The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scoffing at the suggestion that “everything is on the table” in budget negotiations between the Obama administration and congressional leaders, Frank said, “The military budget is not on the table. The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch.”
That’s right James Verone says he has no medical insurance. He has a growth of some sort on his chest, two ruptured disks and a problem with his left foot. He is 59 years old and with no job and a depleted bank account. He thought jail was the best place he could go for medical care and a roof over his head. Verone is hoping for a three-year sentence.
Only in the USA.
Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator and likely presidential candidate, wants all abortions outlawed. He has even said that abortion providers should be “criminally charged.” Clearly, his compassion for zygotes, fetuses, and other squishy, jelly-like substances not fully alive is without question. When it comes to actual human beings, however, there is some doubt. He voted to cut every social and welfare program that came before him as senator, and not just those helping women and girls, but those helping the poor, immigrants, children in general, and, of course, education.
Mr. Santorum doesn’t hate all people, however. As a Republican, he loves rich people, white people, business people, and Christians. The real Americans, he calls them. There’s one other person he loves, too: his wife, Karen Santorum.
Karen was going to die if her pregnancy was not ended, if the fetus was not removed from her body. So, at 20 weeks, one month before what doctors consider ‘viability’, labor was artificially induced and the infected fetus was delivered. It died shortly thereafter.
“my account was hacked” usually becomes “my account of what happened was hacked to bits on closer inspection”.
Dutifully writing down what government officials say and then publishing it under cover of anonymity is what media figures in D.C. refer to as “real reporting.” But the most hilarious part of this orgy of cowardly anonymity comes at the end, when Politico explains what is supposedly the prime defect in Hersh’ journalism:
Hersh has faced criticism for his heavy reliance on anonymous sources, but New Yorker editor David Remnick has repeatedly said he stands by his reporter’s work.
Rape is often called the ultimate violation of self. A crime of absolute contempt for personal integrity, leaving the women caught in its wreckage to labor under the trauma for years. What reprehensible event could possibly have the same consequences as the spiritual dead zone rape victims are left in?
Well, getting a flat tire, according to Kansas state Rep. Pete DeGraaf.
Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down—and right into a top lobbying job at Comcast-NBC.
The news, reported this afternoon by the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico, comes after the hugely controversial merger of Comcast and NBC earlier this year. At the time, Baker objected to FCC attempts to impose conditions on the deal and argued that the "complex and significant transaction" could "bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms."
Four months after approving the massive transaction, Attwell Baker will take a top DC lobbying job for the new Comcast-NBC entity, according to reports.
The response of groups like Free Press was expected in its anger, but not without merit. "No wonder the public is so nauseated by business as usual in Washington—where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows," said Free Press’ Craig Aaron.
While Rehberg calls himself poor and complains that he’s struggling, the fact is that he is, as of 2009 records, the 14th richest member of the House of Representatives. Opensecrets.org estimates that his average net worth in 2009 was $31 million. If he’s struggling on that, one has to wonder if he’s really a good arbiter of what’s fair for Main Street America.
A former Belgian bishop at the center of one of the Roman Catholic church’s biggest pedophile scandals said Thursday that he had abused two nephews and insisted he had no plans to abandon the priesthood.
Earlier this week, the Vatican used its new rules to crack down on sex abuse by high-ranking churchmen by ordering Vangheluwe to no longer work as a priest while officials determine his punishment.
Over the weekend, Belgian bishops reported that Vangheluwe had merely been sent outside the country for spiritual and psychological counseling.
On February 16, Borders Group Inc. (BGP) filed for Chapter 11 protection and announced it would close about 30% of its stores nationwide in the coming weeks (In re Borders Group Inc., 11-10614, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York). Borders is/was currently the second-largest book chain after Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS),
Six thousand people – 6,000 – out of work.
Meanwhile, the President and CEO is asking for $8.3 million in executive bonuses (including nearly $1.7 million for himself).
Well, if they didnt give him the bonus he might leave and ruin another company!
