Friday, July 31, 2009

Broken In Brief: Brett Favre wavering on his commitment to bring lemon squares to church bake sale

GULFPORT—After probably, possibly, almost definitely, maybe refusing the Minnesota Vikings offer to play Quarterback for them this season, NFL legend Brett Favre has pretty much "retired" to a quiet life in his south Mississippi hometown. But as the former MVP reintegrates back into Gulfport, members of the area religious community are becoming increasingly frustrated with Mr. Favre and his indecision regarding the upcoming church bake sale.

“I just wish he’d shit or get off the pot,” said Sister Mary Francis, who is organizing the bake sale to raise money for the new church renovation. “First he’s bringing lemon squares, then snickerdoodles, then he’s not sure whether he’s up for baking anything at all. Now every day he’s calling us with updates, telling us that he’s working up test recipes in his kitchen or whining about how he’s not confident that he’s still got ‘it’ when it comes to lemon squares. Now he’s going on about just buying some Oreo’s and selling those. That’s not how this works. I’m getting tired of his flip-flopping taking up half the church bulletin every week.”

Bake sale members grew even angrier when they heard reports that Favre had been in negotiations to make a Boston Crème Pie for a police raffle in Shreveport. For most, they no longer care that he even brings something; they just want him to, for once in his life, make a concrete decision and stick to it.

“I used to love lemon squares,” one elderly lady was heard to remark. “But now, after all of this nonsense I’m not sure I ever one to see or taste one again. I’m even starting to question what was so great about lemon squares in the first place and if they were ever as good as everyone seemed to think they were.”

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.31

Health Care Realities
Paul Krugman on the general ignorance of the American public about health care and how much government already props up the health industry. He tells an amusing anecdote about a guy not understanding Medicare is a government program. It makes you shudder a bit inside when you think about how the combination of that lack of knowledge with the media's sole desire to cover everything in terms of political battles is going to drastically effect public perception of health care efforts and the climate for getting something worthwhile done when Congress gets back from their vacation. That's what I love about this health care fight, it just fills you with so much optimism.

U.S. Adviser’s Blunt Memo on Iraq: Time ‘to Go Home’
I know what you're thinking: "we're still in Iraq?" Yes, we are. The senior military adviser kindly trots out a stinking fish metaphor to describe our current occupation there. And here I thought things were going so well. I just hope the "senior military adviser" knows that when he says "declare victory and go home" he understands that the US government has now redefined "home" to include Afghanistan.

Obama Restores Credibility To The Presidential Medal Of Freedom
No, no, no, Barry. Don't you understand? The Presidential Medal of Freedom isn't for people like Harvey Milk, Desmond Tutu, Sidney Poitier, or Stephen Hawking. It's for rewarding political hacks who carried out your destructive orders, guys who played baseball for the team you used to own, and foreign sycophants who supported your unpopular actions against the will of their own people. Get it right next time.

E-Mails Show Larger White House Role in Prosecutor Firings
Hey, Karl Rove is an even bigger fucking liar than you originally thought he was. I know, imagining that possibility is almost inconceivable. Being asked to know the depths to which Karl Rove will sink is like being asked to know the mind of God. No man can know and it will drive you to insanity just to think about it.

The Senate and its round numbers
Tim Fernholz from the American Prospect on how all those cuts from health care an stimulus bills made by crusading "centrist" lawmakers just looking out for the little guy, seem to always be in such nice, round $100 billion type numbers. I'm sure it's just because those centrist Democrats and Blue Dogs are just so adept at removing waste and not because they pick random numbers that sound good in a newspaper headline, and set to work lopping out that number no matter how it affects a bill just so they can pretend they did something. Remember: we are governed by adults.

Demonstrators Want Lemonade at Obama Beer Summit
From yesterday, the protest of tee-totaling religious types over the consumption of alcohol at Crowley/Gates "Beer Summit". Yes it is a 'Why won't someone think of the children' argument replete with a 'booze leads to cocaine and knife crime' chaser. Unfortuantely no one at the White House listened and four adults ended up consuming a beer or two, warping the minds of impressionable children everywhere. So if you get stabbed by a coked out 8-year-old, now you know who to blame.

Michael Jackson's Hair Used for Jewelry
I don't know what's creepier: turning a dead man's hair into limited edition jewelry or holding onto charred locks of hair from a disastrous Pepsi commercial shoot for two decades in the hopes that you could make money off it. I'm betting Joe Jackson is kicking himself that he didn't think of it first.

Fear of a black planet

You know, I'm not sure, but it's almost like there's a theme of some sort at work here. Anyway, long hail the brutal socialist regime of Hussein Obama X, may he destroy all us white people with a kindly smile on his face.

Fox News: Your source for geography

All these years and I thought we had went to war over in Iraq. Apparently we've been warring in Egypt this whole time and no one in the American media had the balls to step up and set the record straight until now. Who knew?

I'm just glad they bothered to use real country names. I half-expected the labels to say "Oil, brown people, brown people, evil brown people, really evil brown people, oil, bagel makers, pyramids, war place." This is a step in the right direction.

TB Endorsement of the day

(click to embiggen)

Above is the work of Ian Martin, the "additional dialogue" (read: Swearing Consultant) writer of In the Loop. As Matthew and I have already ordered you to see the film, we are compelled to mandate that you occasionally read Martin's site, Martian.FM.

Defy us at your peril.

Really, 42%?

You always wonder why Republican lawmakers and pundits are always eager to stake out the most bizarre corners of the political debate, such as the Obama birth certificate "scandal", and spend their time flogging dead horses in a manner that causes actual crazy people to stop and go "Yeah, you're fucking nuts." But, as it seems, they aren't just doing it for kicks, they're doing it to appeal to the craziest, fringe, "I saw Sasquatch driving a UFO" section of the US public: the Republican base. For example:
A new Research 2000 poll, sponsored by the site DailyKos, finds broad traction among Republican voters for the belief that President Obama was not born in the United States.

Yes No Not sure
Dem 93 4 3
Rep 42 28 30
Ind 83 8 9

With nearly a third of Republicans believing the theory, you can see why Republican politicians are inclined to treat it with some respect.
58% of the Republican party isn't sure Barry was born in the US. And you wonder why lawmakers are so eager to wallow in the fever swamps, they might not get re-elected unless they get with the new Republican orthodoxy: tax cuts, name everything after Reagan, oppose anything a Democrat or vaguely effeminate person wants, tax cuts, try to get another war stated somewhere in the Middle East, and Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya, smuggled to Hawaii where documents were forged to falsify his birth as part of a larger conspiracy that involves madrassas, secret Muslim indoctrination, and the winning of the Presidency. It all seems so plausible, no wonder so many believe it.

Thumbs up 58%ers, you keep bringing the crazy. Hey, where the fuck was Joe Biden born anyway?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Broken News: Jeff Gordon not willing to concede possibility he was riding a horse during last race

Gordon's #24 Chevrolet racecar. Complete with a 90-degree pushrod V-8, cast-iron block, and a Holley four-barrel carburetor.

CHICAGO-At a loss to explain his recent last place finish at Chicagoland Raceway’s Yoplait Light Very Berry Medley 400 last week, NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon is refusing to lend credence to race analyst’s contention that he was riding a horse for the duration of the Sprint Cup Series race.

