Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July, 2010

Annals Of WTF?! (Southeastern Minnesota Edition)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 31, 2010

Just go and read this, this and this.

Ai-yi-yi.

Posted in Minnesota | Comments Off

Riffing On Charles’ Post

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 31, 2010

One of the commenters in the relevant Rumproast thread to which Charles linked pointed this out:

And WTF was with that “Mh-h-HMM-hmm” shit at the beginning of his spiel? I thought his head was going to revolve 360 degrees.

OK, let me try to explain this one.

It started with some blacketyblack schoolchildren who made a video of their Obama rap. That infuriated Rush Limbaugh, who made that ditty a refrain of his, and his racist dittoheads use it to convey their contempt for the admiration that America’s youth hold for their president.

Don’t you remember when Michelle Malkin attempted to have her readers hunt down and kill the children?

Ah, I’d forgot about that one. Being steeped in hatred 24/7, even if there may initially be justification for it, can turn even a virtuous and intelligent person into a raving, amoral idiot.

Posted in evil, racism, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, WTF? | Comments Off

“I’m your huckleberry”

Posted by Charles II on July 30, 2010

Thanks to Thers and Rumproast, we bring you your huckleberry:

Read the comments.

Posted in Republicans as cancer, Tea Party | 5 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on July 30, 2010

Adorable from any angle.

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 3 Comments »

Should The Chief Pushers Of Breitbart’s Smears Be Given Pride Of Place In The White House Press Room?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 29, 2010

I don’t think so, either.

Vote for NPR instead
— they’re not perfect, but they’re better than the Murdoch Media.

Posted in Fox Noise | 7 Comments »

Ah, those wily WilE Wylys

Posted by Charles II on July 29, 2010

LunkHead at DK beat me to it. Justin Baer and Brooke Masters, FT:

The Wyly brothers, Sam and Charles, have been charged with over a half a billion dollars in insider trading by the SEC. They created sham subsidiaries and trusts to trade on “Michaels Stores, Sterling Software, Sterling Commerce and Scottish Annuity & Life Holdings” on whose boards they sit. They made their [added: initial] money selling Bonanza steaks.

Needless to say, they are Bush cronies and Swiftboaters.

Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, Busheviks, corruption, stock market | 3 Comments »

Another stroke of the cluestick

Posted by Charles II on July 29, 2010

John Byrne, ChiTrib:

First reported Monday, the [Kalamazoo River oil] spill has dumped more than a million gallons of oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River from a pipeline that carries petroleum from Canada’s oil sands region to Griffith, Ind., according to federal authorities quoted by the Associated Press. The oil is about 80 miles from Lake Michigan and moving toward the lake.

The pipeline is owned by Calgary-based Enbridge Energy Partners, and the spill is one of the biggest ever in the Midwest, the Tribune has reported.

Oil and the environment don’t mix.

Posted in environment, Oil | 3 Comments »

It really could be worse

Posted by Charles II on July 29, 2010

It’s cold comfort to hear that things could be worse. But it’s the truth, as a recent analysis by Blinder and Zandi makes clear (via Calculated Risk):

The U.S. economy has made enormous progress since the dark days of early 2009. Eighteen months ago, the global financial system was on the brink of collapse and the U.S. was suffering its worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Real GDP was falling at about a 6% annual rate, and monthly job losses averaged close to 750,000. Today, the financial system is operating much more normally, real GDP is advancing at a nearly 3% pace, and job growth has resumed, albeit at an insufficient pace…The Great Recession gave way to recovery as quickly as it did largely because of the unprecedented responses by monetary and fiscal policymakers.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program was controversial from its inception. Both the program’s $700 billion headline price tag and its goal of “bailing out” financial institutions—including some of the same institutions that triggered the panic in the first place—were hard for citizens and legislators to swallow. To this day, many believe the TARP was a costly failure. In fact, TARP has been a substantial success… Its ultimate cost to taxpayers will be a small fraction of the headline $700 billion figure: A number below $100 billion seems more likely to us…

Criticism of the ARRA [Stimulus bill] has also been strident, focusing on the high price tag, the slow speed of delivery, and the fact that the unemployment rate rose much higher than the Administration predicted in January 2009….Critics who argue that the ARRA failed because it did not keep unemployment below 8% ignore the facts that (a) unemployment was already above 8% when the ARRA was passed and (b) most private forecasters (including Moody’s Analytics) misjudged how serious the downturn would be…Without such a determined and aggressive response by policymakers, the economy would likely have fallen into a much deeper slump.

