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The Long Endless Wars 4 May 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Afghanistan War, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan.

Supporters of a Sunni religious party took part in a march through Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. As the insurgency of the Taliban and Al Qaeda spreads in Pakistan, senior American officials say they are increasingly concerned about new vulnerabilities for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. [Faisal Mahmood/Reuters]

This threat of the Pakistani nukes (yes and just how did they get nuclear capability?  hmm?) has hovered for weeks nearly into months.

Sorry to be blunt, I don’t see this as any different from Bush and Condi’s warmongering of promising us a “mushroom cloud” unless we invade Iraq and take out Saddam.  No different.

[S]everal current officials said that they were worried that insurgents could try to provoke an incident that would prompt Pakistan to move the weapons, and perhaps use an insider with knowledge of the transportation schedule for weapons or materials to tip them off. That concern appeared to be what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was hinting at in testimony 10 days ago before the House Appropriations Committee. Pakistan’s weapons, she noted, “are widely dispersed in the country.”

“There’s not a central location, as you know,” she added. “They’ve adopted a policy of dispersing their nuclear weapons and facilities.” She went on to describe a potential situation in which a confrontation with India could prompt a Pakistani response, though she did not go as far as saying that such a response could include moving weapons toward India — which American officials believed happened in 2002. Other experts note that even as Pakistan faces instability, it is producing more plutonium for new weapons, and building more production reactors.

David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security wrote in a recent report documenting the progress of those facilities, “In the current climate, with Pakistan’s leadership under duress from daily acts of violence by insurgent Taliban forces and organized political opposition, the security of any nuclear material produced in these reactors is in question.” The Pakistanis, not surprisingly, dismiss those fears as American and Indian paranoia, intended to dissuade them from nuclear modernization. But the government’s credibility is still colored by the fact that it used equal vehemence to denounce as fabrications the reports that Abdul Qadeer Khan, one of the architects of Pakistan’s race for the nuclear bomb, had sold nuclear technology on the black market.

In the end, those reports turned out to be true.

Buckle up!  But!, what is to worry, I see the S&P has “erased all losses from 2009”… up up and AWAY!  Into the wild blue yonder!



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

Prison officer zaps children with 50,000-volt stun gun ‘to show them what a day at work is like’

So to make the youngsters’ experience all the more realistic as they toured Franklin Correctional Institution during the lock-up’s ‘Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’, he decided to zap them with his 50,000-volt stun gun.

The jolt sent at least two of them sprawling to the floor, crying out in pain and clutching at agonising burns on their arms. One child ended up in hospital.

But 37-year-old Schmidt told officials who later fired him that he had only been trying to show the children – whose parents all work at the jail near Tallahassee – what a typical day involves while handling unruly inmates.

‘It wasn’t intended to be malicious, but educational,’ he explained to the St Petersburg Times.

‘The big shock came when I got fired.’

He should have gotten some psychiatrists to oversee his lesson, and he probably would have been fine.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

like this monster

From Lefever’s perspective, the notion that psychologists behaved in an unethical manner is absurd; a product, he believes, of a fundamental misunderstanding of the psychologists’ true ethical obligations. Because psychologists are supposed to be do-gooders, Lefever says, “the idea that they would be involved in producing some pain just seems at first blush to be something that would be wrong, because we ‘do no harm.’ ”

But in fact, says Lefever, “the ethical consideration is always to do the most good for the most people.”

Under this logic, after the horrors of Sept. 11 it was only natural for the psychologists involved in the SERE training to come forward and propose the application of those techniques to people detained by the U.S. government. The American people, after all, were under threat.

“America’s house was broken into on 9/11 and someone had to raise their hand to stop it,” says Lefever. “And early on there was a sense of desperation in intelligence-gathering.”

In the face of that desperation, says Lefever, psychologists felt a need to act. Though today there is intense controversy around the idea that harsh interrogation tactics produce accurate information, at the time, says Lefever, it was “absolutely clear” to the psychologists in the SERE programs that the harsh interrogation tactics worked.

“You know, the tough nut to crack, if you keep him awake for a week, you torture him, you tie his arms behind him, you have him on the ground — anyone can be brought beyond their ability to resist,” says Lefever.

In The Name Of America

And from Lefever’s perspective, it would actually have been unethical for them not to suggest the use of these tactics on the few individuals who might be in a position to provide information that could potentially save thousands of American lives.

“America is my client; Americans are who I care about,” says Lefever. “I have no fondness for the enemy, and I don’t feel like I need to take care of their mental health needs.”

marisacat - 4 May 2009

sorry it got stuck in moderation.

I just caught up to reading that [moving slow today] and had planned to post the link, if you did not…

marisacat - 4 May 2009

he should have called it “training”. And wear big gold crucifix.

2. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

military psycho in moderation, I think.

marisacat - 4 May 2009


out now..

3. marisacat - 4 May 2009

Who knows.. who cares… may they all claw each other to death.

Nearly a week after Democrats welcomed Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter into the fold and Republicans got acquainted with Specter’s prospective challenger, Pat Toomey, both sides are showing signs of buyer’s remorse.

Suddenly Specter’s path to reelection as a Democrat is looking far from certain, as progressives recoil at some aspects of Specter’s voting record and two prominent candidates refuse to bow out. On the GOP side, the more Republicans look at the Pennsylvania political landscape, the more questions they have about whether Toomey is the right fit against Specter in a general election.

Specter’s initial warm welcome from his new party has given way to a more tepid greeting, as liberal groups chafe at Specter’s continued opposition to key elements of the party agenda — like the $3.4 trillion budget, which he voted against last week, and the Employee Free Choice Act.

Specter did little to ingratiate himself with his new party colleagues over the weekend, when he disputed a Wall Street Journal report that said he promised President Barack Obama he would loyally support his agenda. …snip…

BooHooHooMan - 4 May 2009

This bit of leaking methane inside a Politico piece today

Orrin Hatch: White House may announce Supreme Court nominee this week

Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat who also previously chaired the committee, said Obama specifically requested potential appointees.

“The president called me around noon today to begin the consultation process on a new Supreme Court nominee,” said Specter in a statement. “He asked for recommendations and I told him I would think it over and get back to him.”

This is no normal consult.

marisacat - 4 May 2009

yeah and when I read it I remembered ol’ Bill C submitted his picks to Orrin for approval. Ginsberg and Breyer.

Maybe Orrin should come out of the closet, by the way.

Plus I read to day that Sessions goes ot ranking on Judiciary.

May they all claw… etc.

BooHooHooMan - 4 May 2009

{ I thought it was bad enough that Ed Rendell’s Transition Chair is indicted for bribing Bill Richardsons Admin in a State Funds management scam and is also targeted in New York for it by uomo…but shitting out in the open? In my backyard? LOL. }

A Not So EZ Pass for Rendell –
FBI Closing In on Rendell- Part I

About ten years ago, a guy and his wife bought a house on our street, joining a mixed bag where rational people had modest New Jersey summer/shore homes before the Big Bubble run up. He had bootstrapped his way in Life, decent peeps , a Dem then and remains so, not an op, but a small time lawyer who likes it that way, he runs a solo general practice… In Philly. He keeps his antennae up on politics tho, would rather be bitten by a shark while swimming at the shore than getting mixed up with certain man-eaters in suits in Philadelphia. My friendly neighborhood lawyer has taken pains- no small task in his line of work- to avoid the crooked sorts tied in with ex Philadelphia Mayor/ DNC Chair/ Pennsylvania Governor and Clinton Booster….Ed Rendell.