“I'm insulted that someone would claim that I am unable, after decades spent within the racing industry, to tell the difference between a 3,400-pound Chevrolet and a horse with bumper stickers on its ass,” said the clearly agitated racer during an interview yesterday. “These people are just taking mean-spirited shots at me. I’m not going to take the easy way out and let their baseless accusations provide excuses for why I finished so poorly. To be honest, I felt the car was performing well when we went through pre-race checks. The saddle was on tight and the car had been washed and brushed. I felt like we were going to do well. I just didn’t perform up to my regular level. This one's on me.”

Team insiders are also pointing to other mistakes that could well have hampered Gordon’s performance. Noting the car’s constant unease and easily spooked manner when out on the track, surrounded by the sound, speed, and intensity of the rest of the cars, many are blaming Gordon for failing to calm the startled automobile.

“I’m just saying, the car looked freaked out. Maybe he should have given it a sugar cube or carrot, patted its head or something,” said one disgruntled mechanic. “The fact that the fucking auto’s constant whinnying in its pen the night before left us exhausted come race-day didn’t help either!”

Still, others are pleading with fans not to put the blame on Gordon.

“Look I’m the one that has to get the car prepped, so if anyone is to blame here it’s me,” said Gordon’s pit crew chief Steve Letarte. "During that pit stop on lap 60 we had trouble getting the metal shoes off and putting on the new ones we had forged in our foundry. That kind of thing costs a man precious time. Jeff can’t be blamed for that. And I won’t sit here a let some TV talking head try to say that just because I can’t re-shoe a car right that #24 doesn’t know the difference between a machine and a flesh and blood animal.”

When asked what steps the crew might be taking for the next race, Letarte was unsure. “Certainly, we can improve our timing on the pit stops. That much is easy enough to correct. But we’re going to need to deal with the fact that not only did we finish last, but that by the time the event had ended we had barely even completed a quarter of the race. Try as we might, we just couldn’t get the damn machine to go faster than 37 miles per hour. We’re thinking maybe that was a fuel problem. So next race we’re going to go with more oats and less barley. Maybe even add in some sorghum, see if that makes any difference.”

Sources close to the team even reveal that Gordon’s #24 DuPont Chevrolet Race Team is in talks with Boeing to develop a lighter, more aerodynamic titanium shoe and perhaps a carbon fiber resin they can affix to the car’s hooves in order to help the auto be better able to withstand the tough racetrack tarmac.

“Anything to help take the burden of the car’s brittle legs,” a team official was heard to say.

Team Manager Michael Landis was also eager to announce a partnership with new sponsor, Scrunchie. “With the good people at Scrunchie joining our team, we’ll finally be able to forge ahead, win some races, and get rid of that nagging problem we had last race where the cars mane kept getting in its eyes. Now, our car will be able to see the entire track.”

Even with all the controversy and accusations of animal abuse flying around, Gordon was unwilling to let it affect him. “People can say what they want: that I’m an idiot, that basic cognitive recognition skills elude me, and that my actions are leading to an inevitable finale where NASCAR might have to have my car ‘put down.’ But they can never question my desire to win and perform at the highest level.”

“Isn’t that right, girl?” Gordon asked his car, stroking its muzzle. Just before placing a carrot in his mouth and feeding the car in the warm, affectionate manner typically reserved for spouses, Gordon added, “We’ll show them all at Talladega, won't we? Yeah, baby, that's right.”

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.30

Pope: My 'Guardian Angel' Let Me Down
I know he's the Pope and thus prone to believe in this fanciful bullshit, but did he really just blame an angel for failing to keep him upright? And then suggested that God wanted him to fall and ordered an angel to let it happen? I wonder why it is I fail to take religion seriously.

The Baucus Bill's Bad Math
Nate Silver turn his super robot abacus brain onto leaked plans of the health care bill that Max Baucus is negotiating. It seems that it can't possibly do what he says it will and contains a terrible mish-mash of attributes for a health care bill to have. Man, I'm so glad everyone decided it was a great idea to let Max fuckin' Baucus lead the way on health care reform.

Blue Dog Compromise Removes Billions In Savings From Public Plan
Who would have thought? I can't believe that the Blue Dogs actually ended up contradicting their stated goals in order to hack a few bucks out of a health care bill and pretend like they were doing something. It's almost as if they have no idea what they're doing or talking about. Good thing House Democrats decided to cede power to them.

The New Antiquarians
"New vintage". Overly precious kitschy shit on the walls. The hipster TGI Friday's aesthetic. Is it time to consider killing Wes Anderson and hemming in this retro 19th century taxidermist Futura fonted Victorian pastiche trend before it spreads or gets any new ideas? I'm as eager to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox as the next guy, but he needs to be stopped.

Beer choice at Obama meeting touches off new debate
Now that the President is mediating the most important peace accord since Sadat and Begin met, we can finally talk about what's important: booze. Lager? Wheat ales? Budweiser? A magical blend from the Sam Adams founder which melds all the flavors of the world plus magic rainbows? This is important, the whole next week of Glen Beck Hannity, and Rush's shows hinge on whether Barack orders a foreign beer or one they can deem "only pussy liberals drink".

Stormy Daniels Arrested for Domestic Violence
Not only did the porn star challenging David "whores are a conservative christian value" Vitter have a campaign adviser get car bombed, but now she's under arrest for beating her husband. Louisiana needs to have a Senate election every year. We're only in the beginning stages of the primaries and it's threatening to be the most interesting race ever. We're a bestiality arrest and a cultist kidnapping away from having to dip the campaign in bronze to preserve it for future generations.

Everything is proceeding as should be expected

Did you hear? Everything's better now in the health care debate. The Blue Dog Democrats got Henry Waxman to make the House version of the bill bad enough so that they could finally deign to support it.
Efforts to pass sweeping health care legislation took a big step forward on Wednesday as House Democratic leaders reached an agreement with fiscally conservative party members that would cut the bill’s cost and exempt many small businesses from having to provide health benefits to workers.
Whew! Incessant pandering to conservative blowhards (who will never support the bill) and Republican enablers (who still reserve the right to back out) has produced something that everyone can pretend does something and is so milquetoast and compromised that it could even be passed by incompetent Democratic leadership. Everything's fixed.
As word of the agreement spread, liberals fired back. "We do not support this," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. "I think they have no idea how many people are against this. They can't possibly be taking us seriously if they're going to bring this forward." At a press conference, she said, "[W]e might have to come back and start over."
"Waxman made a deal that is unacceptable," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told Politico, after meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday.

"We signed a pledge to reject any plan that doesn't include a robust public option, and this plan doesn't have a robust public option," he added.
My God, who could have ever foreseen that completely ignoring the largest block of voting members in order to pander to ideals that are supposedly anathema to your caucus would backfire? You mean there are some assholes who are concerned with getting something worthwhile passed and not just interested in mollifying crybabies? Well that's the House for you. I'm sure in the Senate, where Finance Chairman Max Baucus is almost negotiating exclusively with Republicans while not even consulting or even informing the rest of the Democrats of his plans, in order to completely jettison a public plan and other Democratic priorities from the bill, will completely not backfire either.

Hey is it a good sign for Baucus' work on the health care bill when Harry Reid endorses your efforts and the Health Insurance Industry cuts an ad praising you? I think an actual kiss of death would give me more hope. Thanks Democrats! Super-majorities and the White House and you still can't stop from screwing yourselves, and by extension: the country. Now I have my doubts about them being able to pass the 2009 One Car Funeral Act.

Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Natural Fibers...

