances shed some light on the bastards and watch them scurry!

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The Balloon Boy story was annoying from the beginnning.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:51 AM Permalink

I had a girlfriend call me AND email about the dumb story that I thought was ridiculous so I just said "OK, I have no time. Let me know if he dies." Another girl at the office sent a blast email to a bunch of people saying she was a bad mom because when she first heard the story, she laughed. Of course, all those people she sent it to hit "reply all" and so that one email generated about 10 more emails that I didn't care about. I didn't feel like the story was to be believed from the beginning and even if it were true, it was no different then a "kid down a well" story from the 80s and I didn't care about those then.

Now, it turns out it was all a hoax. Which is FUNNY AS SHIT.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

how stupid could I be, a simpleton could see

posted by The Sailor @ 6:00 PM Permalink

Image from WHDH, Boston
Symbol carved into green at Lakeville golf course

Police along with the Secret Service are investigating after a local country club discovered a symbol that represents eastern religious beliefs carved into the green.

Lakeville Country Club workers discovered the vandalism early Monday morning.

Police believe the vandals meant to carve a swastika next to President Barack Obama's name on the 18th hole; however, the symbol was backwards and means hope and peace in some Eastern countries.
The comforting thing is that these morons can't even get a swastika straight. The uncomfortable thing is that it doesn't take much brain power to pull a trigger.

And speaking of stupid ...
Islam group ridicules Muslim 'spies' claim

Four Republican lawmakers have accused the most prominent Islamic advocacy group in Washington of trying to plant "spies" as interns on Capitol Hill.
In an unusual announcement this morning, four conservative Republicans — Reps. John Shadegg (Ariz.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Sue Myrick (N.C.) — formally asked the House Sergeant at Arms to launch an investigation of the Center for American-Islamic Relations. They accused CAIR, a non profit group, of trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill with interns and staffers.

Shadegg said Wednesday that CAIR is an organization that “members of Congress should be aware of and that should be investigated by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service.”
The proclamation from the four Republicans came in advance of a book, entitled "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America," which includes a forward by Myrick. The author of the book, Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islam activist who wrote last year that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.”
The lawmakers also released a one page "strategy" document they said they obtained from CAIR. But the document basically lays out a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy and indeed, one of the goals is "placing Muslim interns in congressional offices" and registering people to vote.
But, but, blacks! and Muslims! and Mexicans! Geebus, they really got nuthin' except flinging poo and hope something sticks.

America has always been a melting pot of cultures, religions and races (BTW, I don't even know what a race is.) We're all Americans and we deserve to be represented by our elected offals [sic].

Next up in the stupidity competition:
Judge refuses to dismiss gay marriage ban lawsuit

A federal judge challenged the backers of California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday to explain how allowing gay couples to wed threatens conventional unions, a demand that prompted their lawyer to acknowledge he did not know.
[raises hand] I know, I know, ooh, teacher call on me I got the answer!
It doesn't. The only possible reason they could have is the christain bible, and that's against the Constitution of the US and CA.

Now for some brain bleach:

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crazy, Toys in the attic I am crazy

posted by The Sailor @ 5:23 PM Permalink

Orally Taints got a gavel upside her head today:
Counsel Orly Taitz is hereby ordered to pay $20,000.00 to the United States, through the Middle District of Georgia Clerk’s Office, within thirty days of the date of this Order as a sanction for her misconduct in violation of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Her response to the Court’s show cause order is breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional. She expresses no contrition or regret regarding her misconduct. To the contrary, she continues her baseless attacks on the Court.
At the hearing, counsel failed to make coherent legal arguments but instead wasted the Court’s time with press conference sound bites and speeches.
But wait, there's more!
When a lawyer files complaints and motions without a reasonable basis for believing that they are supported by existing law or a modification or extension of existing law, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer uses the courts as a platform for a political agenda disconnected from any legitimate legal cause of action, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer personally attacks opposing parties and disrespects the integrity of the judiciary, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer recklessly accuses a judge of violating the Judicial Code of Conduct with no supporting evidence beyond her dissatisfaction with the judge's rulings, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law, that lawyer ceases to advance her cause or the ends of justice.
And if you call now, we'll include:
[Her Client] Capt. Rhodes [...] has sent a letter to Judge Clay Land, blasting Taitz for filing the motion to stay her deployment without even asking her.

