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Brief inflation 5 April 2010

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
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I am not up for much, so inflating just enough to toss up the old French cartoon…. then deflating back to a position of recline…

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1. marisacat - 5 April 2010

Don’t make me laugh TOO hard.

[T]he Massachusetts governor is the only Democrat besides Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) to get the president to headline a personal fundraiser for him more than a year before the November election. Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, has been consulting for Patrick’s 2010 bid since last spring, and Axelrod also has lent his expertise.

“We want to be as helpful as we can to him,” said Axelrod, who worked on the Massachusetts governor’s 2006 campaign.

“The same things that attracted me to Barack Obama attracted me to Deval Patrick,” Axelrod said, “this sense of public service as a calling and not a business and the sense that we have to break out of the old political paradigms of hyperpartisanship and special interest-dominance and bring about real change.”

[/snicker] … “sense of public service”… Good one! They’ll shovel that scheisse as long as people keep buying it…

Read more: LINK

2. marisacat - 5 April 2010

who can keep up?

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Blasts Heard Outside U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan (05:00 a.m. ET)

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 April 2010

U.S. Admits Role in February Killing of Afghan Women

KABUL, Afghanistan — After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid.

The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.

marisacat - 5 April 2010

On Obama’s watch.

And earlier tonight I heard some utter dipshit classic Jewish do gooder bullshiter from Newsweek, cannot think of his name… Stengel I think, with a new book on Mandela (don’t bore me too much, now!) and from Mandela segueing straigt into comparing him to Ob.

Gag worthy.

Happily the book should do about as well as Invictus.

Spare me.

catnip - 5 April 2010

I heard that too. I think it was on Meet the Press (brought to you by Boeing!) The guy was talking about Obama’s demeanor – and how apparently similar it was to Mandela’s. Mandela – who was calmed after being jail for decades. Yet, Obamalama, wonder that he is who had NOT been to jail, somehow had the SAME calm/cool attitude. Now how did that happen?? Must be a miracle!

marisacat - 5 April 2010

They are so like Jesus!

4. catnip - 5 April 2010

Just saw this on MSNBC.

Collateral Murder

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded. For further information please visit the special project website http://www.collateralmurder.com.

marisacat - 5 April 2010

CBS was careful to add that a “reporter in the general area that day” says it is important “for all of us to remember it was a hectic violent dangerous day”.

Would that be a war zone I wonder? One we created? From stories delivered by CONDIE and others, slobbering about “mushroom clouds”, and whtever else.

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

why does a supposed reporter feel a need to excuse what happened. Is he an independent observer or a pentagon flack?

marisacat - 6 April 2010

…does he even exist…

Etc.

ms_xeno - 5 April 2010

Just saw it. Still can’t figure out why it would be better if they’d been shooting wounded “enemy combatants” in the back from the safety of the air.

Still glad I voted for exactly none of these warmongering corporate fucks.

5. catnip - 5 April 2010

Karzai threatens to join the Taliban

Yeah. How’s that war working out for you?

marisacat - 5 April 2010

what a mess this war is………. he’s our chosen guy but we’d never admit that. All this bullshit of supporting ”legitimate” governments in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

what a sick joke it all is. As the wars spread every day.

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

Former UN envoy Peter Gailbraith is on MSNBC making “some people say” attacks on Karzai that he’s got “mental health issues” and maybe “a problem with Afghanistan’s most profitable export”, that’s he’s an opium addict.

catnip - 6 April 2010

Poor Obamalama – smacked around by Karzai and Netanyahu. Who’s next?

marisacat - 6 April 2010

As if we care who is an ”addict”. Sadat was a long time heroin user… just one among our so many beloveds.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010
Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

Tiny Revolution on what a sick country this is, on the massacre in the Wikileaks videos:

What’s particularly bizarre and deranged about this is that the handle of one of the helicopters involved is “Crazyhorse one-eight.” Crazyhorse, of course, was murdered by the U.S. in 1877 after surrendering. Four hundred years of people asking us to come over and help them. (It goes without saying that the attack helicopters were Apaches.)

TIME AFTER TIME: At 15:30, one of the helicopter personnel — after watching the two children they just shot get carried away — says “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”

This is very similar to Richard Nixon’s reaction in the Oval Office after seeing the famous photo of a Vietnamese girl running naked after being burned by napalm: “I wonder if that was a fix.” In both cases, the people directly responsible for hideous violence toward children find that their consciences are momentarily troubled. And in both cases, they quickly find a way to “explain” to themselves that it’s not their fault, and immediately move on.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

more on the community gardening post from the other day.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

Woman Sues Debt Collector, Wins $8.1 Million

Chrystal A. Snow challenged the validity of a $9,000 debt in a Dallas County Court-at-Law and countersued the debt collector for making improper phone calls, her attorney Ross Teter said. In a case that has received no media attention, Snow won her suit against Midland Funding LLC and the jury hearing the case awarded her $8.1 million — $250 for actual damages, $100,000 for mental anguish and $8 million in punitive damages, he said.

