Saturday, December 17, 2011

Headlines - Saturday December 17

Happy Holidays from Teddy the talking procupine.

Freedom at last! - Breathing freely today, my fellow hobos? Well, you should be! It looks like Congress might not shut down the gubmint this weekend afterall. The GOP won their much-coveted regulation roll-back on lightbulbs. (AP)


As trustworthy as she looks

-Headline of the Day-
"Michele Bachmann says 'PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true' in last debate."

During the last semi-weekly meeting of The Liar's Club, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich got into a little tête-à-tête over Newt's influence lobbying with Freddie Mac. This was probably a tactical error on Shelly's part, since no one has a bigger tête than Newt -- in both the physical and metaphorical senses. Seriously, he
couldn't find a football helmet that would fit over his melon in high school.

Anyway, Newt said that Shelly's claim that he lobbied for Freddie Mac was "factually not true" -- which is ironic, because it was a rare instance where she was saying something factual. And it was here that she slipped back into her old habit.

"Well, after the debates that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true," she said. "And the evidence is that Speaker Gingrich took $1.6 million. You don't need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling with senior Republicans in Washington, D.C., to get them to do your bidding."

To which PolitiFact says:

So, yeah... (PolitiFact)

Defender of marriage and Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R) has resigned in disgrace after allegations of an affair with a Senate staffer. Koch, who is is married with one child, was one of the proponents of Minnesota's 2012 anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.
At a Capitol news conference Friday, Sen. Geoff Michel (R-Edina) said Senate staff recently brought up allegations of an "inappropriate relationship between Majority Leader Koch and a Senate staffer." "We sit here with a lot of humility, sadness, and shock," Michel said. Michel said multiple staffers reported allegations to Senate leaders. He said he doesn't know how long the relationship was going on and legally cannot discuss the name of the Senate staffer involved with Sen. Koch. The Edina senator could only specify that it was "inappropriate" a "conflict of interest" and created an "unstable work environment for staff." On whether or not the relationship was sexual, Michel said "I think there's only two people who could fully characterize that," but GOP leaders said they never heard the word "sexual" used when the allegations surfaced.
And another anti-gay hypocrite bites the dust!
LESSON: If You're A Closeted GOP Mayor, Don't Embezzle Money For Gay Porn

"I didn't know what medicaid was till I got into government." -Mitt Romney speaking in Iowa

He didn't know what Medicaid was until he ran for office, which clearly makes him the perfect man to "reform" it as president.

I suppose he also didn't know what austerity was until he spent some time living in a mansion staffed by a personal chef and a houseboy.

For being the more "electable" and "safer" candidate, Mitt Romney sure has made a lot of gaffes while trying to relate to common people who aren't worth $250 million.

Mario: John McCain's never-ending war

John McCain is still having problems accepting his 2008 defeat.

"It is clear that this decision of a complete pullout of United States troops from Iraq was dictated by politics, and not our national security interests," said McCain from the Senate floor. "I believe history will judge this president's leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves."

Seventy percent of Americans think otherwise.  That's the number who agree with the President on the troop withdrawal.  But it's a moot point anyway.  Iraqis wanted the U.S. out of their country.  Couple that with the 2008 agreement President Bush signed with Iraq which set the withdrawal date at December 31 2011 and there was little President Obama could have done even if he wanted to stay in Iraq for another "100 years". (Remember McCain in the 2008 campaign stating how he'd have no problem keeping U.S. troops in for another 100 years?)

Get over it, John.  You lost.  Obama won.  You got your surge.  Iraq war is over.  But hey, if one of your boys wins next November, you'll have the Iran war you've always wanted to keep you amused.

In the meantime, go plant a garden.


Koch-fueled Americans for Prosperity takes credit for bullying the gop into climate denial
Religious right bigot and Prop 8 supporter Rick Warren weighs in on Christopher Hitchens death

What a jerk.

@RickWarren: Hitchens has died. I loved & prayed for him &grieve his loss. He knows the Truth now.
Just wait until people like Rick Warren find out the truth, that God is not a bigot, nor is he a big fan of people who are, and even less of a fan of people who cloak their hatred and intolerance in His name.
The Catholic church really needs to spend a lot more time focusing on their internal child rape problems that span the globe than causing problems for others. The church doesn't even come close to owning any moral high ground position, so it's best that they move on to real problems such as corruption within their own organization and helping the poor.
For embarrassing Texas and Texans in the eyes of the world, Governor Perry is getting a $92,400-a-year raise.  No wonder two-thirds of the American people think politicians, like lobbyists, used car salesmen, and telemarketers, have 'low' or 'very low' ethical standards. 

