Open Thread 11/16

Don’t cut Medicare without getting millionaires to pay their fair share.

– Carrying condoms shouldn’t be used as proof of prostitution.

– Completing a missing link.

– You contact the police

– Lee has already mentioned the inaccuracies in Bill O’Reilly’s book, but this is still funny.

We need the debate audience to help Michelle bring her campaign back to life by clapping their hands to show they believe in her.


  1. 1

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    The second linky, about the condoms, doesn’t work

  2. 2


    Karl Rove Flips Out At Protesters: ‘Who Gave You The Right To Occupy America?’

    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Last night, former Bush official Karl Rove appeared at Johns Hopkins University to speak as a part of the annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium. Rove soon discovered that he wasn’t going to deliver his right-wing rhetoric unopposed, as a cry of “Mic Check!” rang out among the audience.

    “Karl Rove is the architect of Occupy Iraq, the architect of Occupy Afghanistan!” yelled the demonstrators. Occupy Baltimore had infiltrated the crowd and began chanting against Rove. “Who gave you the right to occupy America?” asked Rove to the protesters, apparently unaware of the Bill of Rights. As they repeated their slogan, “We are the 99 percent!” Rove petulantly responded, “No you’re not!” He snidely added, “You wanna keep jumping up and yelling that you’re the 99 percent? How presumptuous and arrogant can you think are!” Watch Occupy Baltimore confront Rove:

    Oh fuck…I don’t know?

    ‘Cause we LIVE here?????

  3. 3


    Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 07:53 AM PST.

    Bob VanderPlaats says Mitt Romney has ‘dissed’ Christian conservatives+*

    by Jed LewisonFollow .

    Bob, Mitt Romney’s not dissing you, he just wants to avoid talking about videos like this

    Oh my word:
    Bob Vander Plaats, leader of an anti-gay marriage movement in Iowa, lashed out at Mitt Romney today for skipping a presidential forum that hundreds of evangelical conservatives will attend on Saturday.

    “Mitt Romney has dissed this base in Iowa and this diss will not stay in Iowa,” Vander Plaats told Fox News today. “This has national tentacles. … This might prove that he is not smart enough to be president.”

    Two things: First, if you’re going to call somebody dumb, you shouldn’t do it after using “diss” twice in one sentence. Second, if you’re Bob Vander Plaats and you can’t figure out how to beat Mitt Romney in the GOP primary … then you’re the dumb one.

    Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 07:30 AM PST.

    Most expensive housing historian ever: Freddie Mac paid Newt Gingrich at least $1.6 million+*

    by Jed LewisonFollow.

    Now we know how Newt Gingrich afforded all that stuff at Tiffany’s.

    So you know how the GOP’s new Not Romney frontrunner Newt Gingrich implausibly claimed that Freddie Mac had paid him $300,000 merely for his knowledge as a “historian” of housing? And you know how it turns out that Gingrich was actually hired to wield his influence on behalf of the agency, despite his claim to be a political outsider who has to have never done any lobbying? Well, it gets better:

    Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.
    The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

    The True Conservative Scandal

    Posted on Nov 13, 2011

    By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    Conservatives need to contemplate what the Rick Perry and Herman Cain stories say about the state of their movement and the health of their creed.

    Perry’s debate gaffe last week was about something more important than “brain freeze.” Memory lapses can strike anyone, even if they are more awkward when they occur during a presidential debate.

    What really matters is the subject that sent Perry’s brain into lockdown. He was in the middle of describing sweeping changes in the federal bureaucracy closely connected to his spare vision of American government. One presumes a candidate for president ponders such proposals carefully, discusses them with advisers, and understands their implications.

    Forgetting an idea at the heart of your program, in other words, is not the same as forgetting a phone number, a friend’s name, a football score or the title of a recently read book.

    Perry’s memory lapse showed that he wasn’t asserting anything that he is truly serious about because he is not serious about what government does, or ought not to do. For him, governing seems a casual undertaking.

    “And I will tell you,” he declared, “it’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone, Commerce, Education and the—what’s the third one there? Let’s see.”

    Yes, let’s see what “gone” might imply. Would Perry end all federal aid to education? Would he do away with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the part of the Commerce Department that, among other things, tracks hurricanes? Energy was the department he forgot. Would he scrap the department’s 17 national labs, including such world-class facilities as Los Alamos, N.M., Oak Ridge, Tenn., or—there’s that primary coming up—Aiken, S.C.?

    I’m not accusing Perry of wanting to do any of these things because I don’t believe he has given them a moment of thought. And that’s the problem for conservatives. Their movement has been overtaken by a quite literally mindless opposition to government. Perry, correctly, thought he had a winning sound bite, had he managed to blurt it out, because if you just say you want to scrap government departments (and three is a nice, round number), many conservatives will cheer without asking questions.

    This is a long way from the conservatism I used to respect. Although I often disagreed with conservatives, I admired their prudence, their affection for tradition, and their understanding that the intricate bonds of community are established with great difficulty over time and not easy to reweave once they are torn asunder. At their best, conservatives forced us to think harder. Now, many in the ranks seem to have decided that hard and nuanced thinking is a telltale sign of liberalism.

    That brings us to Herman Cain, who is trying to get out from under charges of sexual harassment. His approach is to have his campaign attack the individuals who leveled them, and, even more, to go after those who made these charges public.

    True, he’s been inconsistent about laying blame. Off and on, he pointed to his Republican opponents. But Cain and his defenders have settled on a strategy to rally conservatives by assailing the “liberal media” and “the Democrat machine.”

    Politico ran the first stories about the allegations, and to argue that Politico is “liberal” requires an extraordinary leap of the imagination. Most liberals see Politico as leaning over backward to give conservatives more than their share of journalistic spin.

    In any event, while women of a variety of political stripes have been in the forefront in demanding accountability from Cain, plenty of liberals have been happy to look on and let the GOP settle this one. And most members of “the Democrat machine” defended Bill Clinton against impeachment in the Monica Lewinsky matter and are aware of the meaning of the word “hypocrisy.”

    Not so with the many conservatives who donned full feminist armor during the Clinton scandal and now defend Cain reflexively, not even asking that he come clean about the facts.

    There are honorable exceptions: Bill Bennett, for one, and to some degree—hard to admit, I know—Karl Rove. But that so many other members of a movement theoretically devoted to traditional values on sexual matters would eagerly jump into this mess on Cain’s side speaks volumes about its condition. To paraphrase Bennett from another context, where’s the outrage about a conservatism that is losing both its intellectual moorings and its moral compass?

    This is a “very special Blossom” just for the puddypussy…

    FOUR…all FOUR Republicans being morons at the same time, and a couple pithy sentences from yours truly!

    A lovely morning gift to my little friend, the puddywuddypussy.

  4. 4

    May karma bite Karl Rove on his fat lying ass spews:

    Karl Rove would know first hand about illegal occupations.

    Karl Rove would know first hand about presumptousness and arrogance, it has served him well.

    Karl Rove spends millions lying about everyone.

    When will Karl Rove’s malicious lies, evil deeds,bad vibes and karma return to haunt, taunt and deem his efforts ineffective?

  5. 5

    puddybud spews:

    Wow, imagine if I copied more than 2 paragraphs of a story what the HA leaders would do.

    15 paragraphs is a new record. Well I guess when I see and paste a great story watch them hack it.

    Sure is amazing the stuff leftist get away with around here.

  6. 6

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Making millionaires pay their fair share:

    Why not an “accumulated wealth tax?” Say, 10%, paid annually, on the accumulated wealth of all individuals when that accumulated wealth exceeds $1 million?

    Boy, if that doesn’t raise enough money to fund Social Security and Medicare forever, then those programs could never be funded!

  7. 9


    5. puddybud spews:

    Wow, imagine if I copied more than 2 paragraphs of a story what the HA leaders would do.

    15 paragraphs is a new record. Well I guess when I see and paste a great story watch them hack it.

    Sure is amazing the stuff leftist get away with around here.

    11/16/2011 at 10:04 am

    Poor poor little puddywuddypussy…it’s just AWFUL what progressives get away with on a progressive blog.


  8. 11


    Herman Cain: ‘I’m Not Supposed To Know Anything About Foreign Policy’ | It’s a perfect set up for a joke. After initial stumbles on straightforward questions, GOP presidential pizza aficionado Herman Cain declared himself “the tiger in the tall grass” on foreign policy: “I’m not foreign policy dumb as they think.” Having supposedly studied up with ambassadors and national security experts, Cain challenged anybody “who says I wouldn’t know how to address foreign policy.” Then, a reporter asks him about his position on Libya and Cain delivers the punchline: An excruciatingly awkward, five-minute long failure to find an answer. After initially trying to blame the flub on a lack of sleep, he’s now fully embracing his mistake. In another interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cain delivered yet another doozy: “I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out.” “I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president [people say] you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t!” he said. “That’s not good decision-making.”