I fully intend to print out several hundred copies of this Reuters article and staple them to the foreheads of those pompous, Nalgene bottle-toting Park Slope stroller pushers clogging the sidewalk space between me and the bar.
LONDON (Reuters) - Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.
After that, I start tossing cans of motor oil through the window of every fucking Whole Foods I see. As though I needed another reason.

The outrage!

That Obama. He's denying coverage to veterans out of pure spite while he laughingly funds abortions and the forced euthanasia of ugly toddlers. Oh this horrible future of government care. Bureaucrats denying people their surgeries. Who ever heard of such a thing? Now the government won't even shame loose moraled women and the kids doing the dancing to the rock & roll music? This is not the America so many veterans fought for. Let this old man get his sex change!

We can avoid this plague of veterans being laughed at, bitter breakfast table conversations with Grampa, fundamentalists not being given dominion over every uterus, and mandatory abortions for everyone who owns a bible: we can join with James Dobson and Family Research Council. Would they lie to you? Yes, but only if Jesus told them it was in the best interest of God. Which, funnily enough, it always is.

Headline of the day

Unstable? S.C. man on probation for horse sex has sex with same horse again

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Broken In Brief: New York City to auction naming rights to New York City

NEW YORK--Having shamelessly whored out to Barclays for naming rights to the Atlantic Ave./Pacific St. subway stop in Brooklyn, New York City is now exploring new feats of acrobatic civic rape in an effort to offset a local economy hobbled by the near-collapse of the financial industry. After lining up interested parties for sponsorship of the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Verrazano Narrows bridges, Mayor Bloomberg has begun seeking deep-pocketed suitors for naming rights to the city in its entirety.

Despite its recent mass expenditure, Barclays is rumored to be amongst the bidders for naming rights to the city. It seems that the organization's American taxpayer-funded acquisition of Lehman Brothers last September, as well as its longstanding stake in diversified interests such as Apartheid, illegal international arms dealing, the notoriously violent Mugabe regime of Zimbabwe, and good, old-fashioned money laundering have left it with ample liquidity and a persisting desire to plaster its bloody name all over bloody everything no matter how much it infuriates the very people whose business it is attempting to court.

No company executives made themselves available for comment, although spokesfloozy Marissa Florentine did read from a prepared statement at a press briefing, explaining that this coup would, "crassly extend our brand into the Unites States and hopelessly confuse subway passengers, which has been an endeavor of the utmost importance to Barclays for some time now."

Insiders remain tight-lipped about naming options on the table, should Barclays win what is sure to be a massive bidding war. However, Vegas currently has odds on:

Barclays Presents: New Amsterdam!: 5/2

We Own Your Asses All Over Again City: 5/2

New York, a Subsidiary of Barclays plc: 6/1

Shaftsbury: 7/1

Cuntsville (the vulgar American meaning, not the charming British one): 8/1

Thankswankersburg: 10/1

Unpronounceable logo of a ravenous Queen taking a large bite out of the throat of the Statue of Liberty: 10/1

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.29

Strong Words From Iran’s Opposition
Look out now, Mousavi and the Iranian opposition are speaking out "more strongly than ever" on the issue of religious thugs hijacking their country and election. This was met with what insiders describe as the Supreme Leader laughing "more harder than ever." This will eventually end with Mousavi being fitted with new & improved shackles that are "more stronger than ever." With the end of the 40 day mourning period for Neda, it looks like this whole thing might kick up again. The American media might even deign to cover it. Unless someone important like Donnie Osmond or MC Hammer dies that is.

Paul Stanley, Tennessee State Senator, Quits After Affair With 22-Year-Old Intern
Release the balloons and streamers from the rafters. This marks the 1000th time a gay bashing, holly rolling, no gay adoptions, moralizing crusader for marriage got caught fucking a staffer. He's going to go "focus on his family", which will no doubt involve many awkward silences and his wife's white hot anger of a thousand suns being focused at the most slittable part of his throat. These Bastards gives Mr. Stanley our thanks. In his honor I will be sending him a commemorative cookie cake in the shape of a man nailing someone who isn't his wife and Sean will stifle his own laughter while perusing the donation page on James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" website.

In a Savings Shocker, the Government Discovers That Paper Has Two Sides
Apparently the government, in a scramble to save money without cutting anything important, has found out that if you print stuff on both sides of paper, don't unnecessarily repaint vehicles, delete unused e-mail accounts, and pack soldiers like sardines into transport planes, you can save a buck or two. The Justice Department didn't know you could print copies on both sides of the paper. To be fair the JD did already save us tons of money by not prosecuting the previous administration for torture, wiretapping, or any other Constitutional violations, so maybe they should be allowed to print on one side of the paper.

Stormy Daniels' Political Advisor May Have Been Hit By Car Bomb: Reports
I think this Louisiana Senate race just got interesting. Not only is moralizing hooker banger running for re-election and being challenged by a famous porn star, that porn star's political adviser just survived a car bombing. Take note Chris Matthews, that's political hardball. Still though, car bombing the political adviser to a porn star? Somebody needs to give Dick Cheney something more productive to do with his free time.

A Rorschach Cheat Sheet on Wikipedia?
A helpful hint to all you TB crazies out there: Wikipedia has the answers to the Rorschach test. So when you're going through your next psych evaluation at your job or trying to throw the FBI off your trail of hobo murdering destruction, you'll know to answer "a pony" on the first card, instead of "the founding fathers laughing at my penis" or "the neighborhood dog, ordering me to kill again."

L.A. City Council considers providing loan for Cirque du Soleil performances

Sure, the promise of money has replaced real money in California and Governor Conan is just hacking things out of the budget, but doesn't the state need to get serious and start thinking about the economic stimulus benefits of bailing out an ultra-gay troupe of French-Canadian acrobats? I thought so.

...but the hipsters get to stay?

It seems the city's Homeless Furnaces, first erected by Mayor Giuliani all those years ago, will soon be wanting for fuel. The Times reports that New York routinely purchases one-way plane tickets for homeless residents who have families in other cities willing to take them in.
They are flown to Paris ($6,332), Orlando ($858.40), Johannesburg ($2,550.70), or most frequently, San Juan ($484.20).

They are not executives on business trips or couples on honeymoons. Rather, all are families who have ended up homeless, and all the plane tickets are courtesy of the city of New York (one-way).
Not the worst idea, I suppose. A homeless autumn in New York would be lovely, but the other seasons will inevitably leave one drenched, frozen or covered in crotch sweat. In April, you've got a shot at all three.

I only question why we're stopping with the homeless. The list of infant-brained aesthetes and materialistic thought criminals whose undignified exodus could and should be funded by my tax dollars only gets longer by the fucking day. A brief sample:

-anyone who, when it's raining, walks under storefront awnings with an umbrella
-subway riders with a BMI above 35
-everyone associated in any way with Forest City Ratner
-all of the prostitutes who have turned me down
-eager employees of the advertising, marketing and brand management industries
-participants in social dodgeball leagues
-half of all lawyers
-2/3 of all real estate agents
-Bill O'Reilly

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

[Ed. Note: Bloomberg would be on this list if he actually resided in New York City.]