This is the guy that wants to get rid of your Social Security.
Steven D: Political Lemmings

This just in via:

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged six former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud on Friday for misrepresenting their holdings of high-risk mortgage loans.

The SEC is targeting three former executives of Freddie Mac, including chief executive officer Daniel Mudd, chief risk officer Enrico Dallavecchia and executive vice president of single-family mortgage business Thomas Lund.

The agency is also going after three former executives of Fannie Mae: CEO Richard Syron, executive vice president and chief business officer Patricia Cook and executive vice president for the single family guarantee business Donald Bisenius.

The SEC is seeking financial penalties against them, but did not specify an amount.

The headline for this really caught my eye, but there it is "financial penalties," big, freaking deal. They'll pretend to be ashamed, then pay their fines with federal TARP funds that came from our tax dollars.

There have been 5610 protesters arrested worldwide as of today.

Protesters: 5,610 Bankers: 0.

Charles Pierce: The Unpaid Bills of the Iraq War

Someone from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division needs to explain to this racist moron that lots of stuff has historical roots, but they're still civil rights violations. "A white Ohio landlord is calling on a state civil rights commission to reconsider its ruling that she discriminated against a black girl when she posted a "White Only" sign at the pool of one of her Cincinnati properties. ... "I'm not a bad person," Jamie Hein told ABC News Thursday. "I don't have any problem with race at all. It's a historical sign." ... Even though the 1931 Alabama sign reads, "Public Swimming Pool, White Only," Hein insists that the pool is private and everyone must ask her permission before using it. ... Michael Gunn, a 40-year-old tenant of Hein's, filed the complaint and moved from the building to "avoid subjecting their family to further humiliating treatment," according to a commission report. ... "We invited my daughter, who is African-American, to visit and swim in the pool for the Memorial Day weekend," Gunn wrote to the commission. "The owner, Jamie Hein, accused my daughter of making the pool 'cloudy' because she used chemicals in her hair. Days later, she posted a sign on the gate to the pool which reads, 'Public Swimming Pool, White Only.'" ... Hein was scheduled to formally request that commissioners reconsider their ruling Thursday. ... "I've never said anything to that child," Hein insisted. "If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights. It goes both ways.""

Did you ever notice that the people who scream the loudest about banning sharia law before it get's a toehold in 'Murkan society are the same people who want to impose their version of Christianist religious law on the rest of us? "There are perhaps no more frightening two words than 'Sharia Law,' at least for the right-wing Christian conservatives among us. What does 'Sharia Law' actually mean? Does it mean that all non-virgins will automatically be stoned to death? Does it mean that I will have to wear a burqa? ... Of course, Bachmann ignores the fact that no one is suggesting that the US Constitution be usurped by Sharia Law. On the other hand, Bachmann herself is suggesting that the Constitution be usurped by Christian law, only in her version, it won't be limited to just Christians. All American citizens will have to abide by her version of Christian law."
"From the department of inappropriate attacks, a challenger to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) accused her of supporting access to Plan B for minors because she is not married. ... In an email to supporters Thursday, State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R), slammed Cantwell for her support of making Plan B available to minors -- a policy recently supported by the FDA but overturned by the Obama administration. According to the Seattle Times, the email noted that Cantwell is unmarried and votes frequently - as the email put it - to "undermine the role of parents in child rearing.""

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined in, saying, "Frankly, I will not be able to support a package that doesn't include the pipeline." Republicans claim that the oil pipeline will be a job creator, but the only independent analysis into the pipeline found that just 500 to 1400 temporary construction jobs will be created, "with a negative long-term economic impact."

In order to attain its beloved pipeline, the GOP is willing to raise taxes on 113 million households next year, costing the average family $1000. At the same time, the GOP adamantly refused to consider a surtax on the very wealthiest Americans. This has become the standard operating procedure for the GOP this year: exploit expiring provisions (or the imminent expiration of U.S. credit) to force through a conservative agenda. In this instance, it's middle-class taxpayers or the environment that suffers if Republicans get their way.


Congress Cuts Winter Heating Aid For The Poor While Boosting The Defense Budget


Wonkette: Nobody Likes GOP Or Obama, So Third Party Hero Will Waste Nation's Time



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