    On Laura Ingraham’s radio show today, recent Cain defender and fellow candidate Newt Gingrich stopped short in seconding Cain’s assertion: “I think it’s fairly important in a dangerous world for the president to know something about foreign policy.”

    Here’s the Hermanator pounding some more nails in the coffin of his campaign…and Newty piling on…tasty!!

  9. 12

    Michael spews:

    Actually, I think I’m with Rove on this one. He’s got just as much right to speak and be heard as everyone else.

  10. 13


    Interrupted Karl Rove curses, challenges ‘Occupy Baltimore’ to fight

    By Stephen C. Webster
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Former Bush political adviser Karl Rove seemed a bit flustered Tuesday night after his speech to Johns Hopkins University was interrupted by a group of about 15 protesters connected to “Occupy Baltimore,” who got under his skin enough to get him cursing.

    As he spoke about public debt and attempted to pin America’s economic pain on the Obama administration, a woman shouted out, “Mic check?”

    A chorus of voices replied, “Mic check!”

    “Karl Rove! Is the architect!” they shouted. “The architect of Occupy Iraq! The architect of Occupy Afghanistan!”

    “Here’s the deal,” he replied. “If you believe in free speech then you had a chance to show it.”

    “If you believe in right of the First Amendment to free speech then you demonstrate it by shutting up and waiting until the Q & A session right after,” Rove trailed off as supporters applauded.

    “You can go ahead and stand in line and have the courage to ask any damn question you want, or you can continue to show that you are a buffoon…” he said, as the group of protesters descended into random shouting. One woman called him a “murderer, ” while others chanted, “We are the 99 percent!”

    “No you’re not!” Rove replied, chanting it back at them. “No you’re not! No you’re not! No you’re not!”

    A reporter for The Johns Hopkins News-Letter said Rove even challenged one of the protesters to a fight.

    Fuck Karl Rove.

  11. 14

    No time for Oligarchies spews:

    If we are against income inequality, how would you like to change the system?

    My favorite is that the CEOs should be taxed at 90% on whatever is over 30x of what the least paid employee, temp or overseas worker makes.
    So if the least employee makes minimum wage at a part time job of 27 hours a week. So that’s approx $8.67 x 27 x 52 = $12,100 a year.
    So anything over $363,000 a year gets taxed at 90%. That’s a whole lot of money. A person can live really well on 300K a year, so I don’t think I’m being unfair.
    If the overseas worker make $5 a day, that’s approx $5 day x 5 days in a week x 52 = $1,300 a year.
    So anything over $39,000 a year gets taxed at 90%. That CEO might want to reconsider foreign workers
    The CEO wants to take home more? Pay his employees more.

    I know there are flaws in my system. But it’s a starting point for the discussion.

    How much is enough?
    How would you combat income inequality?

  12. 15

    No time for Oligarchies spews:

    5. How about discussing the merits of what he was talking about, instead of quibbling over how he posted it,
    or is that too scary for you?

  13. 17

    Politically Incorrect spews:


    “Accumulated wealth” means the TOTAL SUM of all of a person’s assets, including their home, retirement, cash value life insurance, checking accounts, personal possessions, land, clothes, mutual funds, stocks bonds, etc.

    For example, if I have $1,000,100 in accumulated wealth as of 12/31/XX, then I would owe a tax of $10 to the government (($1,000,100 – $1,000,000) * 10% = $10.

    This is wealth re-distribution on a grand scale, with the beneficiaries being Medicare and Social Security recipients.

    Whaddya think?

  14. 18


    15. No time for Oligarchies spews:

    5. How about discussing the merits of what he was talking about, instead of quibbling over how he posted it,
    or is that too scary for you?

    11/16/2011 at 11:28 am

    He won’t do it. Absolutely will not.

    I have challenged this asshole time after time after time to articulate some sort of positive vision and he has never ever ever ever ONCE in the SEVEN YEARS he has been commenting here made anything other than disparaging or negative statement which are based on half-truths, twisted facts or outright lies.

    This puddybuddy character can not be reasoned with and purports to have never been wrong about ANYTHING.

    Fuck that. H

  15. 19


    15. No time for Oligarchies spews:

    5. How about discussing the merits of what he was talking about, instead of quibbling over how he posted it,
    or is that too scary for you?

    11/16/2011 at 11:28 am

    He won’t do it. Absolutely will not.

    I have challenged this asshole time after time after time to articulate some sort of positive vision and he has never ever ever ever ONCE in the SEVEN YEARS he has been commenting here made anything other than disparaging or negative statement which are based on half-truths, twisted facts or outright lies.

    This puddybuddy character can not be reasoned with and purports to have never been wrong about ANYTHING.

    Fuck that. He’s worthy of scorn derision and mockery. Nothing more.

  16. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 Even though I’m only 30 inches tall I’d love for Karl Rove to challenge me to a fight. But to enjoy the privilege of getting his ass kicked around the block and six ways to Sunday by a rabbit, he’ll first after to sign a legal release.

  17. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republican Hypocrite #11-0062395448-03

    Freddie Mac is conservatives’ favorite agency to hate — except when they’re making millions from it.

    “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged an extended consulting relationship with mortgage giant Freddie Mac, though he said he couldn’t verify just how much he or his firm received in fees. …

    “Gingrich … said his staff was looking into a Bloomberg News report that … Gingrich ‘made between $1.6 and $1.8 million in consulting fees’ in his work for Freddie Mac between 1999 and 2008.”

    And what, exactly, was Gingrich paid all that money for? This: ‘I offered strategic advice over a long period of time,’ the former Speaker said in Urbandale.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: This is Newt’s “oh shit” moment.

  18. 23

    No time for Oligarchies spews:

    @17. Then for you, 1 million is the cut off point? Beyond 1 M is rich enough and should be taxed significantly?

    Are there exemptions for farmers who’s land may be worth $2 M if cut up for subdivisions?

  19. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Remember how I posted last night that Gingrich would get increased scrutiny this week because he’s rising in the polls? Well, he’s getting it.

  20. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Remember the deal Republicans and Democrats made in August to live with automatic spending cuts if the congressional supercommittee couldn’t agree on deficit reduction?

    Well, with the supercommittee deadlocked and automatic spending cuts looming, the GOPers now want to renege on defense cuts — and slam senior citizens by taking all the cuts out of Social Security and Medicare.

    And if there are to be tax increases, the GOPers want to slam workers with them by taking away the tax deduction for employer-paid health insurance.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: What a gang of dishonorable pricks! Their word isn’t worth the shit on used toilet paper.

  21. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A suspect sought in connection with shots fired at the White House on Friday has been apprehended by Pennsylvania state police. Initial reports indicate the Idaho man has a prior arrest record and may be mentally ill. The White House was hit by at least two rounds that may have been fired from an AK-47 found in a car linked to the suspect.

  22. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 I prefer to repair the existing system that taxes income, and taxes it only once, by removing the special tax breaks and loopholes that allow the rich to reduce their tax rates below those paid by the middle class or, in many cases, escape paying taxes altogether.

  23. 29

    Ekim spews:

    12. Michael spews:
    Actually, I think I’m with Rove on this one. He’s got just as much right to speak and be heard as everyone else.

    Remember when tea party activists hammered Democrats at their town hall meetings?

  24. 31

    Zotz sez: High tonite. Low tomorrow. Precipitation is expected. spews:

    @6, PI and Roger @27:

    Roger, you’re exactly correct. Just letting the Bush tax cuts expire and winding down the wars fixes the deficit problem in fairly short order. Tax expenditures are a target rich environment. I’d be good with axeing everything but charity.

    PI, the fatal flaw to an accumulated wealth tax is that you have to somehow account for “wealth” (however that’s defined to total one’s pile of it) and how to value it.

    (Many) Someone(s) from the gubmint’ would have to check your list and verify its contents, at least periodically.

    That would require way too much intrusion on privacy for my taste. I suspect that’s true of a lot of other folks as well, once they think about it for second.

    Targeting specific kinds of “wealth” would work, but there are lots of tax expenditures that cry out for repeal 1st, before you’d ever go there.

  25. 35

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    Regarding the part about condoms being used to convict sex workers… It does seem like a logical form of evidence that should continue to be admissible. That being said, I also think that prostitues caught WITHOUT some form of protection should face tougher sentences then the ones that do have protection. It boggles my mind that in the 21st century, any person in that “proffession” would even consider doing anything without protection. Or that any “customer” in that situation would do anything without protection. Thats about as gross as you can get.