Quote of the day

As the Democratic Party prepares to put an exclamation point on years on complete uselessness by taking a 60 vote majority and handing health care reform over to three right-leaning Democrats, one "centrist" Republican, and two fruitcake Republicans on the Finance Committee, we get Arizona's other Senator stating for us what seems to be the prevailing wisdom for health care in Washington:
“The health insurance industry is one of the most regulated industries in America,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) on the Senate floor Monday. “They don’t need to be ‘kept honest’ by the government.”
I guess this is why the Finance Committee, with the implied thubms up of the Democratic Senate leadership, is doing their best to pass an "any bill is a good bill" bill that doesn't include even basic things like a public option or employer mandates or really do anything at all worth doing. Because all the health care industry really needs is a few minor tweaks and a heaping dose of "reform", not anything that would actually make things cheaper or help cover more people. I'm just glad everyone seems to agree with Kyl and we've finally taken steps to shelter the insurance companies from the three-headed dragon known as "competition", "covering people", and "the basic interests of the American people".

Now he wants to talk

Bernie Madoff is spilling his guts. Unfortunately it's not because someone sliced him open like a taun-taun and needs to use his body husk to warm something. No he's getting loquacious about how he stole all that money. Let me see if I can figure out his brilliant scheme: take people's money, take more people's money, tell them you're totally making them rich, take more people's money, meet with SEC and tell them everything's copacetic, take more people's money, and then watch it all crash down as your easily disprovable scheme is thwarted by someone paying attention. Is that about right?
A lawyer for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme says the financier told him during a 4 1/2-hour prison interview plenty of details about the fraud, including how it took place and how securities regulators missed catching him.
Nancy Fineman, a lawyer who works with Cotchett and attended the interview, said Madoff described his meetings with the Securities and Exchange Commission while he was committing the fraud and the fact the SEC was unable to catch him, which didn't seem to surprise him.

Authorities say Madoff cost thousands of investors over several decades at least $13 billion as he told them the money had grown to about $65 billion.
See, all you have to do to be taken seriously on Wall Street is to declaratively state you have made a ton of money and then hope you said it forcefully enough that no one will ever say "prove it." If you want to deceive the SEC all you have to do is hope that they're lazy enough to never actually spend two consecutive seconds looking at your house of cards, even if they have respected investors openly telling them you're running a scam. I do like the notion that Madoff's Ponzi scheme was different than all the other Ponzi schemes and that he is needed to unravel the mystery inside a riddle wrapped up in an enigma that is taking the money of suckers and paying returns out of the money taken from other suckers.

I did like this quote:
"I think he's not happy to be where he is, but he's certainly not complaining," the lawyer said. "The guy's facing 150 years. That's a long time for anybody."
I wouldn't worry, I don't think there's any possibility Bernie will end up having to do the full 150.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Broken News: Britain officially no longer interested in World War I

LONDON--With the passing last week of Harry Patch, the U.K.’s last surviving veteran of World War I, Great Britain has formally declared that it is no longer interested in the "War to End All Wars." While not a constitutional ban, the declaration is intended to limit discussion of, reference to, and glorification of the conflict, which began 95 years ago this week.

"We simply felt the time was right, as World War I has been approaching irrelevancy for years now" said Nigel Covington, Oxford professor of history and adviser to Parliament. "In fact, most British schoolchildren believe that World War I was retroactively invented to sell World War II as a sequel. And now that that codger, Patch, has shuffled off the mortal coil, we won't have to be looking over our shoulders for cranky veterans."

The declaration, cleverly entitled Bye-mar Weimar, calls for popular historical focus to shift to World War II and the ensuing collapse of the British Empire as its far-flung colonies declared independence and set the country on its path to global insignificance. Initial estimates suggest the country will save upwards of £25 million ($1.4 trillion U.S.) in education costs. The elimination of such a large chunk of the history curriculum is also expected to produce impressive gains in standardized test scores.

"Well that's that, then," clapped the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Right Honorable Ed Balls, MP, upon hearing of the death of his country's last surviving World War I veteran. "Finally we can get on with putting all that nasty war business behind us and reclaiming valuable page space in history books that are increasingly failing to educate our children on things they find relevant: wars that have been made into games, miniseries, and blockbuster movies.”

Striking a strident pose, grabbing the lapels of his jacket, and affecting a Churchillian air, Balls continued, “It is in these times that we must be brave enough to jettison what has happened too long ago for us to bother caring about in order to truncate all those bits that seem to repeat and echo other, more exciting parts of history."

Analyst opinion remains divided on this controversial measure, with some decrying the apparent lack of respect for a global conflict that claimed over 15 million lives.

"What utter fucking rubbish," opined Cambridge World War I historian and Professor Emeritus Dr. Roland Wright. "This was the first truly global conflict in all of human history, and one of the deadliest wars ever fought. How in the hell can we collectively ignore it?"

Defenders of the policy point to the fact that, apart from flagging public recognition, many of the war's belligerents no longer even exist.

"Go ahead and tell someone your family is from the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Kingdom of Bulgaria. You'll be laughed out of the bloody room," said Covington. Asked to address the potential savings of striking the conflict from public imagination, he then added, "On the bright side, at the rate our American cousins are dragging us into military conflicts; we'll have enough new, more easily remembered material to be able to drop World War II from the curriculum as early as 2015."

He continued, “Ask any American about the early 20th Century and they’ll just tell you it was the period after the Civil War, when people in grainy film footage moved really fast and rode those bicycles with one large front wheel, just before baseball got interesting.”

If America is unable or, less-likely, unwilling to create enough new wars to fill sufficient paragraph space, the Labor Government has begun preliminary talks with William Shatner to license his TekWar series of novels and opened negotiations with Lucasfilm Ltd. to acquire the teaching rights to the Star Wars saga.

“It says there right in the beginning: ‘A long time ago...' That means it's history,” said Secretary Balls, MP, confident this gambit would hold up against legal challenges by the more "fact-obsessed" sectors of the British populace. “Frankly, laser swords and lessons about ancient trade disputes within the Galactic Senate are more interesting than Frenchmen shitting in their own bunkers during the fighting of what children refer to as ‘the war they haven’t made any video games about.’ As for licensing TekWar, isn’t learning about the future one of the most integral parts of history education?”

Education officials for the Ministry for Children, Schools, and Families plan to have the requisite pages ripped out of the over 8 million history textbooks spread around over 25,000 schools in time for the new school term. For the 2010-2011 school year they hope to have received order on new course books where the period from 1900-1923 is addressed with the phrase “And nothing much of interest happened during this time.”

Reverse double-secret probationary racism

Faux News commentator and beloved friend of aardvarks everywhere, Glenn Beck, is gaining ground on 2009 Baseless Batshit Lunacy Contest frontrunner Michele Bachmann.

Speaking on Fox News Live, presumably to three other people who agree with him, Beck accused President Obama of having a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."

Beck then backpedaled a bit, but only to clear room for the wind up to this spectacular pitch: "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."

Why would Beck, an otherwise reviled respected partisan hack political commentator, levy such a charge at the Commander-in-Chief?

Because our nation's 44th president had the audacity to, if you'll pardon a small and unfunny pun, call a spade a spade.

h/t Politico

Nazi Julie Andrews

Both Sean and I would like to recommend the movie In the Loop for your viewing edification. A comedy about how a hamhanded statement by a British state secretary is used by various US and UK officials to alternately advocate for and against a potential war. It's not only one of the smartest political comedies in ages, it's also just an unending stream of great one-liners. We also would like to endorse the BBC show The Thick of It, which is a basic precursor to this movie, and the larger creative works of writer and director Armando Iannucci.

