For years, the media has reported billions of dollars stolen or missing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Karzai family in particular has been singled out in allegations of such pilfering as well as an array of other crimes such as drug dealing. Now, auditors have found that $6.6 billion has simply disappeared — cash sent by the plane load to Iraq.
Continue reading 'Auditors Conclude That $6.6 Billion Simply Disappeared From Planes Filled With Cash To Iraq'
Helluva way to run a business:
Alix Genter, who is set to marry her longtime partner in NY next year, had picked out a dress at Here Comes The Bride when manager Donna Saber found out she was gay— because she'd crossed out the word "groom" and written "partner" instead on the paperwork, and Saber called that a "provocation"—and refused to sell her the dress. Saber said what Genter was planning was "illegal" and that "we do not participate in any illegal actions."
Maybe for her next act, Ms. Saber can get a job at a Target pharmacy and refuse to dispense birth control to female customers. As if this country didn't have enough judgmental assclowns...
Right Wing Watch reports that the Family Research Council's latest plea for donations uses the It Gets Better Project as its topic. Because anti-bullying efforts are "disgusting" and all good Christian children should have the right to beat those "perverts" whenever they deserve it.
Rick W. Perry continues to rip apart the stimulus, from which he's taken $17.4 billion.
QUESTION: If the stimulus plan didn't work, then what do you think would help for unemployment?
PERRY: He asked, "If the stimulus didn't work" – and the stimulus did not work, obviously all it did was create more debt in this country. It didn't create any jobs, as far as I can tell, except for maybe those federal regulators that were increased.
Seriously, Cowboy-Dan-the-Gun-Fighting-Balloon-Man, can we have it back, please? If you're so convinced it was an awful, useless, debt-creating shitbucket, give us back the money you took from it. That dollar amount? The Rick Perry chunk of the stimulus? $17.4 billion as of June. I'm sure the government will take a certified check. So let's have it, gov. All of it.
And by the way, the stimulus created or saved 50,000 jobs in Texas, which Perry takes credit for while concurrently slamming the stimulus.
Continue reading 'Obamas Take Separate Planes So First Lady Can Get A Few More Hours of Vacation in Martha's Vineyard?'
There's a shortage of some chemo drugs and antibiotics this year:
More than half the recent shortages have resulted because government or company inspectors found problems like microbial contamination that can be lethal on injection. Others have occurred because of capacity problems at drug plants or lack of interest because of low profits, according to the F.D.A. [...]
"The race to the bottom has led to an increase of products coming from plants in China and India that may have uncertain supply and may have never been inspected," Ms. Bresch said. "If the F.D.A. was required to inspect foreign drug plants at the same rate it does domestic ones, we might not have so many of these shortages."
One example: Johnson & Johnson, whose cancer drug Doxil is in short supply says that "Our third-party manufacturer has had some manufacturing issues related to capacity." J&J made $2.8 billion last quarter, with a yearly profit margin a bit over 20%, but that's still not enough.
David at C&L:
A conservative website claimed Thursday that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has promised to investigate President Barack Obama's eligibility to run for re-election.
According to WorldNetDaily, about 325 so-called birthers gathered Wednesday night to sign a petition alleging that Obama planned to use a fake birth certificate to run for office in 2012.
Jerome Corsi, author of, Where's the Birth Certificate? reportedly presented Arpaio with the petition during a one-hour meeting Thursday.
"Arpaio told the tea party leaders the complaint is within his jurisdiction, and he will be forced to investigate," WND wrote. "He said he expects political pressure, but he pointed out that as the chief law enforcement officer of Maricopa County, he's taken an oath to respond to citizens who approach him about enforcing the law."
Economist Dean Baker really lets John Kerry, Patty Murray and Max Baucus have it for the column that appeared in the Wall St. Journal this week -- but he's especially savage with Kerry:
Senator John Kerry, along with the two other Democratic senators appointed to the "Super Committee", had a column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday on their approach to the committee's work. This piece is infuriating for its empty platitudes and the refusal to acknowledge economic reality. In just 700 words the piece promulgated 3 major economic myths while ignoring the fundamental truths about the economy and the budget.
[...] The reason that we actually had a $240 billion surplus (2.4 percent of GDP) in 2000 was that the United States had a stock bubble propelled boom at the end of the decade. This caused the economy to grow much more rapidly than CBO expected with the unemployment rate falling to 4.0 percent in 2000, rather than the 6.0 percent predicted by CBO. Do the senators not remember the stock bubble?
In addition to promoting these false stories about the economy and the budget, the senators fail to tell the true story. The large deficits the country currently faces are not the result of an ongoing pattern of excessive profligacy. They are the result of the economy's plunge following the collapse of the housing bubble. Even with the cost of the wars, the Medicare drug benefit and the Bush tax cuts, the projected deficits were relatively modest prior to the collapse of the housing bubble.
The true story is that our deficit problem is really an economic problem - we let a huge housing bubble grow, which would inevitably collapse and sink the economy. The deficit is needed now to make up for the $1.2 trillion loss in annual demand from the private sector, which had been generated by the housing bubble. The bubble had led to booms to both construction and consumption that have gone bust now that house prices have crashed.