As you guys know, I don’t have such a friendly spot in my life for lawyers in general, let alone lawyers from Philadelphia, let alone Ed Rendell. I posted some squibs about Rendell during the PA State Senate mahoof Vince Fumo’s Federal trial— Fumo was Rendell’s right arm in the PA Senate, Rendell slobberring as a defense witness trying to get him off, The Feds had Vince nailed cold, the jury didn’t buy Rendell’s slobber and Fumo was convicted regardless..Nice try tho, Ed.

Anyways, Sea Bass are running up the coast now, perhaps as things unfold, the scaly equivalent of the aspens turning. So neighbor Brewski-on-the-Boat calls me up to see if I wanna go out next weekend.. Other plans, I regret.
Anyways, he knows I’m Dem-free , I know he’s no op, we talk.
I ask him about any new dish out of Philly on Specter and Rendell and Fumo…..He says, ” Of course there’s the Turnpike thing you know- “

I did not: “What? His plans to privatize it?” I asked.
No no no NO, he says, somewhat surprised given my politics. The Haven’t You Heard tone when asking in a friendly way whether I was living under a rock. “We all are” I said. Anyways….
My Honest -but-Couldn’t-Grab-A-Fish-In-A-Free-Seafood-Market Friend says since Rendell testified for Fumo, the Feds have moved in on the Turnpike Commission and it’s Chairman, a Rendell toady, Mitchell Rubin . He says Rendell and Fumo pushed Rubin on the Turnpike Commish when Ed was Mayor of Philly and Chair of the DNC, then Rendell reappointed the guy in 2002 when ED won PA Guv the first go ’round…

The Turnpike Commision in PA has always been a sewer, most other sates too. In Pa, its a huge cash business in tolls, even with the automated readers and prepaid stickers, known as the EZ Pass. The EZ Pass system was sold on convenience , quicker toll processing , and more money “for the Commonwealth”. (LOL)

“Like money in the bank”, we see how THAT’s turned out, the pitch further suggested that it would prevent “Accidents”. Safety and Security always the closer in the Post 9-11 World ™ :: Accidents involving automobiles, not to mention the frequency of political bagmen “accidentally” taking home $30,000 thousand dollars in tolls over a holiday weekend.

Lately, public awareness into highway department corruption involves the usual patronage jobs and contracts associated with the constant re- paving , bridge work, and interchange reconstruction projects…Same in other States, but it is something PA. Gov. Ed. Rendell. That’s R-E-N-…. Blubbering all over the Media, Rendell had no shame in reminding everyone of his Administration’s vast “public works” in Pennsylvania when the bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. Rendell was doing it all to help, of course, 😆 {cough}to keep the travelling Public “safe” from lesser Highwaymen.

Proceeding with our conversation, my fellow lousy fisherman from Philly lays it out for me. The FBI has the hooks into Rendell via the Turnpike Commissioner and ripping off Tolls thru his chum. The FBI is involved because (like Fumo’s “non profits’) the haul is paked in in with Federal money. In this scam, perhaps Rendell’s soft underbelly says my bud , they are able to sail in since the Feds-to-Ed Turnpike money came from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) .

There is another aspect to this involving the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA):

The Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey ( DRPA)is a regional transportation agency serving the people of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. {LOL}DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry, and Betsy Ross bridges. All four bridges are part of the E-ZPass Electronic Toll Collection network.

Prior to this enlightening convo, I assumed that Privatization would have been the ultimate coup as the Toll Road operators would cook the books with the toll records and fuck the State Treasury, the Pols getting their cut to set it up and keep it going… Look, as you guys would know, clearly it’s another case of me being slow on the upbeat. LOL. Why wait to privatize? When the bastards already have it under their thumb? The case has developed in an interesting way…
More in a bit..

marisacat - 4 May 2009

Even tho I know nothing of the back ground, I love phrases like “the Feds are closing in…” when it comes to corrupt pols.

Just for the amusing wall paper effect. Better than hot toast with tons of butter.

Thank you [and sorry you languished in Moderation for an hour… 😳 ]

BooHooHooMan - 5 May 2009

There’s so many twists in this that I didn’t know.
But as my bud clued me, it seems the FBI is moving on Rendell thru Fumo , and their Bagman at the PA Turnpike, on Tolls and Transportation scams…
And granted, the Dem Brass at DOJ aren’t going to push it hard but it sets up an interesting dynamic between the FBI looking for leverage and Breuer and Holder covering their own crooks…My take from Tunaville..

I’ll do my best -( drowning in sewage here) but it seems on a number of fronts there is something about to break against Rendell.
So I’m going to go through a number of things here that I’m sorry I don’t have in better form…

Rendell threw Rubin under the bus six weeks ago- after- according to Rendell – “reviewing” evidence and testimony from the Fumo Trial . LOL. – In which Ed was the lead Defense witness….

I heard nothing at the time ( post conviction) on the firing or the target letter, but my buddy said there was coverage , tho crickets on Rubin of late..So I am going through the links now and IMO there’s meat to it. Rendell is in trouble and girding his – don’t really wanna go there – Loins.

Rendell fired this guy Rubin on March 23, when Rendell was in Philly.
And what a reversal!!!

Rendell fires turnpike chief, linked to Fumo case
By Mario F. Cattabiani and Larry King

Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG – Gov. Rendell removed Mitchell Rubin from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission yesterday, saying he was convinced there was strong evidence that Rubin had taken $150,000 from taxpayers as a “no-work” consultant for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo.

Rendell said he made the move —->after reviewing the Fumo trial transcripts and testimony and after discussing the case with prosecutors.<—- He came away convinced, he said, not only that had Fumo committed mail fraud, but also that the conviction hinged on strong evidence that Rubin had done nothing in return for the $150,000 he accepted.

In their case against Fumo, prosecutors successfully argued that the legislator had paid Rubin $150,000 in taxpayer money from 1990 to 2004 for consulting work, although Rubin had not performed any state duties. The Senate, responding to a request from prosecutors, was unable to come up with a single example of written work produced by Rubin.

So Rendell was in Philly March 23rd. One week after Fumo is convicted on 137 counts by the Feds. The same day , at the other end of the State, Rendell’s limo is seen at Branch Turnpike facilities and someone leaks to the press the EZ PAss toll records that it was clocked passing through interchange spurs at a 100 mph :

Rendell wasn’t in car going 99 mph, spokesman says
by JAN MURPHY, Of The Patriot-News
Monday March 23, 2009, 9:45 AM

On the day his car was traveling at an average trip speed of 99 mph on a stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in western Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell was in Philadelphia all day doing television interviews and sportscasting, the governor’s office said.

To me, you got a Limo-less Governor at one end of the State with his security detail making the rounds of Turnpike facilities at the other end of the State BUT QUICK. And breaking the law to do so. My questions are these: who or what was in those facilities that required the Guvs car to roll up? What “duties” were being carried out and by whom? And but for the leak by someone within the Turnpike Commish or an **EZ PAss** Administrator , what’s up with the the Govs office the next day in full damage control mode – reiterating repeatedly the Governor was NOT in the car. The Turnpike Chairman is the target of an FBI Investigation involving 19 years of payola going back to Fumo. Are we to believe he was clean as whistle when running a toll road that handles millions of dollars in cash a day? And hundreds of millions in contracts?

He was sponsored by Ed and Fumo and sold to Ridge by Arlen Specter. Rendell reappointed the guy to a third term and made Rubin Turnpike Chair..

Although Ridge, a Republican, technically selected Rubin, it was Fumo who picked him for the post. “That was my call,” Fumo said at the time.