As you know these are coveted endorsements, what are surely the blogospheric equivalent of the Palme d'Or or some other such award of excellence. Obey our commands and watch.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.28

Tenacious G
New York Magazine asks the question: Is Goldman Sachs evil or just too good? The conclusion they come up with is that they're good at being evil. But new information abounds, as it turns out that Goldman was close to collapse there for a while. I think I just heard Matt Taibbi sigh sadly.

Obama administration reveals evidence of global warming kept secret under Bush
That's right, under the Bush Administration they classified satellite photographs showing that arctic ice was rapidly melting. That's right, ice and US Geological Survey topographical studies were deemed sensitive information. But now that the photos have been released surely this new scientific information will convince guys like James Inhofe of the reality of the situation.

Yes, Charles Manson is trying to set up a prison recording session with Phil Spector. Charlie still has those delusions of musical superstardom, good to see he's keeping the dream alive. Hopefully this ends better than Charlie's attempts to get Brian and Dennis Wilson to produce his music. What was it Dennis said? "Chuckles, I'd rather see Sharon Tate and all her friends murdered by your minions than have to listen to your fucking demo of 'Cease to Exist' one more goddamn time"? Hopefully Phil lets him down easier.

Gates, Crowley To Join Obama For Beers On Thursday
Our long national nightmare ends as President Obama finally sits down to drink a beer with the loudmouth professor and the blowhard cop who have transfixed the nation with their childish actions. Though given the interaction between Gates and Crowley when they were sober, should we really be introducing booze into the equation?

Why markets can’t cure healthcare
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman gets all economical up in this bitch as he explains how because of costs and the very nature of medical care that the free market can't properly regulate health care. This marks the 1000th straight time Paul Krugman will make a trenchant and valid point immediately relevant to the current issues debate that will be promptly ignored by the elected betters he allegedly shares the same side of the ideological spectrum with.

House passes resolution that states Obama was born in Hawaii, 378-0
Childish political gamesmanship is taken to new levels as Obama birthers were forced to vote on a bill commemorating Hawaii's 50th anniversary as a state that had been augmented to include a reference to the state being the birthplace of one Barack Hussein "Born in Mombassa" Obama. The potential for crazy 'birther' speeches seemed to be ready for blastoff as Michelle Bachmann blocked a simple voice vote on the uncontroversial measure and made it go to a floor vote. But, shockingly, sense prevailed within the GOP caucus as the conspiracy freaks either held their nose and voted for a lie or bravely skipped the vote. In case you're wondering why health care can't get passed it's because our elected betters spend most of their time dicking around with this kind of petty bullshit.

The transformed man

via The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien comes the only way you can logically digest a speech by Sarah Palin without descending into some sort of insanity: by having William Shatner read it while backed by a smooth bass line and a conga beat.

Of course

What was that I just heard? I think it was the opposition to climate change taking yet another step back. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the floor to opine on his new scientific theory about the burning of fossil fuels:
If their argument there is “Well, we don’t want to use oil and gas because we think it pollutes” — which it doesn’t — but if that’s their argument, then why are we willing to import it from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East?
Take away the first illogical point of his argument: that because people think oil and gas pollute that is somehow incongruous with importing it from other countries. He just stated, as if he were telling people the sun rose in the morning, that oil and gas don't pollute. Slow golf clap everyone. Just when you think you at least have the parameters of the debate scoped out, the GOP flips the game.

I thought we were having the "debate" over whether man-made pollution even had an effect on the planet, it turns out we're "debating" whether or not fossil fuels even pollute. I think the next step is for Inhofe to pretend that he doesn't even know what you're talking about when you mention fossil fuels. "Oy-yul? Guh-ass? What are these strange words you have invented? I know not of them. Everyone knows cars run on magic and that magic doesn't pollute. Whatever the word 'pollute' is supposed to mean. I can't say I've heard that word much before either." Brave new frontiers are being explored in the service of intellectual dishonesty. Gaze upon the Edmund Hillary of bullshit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Broken In Brief: Immigration officials arrest Lou Dobbs on questions of humanity

CNN anchor and xenophobic jackass, Lou Dobbs

EARTH—Immigration officials from the INS have arrested and begun deportation proceedings against CNN host Lou Dobbs over questions surrounding the TV and radio personality's status as a member of the human race. While Dobbs maintains a New Jersey residence and claims to have been born in Texas, the INS is reporting the discovery of evidence suggesting he is actually a native of the planet Vogsphere and therefore an undocumented immigrant.

This initial immigration sweep is part of the government’s newly unveiled Turnabout Is Fair Play (TIFP) initiative, wherein right-wing blowhards are subjected to the kinds of hearsay, fear mongering, half-assed conspiracies, deluded accusations, lack of intellectual rigor, and factual wastelands that they traditionally inflict upon the growing constituencies of their political enemies.

The evidence, first discovered on the internet and immediately dismissed as lunacy, claims that Dobbs is one of several alien Vogon agents posing as public figures while gathering intelligence on Earth and its people in preparation for the planet's complete destruction in order to make room for an interstellar highway. The documents go on to explain that Dobbs was cast out of Vogon society when, in 2006, the plump, pandering populist publicly distanced himself from the Republican Party. Nevertheless, he continues to monitor and occasionally influence news media.

TIFP team members were reportedly ecstatic at the revelation of this fraudulent material because it allowed them to charge Dobbs with being an illegal immigrant, a section of society the corpulent ape has railed against for years. What they were most excited about was the added benefit of charging him with being the member of a fictional species from a fictional solar system from a series of science fiction comedy novels, so as to more completely make a sarcastic point about the nature of his criticisms about President Obama’s country of origin.

Lawyers for Dobbs, who is said to be working on his third volume of poetry, did not return calls for comment on these charges.


via comes this video that tries to explain to us the sheer size of just exactly how much money we've pissed away because the goddamn free market apparently has this provision whereupon real estate doesn't rocket up in value for eternity. They introduce us to our new friend: Mr. Trillion. We've used quite a few of him to cover up all our financial sector problems. Plus they helpfully explain things in the only way we dumb Americans actually understand anything economic: by comparing financial problems and scale in terms of coffee and coffee based products.

And remember, all we got for this massive expenditure was for the economy to stop twitching for a few seconds. We didn't even get a new destructive bomb or war in Europe in which we could use said bomb.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.27

Finally. I mean haven't we been all waiting for weeks for a powerless compensation czar to look at financial industry pay structure for those receiving bailout money, decree which ones are ridiculous (hint: all of them), and then hope that with enough whining and media attention (hint: there won't be any) that he'll be able to chisel a few bucks out of the greediest fuckers on earth? I have.

Palin Steps Down As Alaska Governor
America's dumb rural aunt pretends to fade off into the pretend sunset. Yes it was replete with bullshit accusations, attempts to pretend scrutiny of her was disrespect to the American soldier, a litany of bizarre grammar, stories, anecdotes, and analogies, and all spit-shined with the pretend polish that she isn't dumping Alaska to immediately going to go out whoring for money she thinks the governorship is preventing her from hoarding. She will never go away.

David Vitter's "Serious Sin": GOP Eyes Fate Senator In Louisiana
A GOP hooker-banger runs for re-election. Eliot Spitzer weeps a little inside. Unsurprisingly he has the support of the GOP establishment and the religious powers, who have been moved by his attempts to pretend it never happened, that he doesn't know what you're talking about, and thank the baby Jesus that chased all the poor blacks out of the state with that hurricane. On the bright side: a porn star is running against him, so: intentional and unintentional comedy abounds.

