Because it's better to be a one-hit wonder than a never-hit wonder, and because they'll play your song during time-outs at hockey games, like, forever.
Because it's better to be a one-hit wonder than a never-hit wonder, and because they'll play your song during time-outs at hockey games, like, forever.
Because only a deluded hippy who's stuck in a '60s Marxist mindset would insinuate that capitalism not only profits from imposing misery and hardship on poor people, but it actually relies on imposing misery and hardship on poor people as an integral part of its business model. Except, of course, when it does:
Assumption Park gives residents of this city lovely views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline. Lately they’ve been treated to another sight: a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block on the other side of the Detroit River [...]
And no one knows quite what to do about it, except Koch Carbon, which owns it.
The company is controlled by Charles and David Koch, wealthy industrialists who back a number of conservative and libertarian causes including activist groups that challenge the science behind climate change. The company sells the high-sulfur, high-carbon waste, usually overseas, where it is burned as fuel.
The coke comes from a refinery alongside the river owned by Marathon Petroleum, which has been there since 1930. But it began refining exports from the Canadian oil sands---and producing the waste that is sold to Koch---only in November.
“What is really, really disturbing to me is how some companies treat the city of Detroit as a dumping ground,” said Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan state representative for that part of Detroit. “Nobody knew this was going to happen.”
I can't help it, people---I got a song in my heart and it's aching to get out!
Unless they're government-approved leaks, that is:
The unauthorized disclosure of a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen last year compromised an exceedingly rare and valuable espionage achievement: an informant who had earned the trust of hardened terrorists, according to U.S. officials.
I'm still calling bullshit on this anyway. Yes, it might be true, and it might not be true. How will we ever know? Everything these fucking people do is secret! The question remains, however: why not subpoena the leaker's phone records instead of the phone records of 100 journalists? There are presumably not even 100 people in the national-security intelligentsia who would be privileged to such classified information, and your humble blogger is not convinced that the leaker's identity would be so difficult to obtain absent the AP's phone logs.
For all we know, they may already be doing this, so it's fairly clear what they're doing by throwing a huge dragnet over a news outlet's communications logs and then going public with it: they're putting every working investigative reporter in America on notice that they see you when you're sleeping, and they know when you're awake. That may be within their legal rights, but even as a symbolic gesture, it's generally not compatible with the underlying principles of a press that's free from government interference. Now we're talking "Nixonian" here.---Baron V
There are so many scandals in Washington for our media watchdogs to cover these days, and while almost all of them are fake scandals, they still need to be covered! It's part of the sacred trust between the press and the public---to tell us what we need to know about missing e-mails and talking points and umbrellas, and never mind the millions of Americans who used to have jobs and money and who will never again have jobs and money because they couldn't make themselves more valuable to their employers than a robot, a computer, or a Bangaladeshi garment worker. Because in the world our media watchdogs inhabit, that's not a scandal, that's just how the world works.---Baron V
Because we must rock ever onward with pure rock vision. Even if we only have one instrument!
The proposals would allow drillers to skirt disclosures about the chemical composition of fracking fluid by claiming them as trade secrets. “The revised proposed rule makes it clear that an operator should not disclose any information . . . that it believes to be exempt from disclosure under the Trade Secrets Act,” the proposal states. Instead, well operators would file an affidavit claiming trade secret protection for the chemical after drilling---at which point, the deed is already done."B-b-b-but, they're allowing the energy companies to inject millions of pounds of known carcinogens into the ground? Where they can seep into groundwater aquifers? Without having to tell anyone? Why, that's a monumental scandal!," said nobody whatsoever in our Washington media corps. ---Baron V
The BLM also eliminated proposed disclosure requirements for so-called flowback fluids, which surface after drilling and must be disposed of in containment ponds or tanks.
You really have to wonder---in vain, one suspects---what it would take for the crazy persons in Washington to be ignored (let alone ridiculed) by our traditional news-media outlets. Because as things stand, there doesn't seem to be anything----and I mean anything---that the crazy persons say or do, no matter how deranged and delusional, that isn't treated as some newsworthy event by a mainstream publication. It certainly helps to explain how the crazy persons got that way, and why they get crazier with each passing year---because when you can get national coverage in the Post or Politico for saying crazy things, you have every incentive to continue saying crazy things.---Baron V
They may be greedy lying sadists who are wrong about everything, but they do have their redeeming social qualities. They can even serve as role models for persons in positions of leadership:
[A]s Obama’s early moves so far have not notably succeeded in quieting the scandal dogs and allowing him to regain control of his public image, it invites speculation of what his options would look like if he applied Cheney-style logic to his current predicament.