  26. 36

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    Regarding the “call the police part”… Since our weak sentences wont give this guy the punishment he deserves, this is one of the rare cases that I honestly hope “prison justice” comes through. Unless Im mistaken, I dont think the death penalty can be applied to something like this. But thats what this guy deserves. And anyone who saw anything and didnt report it deserves to be locked away for the rest of there lives. Every person involved in this case is sick beyond repair.

  27. 37

    HA Echo Chamber spews:


    you are fucking nuts….go ahead and try that stupid shit, and you will see wealth and investment leave this country so fast it will make your head spin.

  28. 38

    HA Echo Chamber spews:


    go fuck yourself Lee Rujax Rosenberg…I dare to talk smack to my face.

    Of course you wont, because you are a pussy.

    now go strum your banjo for the loser occupy crowd, maybe they will throw you a buck to stop playing.


  29. 39



    Is this freak stooooooooopid…

    When this racist jerkoff started calling Rujax “Lee R.” I said huh??

    What a doofus..

    You guys were all laughing your heads off right???

  30. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 Not nearly as stupid as the daily crap spewing from Wingnuttia. The GOP is like a broken sewer pipe that stinks up the whole neighborhood.

  31. 45

    Michael spews:

    I was a bit amusing to watch Rove think that he was somehow magically the one in charge in that situation. When there’s one of you and there’s 20 of them, you’re not the one in charge.

  32. 46

    Michael spews:

    Speaking of old Turd Blossom…

    Rove’s Crossroads GPS group is going to have a very short life span. Sometimes you can get away with this kid of crap when your group is both in power and in favor. Rove has neither of those things going for him right now.

    An ad by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS attacking Montana Sen. Jon Tester was pulled from the air by a cable service because it contains nothing but very blatant and indefensible lies, unlike the usual defensible lies and distortions most political ads make.

  33. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @46 I think more voters every year are waking up to the realization that Republicans habitually lie through their teeth. That’s why Limbaugh and Beck are losing market share. That’s why Obama won in 2008 and GOPers will get their asses handed to them next year. The vast majority of people in this country have learned not to believe political ads. The public is very, very cynical at this point.

  34. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    By the numbers:

    Between March 2010 and March 2011, 11 million Americans moved.

    Between March 1984 and March 1985, when the U.S. population was smaller, 46 million Americans moved.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: One of the reasons why unemployment remains persistently high is because the U.S. workforce is frozen in place. People who are underwater on their mortgages or unable to sell their homes can’t move to where jobs are. Many economists now argue that mortgage relief for homeowners is the crucial step America must take to reinvigorate employment.

  35. 51

    Michael spews:

    Many economists now argue that mortgage relief for homeowners is the crucial step America must take to reinvigorate employment.

    Which might wind up being a problem as no one trusts economists anymore. Regardless of what economists think or what you might think of economists we do need to make it so that people can move to where there are jobs.

  36. 52


    48 – Utterly genuine life story. Not a single false note. The ugliest of the right wing attack dogs will their worst to destroy Elizabeth Warren.

  37. 53

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @31 “That would require way too much intrusion on privacy for my taste.”

    It’s also an incredibly expensive way to run a tax system. Not cost-effective at all.

  38. 54

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    College GOP Leader ‘Tempted’ To Assassinate Obama

    The College Republicans are an odious bunch to start with, but now they’ve sunk into even deeper sludge:

    “Lauren Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, said on Twitter Wednesday that the idea of assassinating President Barack Obama was ‘tempting.’ …

    “The tweet came hours after police arrested a man for firing shots at the White House ….

    “Pierce told ABC News that the comment was a ‘joke’ and that the ‘whole [shooting incident] was stupid.’ Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would ‘only make the situation worse.'”

    And how did others in Pierce’s group react to her verbal indiscretion?

    “‘Insofar as she’s a representative [of the College Republicans], maybe it shouldn’t be said, but she’s made a positive statement in a way,’ said Cassie Wright, the group’s vice president. ‘I don’t really see anything wrong with it,’ Wright added. ‘It’s just a personal comment, not representative of any group. Just freedom of speech, you know?'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Shee-it, these are our future corporate leaders? Well, what can you expect from a group that bilks vulnerable senior citizens of their life savings?


  39. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m sure those two girls have a great future awaiting them on Wall Street, where people with no morals and bad judgment are highly valued. I just don’t want them managing my social security, that’s all — I prefer the U.S. Treasury Department does that.

  40. 56

    Michael spews:

    At approximately 2:30 p.m., Pierce posted, “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

    While stupid, I don’t think this is a very big deal and it does say “don’t shoot Obama.” A bit of an over reaction to have this in the national press.

    A bit related to this, I’ve been wondering what’s with all the he-man, pseudo-warrior crap coming from the pasty white boys on the right lately? It’s tactical this and tactical that, where ever you go. Some knob at Sport Co tried to sell me a “tactical mil-dot” scope for a $125 Marlin .22 the other day.

  41. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    At last one of the GOP candidates has actually learned something from tripping over his own dick:

    “No cameras will be present when Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain sits down with the New Hampshire Union Leader’s editorial board tomorrow …. He will become the first major candidate this election cycle to decline that an interview be filmed in a state where cameras at such gatherings have become commonplace.

    “The decision to ban cameras from tomorrow’s meeting was made by the campaign just two days after Cain drew heat for a shaky answer he gave editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after being asked if he agreed with how President Obama handled Libya.

    “After the question was asked, Cain took a long pause before answering. When he did begin to speak, Cain asked for clarification and at one point said, ‘I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason — nope, that’s a different one.’ He added, ‘I got all this stuff twirling around in my head.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Cain isn’t stupid; he merely lacks the knowledge and experience a president must have.

  42. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Millionaires To Congress: ‘Tax Us More’

    “Lobbyists for a day, a band of millionaires stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Congress to tax them more. They had a little trouble getting in. It turns out there are procedures, even for the really rich.

    “But once inside, their message was embraced by liberals and tolerated by some conservatives — including the ideological leader of anti-tax lawmakers, who had some advice for them, too.

    “‘If you think the federal government can spend your money better than you can, then by all means’ pay more in taxes than you owe, said Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that has gotten almost all congressional Republicans to pledge to vote against tax hikes. The IRS should have a little line on the form where people can donate money to the government, he suggested, ‘just like the tip line on a restaurant receipt.’

    “One of the millionaires suggested that if Norquist wanted low taxes and less government, ‘Renounce your American citizenship and move to Somalia where they don’t collect any tax.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: It’s good to see somebody kicking Norquist’s ass again. I haven’t had this much fun since Goldy did it. Norquist is easy to kick, though — he doesn’t make any damn sense.

  43. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Basically that applies to all wingnuts who believe America shouldn’t have a government. America has the greatest government on earth. People who want to destroy it aren’t real Americans. They’d be more at home in Somalia, Yemen, or some other lawless place.

  44. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    More evidence the middle class is hollowing out:

    “The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study … conducted by Stanford University …. The findings show a changed map … over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I see the defenders of the Greedy Class growing increasingly shrill because they know in their hearts the rich have been pigs.

  45. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Newt Is Either Insane Or Dangerous

    “In a recent rant about the judiciary, Mr Gingrich said that as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions on national-security matters, that he would drag judges before Congress when their opinions didn’t jive with his own, and that he’d warn certain federal courts, like the liberal 9th Circuit, that they run the risk of ceasing to exist. …

    “Mr Gingrich would like to ‘restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated Constitutional powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.’ But, of course, it is his own politicised conception of the constitution which he hopes to use as a benchmark; while other politicians could use their own to justify, say, kicking a judge off the bench for declaring a health-care mandate invalid. As you can see, the outcome of Mr Gingrich’s vision is chaos, precisely because of blowhards like himself.

    “And whether or not the Founders envisaged a more accountable judiciary, it is pretty clear they did not want the legislature or executive to have the final say, by writ or revenge, over the constitutionality of their own actions. Thus, while it may not be perfect, there is actually some sense in granting the last word on constitutional matters to an unelected, apolitical body, rather than people like Newt.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Trust me, The Newt is not going to be president. His wives (the living ones) will make sure of that.

  46. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Foreign Stocks Down Tonight

    Overnight declines in overseas financial markets imply another down day on Wall Street tomorrow, but U.S. stocks could get a boost during the day if, as expected, Italy’s new leader wins a key vote in the Italian Senate. For a detailed introspection, see:

  47. 65

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #63 & #64: I realize you have significant issues with all of them, but if you had to vote for one of the current Republican candidates, who would you choose? And of all the current candidates, is there one that you could see being even a remotely decent President?