I do not wish for Ms. Taitz to file any future motions or represent me in any way in this court. It is my plan to file a complaint with the California State Bar due to her reprehensible and unprofessional actions.
I've run out of pitchman phrases, so I'll just note this excerpt of page 42 of the judge's ruling:
The Court further directs that the clerk of this court to send a copy of this order to the state Bar of California [...] for whatever use it deems appropriate.
And Taints response?
Taitz said she had absolutely no plans to pay the $20,000 fine.

"Are you kidding? Of course not," she said, asked whether she planned to send a check. "This is a form of intimidation."
"I'll go to the circuit court of appeals. I'll take this as high as I have to go," Taitz said.
Ma'am, put the pipe down, step away from the pipe, I think you're higher than you need to be already.

Please, please, please spend a lot more of your husband's and your crazy birthers supporters' money on this! It's less they can spend on electing republicans.

Full disclosure: I excerpted and rearranged the paragraphs of the Judge's decision to make it more readable for us non-lawyers. What? Did you really expect me to quote all 43 pages!?

Not for nuthin', but this post started out with material from the AJC and TPM.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Lawyers, Guns and Money (& republicans)

posted by The Sailor @ 3:22 PM Permalink

GOP member shoots target with Fla. Dem's initials

MIAMI — A South Florida Republican said it was a mistake to shoot at a target with the initials of the Democratic congresswoman he is trying to unseat.

Candidate Robert Lowry made a brief statement to a local newspaper but refused to speak further Friday about the incident, which happened Tuesday during a weekly GOP meeting held at a gun range.

Organizer Ed Napolitano defended the gathering, as well as the use of targets that appeared to be gunmen with traditional Arab head scarves.

"That's our right," said Napolitano, president of the Southeast Broward Republican Club. "If we want to shoot at targets that look like that, we're going to go ahead and do that."

Lowry declined to comment to The Associated Press. [Republican candidate Lowry] initially told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that shooting at a target with the letters "DWS" — a not-so-veiled reference to Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — was a "joke," but then said it "was a mistake."
In his defense, I have to say that every time a republican tries to make a joke it's a mistake.

But seriously folks, if you put a political opponent who is an elected official as a target on a gun range, sooner or later somebody is going to get killed.

Total disclosure: I worked with Warren Zevon and part of the tour was Letterman's show.

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Saturday, October 10, 2009

He's Got Big Balls/ And He Won't Back Down

posted by The Sailor @ 2:48 PM Permalink

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Congressman Alan Grayson!
Grayson: Maddam Speaker I have words for both Democrats and Republicans tonight. Let's start with the Democrats. We as a party have spent the last six months-- the greatest minds of our party dwelling on the question, the unbelievably consuming question of how to get Olympia Snowe to vote for health care reform. I want to remind us all... Olympia Snowe was not elected president last year. Olympia Snowe has no veto power in the Senate. Olympia Snowe represents a state with one half of one percent of America's population.

What America wants is health care reform. America doesn't care if it gets fifty one votes in the Senate or sixty votes in the Senate, or eighty three votes in the Senate-- in fact America doesn't even care about that. It doesn't care about that at all.

What America cares about is this. There are over one million Americans who go broke every single year trying to pay their health care bill. America cares a lot about that. America cares about the fact that there are forty four thousand seven hundred eighty Americans who die every single year on account of not having health care. That's a hundred and twenty two every day. America sure cares a lot about that.

America cares about the fact that if you have a pre-existing condition even if you have health insurance, it's not covered. America cares about that a lot. America cares about the fact that you can get all the health care you need as long as you don't need any. America cares about that a lot.

