Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday April 24

I Have Friends That Eat Rice and Beans

There are many gems in the history of Sean Hannity quotes, but this may be the best of the best. A diamond in the rough.



Mexican immigration into the U.S. is so slow it may now be in reverse. A new study from the Pew Hispanic Center finds that, "In the five years from 2005 to 2010, about 1.4m Mexicans immigrated to the US – exactly the same number of Mexican immigrants and their US-born children who quit America and moved back or were deported to Mexico."


Despite pious promises of an earmark ban, 65 House Republican freshman have requested bringing back a form of earmarks — pushing for a loophole to allow them to bring home the same pork for their own districts most decried in their 2010 campaigns.


Romney Spokesman Under Fire For Tweets Also Edits His Own Wikipedia Page | Last week, we noted that Mitt Romney's new foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell had a colorful life on Twitter, often dispensing biting comments about political opponents, and women in particular. Grennell has since scrubbed much of his online presence, deleting over 800 tweets and taking down his person website. Now, Buzz Feed's Andrew Kaczynski points out (on Twitter) that Grenell edits his own Wikipedia page. The edit page shows that most of the edits have to basic biographical information, such as his job history. But the editing suggest someone concerned about their public perception online, and thus someone who should probably have known better than, or saw nothing wrong with, making derogatory comments about MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's femininity, for example.


ConocoPhillips is the first of the Big Five oil companies to report quarterly profits, taking $2.9 billion in profits for the first few months of 2012.

Beginning May 1, 2012, the oil giant is splitting into two companies, and it has sold billions in assets over the past few years. As Conoco prepares for a major overhaul, it continues to finance the campaigns of mostly-Republican politicians, helping ensure billions in tax breaks.

Here are the major takeaways from Conoco's profits:

Conoco made a $2.9 billion profit this quarter, compared to $3 billion it made Q1 in 2011. Reuters reports this is due to decreased output after a spill in China and the company selling off assets for the upcoming split.

Conoco paid an 18 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011, and an average 27 percent between 2008-2010.

The company spent 66 percent of its Q1 profits — or $1.9 billion — buying back its own stock, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives.

Conoco is sitting on $3.7 billion in cash reserves.

Conoco spent $20,557,043 on lobbying in 2011, making it the sixth-largest overall spender in 2011 and the top oil and gas company.

The company has donated over $300,000 to federal candidates for the 2012 cycle, 91 percent going to Republicans. Its PAC has spent $60,000 since January. Recipients include Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Sen. John Barasso (R-WY), Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

The outgoing CEO James Mulva received a $27.7 million salary, a 55 percent jump in 2011. Mulva has contributed at least $20,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and to Minority Leader Mitch (R-KY) McConnell and Senate Finance Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Conoco uses its billions in profits to protect its tax breaks and finance policies benefiting the oil industry, primarily aimed at Republican players. Conoco and its CEO — who received an $8.5 million raise — are doing quite well, even as Americans struggle to pay higher gas costs.

ExxonMobil and Shell are the next companies to report their profits this Thursday.


Here is a very important regional political update that you will not want to miss: famous dingbat and U.S. Senate candidate Orly Taitz has been snubbed for the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly. Orly Taitz has considered all the reasons why this might be the case, and Republican racism against white people is the obvious culprit. This mostly irrelevant wingnut endorsement has gone to some guy "Al Ramirez," see. So let Orly Taitz, speaker of Spanish, go ahead and translate the taco talk for you: "Ramirez" is a Hispanic name. CONSPIRACY. READ MORE »


"Surfin' Congressman" Dana Rohrabacher is apparently up to his old tricks, just cold bashin' Afghanistan and explaining why Hamid Karzai needs to let more warlords help him run their gubmint, and Karzai, he is not pleased by this, and he will not let Rohrabacher into the country! Hey, Ol' Clown Shoes can't get no respect!

But did you know poor Rohrabacher — much loved in Orange County, California, for being hilariously drunk all the time, including almost sliding from his barstool one night at the same time your editrix had the rare privilege of speaking the never-before uttered words, "Congressman Rohrabacher, this is Jan from the Vandals" — is also a huge Taliban lover and has been writing odes on their beauty forever? Did you know he once said of the Taliban "These gentlemen are the equivalent of America's founding fathers"? Cause yeah, he totally did that. READ MORE »


The 2012 Social Security Trustees Report was issued the other day and — surprise — Social Security isn't bankrupt like everyone in the press and in the Republican Party (and Democratic Party in some cases) are telling you.

The most important take-away points from the 2012 Trustees Report will be that Social Security has a large and growing surplus; that without any Congressional action, Social Security will continue to pay benefits to America's eligible working families for decades; and that with modest legislated increases in revenue, it will continue to pay those benefits for the next century and beyond.

Atrios noted that Mark Warner (D-VA) is lying about the Trustees Report, suggesting that it says the fund "runs dry" by 2033.


After 2033, if nothing is done to increase revenue (Congress will do something), Social Security will still be able to pay out 75-80 percent of benefits — calculated based on 2033 money, which is actually more than people are being paid in benefits right now. And that's if NOTHING is done to increase revenue before then. In other words SOCIAL SECURITY IS RUNNING A SURPLUS AND EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE!!!11!!1

Don't believe the myths. And for heaven's sake, vote against anyone who wants to privatize the system.


Sanford, Florida police chief Bill Lee resigned today for his handling of the investigation, or a lack thereof, of the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, however the city council has rejected his resignation.

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