    I’ve seen a lot of the liberals on this site be very critical of Gingrich, Cain, Perry and Bachmann, but I haven’t heard much about the others…

  48. 66

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @65 “I realize you have significant issues with all of them, but if you had to vote for one of the current Republican candidates, who would you choose?”

    Good question. That’s a toughie. I’m tempted to say “Romney,” because he looks “the most presidential” (whatever that portends) and is seemingly the least radical and therefore the least threatening (after all, he’s the original author of “Obamacare”), but I personally think the most intelligent guy on that stage is Gingrich: If you can get past his blatantly sophomoric anti-judiciary rants (which may be mere P.T. Barnum-style grandstanding for consumption by the GOP masses), his revolting personal life, and his genius for combining greed with hypocrisy. Who to vote for? Shit, I don’t like any of ‘em, but I guess I’ll go for Romney on the theory the country might still be here when the 2016 election rolls around.

    “And of all the current candidates, is there one that you could see being even a remotely decent President?”

    Although I think Obama is a fundamentally decent man who means well, in the sense of “decent” that you mean, no, I don’t like any of them. I wish Teddy Roosevelt was alive, kicking, and running. That bastard went dead on us just when we need him most.

  49. 67

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @65 (continued) Many of us on the liberal side respect Huntsman but he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.

    C’mon, seriously, we all know Romney is the only GOP candidate who isn’t fatally flawed. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be the nominee — after all, this is American politics, in which literally anything can happen. Theoretically, this could get really interesting if the convention delegates vote for “none of the above” and yank some energetic young governor or senator out of obscurity and elevate him to the exalted position of Sacrificial Lamb. Jindal, for example, or Christie. Yeah, I can see a GOP mob tying a rope around Christie’s ankles and dragging him — kicking and screaming — to a nomination he doesn’t want. Or how about a small-town mayor from Alaska? (Blechh — excuse me while I throw up, although the Democrats would LOVE to run against her.)

  50. 68

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Well, Jack Abramoff and I agree on at least one thing:

    “Former ‘super’ lobbyist Jack Abramoff thinks Newt Gingrich’s campaign has suffered a brutal blow after reports surfaced that he received ‘consulting fees’ from mortgage giant Freddie Mac that totaled between $1.6 million and $1.8 million, an amount much larger than previously disclosed. ‘I don’t know if he’ll survive this,’ Abramoff surmised. ‘This is a very big thing.'”

    Why is it so toxic? Abramoff explains,

    “‘The very things that anger the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement and everybody who is not in a movement and watches Washington and says why are these guys getting all this money, why do they go become so rich, why do they have these advantages? Unfortunately Newt seems to play right into it,’ he said.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Yeah, and what makes it worse is Gingrich was paid for giving Freddie Mac “strategic advice” between 2000 and 2008; which, when you think about it, happens to coincide with the financial markets being flooded with fraudulent mortgage “liar loans.” Doesn’t look good to say the least! Just try to imagine what Romney’s attack ads on New Hampshire TV stations will look like, and you’ll get the idea.

  51. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Okay, so Bachmann’s campaign has disintegrated, Perry has imploded, Cain is exposed as the Pokeman candidate, Gingrich (who doesn’t even have a campaign organization or staff) adds untrammeled greed to his untrammeled lust credentials, Huntsman can’t get high enough in the polls to be seen on radar, and everybody ignores Santorum — who’s left? I’ve been saying all along that Romney’s gonna be the nominee, because the GOPers have no one else. And three-quarters of the GOP base can’t stand Romney. This should be an interesting election.

  52. 70

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I suspect the GOP has descended to the level where they’re going to disprove the theorem that an unpopular president unloved by his own party who is presiding over persistent 9% unemployment can’t be re-elected. I predict that roughly 52% of the electorate, commanding roughly 285 electoral votes, will hold their noses, vote for Obama, and write off the next 4 years. If you’re in college now, your best move is to take the GRE, and go for the Ph.D., because there aren’t going to be any job openings before the last of the unable-to-retire Baby Boomers die off in 2030 or so.

  53. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    My decision years ago to spend 30 years working for puny government wages doesn’t look like such a bad decision now. I’m unemployed but at least I get a pension, social security, and medicare. If Republicans insist on taking those away, they’d better plan on feeding me out of their own pockets.

  54. 73

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Social security is the best depression-prevention program ever invented. No matter what the economy is doing, those checks go out every month, and get spent immediately by millions of retirees. That puts a floor under how far a weak employment sector can drag down the economy. I absolutely can’t understand why Republicans want to slash-and-burn this program. Those social security recipients are the customers of their businesses. If they take away their customers’ incomes, how will their businesses survive? If I was a Republican, I’d be fighting like hell to keep social security intact.

  55. 74

    Michael spews:

    To #63 & #64: I realize you have significant issues with all of them, but if you had to vote for one of the current Republican candidates, who would you choose?

    Well first off, you have to take a look at what Huntsman and Romney actually did as governors and realize that they’re not too far off from what Obama’s done. They’re basically anti-gay, anti-choice, Obama’s. Then you have to realize that Roe V. Wade has been the law of the land under several anti-choice presidents isn’t going anywhere. Realizing this, the choices become more palatable.

    Personally, I’d go with Huntsman. Utah’s a well run place, it has one of the lower unemployment rates. Huntsman seems like he can get along with liberals, he had to work with mayor of SLC Rocky Anderson who is fairly liberal while he was governor. I did a cursory look and didn’t see any major dustups between the two. Plus, Romney just rubs me the wrong way.

    Hell, maybe I’d vote for Huntsman OVER Obama. I mean it’s not like Obama hasn’t failed.

  56. 75

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hmmm, it seems Gingrich’s account of what Freddie Mac paid him for is a flat-ass LIE. Not to mention he previously materially understated how much Freddie Mac paid him.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: As this video makes clear, Gingrich was paid to lobby Congress to keep its hands off Freddie Mach and look the other way — and that, as we now know, had disastrous consequences for our country.

  57. 76

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The CERN supercollider is in for an upgrade. Its purpose: “The collisions, in which particles are smashed together at just a fraction under the speed of light, produce computer- monitored explosions that have been dubbed ‘mini-Big Bangs’ … the 10-fold upgrade being planned for 2020 could take man’s knowledge far into the realms of what at present is pure speculation on subjects like the true nature of time and the possible existence of other universes.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Much as I hate paying for this stuff, I’m a curious rabbit, possessed of a burning desire to learn how things work.

  58. 77

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m only a fucking rabbit, but I have a stack of Stephen Hawking books down here in this dank wet hole.

    Knowing that might help you understand why I have problems with a political party that not only harbors but positively encourages a mob of science-hating mystics.

  59. 78

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Why Financial Markets Will Ultimately Go To Shit

    You don’t have to take my word for it; after all I merely cut-and-paste:

    “Banks around the world will continue to reduce their exposure to peripheral euro zone economies until there is a more definitive solution to the debt crisis, Rich Ricci, co-chief executive of Barclays Capital, told CNBC Thursday.

    “‘In the industry, you’re going to see that continued deleveraging until we get some action,’ he warned. ‘The market realizes this isn’t a problem that is going to be solved overnight, but what they want is a clear path to some sort of solution and we don’t have that yet. We don’t have it at all and it’s very, very frustrating for market participants as well as markets generally.’ …

    “After weeks of worries about Greece and Italy, market attention is now turning to Spain.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: If you think Europe’s politicians, who are even worse than our politicians, are going to do what’s necessary to avert a financial meltdown in the Eurozone, then go ahead and commit all your cash to stocks right now. Go ahead — I dare you!

  60. 79

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #67: I ask because I’m curious if there’s a Republican in the race that wouldn’t exasperate the divide between Democrats and Republicans. I know that “bringing the country together” is a total cliche, but I think it would be a big step in the right direction if the next President could at least keep the country from pulling even further apart.

    I think John Huntsman is a good man, but I also think the left underestimates just how far to the right really he is and would ultimately become disenchanted with him. And most of us on the right have a fundamental distrust for anyone who is only 10 months removed from working for the Obama administration.

    I agree that Gingrich is the smartest of the bunch, but I’ll admit that he would probably push the country further apart. His personal life is an issue and I don’t think he’s even close to being considered a “decent” man, although that doesn’t preclude him from being a good president. Some of the best Presidents in the last 100 years were not good people.

    At the end of the day, Romney is probably going to be the nominee. That certainly isn’t a prospect that excites me, but who knows… Maybe he’s exactly the guy that’s needed to slow the division. I have more questions about him than I do any other candidate, but I do think he is also a fundamentally good man. I just have to wonder what a Mitt Romney with “nothing to lose” (as in no higher office to run for) will look like. Judging from his past, I’m suspicious that he might end up more popular with liberals than conservatives…

  61. 80

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @74 Well, that hopey-changey thingy didn’t work out all that great, but we didn’t get McCain/Palin, and that’s something. The only president of the last 50 years people really liked was JFK. The rest of the time, it has boiled down to who didn’t get into the White House.

