Tuesday Reads

Matisse

Good Morning!!

This is going to be another quick post, because my mom is having an emergency that I need to help her with. She lost her internet, TV, and phone, and Comcast is saying they can’t do anything till Friday! She told them she is 88 years old, so maybe they’ll get off their duffs sooner.

Meanwhile, she just has her cell phone and only 100 minutes. She can afford to pay if she goes over, but she’s Great Depression survivor and often panics over “wasting money.”

So let’s see what’s happening in the headlines.

NBC News: Janet Yellen confirmed as first female Fed chair. Another glass ceiling shattered!

Vice chair of the Fed since 2010, Yellen begins her four-year term as leader of the century-old bank on Feb. 1. With the economy rebounding from the depths of the recession but only modestly so far, many economists expect her to focus on how to nurture growth without putting it into overdrive, which could risk fueling inflation….

Under Bernanke, the Fed has driven short-term interest rates down to near zero and flushed money into the economy with huge bond purchases, which it has just started to ease. Yellen, a strong Bernanke ally, has supported those policies and is expected to continue them until concrete signs emerge of sustained improvement of the economy and job market.

In a written statement, President Barack Obama said Yellen’s approval means “the American people will have a fierce champion” who will protect them.

On the other hand,

Lobbyists for the banking and financial services sectors issued statements pledging to work with Yellen. Both industries have led a fight to water down restrictions imposed by Obama’s 2010 law overhauling how the nation’s financial system is regulated.

I hope Dakinikat will weigh in on this later on. My guess is she will pooh pooh the notion that anything is going to suddenly create inflation in this economy.

CNN on the latest media meme: The Polar Vortex.

From Boston to Washington to Atlanta, the polar vortex kept swinging Tuesday, a frozen ice chest hovering over more than 100 million people.

Temperatures in many areas were in the single digits, and well below zero with wind chills.

In the Deep South, hard freeze warnings were in effect from eastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle….

It’s even too cold for polar bears and penguins. At Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, Anana — a polar bear who never grew the thick layer of fat that bears in the Arctic do — had to be brought inside Monday. And at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, bald eagles and African penguins, “who are used to temperate climates,” were taken off exhibit until the weather warms up, the facility reported.

And from Think Progress: Everything You Wanted To Know About The ‘Polar Vortex’

the Arctic air that usually sits on top of our planet is “taking an excursion” south for a couple of days, leaving the North Pole “relatively warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titledthe explanation.

“The Polar Vortex, a huge system of moving swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air, has shifted so it is not sitting right on the pole as it usually does,” Laden writes. “We are not seeing an expansion of cold, an ice age, or an anti-global warming phenomenon. We are seeing the usual cold polar air taking an excursion. So, this cold weather we are having does not disprove global warming.”

In fact, some scientists have theorized that the influx of extreme cold is actually fueled by effects of climate change. Jennifer Francis, a research professor at Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Science, told ClimateProgress on Monday that it’s not the Arctic who is drunk. It’s the jet stream.

“The drunk part is that the jet stream is in this wavy pattern, like a drunk walking along,” Francis, who primarily studies Arctic links to global weather patterns, said. “In other places, you could see the tropics are drunk.”

Basically, places that are usually cold are warmer and places that are usually warm are getting the cold air. Lots more at the link.

Here’s scary headline for you: Republicans Really Could Win It All This Year, by Larry Sabato. But take it with a grain of salt, because it’s a Politico story.

Another midterm election beckons, and over the next 10 months we’ll see headlines about a thousand supposedly critical developments—the “game changers” and the “tipping points.” But we all know there aren’t a thousand powerful drivers of the vote. I’d argue that three factors are paramount: the president, the economy and the election playing field. And, at least preliminarily, those three factors seem to be pointing toward Republican gains in both houses in the 2014 midterms.

Read all about it at the link. As a side note, Joseph Cannon has a post up about Sabato and his recent book on the JFK assassination. As usual, when Cannon writes about this subject, it’s highly enlightening. Check it out if you like connecting dots.

Here’s a wacky story from Oklahoma that Dakinicat sent me last night: Student Expelled for Casting a Spell.

An Oklahoma high school suspended a

15-year-old student after accusing her of casting a magic spell

that caused a teacher to become sick, lawyers for the student

said on Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on behalf of student Brandi Blackbear, charging that the assistant principal of Union Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, suspended her for 15 days last December for supposedly casting a spell.