“The jury made a finding she did not owe the debt,” Teter said in a phone interview. “We argued that they violated the Texas Fair Debt Collection Act by making harassing phone calls and the jury agreed.”

ms_xeno - 6 April 2010

This is why being married to a bankruptcy attorney is sorta’ cool… 😀

9. catnip - 6 April 2010

ExxonMobil paid no federal income tax in 2009.

Last week, Forbes magazine published what the top U.S. corporations paid in taxes last year. “Most egregious,” Forbes notes, is General Electric, which “generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last year reported a record $45.2 billion profit, paid the most taxes of any corporation, but none of it went to the IRS:

Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. No wonder that of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas.

ts - 6 April 2010

A couple things to note is that usually the reason these companies pay no taxes is less about sheltering income overseas than tax credits they’re given.

The big 3 are:
1) R&D tax credit (dollar for dollar)
2) Depreciation on capital equipment (every recession we accelerate the schedule)
3) Foreign tax credits (multinationals get the biggest ones)

Not all of GE’s 10.3 billion of income was earned here, probably only 10-30% of it was earned in the US. Global tax laws tax that income where it was earned. But generally since the US claims all the tax credits in the US, that becomes a huge deduction against a fractional income base.

Now add to this the ability to carry forward losses and deduct them from future income from 5-15 years, and most likely you’ve cancelled out all the taxable income before you even get to look at what they try to shift overseas. That IS a big problem, but small compared to what they’re able to legally deduct.

So every time we pass a set of tax cuts to “stimulate the economy” or “enhance America’s competitiveness” we are actually hollowing out the tax base in the future (this happens to certain state budgets too, particularly those who get reputations for not being “competitive” or “business friendly”).

Don’t blame the corporations for this, they’re just doing the profit maximizing thing. Blame the legislators for prioritizing corporate profits over individual incomes, and big-business jobs over small business jobs, and then giving away the farm.

10. NYCO - 6 April 2010

Monsanto GM-corn harvest fails massively in South Africa

South African farmers suffered millions of dollars in lost income when 82,000 hectares of genetically-manipulated corn (maize) failed to produce hardly any seeds.The plants look lush and healthy from the outside… Farmers told Rapport that Monsanto was ‘bending over backwards to try and accommodate them in solving the problem. “It’s a very good gesture to immediately offer to compensate the farmers for losses they suffered,’ said Kobus van Coller, one of the Free State farmers who discovered that his maize cobs were practically seedless this week. “One can’t see from the outside whether a plant is unseeded. One must open up the cob leaves to establish the problem,’ he said. The seedless cobs show no sign of disease or any kind of fungus. They just have very few seeds, often none at all.

marisacat - 6 April 2010

well from whatI have read the whole point of the Monsanto seeds is that farmers should nto be able to harvest seeds from crops. Monsanto wants you to have to buy seeds each year.

And.. somehow I doubt this will turn out to be true…

Farmers told Rapport that Monsanto was ‘bending over backwards to try and accommodate them in solving the problem.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

Lesbian Teen Sent To Decoy Prom While Other Kids Party At Real One

All the news had been good for Constance McMillen, who was supposed to bring her girlfriend to her school’s privately sponsored prom on Friday. Except that prom was a decoy.

The Advocate writes,

McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back – she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn’t much to keep an eye on.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

NYT Health Care Blogger On Owning $5 Million In Health-Related Companies: ‘I Don’t See It As An Ethical Lapse’

We just talked to Reinhardt, who is also a Princeton professor, and while he sees the problem of the lack of disclosure, he said he never attempted to hide anything.

He also takes full responsibility for the issue.

“I guess I have to take the rap for this, but I don’t see it as an ethical lapse,” he told us in a phone interview. “It never occurred to me. My board memberships are public knowledge.”

“I invite you to look at the Wall Street Journal [academic columnists] and see their list of boards,” he added.

Of course, these sorts of interconnections ARE the problem.

marisacat - 6 April 2010

I see he is “owning” the issue. Yeah right.

That would be Uwe Reinhardt… I would guess (not followed teh link yet).. who years ago was very good on health care issues. Not for some time however.

Now he is just one more punk.

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

yup, that’s him.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

Found this via Balloon Juice: “…who are you better than?”