  62. 81

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #80: I often wonder how we’d remember JFK had he survived his presidency… I think a number of presidents in the last 50 years were as popular as Kennedy at one point or another in their presidencies.

    It’s a little morbid to consider, but imagine if Nixon had been assassinated in ’71. I think there’s a very good chance we could be looking back on him every bit as fondly as we do with JFK.

  63. 82

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    Partyin’ above:

    Regarding the part about condoms being used to convict sex workers… It does seem like a logical form of evidence that should continue to be admissible. That being said, I also think that prostitues caught WITHOUT some form of protection should face tougher sentences then the ones that do have protection.

    Doesn’t that seem…contradictory… to you? Kind of a Catch-22?
    You’re going to encourage/compel sex workers to carry condoms by giving them more lenient sentences when they’re convicted, but use those same condoms as a means to convict in the first place?
    That makes no sense.

    In an earlier post you included NO NEW TAXES as part of your three most important policy changes after Newt is elected President (HAHAHA) – which I assume (correct me if I’m wrong) puts you in the libertarian, or at least the ‘shrink the government’, camp.

    Sex work/prostitution could be taken as the Republican ideal, in that it is a completely unregulated business activity, aside from it’s complete illegality – which we have thousands of years demonstrating the ineffectiveness of that policy.

    Without oversight and regulation – the Republican ideal of ‘freeing business from over-regulation’ – isn’t this what any business activity would devolve into? Corruption, cronyism, violence, exploitation?

    Ron Paul says he wants drugs (or is it just marijuana?) legalized. But doesn’t that mean we would have to have a whole new bureaucracy to regulate and tax the stuff? Isn’t that anathema to the whole “NO NEW TAXES” mantra? Or is libertarianism synonymous with anarchy?

  64. 83

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    To #63 & #64: I realize you have significant issues with all of them, but if you had to vote for one of the current Republican candidates, who would you choose?

    I think Huntsman is the only one who comes close to being sane, and even he is backing away from prior demonstrations of sanity.

  65. 84

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Much as I hate paying for this stuff, I’m a curious rabbit, possessed of a burning desire to learn how things work.

    Really, Roger? I see things like the LHC as excellent places for us to spend money. Engineering gets pushed to/beyond limits, both scientists and construction workers are employed, and what they’re doing down in those tunnels (Tunnels! a rabbit should love it for that alone!) fires the imagination and makes us all smarter.

    Beats blowing up brown people for their/our oil.

  66. 85

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    …but I also think the left underestimates just how far to the right really he is and would ultimately become disenchanted with him.

    Probably very very true.

  67. 86

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    I agree that Gingrich is the smartest of the bunch

    No way. He’s got the pompous professorial schtick down for the rubes, but he is no intellectual. He has a knack for constructing complex and decorated and long-winded phrasing that conveys no, or wrong, information. He is an amoral greedhead, in it for the money, power and chicks.

    I just have to wonder what a Mitt Romney with “nothing to lose” (as in no higher office to run for) will look like.

    Romney is similarly amoral, in it, it seems, for the money and power only. Absent restraint he will at least stop blowing in the wind and demonstrate his true allegiance: wealth.

  68. 87

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    Check this out – Willard Mittens has something to hide – goodness, me, I’m stunned…

    Just before Mitt Romney left the Massachusetts governor’s office and first ran for president, 11 of his top aides purchased their state-issued computer hard drives, and the Romney administration’s e-mails were all wiped from a server, according to interviews and records obtained by the Globe.

    Romney administration officials had the remaining computers in the governor’s office replaced just before Governor Deval Patrick’s staff showed up to take power in January 2007, according to Mark Reilly, Patrick’s chief legal counsel.

    As a result, Patrick’s office, which has been bombarded with inquiries for records from the Romney era, has no electronic record of any Romney administration e-mails, Reilly said.

    Sounds like a criminal conspiracy. I think “Good Government” Newt, and “Transparency” Herman Cain will love discussing this at the next ‘thug debate.

  69. 88

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @81 You’re a profligate daydreamer aren’t you? Comparing Nixon to JFK would make even a fantasy comic book scriptwriter blush.

  70. 89

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @79 Why is divergence of opinion among voters (and the pol they vote for) a bad thing? We’re a pluralistic society where people are free to think freely and openly debate issues.

    What’s bad for the country is the abandonment of cooperation, negotiation, and compromise in favor of “my way or the highway” by one of the parties.

  71. 91

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @84 Appending the word “science” to something doesn’t, ipso facto, make me willing to shell out. I’m not, for example, willing to spend $150 billion or more to land a couple of guys on Mars. An espresso maker may be the greatest coffee machine on earth, but I won’t pay $10,000 for it. Price matters.

  72. 92


    And of all the current candidates, is there one that you could see being even a remotely decent President?

    Huntsman obviously is “remotely decent” but if he is so craven as to flirt with insanity then I might as well vote for Obama.

    And I don’t know if I can trust Huntsman on the Supreme Court appointees.

    So better the devil I know..

  73. 93

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    This guy won’t be hating Muslims and African-Americans anymore — at least, not in a TSA uniform.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: So, is there a free speech issue here? Can a government agency prohibit its employees from expressing racist and discriminatory views in their private lives, off the job, on their own time as a condition of employment? Does the public have a right to keep people with such views out of public employment?

  74. 95

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 37, 53: To put it in perspective, we already have some taxes on assets, come current and some past, in Washington State.

    We had a state tax on the value of your car, enforced through license tab registration, until Tim Eyman’s initiatives scared the legislature into repealing it.

    We have taxes on real property which is administered on the county level, but collects taxes for the state, counties, and municipalities. There is a considerable organization set up to administer that tax and to value real property.

    King County even has a “personal property tax”, and business owners are expected to submit a report at least once a year where they list the value of all the personal property (i.e., everything other than real estate) which is used in the business, and pay a use tax. This is largly self-enforcing, which means compliance is low.

    But if we don’t want to deal with the intrusions of an annual valuation of assets, there’s a simple solution already in place: the estate tax. Value it once, at the time of death, and focus it only on the wealthy from which most of the tax would be collectable anyway. Of course, the Republicans have put the federal estate tax into abeyance for another year in support of their continued efforts to protect the rich from their right to be lazy and live off their grandfather’s or great-grandfather’s efforts. On the state level we still have an inheritance tax, but it is also geared towards the wealthy, and 95% of the population isn’t affected by it.

    A healthy inheritance tax prevents the accumulation of the nation’s wealth in the hands of lazy and greedy children who think their right to avoid work and live off the work of others supercedes the common good.

  75. 96

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 93: Good questions. As a First Amendment advocate, I generally decry efforts by employers or government agencies to regulate the off-work speech of it’s employees. We’ve even had quite a few instances where thin-skinned teachers and princples have had students suspended or expelled for their comments about teachers or princples on their personal web sights, blogs, or facebook.

    But when the job involves the use of discretion, judgement, and prohibits discriminatory conduct, then perhaps this fellow doesn’t have the necessary qualifications for this job?

    Of course, it may be a matter, like most First Amdendment arguments, of who’s ox is being gored. The Bush administration used to deny free speech rights to protesters anywhere the President appeared. Might they extend it to say that anyone who expressed disaproval with the administration or it’s policies is unfit to be a TSA agent? That’s a pretty slippery slope.

  76. 97

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 31, 53: The current batch of Republicans, and their millionaire/billionaire backers, don’t see the need for Social Security to keep the economy strong and provide customers for their services. They are lazy, and they don’t want to deal with customers. They are just too demanding, they keep insisting on getting what they paid for. They would rather just take the money directly out of the Social Security fund and rely upon hunger to provide them with a steady work force of cheap labor where they can sell goods to rich Chinese.

  77. 98

    rhp6033 spews:

    There are quite a few instances where the probative value of evidence is outweighed by public policy. In such instances, the courts will refuse to consider the evidence.

    One of the oldest such examples is the rule that one spouse cannot be compelled to testify against another. The policy being protected is that communication between spouces needs to be encouraged, and the state shouldn’t intrude into the whispered conversations made in the marital bedroom.

    Among the newer exceptions was the Miranda Rule carved out by the Warren Court. Tiring of hearing endless appeals where it had to consider whether a suspect’s confession was made “knowingly” in a myriad of different situations, the Court enacted the “exclusion rule” – prohibiting courts from considering evidence obtained through illegal tactics. The requirement that the police clearly inform a suspect of his rights was the most well-known part of that ruling.