But America does not care about procedures, processes, personalities-- America doesn't care about that at all. So we have to remember that as Democrats. We have to remember that's what's at stake here is life and death, enormous amounts of money and people are counting upon us to move ahead. America understands what's good for America.

America cares about health care. America cares about jobs. America cares about education, about energy independence. America does not care about process or politicians, or personalities or anything like that.

And I have a few words for my Republican friends as well. I guess I do have some Republican friends. Let me say this. Last week I held up this report here and I pointed out that in America there's forty four thousand seven hundred eighty nine Americans who die every year according to this Harvard report-- published in a peer reviewed journal-- because they have no health insurance.

That's an extra forty four thousand seven hundred eighty nine Americans who die, whose lives could be saved-- and their response was to ask me for an apology... to ask me for an apology. That's right... to ask me for an apology. Well, I'm telling you this-- I will not apologize. I will not apologize.

I will not apologize for a simple reason. America doesn't care about your feelings. I violated no rules by calling this report to America's attention. I think a lot of people didn't know about it before hand.

But America does care about health care in America and if you're against it, then get out of the way. Just get out of the way. You can lead. You can follow-- or you can get out of the way. And I'm telling you now to get out of the way.

America understands that there's one party in this country that's in favor of health care reform and one party that's against it and they know why.

They understand if Barack Obama were somehow able to cure hunger in the world, the Republicans would blame him for over-population.

They understand that if Barack obama could somehow bring about world peace, they'd blame him for destroying the defense industry.

In fact they understand that if Barack Obama has a BLT sandwich tomorrow for lunch, they will try to ban bacon.

But that's not what America wants. America wants solutions to its problems and that begins with health care. And that's what I'm speaking for tonight.

Maybe the new stem cell research will enable the rest of the Dems to grow a spine.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama's Nobel ?PEACE? Prize.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:36 PM Permalink

Ok, even those of you who fully support him can't possibly think he deserved it, right?

I mean, it's manufacturing reality at its most obvious and, frankly, clumsy.

Look, here's the deal:

The power elite need a nice and shiny character as their face man on the world stage. They need someone the people love who will be able to tell the people the bad news -- that there will be marshal law, that you will have to take that vaccine, that the country is broke and we're joining with the currencies of other countries, etc. and so forth. The only person on the planet who had a world-wide branding effort that made him a household name, fairly free of any baggage (didn't you ever wonder why a guy with almost no experience in government and politics 'won' the (s)election?), and young enough to be around for a while is Barack Obama.

Giving him the Nobel Peace prize is throwing polish on a turd. Now, watch for the media to manufacture and maintain the reality that he is a man of peace. Watch how they buff that narrative into bright and sparkly sheen!

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Friday random 10

posted by The Sailor @ 3:45 AM Permalink

She Thinks I Still Care - George Jones
Liar - Argent
Only the Lonely - Motels
Homeward Bound - Simon & Garfunkel
Changes - David Bowie
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Norah Jones
Stardust - Nat King Cole
Time Is On My Side - Rolling Stones
Angel of the Morning - Pretenders
Right Now - Van Halen

What are you listening to?


Thursday, October 08, 2009

At Last! Something I proposed long ago has found…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:57 PM Permalink

…it's way into the mainstream press and, even though I did not encourage Kristof from the NYT to take this position, let's hope this thing goes viral and can no longer be ignored:
Let Congress Go Without Insurance

Let me offer a modest proposal: If Congress fails to pass comprehensive health reform this year, its members should surrender health insurance in proportion with the American population that is uninsured.

It may be that the lulling effect of having very fine health insurance leaves members of Congress insensitive to the dysfunction of our existing insurance system. So what better way to attune our leaders to the needs of their constituents than to put them in the same position?

About 15 percent of Americans have no health insurance, according to the Census Bureau. Another 8 percent are underinsured, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research group. So I propose that if health reform fails this year, 15 percent of members of Congress, along with their families, randomly lose all health insurance and another 8 percent receive inadequate coverage.