The suit also charged the Tulsa-area Union Public Schools with repeatedly violating Blackbear’s civil rights by seizing notebooks she used to write horror stories and barring her from drawing or wearing signs of the pagan religion Wicca.

“It’s hard for me to believe that in the year 2000 I am walking into court to defend my daughter against charges of witchcraft brought by her own school,” said Timothy Blackbear, Brandi’s father.

WTF?! So what we’re learning is that at least a teacher and presumably members of the administration of a school in Oklahoma believes it is possible to cast magic spells that make people sick? What century is this again?

Angela Merkel has broken her pelvis in a skiing accident. From CNN:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured her pelvis in a skiing accident in Switzerland over the holidays, her spokesman told reporters Monday.
Merkel was cross-country skiing when the accident occurred. Spokesman Steffen Seibert did not disclose the date of the incident, but said her injuries are not thought to be serious and it is thought she will make a full recovery.

Merkel, who has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005, will need aid to walk over the next few weeks and will be canceling some of her commitments, Seibert said.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said it will delay its party retreat, originally slated for January 10-11, as a result of her accident.

From The New York Times: JPMorgan Settles With Federal Authorities in Madoff Case

Before Bernard L. Madoff stole billions of dollars from his clients, and before he received a 150-year prison sentence for those crimes, JPMorgan Chase had a chance to warn federal authorities about his Ponzi scheme but never did.

On Tuesday, five years after Mr. Madoff’s arrest set off a panic on Wall Street and Washington, Mr. Madoff’s primary bank received a punishment of its own.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan imposed a $1.7 billion penalty on JPMorgan, striking a criminal settlement deal involving two felony violations. The prosecutors, essentially accusing the nation’s biggest bank of turning a blind eye to Mr. Madoff’s fraud, will force JPMorgan to pay the sum to his victims.

Later on Tuesday, federal regulators are expected to announce their own rebuke of the bank in a civil case. All told, JPMorgan is likely to pay some $2 billion to resolve the Madoff investigations, which will be fully detailed at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Some bankers are going to lose some money and are being embarrassed. It’s something anyway. I’ll end on that positive note.

So . . . what stories are you following today? Please share your links in the comment thread.

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107 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. RalphB says:

    Wishing you success with Comcast and best of luck to your mother. We hit a record low of 14 last night but the warmup will start today. Stay warm to those East!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks Ralph. This weather is bizarre beyond belief. It’s 13 here now, but where my mom is it’s about 15 below zero and they have been told not to go outside.

      • janicen says:

        it’s 12 here right now. our high is supposed to reach 19 today. brrrrr!

        • ANonOMouse says:

          We’re at 7 right now, we had a low of 2. Suppose to be up to 16. I dread seeing my utility bill this month, between heating system running non-stop 24/7 and water dripping all over my house, I may have to take out a loan.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I hope you’re able to help your mom. The cable providers are worse than AT&T when it comes to making repairs in a timely manner. And the cellphone companies really rip you off when you go over your plan minutes, as if those minutes are costing them any extra. The entire cellphone, cable tv, internet business is one huge ripoff/racket. We become dependent, employ the use of their devices for communication and a measure of safety and security, then they jack up the price of the services far beyond reasonable. Is there anyway you can add minutes to her cellphone plan on a one time basis since she’s in a weather predicament?

        • bostonboomer says:

          So far I can’t even log in or talk to anyone on the phone at Verizon. They need her SS # and my mom isn’t picking up her phone either. I’m really stressed. She does have a friend in the neighborhood who is watching out for her and my niece is in Indianapolis, but she says she can’t go to my mom’s house because the roads are a mess and people have been told not to go outside because of the cold. Schools are all closed.

          • Fannie says:

            If you have to call the police department or social services to check in on her, do so. She could easily become confused too. I hope she doesn’t go outside. Gosh, they better get off their arse and do something about connecting her.

          • Fannie says:

            Also you can call her doctor’s office, and get him involved in checking on her.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Thanks, Fannie. She isn’t that bad. She just has a lot of trouble with the new technologies. The reason she wasn’t answering my calls is that she accidentally silenced her ringer. That’s fixed now. I got a number for her to call at Verizon and they helped her with the phone and gave her 98 extra minutes. When it warms up, she can go to the phone store and get a new phone and a better plan.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Good for Verizon. Glad to know they helped her.