The uproar over Justice Department subpoenas of records of the Associated Press? This one is easy to imagine. Obama would say “Damn, right,” and offer robust support for the idea of criminal probes of sources and news organizations who reveal national security secrets. There would be howls of indignation among Washington’s chattering class, but probably considerable support among the public at large.
On Thursday, asked about this scandal, the president began with a Cheneyesque riff about prosecuting leakers (“I make no apologies”) but then he muddied his answer by endorsing a law to shield the press from prosecutors.
It's no wonder why we keep getting stuck with suck terrible authoritarian political leadership in this country: the Village town criers are just like a bunch of battered spouses in a collective state of denial who'll keep coming back for more beatings so long as you pat them on the head and remind them how special and important they are, and how you really can't live without them:
“He cares deeply about his legacy and how he’s seen by history,” said Gergen, who teaches at Harvard. “He has much less concern about how he’s seen by the villagers of Washington, and that’s a mistake. You need people like that at moments like this. They can be very, very helpful to you.”---Baron V
Gergen said that Vernon Jordan helped Clinton enormously and that even Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham gave cover for the Reagans on the dinner-party circuit.
“It’s hard for me to think of someone in town who is that figure in this instance,” he said of Obama. “And I don’t think they care very much about that. It’s just not part of their game plan.”
It's the new operating paradigm for infrastructure spending in this country, and it's easy to see why. Government can use its bargaining powers to hold down costs and resolve jurisdictional and right-of-way disputes. The private sector can provide valuable front-end funding to kick-start projects, and the increased efficiencies inherent in the private-sector model ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget. Otherwise, the shareholders don't recoup their investment! But the biggest reason why these partnerships are looked upon so favorably is because they provide the private partners with another opportunity to help themselves to more of our money:
Tolls will go up 25 cents per car in 2014. After that, they can go up annually, as much as 3.5 percent a year, for 56 years. The private partners will use the toll revenue to maintain the tunnels and subsidize bus and ferry services between Portsmouth and Norfolk. They will pocket the rest.---Baron V
McDonnell hailed the agreement with Macquarie and Skanska as “a significant step forward for transportation improvements in Hampton Roads.” Some constituents weren’t impressed. “He outsourced this mega-billion-dollar contract to a foreign country and got our corner of the state to pay out the kazoo for the next 56 years to the tune of a guaranteed $20-something billion in profits,” was one comment on the website for the local Virginian-Pilot newspaper [...]
Regular commuters calculate that the initial toll hike will amount to $1,000 in yearly travel expenses. Truckers could pay as much as $15 to cross during rush hour, an expense that could force some of them out of business.
It's been a long-running quasi-joke on this blog, primarily because I dream of a better day when we are not ruled by billionaire sadists who enjoy making the little people suffer by (among other things) stealing our homes and our wages, squandering our money on things we don't need, and saddling us with a health-care system that willfully impoverishes us. And since regime change in America isn't likely to happen anytime in the foreseeable future, I've looked elsewhere from time to time for inspiration. But another big reason to consider a hemispheric bug-out is because one of these days---and it probably won't be long now!---we simply won't be able to eat American food anymore:
A turning point was the implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) inspection system in 2000 which replaced inspectors' visual examination of carcasses with inspectors simply ratifying that companies are following their own self-created systems---as in "trust me."
The HACCP system was developed by former Monsanto lobbyist Michael Taylor* . . . Taylor facilitated the approval of unlabeled GMO crops and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), both spearheaded by Monsanto, and has even lobbied against the Delaney Clause, which prohibits cancer-causing chemicals in food.
Soon after HACCP was implemented, a study by the Government Accountability Project and Public Citizen found that 62 percent of inspectors surveyed allowed contamination like feces, vomit and metal shards in food under HACCP on a daily or weekly basis, which had never happened before. Almost 20 percent of inspectors said they’d been instructed not to document violations. In fact, a full 80 percent of 451 inspectors surveyed said that HACCP attenuated their ability to enforce the law and the public’s right to know about food safety.
(* Appointed FDA food safety director in 2009 by President You-know-who.)---Baron V
Because even godless Marxists understand the value of passenger rail, which is why I guess we can never have it here. Sure looks like it rains a lot over there.
