Month: September 2012

I Have a New Favorite Abraham Lincoln Quote

And it is from the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Stephen Douglas was arguing for “Popular Sovereignty”, where he argued that the new territories could ignore the Dredd Scott case, because they would be acting as independently of the Federal Government.

To say that Lincoln thought that this was weak tea is an understatement, because of the sweeping nature of the Supreme Court decision:

Has it not got down as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death?


Imagine that. People were making fun of homeopathy 170 years ago.

Paid Trolls

My “sh%$ty little blog” doesn’t rate them, but Barry Ritholtz problems, particularly in his posts detailing Megan McCardle being a stooge of the Koch brothers, is something I’ve seen before.

I do believe that there are people being paid to troll his comment section.

I believe this because I am an alumni of Netslaves, where the sysop Patrick “Splat” Neeman was getting web design business thrown his way by Lauren “Uncle Meat” Bandler, and so was allowed to troll with impunity.

It destroyed the board and the community.

It’s their goal.

H/t for the xkcd  for the cartoon, which does not obscure the naughty word.

Tommy “Toast” Thompson

Bummer of a Birthmark, Hal

You know, when you talk to constituents you get taped.

So if you want to pander to teabaggers your statements saying that you are the best person to get rid of medicare and medicaid will end up online:

Already down almost 10 points in the PollTracker Average, Tommy Thompson has now shown up in a video from a Tea Party meeting in June bragging that who better than him to “do away with the Medicare and Medicaid”.

BTW, I’m watching his debate with Tammy Baldwin right now, and I’m wondering if he if he was always this dense, or if he’s doddering a bit in his old age.

He really sounds out of it.

Yes, Making a Tort a Criminal Matter is Stupid

I can think of no better example how how our relentless criminalization of our IP laws creating an environment where prosecutors and IP holders run roughshod over our rights and the presumption of innocence than the current clusterf%$# that is the Kim Dotcom persecution:

Officials in New Zealand’s government apparently believed the law gave them the right to spy on MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom because he was a foreign national.

They were wrong.

In New Zealand today, Prime Minister John Key apologized to DotCom for the spying conducted against him by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

The United States has accused DotCom of criminal copyright violations. In January, New Zealand police raided his home and arrested him. Just ahead of the raid, the GCSB began collecting intelligence against DotCom to see if he posed any danger to the police who would later swoop in by helicopter to arrest him.

[It] Turns out that the GCSB isn’t allowed to conduct such surveillance on New Zealand citizens, and the agency was under the false impression that DotCom, who was born in Germany, was not yet a citizen.

This meant that the spying was unlawful.

If you don’t think that they were breaking the law knowingly at the explicit request of the FBI, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

What a Whiny Bitch, Todd Akin Edition

He’s whining about how Claire McCaskill was mean to him in the debates:

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin compared the recent debate performance of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill to that of a “wildcat,” saying she is worried about her reelection chances.

McCaskill came on strong during their first debate last week, criticizing Akin’s earlier suggestion that pregnancy “rarely” results from “legitimate rape” because women’s bodies have a way of shutting down conception. McCaskill said his views were extreme and out of the mainstream.

“The first two minutes, wow, it’s like somebody let a wildcat out of the cage,” Akin told a small group of supporters and activists as his statewide bus tour stopped Wednesday evening in Rolla, a rural college town between St. Louis and Springfield. “She was just furious and attacking in every different direction, which was a little bit of a surprise to us.”

You know, you’ve been spouting this crap for years, and now you are whining about someone telling people what you say? PuhLease!!!

BTW, he also came out in favor of paying women less for the same work.

It’s simple: If you don’t like people calling you out for saying stupid sh%$, then stop saying stupid sh%$.

But It’s Not Happening Here

It looks like the rest of the industrial world is seriously address the risks and effects of high frequency trading:

After years of emulating the flashy United States stock markets, countries around the globe are now using America as a model for what they don’t want to look like.

Industry leaders and regulators in several countries including Canada, Australia and Germany have adopted or proposed limits on high-speed trading and other technological developments that have come to define United States markets.

The flurry of international activity is particularly striking because regulators have been slow to act in the United States, where trading firms and investors have been hardest hit by a series of market disruptions, including the flash crash of 2010 and the runaway trading in August by Knight Capital that cost it $440 million in just hours. While the Securities and Exchange Commission is hosting a round table on the topic on Tuesday, the agency has not proposed any major new rules this year.