          • bostonboomer says:

            It wasn’t easy to get them to do anything.

          • dakinikat says:

            Can you text her?

          • Mary Luke says:

            Yes, BB, if you can teach her to text, that’s simple. It’s about $5.00 month for texting on Verizon wireless. I use it all the time…hardly ever talk on the phone.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Text? Hahahahahaha! Sorry to laugh, but my mom is 88 and has terrible arthritis in her hands. She can barely figure out how to answer her cell phone after several people have showed her how. She can barely type on the computer, and she should learn how to text? First she needs to learn how to delete her messages, which several people have also tried to teach her.

          • bostonboomer says:

            On top of that, my mom can’t see very well. She is basically blind in one eye and her other eye is 20/50 at best.

          • NW Luna says:

            Really hope everything gets back on for your mother. I find texting slow and tedious myself, and the keys are a ludicrously small size — and that’s with good dexterity and eyesight.

            IIRC the US has much higher rates for cell and internet service than most other countries do.

        • dakinikat says:

          You know I have Cox and I have never ever had them not come out and fix things immediately. The only time they go down here and stay down is when Entergy can’t get the electricity going.

          • RalphB says:

            I have Suddenlink, who bought Cox out locally, and they’re the same way. Service has been really good, crossing my fingers now.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m pretty sure the problem is the cold. It is well below zero there and they had to close all the schools and ask people to stay inside. They got more than a foot of snow and the roads are a mess also. There could be thousands of people who have lost their internet/cable/phone.

  2. janicen says:

    When he was young and new to the political scene in Virginia, Larry Sabato was worth listening to and offered interesting and objective analyses of politics in Virginia. That was 30 some odd years ago. Now Sabato carries water for the Republican party. It was sad watching him become corrupted. He had a keen sense of politics at one time.

    • RalphB says:

      In that same note the National Journal seems to have become largely a Republican rag since the idiot Ron Fournier has been editing it.

    • I am extremely grateful for the link to my own humble offering in this post. For perfectly understandable reasons, a lot of people roll their eyes whenever someone brings up the Great Unpleasantness of 50 Years Ago. But I hope that some readers will take another look at the state of the evidence, which is improving all the time.

      As for Sabato: What irks me is not so much that he stands with the “lone nutters,” but that he feels compelled to smear JFK’s political legacy. Why would anyone lie about the man’s foreign policy at THIS late date?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks for coming by, Joseph. I wrote about the “Great Unpleasantness” a few times around the anniversary, but I could never write about it as well as you do. Thanks for continuing to post about it.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    The story about the young girl suspended from school is incredible. What’s next, are they going to burn her at the stake?

  4. bostonboomer says:

    The Senate voted 60-37 to advance a bill that restores expired unemployment benefits for three months. Democrats hope to move to final passage by the end of the week though it will likely stall in the Republican-controlled House unless there’s a deal to pay for the $6.5 billion cost.

    For more information… http://www.politico.com

    • ANonOMouse says:

      That’s good news, but we know what the Pugs in the House are going to do with it. I heard this morning that the GOP House is leaning toward taking up a minimum wage increase, if/when the Senate sends it to them, but they’re opposed to extended UI. Since they’ve spent a fortune trying to convince the FOX viewers that UI recipients are “lazy”. “couch potatoes” who “don’t really want to work” I doubt they’ll even bring it to the floor.

  5. janicen says:

    This is interesting. I just got this email from consumer reports…

    Click here for a mobile version. If you are having trouble viewing images, Click here.

    Dear janicen

    You have until March 31st to sign up for affordable health insurance and get covered this year. If you want to be sure you get the most out of the new health law, Consumer Reports cuts through the noise.

    Check out our free online tool, HealthLawHelper.org, where you can find out what steps, if any, you may need to take by March 31st.

    Find out what you need to know

    Despite technical problems, the new health insurance marketplaces are open for business. Consumer Reports’ free online tool tells you exactly what, if anything, you need to do to get the most out of the new system.

    Just answer a few short questions – your responses are anonymous and not recorded – and you will get tailored advice about the Affordable Care Act based on where you live and your personal situation.