Of course they are going to vote to impeach the President, and they are simply waiting to recapture the Senate next year so they can drag the Republic through a full-throated show trial with the Chief Justice presiding. Barring that, they'll stage some symbolic vote in the House as they've done repeatedly with the Affordable Care Act. But it's going to happen, and it has little to do with the President. It has almost everything to do, on the other hand, with the fact that one of the two major political parties in America no longer recognizes the legitimacy of the other party---which is to say, the legitimacy of two-party government. It's like Hamas and the Israelis. This also explains why it was always, and still is, foolish for the President to attempt any kind of compromise with Team Republican. That's because bomb-throwers waging ideological jihad don't do compromise.
This isn't your father's Republican Party. It's not even Ronald Reagan's Republican Party. It's a party of the crazy, by the crazy, and for the crazy. And that's why they'll eventually vote to impeach the President. Because it's crazy, and so are they.---Baron V
Posted at 01:37 PM in Baby Jesus Riding a Dinosaur , Death Panels, FEMA Forced-Labor Camps, First They Came for Our Light Bulbs, Indoctrination Centers, Michelle Obama Eating a Cheeseburger, Road to Serfdom, Shariah Law, Unborn Babies, Union Thugs, Worse Than The Holocaust | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Yes, we know the wingdings have packed the federal judiciary with hundreds of Wingding Society members over the last 30 years, but that doesn't excuse Team Democrat from its laziness and/or timidity. They have all the votes they need to approve all of those languishing NLRB nominees. They have always had the votes. What they've lacked is either the courage or common sense to use them.
But again, they have the votes. Nothing is stopping them from proceeding to fill those vacancies on the NLRB as soon as tomorrow. Unless, of course, they really don't care about enforcing federal labor laws: it's a possibility which, sadly, we can't dismiss out of hand.---Baron V
This actually strikes me as a big fuckin' deal:
The proposed regulations will require workers in all subsidized child-care centers and homes to be trained in first-aid procedures, such as CPR, and safe sleeping practices. They call for universal background checks and fingerprinting of child-care workers. And they impose tough standards for monitoring and inspections to ensure that the regulations are being followed.
Now, we can't be sure how strictly the new regulations will be enforced, how many exemptions that Childcare Centers of America LLC will manage to carve out of them, and how many members of the Butthurt Militia will be given coverage in Politico to rant and rail over States' Rights and socialism. But it's a promising development either way, and a handy reminder that Team Democrat can accomplish some useful policy goals when they decide to start governing like, well, Democrats.---Baron V
Because it happened to Negroes, not to Real Americans.
That may seem a harsh assessment, but I can't think of any other reasonable explanation, can you? Or maybe it's just because our media types love hyping body counts, and not enough of the parade marchers died to make it newsworthy. But I still think what's mostly behind the collective apathy over this story is the common perception that random acts of mayhem are just what "those people" do: Just another day in the ghetto, in other words, and nothing to get worked up about.---Baron V
They could have called in the FDIC anytime they wanted, to audit their books and unwind their operations. They could do it right now, if they felt like it! All this Dodd-Frank kabuki has really created is the illusion of bank reform instead of real bank reform because, like, the banks still haven't reformed.---Baron V
Who are staring down the prospect of a retirement spent in hardship:
What's really surprising are the other derailers cited by investors: One in four are still supporting a grown child or grandchild and just as many said their pension plans have either been discontinued or worth less than they hoped for. Another 20% said they got caught up in bad investments, took Social Security out early, and/or experienced job loss.
Have blogged about this before---repeatedly!---but we really are on the verge of not only an economic crisis but a moral crisis in this country, and it's the reason why (a) Social Security needs to be greatly expanded, not reduced, and (b) all of the serious persons who suggest otherwise should be shunned like moral lepers because, basically, that's just what they are.---Baron V
This creep---and all the other creeps on the Twittertubes who cheered him on.
I mean, get serious, people: yes, people yakking on cell phones in a theater is annoying, but belligerent assholism is belligerent assholism, and there are other ways to resolve problems like this than assaulting someone---because that's basically what happened; call it aggravated assault if you want---and smashing their property.
All that this little pervert really accomplished was giving us a glimpse inside the paranoid recesses of the wingding mind, which sees itself as being constantly under attack by liberals/secularists/homos/
feminazis/colored folk, et al, which in turn justifies all their bullying and intimidating behavior. Anyone who thought this was funny or laudable should really be ashamed of themselves---because psychotics and sociopaths don't deserve praise and recognition, they deserve intensive psychiatric care.
