Thursday, December 23, 2010

Headlines - Thursday December 23

NATO (that's us) kills five civilians in attack on Afghan home.
We've got a "Thought for the Day" for his Popey Rapeyness: There's not enough forgiveness in the universe to make up for the crimes the Catholic Church has committed against humanity. "Pope Benedict has recorded a Christmas message especially for the UK, to be broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Eve. It will go out as the Thought For The Day on the Today programme on Radio 4. It is the first time that Pope Benedict has addressed a Christmas message especially for one of the countries he has visited during the year. The BBC's David Willey says it is the Pope's way of saying thank you for what he regarded as a hugely successful trip to England and Scotland in September."
He also blames child abuse scandal on society - not the fact that he covered it up and probably did it himself.
Alaska Supreme Court: Joe Miller is a huge loser

Time to face the music that everyone else was listening to MONTHS AGO.

Break out your advent calendar and enjoy a delicious chocolate-covered Alaska Supreme Court ruling which states there "are no remaining issues raised by Miller that prevent this election from being certified." Yay! Blow it out yer butt, Joe Miller, you hairy fraud. Joe will have two days to file "additional complaints," but it's unclear what he could possibly complain about at this point, since his dumb whining about "illegal voter intent" has officially been struck down. Maybe Joe Miller can argue that the Alaska Supreme Court is unconstitutional, because Sarah Palin never endorsed it on Twitter? Maybe! Thanks for the laughs, Joe. And please stay out of the news forever. [WP]


FBI Expands 'Witch Hunt' Against Antiwar Activists
"No labels" = no ideas
Having people in Washington get along is the most important thing in the world. If Republicans and Democrats can't find common ground, then we're all screwed. Now, everyone join hands and sing We Are the World. This will solve all of America's problems.

Except that it obviously won't. Since Democrats and Republicans disagree on solutions to some very real problems, concentrating on points of agreement basically means ignoring things that need to be dealt with immediately. Worse, it means cobbled together compromises that make no one happy and solve nothing.
Breaking news: McCain still a dick

Just when you thought John McCain couldn't get more dickish:

In April, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced legislation named after the late soldier meant to provide more resources for suicide prevention to Reserve members. The House in May incorporated it into the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011, but it was stripped from the final version, and Holt is pointing the finger at the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate legislation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Nice guy. Hey -- maybe David Gregory will give him a full hour this weekend to elaborate on this escalation in his dickishness.

A tribute to Linus's famous speech from the television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, updated for this secular, atheist age.

At the same time that they demand freezes in Federal salaries, Republican members of Congress are presiding over an explosion in payroll for their own staff, reports the AP:


funny pictures - Sittin on da dock of da bay.  Watchin da fishies com mah way.


The 10 Greediest People of the Year

They came, they saw, they took it all. Welcome to the world where thieves have no honor, and those who hone their talents hammering the rest of us are lavishly rewarded.
The Guardian - you know it has to be bad when Halliburton is complaining.
Matt Taibbi, in a blog post praising Bernie Sanders to the detriment of Mr. Yes I Can (And You Can't Stop Me), has this to say in passing about the scale of the bank bailout.

This information came out as a result of Sen. Sanders persistence in inserting an "audit the Fed" provision into the Dodd-Frank regulatory bill. Here's Taibbi (my emphasis):
I was in Washington last week and visited Bernie in his office, mainly to talk about the incredible results of the Federal Reserve audit, about which I'll be writing more in the upcoming weeks and after the New Year. The audit of the Fed was undertaken because Bernie and a few other members of congress fought very hard during the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform debate to force open Ben Bernanke's books, and as a result we now know the staggering details of the secret bailout era. We know that Citigroup received $1.6 trillion in loans, and Morgan Stanley $2 trillion, and Goldman Sachs – the same Goldman Sachs that bragged about how quickly it paid back its $10 billion TARP bailout – over $600 billion. We know that hedge fund billionaires who moved their corporate addresses to the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes were rewarded by their buddies in government with huge Fed loans; we know that the U.S. government likewise has been extending massive loans to a variety of Japanese car companies at a time when many American auto workers in Detroit have seen their wages cut in half, to $14 an hour. There's that and there's more on the outrage front, and we know it all because Sanders kicked and screamed and stamped his feet about Fed secrecy until just enough other members of the Senate decided to go along with him.
Did you catch that? It's a ton of info.
    Morgan Stanley — $2 trillion
    Citigroup — $1.6 trillion
    Goldman Sachs — more than one-half trillion (pikers)
    Japanese automakers
    Hyper-wealthy individuals
TARP is a drop in the bucket, and anyone who trumpets TARP repayments as meaningful is meaning to fool you.

These companies exist to hoover money into the pockets of the already wealthy.
Obama just gave them tax cuts. Now he wants your Social Security. And it's Christmas.

The dots just connect themselves; they're not even pretending anymore.

     "Pedal faster, or we'll be late for the War on Easter!"

Bizarre winter weather that is not snow. "A huge storm system has dumped record amounts of rain on southern California and prompted concern that the poor weather could spread across the US. Streets flooded, residents were evacuated and authorities were on alert for landslides in the wake of the torrential downpour. The deluge came at the end of a week that saw Los Angeles receive half its annual rainfall in just six days. Torrential rain was also reported in neighbouring Arizona, Nevada and Utah. There are concerns that the weather system will spread across the US, reaching New Mexico by Thursday and the Gulf Coast by the end of the week."


When has it ever not been war in Gaza? "A senior Israeli army officer has told the BBC that as long as Hamas remains in control of the Gaza Strip, another war is "a question of when, not if". He said the Palestinian Islamist group had rearmed so much since the Israeli offensive two years ago that it was now in a stronger position militarily. There has been an increase in rocket fire coming from Gaza in the past week. Earlier, Israeli defence officials said tanks fitted with a new missile defence system would be deployed near Gaza."


The reason for the season

Tom Coburn slashes 9/11 cancer relief, suddenly has evil goatee

Try To Forget

Just weeks after Joe Miller's stunning midterm loss, facial hair has finally returned to the Senate, as Tom Coburn has, heroically, suddenly grown the goatee ("Van Dyke") of Santa Claus' evil twin or whatever. And, powered by a churning gizzard full of holiday douchenog, he managed to single-handedly slash today's 9/11 first-responder health benefits bill from $7.4 billion in benefits and compensation to $1.5 for benefits and $2.7 for compensation. Plus, the fund will close forever in five years, so hurry up and get your 9/11-related cancer now, 9/11 guys! READ MORE »

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