That slot that he was elevated form was always Phily’s call. BTW, Rubin , – took the place of Fat Corrupt Bastard Bob Brady, whose background I do know.

A high school dropout, Rubin’s Predecessor – Brady – is a union goon turned Philly Party Chair, when his mentor Philly Dem Congressman Ozzie Myers was convicted in Abscam. Then Brady had the Dem Machine lay down for Tom Foglietta, another Republican Party Switcher and Specter chum who won as an ” Independent” in one of the most Democratic machine seats in the country.. GMAFB .. Anyways, So Brady was the Bagman at the Turnpike before Rubin. Then Foglietta resigned to be Clinton’s Ambassador to Italy (cue Godfather Theme) .

Brady then left the Turnpike, handed himself Philly’s “white” seat in Congress in an unopposed primary. The Turnpike Chairman’s slot has been an Eddie /VinceFumo / Arlen Lay Off Artist for thirty years now…So Brady served his masters quite well before this guy Rubin. Brady was the guy who was in the NYT recently, big pic, hugging Arlen and slobbering all over him at a Specter presser a month before Arlen jumped. The High school dropout, union thug and ironically former Pol Limo Driver (bagman) now sits on House Appropriations. They’ve been running theses rackets for years..And their names are sure to come up on those offshore accounts if they ever see the light of day.

To me, the Eddie limo thing sounds like tampering, OOJ, cleaning out their point men’s safes in the high volume interchanges up and down the pike, fearing a raid.. All under cover of Executive Privilege. If it wasn’t for the leak on the Speeding Governor-less Governor’s Limo, the Public would have been none the wiser, not that the story is really all that disseminated now…

Heavier media on the announcement of the Turnpike Chairman’s firing came the next day, on March 24th, a day after the leak on the Governor-less limo 360 miles away… Rendell said NOTHING during those interviews in Philly the day before. And A week earlier he was saying he was saying Fumo was a great guy and that he didn’t think he could fire Rubin despite the testimony against Rubin at Fumo’s trial. . So I figure this guy Rubin flipped. Or his convicted wife. Or Both. A Philly Inquirer report recapping Fumo’s conviction reported on the moment the FBI served the “target letter” to Rendell’s Turnpike Chair {during a post trial motions for Fumo} that,

As for ( FBI Special Agent) Humphreys, she’s still on the corruption squad. On Thursday, moments after the close of a post-conviction hearing for Fumo and Arnao, she strode across the courtroom to hand an envelope to Arnao’s husband, Mitchell Rubin.

Rubin, chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, opened it and sat back, stunned. It was a “target letter,” warning him he might be indicted.

The Fumo investigation continues.

He clearely is going to be indicted. Again, I think the guy or his wife ( a Fumo Aide) has flipped, and here’s why: Especially HOW Eddie Rendell immediately begins scrambling for every camera to get out in front of the story. How he does it…sounds like some serious pre-emptive bullshit to me. So Rendell grabs some of his blowjob artists, KDKA’s Marty Griffin in Pittsburgh and Tony Romeo at KYW in Philly to do the fluff:

Rendell Speaks Out About Corruption in Pennsylvania

Posted: Wednesday, 25 March 2009 7:44AM

by KYW’s Tony Romeo

Governor Rendell, in a Pittsburgh radio interview, says he thinks there’s a longstanding culture of corruption in Pennsylvania.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin asked Governor Rendell why he’s in such demand for interviews. The governor says he’s been around a long time. He’s now involved in promoting infrastructure investment, and:

“As you know, I’m always good every once in a while to stick my foot in my mouth.”

Or, some would say, he’s a bit too candid. 🙄

Oh please —- you plants.

Later, the interview produced a candid moment when Griffin asked Rendell if there’s a “culture of corruption” in Pennsylvania government:

“Well, I think there has been for a long while. I mean, we had an attorney general who was convicted for corruption in office. We had a state treasurer who committed suicide because he was involved in corruption. So I think there has been for a long while.”

But when it comes to characterizing who is corrupt, Rendell says painting people with too broad a brush will result in a government that attracts no one but, in his words, “sleaze balls.”

Mcat, there are so many things swirling around Rendell since his bud Fumo went down. And it’s happening too quick! LOL.

This is a critical link I think, within the The Philly Inquirer recap on the Fumo case,

The pair, who had been FBI partners for years, targeting crooked plumbing inspectors and other municipal miscreants as members of the public-corruption unit, had come to realize that the nonprofit was sitting on a ton of money – $17 million. Fumo had squeezed the donation from Peco Energy.

Before long, the FBI team was unraveling the secret Peco deal, as well as similar pressure Fumo put on Verizon Communications.

Thanks to a tip, the agents also had learned about Fumo’s free trips on luxury yachts owned by the Independence Seaport Museum, where he was a board member.

In the spring of 2004, the feds hit the maritime museum and Citizens’ Alliance with subpoenas.

The agents ended up with box after box, jammed with a haphazard array of documents. The information was often incomplete and sketchy.

“As bare-bones as they were,” Humphreys said, the Citizens’ Alliance records started to reveal a strange pattern of spending.

Working backward from the receipts, they found an astonishing range of purchases for a nonprofit in South Philadelphia. There were thousands of purchases of tools, and lots of spending on incongruous goods, including hot dog rolls, tiki lamps, mosquito zappers, high-end Oreck vacuums.

Also strange: The items were bought in shopping sprees at the Jersey Shore. This was a distance from South Philadelphia but close to the homes of Fumo and Ruth Arnao, the executive director of the nonprofit. She was convicted last week alongside Fumo.

Early on, the agents inspected the Citizens’ Alliance warehouse and saw only a few brooms and shovels. Where were all the tools?

Humphreys also focused on the hundreds of toll receipts – documentation submitted by Citizens’ Alliance workers for reimbursement – that showed trip after trip to the Shore. This was strange, too.

“Hundreds” of toll reciepts for workers in “trip after trip” to Jersey? They are using the Turnpike and the Port Authority Bridges to launder cash through Fumo’s “Non Profit”. In the Press, regarding the Speeding Eddie Ghost Limo, somebody has clearly put a shot across Rendell’s bow that they will leak EZ Pass and Turnpike Records.

And the same Biting Each Other to Death is occurring at the Port Auhtority. Last week, some legal maneuverings over the Delaware River Port Authority {Philly Port, Bridges, Interstate deal with NJ and fellow Dem Toll road privatizing pimp Corzine..} Somebody ther is also sending a message to somebody over tolls and transit passes. DRPA owns PATCO, the Commuter rail line connecting Philly to its Jersey Burbs and Atlantic City. All the Jobs are patronage, and these toll passes and free train passes are handed out like money to Rendells street organization in the Wards… like money…like illegal. You can tell when there’s something wrong with the ship when the rats are jumping clear, twittering as they go…they are all political hacks or people cleared by the union goons Rendell and Corzine appoint the Board:

DPRA board’s free E-ZPass ride policy under scrutiny
Posted on Tue, Apr. 28, 2009

By Paul Nussbaum

Inquirer Staff Writer
Most employees of the Delaware River Port Authority get 100 free E-ZPass rides a year across the agency’s bridges, even after they retire.

A dispute over the E-ZPass benefit has roiled the agency’s board of commissioners and focused renewed attention on the widespread perk.

John J. Dougherty, a Philadelphia union leader who is one of eight Pennsylvania members of the 16-person DRPA board, stirred up a tempest this month when he asked for records of board members’ E-ZPass use going back to 2000.