They might be entitled to the money, but, you know, like, it's too fucking bad:
The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, gave Lehman $2 million in October 2008 to cancel a swap contract used to manage fluctuating interest rates. Lehman says it wants $12.1 million more and has assessed at least an additional $4.7 million in interest, the research center said in its most recent financial statement. The amount Lehman is seeking is more than half of what Buck spent last year researching Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases.
“Lehman is sort of a zombie-like bankruptcy entity: Instead of looking for brains, it’s looking for cash,” said Chip Bowles, a bankruptcy lawyer with Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Lehman doesn’t care. They have a duty to maximize their return to their bankruptcy creditors. If you’re Mother Teresa, they’ll go after you,” he said.
They gambled unwisely and unwell with other people's money, and their swap counterparties stiffed them in the aftermath. Besides reaffirming the reality that there is no real honor among
capitalists thieves, it should remind us all that whenever our financial overlords decide to crash the global economy, somebody, somewhere, is making a killing off of it.
Or else we've been waterboarding the wrong people:
In June 2011, when Levon Tyler, a 37-year-old staff sergeant in the Marines, walked into Smart Choice Title Loans in Columbia, S.C., it was the first time he'd ever gone to such a place, he said. But his bills were mounting. He needed cash right away.
Smart Choice agreed to lend him $1,600. In return, Tyler handed over the title to his 1998 Ford SUV and a copy of his keys. Tyler recalled the saleswoman telling him he'd probably be able to pay off the loan in a year. He said he did not scrutinize the contract he signed that day.
If he had, Tyler would have seen that in exchange for that $1,600, he'd agreed to pay a total of $17,228 over two and a half years. The loan's annual percentage rate, which includes interest and fees, was 400 percent.
But if we give them another tax cut, I'm sure they'll start behaving themselves.
Seriously, however, I don't see why members of the military aren't automatically enrolled in a federal employee credit union when they enlist. Either that, or rewrite the rules that govern security clearances so that they don't punish service members for indebtedness. It might not stop all of the worst payday abuses, but letting soldiers know they have financing alternatives wouldn't hurt. We could also pay them more money, too, since base pay for enlisted men is, generally, shit.---Baron V
Because trains can be handy devices for controlling crowds as well as traffic. If you don't want thousands of cars clogging up space at your hillside attraction, or thousands of people storming down your doors all at once, keep the cars underground and make everybody ride the tram up the hill, a few dozen souls at a time. Try to contain your excitement here.
This is advancing the, uh, narrative:
The whole “second term curse” narrative is mostly a media construct, but it’s actually a self-perpetuating one.
We could elegantly smash this tradition by, oh, repealing the 22nd Amendment---which, as you may recall, was a Republican proposal that was embraced by the Blue Dog Dixiecrats and the serious persons of the time as a necessary bulwark against too much power being concentrated into the hands of one individual, etc. But the important thing to remember is, term limits were a Republican idea---which is to say, a bad idea---that they pushed primarily because, throughout the '30s and '40s, Republicans had trouble winning national elections. The reason? Most voters loathed their politics. Yes, I know the standard liberal retort here is, "But what about Reagan?" My reply: if a majority of voters wanted a third Reagan term, or a third Clinton term, or even (the horror) a third Bush term, they should be entitled to have it. This isn't a partisan argument at all---it's just one that makes common sense.---Baron V
We can blame Team Republican all we want for being such nasty little obstructionists, but Team Democrat could have---and still could now---remove the impediment anytime they wanted to with a simply majority vote. You want a real scandal, from my perch in the monkey cage, it's the reality that Senate Democrats have allowed themselves to be ruled by incompetents who keep insisting that the crazy people will stop acting crazy if we only cut another deal with them, only to discover, after the fact, that the crazy people are, well, still crazy. You want to get those presidential appointments confirmed, then do what it takes to confirm the appointments because it's been obvious for years that the bomb-throwers will never declare a truce.---Baron V
History teaches us that there are some offenses that are impeachable, like blowjobs, and offenses that are not impeachable, like torture. But in official Washington, there is no high crime or misdemeanor greater than neglecting the proper feeding and care of the Bremen town criers:
Obama’s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.
This White House’s instinctive petulance, arrogance and defensiveness have all worked to isolate Obama at a time when he most needs a support system. “It feel like they don’t know what they’re here to do,” a former senior Obama administration official said. “When there’s no narrative, stuff like this consumes you.”
Given that the prevailing Village "narrative" for the last 20 years has been, for the most part, "Everything's a scandal if Republicans say it's a scandal," well, gee, I can't imagine why the White House might be feeling a little testy by now. Your humble blogger is no great fan of the President or his policies at this point, but if the Arrogant Petulant Scolder-in-Chief wants a "narrative" that will resonate with voters, he should just start calling out D.C. reporters for being a bunch of pompous little dickheads. I'll personally guarantee him that voters will praise him for it.---Baron V
Have written about this before, but it needs to be written again: these people have lost whatever ability they ever had to filter out news from nonsense:
For five years, this president has been making the case that a growing and activist government has good intentions and can carry these intentions out with competence. Conservatives have warned that government is dangerous, and even good intentions get bungled in the execution. In different ways, the IRS uproar, the Justice Department leak investigations, the Benghazi tragedy and the misleading attempts to explain it, and the growing problems with implementation of health care reform all bolster the conservative worldview.
No. They. Don't.
The Benghazi tragedy proves nothing other than the fact that Republicans are insane. Also too, liars.
The IRS uproar proves nothing other than the fact that some IRS agents were actually interested in doing their jobs, but exercised extremely poor judgment in doing them. The agency investigated itself, found the misconduct, and apologized for it. It's certainly worth investigating because of the obvious potential for abuse, and obviously the optics are terrible, but considering the that none of the
money-laundering operations Tea Party charities was denied tax-exempt status, the more difficult it is to take the crazy people seriously the longer they cry butthurt over it.
The "implementation of health care reform" is a problem---not surprisingly, since the legislation is based on conservative policy recommendations; which is to say, bad policy recommendations. It's not a terribly good law, but it would be rolling out a bit more smoothly if Republicans recognized it as settled law and not as something to be perpetually sabotaged.
The AP phone-records story is, however, a very serious problem---and of course, it's the one problem that Republicans don't give a shit about because (a) they also hate security leakers, (b) they hate the establishment media, and (c) they love bullying and intimidating people.
So basically, these stories only "bolster the conservative worldview" because, well, because a couple of Politico writers say that they do, even though the real conservative worldview is, actually, deranged. Not to overlook the administration's many transgressions---read this blog and you know what they are---but this continuing inability/unwillingness to accept the reality that one of our two major political parties is insane makes it nearly impossible for our media types to separate fact from fabrication. It's how we got Whitewater and Filegate in the '90s, and it's the reason why we have Benghazi now.---Baron V
Given the man's long-standing penchant for grandstanding on issues he has no intention of doing anything about, as well as his proclivity for being wrong about practically everything, I imagine his latest gambit is---like his many attempts at "boxing reform"---a lot of meaningless blather that has the extra advantage of being totally unworkable. Hey, I'd love to be able to order a customizable cable package, too, but I'm having a hard time seeing how it would be less expensive unless I only ordered a very small number of channels. One of the reasons the cable companies offer bundled packages is because it allows them to obtain more favorable pricing, especially from the smaller, "specialty" content providers who have much smaller advertising bases than the big channels and who need access to the millions of viewers that the biggest players already enjoy. If everything goes a'la carte, sure, you won't pay any more for ESPN or Fox News, but if you also want Epix Drive-In and The Outdoor Channel, you'll probably have to pony up an additional $5 to $10 per channel per month, just like you do with HBO. If you want a lot of specialty channels, things could get really expensive!
So yeah, this special-order cable proposal might conceivably work, but it's also equally conceivable that Palin might have been a competent Vice-President. If President McCain really wants to make cable less expensive, how about breaking up the cable companies' regional monopoly power instead?---Baron V
It's simple: Because they can.
You want to make health care more affordable, then make it more affordable. Conversely, if "market forces" have made health care unaffordable, stop relying on them to solve the problem they caused in the first place. Why are we saddled with such stupid policymakers?---Baron V
It's depressing to think I could've written this same post every hour of every day for the last five years, but as a rule, it's still true: Spend more money, grow the economy. Spend less money, shrink the economy. It really doesn't matter if the money comes from our job creators or from our governments or from the flying spaghetti monsters who rule us from heaven, but the money's got to come from somewhere, because if it doesn't, people won't have any money to spend on stuff and that's going to shrink the economy.
It's really amazing---isn't it?---that we can be governed by people with advanced degrees in Finance and Economics who can't seem to grasp this simple equation: No money = no commerce = no economy. Maybe they expect us to pay for things with shells and magic beans?---Baron V