In the scenario that excludes all the extraordinary policies, the downturn continues into 2011. Real GDP falls a stunning 7.4% in 2009 and another 3.7% in 2010 (see Table 3). The peak-to-trough decline in GDP is therefore close to 12%, compared to an actual decline of about 4%. By the time employment hits bottom, some 16.6 million jobs are lost in this scenario—about twice as many as actually were lost. The unemployment rate peaks at 16.5%, and although not determined in this analysis, it would not be surprising if the underemployment rate approached one-fourth of the labor force. The federal budget deficit surges to over $2 trillion in fiscal year 2010, $2.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011, and $2.25 trillion in FY 2012. Remember, this is with no policy response. [emphasis added]

It’s ironic that the current election will hinge on whether voters will re-install the people who wanted the crisis to become much worse. It must suck to be a Republican…to realize that you exist to impoverish your nation, harm your community, and leave a legacy of ruin and destruction.

Posted in financial crisis | 2 Comments »

Thursday News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 29, 2010

– Why pepper spray is better than guns for dealing with bears:

Moving slowly, naturally, trying not to alarm the bears, the group backed up until they could scramble above the trail to a rocky platform.

The mother bear passed below, one cub in tow, “but the second one stopped. Then all of a sudden he started coming at us, and I thought, ‘Ooohh, no.’ “

The hikers shouted, clapped their hands, but the yearling kept on.

At 40 yards, [zookeeper Jack] Hanna unleashed a haze of pepper spray – “but there was wind, and it didn’t do a thing.”

At 20 yards, he let loose a brief burst again, and the bear just shook his head and kept on coming.

At 10 yards, “I unloaded it right into his face,” Hanna said. The bear stopped like he’d hit a wall, pawed at his face, turned and ran.

[...]

“Personally,” he said, “I’m not for this new rule that allows people to carry guns in Glacier. Somebody’s going to get hurt. If I’d shot that cub, and it’d started squealing, I’d have had a heck of a time with that mama bear.”

“If I’d had a gun, there’d have been a trainwreck,” he said. “The mother would’ve taken me right out.”

Guns are lethal, he said, but too often they only wound. Guns also are hard to aim in a crisis, but pepper spray shoots out a wide mist.

“It’s hard to miss,” he said.

Saul Friedman explodes a few of Pete Peterson’s favorite lies concerning Social Security, and closes with this passage:

Economist Dean Baker, director of the CEPR noted that so far the commission seems to be considering only benefit cuts: “There is a great deal of talk in policy circles about cutting Social Security, but very little discussion of the financial situation of those affected by the cuts.”

A poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, commissioned by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, found that only two percent of Americans believe Social Security is a major cause of the deficit and 78 percent oppose raising the retirement age.

There are easier fixes that won’t cut benefits: Obama proposed the simplest solution when he was running for president and before he became enamored with turning the cheek of compromise. At the moment, as I mentioned, the Social Security payroll tax is imposed on the first $106,800 of earnings, which means the most affluent executives pay no more than their secretaries. Obama proposed raising the cap to $250,000 while lowering the taxes for many workers.

The National Committee poll found that 50 percent of Americans, including some high wage-earners, favored solving Social Security’s future problem by removing the cap. The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein said the Congressional Budget Office estimates removing the cap would raise $100 billion a year in revenues. And it would solve Social Security’s future shortfall. Even the most affluent figures, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, have suggested removing the cap. Social Security could also raise money by being allowed to invest in higher-yielding Treasury bonds rather than the lower yielding special bonds.

You can do some research on how to solve Social Security’s 30 year financial problem by playing the Social Security game at the site of the American Academy of Actuaries. It shows how removing the cap would more than solve the program. But we Social Security advocates need you to understand that if the present version of the Republican Party regains control of Congress, its leaders and its candidates have promised to kill the nation’s finest contribution to social justice. They will dance on Social Security’s grave rather than celebrate its diamond jubilee.

Check out http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/principles for more information.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, gun issues, Pete Peterson, Social Security | 1 Comment »

If It Walks Like A Republican, Talks Like A Republican, Acts Like A Republican

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 29, 2010

How in the world does that make it “non-partisan”?

Here’s a fundraising letter from the “non-partisan” group MN Forward (h/t Bluestem Prairie), a group of richer-than-God corporate and other business folks.

Here’s the official 2010 platform of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Can anyone spot any meaningful differences between the two?

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, 2010, big money, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off

 
%d bloggers like this: