February 2009 Archives

What The!!!!

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You know, somethings are just not right.

I put it below the fold to give you time to put down all liquids. Seriously, but them down.

You're not listening. Put down the cup or glass before clicking!

Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you.

What's In A Definition

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A lot of bloggers, and legacy news types, keep using the term recession. I don't think that word means what they think it means.

After 30 some years of having the PC police ready to throw people to the ground and handcuff them for daring to cross some imaginary line, people are just afraid to call a spade a spade. So, for all of you out there still insisting on calling this a recession.

Recession: Economics. a period of an economic contraction, sometimes limited in scope or duration.

Depression: Economics. a period during which business, employment, and stock-market values decline severely or remain at a very low level of activity.
So, you tell me; which of the two definitions above more accurately describes today's economic state?

Now, how about we just knock off the bullshit and call what we are in a depression. We left the recession way the hell behind back in September of 2008.

Update: Okay, if definitions won't convince you, how about a graph.


Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround

Here's the LC take on the news and esoterica of the week.

- A Blog Around The Clock: doing homework today.
- archy: show us Bobby Jindal's birth certificate.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: finally an adult addresses Congress.
- Bloggg: Community? Ha.
- Dohiyi Mir: NTodd remembers a friend; remembers Whitman.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: women are different than men.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: inundation.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces of the week.
- Musing's musings: so resign already.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web loves her job.
- Rook's Rant: new day, same ideological divide.
- rubber hose: residual force.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: tea, no sugar.
- Speedkill: affirmative action.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: of chimps and watermelons.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: representation for D.C.
- The Invisible Library: kindling a fight.
- WTF Is It Now?? show me the salt-marsh mouse.
Here comes March like a lion...
It's like stealing candy from a baby. Well, except code isn't candy. And MB isn't a baby. Otherwise, it's almost the same.

New Day, Same Old Division

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Back when I was first turned onto blogs, around 2002 - 2003, one of the topics of discussion was ideological division. Usually, Kevin Drum would post some graph, or a new fangled gadget, that would display ideological leanings, and note that the actual division was quite wide, with very few moderate blogs of note.

Well, guess what. Here it is 2009 and once again, Kevin Drum has a post about ideological division.

Morning Quickie

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I ain't got much time, so I thought I'd just sent out a post to say I ain't got much time. Need to get into the shower and get ready for work. Needless to say, I don't want to get in the shower and get ready for work.

Sign. The demands on a low level blogger.........
Congratulations to Pam Spaulding for making the Washington Post. And it's not a short article, either.

Hat Tip: Mark at Norwegianity, who managed to get out a post after sleeping in.
Oh, look. My conspiracy theorist just woke up.

(CNN) -- A NASA satellite crashed back to Earth about three minutes after launch early Tuesday, officials said.

"We could not make orbit," NASA program manager John Brunschwyler said. "Initial indications are the vehicle did not have enough [force] to reach orbit and landed just short of Antarctica in the ocean."

"Certainly for the science community, it's a huge disappointment."

The satellite, which would have monitored greenhouse gases to study how they affect the Earth's climate, was launched on a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:55 a.m. PT (4:55 a.m. ET).

But the payload fairing -- a clamshell-shaped structure that allows the satellite to travel through space -- failed to separate from the rocket, NASA officials said.

I'm sure it was just a simple malfunction. It's not like there are people out there who would stoop to such levels as to sabotage a NASA rocket. Right?



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Since it took over a year for the government to proclaim us in a recession, and things continue to get worse, and since this government is by the people-for the people-of the people (or whatever damn order they're in!) and I'm a people, I proclaim we are in a depression.

Of course, the problem is; what to name this depression. Personally, I'd go for World Depression II. Which, of course, means the Great Depression of the 1930s now gets renamed World Depression I.

So, everyone; Welcome to WD II!

Damn Good Question

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John Cole asks the metric ton question.


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By way of Digby;

Common Dreams

NEW YORK - Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.

[George Soros listens to economists speaking at the "Emerging from the Financial Crisis" annual conference at Columbia University, February 20, 2009. (Reuters/Chip East)]George Soros listens to economists speaking at the "Emerging from the Financial Crisis" annual conference at Columbia University, February 20, 2009. (Reuters/Chip East)
Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.

He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system.

"We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. "It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."

His comments echoed those made earlier at the same conference by Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who is now a top adviser to President Barack Obama.

Volcker said industrial production around the world was declining even more rapidly than in the United States, which is itself under severe strain.

"I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world," Volcker said.

I rarely post an entire article, but damn, there is not one bit I can leave out. It's all scary. And I don't give a damn about the conspiracy theories floating over in the conservative zone, Soros and Volcker are both economic geniuses. Say what you will about Soros, but he saw trouble coming, got back into the game, and saved his fortune. I'll not argue against his point. And Volcker may be more responsible for the economic prosperity during the Clinton years than any other person.

When these two start claiming gloom and doom, best to sit up and listen. If President Obama has not already invited Soros into economic brainstorming sessions, now is the time.

Sigh. NO!

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This sounds half assed to me;

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Citigroup Inc. is in discussions with regulators about a plan for the federal government to take a larger ownership stake in the bank, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that the government would convert a large portion of its preferred Citigroup shares to common shares.

Personally, I like the sound of this better;

The Obama administration has said it wants to keep the banking system in private hands, which seems to suggest it isn't aiming to run the likes of Citi and BofA. But that leaves the door open to an "intervention" -- a takeover of a troubled bank for the purpose of breaking it up, bringing in new capital and finding new owners and management.
[highlighted by me]
Since it appears that Citi and BofA are too big to fail, than cut them apart and make them small enough to fail individual without taking the rest of the nation with them.

The Aftermath Of Bush's Folly

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Because he was so gung-ho on proving himself better than his father, we have this crap happening in Afghanistan;

Star Tribune

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Taliban gunmen detained a senior official in Pakistan on Sunday, demonstrating their grip on a critical northwestern valley while pursuing a peace deal the United States fears will amount to a militant victory.

Police said armed men waylaid Khushal Khan and six bodyguards as they drove to Swat, where militants have defied an army offensive, beheaded opponents and burned girls' schools.

Hours later, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the official had continued his journey after "having tea with our comrades," but officials could not immediately confirm his release.

This is just a small example of what lies ahead for Obama. He will have to slowly tip tow through a mine field of political and tribal conflicts that have been plaguing both Afghanistan and Pakistan for centuries. A situation left for him by the Miserable Failure
You know, after all these years, I finally figured out what the Republicans meant by "The Rule Of Law." They want a police state. They are not interested in constitutional rule of law, they simply want the police to rule.


-- Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

What You Forget

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  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life."
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."
  4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
  6. "There" is no better a place than "here." When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
  7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
  10. You will forget all this.

I'm Soooooo Confused

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A day after publishing a cartoon that drew fire from critics who said it evoked historically racist images, the New York Post apologized in a statement on its Web site -- even as it defended its action and blasted some detractors.
This is what we call in the CD biz a "Ya But" answer. In other words; yes you're right, but no you're wrong. So, basically, everyone is both right and wrong in the criticism of the cartoon.

The Post said the cartoon was meant to mock what it called an "ineptly written" stimulus bill.

"But it has been taken as something else -- as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism," reads the statement. "This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize."
Very impressive.

But the statement immediately swerves to fire back at some of the image's critics.

"However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past -- and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback," the statement says. "To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon -- even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."
Nice going on covering all bases!  Yes. Very impressive.

Econ 101

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Matt Martin over at MNpublius has a link to videos explaining as simply as possible what has gone wrong with our economy this time around. Of course, being it's Friday, I also grabbed the code for this post.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround

What a stimulating week. Let's see what the LC had to say about all of the fun.

- A Blog Around The Clock: Coturnix in the Big Apple.
- All Facts and Opinions: contemptuous dude.
- archy: outrages.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: the other "F" word.
- Bloggg: Moi has an idea.
- Dohiyi Mir: get your prosecution on.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: the way of all flesh.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: how to end gerrymandering.
- Iddybud Journal: One-Man Village.
- Left Is Right: papal hypocrisy.
- Musing's musings: sorry, Roland.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Elayne's prepping for a trip to England; want to guest-blog for her while she's gone?
- Rook's Rant on Eric Holder's speech about race.
- rubber hose: test threat.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: Heath Shuler gets scrutinized.
- Speedkill: religion and morality.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: Cut!!!
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: 2010 might be tough for Democrats.
- The Invisible Library: Publishing on demand -- the cutting edge of respectability.
- WTF Is It Now?? isolating the Christian gene.
- ...You Are A Tree is game-blogging again.
Two big car shows this weekend; one in downtown Miami on Saturday, and the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance on Sunday. I'll be there.
That's right. I'm back in the saddle again. You got a problem with that?

Nation Of Cowards

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a blunt assessment of race relations in the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday called the American people "essentially a nation of cowards" in failing to openly discuss the issue of race.
You know the wing nuts are going to go, well, errr.... nuts over this.

I, on the other hand, happen to agree with Mr. Holder. We have been cowards. Oh, we can work with other races. But do you see yourself hanging out with other races after work? Even our TV shows still show a racial divide. There are TV shows for blacks. There are TV shows for whites. But there are very few TV shows that are homogenized.

When I was in the Navy, this divide was very obvious among the enlisted on medium to large ships. The blacks would gather together in one common room, while the white enlisted would gather together in another. Now, that was back in 1983. Maybe today it's different. I don't know. I just know that when it comes to actually living with other races, we've hardly even begun to eliminate fear and bias.

I rarely think of myself as a "white" person. I strictly think of myself as a person. That is, until I was the lone white person in a room full of blacks. Then I was aware I was white. Yet, when going through my training as a Chemical Dependency counselor, I was taught that many blacks see themselves as a black person, not just a person, even when they are in a room full of only other blacks.

So, yes, Mr. Holder is correct. As a nation, we've a long way to go still. 

This Is Disgusting

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(CNN) -- Marvin Schur may have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the World War II veteran was chronically late in paying his utility bills during the two years before he froze to death last month at age 93 in his home in Bay City, Michigan, after his power was cut off.


In February 2007, Schur tried to pay about $350 at his bank, according to a city accounts supervisor. Ten days later, the supervisor says, a city worker made a notation that Schur's bank was not an authorized payment center.

The following month, the same city official says records show Schur tried to pay $876 at a different bank that could accept utility payments. However, the city says its records inexplicably don't reflect that the payment was made.

After receiving a fine for unpaid bills, Schur wiped the slate clean with a $1,000 payment, according to Bay City Accounts Supervisor Tina Cooper.

Boy, talk about not noticing someone having difficulty. Considering this man's history, it was obvious something was wrong. It was not a case of willfully refusing to pay. Schur was having difficulty in functioning. And nobody took notice. A WWII veteran deserved better than this. Bay City, Michigan really screwed the pooch.

Putin Challenging Obama?

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(CNN) -- Kyrgyzstan parliament has voted to close a base the U.S. military uses as a route for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Of the 87 members of parliament who attended the session, 78 voted to close it, the spokesman said.

The law must now be signed by the Kyrgyz president. It will then be forwarded to the United States, after which the U.S. military has 180 days in which to withdraw from the base, the spokesman said.

Somehow, Putin figures into this move. Does he have enough clout with the Kyrgyzstan parliament to cause this move? I suspect he does. Unfortunately, all I have are suppositions and hunches. But, then, once upon a time, that's all our administration had.

Do you know how nice it is to write "had?"

From Whence Skeletons Fall

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WASHINGTON - Banking giant UBS has agreed to pay $780 million and turn over once-secret Swiss banking records to settle allegations it conspired to defraud the U.S. government of taxes owed by thousands of American clients.

As part of the deal struck in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, UBS has made the unprecedented step of agreeing to turn over to the U.S. government immediately account information for U.S. customers of the bank's cross-border business.

So, which politicians will be exposed?

Give It Up Norm

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Star Tribune

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The judges in the Minnesota Senate trial have denied a request from Norm Coleman that they reconsider a ruling unfavorable to his case.

Last week, the judges eliminated from consideration about a dozen categories of rejected absentee ballots. That limited the number of votes Coleman, a Republican, might be able to get counted as he tries to overtake Democrat Al Franken's 225-vote lead.

You're getting more and more pathetic. Desperation just doesn't look good on you, my fellow ex-stoner.

You are an ex-stoner, right? With the stupidity you've put on display, one wonders, you know.

Shallow Thought

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Do I have to care?

So Goes Cali, So Goes The Country

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(CNN) -- California lawmakers were told to bring their toothbrushes and prepare for a long day Tuesday, with the goal of passing a budget as the state faces a $42 billion deficit and 20,000 layoff notices were set to go out to state workers Tuesday.
Although, I think in this case, Cali is following the country.

Just a note: 20,000 layoffs is a hell of a hit to state revenue. And despite the initial claim of Arnie butting heads with Democrats, it appears the real culprits are {drum roll} Republicans. Who'd a thunk?

The Republican governor, who declared a fiscal emergency in December, has butted heads for months with the Democratic majority over alleviating the state's $11.2 billion revenue shortfall this fiscal year alone. The cuts would save California $750 million for the year. The state's $42 billion deficit is for the current and next fiscal years.

Schwarzenegger warned lawmakers about the cuts last week, urging them to approve the latest budget proposal. However, voting was stalled over a 30-hour weekend session as the legislature mulled over 26 pieces of legislation that make up the budget package.

The State Assembly in Sacramento postponed action until Tuesday. A single Republican vote was holding the budget from passing with a two-thirds majority, McLear said.


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I could go on a screed about the vile nature of Islam. The problem is that Islam is not the culprit here, it's Muzzammil Hassan.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The founder of an Islamic television station in upstate New York aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes has confessed to beheading his wife, authorities said.

Muzzammil Hassan was charged with second-degree murder after police found the decapitated body of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, at the Bridges TV station in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, said Andrew Benz, Orchard Park's police chief.
My problem with organized religion is that it's a construct of man. And since man is flawed, that makes organized religion flawed. Now, give me an organized religion that openly, honestly and with great humility, acknowledges it's flaw, then I might be willing to step inside one of their houses of worship. But as long as people like Muzzammil Hassan, Fred Phelps, Pat Robinson, Osama bin Laden, et. el.,  are the faces associated with fundamental religions, I'll pass.

While religions are intolerant, I am intolerant of religions.

Too Big To EATED?

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Atrios has a good point;

One point that seems to be largely lost in the discussions about what to do about the banking system is that every week the FDIC is "nationalizing" banks, or more specifically putting them into receivership.
And then asked the $1,000,000,000,000 question;

So the question is why, other than the fact that they're very politically connected, the "big" banks like Citi and Bank of AMERICA, are exempt from this standard process.

Unfinished Work

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You know, had Bush finished the job in Afghanistan, I doubt we would be reading this story today.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani government officials announced Monday that they have reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow strict Islamic law, or sharia, to be implemented in parts of North West Frontier Province.
This is a problem. Especially since it is happening in a country supposedly on our side in the Global War On Terror. Once again, more proof of the utter folly of BushCo™.


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I've not made much comment lately about the torture issue. And I really don't need to because Digby has a post up that sheds light on how onerous our country was under Bush.

This needs to be put in Bush's lap, and he needs to be held accountable for what he allowed to occur under his watch.

What BushCo™ Was All About

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I think this story epitomizes what the Bush Administration was all about; greed and corruption. The aftermath of the Iraq Invasion was a foreshadowing of what they had in store for us here in the homeland.

God, I even hate typing that last word. It is just so damn dirty.

What MB Said

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Hillary On Her First State Trip

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ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (CNN) -- Hillary Clinton says her first overseas trip to Asia as U.S. secretary of state is aimed at creating a "network of partners" to tackle problems that no nation can deal with alone, including the global economic crisis.
Good luck Hillary. Hopefully, you'll restore our honor after having had the face of the US be a shoe shopping incompetent.

It's interesting, by the way, that she's going to Asia first, and not the middle east.


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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in an accident with a French submarine while on operations in the Atlantic Ocean, CNN has learned. Both vessels are understood to have been carrying nuclear warheads at the time and to have suffered damage.
I know there was a time France and England were enemies, but still.....

Anyway, there are two Captains without commands. Ever.

Mean While, Back At The Sand Box

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(CNN) -- The second-highest ranking official in Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party resigned Saturday, along with four other high-ranking Kurdish politicians, officials said.
The kids just don't seem to be getting along. They are not playing or working well with each other.

Bonuses Restricted!

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Chris Dodd is a very evil man!

The New York Times

The provision, written by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, highlighted the growing wrath among lawmakers and voters over the lavish compensation that top Wall Street firms and big banks awarded to senior executives at the same time that many of the companies, teetering on the brink of insolvency, received taxpayer-paid bailouts.
So much so, he's my hero!

He Got It Done

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It may not be pretty. It may not be quite enough. But all things considered, Obama got it done.

(CNN) -- The U.S. Senate gave final approval Friday to a $787 billion recovery package that President Obama hopes will help boost an economy in freefall[sic] with a combination of government spending and tax cuts and credits.
Now, while the Republicans may whine about it's lack of effectiveness, I think enough people in the nation saw how they were obstructionists, showing only concern for their political standing, and not caring one iota for the majority of Americans who are currently suffering through this economic crisis.

Oh, and let's get one thing straight; bipartisanship is a process, not a result. President Obama recognizes this fact, while the Republicans fail to grasp this simple concept.

Should Not Be Happening

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You know, had the previous administration actually acted faithfully and competently, we would not be reading stories like this:

(CNN) -- Five children were among "a number" of civilians killed in a firefight between insurgents and Australian troops in Afghanistan's Oruzgan Province, Australia's Defense Ministry said in a news release issued Friday.
Sorry, but this kind of incident pisses me off to the end.

So Damn Tired

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Don't know what's wrong with me. I woke up this morning feeling lethargic and unmotivated. So, as a result, I am not posting any stolen code today. For that matter, I suspect I will not be posting beyond this public announcement. I just don't have the energy.


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Maybe I am wrong about this, but when you elevate people into a position of leading your party, don't you think it would be better to select people who, you know, actually helped someone decisively win office?

Welcome to the era of MN Republican Fail.

WASHINGTON - Nearly 5 million Americans continued to draw jobless benefits late last month, and new requests again exceeded 600,00 as companies lay off scores of workers amid a deepening recession.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of initial jobless benefit claims dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 623,000, from an upwardly revised figure of 631,000 the previous week. The latest tally still was above analysts' expectations of 610,000 claims.

What is it Atrios is always saying? Oh ya.


Why He Didn't Win

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When an incumbent can not securely win a reelection, it's probably because he's a complete moron.

My Sky Is Getting Crowded

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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Two satellites, one Russian and one American, have collided some 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Siberia, the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, said Thursday

The collision produced two large debris clouds, which are not believed to pose a threat to the International Space Station as long as the clouds continue moving in a lower orbit, Roscosmos said.

There is a chance the debris could hit other satellites at the same altitude, however, the space agency said.

"We have not received a warning of the possible danger to the ISS. The fragments may descend to the ISS orbit in several years, although I do not rule out that some fragments may go down within several days," Mikhail Martirosov, from the Russian mission control center, told the Russian news agency Interfax Thursday.

Looks like there's a need for Space Traffic Control.


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It is a rare day indeed when I link to one of the liberal elitists. But in this case, Ezra has just too prime of an example of denial not to give him a link.

Just to clarify those last sentences: The banks bought the bad assets at high prices. They need to sell them at low prices. But this banker is arguing that they are too financially stressed to absorb the losses that would entail. Conversely, so long as they don't sell the assets, they can pretend they haven't lost any money on them, as they can pretend that they will rebound to a better price once the mania is over. The other way of putting this is that much of the banking sector is already insolvent, it's just not prepared to admit it.
Give that man a paddle!

Oh, and even more disgusting; I was sent to Ezra by way of an even bigger liberal elitist, Atrios.

Arrgg! I feel dirty. And I've already had my shower this morning.

Well, no comment other than to leave a link.

At Least It's Something

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(CNN) -- The Obama administration's $838 billion economic stimulus plan survived a key vote in the Senate, putting a compromise version of the bill on track for passage Tuesday.
At this point, any stimulus plan is better than none. And it looks like those provisions that were pulled during negotiations, President Obama plans on introducing in separate legislation.

And The Hits Just Keep Coming!

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The economic hits, that is.

Star Tribune

DETROIT - General Motors says it's cutting 10,000 salaried jobs, blaming the need to restructure the company amid the continued drop in new vehicle sales.

The Detroit-based automaker says it will reduce its total number of salaried workers to 63,000 from 73,000 this year. About 3,400 of GM's 29,500 salaried U.S. jobs are expected to be eliminated.


Holy Frak!

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Somehow, the job losses of this economic "recession" just doesn't quite look like job loss trends of past recessions.


This graph stolen from Swampland.

Update: Leave it to Kevin Drum to supply an in depth chart of the last 6 recessions.

Well, Kevin's graph appears to be missing some current information. Below is an up to date graph, with all recessions post WWII.


Your D.L. Is Online!

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Did you know that your driver's license is online? Seriously, go here, and you can see your license thanks to Homeland Security.

We really do live in a police state.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround
It's been a very stimulating week. Let's see what the LC has been talking about.

- A Blog Around The Clock: DC press corps dissed again.
- archy: talking about my generation.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof on schoolyard discipline.
- Bloggg: why is this person working?
- Collective Sigh: Awwww....
- Dohiyi Mir: teach-in.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: lost lives.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: e-mail your senators about the stimulus package.
- Left Is Right: spine time.
- Musing's musings: highway musings.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: bus sign fun.
- Rook's Rant: Donald Trump on the bailout.
- rubber hose: Joe the GOP strategist.
- Scrutiny Hooligans
- Speedkill: crazy fun.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat, on faith-based initiatives.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: Rush and criticism.
- The Invisible Library looks forward to the next few election cycles.
- WTF Is It Now?? -- Alberto Gonzales reflects on his legacy at DoJ.
- ...You Are A Tree -- it's everywhere...
Spring training starts soon...
Up here, March madness, with it's usual assortment of winter storms, is approaching.

I Guess I'm An Expert Blogger

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Worse Then Originally Thought

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WASHINGTON - New jobless claims jumped far more than expected last week in an already dismal labor market, and there's no relief in sight for workers as mass layoffs persist.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 626,000, from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 591,000. The latest total is far more than analysts' expectations of 583,000.

What the hell. Thank you George W. Bush. You were, beyond a doubt, The. Worst. President. Ever!

Can we now all agree that the ideology behind the Republican's push back against the stimulus bill is a complete and utter failure?


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Wow, a president that can write his own op-ed piece. It's like a dream.

The Donald

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I am neither a fan of Donald Trump, nor a critic. I do recognize him as understanding economics, though only because of his experience, not his schooling. Yet, in the simplest terms, he managed to explain what is going on with the banks and the bailout to Larry King.


Larry King: Is Obama right or wrong to go after these executives with salary caps?

Donald Trump: Well, I think he's absolutely right. Billions of dollars is being given to banks and others. You know, once you start using taxpayer money, it's a whole new game. So I absolutely think he's right.

King:What about the whole concept of bailouts?

Trump: Well, it's a little bit different. A lot of people are not in favor of bailouts. You know, we talked about all the different things going on in this country. Let's face it, Larry, we are in a depression.

If they didn't do the bailout, you would be in depression No. 2 and maybe just as big as depression No. 1, so they really had to do something. The problem is they're giving millions and billions of dollars to banks and the banks aren't loaning it.

If you are a prime customer of a bank and if you need 10 cents, you can't get it. The banks are out of business. They're not loaning. Now, billions of dollars has been given. They're supposed to be loaning out that money and they're using it for other purposes, so it is a real mess.

And he already calls the current economic situation a depression.

There's More To This Story

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My radar went off big time when I read the headline of this story:

Police: Doctor injured when bomb erupts in Lexus

(CNN) -- The chairman of the Arkansas Medical Board was critically injured Wednesday when a bomb placed on the front end of his Lexus hybrid SUV exploded at his West Memphis, Arkansas, home -- a blast heard a mile away, police said.
Something tells me this is going to involve some divisive subjects. The word terrorist has already been thrown into the mix.

Dr. Trent Pierce, a family practitioner, was flown to a hospital across the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, after the 8 a.m. blast, police Chief Robert Paudert said, adding that Pierce may be transferred to a burn center in Ohio. Officials said he was in critical condition.

"It's a terrorist attack on Dr. Pierce," Paudert said. "We just don't know why someone would do this... We're going to find out.

I doubt it's a brown skinned terrorist. More than likely, it's a home grown christian extremist.

Pearl Clutchers Anonymous

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You know, there's been quite the pile on concerning Michael Phelps and his bong hit. As a chemical dependency counselor, I have been reluctant to even read the articles. Mostly because of the double standard that is now on full display.

Let's be honest. Had Mr. Phelps gone out and gotten drunk in celebration of his amazing accomplishment, not one article would have been published. Unless, of course, he got into some kind of trouble. No doubt, young Mr. Phelps did have a few. And in the process, managed to stay out of trouble. He did not end up behind a wheel. He did not make a spectacle of himself in public.

So, here we have him celebrating his amazing accomplishment, not with alcohol, but with marijuana. And the problem he caused? He ended up in a picture. <snark tone="sarcasm">Oh my. It's the end of civilization as we know it. Look! Up in the sky. It's a meteorite plunging into our atmosphere. Oh, we're doomed. DOOMED I tell you!</snark>

Sigh. This is nothing more than rank hypocrisy. Enough. Marijuana is not the social evil as claimed by these pearl clutchers. Alcohol causes more death, more destruction, more pain to our society. Yet, it is alcohol that is socially acceptable. Yet despite this very obvious fact, we learned that prohibition did not work. It is not working now for marijuana.

Like any chemical, marijuana can become an addiction to some. I know, I am one such person. But I am not so high and mighty that I am going to claim it's an evil, vile drug that should be scoured from the planet. History has shown prohibition just does not work.

So, to all you pearl clutchers; first, you just don't look good in pearls. Seriously, way gaudy. Buy a fashion magazine, will you. Second, you're being shrill. How about you notch the voice down an octave or three? Maybe you guys ought to think about forming a self-help group to deal with this problem. You know, call it Pearl Clutchers Anonymous.

It's Just A Name

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I know that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Someone might want to inform ex vice-president Cheney that a name is just a name. Because, he sure seems to be taking his name to heart these days.

What a dick.


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Oh. My. GOD! It's Sputnik! Hide the children. Stock pile the bomb shelters. Prey to the God of your choice. Were doomed. DOOMED! I tell ya!

Booga booga booba booba boobie!

Be afraid. Be very afraid (BVA).


Okay, I'm done channeling the wing nuts.

Timing Is Everything

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John Amato is upset at Obama's late use of his internet/email list.

I have a question for the Obama staff. Why was the Democratic Party so miserable in trying to explain your stimulus plan to the American people when the mass media finally gave them some air time? Why did you let the messaging get away from you? Why wasn't this LIST immediately implemented to take the lead on the messaging of his economic plan? Don't you think it's a little late to remember that this LIST existed?
Obviously, I don't believe Obama forgot the list. In fact, I am quite sure he knows it's there. But there is such a think as over kill. During a presidential campaign, we all are more than willing to put up with a constant stream of email's requesting donations, enlisting aid, etc., etc., etc. But there is no campaign. This is a different situation, with different expectations. Are people willing to put up with the same level of emails from the President? Will it even work? And if it does, will it work every time he breaks it out?

Now, I don't even begin to believe I have the answers to those questions. But to assume that the power of that list is going to work now that he is in the Oval Office is presumptuous. Of course, I know he's going to use the list. That's a given. But I also understand why he's been hesitant until know. Had he used it earlier, when the debate on the stimulus bill was just starting up, and it failed, what then?

When the use of the internet first occurred with Dean's campaign, the one thing I noticed was it's rapid fire response. The ability to generate donations was instantaneous. What use to take weeks, happened in 24 hours. Also, the response of progressive and moderate blogs to counter the lies and distortions of the Republican talking points was also rapid. This ability to immediately respond makes the net a better defensive tool.

The greatest weakness of the progressive movement has been it's impatience. John Amato is putting that impatience on display. Can we all remember:


My God. What is happening to the Republican Party?

I'm sorry. But when Joe The Plumber..... Well, Steven Reynolds explains:

The bigger point is that the Republican conservative caucus is going to listen to a speech about the economy, and ostensibly listen to the speech, by a failed unlicensed plumber who cheated on his taxes. Evidently they couldn't find an economist, or maybe the last economist they quoted refuted them?
But wait, there's more! Lest we forget, there's the bomb shell ex-beauty queen from Alaska that get's talked up by Newt:

"If Sarah Palin seeks out a group of sophisticated policy advisers and spends time developing a series of fairly sophisticated positions," Gingrich said during his 33rd visit to the Christian Science Monitor breakfast series, "she is very formidable."
Newt, you old hound dog! You eying wife number..... Well, I've lost count of the number of wives you've had.

Now, of course, let me save the best for last, the newest Chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele:

"Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job."
I guess that means Mr. Steele is not getting paid for his Chairmanship.

So, this is the current face of the Republican party; Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, and Michael Steele. Congratulations GOP, you've just insured your place in the wilderness for a very long time, if you've truly embraced what these people signify as the heart and soul of your party.

Fire In The Hole!

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Hehehehehe. He will always be a Miserable Failure!

Go ahead. You can toss one two. Just remember to point the link to http://43alumni.com/

Really, it's easy.

I know, I know, they may eventually develop an algorithm to counter it, but I'll bet not for a while.

Hat Tip MB


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(CNN) -- Sen. John McCain said Monday that President Obama and Democrats will have to "seriously negotiate" with Republicans if they want to pass a stimulus plan with bipartisan support.

Why would anyone listen to John McCain? After having run an incompetent campaign where he picked the worse V.P. running mate this side of China and completely misjudged the looming economic crisis, any credibility he has is currently festering in the local evaporation pond.

Once again, his ignorance to the obvious is on display.


Face it John, you lost. And the Republican party with you.

Or go get drunk. At least than I can understand your delusions.
Or so says August. At least, that's what I think he means by getting focused.

But contrary to others, my abilty to exhaust vehement hatred toward people like Tom Daschle for having a very stupid accountant is limited by, well, I guess shit that might actually have damaged the country. After eight years of George Bush having a cabinet filled with cronies who thought spying on Americans and torturing non-Americans were awesome activites, you'll excuse me for not being fazed and/or hurdled into a screaming rage over the discovery that rich people fuck around on their taxes. I mean, for godssakes, Obama's nominee for Attorney General is being held up because he apparently recognizes that 24 is a fictional television program. Can we get started with that decade-due return to focus, please?
I could be wrong.

Hat Tip to Vanity.

More Recalls

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Man, is peanut butter taking a hit. Susie Madrak over at C&L has a link to an OregonLive.com about the plethora of recalls that have happened over the weekend.

Federal officials have released a tidal wave of fresh recalls in the past 24 hours as they connect the dots in the supply chain of tainted peanut-related products.

The latest recalls by 25 companies listing dozens of items include Walgreen's chocolate candy with peanuts, Best Brands peanut butter cookie dough and Hain Celestial's frozen pad Thai dinners, including one made for Trader Joe's.

On Saturday, Harry and David of Medford joined the recall, pulling Olympia Delight Trail Mix products, and Berkeley, Ca.-based Clif Bar and Co. pulled eight more of its protein bars.

The recall has reached a fever pitch since it was expanded to include all products - from roasted peanuts to peanut butter -- from Peanut Corporation of America's plant at Blakely, Ga., where Food and Drug Administration investigators found two strains of salmonella and evidence that on 12 occasions in 2007 and 2008 the company sold food even after it had tested positive for salmonella.

In a startling revelation on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution said the president of Peanut Corp., Stewart Parnell, serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.

Despite calls to the contrary by the corporate arm of the Republican Party, self-policing does not work. If the human animal was as pure and selfless as they like to profess, the need for the war on drugs is also not needed. If the markets are self-correcting, so to would the human race self-correct on the use of drugs.

What we have here is the usual bigotry and class warfare of the aristocratic rich. They believe they are above petty human flaws and failings. Yet, as always, the truth wins out. We are in an economic crisis of monumental proportions approaching the levels of the Great Depression. And make no mistake about it; the mind set that has caused this lax in self-policing and the sale of poisoned food (and not in China, but in our own country, no less) is the same mind set that has resulted in our current crisis.

This is not because of the influx of illegal aliens (because if it is, damn, talk about poor insight and planning by our economic geniuses on Wall Street), or fraud on the part of lower income class people to buy above their ability. This is about the greed and selfishness of the aristocratic rich. In their rush to accumulate wealth, they poisoned the very pond they live in. Unfortunately, we live there as well.

Right now, I am not in the mood to be forgiving. However, I am also aware that these same people are still clamoring to be able to fix what they wrought. Seems it's somewhat along the lines of letting a murderer counsel the family of their victim. Oh, okay, might be a bit of a stretch. Still, I would rather let someone else at the table than the idiots that held the reins of economic power at Wall Street.

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Guy Andrew Hall

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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