Congressional critics of President Obama’s efforts to achieve health reform worry that universal coverage will be expensive, while their priority is to curb social spending. So here’s their chance to save government dollars in keeping with their own priorities.

Those same critics sometimes argue that universal coverage needn’t be a top priority because anybody can get coverage at the emergency room. Let them try that with their kids.
Of course I don't think this goes far enough. WE ELECTED THESE PEOPLE TO REPRESENT US and if they aren't going to do something good, finally, for the nation and the least among us, let's CANCEL ALL THEIR HEALTHCARE immediately.

We are their putative bosses, but we can't fire them, but if everyone gets together and goes apesh*t viral about health care we can at least stop their super beneficial healthcare.

Most of them are rich. Let 'em pay for their and their families healthcare. I'd guarantee that the first congress-critter whose wife or child came down with cancer or some horribly expensive disease to treat and went broke trying to get that family member proper care WE THE PEOPLE who form this Union would see health care proposed and passed in a flash!
About 15 percent of Americans have no health insurance, according to the Census Bureau. Another 8 percent are underinsured, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research group. So I propose that if health reform fails this year, 15 percent of members of Congress, along with their families, randomly lose all health insurance and another 8 percent receive inadequate coverage.

Congressional critics of President Obama’s efforts to achieve health reform worry that universal coverage will be expensive, while their priority is to curb social spending. So here’s their chance to save government dollars in keeping with their own priorities.

Those same critics sometimes argue that universal coverage needn’t be a top priority because anybody can get coverage at the emergency room. Let them try that with their kids.
Same idea as mine, roughly, but more elegantly expressed.

MAKE THIS GO MAINSTREAM VIRAL AND FORCE THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR US TO ACTUALLY WORK FOR US and give every American, especially the least among us, people working three or four jobs in a single family that still has to gather aluminum cans weekends and at night to still fail make ends meet.

There was a lag of 19 years after the Nixon plan before another serious try, and a 16-year lag after the Clinton effort of 1993. Another 16-year delay would be accompanied by more than 700,000 unnecessary deaths. That’s more Americans than died in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq combined.

The collapse of health reform would be a political and policy failure, but it would also be a profound moral failure.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks, Mr. Kristof.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

RELAX, Relax, relax

posted by The Sailor @ 7:42 PM Permalink

I'm trying to relax by reading Fark instead of regular news, so this just amuses me:
Jack Thompson Sues Facebook

Jack Thompson, the disbarred crusader against violent video games, has sued Facebook, alleging site users posted violent threats against him. In a Facebook group called "I Hate Jack Thompson", one post in particular was singled out and mentioned in the lawsuit. The posting stated, “Jack Thompson should be smacked across the face with an Atari 2600.”
He is seeking $120 million in damages. Requests to remove the postings were faxed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but received no response.
Tee hee, tee hee, tee hee, I feel my BP going down as I giggle and make fun of someone thinking an Atari 2600 could ever have an impact on anyone in the 21st century. Especially a virtual 2600.

I wonder whether Jack would have to say jack about this next article:
Lawyer sues to end Dallas group's 'threat' prayers

A former military lawyer who served in the Reagan White House and worked for Ross Perot is suing a Dallas-based religious organization in a case that could test the limits of free speech and prayer.

Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said he wants Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former U.S. Navy chaplain, to "stop asking Jesus to plunder my fields ... seize my assets, kill me and my family then wipe away our descendants for 10 generations."

Weinstein, 54, said his family has received death threats, had a swastika emblazoned on their home in New Mexico, animal carcasses left on their doorstep and feces thrown at the house.
"I never prayed for anyone's death," [Klingenschmitt] said. "I never prayed for anyone's violence. All I did was quote the Scriptures."
He "would never pray evil upon my enemies," he said, "but the justice of God is not evil." [ED:Nice Catch-22 there irReverend]

Does he want Mikey Weinstein to die? "I pray the Psalm that his days are few," he replied.