    In the case of condoms, courts should refuse to admit as evidence the fact that the suspect was carrying condoms as being evidence of an intent to engage in prostitution. It should be refused because public policy is to encourage the use of condoms for heath reasons, especially among sex workers.

  78. 99

    rhp6033 spews:

    I just read an article on the fight over the import-export bank. U.S. airlines are prohibited from using the import-export bank to buy Boeing aircraft. European airlines are prohibited from using the export-import banks to use similar government subsidies to buy Airbus aircraft. To avoid a trade war involving U.S. airlines using the european subsidies to buy Airbus aircraft, and European airlines to use U.S. subsidies to buy Boeing aircraft, an agreement has been in place to keep that from happening.

    But the agreement doesn’t cover subsidies paid for exports to countries outside of Europe. In particular, Air India has used the U.S. Export-Import bank to subsidize the purchase of Boeing aircraft.

    So here is where it gets complicated. Boeing insists it needs the subsidies to compete with Airbus for such international sales. But U.S. owned airlines object, saying that it actually subsidizes a competitor to U.S. airlines on international routes. A lot of arguments go back and forth over whether Air India is sufficiently sound to have received the loans upon favorable conditions, but in essence this is an argument by one U.S. industry against another U.S. industry.

    After watching the Republican debates, is there any indication that these candidates can understand the nature of such a problem, and respond accordingly when pressure is put on them by one U.S. industry or another? Or will they simply jump to the defense of the first one who gets their ear, and carry their banner based on half-assed ideological sound bites?

  79. 100

    rhp6033 spews:

    The level of reporting by the Wall Street Journal hasn’t impressed me lately, for the most part. It seems that Murdoch’s ownership is having a down-stream effect on the choice of topics and and content, despite Murdoch’s promises to the contrary when he purchased the paper.

    But today’s Wall Street Journal has some articles of interest. The first one:

    An article points to signs that Sears Holding Company, created some five years ago to handle the Sears purchase of K-Mart, may not be with us much longer. Sear’s sales are down, it’s spending a quarter of what it should spend on store maintenance and remodeling. In tools & hardware, tt can’t compete with Home Depot and Lowe’s. On clothing, it can’t compete with Wall-Mart on pricing, and it can’t compete on quality with other department stores like Macy’s. It’s lost money each of the last five years, and last year burned through half of it’s remaining cash reserve. It sold what was probably it’s most valuable asset – it’s credit card operations – to CitiBank. It’s K-Mart stores tried to get a jump on Wall Mart by advertising a lay-away policy for Christmas, but Walmart simply matched it within a week.

    It makes me rather sad, because I still remember Sears as the first store where I had a credit card ($100 limit), and the store where the tool salesmen all had 20+ years of experience and expected to work there until they retired. Now we won’t use the Sears card at all because we refuse to work with CitiBank, and the sales staff is part-time kids earning minimum wage who don’t know their products and will have moved on within a few months of so.

    What’s particulary frustrating is that it didn’t have to be this way. Sears incurred a lot of cost, much of it borrowed, to purchase K-Mart, which was just weeks way from bankruptcy at the time. A lot of critics warned that the merger made no sense, the combination added nothing of value to either Sears or K-Mart. But to pay off the purchase price, Sears has been deprived of badly-needed capital which should have gone into refurbishing it’s stores and investing in new product lines. Instead, it’s heading for the same fate as Ki-Mart was, before the merger. It didn’t have to be that way. But under the current tax code which encourages by buying and selling of companies, rather than the improvement of products or services, this is the result.

  80. 101

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @98 I haven’t argued that condoms should be excluded from evidence for a public policy reason. My argument is that carrying condoms has no probative value whatsoever for proving that a person has engaged, or intends to engage, in paid sex. Nearly everyone who engages in social sex carries condoms; does that make them prostitutes, or put them in violation of some law? Absolutely not. The fact a person has condoms on his/her person when stopped and interrogated by police proves nothing.

  81. 103

    rhp6033 spews:

    Another article: It seems that the SEC is investigating how mutual funds are hiring outside firms to offer services and advice. In the particular cases being investigated, it seems that huge sums of investor money is being paid to these firms, in some cases for little or no services that can be discerned. It’s also disconcerting that these “outside firms” are often owned, directly or indirectly, by the officers of the funds who contracted for their services.

    Yet another way to steal money from retirees and current 401(k) participants and put it into the pockets of the financial elites.

  82. 104

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @100 Sears has been only a shadow of its former self for many years now. I make a point of not buying Sears appliances because the quality and service are lousy. It’s hard to see what, if any, competitive advantage they have in today’s retail marketplace. They’re still able to trade on the fabled brand name to some extent, which is the only thing keeping Sears alive.

  83. 105

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 101: I agree with you – it holds no probative value.

    But even if a judge decides it does have probative value, (pehaps the judge thinks there’s no other reason for carrying a couple-dozen condums of various sizes and types), then if we exclude such evidence on public policy grounds, we don’t even get to the point of wasting the court’s time in examining such details.

  84. 106

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @103 I got out of mutual funds 25 years ago and never came back. Mutual funds are a lousy deal for savers. Given that 80% of them underperform the market, why would anyone own them, unless forced to? You’d do better in an index fund pegged to the Dow or S&P averages. (But you’ve got to be careful there, too, because with ETFs booming in popularity, Wall Street hucksters will figure out ways to game those, too.)

    The only place to be right now is large-cap, blue-chip, dividend-paying stocks. Everyone agrees they’re the best investments out there. You can get yields of 4% upfront, annual dividend growth, and a probability of capital gains. Corporations are doing great; they’re cash-rich and profits are soaring. It doesn’t take a genius to pick these stocks; just buy familiar names like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, etc.

  85. 109


    Herman Cain Cancels Interview After Making Unusual Requests [UPDATE]

    First Posted: 11/17/11 09:41 AM ET Updated: 11/17/11 11:09 AM ET

    UPDATE: The Cain campaign has now canceled its interview with the Union Leader because of a disagreement over timing, according to AP reporter Steve Peoples.

    Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid offered a terse response to Cain’s cancellation: “It’s his loss.”

    * * * * *

    NEW YORK — If Herman Cain stumbles on a foreign policy question during Thursday’s scheduled meeting with New Hampshire’s influential Union Leader newspaper — as he did earlier this week when asked about President Obama’s handling of Libya — don’t expect to see the clip on an endless cable news loop.

    That’s because Cain’s campaign has requested that the sit-down not be videotaped. And now, a scheduling matter puts the entire 10 a.m. interview in jeopardy.

    Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid told The Huffington Post that “no reason was given” for the no-camera request and he “was a bit surprised” by it. So far, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum have all met with the Union Leader and allowed C-SPAN to tape the newspaper interviews for broadcast.

    When asked about the request, Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told The Huffington Post that “video cameras are optional at Ed Boards and we decided not to pursue that option.” Gordon added that “the interview is at a newspaper, not a TV station.”

    McQuaid agreed to the campaign’s request, but there’s another issue complicating the scheduled sit-down. McQuaid said that the interview was originally scheduled to last one hour, but the Cain campaign recently changed it to just 20 minutes. He said that’s not an acceptable amount of time. (The Cain campaign hasn’t yet responded to an inquiry about the interview length.)

    The Union Leader endorsement is highly sought after in the New Hampshire Republican primary. However, McQuaid pointed out that it is not decided by a traditional editorial board.

    “We do not have an ‘editorial board,’ ” he said. “Isn’t that some sort of committee whose members frown seriously, puff on pipes and then come up with editorials with all the punch of a flat Coke? I and my editorial writer and a reporter meet with candidates and ask them questions which are then reported to our readers and help inform our opinions.”

    Republican dumb fuck update 11/17/11.

  86. 110


    Those social security recipients are the customers of their businesses. If they take away their customers’ incomes, how will their businesses survive? If I was a Republican, I’d be fighting like hell to keep social security intact.

    The Republicans had a brief window it seems to me to divide current and future retirees over stock market irrational exuberance. That window was shut pretty damn quick when Bush made his almost forgotten 60 city dog and pony show which only sycophants were allowed to attend.

    Another window is shutting pretty quick over calculations of the CPI. The Dems seem pretty set on getting tax increases in exchange for something like this.

    I heard today about some talk over putting a cap on itemized deductions in exchange for lowering the brackets which was supposed to mean that the rich will pay more. Not passing judgement until I see a CBO score.