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 April 2010

Greenwald:

But there’s a serious danger when incidents like this Iraq slaughter are exposed in a piecemeal and unusual fashion: namely, the tendency to talk about it as though it is an aberration. It isn’t. It’s the opposite: it’s par for the course, standard operating procedure, what we do in wars, invasions, and occupation. The only thing that’s rare about the Apache helicopter killings is that we know about it and are seeing what happened on video. And we’re seeing it on video not because it’s rare, but because it just so happened (a) to result in the deaths of two Reuters employees, and thus received more attention than the thousands of other similar incidents where nameless Iraqi civilians are killed, and (b) to end up in the hands of WikiLeaks, which then published it. But what is shown is completely common. That includes not only the initial killing of a group of men, the vast majority of whom are clearly unarmed, but also the plainly unjustified killing of a group of unarmed men (with their children) carrying away an unarmed, seriously wounded man to safety — as though there’s something nefarious about human beings in an urban area trying to take an unarmed, wounded photographer to a hospital.

A major reason there are hundreds of thousands of dead innocent civilians in Iraq, and thousands more in Afghanistan, is because this is what we do. This is why so many of those civilians are dead. What one sees on that video is how we conduct our wars. That’s why it’s repulsive to watch people — including some “liberals” — attack WikiLeaks for slandering The Troops, or complain that objections to these actions unfairly disparage the military because “our guys are the good guys” and they act differently “99.99999999% of the time.” That is blatantly false. Just as was true of the deceitful attempt to depict the Abu Ghraib abusers as rogue “bad apples” once their conduct was exposed with photographs (when the reality was they were acting in complete consistency with authorized government policy), the claim that what was shown on that video is some sort of outrageous departure from U.S. policy is demonstrably false. In a perverse way, the typical morally depraved neocons who are justifying these killings are actually being more honest than those trying to pretend this is some sort of rare and unusual event: those who support having the U.S. invade and wage war on other countries are endorsing precisely this behavior.

The WikiLeaks video is not an indictment of the individual soldiers involved — at least not primarily. Of course those who aren’t accustomed to such sentiments are shocked by the callous and sadistic satisfaction those soldiers seem to take in slaughtering those whom they perceive as The Enemy (even when unarmed and crawling on the ground with mortal wounds), but this is what they’re taught and trained and told to do. If you take even well-intentioned, young soldiers and stick them in the middle of a dangerous war zone for years and train them to think and act this way, this will inevitably be the result. The video is an indictment of the U.S. government and the war policies it pursues.

All of this is usually kept from us. Unlike those in the Muslim world, who are shown these realities quite frequently by their free press, we don’t usually see what is done by us. We stay blissfully insulated from it, so that in those rare instances when we’re graphically exposed to it, we can tell ourselves that it’s all very unusual and rare. That’s how we collectively dismissed the Abu Ghraib photos, and it’s why the Obama administration took such extraordinary steps to suppress all the rest of the torture photos: because further disclosure would have revealed that behavior to be standard and common, not at all unusual or extraordinary.

Precisely the same dynamic applies to the Pentagon’s admission yesterday that its original claims about the brutal February killing of five civilians in Eastern Afghanistan were totally false. What happened there — the slaughter of unthreatening civilians, official lies told about the incident, the dissemination of those lies by an uncritical U.S. media — is what happens constantly (the same deceitful cover-up behavior took place with the Iraq video). The lies about the Afghan killings were exposed in this instance not because they’re rare, but because one very intrepid, relentless reporter happened to be able to travel to the remote province and speak to witnesses and investigate the event, forcing the Pentagon to acknowledge the truth.

The value of the Wikileaks/Iraq video and the Afghanistan revelation is not that they exposed unusually horrific events. The value is in realizing that these event are anything but unusual.

15. diane - 6 April 2010

Credential this, assholes

…yeah, still embracing that, …

copyright, ms xeno, ………….

and the multitudes

ms_xeno - 6 April 2010

Sorry, diane. I haven’t forgotten. But the temp job is kicking my ass at the moment. :/

16. marisacat - 6 April 2010

hmm 7.8 earthquake, Sumatra Island, Indonesia.

marisacat - 6 April 2010

While I was at Google News I saw this, a report from yesterday, so it does not include the Indonesian quake today:

Snip:

[J]an. 12 — A devastating 7.3-magnitude earthquake leveled much of the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince and its vicinity, the worst in the recent 200 years of the Caribbean country’s history.

The catastrophe killed some 270,000 people and directly affected 1.5 million others. Over 500,000 people fled the capital for shelter elsewhere in the island nation. Damage and loss were estimated at about 7 billion U.S. dollars or more than 120 percent of Haiti’s 2009 gross domestic product.

Feb. 27 — A destructive 8.8-magnitude megaquake and ensuing tsunamis tore up roads and towns in central and southern regions of Chile, the biggest since 1950 in the country’s history. The disaster killed about 500 people and caused an estimated 30 billion U.S. dollars worth of damage to infrastructure, houses and industry.

Feb. 28 — A 6.2-magnitude aftershock hit central Chile, just a day after the massive quake that threw the country into panic.

