Saturday, June 12, 2010

Obama <3 Becks

Looks photoshopped. But funny.

Everyone in the bar I was at cheered.

Friday, June 11, 2010

No Double Dip?

That's what Macroeconomic Advisers is saying:

"Early in the recovery many forecasters, concerned that the nascent expansion was fueled only by temporary inventory dynamics and short-lived fiscal stimulus, fretted over the possibility of a double-dip recession. Now, with the emergence of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, that concern has re-surfaced. Certainly we recognize that the debt crisis imparts some downside risk to our baseline forecast for GDP growth. However, based on current, high-frequency data — most of which is financial in nature and so is not subject to revision — we believe the chance of a double-dip recession is small."

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Crist Vetoes Abortion Bill

Ultrasound exams can cost between a few hundred dollars and $1,500 and the women would have also been required to pay for the procedure.

A controversial bill that would require women wanting abortions to get ultrasounds before the operation has been vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist.

Crist had hinted that he would rebuke the idea several times this week after saying he had "concerns" about some of the provisions in the bill.

"This bill places an inappropriate burden on a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy,'' Crist said.

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The Arizona Syndrome

Phoenix is America's least educated, least literate major metro area. Arizona is a case study for What's the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank. Low information voters caught up in an economy that has been withering for decades, stuck in low-wage jobs, seeing their future become more bleak need someone to blame. Because of the effectiveness of the "conservative" machine, they never vote against the right-wing, corporate oligarchy policies that cause their plight. They don't go after the Anglo elite that has created Arizona's basket-case economy. They seem incapable of connecting the state's problems to the "conservatives" that have been in power for decades. Instead, they blame "liberals," the other, and in Arizona, "the Mexicans." It's pointless to attempt to engage them in the complexities of the immigration issue. What part of illegal don't you understand??

Additionally, Arizona seems to be more and more a case of the Big Sort, with like-minded (white) people gathering there, especially retirees, while progressives are ever more marginalized. In recent years, the Arizona Republican Party has been purged of its historic soul, as has happened to the GOP around the country; the tea party is merely the latest incarnation of this ever-more-nihilistic ideological (and theocratic) trend. Barry Goldwater's party has lost all its virtues, while its vices have been taken to steroidal extremes. Also, as commenter Soleri has pointed out, the urban form of Phoenix encourages the kind of disconnectedness that plays to Republicans. In any event, Arizona politics is usually small ball, primaries and even general elections that are decided by a small turnout, where the intense enthusiasm of the white-right and tea party will be decisive. Arizona lacks any leftward balance to the extreme right, and neither the left nor the center have foot soldiers to offset the Mormon vote. As for Hispanics, they tend to have very low turnout. Nationally, Hispanic citizens may be moving away from President Obama, and by extension most Democrats, because of what is seen as a cowardly response to immigration.

"As I've written, the bill was never intended to shut down illegal immigration — the state economy and not a few of the businesses that support the white-right would collapse. It is a brilliant tactic, like guns, God, gays and abortion — a faux existential threat that must never be really solved because it is so politically profitable. If no small dose of cruelty and hypocrisy are involved welcome to Arizona." - Rogue Columnist

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A Brief History of BP

"...war without oil would be unimaginable."

Article details the birth of Anglo-Persia Oil Company, through the World Wars, through its role in "Operation Ajax" and the 1953 coup in Iran to reinstall the Shah, through its acquisitions of ARCO and Amoco in the US, to its more recent fatal mishaps in Alaska and Texas.

The quote above is an ominous line from BP's role in fueling the British and Allied war machine of WWII.

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Beyond Sadness

Madiba has had one tough life. In my thoughts as SA is put on the world's stage. Such a graceful person. True compassion dripping from his fingertips.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Nationalist: See No Evil, Hear No Evil

That's until you get a black President and then it's freak-out time.

Reminds me of another quote:

"The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war."
— Sidney J. Harris

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BP Lied? Experts Double Estimated Rate of Spill in Gulf

A government panel on Thursday essentially doubled its estimate of how much oil has been spewing from the out-of-control BP well, with the new calculation suggesting that an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days.

When we look back on the timeline of this massive disaster, the lies of BP will all come to light. But I hope CEO Tony Hayward gets his life back. Bless.

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BP Summoned To White House

The White House just released a letter from oil spill czar Thad Allen to the chairman of BP inviting him and other appropriate company officials to a meeting at the White House next Wednesday with the President.

I'm not sure what Obama meeting directly with BP officials is supposed to accomplish, but at least we won't have to keep hearing about Obama's failure to meet with them and how that's a huge mistake.