Until July, they enjoyed unlimited free E-ZPass trips on the Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry, and Betsy Ross Bridges. Now, board members must pay for trips unrelated to official business, agency spokeswoman Danelle Hunter said.

Dougherty said in a letter to DRPA general counsel Richard Brown, with copies to his fellow commissioners, that he wanted the records as part of an effort “to cut costs and increase transparency.” But his political opponents on the board, including Philadelphia City Councilman Frank DiCicco, suspect it is an effort to embarrass them.

DiCicco threatened to sue the DRPA over any release of the records, but backed off that threat last week.

There’s more on this, I’ll try and consolidate it into a timeline and concise background on the appointees. The thing that is telling in all of this is Rendell heading for cover, setting the media narrative about other as yet un-named “sleazeballs” in the corrupt “part” of government. Not his own of course- the role he’s played for three decades, hello- got his start as DA. He’s a gangster. It seems like there’s some pieces fitting together.. Coumos assertion last week about a “national network of actors” extending into Tejas And The WSJ story last week on Rendell , has Bribery written all over it.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the state of Pennsylvania over Janssen’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The state alleges that Janssen has improperly marketed the drug for off-label uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Janssen denies the accusation, but the merits of the case — which hasn’t gone to trial yet — are not what’s at issue in the motion before the court.

Rather, what’s at issue is the fact that the civil action against Janssen is being prosecuted on behalf of the state by Bailey, Perrin & Bailey, a Houston law firm. And it turns out that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s Office of General Counsel was negotiating this potentially lucrative no-bid contingency fee contract with Bailey Perrin at the same time that the firm’s founding partner, F. Kenneth Bailey, was making repeated campaign contributions totaling more than $90,000 to the Democratic Governor’s 2006 re-election bid.

Janssen’s motion seeks to invalidate the contingency-fee arrangement and lays out a detailed timeline of Mr. Bailey’s political contributions and the subsequent actions of the Governor’s office. Here it is in part:

– On February 23, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed airplane travel valued at $9,200 to Governor Rendell’s re-election campaign.

– On March 3, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed $50,000 to the Rendell campaign.

– On May 12, 2006, Mr. Rendell’s office submitted a “request of delegation” to the state Attorney General, a Republican, that would allow the Governor’s office to handle the case against Janssen.

– On May 24, 2006, the request was granted.

– On June 30, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed $25,000 to the Democratic Governors Association (which gave Mr. Rendell more than $1 million for his campaign in 2006).

– On August 14, 2006, Mr. Bailey signed a no-bid contingency-fee contract with the state.

– On September 15, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed airplane travel valued at $6,900 to Mr. Rendell’s campaign.

– On October 23, 2006, the Governor’s Office of General Counsel mailed the contingency fee contract to Mr. Bailey.

– On October 30, Mr. Bailey contributed another $25,000 to Mr. Rendell’s campaign.

– On February 26, 2007, Bailey Perrin filed the initial complaint against Janssen on behalf of the state.

Asked about the timing of Mr. Bailey’s political donations, Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo says Bailey Perrin was selected because of “their experience in these kinds of legal matters.” Mr. Ardo says the Governor was aware of the campaign contributions but “had nothing to do with the selection.” Asked why the Governor thought the case should be handled by his office rather than by the state AG, Mr. Ardo says, “the suit involves agencies directly under the Governor’s control, and the General Counsel’s Office believed it could eliminate a lot of unnecessary work by dealing with those agencies directly.” Readers can decide if they buy that one.

Under terms of the contingency-fee contract, Bailey Perrin receives up to 15% of any settlement or judgment. Even better for the lawyers, the state is barred from settling for nonmonetary relief “unless the settlement also provides reasonably for the compensation of [Bailey Perrin] by [Janssen] for the services provided by the law firm under this contract.”

In court papers, the drug firm argues that the contingency fee contract is invalid because it wasn’t approved by the legislature, as the state constitution requires, and because it “violates Janssen’s rights to due process under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions, which guarantee that attorneys representing the Commonwealth, acting in its capacity as sovereign, not have direct financial interest in the outcome.”

Why isn’t this Jewish Goombah Rendell in Jail with his Mafia Associates? With Paps Specter sitting next to him in a cell.

It seems to me that the lower rungs on the Philly machine are out to cover their asses while Rendell Fumo Brady and Arlen are doing the full congealing fuckball. Overtly consolidating their power without the pretense of a Party Affiliation divide. They are circling the wagons while their rank and file are being picked off by the FBI. I smell blood.

One whiff coming off the faux pwog neb Sestak has me thinking… I figure Sestak is first and foremost Pentagon, and as such a careerist, I don’t see him willy nilly throwing his hat in the ring against Specter and the PTB if he didn’t see a shot..if he didn’t see some vulnerability there. So why is he toying with a run? If Rendell is in trouble, Arlen is toast. He hardly is going to be able to pose as a Dem Reformer. Thus, the Poseur next in line, Sestak…

marisacat - 5 May 2009

f Rendell is in trouble, Arlen is toast. He hardly is going to be able to pose as a Dem Reformer. Thus, the Poseur next in line, Sestak…

maybe why Arlen is getting it from all sides. He is hardly welcomed by the more senior Dems…

Rich Lowry called him a “crapweasel” over in Schnauzer land… and a few other things… I think some slurs about elderly angst and irritability too.

He barely made sense on MTP. After Madman posted the clips from the transciipt i made sure to catch the 3 am re run…

Luv the limo story… 😆

4. BooHooHooMan - 4 May 2009

This threat of the Pakistani nukes (yes and just how did they get nuclear capability? hmm?) has hovered for weeks nearly into months.

Sorry to be blunt, I don’t see this as any different from Bush and Condi’s warmongering of promising us a “mushroom cloud” unless we invade Iraq and take out Saddam. No different. – mcat

I agree.
Them goin all Mushroom Cloudy and Duck and Cover on our ass.
Let’s run the historical checklist.

– American Oil Royalty commits
decades long markers in the region – Check!

– War Profiteers and Tech firms do great business with regime – Check!

– Public told for years we don’t REALLY want do deal with the regime –
But . We. DO. Arms are profitably shuttled to the regime- Check!

– We are hated for it as a result- Check!

– American Empire in greedium tremens , death throes advance- Check! Rather, Will You Take A Check??? Rather, will you write a Check?
Leaving it Blank?

– Ignorant American Public , obsessed with impotence cures, know nothing, believe anything. Bring it On! – Check!

BooHooHooMan - 4 May 2009

And the pathetic rebuttal – a GIVEN.
“If you think the Taliban are to be trusted…”

Who trusted Hussein? Who trusted the Taliban and Al Qaeda and OBL?
Or Aq Khan the nuke proliferater… Not BHHMini-Atoll ‘dyaso here…
Who did?
The US Government. And Israel.

Sorry, the Trust window is CLOSED.
We should do nothing given our track record. Just back the fuck out.
Pakistan doesn’t have ICBM’s that can reach the US whoever has control of the country. And if we don’t have the Intelligence capability to prevent a nuclear device from coming into this country otherwise- how the fuck is conventional war going to “save us”? And Frankly, with regard to legitimate concerns for the region– India and Pakistan were coming along in their relationship WITHOUT us…

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

Hunting People for Jesus: Growing Fundamentalism in the U.S. Military

The center of this evangelical operation is at the huge US base at Bagram, one of the main sites used by the US military to torture and indefinitely detain prisoners.

In a video obtained by Al Jazeera and broadcast Monday, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, is seen telling soldiers that as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility “to be witnesses for him.”