    If you need health insurance but can’t afford it, or think you pay too much, this tool is for you. You have until March 31st to enroll this year. Use our tool to figure out whether you qualify for financial help, how to shop for a policy, and where to sign up.

    Go to HealthLawHelper.org. In less than two minutes you’ll know your next steps, if any.

    Even if you get health insurance through your job, the tool is worth checking out. While 80 percent of Americans will see no real change in their coverage, scammers will be out trying to trick people into buying things they don’t need.

    There’s so much confusion around the law – what changes, what doesn’t – that Consumer Reports ALSO created a no-nonsense printable guide, Health Reform: 7 Things You Need to Know to be Ready. You can download or print a copy here.

    In it you’ll find straightforward answers to your questions about the Affordable Care Act. If you’re on Medicare, you’ll learn if anything has changed. If you simply can’t afford coverage, you can find out if your state agreed to expand Medicaid coverage to help you out. And you’ll know what new rules insurance companies have to follow so you get the benefits you are promised.

    If you find these resources valuable, please share them with friends and family. Consumer Reports has no agenda other than to get you information that will help you make the best decisions for your family’s health and security.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Guest
    President, Consumer Reports

    Nice to see Consumer Reports helping people navigate the ACA.

    • RalphB says:

      It sure is and in red states like mine, which is actively trying to keep people from getting any advice, it could prove really helpful.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I wonder how long the red states will be able to hold out when they finally understand that the ACA is here to stay?

        • RalphB says:

          I think they’ll hold out as long as they think it’s a political advantage, then they’ll fold like cheap suits once it’s not. I don;t have any idea how long that will take but the propaganda about the ACA has been really effective.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Yeah. the anti-ACA propaganda that FOX News gave to the GOP Free-of-charge, in conjunction with the network news channels joining the chorus for a few weeks, really cast a long shadow. Still, I remember well the rollout of Medicare and it was treated like the second-coming of the Black Death. It took several years for it to shake free of the criticism.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You can keep signing up each month by the 15th or so and the coverage takes effect at the beginning of the next month. It doesn’t end in March. At least according to NPR…

    • dakinikat says:

      I just got my blue cross blue shield of Louisiana through the ACA and I’m tickled pink. I have a much better plan plus dental, paying less money, and I can’t be more relieved. FInally, I have an ok set up with drugs which is what I sorely lacked in the last employer-provided plan. I really need to move to a state where there are universities hiring full time employees again to do any better.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Oh brother!!!! Climatologist, Newt, claims the world was much warmer and just fine when dinosaurs ruled the world.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/newt-gingrich-global-warming-dinosaurs

    Where does he live? In one of those cities on or near the coast that would disappear under water with rising sea levels? First he wants to build a moon colony, now he laughs off a return to pre-historic earth? This guy is so full of hot air he could float.

    • RalphB says:

      Well he’s right the Earth was a lot warmer but it wouldn’t support human life as we know it. Maybe that wouldn’t affect Newt since I don’t think of him as fully human anyway.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        LOL!!! For someone who’s supposed to be so smart he seems a bit loosely strung to me. Mr. Moon Colony needs a NEW Warmer Earth. Bye, bye cities on or near the coast, where most of the world’s population reside.

    • RalphB says:

      Another little problem is I’ve read that photosynthesis only happens when temperatures are below about 105F, and pretty piss poor in the temperatures leading up to it. So those hotter summers mean today’s plants don’t grow so good, regardless of hydration.

  7. RalphB says:

    Some nice pictures of pros riding the big surf.

    Guardian: Surfers take on 18-metre waves of the black swell

    Professional surfers have flocked to the Atlantic coastlines of France, Cornwall, Ireland and Portugal to ride waves up to 18 metres high caused by a low pressure system dubbed “the black swell”.

    South African big wave rider Grant “Twiggy” Baker was joined on Tuesday by Portuguese, French and American surfers at the Belharra break off the coast of south-west France, where they prepared to take on 15-metre (49ft) waves. The Met Office’s Seven Stones buoy off the tip of Cornwall recorded 9-metre swells on Tuesday morning, while the waves piling into Mullaghmore Head in County Sligo, Ireland, reached 12 metres on Monday, according to some reports.