Even Boehner is spouting off about how BP is on the hook for ALL damages and cleanup for the oil spill. Wow.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

98,000 Years And Then A Revelation?

Let’s say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I’ll take 100,000.
In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference.
And then 2000 years ago, thinks “That’s enough of that. It’s time to intervene,” and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don’t lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let’s go to the desert and have another revelation there.
This is nonsense. It can’t be believed by a thinking person."
Christopher Hitchens, Collision
Whoever rules the sky, rules the Earth.

Omnibus Obama Conspiracy Theory

This sign is awesome, and by that I mean retarded. I like how Obama is in quotes, but not "was born". I guess even Obama's surname is in question.

Would have loved to this guy's sign during Enron and Bush 43's Presidency.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

World Cup At-A-Glance

Bernie Madoff; Prisoner No. 61727-054

"Fuck my victims,” he said, loud enough for other inmates to hear. “I carried them for twenty years, and now I’m doing 150 years."
Prison life seems to suit Bernie Madoff. No longer does he have to live the lie. “I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago,” he said in a little-noticed interview.

In the context of prison, he isn’t a cancer on society; he’s a success, admired for his vast accomplishments. “A hero,” wrote Robert Rosso, a lifer, on a website he managed to found called convictinc .com. “He’s arguably the greatest con of all time.”

Brewer's Crocodile Tears

Gov. Jan Brewer, who cheerfully signed Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law for personal political gain, is upset at her critics.
The Nazi comments . . . they are awful,” she said, her voice dropping. “Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that . . . and then to have them call me Hitler’s daughter. It hurts. It’s ugliness beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.”
Her father, Wilford Drinkwine, worked during WWII as a civilian supervisor for a naval munitions depot in Hawthorne, Nev. He died of lung disease in 1955 in California. He was never in Germany.

Stand up for your laws that are reminiscent of the 1930s Germany. Don't make up facts to get sympathy.  [Don't jump on the Blumenthal meme. Linda McMahon took one sentence and did a WWE edit job on it.]

Side note: AZ's laws will end up profiling current veterans, will Brewer feel any remorse for them? Will she be upset? My guess is nope.


Joran van der Sloot Confession: Death By Google

Police investigators told Lima's La Republica newspaper that van der Sloot's bombshell confession came late Monday night when he tearfully admitted that he grabbed Stephany Flores Ramirez by the neck when she began reading articles about him on the Internet.

"The girl intruded on my private life", said van der Sloot. Adding, "She had no right". She googled you.

Enjoy Peruvian jail.

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BP Produces 8.5% Of US Oil, Gets 97% Of OSHA Violations

BP processes about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, across six refineries in the United States. In total, 150 refineries in the United States process just under 18 million barrels per day, so BP processes about 8.5 percent of it. However, as reported by the Center for Public Integrity, 97 percent of the most dangerous violations found by OSHA were on BP properties.

Pretty eye-opening.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Changes In China Could Raise Prices Worldwide

Coastal factories are raising salaries, local governments are hiking minimum wage standards and if China allows its currency, the renminbi, to appreciate against the U.S. dollar later this year, as many economists are predicting, the cost of manufacturing in China will almost certainly rise.

Although the salaries of factory workers in China are still low compared to those in the United States and Europe (the minimum wage in southern China is close to $125 a month), economists say the changes will eventually ripple through the global economy, driving up the prices of everything from T-shirts and sneakers to computer servers and smart phones.

“For a long time, China has been the anchor of global disinflation,” said Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse, referring to how the two decade-long shift to manufacturing in China helped many global companies lower costs and prices. “But this may be the beginning of the end of an era.”

The cost of doing business in China is going up. The US will not be able to exploit their cheap workforce. We will need a new country or region.

Our legacy has been slaves, European immigrants, Chinese rail workers, Mexican day laborers, Central and South Americans to work the sweat shops, or all of the Asian Tigers putting their kids to work for our greedy consumption. Whether here or abroad, you name it, America loves to exploit cheap labor.

George Bush: Using Lack Of Intelligence To Find Intel

So after all those years and all those "America does not torture" false claims, we get this boast:
"Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, I'd do it again to save lives." -- George W. Bush
Save lives? If torturing prisoners and detainees and getting your own lawyers to OK your illegal programs ended up keeping us in a war longer than it should have, in fact made the war more intense, how are you saving lives? The "intel" you got from torture amounted to nothing. The ability to embolden our enemies and help in recruiting far outweighs anything KSM told you.

Bush might as well brag about killing 100,000s of innocent Iraqi civilians to "save lives".