“The special forces guys – they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down,” he says.

“Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That’s what we do, that’s our business.”

and …

[T]he chaplains appear to have found a way around the regulation known as General Order Number One.

“Do we know what it means to proselytise?” Captain Emmit Furner, a military chaplain, says to the gathering.

“It is General Order Number One,” an unidentified soldier replies.

But Watt says “you can’t proselytise but you can give gifts.”

marisacat - 4 May 2009

so…………… will they dismember for jesus? cannibalise for jesus? other things?

i would guess yes.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

rape for jesus?

Crusaders …

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

Scalia Scoffs at Calls for More Data Privacy Protection, Students Surprise Him With Dossier of His Own Data.

Last year U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave a public speech questioning the need for more privacy protections.

This year a Fordham University law professor teaching a course on privacy gave his class the project of turning up publicly available information on Scalia.

The fifteen-page dossier completely flipped Scalia out.

“It seems that Professor Reidenberg successfully created an active learning environment where his students took control and learned the subject in a way they will not soon forget.”

marisacat - 4 May 2009

Glad it was Fordham… Isn’t that a Catholic college?

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 May 2009

yes, a Jesuit school.

7. marisacat - 4 May 2009

BTW.. I have on We Shall Remain… tonight’s episode is on Geronimo (and a little bit on Cochise). Really wonderful.

marisacat - 4 May 2009

PS… they just did a trailer at the end, Episode 5 will be Wounded Knee.

Apparently from the network crews that simply lived with the siege they have tremendous archival footage, material never shown on the network news.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

I’m really wondering how they’re going to treat AIM. The coverage at the time was so slanted, so wrong.

Looking forward to seeing this ep. I still have to catch up on the Trail of Tears from last week.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

I had to stop watching Trail of Tears… too much.

From the clips from the upcoming, no idea how they slant it w/r/t AIM.

8. marisacat - 4 May 2009

Dow up 29% from it’s low in March!

The sky’s the limit!!

9. marisacat - 4 May 2009

Madman popped me this.. it’s The Big Picture on the Derby.

10. lucid - 5 May 2009

something I wrote…

A Breeder Convention

It is a genetic conceit
To raise your children as yourself.

Imagine the bloodlines,
Champagne glass ankles,
The oldest human pantomime:

Grandeur is bred,
From the suffering of the offspring.

The old disavows the new.

But despite that selfish heritage,
We await the wisdom of the dead;

Because the new needs its martyrs,
And the glass-ankled horses
Reiterate the blood.

Perhaps we should breed, differently.

11. lucid - 5 May 2009

A lovely Frida painting goes with that… and a hat tip to NYCO for the champagne glass ankle idea from the last thread… it was what I wrote this around.

12. lucid - 5 May 2009

Mcat – fyi, I just tried to send you the Frida painting twice and it was returned… the standard where.is.the… addy.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

oh i am sorry! that should not have happened… there is also

marisacat … at… aol…dot … com

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

Richard Haas is on Morning Joe selling his new book, which is apparently a defense of how they sold the war, that they didn’t lie etc.

We’re so done.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

what comes after this pink cotton candy spring bubble.

I just don’t know… more and endless wars.. but what else.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

next comes more official secrets, followed by more self-justifying “memoirs” to put a pretty bow on it all … and so on etc.

14. marisacat - 5 May 2009

hmmm.. fwiw… which may be nothing. Most likely IS nothing. Not like congress has muscles or sinew or bones or brains.. much less anything else.

[B]ut House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey said he was “very dubious” about the chances of success in the region and wants a “fish or cut bait” assessment in a year’s time that will determine how long the U.S. continues on this path.

“It gives the president one year to demonstrate what he can do,” said the Wisconsin Democrat. “It gives him ample resources.”

Much as the administration may wince, Obey draws a parallel between today and 40 years ago, when he first came to Congress in the spring of 1969 and gave Richard Nixon a year to make progress in Vietnam.

“The president feels obligated to give it a shot, and we’ll help him give it a shot for a year,” Obey said. “At the end of the year, I want to have a hard-nosed, realistic evaluation based on the performance standards we’re talking about.” …snip…

15. marisacat - 5 May 2009

hmm from The Note. Bloooooooooooo Dogs — always a joy to behold.

A different presidential meeting tells you what you need to know about domestic affairs: members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee visit the White House Tuesday morning, with the major energy and environmental initiatives limping along.

“Moderate Democrats could hold the key to the fate of President Barack Obama’s agenda this year,” McClatchy’s David Lightman writes. “They have the numbers to be decisive in the House of Representatives — the 51-member Blue Dog Coalition could doom an initiative if it sticks together, since Democrats control 256 seats, it takes 218 votes to win, and no Republicans have voted for major Democratic budget bills this year.”

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.: “They’re all afraid of us. Fear of us is its own motivator.” …snip…

16. marisacat - 5 May 2009

LOL… also from The Note…

“Democrats in Congress hope to shift the debate from the question of whether to create a public health insurance plan to the question of how it would work. In so doing, they look for the support of influential moderates. But in the last few days, three moderate senators — Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska; Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine; and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who switched parties to become a Democrat — have expressed reservations about a public plan.”

“Obama, who wants bipartisan backing for such a major undertaking, seems to be at least weighing the possibility of trading away the public option in exchange for GOP support,” The Boston Globe’s Peter Canellos writes. …snip…

Oh it woould never be Obama that does nto give a flying hoo hoo. No it will always be some centrist baddie. Or a GOP.

17. marisacat - 5 May 2009

Keep laughing. (still from The Note)

The war supplemental doesn’t look like the White House wanted it to, with no funds to close Gitmo: “House Democrats unveiled a $94.2 billion wartime spending bill Monday that adds $9.3 billion to White House requests but also reflects serious doubts about the long-term viability of U.S. commitments to Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan,” Politico’s David Rogers writes.

“President Barack Obama’s plans for closing the Guantanamo detention center are challenged as well, with Democrats opting to strip out all of the $80 million in new funds sought by the Pentagon and Justice Department to begin the relocation of prisoners. After last week’s celebration of Obama’s first 100 days, the bill shows how the president could face greater challenges when it comes to the grittier business of implementing his policies.” …snip…

I guess keep in mind that the markets are surging. Overseas as well I heard, or at least the Asian markets.

catnip - 5 May 2009

the </$80 million in new funds sought by the Pentagon and Justice Department to begin the relocation of prisoners.

Where are they being relocated to? The moon?

lucid - 5 May 2009

No shit… and that’s just to ‘begin the relocation’.

18. wu ming - 5 May 2009

ah, obey, the same one who threw a temper tantrum at mothers of soldiers about the realism of ever ending the war. jackass.

as for pakistan, chapati mystery’s recent will pakistan become a theocracy? does a good job of revealing just how ignorant the entire discussion of pakistan is. 80 miles as the bird flies from islamabad means something different when it’s through himalayan-scale mountain ranges.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

I don’t see congress cutting the wars.

Why would they? I am sure the Bloo Dogs support the wars, the moderates do as well, the Republicans do, Pretzel and Vice Pretzel (and the lousy wives)…

Why on earth would any of the horror end? Obey is a white Conyers.

NYCO - 5 May 2009

I don’t see Congress cutting the wars either.

I see my cousin’s son who enlisted in the Marines and is now in Afghanistan.

I see his funeral.