  8. Morning everyone, it is a whole 16 degrees here in Banjoville, got down to -2 last night. (real temp)

    Have y’all seen this weird interview? Dennis Rodman Screams at CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Implies Kenneth Bae is Guilty in Bizarre Interview | Mediaite

    whoa, and check out the faces of the players around Dennis…

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Fox’s Ed Henry Asks Jay Carney if Taxpayers Will Pay to Fly Michelle Obama Home

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/foxs-ed-henry-asks-jay-carney-if-taxpayers-will-pay-to-fly-michelle-obama-home/

    • RalphB says:

      Carney should take Henry’s seat away and he should have to shout questions from the hall as the other reporters are leaving.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Jay should have asked Ed if he knew what the protocol was for all prior FLOTUS travel without POTUS at her side. I have no doubt that every FLOTUS has used Air Force One and other government paid for transportation to travel without the POTUS. I got in a heated discussion at the “other” now non-existent place, over POTUS & FLOTUS flying Air Force one and traveling with an entourage and government provided security. WTF do they want them to do, take a bus? Yep….that is exactly what they want this POTUS & FLOTUS to do. For god’s sake, every POTUS and FLOTUS in the past century has traveled with government provided transportation and government security 24/7/365. Why should this POTUS and FLOTUS be any different??? Any clues??????

      • bostonboomer says:

        But those other POTUS and FLOTUS’s weren’t black. See the difference? The Obamas have taken very few vacations, while Bush was on vacation constantly. Reagan too.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Exactly. Just the notion that the right-wing-nuts want this POTUS to pay for the transportation costs of FLOTUS if she’s not traveling with him is ridiculous and shameful. The racism in Henry’s question isn’t even veiled. Carney needs to get examples of the unreimbursed travels of prior Republican FLOTUS’s and shove it up Henry’s nose.

        • dakinikat says:

          Don’t forget both the Reagans and the Bushes had their damned vacation homes practically rebuilt with taxpayer money too.

          • RalphB says:

            Reagan even had the ranch as a gift from the car dealers assoc in California and other donors. He didn’t even buy the thing himself.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            The first Xmas that Obama was in office, I got into a tussle over at THE PLACE THAT NO LONGER EXISTS, with people who were upset that Obama was travelling on Air Force One to Hawaii for Xmas. They didn’t know WHY he would go to Hawaii. I suggested that it could be because he was born and basically raised in Hawaii, that his roots are there, he has many friends there and that his sister and her family live there? Why shouldn’t he go to Hawaii on Air Force One? The entire thought process associated with questioning WHY our first Black POTUS would dare to go to Hawaii “On Air Force One” for Xmas, or that he should pay for FLOTUS to travel when he’s not present, is drenched in racism.

          • NW Luna says:

            …or they’d have no problem with a Republican POTUS and his family flying on Air Force One.

  10. Fannie says:

    Marsha Blackburn this morning: Put on a clean shirt and get a job. I guess she thinks men are the only people needing jobs. This might help then, and oh, don’t try this on clean undies.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      She’s a pompous ass. During the govt shutdown she said that people would be surprised by “what they could live without”. More Richsplain from a HAVE. She’s a bona fide member of the IF IT AIN’T HAPPENING TO ME, IT AIN’T HAPPENING, CLUB. She has no understanding of how difficult it is to find employment in this economic environment, especially for people over 50.

  11. Fannie says:

    This morning Marsha Blackburn had a group of activist at her office door, encouraging her to vote for extending employment benefits. Along with John McCain, and Mark Kirk, Marsha refused to vote. Listening to her this morning, she said that the democrats were portraying her party as haters of the poor, and that isn’t so. She said ” put on a clean shirt and get a job”. She said her party was all about the family value brand. About that time I spit up all over the place. I just couldn’t help myself from screaming out Bill Young, the Christian family man who paid his wife $2,000 a month for the job of “shutting her up” until he died. And so when he died in October that wife no longer had that income. We do know that Bill Young (like a lot of other republicans) have put their sons (and daughters in law) to work making damn good money via earmarks. He never helped his kids from the first marriage get jobs.