    Of course the more immediate problem is Medicare. My wife works in health care and damn there’s so much waste in that sector. Lots of people have (low paying) jobs just pushing paper to one another. Some people spend hours just faxing stuff to pharmacies, clinics, doctor’s offices, everywhere.. Some outfits put an emphasis on answering a phone call by a human within 2 or three rings to prevent the hypochondriacs from jumping ship to another place that’ll more adroitly calm their irrational fears – of course that means employing people just to answer phones within that window.

    What else??? Oh my opiate addiction. Oxycodone, oxycontin.. You would not BELIEVE the lengths people go to get more and more of that stuff. Hell Flush Limpblows fell down that rabbit hole, doc shopping and all. Probably is still doing that. It’s a big problem. Just one more thing that drives up cost.

    The Canadians have a great system for dealing with the 20 percent squeaky wheels who make 80 percent of the trouble – if it’s not life threatening you’ll have to wait. Don’t want to wait, fine, there’s always some entrepreneur south of the border who’ll be happy to take your money to meet your (in most cases) unreasonable demands.

    Whenever I hear about Medicare giving less to doctors I tend to interpret that as, damn it medical sector, get your freaking act together and figure out how to do your business more efficiently. The costs can’t keep spiraling upwards forever!

  87. 111



    Feds: Attempted Assassin Ortega-Hernandez Referred To Obama As ‘The Anti-Christ’

    Ryan J. Reilly-November 17, 2011, 3:21 PM4961
    Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, the man arrested on Wednesday for allegedly firing bullets at the White House on Friday night, referred to President Barack Obama as “the anti-Christ” and told a witness he “needed to kill him,” according to an FBI special agent.

    Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate Obama, though the president was not in the White House at the time of the incident. He had metal baseball bat, brass knuckles, a Wal-Mart receipt and a black hooded Los Angeles Dodgers jacket in the car he abandoned after allegedly firing at least two shots at the White House.

    The suspect, who has the word “Israel” tattooed on his neck, left a Romanian Cugir SA semi-automatic assault riffle with a large scope and several boxes of ammunition in his car.

    A friend who spoke with agents said that Ortega-Hernandez was increasingly concerned about the federal government and thought the government was conspiring against him. He was allegeldy very specific that President Obama was the problem with the government.

    So WHERE oh where do you think this asshole got the “anti-christ” meme?

    puddywuddypussy? emperor max-minidick? partied2hard?

    Any of you bright guys want to take a crakr at spinning this one?

  88. 113


    Reporters For Right-Wing Publication Daily Caller Beaten By NYPD, Helped By Protesters

    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    The Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields faced abuse from the NYPD and help from protesters.
    The right-wing Daily Caller website has been anything but kind to Occupy Wall Street, even going so far as to condemn the protest movement as generating riots, murder, and arson.

    But when a couple of Daily Caller employees were at Occupy Wall Street this morning, it was the very protesters they had been demonizing who ended up helping them out. Daily Caller reporter Michelle Fields — who faced off with actor Matt Damon earlier this year over education policy — and videographer Direna Cousins both claim they were attacked by the New York Police Department (NYPD) while covering the raucous protests in the Financial District today. Fields added that Occupy Wall Street protesters immediately came up to her to offer their help:

    “Direna had a camera in her hand and I had a microphone, and we were being hit,” she said. “When I fell to the ground I said at one point, ‘I’m just covering this! I’m covering this!’ And the officer just said, ‘Come on, get up, get up,’ before pulling me up by my jacket.’” “The protesters came up to me right away and asked if I needed any medical assistance. They were actually very kind and helpful. It was the police officers who were very aggressive,” Fields added.

    Fields says that protesters right now are effectively “barricaded” in Zuccotti Park, which was the spot from which they were ousted from on Tuesday.

    Yeah…those OWS-er’s are real assholes.

    NOT like the Police who just beat and arrest legitimate credentialed news reporters and photographers, arrest retired Police Captains:

    …and pepper-spray 84 year old women:

    (here’s poorpoor little puddywuddypussy’s cite from his favorite web site “”. I’m sure that poorpoor little puddywuddypussy isn’t aware that the blog’s owner is an attorney and used to work for the late Senator Ted Stevens. The poorpoor little puddywuddypussy really doesn’t give a flying fuck about people who know what they’re talking about. Poorpoor little puddywuddypussy prefers Herman Cain and David Barton to credible people. Oh well…c’est la vie.)

  89. 116

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #82: I suppose the two thoughts do contradict each other a bit. If you take the two ideas (condoms as admissible evidence, tougher sentences for prostitutes without protection) and look at them individually, I still think they have a lot of merit. But I do concede the fact that they can’t really coexist.

    Your point about prostitution being the “Republican ideal” is disputable. If anything, prostitution seems to be in and of itself sort of bipartisan. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

    I do have to wonder if we’d be better off as a society if it was just legalized entirely. After all, it is just a matter of two consenting adults doing something that affects nobody but themselves. Although, you can also make the argument that it’s a breeding ground for disease. And then there’s the whole morality aspect to consider. I think it just boils down to a question of what kind of country we want to be.

    As for your question about Ron Paul, I believe he wants the Controlled Substances Act repealed, which I assume means he advocates the legalization of all drugs. I’m under the impression that he’d leave regulation (assuming drugs were legalized) up to the states. I’m fairly certain he’d oppose any regulation on the federal level.

    I like Ron Paul. I think he has some firm convictions and tends to be very true to them. I agree with many of his views in theory, but I don’t think they would work in a real world setting. He takes the concept of “states’ rights” to such an extreme that, if put into practice, I think we’d end up with 50 nation states, assembled in an overall structure similar to the EU.

    I’d like to see a little less government, but I certainly don’t want to see it eliminated entirely. I’m a realist. I know there are certain things a society can achieve through government that wouldn’t be otherwise possible. It’s when government gets involved in things that could be done as well or better by the private sector that I get irritated.

  90. 117

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #88: I like JFK. I’ve always liked JFK. I was just making the point that he had the “benefit” (I use that word loosely, of course) of dying with a 63% approval rating, forever freezing him in time as a very popular president.

  91. 119

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Robo Signers Indicted

    “The Nevada attorney general has indicted two midlevel staffers at a mortgage document company … for directing employees to forge signatures and falsely notarize documents used to illegally foreclose on Nevada homeowners.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: They need to go after the ringleaders, too.

  92. 120

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Federal authorities today indicate they will charge the Idaho man who shot at the White House Friday with attempting to assassinate the president. He faces life in prison if convicted. The suspect has said he was on “a mission from God.”

  93. 122

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans Agree To Tax Hikes …

    … as long as you, not the rich, pay them:

    “Millions of taxpayers who take advantage of deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes would be targeted for potential tax hikes under a GOP plan to raise taxes by $290 billion over the next decade to help reduce the nation’s deficit. Some workers could also see their employer-provided health benefits taxed for the first time … taxpayers who itemize their deductions might find themselves paying more.”

    Meanwhile, up in the penthouse,

    “The top income tax rate would fall from 35 percent to 28 percent ….”


    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Democrats are in a position of strength and don’t have to cave in to this. They don’t have to do anything at all — just let the automatic spending reductions kick in (which will hit defense spending cherished by GOPers) and let the GOPers’ cherished Bush tax cuts expire in March 2013.

  94. 124

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 122: Of course, if Congress does pass these insane Republican proposals (any of them), the Republicans would then campaign that the middle-class taxes were raised “under Obama’s Presidency”.

    They are just a bunch of jerks and liars, they steal from you with one hand and then lie shame-faced about it with the other. The only reason they get away with it so often is that they’ve trained their base to rely only on Fox News, which doesn’t challenge them for being the scoundrals they are.

    Obama needs to draw the line in the sand.

  95. 125

    rhp6033 spews:

    Interesting news out of Texas:

    Texas had proposed a re-districting which split up several Democratic districts and diluted the voting power of minorities to the point where incumbent Democrats would probably lose at least two seats.

    But a federal court has ruled that the re-districting map proposed by the Republicans was an attempt to dilute the power of minority voters, and threw it in the trash can. Instead, it has imposed it’s own “temporary” map, which for practical purposes will remain in effect through the 2012 election. Although the effect of that map is still being examined, it looks like the Democrats will pick up one or two seats in the next election, all other things being equal.

  96. 126

    Blue John spews:

    I’d like to see a little less government, but I certainly don’t want to see it eliminated entirely.
    What government that you current benefit from,, that helps you, pays you, supports you, protects you, do you want to cut?

  97. 127

    rhp6033 spews:

    Link for # 125:

    Texas Redistricting

    Texas Republicans have used redistricting over the last twenty years to gain control of the state legislature, expand that control, and ensure Republicans control the Texas congressional delegation. They’ve even used re-districting in years where there wasn’t a census to support it. It’s about time they got their hands slapped.