Klingenschmitt left the Navy with an honorable discharge after being found guilty in a 2006 court-martial for disobeying an order not to wear his uniform at a news conference. He said he ministered to Christians and non-Christians alike but said he sees "the whole world as a mission field," including the military.
There is video of the imprecations:

BTW, Psalm 109 is "A Cry for Vengeance"

How christain of them.

But wait, there's more:
"The suit raises numerous free speech and religious freedom issues," Ammerman said in his statement, adding that it "incorrectly implies that endorsing agencies exercise control over those they endorse, including their independent actions and speech."
That's not only religulous, but illogical.

Of course you exercise control over what chaplains you endorse.

And they've stated that they endorse christains who view "the whole world as a mission field" to convert non-christains.

Now for some relaxation:

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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posted by The Vidiot @ 7:53 AM Permalink

With all the hullabaloo over healthcare, nobody really noticed this lovely peice of legislation:
The underlying bill combines $128 billion for overseas military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with $498 billion for the rest of the Defense Department's budget. An analysis by congressional researchers puts the tally for Afghanistan at about $300 billion and for Iraq at more than $700 billion since Sept. 11, 2001 — totaling more than $1 trillion.
What will be getting for our money? A war with Iran perhaps?

Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?

The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes.

If they used our tax money for what it was supposed to be used for, things like roads and bridges, instead of using it to maintain hegemony, we'd all be a lot better off.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

There IS an alternative to Bloomberg

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:47 PM Permalink

And his name is Jimmy McMillan and he has a most awesome website.
"There Is Nothing Else To Talk About! We apologize for the bad grammar. But... your rent is still too damn high."

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I've always been taught that there is no shame in…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:49 PM Permalink

…failing. The only shame is failing to try. Yet once again the Party of No, the Grand Old Prevaricators, those that hold themselves out as representatives of their constituents, and pretend to have their best interest in mind have failed the country, their constituents, and all Americans and have brought shame and disrepute in more than ample quantities to tar and feather every rethuglican on Capitol Hill and throughout the nation.

I am, of course referring to several things, each as bad or worse than the last:
Republicans derided President Obama's attempt to gain the Olympics in 2016, something which would have created thousands of 'non-outsourceable' jobs, helping to revitalize the economy despite the economic ruin of GOP government, i.e., New Orleans (I won't go outside our borders to detail the debacles the GOP there.I'd be here all day.) No, instead of applauding the President's marathon trips between appearances in the U.S. and lobbying uphill against an Olympic Committee already disillusioned with Republicans, the GOP practically did cartwheels, back-flips, and damned near clapped until their arms fell off cheering the failure of Obama trying to do something good for this nation. Have they no shame? Couldn't they just once have aligned themselves with Obama and sought success? NO, the new GOP mantra is,"…Obama must fail at all costs and we must do anything and everything the GOP can do to see that he fails, including openly advocating for President Obama's assassination." Is there any more cowardly, scurrilous, traitorous, or treasonous action of a political party except for actually firing up some nutcase to actually take shots at Obama?
But this is only one gripe:
For months now the GOP has done everything they can, fair and foul, to block healthcare for their constituents and all Americans. In their sick, twisted, demented little minds it is far better to bow, scrape, and kiss the hands of their corporate masters who will see to their reelection through massive donations of the money THEY will save by refusing health care to the least of us. Is it this for which the people elected republicans to office, to have them act in a manner diametrically opposed to the wishes of their constituents? They should each and all of them be run out of office, run out of town, and deported to a third world country that they would have America become.TRAITORS!
And to top it all off:
Bill Frist and many of the elders of the GOP have been calling for the end of the embarrassing antics of people like Rep. Michelle Bachman, Rep Joe Wilson, Sarah Palin, and others but have demonstrably lost control of a party gone mad as a dog slowly goes mad from rabies and dies a tortuous death, but not before spreading the rabies by attacking animals without it, lashing out blindly, biting anything that dare comes close and beginning the viral infection that will eventually work it's way to the brain and kill the new host animal. [Unless you get a double dose of the horse serum shots and then get 28 days of shots within a two hour range of time as I did when a rabid dog attacked me while on duty one night in the Philippines. Bill]