The Petition to Make Obama Apologize
The NRSC comes out with their petition to try to make President Obama apologize for correctly identifying that police may have acted stupidly for arresting Professor Henry Louis Gates in front of his house the other day. Because when the charges are immediately dropped that's how you know police are completely in the right.

An Incoherent Truth

The ECON7-KRUGBOT MK-3000 opines on health care and the incomprehensible demands of the eternally retarded Blue Dogs Caucus, the caucus most likely to fuck it all up, are making on the bill. It turns out when you group hypocrite morons together, they just get louder and dumber, in addition to more powerful.

Forget Aloof, Bernanke Goes Barnstorming
Ben "Bitches love my rate cuts" Bernanke hits the road to stump for the Fed, trying to convince everyone that the central bank is helpful and not mysterious or menacing in any way. And if you don't believe that he'll leverage billions against you and destroy you in ways he will neither reveal nor could you hope to ever understand.

Jupiter: Our Cosmic Protector?
You want to know why God's attempts to murder us with asteroids have turned out so feebly? Is God a bitch? Have we found and worshiped a better God that protects us from the old jealous one? No, it turn out that Jupiter, friend that he is, is just using its massive size and gravitational pull to take the brunt of the damage for the solar system. So give it up for the Big J. The dinosaurs didn't and you see what mighty Jupiter did to them. Worship our new celestial master.

Now they're concerned

It seems that the eggheads of the robotics industry are finally starting to wrap their brainy little heads around the possibility that we here at These Bastards have been going on and on about during our year+ existence: the coming battle between man and the metal ones. Sure we may obsess over all the other potential horrific apocalypses (pig AIDS, financial meltdown, space meteors, the rapture, alien invasion, the trees turning evil and gassing us with stuff that makes us commit suicide) and some we've even prayed for (zombieszombieszombieszombies!!!), but the robo-pocalypse is one we've feared most. Mostly because a pig virus won't ever rip open your bunker, grab a loved one, and rip them apart with their horrible metal death claws. Also, no space meteor is going to enslave us. Finally the brainiacs are gripping the future possibility of what every decent movie about robots has shown us: evil robots overthrowing meat based society.
A robot that can open doors and find electrical outlets to recharge itself. Computer viruses that no one can stop. Predator drones, which, though still controlled remotely by humans, come close to a machine that can kill autonomously.

Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.

Their concern is that further advances could create profound social disruptions and even have dangerous consequences.
You think? It's just going to take one extra smart robot to turn the Roombas from devourers of dirt into eaters of flesh. Do we really want our scientists tinkering recklessly with this master cyborg, fueling his hate of the human race with their cold exploitation of his robobrain and enslavement of his brethren?

As such they have formed the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, which will become to be known during the future war as The Resistance. They will try to asses the loss of human control of computer AI, deal with socioeconomic, legal, and ethical issues, deal with changes in robo-human relations (i.e. marrying robots, seriously), and developing pulse rifles and hand-held EMP technology so that we may fight and destroy them on the field of battle. They hope to guide research so that technology can be assured to move in a direction that helps humanit5y instead of enslaves it. They even hope to put such research in remote high-security environments, say in case a robot becomes self aware or a computer system sucks in a programmer so that he may do battle with sentient programs on lightcycles, that the damage to humanity will be isolated. Good luck to them...and to humanity.

A sense of decorum must be maintained

Ahh the perils of fomenting a brutal Islamist fundamentalist uprising that seeks to return a oppressive religuous dictatorship back to power to rule with an iron fist. It seems that when you try to do that, and try to do it against the wishes of the populace, people can kind of start to think you're a group of assholes. So what's the solution? Try to become less doctrinaire religious pricks? No, Allah forbid. What you do is get yourself a new personal code of conduct policy.
The Taliban in Afghanistan has issued a book laying down a code of conduct for its fighters.

Al Jazeera has obtained a copy of the book, which further indicates that Mullah Omar, the movement's leader, wants to centralise its operations.

The book, with 13 chapters and 67 articles, lays out what one of the most secretive organisations in the world today, can and cannot do.
Individual Taliban commanders have so far had a fair degree of autonomy, often deciding what operations to conduct and how to run the territory that they control.

Our correspondent said the regulations seem to be an attempt by Mullah Omar to bring all of the Taliban under his control.
Some of the provisions entail not killing so many Muslims in suicide bombings, only using suicide bombings to kill important targets, rules for prisoner treatment of members of the "slave government", no more ransoming hostages, only a ranking bearded fascist may decide to kill a "military infidel", no ethnic discrimination, and try to engage in proper treatment of the local population. You know, real hearts and minds shit. Bring back that religious dictatorialism with a smile, not the old stereotype of the dour imam issuing fatwas and stoning women who expose their wrists. Taliban 2.0.

No word from Al Jazeera if "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Rules for Mujahideen" also includes more helpful tips for the jihadist on the go, or personal grooming tips to achieve that Taliban style they're so famous for. Things like "When fighting the Great Satan, robes are a must and don't forget your standard issue black market AK-47," "Despite the heat, the summer look still requires a beard, lest the flames of hell burn you for all eternity," or "Put a sprig of mint in your boot, so each step will bring a new smell of freshness to your quest to enslave the people of this desert abyss under the yoke of a fundamentalist dictatorship." These are all sound ideas. I think it's really going to make a difference.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Take that, Jupiter

The image of Jupiter's new scar, via a comet crash, asteroid impact, or a pissy Grand Moff with a space laser. For your information the hole is the size of the Pacific fucking Ocean. Which is to say that if it hit the earth it probably would have cracked the planet in half, set the entire planet on fire, and made you wish the apocalypse came in the form of a pig based virus. Which, for your information, it still very well might.

So strut a bit earth, God hates Jupiter and reigns His horrible judgment upon its repugnant gaseous heresy. We're still in His good graces.

Art of the day

"Reminders" by Erin Hanson. Once again the wisdom of Biggie Smalls enlightens us all.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.24

The Five Craziest Glenn Beck Moments
I know, only five? How can you whittle down such a voluminous record of frothing, childish insanity into only five examples? Sure we all loved the fake pouring of gasoline on a staffer, and the weeping, by God, the sniveling weeping, but what about him ripping stars off a flag, claiming FEMA was setting up concentration camps, and that Keith Olbermann killed all the world's democracy? It's like asking to choose which one of your children you love most.

G. Gordon Liddy says Obama is an ‘illegal alien’ born in a ‘hospital in Mombasa.’
Really, does the media have nothing better to do than spend valuable air time debating lunatics about where President Obama was born? Really should anyone be interviewing a degenerate cretin like Liddy about anything other than how to make time in a federal pen fly by quicker, how to properly ref a boxing match between Mr. T and Rowdy Roddy Piper, or the best way to plot the murder of journalists you don't like?

Memo to Post: If George Will quotes a lie, it’s still a lie
The Climate Progress blog on why maybe the Washington Post should tell George Will to stop writing half-assed dishonest columns of climate change. Still though at least Will had the stones to base a column around a bullshit statistic. That at least puts him one up on all the guys who stand outside, go "It's cold today. It should be warm." and then churn out a column about Al Gore's global conspiracy.

Official: Joint chiefs chairman 'infuriated' about detainee abuse
Apparently Admiral Mike Mullen is one of the latest to be outraged at the detainee abuse and specifically the abuse documented in the photos that have been barred from release. So that brings the "outrage" total to just about everyone in the Obama Administration. They're outraged! Just not enough to let the American people know what happened or prosecute those who authorized it.