    One of my former high-school classmates lives in Texas now. He says that he’s not sure of the statistics being circulated, but it appears that only about 1/3 of the eligible voters actually vote. (I haven’t seen any figures myself). We can guess about those reasons, but if everyone voted, the Republicans might find Texas isn’t as conservative as they thought it was.

  98. 128

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    Well, that’s the rub isn’t it?
    The small percentage of wealthy who actually benefit from Republican policies drive the “drown it in a bathtub” rabble for clear, direct benefit – no regulation means it’s easy to externalize costs – costs like environmental regulation, health care benefits, safe workplaces. It’s obvious and clear.

    However, those people who vote against their economic interests – the vast majority of hoodwinked and dim Republicans, voting against ‘the gays’ and ‘teh feminazis’ and ‘big gubbmint’ and ‘soshulized Medicare’ – these people, I strongly suspect, are all about slashing those parts of government that they suspect are helping members of other tribes – other religions, other skin tones, whatever ‘other’ demographic fuels their fear and resentment and hate.

    So, yeah, I second Blue’s question.

  99. 131

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #126: If we’re looking for something that benefits me personally, I’d have to say Amtrak.

    Since 2004, I’ve traveled to Portland by train every other week. I love traveling by train. The scenery is beautiful and the ride is very comfortable. You have the ability to walk around, use the restroom, eat and get some work done. I think it’s an absolute shame that more people don’t choose train travel over driving, especially for trips in the 2-3 hour range.

    That being said, Amtrak was created with the intention that it would be self-sufficient in a relatively short period of time. But here we are over 40 years later, and Amtrak has never finished a year in the black. Even as ridership has increased, Amtrak continues to require over $1 billion annually to sustain its operations.

    Furthermore, I would be furious if I lived in one of the many states with minimal or no service. And even in states with a substantial level of service (such as Washington), there are vast areas without access.

    It pains me to say it, but the government shouldn’t be in this business. I know we’re not talking about trillions of dollars that could be saved here, but a billion dollars is nothing to scoff at. There are parts of the Amtrak system that would be salvaged by private companies (mainly on the east coast, and possibly portions of the service in Washington, Oregon and California). And as the demand increases, private companies will step up to serve those people (just as they did in the past). But the country as a whole shouldn’t be required to subsidize Amtrak just to keep it around for the people that do utilize it (like me). It’s unfair to the people who don’t use it, and it’s especially unfair to the millions without any access to it whatsoever.

  100. 133

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Class action lawsuits filed on behalf of milk consumers accuse two dairy producers’ associations of paying farmers to kill 500,000 milk cows in a conspiracy to drive up milk prices.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I wonder how many of these farmers are Republicans who think labor unions should be treated as illegal conspiracies to drive up wages?

  101. 134

    Michael spews:

    That being said, Amtrak was created with the intention that it would be self-sufficient in a relatively short period of time. But here we are over 40 years later, and Amtrak has never finished a year in the black.

    Want to see some serious subsidies take a look at automobiles, gasoline and the highway system or airports and the airlines. None of this stuff operates without public subsidies, why should Amtrak be any different?

  102. 135

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #134: Air travel and the highway systems are most definitely subsidized. But they’re also accessible by a much larger portion of the population than train travel.

    When you consider that cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas (combined population of 6 million), are without Amtrak service, it just seems inherently unfair that those people are forced to contribute to a system that does absolutely nothing for them.

    To be clear, I’m not trying to defend the subsidies spent on auto and air travel, but at least those two options are available to the entire country (for the most part).

  103. 136

    Michael spews:

    To be clear, I’m not trying to defend the subsidies spent on auto and air travel, but at least those two options are available to the entire country (for the most part).

    Air and car travel are rationed by who can afford them. Everything’s subsidized, everything’s rationed. Amtrak isn’t a budget buster and it does a hell of a lot of good. Amtrak’s (and freight rail) something that we should be ramping up.

    Where we need to make cuts are to things like giving subsidies to companies like GE and things like corn ethanol. We gave GE a bunch of subsidies to help develop wind energy, which sounds like a good thing, we need wind energy, but GE just doesn’t need the money.

  104. 137

    Blue John spews:

    Ok, so Amtrak is what …. .00001% of the budget. That’s the only thing you would cut? So everything else the government does for you is vital. That seems to go against your comment of “I’d like to see a little less government” but you cannot think of anything important that helps you that you would cut.

    So after we dump Amtrak, I look forward to you supporting tax increases and fighting budget cuts because you would like everything the government does to be funded.

  105. 138

    Blue John spews:

    It’s unfair to the people who don’t use it, and it’s especially unfair to the millions without any access to it whatsoever.

    So the people who live in Nebraska shouldn’t be asked to support the Coast guard because it won’t benefit them personally?

    So the people who cannot afford to fly or who are on the No Fly list shouldn’t be asked to support the FAA because it won’t benefit them?

    So the people who don’t have kids shouldn’t be asked to support the public school system because it won’t benefit them personally?

    What am I missing?

  106. 139

    proud leftist spews:

    Exactly. Today’s Rs don’t believe in the social compact that lies at the heart of this country’s roots. “What’s in it for me?” is the only question that counts, and they take a very narrow approach to what benefits them.

  107. 140

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @135 The fallacy of your argument is that if you don’t personally benefit from a government service, then we don’t need it; the trouble is, someone else could say exactly the same thing about every government service that benefits you.

  108. 141

    rhp6033 spews:

    If there was Amtrack service between LA and Los Vegas, then I bet it would do a pretty good business.

    The reason Amtrack doesn’t operate in the black is that for the same reason it is diss’d – it doesn’t have enough service to places that need it. There is a point where the economy of scale, and the public perception of availability, would tip in favor of Amtrack.

    But in the 1950’s we chose to subsidize heavily the automobile and air systems, and allowed our railroad systems to fall into disrepair to the point that it’s unsafe for Amtrack to use much of America’s railroad tracks at anything approaching highway speeds.

  109. 142

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    Check this out (if you can stomach it) over at Stefan’s sucky little blog – they’re rationalizing pepper spraying 84 year old women! Violent, disobedient women!!

    More nauseating than SP (if that’s possible) is this photo, from Portland. Those guys on the right are the Imperial Stormtroopers, and that white stuff is an industrial-sized stream of pepper spray. Apparently the recipient of the spray was arrested, for something.

  110. 143

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    The ghoulish pro-blastocyst, anti-woman wing of the Smaller Government ™ party is now legislating what doctors can say to their patients at intensely delicate and vulnerable times.

    What foul, twisted, deeply creepy “people” these are, that are willing to go to any length, and cause any pain and harm, in order to get one more twist of the knife on the people they despise. Fucking Republicans.

  111. 145

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 145: On the “Ron and Don” radio show last night, one of them (I can’t tell them apart) was equating the pepper spraying of the elderly occupy protester with Osama Bin Laden pushing his wifes in front of the Seal team so they would get shot.

    “I’ll take false equivilency and distortion of facts for $100, Mr. Trebek”.

  112. 146

    Steve spews:

    @143 No doubt the same asswipes who cried about the horrors of the government coming between a patient and doctor during the healthcare teabag screamfest. But when it comes to a jack-boot government coming between patient and doctor to impose a deluded teabagger version of morals? Eh, not so much. Asswipes. All of them.

  113. 147

    Partyin' Hard spews:

    To #137: I only brought Amtrak up because I thought you were looking for an example of something I benefit from, but that I think should be cut. I realize that just cutting Amtrak doesn’t solve the budget problems, but it’s also not as insignificant as you’re making it out to be. Cutting Amtrak would take care of .5% of the total amount that’s being targeted for budget cuts over the next 10 years. The big ticket items shouldn’t be the only thing on the table.

    I also agree with what Michael said at #136. The billions of dollars in ethanol subsidies could be spent much more wisely elsewhere, or cut altogether. And the corporate handouts to profitable companies like GE are a joke.

    I also think there are a number of simple things we can do that should be no-brainers. Selling unused federal properties can bring in some $15 billion. And, considering current video conferencing technologies, spending $15 billion on the federal travel budget is asinine. To their credit, the Obama administration has started making cuts on that front, but they can do better.

    These “small” cuts add up eventually. We can get this under control without eliminating Medicare or Social Security, but we’re all going to have to give a little. I’ve voiced my opinion that tax increases should be avoided, but I (unlike some other conservatives) do not consider closing loopholes in the tax code to be tax increases. It’s a matter of fairness and something that I think needs to be done. It disappoints me that so many Republicans in office are opposed to that.

  114. 148

    Blue John spews:

    So often when conservatives say they are for smaller government, when they elaborate, you find they are for less services and benefits for some other group, that is not them.