That is the 'new' GOP, same as the old GOP, who are spreading their infectious hatred for all things liberal, and especially anything having to do with President Omama, Hatred of such a nature as to arouse the darkest and most evil, vile side of men inclined to pick up a gun and shoot the President. Encouraging their constituents to vote against their own interests by telling and repeating outrageous lies about healthcare that could benefit all, but instead will become just another watered-down bill that does nothing for the poor, little for the middle class, but with hugh benefits for the wealthy.
But these are just my thoughts and ramblings. I'd love to hear your thoughts, particularly from any republicans that might look at our blogsite from time to time.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm so dizzy my head is spinning

posted by The Sailor @ 6:34 PM Permalink

I'm sorry about the lack of posting, and I don't normally whine about my personal life, but maybe my experiences will help others in the audience.

About 2 weeks ago my BP diastolic spiked to levels I normally associate with my IQ and my arms were tingling. Not the scary left arm tingling, but still something that needed to be addressed.

1st med was a beta-blocker, and I dropped to 99/42. Fainting was a new experience for me. Now if only I could find a couch to go with it and pearls to clutch I could be a republican.

ACE inhibitors were next on the menu, and there does seem to be a downward trend, but they make me feel tired all of the time and upset my digestion. So pardon me for eliminating [sic] reading the news and posting about it.

Me and my Dr are still working on the right combo. Apparently it's a different cocktail for everyone I've talked to and it takes awhile to adjust so initial side effects aren't indicative of final outcomes. I'm impatient with the results, but better to be impatient and an out-patient than an in-patient.

Still, there are a few things that caught my eye:
Senator’s Aid After Affair Raises Flags Over Ethics

Gay penguins book is most banned

Republicans celebrate America's Olympic loss

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Glenn Beck's mentholated tears

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:09 PM Permalink

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

A private police force in Montana?

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:20 AM Permalink

Who knows how far down the rabbit hole this goes.
A shadowy private security company that has no known clients but claims to have helped foreign governments combat terrorism and will protect anything from cruise ships to Pakistani convoys has taken over a jail in a small Montana town, with plans to build a law enforcement training facility on the property.
(Here's the original story that started the hubbub.)

Of course, the more radical websites are claiming that they're taking over policing of the town (which seems to go against the constitution to me) and that they are going to be used to enforce a public vaccination program and that the prison is going to be used to house those who refuse the vaccination. But of course, there are conflicting stories about what the group is actually doing in Hardin.

So, who funds these guys?

According to Alex Jones' Prison Planet:
American Police Force, the paramilitary unit patrolling a small town in Montana, has been exposed as being a front group for the disgraced private military contractor Blackwater, now called “Xe”.
According to TMPMuckracker:
Late Update: Yet another strange development: This page on APF's Web site brags about "our extensive tactical firearms training facility, the U.S. Training Center." But the U.S. Training Center is part of Xe, nee Blackwater. And Xe spokeswoman Stacy DeLuke told us there is no affiliation between Xe and APF.
Whatever it is they're doing, it can't be good. If they are a spin-off of Xe (a.k.a. Blackwater) -- and it looks like they are -- you have to know they are more than likely nefarious.

(This blogger has more than you probably need to know and though it may be inflammatory and possibly incorrect and speculative, I've found that sometimes bloggers like him find sources I would've otherwise missed.)

Update: Not only is (predictably) Alex Jones all over this story, but so is Talking Points Memo. They saved the APF website from the memory hole and did some more digging into some of the odd services APF says they provide.
If it wasn't comical bordering on ridiculous, one might be worried that the head of this company has an extensive criminal record.

