Monthly Archives: November 2010
When the CBO released it’s report on the effect of the stimulus, it was good news to me. From Reuters:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act put between 1.4 million and 3.6 million to work in the third quarter of this year, a time when more than 15 million Americans were unemployed, CBO said.
It also boosted national output by between 1.4 percent and 4.1 percent during that time, the CBO said.
During the third quarter, the economy grew by an annual rate of 2.5 percent. Economists say a rate faster than 3 percent is needed to make any noticeable dent in unemployment.
The CBO’s estimates have consistently shown that the $814 billion package of tax cuts, state aid, construction spending and enhanced safety-net provisions has blunted the impact of the worst U.S. recession since the 1930s.
Not all elements of the Recovery Act got the same bang for the buck, the CBO said.
Direct spending on highway construction, water-system upgrades and energy efficiency were among the most effective, the CBO said, while tax breaks for businesses and higher-income people cost more in lost revenues than they made up for in increased economic activity.(emphasis mine)
The R’s, aka the Party Of No, either found another way to spin it or just fucking ignored the CBO’s report. What they would rather do is make damn sure that those lazy fuckers on unemployment don’t get another government handout…aka another unemployment check, starting at midnight tonight. That’s why you have assholes like Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) actually arguing that unemployment checks don’t do shit for our economy:
According to calculations by the Congressional Budget Office, Moody’s Economy, and myriad other economists, unemployment benefits are the single best way to pump money into the economy and generate economic activity, as the unemployed are very likely to spend all of the benefits they receive (thus moving money into local businesses). But during an interview with MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle today, Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) scoffed at the notion that unemployment benefits help the economy. “Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that,” Shadegg jeered:
BARNICLE: What about the fact that unemployment benefits pumped into the economy are an immediate benefit to the economy? Immediate…
SHADEGG: No, they’re not! Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that.
BARNICLE: Unemployed people spend money Congressman, ’cause they have no money.
SHADEGG: Aha! So your answer is it’s the spending of money that drives the economy and I don’t think that’s right. It’s the creation of jobs that drives the economy…Actually, the truth is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can. Job creators create jobs.
BARNICLE: Have you ever been unemployed? Have you ever been unemployed?
SHADEGG: Yes, I have.
BARNICLE: What did you do with the money? Save it?
Any moron with two brain cells to rub together knows that people on unemployment spend those checks as soon as they get them. They spend them on rent, food, gas, clothes for the kids, heating their homes, all kinds of friggin things they need to survive, something Rep.Shadegg is obviously very unfamiliar with. Again, from the ThinkProgress link:
As The Wonk Room noted, some economists estimate that allowing benefits to expire could cause economic growth to “fall by one half to nearly 1 percentage point,” as well as throw hundreds of thousands of people into poverty. And while Shadegg joked that he will be unemployed come January since he is retiring from Congress, next year he will be eligible for a federal pension (if he opted for one), as he is turning 62 and served on Capitol Hill for more than five years.
We can only hope that John Shadegg takes a very long fucking walk on a very short pier…real soon, before he can collect one friggin dime of that federal pension.What. A. Fucking. Douche Nozzle. Stupid fuck just drove my blood pressure through the roof.
Jesus H. Christ, I hate stupid lame-ass arguments that make no sense what so ever, I despise Republicans and I despise John Shadegg with every fiber of my being.
Since when is Homeland Security involved in copyright infringement which is what the DMCA- Digital Millennium Copyright Act is? Well, they are now as per a RawStory writeup sent to me by RJ this morning, which states the Feds have shut down 76 sites and counting. From the RawStory link:
The Homeland Security Department’s customs enforcement division has gone on a Web site shutdown spree, closing down at least 76 domains this week, according to online reports.
While many of the web domains were sites that trafficked in counterfeit brand name goods, and some others linked to copyright-infringing file-sharing materials, at least one site was a Google-like search engine, causing alarm among web freedom advocates who worry the move steps over the line into censorship.
All the shut sites are now displaying a Homeland Security warning that copyright infringers can face up to five years in prison.
Homeland Security’s ability to shut down sites without a court order evidently comes from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a Clinton-era law that allows Web sites to be closed on the basis of a copyright complaint. Critics have long assailed the DMCA for being too broad, as complainants don’t need to prove copyright infringement before a site can be taken down.
Where is the due-process for this fuckery? Why would Homeland Security be involved when it doesn’t have a friggin thing to do with protecting the…cough… ‘Homeland’? Eric Holder, who evidently has nothing better to do than protect the public from counterfit handbags and such, released a statement on the seizures:
“With today’s seizures, we are disrupting the sale of thousands of counterfeit items,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. “We are cutting off funds to those looking to profit from the sale of illegal goods and exploit the ingenuity of others. And, as the holiday shopping season gets underway, we are also reminding consumers to exercise caution when looking for deals and discounts online. To put it simply: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Yeah, you go get em Holder, you refused to prosecute Tom Delay or any of the Bush Administration’s henchmen that tortured people, but this shit is real-fucking-important right dude?
How friggin pathetic is that? Chalk another one up for The Corporatocracy. Protecting their rights is so much more important than anything else out there that needs protecting.
Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Friday that his group had “a lot of concerns” about authorities seizing Internet domain names without prior notice. The civil-liberties organization has been lobbying against a proposed law known as COICA—the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act—that would give the government additional powers to move against sites involved in copyright infringement, even if they weren’t located in the U.S.
Senator Ron Wyden has vowed to stop COICA before it gets to the floor of the senate for a vote in this session. The bill would then have to start over during the new session next year, which will be controlled by the rightwing nutters for the most part. Personally, I love that Wyden will use one of the Rethugs favortie tactics….holding up a bill in committee.
Once again Wikileaks has released hundreds of thousands of pages, many that were classified secret, to the NYT, DerSpeigel, UK’s The Guardian and a couple other foreign news sources. Some of the releases (roughly 9000 documents/cables) are from as early as Feb of this year, meaning they will affect the Obama Administration and of course…Hillary Clinton, per TruthOut’s analysis. From The Guardian writeup (all emphasis mine):
The cables contain specific allegations of corruption, as well as harsh criticism by US embassy staff of their host governments, from Caribbean islands to China and Russia. The material includes a reference to Putin as an “alpha-dog”, Hamid Karzai as being “driven by paranoia” while Angela Merkel allegedly “avoids risk and is rarely creative”. There is also a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler.
The cables names Saudi donors as the biggest financiers of terror groups, and provide an extraordinarily detailed account of an agreement between Washington and Yemen to cover up the use of US planes to bomb al-Qaida targets. One cable records that during a meeting in January with General David Petraeus, then US commander in the Middle East, Yemeni president Abdullah Saleh said: “We’ll continue saying they are our bombs, not yours.”
Other revelations include a description of a near “environmental disaster” last year over a rogue shipment of enriched uranium, technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva, and a profile of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who they say is accompanied everywhere by a “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse.
Topics covered range from the technical detail of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva, to an intimate personality profile of Colonel Gaddaffi, the eccentric Libyan dictator, who they say is nowadays accompanied everywhere by a “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse.
The cables cover secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s work under the Obama administration, as well as thousands of files from the Bush presidency.Clinton led a frantic damage limitation exercise this weekend as Washington prepared foreign governments for the revelations, contacting leaders in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, France and Afghanistan.
US ambassadors in other capitals were instructed to brief their hosts in advance of the release of unflattering pen-portraits or nakedly frank accounts of transactions with the US which they had thought would be kept quiet. Washington now faces a difficult task in convincing contacts around the world that any future conversations will remain confidential.
The White House, via the State Department released the usual condemnation of the leaks, stating the usual reasons:
The state department’s legal adviser has written to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his London lawyer, warning that the cables were obtained illegally and that publication would place at risk “the lives of countless innocent individuals … ongoing military operations … and cooperation between countries”.
Oh hell yeah the ‘cooperation between countries’ will be compromised and possibly damaged as it shows how the US really trusts no one, spies on everyone and relies on that old adage: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Wikileaks has said they will redact certain names to protect the innocent…or perhaps to protect the guilty..hard to say…but all the news agencies have said they will do the same as well. More from The Guardian writeup, which discusses our spying on everyone and every country:
The cables published today reveal how the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network, with diplomats tasked to obtain not just information from the people they meet, but personal details, such as frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even DNA material.
Classified “human intelligence directives” issued in the name of Clinton or her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, instruct officials to gather information on military installations, weapons markings, vehicle details of political leaders as well as iris scans, fingerprints and DNA.
The most controversial target was the UN leadership. That directive requested the specification of telecoms and IT systems used by top officials and their staff and details of “private VIP networks used for official communication, to include upgrades, security measures, passwords, personal encryption keys”.
You can go to The Gaurdian’s site here and download key data from the embassy cables and wade through them yourself or read the NYT’s seven plus page synopsis here. Why in the blue hell do they need some of that shit, especially on our so-called allies? The cold-war never ended it seems…no matter what the fuckers in DC tell us.
Yesterday was a good day….until the drunk neighbors in house A decided to have a group asskicking with neighbors in house B, which is right across the street from our humble abode. Cops came out twice and, the broad with the biggest mouth went to jail….ah…nothing says Happy Holidays like people with baseball bats and shovels! Thanksgiving at it’s finest! At least it was entertaining in a sick twisted way, since the football game we were watching didn’t do much for me fantasy-wise.
If you however, spent your time w/relatives of the rightwing variety, too bad you didn’t read this article first: 5 Ways to Deal With Your Conservative Relatives This Thanksgiving. From the writeup, things to use against obnoxious aunts, uncles, distant cousins or siblings:
Given this month’s volatile political climate, chances are someone’s going to break the no politics/no religion rule and say something to make your blood boil as you sit around the table this Thanksgiving. When that cringe-inducing moment arrives, whether it’s over appetizers or dessert, you want to defend the honor of progressives and their ideas without coming across as snotty, snarky, or out of touch. And without letting the situation devolve into violence. (You’re a pacifist, right?)
So how does one deal with the conservatives at the family table while avoiding a massive food fight? Stay calm and relaxed, and follow these simple guidelines.
1. Brush up on Obama conspiracy theories.
2. Point out the infighting on the Right–and keep yourself out of it.
3. Bring up the Koch brothers.
there are more and they are quite good. These will also work for Christmas family gatherings so bookmark the link!