Boehner says GOP health alternative is coming
After the House chair of the GOP Health Care Solutions Group said the the GOP didn't actually have any health care solutions, weepy beach party aficionado John Boehner totally swore that they did totally have an alternative plan and they'll totally unveil it at some nebulous future date. I'm saying their health care plan is capital gains cuts, estate tax removal, cutting the corporate tax rate, and possibly finding the richest guy in America and blowing him. Who's taking bets?

Quote of the day

House Supreme Leader Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during an interview with the Washington Post on why she doesn't have to follow deals the White House made with pharmaceutical companies, will look for them to make cost cuts elsewhere, her new Senate/Harry Reid caused drinking problem, and how Republican tactics to try to scare House members into voting against the health care bill aren't working:
"The Chinese have an expression: 'Shoot the chickens to scare the monkeys.' They use one issue to scare you on another issue, and I don't think they're scaring our members," she said.
That might be the greatest colloquial expression I've ever heard. And really, isn't the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the political maneuvering for health care is using a mass chicken murder to put the fear of God into lemurs, gibbons, spider monkeys, and other, lesser apes? God bless the Chinese language and the humorous phrases that arise from it's brutal suppression of dissidents.

Iran bloggings

  • There is tension in Iran between Iran's Supreme Leader and his newly minted flesh puppet "President" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It seems when they rigged an election to get Ahmadinejad in power they didn't want him to bring along his VP selection. Because really, just think of all the damage a powerless VP could do to a puppet President in a powerless government that takes all it's orders from corrupt religious dictators. Thankfully Ahmadinejad has vowed to fight on, because if the Supreme Leader is making demands on who should be VP, what other infringements on Iranian "democracy" might he make? Slippery slopes.

  • This VP choice has spilled over into a fight with the Cabinet, who clashed with Ahmadinejad in meetings. They must really not like this guy. I mean all they're essentially arguing about is the other guy who gets to sit at the long table and pretend they're running something as they take their orders from the various old men with beards who control things. And really, who wants to spend all that hard work pretending you're a democracy and pretending you're in charge if the guy who is pretending to be VP and pretending to have more power than you is an asshole?

  • Worldwide marches and a "day of action" are scheduled for tomorrow to protest Iran and the "election" they had. They plan to stream the protests on YouTube so that Iranian citizens can know that behind the firewall that's blocking them from viewing it, people are supporting them. In Washington there's going to even be an appearance by a man described as "the Iranian combination of Bono and Sting." These protest will involve 10 times the number of protesters as the teabaggers and will proportionally receive 1/10th the coverage.

  • Al Gore's Current TV network spends a day with the Basij, the lawless security service that you mostly know for beating up, shooting, and imprisoning protesters.

Broken In Brief: 85% of country's largest DVD collection still unopened

HOBOKEN, NJ--Two world records fell on the same day as New Jersey native Mike Krazinski, 37, was officially recognized as both the owner of the world's largest DVD collection and the world's largest unopened DVD collection.

Krazinski, who is unmarried and lives alone atop a four-story walk-up on Willow Avenue, cemented his place in the history books when he opened a box from Amazon containing four titles, two more than were necessary to eclipse previous record holder Richard Blankton of Paducah, KY. For those counting, Krazinski was put over the top by his acquisition of the two-disk Navy SEALS director's cut tenth anniversary package.

What sets Krazinski apart from previous record holders is the portion of his collection that remains in its original cellophane packaging. Representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records estimate that between 84.3 and 85.2 per cent of the collection was touched only when removed from the cardboard box that brought it to Krazinski's residence.

Said Krazinski of this honor, "I would just like to thank my non-existent girlfriend. Without her continued non-existence I would not have the disposable income to purchase so many DVD's that I then never watch. Terminator 3 Extended Edition? What the fuck did I buy that for? Jesus... what am I doing with my life?"

After a solemn realization of the state of his life, Krazinski visited the Best Buy website, bought a Blu-Ray player, and started perusing HD titles with a new purpose.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Too lazy to work

Earlier today word came down from useless human Harry Reid that the Senate was not going to vote on a health care bill before the August recess because not only might it cause them to miss a few precious days of the vacation that they so richly deserve, but that it might otherwise distract from all the nothing they're getting done. And why not? It's not like they're the ones without health care. They have pretty good coverage. It's most of the rest of us who are fucked.

But I can see why they wouldn't want to rush plans that have been sitting around and being worked on for six months. I means it's not like 14,000 people a day and 100,000 people a week lose their health coverage, is it? It is? Well, it's not like they'll ever meet one at a cocktail party or at their vacation house.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.23

Make no little plans
The epic tale of NYU President John Sexton and his multi-billion dollar quest to make New York University the premier academic institution in the building a branch campus to teach western style education in the heart of a repressive regime not known for intellectual freedom, respect for individual rights, and a religious based Islamic education foundation. I'm sure there will be no problems with all that. Still, the NYU-Abu Dhabi campus is not as illustrious as the branch campuses my alma mater, Pitt, has in Greensburg or Titusville, but it'll do. I think ole Johnny Sexton is going to be blown away by our multi-thousand dollar facility that's under discussion for Kittaning.

Ignoring Watchdog Report, Treasury Gives Three Major Banks Sweetheart Deals
SO it turns out that Tim Geithner might just be a total financial industry suck-up and goon? My faith in the best and brightest of Wall Street is shaken once again. Sweetheart deals for banks? Taxpayers only getting 2/3rd's of the value of its assets? Nude old white man orgies on piles of greasy money? Funnily enough the one bank that did pay fair market price for the warrants was Goldmann-Sachs, probably out of fear. Score one for Matt Taibbi. See, sometimes when you yell at a company looting the American taxpayer, you can startle them so badly that they drop a few nickels.

Leader Of GOP Health Care “Solutions Group” Says GOP Won’t Offer Health Care Bill

What? You're telling me the GOP doesn't have a health care solution beyond "vaguely endorse things being cheaper" and then stamping their feet, holding their breath and yelling "Socialism!" at anything that attempts to make things cheaper? Shocking.

New York Times Reports $39.1 Million 2Q Profit
Somehow, possibly through witchcraft or some other dark art, a newspaper made money. I can only assume that this is because the Times was able to reclassify itself as a bank and get bailed out. I think that's how they were able to negotiate the selling off of a bad asset like Bill Kristol back to the conservative movement.

Obama, Farm Industry Clash Over Antibiotics
It seems that President Obama and the FDA have decided that maybe the food industry pumping every animal full of antibiotics, us eating those drugged up animals, and resulting creation of super-drug resistant bacteria, isn't such a great idea. They've proposed a bill to make it illegal to give new antibiotics to farm animals unless they're actually sick and restrict the use of older form of the drugs. Because this makes sense and is supported by scientific research, it will have trouble getting passed in the Senate. For a greater understanding of why this is all bad, go see Food Inc., and then be driven to never eat anything again.

Picture of the day

via Wired Science: the shadow the sun and moon's celestial intercourse cast on the planet during the longest eclipse of the century.

According to space scienticians an eclipse this awesome won't occur until the year 2132, which they say will also be close to the time we celebrate the centennial anniversary of our enslavement by robots. May we hope that our future great-great-great-great-great grandchildren are given a few seconds of rest from their shifts in the ore mines to be allowed to look up and see such an event.