19. catnip - 5 May 2009

Elizabeth Edwards: How I Survived John’s Affair

And we’re supposed to care why, exactly?

marisacat - 5 May 2009

from what I have read she dies in the timeline. It’s laughable. he tracks in mud on his shoes, New Years eve, Dec 30 Jan 1 2000 whatever… 06 i guess.. she believes the tripe… and then in Feb 2008 the babeeeeee pops out. The same month he suddenly drops from the primary.

How many people did she call up last year weeping that it was news to her.

Apparently both he and Rielle will be subpoena’d.

Well LOL he was the spare, if Hillary and Ob both crashed. The other interesting thing in all of this is how 98 year old Bunny Mellon invested millions in his Saving the Poor scam run for the Pretzelness.

catnip - 5 May 2009

In that article, she writes that Poor Johnny was “targeted” – like Rielle was some sort of stalker. Pffft.

20. catnip - 5 May 2009

CCR: 100 Days to Restore the Constitution: Assessment

I say we stamp FAIL on his forehead. Capitulator-in-chief. And this is the guy who’s going to nominate someone to the Supremes who’s going to “uphold the constitution”? Good luck with that.

21. mattes - 5 May 2009


Watch AIPAC conference videos here:


Is Kurdistan the next terrorist state?


China has ‘canceled US credit card’: lawmaker


22. brinn - 5 May 2009

Off topic for this thread, but a continuation from the Flu thread conversations….

Flying pigs, Tamiflu and factory farms, part II

Some choice excerpts:

Feces is the Latin term for what most of the world terms shit, the waste product of human or animal digestion. Pigs are world champion waste producers. An average pig produces some three times in weight the amount of fecal matter that an adult person does. As GRAIN, an agricultural organization reports, ‘the rise of large-scale factory farms in North America has created the perfect breeding grounds for the emergence and spread of new highly-virulent strains of influenza.’ [7] The pig fecal waste product is at the center of the problem, something the CDC name change conveniently tends to obscure.


Tietz notes, ‘A lot of pig shit is one thing; a lot of highly toxic pig shit is another. The excrement of Smithfield hogs is hardly even pig shit: On a continuum of pollutants, it is probably closer to radioactive waste than to organic manure. The reason it is so toxic is Smithfield’s efficiency. The company produces 6 billion pounds of packaged pork each year. That’s a remarkable achievement, a prolificacy unimagined only two decades ago, and the only way to do it is to raise pigs in astonishing, unprecedented concentrations.’ [11]

The degrees of concentration in the Smithfield Foods vertically integrated pig meat concentrations have little to do with traditional hog farming. In facilities now spread around the world, Smithfield’s pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around.

As Tietz notes, ‘Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs — anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.’ [12]


Part I can be found here:

brinn - 5 May 2009

Er, that should be FLYING pigs….

marisacat - 5 May 2009

.. an “L” flew in… 🙄

23. NYCO - 5 May 2009

Stop the presses!

Obama, Biden Wait in Line to Buy Hamburgers

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — It’s like this: When you want a burger, you have to have a burger. In this state of mind, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took a short — but wholly noticeable — motorcade ride from the White House to Virginia and pulled into a small, independent burger joint called Ray’s Hell Burger.

The two leaders went right up to the counter where the meat was being grilled and ordered.

Each fetched cash from his pocket and paid, and then the pair stood like the rest and waited for their number to be called before going to a table.

Again, I’m not sure why journalism in this country needs “saving.”

marisacat - 5 May 2009

well when Obster pulled that “I stand with the workers at Chrysler…” I figured he needed to shore up some soft populist polling numbers. Then they led Monday with … “We will reform rich peoples’ off shored tax havens…” Or whatever that was……………

And now my god they eat ordinary burgers that they wait in line for and have cash in their pockets for…

NOW I am certain of it.

brinn - 5 May 2009

Yep, dem be reglar folk jers like youse and me, NYCO, dontcha know it?

How fucked are WE?!

24. marisacat - 5 May 2009

Madman just popped me this. Oh play that tape again of Ob and his car salesman smile welcoming Arlen the Darlin’ to the partay.

May 05, 2009
Categories: Pennsylvania

Specter still supporting Norm Coleman

Even though he’s now a Democrat, Sen. Arlen Specter is backing Republican Norm Coleman in the still-unresolved Minnesota Senate race.

And he’s urging the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn the results of the recount and lower-court ruling declaring Al Franken the victor.

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York (and TIME’s Mark Halperin) gets an advance copy of this Sunday New York Times’ Q & A with Specter, where he urges the Minnesota courts to “do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.”

“Between his vote against President Obama’s budget, his continued opposition to card check and his support for Norm Coleman, we’ve never agreed so many times with Arlen Specter,” crowed National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh.

Here’s the full excerpt below:

Q: With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

SPECTER: I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

By Josh Kraushaar 04:50 PM

I see nothing wrong with this match. Arlen is coo coo and so are the Dems.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

it made me laugh, and I had to share the dark humor of it all.

25. marisacat - 5 May 2009

All you can do is laugh. NY Post

The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday.

“We have no plans to release them,” an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.

The sole purpose of the secret photo-op, which sent thousands of New Yorkers running for cover, was to take new publicity shots of the presidential jet over the city.

“The photos . . . are classified — that’s ridiculous,” Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., said.

The photos have not technically been “classified,” a White House aide said, but they are being kept from public view. ….snip…

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

The photos have not technically been “classified,” a White House aide said, but they are being kept from public view. ….snip…

That sound you hear is Orwell chortling from his modest little grave.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

maybe not “classified” but definately “restricted” and “CENSORED”.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

the funny thing is, I bet they were actually being shot for commercials for whoever it is that is building the upgraded Air Force Ones.

26. marisacat - 5 May 2009

No doubt in my mind. Aspects, big ones, of this fucked end game we are seeing play out in the Obama administration will go down as a Clinton Restoration.

What a fucking mess.

Some Democrats have been expressing concerns about the renewed commitment, including 21,000 new troops, to Afghanistan. At the House Foreign Affairs Committee today, Holbrooke pushed back on any notion that the war there is another Vietnam.

“While there are obvious structural similarities between the war in Afghanistan and the war in Vietnam … the core difference is, is that the Vietnam and the north Vietnamese army never posed a direct threat to the American homeland,” Holbrooke said. “And the people who are in this area who we are fighting either pose a direct threat, having committed 9/11 having done Mumbai, having killed (Benazir) Bhutto, and they have publicly said they are going to do more of the same. That is: al Qaeda of course and their allies the Taliban.”

27. NYCO - 5 May 2009

Off-topic, but after reading this story about the latest face transplant case, it really makes one’s own problems pale. What an ordeal this poor woman has gone through (her husband shot her in the face and she barely survived). Her face was 80% replaced in the operation. Wish her the best.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

the transplants have been very interesting… tho I think so far only the first has stabilised enough and been personally open to discussing it and meeting with the media… the french woman. Hers certainly looked very successful.

28. marisacat - 5 May 2009

The story out of Victorville CA, in San Bernardino Co made it to the national news. NBC carried it tonight…

A Texas bank foreclosed on an entire small development, 16 houses. Declining to complete the finishing construction. The town decided to tear them down.

Too many empty houses sitting. Which undercuts the cuteness out of DC and Wall St, by a few miles.

And they say (according to NBC) 250 developments in CA are in the same state.. whcih may mean up to 9000 homes facing the same tear down fate.

I knwo in 91, because a friend living in a very silly gated community in the East Bay, took me on a tour, that a lot of options on land, for development were allowed to expire, leading to no development for a few years (long since over in the booms that followed)… but that is still different than tearing down nearly complet houses.

