Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Headlines - Wednesday November 16

I'm going out of town with a friend who needs me - back on the weekend.

Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July, less than four months before a sexual abuse scandal engulfed his Penn State football program and the university.

Documents filed in Centre County, Pa., show that on July 21, Paterno's house near campus was turned over to "Suzanne P. Paterno, trustee" for a dollar plus "love and affection." The couple had previously held joint ownership of the house, which they bought in 1969 for $58,000.

This is another classic 60s tactic for avoiding liability. After 30 or 40 years of hippies muddying the water, what do you expect?

The NY Times notices the rich are getting richer and the poor, well, you know the drill:

At Wal-Mart, shoppers cut back on staples like milk and meat that had price increases of a few cents. At Saks Fifth Avenue, they paid full price for shoes and designer fashions at a rate higher than before the recession.

As several big chains reported third-quarter results on Tuesday, the divide between hard-pressed and prosperous Americans continued to be a defining characteristic of the retail economy.

"Clearly it's a bifurcated market," said Stephen I. Sadove, chairman and chief executive of Saks, in an interview. "The high-end consumer is much more tied to the stock market and the Dow and how they're feeling about their personal situation, more so than the lower end of the market," where concerns about gas prices and unemployment were more prevalent.

The rarified air of a Saks CEO. The reason the poor and working class are cutting back on necessities like meat and milk isn't because they are "more concerned," it's because THEY'RE FUCKING BROKE AND HAVE NO JOB. You may cut back on luxuries out of concern, but you don't cut back on feeding your family unless you have no money. You may say to yourself "the market really took a dive, so I guess I'll hold off on that Bugatti," but no one says "the market was down a touch, I think I'll starve the kids." Wanker. I'm to the point now that I think any asshole making stupid remarks like this should be forced to wear a top hat and monocle in public so everyone knows to kick them in the junk.

Maybe that cheating scumbag John Edwards was on to something. At any rate, it looks like the days of the rich feeling guilty about conspicuous consumption are over.


The effort to oust Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker is officially underway.


What a fucking world we live in..."Last week, a federal court in Mississippi sentenced a key figure in a $3 million mortgage fraud scheme to two and a half years in federal prison. Just a few days earlier, however, a Mississippi federal judge imposed a significantly harsher sentence on a woman who lied on her benefits applications in order to receive just $4,367 in food stamps to help feed her family. ... In a compassionate nation, the penalty for drug use is not starvation. In a just nation, the penalty for drug use is not that your two children must be hungry as well. There is no excuse for a federal drug policy that punishes anyone by taking away their ability to put food on the table -- and that punishes them so severely for the crime of needing to eat. ... And, unlike thousands of Wall Street bankers who helped plunge America's economy into a catastrophic recession, McLemore actually paid back the $4,367 she received."
File this one under "Well, Duh!" "Two key players in one of James O'Keefe's highest-profile projects are speaking out against the conservative provocateur, and the picture they paint isn't pretty. ... O'Keefe has long maintained that he's a serious journalist who employs a "form of investigative reporting that you use to seek and find the truth." But Simon Templar, who played the faux Muslim donor in an infamous undercover piece on NPR, told the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz that O'Keefe is only interested in producing "hit job[s]." Templar, who wanted to carry out a "thoroughly researched and impeccably executed project" on the supposed threat of Sharia law, says O'Keefe rushed the project to maximize its political impact and didn't care if the final report ended up being "extremely slipshod.""

But Al Gore is fat! "Britain's native trees are producing ripe fruit, on average, 18 days earlier than a decade ago, probably as a result of climatic shifts, a study reveals. It shows that acorns are ripening 13 days earlier, while rowan berries are ready to eat nearly a month earlier. Experts warn that one consequence could be that animals' food reserves would become depleted earlier in the winter. The findings were published by Nature's Calendar, a data collection network co-ordinated by the Woodland Trust. "Some of the changes are really quite big and quite surprising," explained Tim Sparks, the trust's nature adviser. "This caused me to go back and look at the data again to make sure it was valid because even I did not believe it initially." Prof Sparks said Nature's Calendar, formerly known as the UK Phenology Network, was established in 1998 to collect spring-time information. "But the gap in data was in the autumn So, since about 2000, the scheme has also been collecting data on things such as fruit ripening dates, leaf colour change and fall dates, and the last birds seen," he told BBC News. "We now have 10 years worth of data that can look at and identify changes." "

'HOMELAND' IS WHAT THE NAZIS CALLED IT TOO - Surprise, Homeland Security Coordinates #OWS Crackdowns
"Rick Perry forgets his own talking points, Herman Cain forgets every woman he ever groped, Mitt Romney forgets he used to be for everything he is now against; they don't need debates, they need ginkgo biloba." –Bill Maher
Land of the free....