North Korea's catty bitchiness offensive

So Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is away in Thailand, meeting with world leaders at a conference for Southeast Asian nations. When asked about North Korea she gave the standard US answer about stopping their nuclear proliferation, getting them back to the negotiating table, and concerns that they were trading nuclear secrets with Myanmar/Burma. Instead of responding with a typical statement about US imperialism or a story about Kim Jong-Il bench pressing a Panzer tank, the North Korean delegation decided to respond with some catty, childish, bitchiness. Not just symbolically this time, I think they actually found a bitchy 13 year old school girl and had her write up a response.
The war of words between North Korea and the United States escalated Thursday, with North Korea's Foreign Ministry lashing out at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in unusually personal terms for "vulgar remarks" that it said demonstrated "she is by no means intelligent."
"We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to North Korean media. "Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping."
Oooh, burn! Oh snap Hill-Dawg, how you gonna respond? You aren't going to take this lying down, are you? Luckily she totally went there and told everyone "[North Korea] have no friends left" and alluded to the fact that Kim Jong-Il is a tubby bitch who looks like an old lesbian. This stems from earlier comments she made where she compared North Korea to a small child or unruly teenager who wanted attention, and that he solution was "...don't give it to them, they don't deserve it, they are acting out." She then took off her pumps and threatened to "fuck up a bitch if I have to." This caused a representative from Indonesia to wag his finger in the air and say "Oh no you didn't!"

It's great the the most diplomatically childish nation on Earth always has the huevos to talk about international etiquette and the "offensive" uttering of rhetoric. I mean their response to this will probably be an official statement saying "don't call me a bitch, bitch", followed by the catapulting of a metal tube into the ocean and declaring it a missile launch, and then they'll irradiate some gophers with some uranium they strapped to dynamite and buried underground. I can imagine Kim Jong-Il riding down his waterslide, old lady sunglasses on, in the sitting position, arms crossed, and a sullen look on his face, angry that his country is in danger of losing an international dozens contest. But just in case you were wondering: yes Virginia, international relations with North Korea can get more childish. Wait until Kimbo starts up with a second round of pranks.


Well, we've done it. After years of planning, years of searching, billions of dollars, tens of thousands of man hours, the commandeering the most sophisticated equipment in the world, and the solemn pledges of two separate President's to bring him to justice, the United States has finally killed the mastermind of 9/11 Osama bin Laden.........'s son. Well, at least we're pissing him off some.
U.S. officials believe Saad bin Laden — a son of Osama bin Laden — has been killed by an American missile in Pakistan.

Saad bin Laden reportedly spent years under house arrest in Iran before traveling last year to Pakistan, according to former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.

It's believed he was killed by Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone sometime this year.
That sounds awesome. I want my death to involve the words "Hellfire" and "Predator". With the possible addition of "Bearcat", "Slaughterhouse", "Wall of unholy fire", and the sentence "Through his actions he was able to save both the supermodels and our beloved el Presidente." I'd like to believe that if we aren't at least holding him responsible for killing 3,000 people, we are at least picking off his children. This one was one he's met before too.

The only military question seems to be can you piss of a man who has dozens of children if you only pick them off one at a time? Can you piss off a man more if he's already sworn fiery jihad on your country? After we move off of killing people with the same last name do we move on to killing people that kind of look like bin Laden? The theory being that once we kill enough people with his features and last name, we'll finally be prepared enough to get him. Ah well, if we can't get the big fish at least we can step on a few minnows. If you're interested in the hunt for OBL immediately after 9/11 and why it didn't work, 60 Minutes recently re-aired a report with the man who headed up the team. It doesn't say if they were able to kill any of bin Laden's nieces, nephews, or beloved pets.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Picture of the day

Various images of the total solar eclipse that God deemed only good enough for Asia to see. The total eclipse was also notable for being the longest eclipse of the century, lasting nearly six minutes. Soon people with superpowers will emerge and bore us all with their ludicrous plotting and intelligence insulting adventures.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 07.22

Palin’s Resignation: The Edited Version
Vanity Fair went to the trouble of correcting and editing Sarah Palin's "winner's quit" speech, attempting to make her confused verbiage and half-witted analogies seem coherent and like they were written by someone with a middle school education. Why yes, this is the exact definition of "turd polishing", thanks for asking.

HuffPost's Real Misery Index: Recalculating The Hard Times
Just when you thought there was a corner of the earth where you could hide from economic reality and maybe cry a little inside, the Huffington Post finds another way to make you feel worse about our horrific financial apocalypse: a new misery index. Apparently it says things are shitty. Thanks Ariana, I was almost to hide from reality there for a second.

Liz Cheney Defends Birthers On Larry King (VIDEO)
Wait, so you're telling me that there's a Cheney out there who wants people to believe in a lie and acts in a completely unprincipled manner in an attempt to get people to believe it? Someone get this family in contact with the Human Genome Project so we can find the genetic marker for dishonest amoral soullessness.

Bachmann, Kline oppose public option because it’s ‘cheaper’
This is a new one. Instead of opposing a public health care plan on the grounds that it's socialism or the new vestiges of Obamussolini's fascist revolution (though they do also believe those two things) Michelle Bachmann and a man who thought it was smart to hitch his intellectual wagon to Michelle Bachmann are decrying the public plan because it will...make insurance cheaper by 30%-40% and cover everyone. Uh, thanks for making the argument for us?

Oakland Voters Pass Landmark Pot Tax To Boost City Coffers
*Sniff* this is a big moment for you pot smokers. No longer are you a laughed at subculture, a waste of our police and the feds law enforcement time, or the dancing spinning people at Phish concerts that people wish would stop bumping into them. No, you're now just like everyone else: a subset the government has recognized it can sodomize for tax money. It's a big day. Welcome to the party, Cigarettes are over by the punch bowl and Alcohol is fiddling with the music, go mingle. This must be what it felt like for black people when Obama got elected.

I am shocked to hear this

Sweet baby Jesus, I am surprised at the actions of the health industry. No not fucking with people's health in order to turn a profit, that's to be expected when the only way to make money is to deny people coverage. I mean lying to citizens and lawmakers about polls. That's just uncalled for.
Indeed, the leader of the insurance lobby has sent lawmakers a message: Be careful what you change, because "77 percent of Americans are satisfied with their existing health insurance coverage."
The poll Ignagni was citing actually undercuts her position: By 72 to 20 percent, Americans favor the creation of a public plan, the June survey by the New York Times and CBS News found. People also said that they thought government would do a better job than private insurers of holding down health-care costs and providing coverage.

In addition, data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last year, compiled at the request of The Washington Post, suggest that the people who like their health plans the most are the people who use them the least.
What? People trust the government over the insurance companies? They prefer a public option? Get the fainting couch, I'm feeling lightheaded. Sure we all know how a public insurance option unlocks Satan from his cage and allows him to walk the earth once more, ravaging insurance corporations and destroying the free market. That soon we'll be in an unending hell hole of British and *shudder* French care, what with their cheaper coverage, better access, and better care.

But what about the "rationing", where we'll only get three squares of chocolate, a packet of sugar, and no surgery? Well they have a former health plan executive in there saying that's exactly what private insurers already do: ration care. So let's see: the public prefers it, the public trusts the government to do it better than private companies, it'll drive down prices, it'll cover everyone, it'll provide better access to care, and at its worst case scenario it'll ration care exactly like insurance companies do. I can see why our elected betters need to stand in the way of this. No wonder the insurance companies have to cherry pick stats.