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We the people…We the people…WE THE PEOPLE … run this country through a$$holes…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:23 AM Permalink

…we voted into office to act for the good of the country, care for all of us, establish a better union where all men are free and endowed by THEIR creator, not the most commonly mistaken quote of endowed by OUR creator, with certain unalienable rights, among those rights the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Ever since corporations were deemed 'people' the unalienable right of the REAL people have been further diminished each year until we find ourselves in our present situation: real people serving at the whim of and in servitude to nonexistent 'people' who command all power, own all the wealth, that are protected by legislation passed by people with their heads so far up the collective arses of these fictitious 'people', so indebted to their corporate masters that they have no choice to obey or be destroyed; their careers shattered, relegated to the unemployment lines, no longer employable in their former capacity for having committed the near fatal error of failing to kneel in subservience, failing to kiss the bejeweled hands of their corporate masters, and licking the dog crap off their shoes while telling those masters how much they LIKE the taste of crap, so you will always be available to lick their arses after they defecate, and tell them how honored you are to be so privileged and with what joy you will accept the smallest compensation for having had such an honor bestowed upon yourself.

On a household level, simple triage is relatively obvious and painless. Eating out is, well, out. The closure of 600 Starbucks, the closure of entire restaurant chains, the closure of various fast-food and restaurant outlets--these are already in the news every week.

Having your nails done weekly, after-school tutoring and classes for the kids, seasons tickets to sporting events--all are easy decisions: gone. Ditto overseas vacations, spa treatments, or vacations which require large amounts of gasoline or costly stays in resorts or hotels. Remodeling, new furniture, lavish back-to-school shopping, having the dog shampooed, music lessons, hiring house cleaners, car washes, texting, unlimited Netflix, the big office space--the list of easy triage items is nearly endless in the consumer-mad, service-economy U.S.

But that's the easy stuff. That's the financial equivialent of getting the lightly injured away from the scene. Once the household loses one income, or the sole income is slashed (bonus disappears, hours cut, benefits slashed, etc.) then the easy cuts won't be enough.

At the other end of the spectrum, the financially mortally wounded are also easy to spot and deal with. If a household's mortgage re-sets to $3,000/month and their income is $2,000/month, then they have to walk away from their house. Painful but obvious: the old "living large on borrowed money" spending $90K/year lifestyle has passed from this life. Mourn it and move on to a more positive and financially healthy way of life.

Unfortunately, at the Congressional level, this sort of obvious financial triage is political suicide. So we as a nation are wasting hundreds of billions trying to save the already-dead. This includes Lehman Brothers and hundreds of insolvent banks, and millions of under-water insolvent households.

It's political suicide because we voters continue to reward the biggest panderers with re-election. Denial is much more fun than reality, and if we elect panderers then they will gladly spend borrowed money to win our "please don't make me leave Fantasyland" vote.

Pundits such as Bill Gross are gamely suggesting the Federal deficit will have to run from a "mere" $500 billion a year up to $1 trillion. That's borrowed money, folks, which will require interest payments for the rest of our lives and our grandchildren's lives, too. How cavalierly Mr. Gross suggests funding a third of our Federal government's insanely wasteful expenditures by borrowing another trillion dollars from the Chinese and Gulf Oil exporters.
Or see this:
SEC Announces Enforcement Actions

During the week of August 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the following enforcement actions.
On August 4, the SEC charged a large public bank holding company (“BHC”) for misleading investors about bonus payments that were being paid to investment bank executives at the time of that firm’s acquisition by the BHC. The BHC agreed to settle the SEC's charges and pay a penalty of $33 million. The settlement is subject to court approval.

The SEC alleges that in proxy materials soliciting the votes of shareholders on the proposed acquisition of the investment bank, the BHC stated that investment bank had agreed that it would not pay year-end performance bonuses or other discretionary compensation to its executives prior to the closing of the merger without the BHC’s consent. In fact, the BHC had already contractually authorized the investment bank to pay up to $5.8 billion in discretionary bonuses to its executives for 2008. According to the SEC's complaint, the disclosures in the proxy statement were rendered materially false and misleading by the existence of the prior undisclosed agreement allowing the investment bank to pay billions of dollars in bonuses for 2008.