Wehn I searched this am for an article on the Victorville tear down, there were none, will look again now.

NYCO - 5 May 2009

Lots of articles on the Victorville teardown at Calculated Risk

marisacat - 5 May 2009

thanks for that NYCO…

29. mattes - 5 May 2009

Netanyahu ready for peace talks with Palestinians right now

Addressing the AIPAC Israeli lobby conference by satellite early Tuesday. May 5, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered peace talks “the sooner the better.”

Israel’s president Shimon Peres met US president Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday, May 5. Part of their conversation was tete-a-tete.

He told the AIPAC conference earlier: Iran is developing a nuclear option “even though it is threatened by no-one.” Tehran is arming Hizballah and Hamas “to impose its alien and violent agenda on the Middle East.”

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

“threatened by no one”?!?!?!!?


30. cad - 5 May 2009

The netroots are being played for suckers with the out of context line by Specter, who funny or not, was joking as the following lines were stripped from his comment to stir up the dense blogosphere:

Q: Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld’s joining the Senate.

A: Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

But hilarious to see the waves of indignation from the Kos lemmings who couldn’t even bother to do a second more of web research. A bunch of maroons. Kos won’t apologize and will pretend the comment means what he wishes. As will the other believers.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

Sadly he barely hung together at the MTP interview. It was a silly laughable event.

I think they have all detached from reality… or at the least they have their own self sustaining non reality reality.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

Weekly Review

Swine flu, renamed under pork-lobby pressure to “influenza A (H1N1) virus, human,” and referred to as “killer Mexican flu” by anti-immigration activists, had infected 985 people, or 0.0000145 percent of the world’s population. Twenty countries reported infections; one death from the flu was confirmed in the United States; and 25 people had died in Mexico, where a cute five-year-old boy named Edgar Hernandez was presented to the media as “patient zero.”1 2 3 4 5 Mexico shut down for five days to contain the illness,6 China began to quarantine Mexicans,7 and Vice President Joe Biden appeared on television and counseled U.S. citizens to avoid airplanes, subways, and classrooms, which led to protests by the travel industry. “I think the vice president misrepresented what the vice president wanted to say,” explained Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.8 Egypt, which has no cases of the flu, ordered all its pigs killed, especially slum pigs; police at Manshiyat Nasr slum fired tear gas and rubber bullets at rioting Coptic Christian pig farmers.9 10 Geneticists continued to sequence the flu’s genes. “Atgaaggcaa tactagtagt tctgctatat,” read the opening line of the segment-four hemagglutinin gene. “Acatttgcaa ccgcaaatgc agacacatta.”11

32. marisacat - 5 May 2009

One story, the AP:

[C]rews began tearing down the structures in late April and completed their work Tuesday.

Building permits had been issued for the development in September 2007, Victorville city spokeswoman Yvonne Hester told the Los Angeles Times.

At the time, the median price for a home in San Bernardino County, where Victorville is located, was $325,000, according to San Diego-based tracking firm MDA DataQuick.

In March, the most recent month for which data is available, the median price for the county was $160,000, DataQuick said.

The bank repossessed the development in December, months after work halted, Wessman said. Demolition permits for the project, which had started attracting vandals and squatters, had been granted in early April.

Besides the four completed homes, a dozen had been left in various stages of construction, but had not yet been closed up with drywall, Wessman said.

The homes were among a parcel of over 300 plots, the remainder of which remained unbuilt upon, he said.

The company had no immediate plans to have any other completed or partially completed homes demolished, Wessman said.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009
34. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

Decades of advice turn out to be so much garbage.

For more than two decades, as income inequality increased and job security decreased, Americans lapped up personal finance columns, books, and television shows. We thrilled to stock tips and swooned at sensible strategies for using dollar-cost averaging to invest in no-load index funds. Buy and hold, my friends! The annualized gain for the S&P 500 stock index over time is more than 10 percent! You, too, can turn into the millionaire next door. Carpe diem, folks! Seize the financial day!

The advice proffered by the vast majority of analysts, would-be gurus, and television pundits came down to one word: stocks. Some, like CNBC’s infamous Jim Cramer, advocated stock-picking strategies. Others encouraged mutual funds. But very few—at least of those that could get publicity via mainstream outlets—doubted the efficacy of the market.

That our personal finances weren’t fully ours to seize didn’t seem to occur to many of us until recently, when the stock market plunged almost 40 percent in a mere year, housing went into free fall, and the unemployment rate began to climb perilously toward double digits. All these facts suddenly left the personal finance industry facing a conundrum of its own making. The backbone of the self-help complex is the idea that you can do it. You. Singular. But what happens when you lose your job and can’t find a new one before your six months of recommended emergency savings runs out? Or a good chunk of your retirement income is in the form of a pension from your former employer—and that employer is named Chrysler? What then?

“Personal finance has come to substitute for the role government should play for people,” observes Nan Mooney, author of (Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents. “In the past 20 years the myth of the person succeeding on their own has gotten bigger and bigger. This myth is dangerous. It tells you if you can’t balance everything and you are in debt, it is your fault.”

Sounds harsh, but if you are laid off and at the end of your resources, what other message can you take away from people like mega-personal finance guru Suze Orman, who continues to argue that people’s main problem with money is … emotional. (Orman also urges people to invest for retirement in the stock market, while admitting the bulk of her savings is in municipal bonds.) Or Jean Chatzky of everywhere from NBC’s Today show to Oprah’s couch, who helpfully tells people in her latest book, The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times, “Overspending is the key reason that people slip from a position of financial security into a paycheck-to-paycheck existence.” (Note: Italics original to Chatzky.) Chatzky forgets to mention that studies have demonstrated the problem most likely to land one in bankruptcy court isn’t an addiction to designer clothes but, instead, overwhelming health care expenses.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

SIBEL EDMONDS: In Congress We Trust…Not

The recent stunning but not unexpected revelations regarding Jane Harman (D-CA) by the Congressional Quarterly provide us with a little glimpse into one of the main reasons behind the steady decline in the integrity of Congress. But the story is almost dead – ready to bite the dust, thanks to our mainstream media’s insistence on burying ‘real’ issues or stories that delve deep into the causes of our nation’s continuous downward slide. In this particular case, the ‘thank you’ should also be extended to certain blogosphere propagandists who, blinded by their partisanship, myopic in their assessments, and ignorant in their knowledge of the inner workings of our late Congress and intelligence agencies, helped in the post-burial cremation of this case.

Ironically but understandably, the Harman case has become one of rare unequivocal bipartisanship, when no one from either side of the partisan aisle utters a word. How many House or Senate Republicans have you heard screaming, or even better, calling for an investigation? The right wing remains silent. Some may have their hand, directly or indirectly, in the same AIPAC cookie jar. Others may still feel the heavy baggage of their own party’s tainted colleagues; after all, they have had their share of Abramoffs, Hasterts and the like, silently lurking in the background, albeit dimmer every day. Some on the left, after an initial silence that easily could have been mistaken for shock, are jumping from one foot to the other, like a cat on a hot tin roof, making one excuse after another; playing the ‘victims of Executive Branch eavesdropping’ card, the same very ‘evil doing’ they happened to support vehemently. Some have been dialing their trusted guardian angels within the mainstream media and certain fairly visible alternative outlets. They need no longer worry, since these guardian angels seem to have blacked out the story, and have done so without the apparent need for much arm twisting…

Hastert Redux

I am going to rewind and take you back to September 2005, when Vanity Fair published an article, which, in addition to my case and the plight of National Security Whistleblowers, exposed the dark side of the then Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and the corroborated allegations of his illegal activities involving foreign agents and interests.