    Son, Patrick Young, at the young age of 20 (yes twenty) became the security administrator of Science Application International Corp. (SAIC). Hell, yeah, he had high level of security clearence and worked with intelligence data, wonder if he ever met up with Snowden. The other son Billy was 23 years, and became a specialist for National Forensic Science Technology Center. Then there was the son Robert, and the daughter in law who was a lobbyist for the defense contractors. It just goes on and on. Can you humveeeeeeee. Meanwhile, everybody else in this country were losing their jobs, their homes, their health insurance, and family members to war. They gut, and shut down our government so that the working person didn’t stand a chance.

    That’s family values for you, and that is how they are keeping it in the family.

    • RalphB says:

      Republican family values are quite different from everyone else’s family values for sure!

    • Fannie says:

      I see that golden goose laying billion dollar eggs all over the place. The SAIC is an American defense company in Reston, Va. It works extensively with US Dept. of Defense (of which Rep. Bill Young served on), the US Dept. Homeland Security, the US Intelligence community, including the NATIONAL Security Agency, as well as other civil agencies. I don’t know who answers to who anymore. Not only do the republicans do not want you to touch those eggs, apparently allowed it to shed some campaign monies to our President, being the top recipient. Just look at the billions of dollars going out to contractors. I remember reading that contractors were sent into the war areas to do what the soldiers were doing, only the soldiers were paid $25,000, while the contractor got $125,000 doing the same job. Don’t you remember that? When was the last time the Defense Department was ever audited? Never, it’s probably impossible to do since, particularly since 911.

      Looky:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leidos

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Applications_International_Corporation

      • RalphB says:

        The DoD actually tried to audit the books several years ago and just couldn’t do it. They literally had about $80 billion or so that couldn’t be accounted for at all in that year. The DoD needs some drastic downsizing of contractors and support people. Congress would have a cow if anyone seriously even suggested that.

        Combat personnel, at the tip of the spear, are always the last people considered during budgeting. That, in itself, is a damn national disgrace.

        • Fannie says:

          Exactly Ralph. Here’s Marsha Blackburn voting record during Bush & Obama years. She’s solid right pro big money……………..

          Under bush she voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks (2008)……………..She vote NO on increasing minimum wage…………I said earlier she was a no vote today, forgetting she’s in the house..

          http://www.ontheissues.org/house/marsha_Blackburn.htm

  12. RalphB says:

    TBogg ‏@tbogg 32m

    We should kidnap @RealAlexJones , knock him out, tattoo a barcode on his neck, and then release him with a note saying “we’re watching you”.

  13. RalphB says:

    CBS is really earning that Media Matters “Misinformer of the Year” award they won.

    Salon: “60 Minutes” gets it wrong again: Cleantech hit job doesn’t check out

    Lesley Stahl tries to argue that cleantech is dead. Not only is she wrong, she entirely misses the point.

    • RalphB says:

      I heard yesterday that CBS has given a contract to Frank Luntz as a political consultant. Asshats!

  14. RalphB says:

    Maddowblog: A lucrative fight against ‘Big Brother’

    Rand Paul wants to file suit against “Big Brother.” First he’ll need your name, address, and credit card number, as part of a project run through his campaign operation.

    Chris Hayes made a comment last year that continues to resonate: “Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base are the marks.”

  15. RalphB says:

    A couple of small goodies from Steve Benen,,,

    If you’re not following the U.S. Senate race in Georgia, it’s probably time to start. While right-wing House members compete for the Republican nomination, Democrat Michelle Nunn has started getting support from former Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R) leadership PAC, former Sen. John Warner (R), and some notable Romney donors.

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) has generally kept his distance from Democratic fundraising, but this week he donated $2.5 million to a super PAC that helps support Democratic U.S. Senate candidates.

  16. Fannie says:

    Tell Rand to head to the hospital, I went to ER, and they had everything about me at hand, and I had never been to one in Idaho before. They got the goods on you.

    • NW Luna says:

      Likely because they’re connected somehow with the organization where you’ve received medical care from before — or because the two organizations use the same electronic health record system.

  17. RalphB says:

    Laura Rozen ‏@lrozen 7h
    Gates zings Congress: when “little red light went on atop a TV camera it had the effect of a full moon on a werewolf”

  18. dakinikat says:

    Rush Limbaugh: Polar vortex is a “hoax” created by the left

    Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week…They’re in the middle of a hoax, they’re perpetrating a hoax, but they’re relying on their total dominance of the media to lie to you each and every day about climate change and global warming.