YouTube has pulled a video made by Apple employees for the “It Gets Better” project, replacing it with a still image that said the video violated “YouTube’s policy on depiction of harmful activities.”
Youtube, you’re a bunch of fucking pricks.
Newly released Federal Aviation Administration documents and audiotapes shed a scary new light on a bizarre incident late last year during which U.S. Senator James Inhofe landed his Cessna on a closed runway at a south Texas airport, scattering construction workers who ran for their lives as the politician’s plane hopscotched over them and six vehicles.
Boyd also said that Inhofe showed little contrition following the close call. “He come over here and started being like, ‘What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace.’”
Using the tragedy in Christchurch as a means to advance the corporate agenda of offshore entertainment giants is shameful, to say the least. It’s hard to imagine the depravity at work in the mind of the big content lobbyist who decided that hitching a ride on emergency legislation to address the horrific consequences of the Christchurch quake was a good idea.
Juan E. Mendez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said his request for a private interview with Manning was denied by the Defense Department on Friday. Instead, he has been told that any visit must be supervised.
Mendez has been seeking to determine whether Manning’s confinement at a military brig at Quantico amounts to torture, following complaints about his treatment and an incident in which the private was forced to strip in his cell at night and sleep without clothing.
“My request . . . is not onerous: for my part, a monitored conversation would not comply with the practices that my mandate applies in every country and detention center visited,” Mendez said in a statement Monday, noting that at least 18 countries have allowed unmonitored interviews.
A simple conclusion: yes, it’s indeed torture and the US knows it.
Since taking office in January, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has stripped public workers of their collective bargaining rights, proposed wage cuts to local government employees, and insisted that his “state is broke” and that its public workers are overpaid. But Walker applies a different standard to himself.
Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reveals that Walker is using state funds to pay more than $81,500 a year to the 26-year-old son of a major campaign donor with no college degree and two drunken-driving convictions.
Despite having almost no management experience, UW Madison college dropout Brian Deschane now oversees state environmental and regulatory issues and manages dozens of Commerce Department employees. After only two months on the job, Deschane has already received a 26 percent pay raise and a promotion.
Transocean Ltd. had its "best year in safety performance" despite the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig that left 11 dead and oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s largest offshore-rig company said in a securities filing Friday.
Accordingly, Transocean’s executives received two-thirds of their target safety bonus. Safety accounts for 25% of the equation that determines the yearly cash bonuses, along with financial factors including new rig contracts.
General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
All these poor, poor corporations, being driven out of business by oppressive tax schemes. Thank goodness there’s a whole raft of business-friendly politicians finally installed in office who can give them the tax breaks they so desperately need to get the economy back on track!
3.2 billion = 64,000 50k/yr jobs.
Tell GE to take a hike, hire 64,000 people to build infrastructure, and get some of that 50k back in income taxes.
Rep. Christopher Lee is a married Republican congressman serving the 26th District of New York. But when he trolls Craigslist’s "Women Seeking Men" forum, he’s Christopher Lee, "divorced" "lobbyist" and "fit fun classy guy." One object of his flirtation told us her story.
The emails aren’t especially interesting, but they point to Rep. Lee’s hypocrisy, given his anti-woman, anti-gay voting record.
Rep. Chris Lee, weeks into his second term as Congressman for New York’s 26th District, has resigned the office.
He says he “made profound mistakes”…
And as a result, the OkCupid web post about why you should never pay for a dating site can now only be found in Google Cache
Web developers have tried to compensate for this problem by creating IPv6 — a system that recognizes six-digit IP addresses rather than four-digit ones.
Aha! Today I learned there are only 9999 devices on the entire internet! Hooray for smarty-pants web developers who will soon expand it to 999,999 devices! Enough for everyone! Hooray!
Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan, became champion of the 2011 Miss America pageant tonight. She has deep thoughts on foreign policy and radical transparency.
She won after strutting in a black bikini and a white evening gown, playing “White Water Chopped Sticks” on piano and telling the audience that when it comes to the website Wikileaks, security should come before public access to government information.