On August 4, the SEC filed civil fraud and other charges against a large public corporation, alleging that it misled investors by reporting materially false and misleading results in its financial statements. The firm has agreed to pay a $50 million penalty to settle the SEC's charges.

The SEC alleges that the firm used improper accounting methods to increase its reported earnings or revenues and avoid reporting negative financial results. The accounting violations were identified in a risk-based investigation of the firm‘s accounting practices. They included:

• An improper application of theaccounting standards to its commercial paper funding program to avoid unfavorable disclosures and a pre-tax charge to earnings.
• A failure to correct a misapplication of financial accounting standards to certain interest-rate swaps.
• Reporting end-of-year sales that had not yet occurred in order to accelerate revenue.
• An improper change to accounting for sales of certain products that increased net earnings.
How 'bout this?:
Citigroup Inc., one of the biggest recipients of government bailout money, gave employees $5.33 billion in bonuses for 2008, New York's attorney general said Thursday in a report detailing the payouts by nine big banks.

The report from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office focused on 2008 bonuses paid to the initial nine banks that received loans under the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program last fall. Cuomo has joined other government officials in criticizing the banks for paying out big bonuses while accepting taxpayer money.

Comparisons to historical payouts weren't available, as the banks are not required to disclose the information publicly. They provided 2008 details to Cuomo's office under subpoena.

Cuomo's office found that the companies, which also included Bank of America Corp., Merrill Lynch & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., awarded nearly 4,800 million-dollar-plus bonuses, with much of the money going to Wall Street investment bankers.

Citigroup, which is now one-third owned by the government as a result of the bailout, gave 738 of its employees bonuses of at least $1 million, even after it lost $18.7 billion during the year, Cuomo's office said. The bank's top four recipients received a combined $43.7 million.

The New York-based bank received $45 billion in government money and guarantees to protect it against hundreds of billions of dollars on potential losses from risky investments.

"There is no clear rhyme or reason to the way banks compensate and reward their employees," Cuomo said in the report, noting banks have not in recent years actually tied pay to performance as they claim when describing their compensation programs. Cuomo added that when banks' performance deteriorated significantly, "they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were still paid well."

Bank of America, which also received $45 billion in TARP money, paid $3.3 billion in bonuses, with 172 employees receiving at least $1 million and the top four recipients receiving a combined $64 million. Merrill Lynch, which Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America acquired during the credit crisis, paid out $3.6 billion, including a combined $121 million to four top employees.

Bank of America earned $2.56 billion in 2008, while Merrill lost $30.48 billion. Cuomo's office said Merrill Lynch doled out 696 bonuses of at least $1 million for 2008.

Bank of America has been sharply criticized for its acquisition of Merrill Lynch because of mounting losses at the Wall Street bank and the size of bonuses Merrill paid its employees. Of the $45 billion in bailout funds Bank of America received, $20 billion was to support the acquisition of Merrill. Neither Bank of America nor Citigroup have repaid their TARP loans.

A Bank of America spokesman declined to comment on the report. A spokesman for Citigroup did not return repeated calls for comment.

Banks have said they needed to pay their top performing employees to prevent them from defecting to competitors. Companies that accepted TARP money have faced intense government scrutiny and must now comply with restrictions on compensation, including bonuses.
Aw, c'mon people, this represents less than ten minutes research with the Google and the internets pipes, but I think it more than amply illustrates that corporate non-corporeal 'people', carefully protected by the sycophants in both parties, but especially the republican party, who are finding ever more creative and destructive means to serve their corporate masters while totally ignoring the least among us as they destroy America by allowing the unhindered theft all that we USED to hold dear.

Holy, god-fearing, Sunday-in-church-for-show-worshippers, and the ultimate liars that have engineered and now effect a new Dark Ages in America that will dwarf the Dark Ages of Europe, laughing all the way as they destroy the world.

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