Vanity Fair printed the story only after they made certain they were on sure footing in the face of any possible libel by lining up more than five credible sources, and after triple pit-bull style fact-checking. They were vindicated; Hastert did not dare go after them, nor did he ever issue any true denial. Moreover, further vindication occurred only a month ago. On April 10, 2009, The Hill reported that the Former Speaker of the House was contracted to lobby for Turkey. The Justice Department record on this deal indicates that Hastert will now be “principally involved” on a $35,000-a-month contract providing representation for Turkish interests. That seems to be the current arrangement for those serving foreign interests while on the job in Congress — to be paid at a later date, collecting on their IOU’s when they secure their positions with ‘the foreign lobby.’

In a recent article for American Conservative Magazine, Philip Giraldi, former CIA officer stationed in Turkey, made the following point: “Edmonds’s claims have never been pursued, presumably because there are so many skeletons in both parties’ closets. She has been served with a state-secrets gag order to make sure that what she knows is never revealed, a restriction that the new regime in Washington has not lifted.”

And then, he hits the nail on its head: “In Hastert’s case, it certainly should be a matter of public concern that a senior elected representative who may have received money from a foreign country is now officially lobbying on its behalf. How many other congressmen might have similar relationships with foreign countries and lobbying groups, providing them with golden parachutes for their retirement?”

Although at an initial glance, based on the wiretapping angle, the Harman case may appear to involve blackmailing — or a milder version, exploitation of Congress by the Executive Branch — deeper analysis would suggest even further implications, where Congressional members themselves use the incriminating information against each other to prevent pursuit or investigation of cases that they may be directly or indirectly involved in. Let me give you an example based on the Hastert case mentioned earlier:

In 2004 and 2005 I had several meetings with Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) investigative and legal staff. Two of these meetings took place inside a high-security SCIF, where details and classified information pertaining to my case and those involved could be discussed.

I was told, and at the time I believed it to be the case, that the Republican majority was preventing further action – such as holding a public hearing on my whistleblower revelations. Once the Democrats took over in 2006, that barrier was removed, or so I thought.

In March 2007, I was contacted by one of Rep. Waxman’s staff people who felt responsible and conscientious enough to at least let me know that there would never be a hearing into my case by their office, or for that matter, any Democratic office in the House. Based on his/her account, in February 2007 Waxman’s office was preparing the necessary ingredients for their promised hearing, but in mid-March the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, called Waxman into a meeting on the case, and after Waxman came out of that twenty-minute meeting, he told his staff ‘we are no longer involved in Edmonds’ case.’ And so they became ‘uninvolved.’

marisacat - 5 May 2009

change in adminstration, change in majority – all it means is that the pay off money gets distributed differently.

It was Edmonds who stated years ago that drug money from the mess that is Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and forget which side of the deal was the payer, but a suitcase full of drug money was delivered, directly to Hastert’s door.

Presumably it goes elsewhere now.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

White riot

It’s not just TNR —the entire Village is out in force against the horrors of a female or non-white SCOTUS nom. Digby finds Tweety suggesting that picking a Latina judge would be a “cookie cutter” move:

Will he go to the usual cookie cutter. He’s supposed to pick a latina, a hispanic woman, would be a woman. Would he do that just because that’s sort of the unfilled void in his patronage plan so far?


Matthews: Even if she was involved in a case which involved firefighters and the old question of the white firefighters fighting for their position and holding to what they have against the new breed guys, the people of color coming along? That’s the kind of fight that goes on all the time.

His patronage plan? Naming an African-American AG and giving a few women cabinet positions is not what I call a patronage plan. You know what a patronage plan is? It’s Jack Murtha getting his nephew millions of dollars of contracts, it’s making Michael Brown the head of FEMA, it’s the Jack Welch “Lost Boys” program (yeah, believe Bob Somerby’s conspiracy theories on that one). For God’s sake, it’s giving nearly every important job in this country to a wealthy white guy for the past 250 years.

marisacat - 5 May 2009

well to be frank I am sick of the whatever they are, quota, no quota … because over and over if you buy off these groups who increasingly neither support nor represent anyone but a distasteful, as “entitled” as anyone who preceded them, already arrived sub strata, then you can get a “trojan horse” in, anything you want.

Holder is sub standard and damned tainted. Not that anyoen for AG probably would nto be. And Dr Susan Rice is a bizarre hardliner for war. I mean, hard ass. So what is skin color? Diversity in the downfall?

Nothing in the end, at that level. We have a scripted story on view, artfully draped and colorised, and for what?

Basically we are mired in a legal stasis on the court.. there was a good discussion of this, oddly enough, on TNH yesterday, the “dead hand” of the court. Trapped forever in the barely moving fast drying concret. Will see if they did a transcript on that back and forth.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009

“dead hand” … that does describe it really well.

37. catnip - 5 May 2009

Exposed: MI5’s secret deals in Camp X-ray

MI5 secretly tried to hire British men held in Guantanamo Bay and other US prison camps by promising to protect them from their American captors and help secure their return home to the United Kingdom, The Independent has learnt.

One of the men, Richard Belmar, was told he would be paid “well” for his services if he was willing to work undercover for MI5. A second detainee, Bisher Al Rawi, was told that if he agreed to work for the security service he would be “freed within months”.

Three other detainees were threatened with rendition and harsh detention regimes if they did not co-operate with their British and American interrogators.

But MI5 failed to honour the promises made by its agents, a former agent has told The Independent.

The source, who is close to the MI5 officers who conducted the interviews, has confirmed that “assurances” had been given to the British men while they were held in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. But he said that senior officers in London had cleared the actions of its own officers but later reneged on the promises. This is backed up by sworn testimony lodged in the High Court from the former detainees.

“[The agents] fear they will be hung out to dry. This is not the first time that field agents have been made to carry the can even when there is a paper trail all the way to the top authorising the action and conduct of the agents,” said the source.

The clandestine recruitment operation was being pursued at the same time that the British Government was supporting American claims that those held at the notorious US naval base represented a serious threat to world security.


That sounds like the story of Abdurahman Khadr, Omar’s brother.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009


Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) has backed off from his rather interesting comment: “There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.”

Specter explained to CQ that it was all a mistake:

“In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates,” he said. “I’m ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I’ve made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke.”

Asked who he’s backing now in elections, Specter said, “I’m looking for more Democratic members. Nothing personal.”

NYCO - 5 May 2009

In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates,”

The prom can be such a giddy experience for a young girl. I hope someone in the Senate gave him a copy of this before he gets, ahem, “sworn in.”

marisacat - 5 May 2009

😈 it did have a “cotillion” feel to it didn’t it.

What a scream!

marisacat - 5 May 2009

I don’t think he is un-confused.

My favorite from the MTP was that Gregory did not have time to hear the long list of where Arlen disagrees with his liege lord, Obster.

It was hilarious.

39. diane - 5 May 2009

just checking in after my last post….I still generallly stand by it (empathy) -…nonetheless, when I want to read about the unforgivevable……..I check in…….and as the human I am…i’m …..withholding…………………..surely the end all ..be all…isn’t goooooo …surely..there is mercy…………..

I think I’ve found fragments of it here….

Why not?

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009
41. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 May 2009
42. marisacat - 5 May 2009

listening to KGO which is doing an hour or so on the Victorville… apparently there is a tear down scheduled of 20 homes in Temecula.

43. marisacat - 6 May 2009

nu post…


………….. 😯 …………

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