Er...not so much.

Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict "Occupy" protesters from city parks and other public spaces. As was the case in last night's move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.

First thing you do, pick off the weakest ones.


"You're not productive. We're ain't giving to you if you're not productive and that's the message. The way it's supposed to work is if you're productive, it's going to trickle down to you. But if you think the guy who had ten is going to trickle down to the guy who didn't do anything with his one, Jesus says it's not going to happen that way. It does not trickle down. As as matter of fact, it will trickle up. If you are not productive, I'm going to give it to someone who is and he's going to get more." - Christian "historian" David Barton, on Occupy Wall Street.








The House Republicans are stretching the boundaries of what can be considered "nutrition" for kids. They're rewriting USDA guidelines:

The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department's proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.

The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers. Some conservatives in Congress have called the push for healthier foods an overreach, saying the government shouldn't be telling children what to eat.

Yep. Children should eat junk until they're sick. You know, the pro-life position.

On that note, since when do the Republicans stop short of telling people what they can and can't do with their bodies — especially when children are in the mix?

Also, it's worth noting that sick and overweight children is good business for the drug and healthcare industries.


A Navy veteran was removed from a Mitt Romney campaign event today because she was wearing a t-shirt that displayed opposition to the voucherization privatization of veteran's healthcare.

Way to win them over, Mitt.


Representative Allen West (R-Batshit) professed the merits of torture during his appearance on Fox News yesterday, and to support his position, he made a reference that has left me scratching my head trying to figure why it's relevant.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) pushed back on Monday against President Barack Obama's comments this weekend condemning waterboarding, even referencing the movie "G.I. Jane," in which the character played by actress Demi Moore is subjected to the interrogation tactic.

"The president is the benefactor of a lot of information that came from waterboarding," West said on Fox News. "When you look at the precedent, non-state, non-uniform belligerents captured on the battlefield under the Geneva Convention are not afforded the same type of rights. We can make that determination."

"As the president, you need to do those things which are necessary to make sure that the American people are kept safe," the Republican congressman continued, adding, "and furthermore, in the movie 'G.I. Jane,' Demi Moore was waterboarded."

This is what President Obama said over the weekend.

"It's contrary to America's traditions. It's contrary to our ideals. That's not who we are. That's not how we operate. We don't need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism."

Last time I checked, this president actually has kept us safe, unlike the Bush Administration. And he has done so without the use of torture, saber-rattling, or cowboy-style belligerence.

Perhaps the most ironic thing is, in the movie G.I Jane which Allen West references, water-boarding Demi Moore's character didn't work. She didn't give up anything.

And, by the way, that was a movie. A fictional tale. And just to make sure we're on the same page here — "24″ wasn't a reality series either.


American Oligarchy

Steve Benen:

Chelsea Clinton has been hired by NBC News, joining George W. Bush's daughter, Ronald Reagan's son, John McCain's daughter, and Tim Russert's son.

With the exception of Ron Reagan, who is genuinely talented, I'm sure NBC could throw a rock and hit 100 people who are better broadcasters than the others. But those 100 people don't have the correct last name, do they?


John Cole on the freak show masquerading as the Republican primary.

At this point, Mitt Romney is like the ugly chick at the bar, totally willing to put out and do anything, winking and flirting as hard as she can with the GOP primary voters while yelling "I'm so wasted! I'm so wasted!", but there are still a few hours left before closing time, so the voters are still weighing their options.

It's a pathetic spectacle, really.

In the end, they'll have no choice but to take Romney home, plaster on makeup, buy a wardrobe of expensive clothes and then walk to the bedroom with eyes closed and nose pinched, ready to convince themselves and an entire nation that the political whore they're stuck with is indeed the fairest lady in the land.


The following excellent piece on the Occupy Movement is the work of Delthea Simmons, a community orgainzer who posted these words on her Facebook page.  Her interpretation of what the OWS movement is…and is not…is as apt and insightful a description as I've come across.



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