    Yes, Rush, there are polar vortexes, they exist and they’ve been around,named, and talked about for a long time. You flunked out of community college in southern missouri and it’s showing …

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/07/rush_limbaugh_polar_vortex_is_a_hoax_created_by_the_left/

    • NW Luna says:

      Cliff Mass does his usual good weather-wonky explanation of the science. He’s definite about the evidence for climate change / global warming, but rigorous in pointing out that individual occurrences can’t be attributed to it — too much variability.

      … hot air expert Donald Trump joined the fray with a well-constructed twitter message:
      “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING ***** has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.” (***** is an expletive that have been removed–this is a family friendly blog)

      I could give you a dozen more samples on both sides of this issue. All wrong.

      One thing we do know is that the proximate cause of the current cold wave is a substantial undulation of the jet stream, with a deep trough over the central U.S. (see upper level map at 4 AM this morning). Ridges are associated with sinking motion and warming, while troughs are regions of low-level cooling with movement of cold air from the north on their western side. You will notice that the western U.S. has a ridge, with above normal temperatures and a LACK of storminess and snow! ….

      Global warming will occur over the the coming century and only can be determined statistically since there is a lot of natural variability in the climate/weather system. One event proves nothing. Furthermore, the real warming is in the future.

      http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2014/01/does-cold-wave-imply-anything-about.html

    • dakinikat says:

      http://politicalblindspot.com/study-finds-white-americans-believe-they-experience-more-racism-than-african-americans/

      Both groups reported roughly the same things for the 1950s, with neither believing Caucasians experienced much racism at all during that turbulent decade. Both similarly agreed that at the same time, there was substantial racism against African Americans. Both groups also agreed that racism against African Americans has steadily decreased over time. But here’s where the study gets interesting. Caucasians surveyed believe that the discrimination faced by their African American neighbors has decreased much more rapidly than the African American respondents. Furthermore, they believe that while African Americans now have it better, they – the Caucasians surveyed – have taken their place as the primary targets of discrimination.

      “These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality – at their expense,” Norton and Sommers explain.

      An astounding 11% of Caucasian respondents assigned the maximum rating of 10 to the seriousness of anti-white discrimination. Compare that with only 2% who reported the same of anti-black racism. Caucasians, the study found, often believe that racial equality is “a zero sum game,” where one group gains at the expense of others.

      • NW Luna says:

        How stupid can they get?

        (Rhetorical question.)

        • RalphB says:

          Glad that was a rhetorical question. I thought those reverse racism opinions were largely isolated in the old South. Wow.

          • NW Luna says:

            …believe that racial equality is “a zero sum game,” where one group gains at the expense of others.

            I found that an especially stunning example of stupidity. I bet those are the type of people who think that other people getting health care coverage makes their own worse.

          • RalphB says:

            Yep, no doubt. Morons.

    • RalphB says:

      Best article about white privilege I have ever read, Just magnificent!

  19. NW Luna says:

    Boeing puts all pensions at risk

    Now that our state’s pensioned politicians have so deftly assisted Boeing in wrenching pensions away from its line workers, the big question is: Who’s next? ….

    This is how you get a crab pot society. Drag them down, one at a time.

    http://seattletimes.com/text/2022617234.html

    • NW Luna says:

      Hope this works, but it’d be a miracle in the current political climate:

      Four Machinists at Boeing have separately filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to overturn the 777X contract extension vote that passed by a slim margin last week.

      Anne Pomerantz, NLRB regional attorney, said the agency will investigate the complaints, gather evidence and decide if any action is warranted. The process typically takes approximately 12 weeks, she said.

      The union members filed the unfair-labor-practices claims against the national headquarters of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), which forced the vote against the wishes of the union’s local district officials.

      http://seattletimes.com/text/2022614434.html

  20. NW Luna says:

    In a ceremony that featured calls for class struggle and an appeal to political pragmatism, Mayor Ed Murray, socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant and other elected city officials were sworn in at City Hall on Monday. ….

    To an audience that included many Democratic Party activists and Murray backers, [Sawant] accused Democratic and Republican politicians of serving the interests of big business, and said, “We have the obscene spectacle of the average corporate CEO getting $7,000 an hour, while the lowest-paid workers are called presumptuous in their demand for just $15.”