“You know when it came to that situation, it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation, we have to focus on security first and then people’s right to know, because it’s so important that everybody who’s in our borders is safe and so we can’t let things like that happen, and they must be handled properly,” she said.
So they are feeling unjustly blamed for the actions of an extremist… Maybe they can ask Muslims for advice on how to deal with that.”
You think those days are over? Think again!
In a rather astounding example of burying the lede, the Washington Post writes today about how many airports are considering using private contractors, instead of the TSA, to handle airport security. Then the Post interviews the incoming House Transportation chairman, who trashes the TSA and is pushing airports to switch to the private contractors.
Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), the incoming chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has written to 200 of the nation’s largest airports, urging them to consider switching to private companies.
The TSA was “never intended to be an army of 67,000 employees,” he said.
“If you look at [the TSA's] performance, have they ever stopped a terrorist? Anyone can get through,” Mica said in an interview. “We’ve been very lucky, very fortunate. TSA should focus on its mission: setting up the protocol, adapting to the changing threats and gathering intelligence.”
What the Post doesn’t tell you, until the end of the story, is that one of the big private contractors is in the House Transportation chairman’s own district.
Covenant, based in Mica’s home district in northeastern coastal Florida, has airport screening contracts in Sioux Falls, S.D., Tupelo, Miss., and seven small airports in northern and eastern Montana. Its deal at San Francisco International is by far its largest. Covenant employs nearly 1,100 people in the bay area, who make up nearly all of its 1,150 workers. The last four-year contract, from 2006 to 2010, totaled $314 million. A new contract has been put out for competitive bids. Meanwhile, Covenant is operating on a two-month contract ending in February.
Um, kind of a relevant fact that deserves to be highlighted a tad earlier.
For millions of Americans the economic recovery can’t get here soon enough. In 2010 a record 40.3 million Americans received food stamps. That’s a 20 percent jump from 2009.
This Oklahoma family of five saw no choice but to apply for food stamps. Their $500 benefit lasts two to three weeks but hardly four.
Just before midnight on the last day of every month, Sheri and her husband make a trip to the grocery store to beat the midnight rush.
“We get excited,” says Sheri. “Like, ‘Oh, we’re going to go shopping tonight!’”
On the first of the month food stamp debit cards are automatically refilled with benefit money from the government. On an average night between midnight and 3 a.m., a store could bring in about $3000. On the first of the month that number is 10 times as much with almost everyone using food stamps.
Hard times can be good times — for the aggressively avaricious. Where others see pain, they see opportunity. In desperation, they delight. The grimmer the economic outlook, the more ghastly their grabbing.
And who grabbed the most outrageously in 2010? We offer below our annual take on America’s ten greediest of the year.
Earlier this week, we noted how the owners of the various hiphop blogs and Torrent-Finder, the torrent search engine, that were seized by Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group still hadn’t been provided the details on why their domains were seized. However, that’s no longer the case. A partial affidavit and the seizure warrant for those sites has been released, and it highlights how ridiculously clueless Homeland Security is on this issue (you can read the whole thing at the bottom of this post). What’s troubling isn’t just that the folks who made the decision to seize these domain names don’t seem to know what they’re talking about, but that they seem to have relied almost exclusively on the MPAA for their (lack of) knowledge on the subject at hand.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.
Translation: Bank of America knows they’re next in line with Wikileaks, and threatened us to stop all transactions with us, and we caved immediately.
After a week of waiting in line, rotating shifts and Thanksgiving Day in a Best Buy parking lot, the ‘First Family of Black Friday’ finally reached the inside of the store.
Tina Thain and Lorie Davenport were the first in line outside the Best Buy near Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg. Lined up on November 17, Thain and Davenport, were determined to be the first to get their hands on items.
The Davenports purchased a Nook (electronic reader), a wireless router, gift cards, DVDs and a label maker.
She said they accomplished their goals and had a great experience during the week.
That label maker made the whole thing worth it, I’m sure.