Here is the kicker, unlike the claims of the HFT mafia, it turns out that markets run better when they have limits placed on them:

The broadest and fastest changes have come out of Canada, where this spring regulators began increasing the fees charged to firms that flood the market with orders. The research and trading firm ITG found that the change had already made trading more efficient by reducing the crush of data burdening the market’s computer systems.

Now Canadian trading desks are preparing for rules that will come into effect on Oct. 15 and curtail the growth of the sophisticated trading venues known as dark pools that have proliferated in the United States. While the regulation has been hotly debated, many Canadian bankers and investors have said they don’t want to go any further down the road that has taken the United States from having one major exchange a decade ago to having 13 official exchanges and dozens of dark pools today.

It’s time to realize that most financial innovation is not an advance in the art, but rather an exercise in fraud and rent seeking, and we need to stop it.

Because They are Our Terrorists, Dammit

The State Department has dropped the MEK from its terrorist organization list:

The US has removed the dissident Iranian group Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) from its terror blacklist.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally removed the group after sending a classified opinion to Congress earlier in September.

The organisation had been designated a terror group by the US since 1997.

The MEK led a guerrilla campaign against the US-backed Shah of Iran in the 1970s and also opposed Iran’s clerical leaders who replaced the Shah.

Also known as the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran, the group insists it has renounced violence.

The state department said its decision had been taken in view of the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of any confirmed acts of terrorism by the organisation for more than a decade and its co-operation in the closure of their paramilitary base in Iraq.

I guess that all that lobbying money that they spread around Washington’s elite lobbyists, money which was technically a felony to take, paid off.

More Google™ Adsense™ Mishugas

So, I confirm a blog post, because the new blogger interface, and I see this piece of sh%$ add from that piece of sh%$ Andrew Breitbart.

I guess that it’s better that they are wasting their money on this, than on something that might do them some good, but the folks at “The Google” desperately need to fix their algorithm.

Please note: once again, that I do not vet, nor do I endorse any ad that appears on my site, and I reserve the right to mock both the ads that appear on my site, as well as the advertisers.

Also, please note, this should be in no way construed as an inducement or a request for my reader(s) to click on any ad that they would not otherwise be inclined to investigate further. This would be a violation of the terms of service for Google Adsense.

It’s Called Projection………………

The reason that Republicans are pushing voter ID is straightforward, they don’t want n*****s to vote. The descendants of “Bull”Connor run the party now.

But there is another element to this, that of projection: The Republicans believe that Democrats engage in vote fraud, because they themselves routinely engage in vote fraud, largely through the absentee ballot process.

In Michigan, we have Thaddeus McCotter’s staffers charged with voter fraud over his crudely forged reelection petitions. And some context:

This incident perfectly highlights the dirty little secret about election fraud. Election fraud overwhelmingly happens on the campaign side, not the voter side. It’s far easier – and more rewarding – to cheat while working from within the system than it is to commit in-person voter fraud. The GOP is legislating against cases of voter fraud in which a person would have to give someone else’s name at the correct polling place in order to falsely vote once; meanwhile a Republican Congressman and his staff fabricated 1,756 signatures so that he could run illegally.

And this is the truth about so many Republican policies: rules and regulations are put in place to scapegoat people who aren’t causing problems. In Florida, drug testing welfare recipients showed that less than 3% of those receiving welfare were using drugs illegally, while that discriminatory testing cost the state nearly $120,000. Mitt Romney has evoked the “47% of people [who] pay no income tax,” conveniently ignoring that collecting income tax from all of those households would bring in less than than the president’s Buffett Rule which would slightly raise taxes for the country’s wealthiest. Reagan’s racist welfare queen myth still looms large in the conservative narrative, despite the fact that the Bush-era bailout for corrupt and irresponsible banks cost far more than years of welfare programs.

And then we have Western Massachusetts, the Republican part of the state, not so far where I went to college, where voter fraud in East Longmeadow is so blatant that the state was compelled to take over the election:

There’s just one Republican primary in East Longmeadow next month.

Marie Angelides and Jack Villamaino are vying for a Massachusetts State Representative seat.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin says his office will be running the election. That’s because fraud has found way into the race.

Experts say in a State Representative race, there’s often 30-45 absentee ballots that are filed. This summer, there’s been more than 400.

Galvin confirms that hundreds of the applications were never filled out by voters; somebody forged the applications and even changed the political parties of Democrats to Republican so they would receive an absentee ballot in the mail. The Boston Globe reports it’s widely believed the Villamaino’s campaign and an East Longmeadow clerk’s office employee are behind the scheme.

