Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday January 24

I wholeheartedly agree.
Who would ever guess that someone working for Rupert Murdoch was against law and order? In this case, the police report details how the Murdoch reporters lied to police during an investigation of a murdered girl. The reporters seemed to have a strange fascination with delaying and confusing the investigation. Imagine how any of Murdoch's news outlets would report on such a scandal if it was a competitor. How twisted does someone have to be to drag a family through such an ordeal when the police were trying to solve a murder? As someone who lived through the untimely death of a brother, I can say that dragging out the conclusion is very painful. Murdoch owes that family a personal apology followed by a lot of money for such cruelty. When it's so obvious that the sleaze was so widespread within the newspaper, you have to look at the top management and put the blame there. They created the environment which made this all possible. Murdoch and his team are as slimy as they come.
It's people like this who love Romney and who are backing him. Of course, this is also the type of work Romney did himself while at Bain. To them, buying another 15,000 sq. foot mansion or renting out another yacht is normal. They hide their money in offshore accounts and dump companies and employees to help fund their next party. Great people, really. They're a real credit to society and add so many minimum wage jobs while they skim off millions. Take away the parties and this is Romney's life except instead of wanting to buy a sports team, he wants to buy the Oval Office. This is one time where I'm going to agree with Rick Perry when he referred to private equity types like Romney and his type as "vulture capitalists."
So is chewing through companies, skimming fees and handing out minimum wage jobs really the best capitalism can offer? If that's the case it's no wonder so many people question the system. We have to do a lot more than this if we're going to save the middle class. It's wonderful for the playboy class but not so much for everyone else.

Who knew being unemployed was so profitable:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released tax records on Tuesday indicating he will pay $6.2 million in taxes on a total of $45.2 million in income over the years 2010 and 2011.

Bowing to increasing political pressure to provide more detail about his vast wealth, the former private equity executive released tax returns indicating he and his wife, Ann, paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010. They expect to pay a 15.4 percent rate when they file their returns for 2011.

Romney's tax rate is below that of most wage-earning Americans because most of his income, as outlined in more than 500 pages of tax documents, flows from capital gains on investments.

Under the U.S. tax code, capital gains are taxed at 15 percent, compared with a top tax rate of 35 percent for wage earners.

He closed his Swiss bank account shortly after UBS named names, in case you were wondering.

How many of you lucky duckies paid 13% on your income last year? Ahh, patriotism.


Remember, they hate us for our freedom

A little more than three days time served for each victim:

A Marine sergeant who told his troops to "shoot first, ask questions later" in a raid that killed unarmed Iraqi women, children and elderly pleaded guilty Monday in a deal that will carry no more than three months confinement and end the largest and longest-running criminal case against U.S. troops from the Iraq War.

The agreement marked a stunning and muted end to the case once described as the Iraq War's version of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. The government failed to get one manslaughter conviction in the case that implicated eight Marines in the deaths of 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha in 2005.

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 31, of Meriden, Conn., who was originally accused of unpremeditated murder, pleaded guilty to negligent dereliction of duty for leading his troops to disregard rules of combat when they raided homes after a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy, killing one Marine and wounding two others.




At long last, someone will face a waterboarding related prosecution

So much fail:

The Justice Department on Monday charged a former Central Intelligence Agency officer with disclosing classified information to journalists about the capture and brutal interrogation of a suspected member of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah — adding another chapter to the Obama administration's unprecedented crackdown on leaks.

In a criminal complaint filed on Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused John Kiriakou, the former C.I.A. agent, of disclosing to several journalists the identity of a C.I.A. analyst who worked on a 2002 operation that seized and interrogated Abu Zubaydah, including using the suffocation technique known as waterboarding. The journalists included one at The New York Times, the complaint charged.

"Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of C.I.A. officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security," said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a statement. "Today's charges reinforce the Justice Department's commitment to hold accountable anyone who would violate the solemn duty not to disclose such sensitive information."

Mr. Kiriakou, 47, played an important role in the fight against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks. He is the sixth person to be charged in connection with accusations of leaking classified information by the Obama administration, more than under any previous president.

At the same time, the Justice Department cleared the American Civil Liberties Union of wrongdoing for its efforts, on behalf of defense attorneys representing Abu Zubaydah and other "high value" Qaeda suspects, to identify officials involved in their clients' interrogations. The attorneys were hoping to call such officials to testify in eventual trials to make the case that their clients should not be executed because they had been tortured while in the custody of the United States government.