“I have had a substantial amount of experience in running elections. I cannot recall a single instance where i saw such a brazen effort to steal the rights or identities of voters, to change their party enrollments and in effect to steal their ballots,” Galvin said.

“I’m disheartened to see that in the political process,” former State Representative and District Court Judge Robert Howarth said.

You notice just how much easier it is to commit voter fraud with absentee ballots?

If Villamaino’s had been a bit less greedy, no one might have noticed.

And then again, there is Palm Beach, Florida, the home of the infamous butterfly ballot, and the epicenter of Republican vote fraud, where Virginia based Strategic Allied Consultants, one of Nathan Sproul’s network of voting fraud shops:

The Republican Party of Florida is dumping a firm it paid more than $1.3 million to register new voters, after Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher flagged 106 “questionable” registration applications turned in by the contractor this month.

Bucher asked the state attorney’s office to review the applications “in an abundance of caution” because she said her staff had questions about similar-looking signatures, missing information and wrong addresses on the forms.

The state GOP hired Strategic Allied Consultants of Glen Allen, Va., for “voter registration services” and get-out-the-vote activities. The firm got identical payments of $667,598 in July and August.

“When we learned today about the instances of potential voter registration fraud that occurred in Palm Beach County, we immediately informed the Republican National Committee that we were terminating the contract with the voter registration vendor we hired at their request because there is no place for voter registration fraud in Florida,” said RPOF Executive Director Mike Grissom late Tuesday.

An employee of the company said no one was available to comment Tuesday evening.

Bucher said some of the applications she questioned were for new voter registrations while others were for address or party affiliation changes or requests for new voter cards, Bucher said.

Seriously, if the DoJ seriously went after real voter fraud, half the Republican consultants in the nation would be under indictment.

It’s like the old days of the cold war:  You knew what the USSR was doing, because they would accuse us of doing it.

Do Your F%$#ing Job

Yet another reason not to link to the AP, they have decided that if you lie enough, they won’t cover it, because it’s too much work:

An editor for the Associated Press said in a panel discussion on Wednesday that during coverage of the Republican primaries, fact-checkers for the organization would have to limit themselves to a “quota” of misstatements by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) during debates.

According to the Washington Post, the AP’s Jim Drinkard confessed that the sheer volume of factually inaccurate assertions, dubious claims and stretchings of the truth threatened to “overload” the stories of the debates.

“We had to have a self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota in some of those debates,” Drinkard told the audience at the National Press Club on Wednesday. Otherwise, Bachmann would have become the story. Of all the Republican candidates who ran, said Drinkard, “Often she was just more prone to statements that just didn’t add up.

It’s called doing your f%$#ing job. When a politician lies, or a politician is so f%$#ing delusional that they cannot separate fact from fiction, this is news.

If you don’t want to cover the news, go and work at your parents’ dry cleaning shop.

Things That Makes Me Want to Go Long on Guillotine Manufactures

Larissa Faw, a self-styled expert on millennial as well as a millennial herself, has identified the cause of the fact that her generation is not buying cars. It’s because they want a brand new car with all the bells and whistles, or nothing at all:

The reason Millennials are turning away from cars is simply because no one is giving them vehicles they want. It’s not about car-sharing trends affecting city-dwelling youth or that they are avoiding gas guzzlers in order to save the environment. “[Millennials] expect you to be green and to do right by the environment,” says Anne Hubert of Scratch, the consulting unit of Viacom. “You don’t get extra credit for doing what you are supposed to do.”

Today’s teens and Millennials are often called the entitled generation for a reason. They expect to drive their very own fully-loaded luxury vehicle with retractable roof and multi-speaker audio system. If they can’t have their specific dream car, then they don’t want anything and won’t waste time getting a driver’s license. Past generations of young drivers, by comparison, were satisfied with any piece of metal that moved.

My brother and I, like many other Millennials, weren’t willing to downgrade, compromise, or to be forced to drive a parent’s vehicle. I received my license at age seventeen only after I had my red convertible sitting in the driveway. My brother refused to even look at the driver’s manual until he received his BMW at age eighteen. It is this sense of entitlement that is reshaping how automakers market and develop vehicles to appeal to Millennials. “It’s an entire soup-to-nuts makeover. The old recipe isn’t going to work,” says Hubert.

Just because your parents have have more money than common sense, and you are a self-entitled spoiled brat does not make this the normal state of affairs in America.

The sense of entitlement, and the complete lack of awareness of those less fortunate than her, makes me think that she must somehow be related to Mitt Romney.

H/t Atrios.