Among other things, the F.B.I. complaint accuses Mr. Kiriakou of being a source for a June 2008 front-page Times article, written by reporter Scott Shane, that identified a C.I.A. employee who played a major role in the capture and interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and another high-level Qaeda figure, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

Robert Christie, a spokesman for The Times declined to discuss the matter. "We're not commenting at all," he said.

Remember, folks, in the national security state, the real criminals are not the torturers, but those who talk about the torturers. All the criminals who did this shit? We need to keep on walking, not look backwards, yadda yadda yadda. The people who talked about the criminals? Lock those fuckers up.


Rick Santorum suggests that when life gives you rape, you should make rapeanade


Just another isolated incident:

Ken Aden's Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Cat Killed; "LIBERAL" Written On Its Corpse

Here's what happened:  Jake Burris, campaign manager for Ken Aden, who is a Democrat running for Congress from Arkansas 3rd district, came home last night with his four kids. One of the children got to the front porch first, and found the family cat dead, its head bashed in, and the word "Liberal" scrawled on its side.

And no, my wingnut friends, this is not one of those "both sides do it," moments.

I could go on and do some windy speculating about the nature of right wing politics as a traditionalist reflex in the face of implacable and (life-by-life) incomprehensible technological, economic and social change.

But really, all I can think is that these folks are sick, and dangerous, and need to be out of politics as fast as we can get them gone.



This is great news, and completely shocking:

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that law enforcement authorities need a probable-cause warrant from a judge to affix a GPS device to a vehicle and monitor its every move.

The decision (.pdf) in what is arguably the biggest Fourth Amendment case in the computer age, rejected the Obama administration's position. The government had told the high court that it could even affix GPS devices on the vehicles of all members of the Supreme Court, without a warrant.

"We hold that the government's installation of a GPS device on a target's vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle's movements, constitutes a 'search,'" Justice Antonin Scalia wrote.

In a footnote, Scalia added that, "Whatever new methods of investigation may be devised, our task, at a minimum, is to decide whether the action in question would have constituted a 'search' within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Where, as here, the government obtains information by physically intruding on a constitutionally protected area, such a search has undoubtedly occurred."

In all, five justices said physically attaching the GPS device to the underside of a car amounted to trespassing and was a search requiring a warrant. The majority said "the present case does not require us to answer" whether police may employ GPS monitoring of a vehicle via an already onboard navigation system "without an accompanying trespass."

Props to whoever can come up with the best excuse for the Obama admin coming out on the appallingly wrong side of this.


republicans reveal candidates.jpg


OWS protesters.  We should now by now that the people we're dealing with simply don't care what you have to go through to keep their trough full just as long as you make damned sure you do keep it full and other than that, here's what they think of you courtesy of Julianne Escobedo Shepherd @ Alternet: Disgusting: Wall Streeters Mock Occupy and Poor People at Fancy Frat Party.


United Nations: U.S. Operation Of Gitmo Is 'Clear Breach Of International Law' | The United States' continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba is a "clear breach of international law," United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said today, Reuters reports. Only six trials have been completed in 10 years, while eight detainees have died at the prison. "While fully recognizing the right and duty of states to protect their people and territory from terrorist acts, I remind all branches of the U.S. government of their obligation under international human rights law to ensure that individuals deprived of their liberty can have the lawfulness of their detention reviewed before a court," Pillay said. "Where credible evidence exists against Guantanamo detainees, they should be charged and prosecuted. Otherwise, they must be released."


Colorado Republicans push bill to allow guns in elementary schools


Buffett On Why Romney Should Pay Higher Taxes: He's Just 'Shoving Around Money,' Not 'Straining His Back'



SOPA author breaks copyright law

Rep. Lamar Smith has unauthorized photo on his website Link

"I'm a pirate who belongs in prison."


The Onion for the win!


Blast from the 2008 Past: An Avowed Muslim


Bad news for Willard:

Mitt Romney's shady financial train-wreck just became an international train-wreck with a member of British parliament proposing legislation to close the Cayman Islands as a tax haven.

Can you imagine electing a president that is internationally well-known to be sheltering vast amounts of wealth in an off-shore territory?


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