March 4 — A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Antofagasta in northern Chile ahead of the country’s three-day national mourning period for the victims of Feb. 27 massive tremor. The quake was felt in the northern areas, causing panic among citizens, but brought no risk of tsunami. It was not an aftershock of the Feb. 27 megaquake, according to Chile’s National Emergency Office.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit China’s Taiwan …

17. Heather-Rose Ryan - 6 April 2010

Wow, they’re really getting to the heart of it. Yes, it’s all about their attitude toward women and reproductive rights and gays and gay marriage, but not in the way that they think. It’s because they can’t tolerate any challenge AT ALL to their male power structure. They decide who gets screwed and by whom. As Mary Daly wrote, “If God is male, then the male is God”.

See for yourself:

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican heatedly defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, claiming accusations that he helped cover up the actions of pedophile priests are part of an anti-Catholic “hate” campaign targeting the pope for his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
Vatican Radio broadcast comments by two senior cardinals explaining “the motive for these attacks” on the pope and the Vatican newspaper chipped in with spirited comments from another top cardinal.
“The pope defends life and the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, in a world in which powerful lobbies would like to impose a completely different” agenda, Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, head of the disciplinary commission for Holy See officials, said on the radio.

marisacat - 6 April 2010

hmm Madman just sent me this… big article on the hideous abuse and collusion and coverup in the indigenous communities of Alaska… and extended related West Coast issues.

With this tidbit in it… a ways down:

[I]n September 2005, former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—who’d just become the pope—asked the justice department of the Bush administration to grant him immunity from prosecution in sex-abuse cases in the United States. Ratzinger, the onetime head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was accused of “conspiring to cover up the sexual molestation of three boys by a seminarian” in Texas, according to the Associated Press. Ratzinger had “written in Latin to bishops around the world, explaining that ‘grave’ crimes such as the sexual abuse of minors would be handled by his congregation. The proceedings of special church tribunals handling the cases were subject to ‘pontifical secret,'” Ratzinger’s letter said.

The Bush administration granted Ratzinger the immunity. …

marisacat - 6 April 2010

And moiv sent this.. if it moves forward to the SC… which has 6 Catholics and a very conservative court, overall… it could be very interesting. Seems clear the US, for its own reasons (certainly not to restrain insane priests and protect children) plans to reduce the power and reach of the Rome headquarters.

[C]afardi says these lawsuits do not merely attack longstanding law on suing foreign states, they also ask the U.S. courts to transform the Catholic Church.

“If these cases succeed, they will have succeeded in restructuring the Catholic Church in a way that the church has not structured itself,” he says. “And I would see that as a very serious threat to freedom of religion.”

Demands To Depose The Pope

Still, federal appellate courts in the 6th and 9th Circuits have said the cases may proceed. And recently, the U.S. Supreme Court asked the departments of Justice and State for their views. Taking these as a green light, attorneys for the plaintiffs are filing requests for thousands of documents in the Vatican archives, and even demanding to take a deposition from the pope.

“I want to unearth every evidentiary trail that leads from every offending priest directly to the Vatican and ultimately take the depositions of every official, all the way to Rome and to the pope himself,” says plaintiff’s attorney Anderson.
snip

Heather-Rose Ryan - 6 April 2010

Their story has always been about imposing their structure and their dominance. It’s all going to come down. And no, it’s not just Catholics.

18. Heather-Rose Ryan - 6 April 2010

The holy shit hitting the fan. Gotta love it. I knew this would happen eventually, but I didn’t think it would be quite so entertaining.

19. catnip - 6 April 2010

Look who’s had a come to Jeebus moment. What a fucking laugh.

marisacat - 6 April 2010

ugh. looks like a lot of the usual suspects patting themselves on the back.

buhdydarma, Sally Cat, clammyc and of course the balloon, Del Dem.

May they all bite each other to death.

marisacat - 6 April 2010

HA! I read to the end… what a hoot! I had forgotten he called me a “cunt of the first order”.

snicker.

Heather-Rose Ryan - 7 April 2010

They are forgiving him (meaning: each other) for the Pie Wars! Hilarious.

Well… we all knew this was going to happen.

They are savage beasts with rudimentary brains.

catnip - 7 April 2010

Grabbed that from your post about him in 2007.

I damn near choked when I read that he was one of the “signatories” to that call for “civility”.

20. catnip - 7 April 2010

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

Move over, bin Laden…

At a panel discussion in Washington on Tuesday, Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California and chairwoman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, called Mr. Awlaki “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.”

marisacat - 7 April 2010

hmm he is also a US citizen iirc…

catnip - 7 April 2010

He’s playing Bush’s ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ cowboy sheriff game. But don’t tell that to his fans. Heads will explode.

21. catnip - 7 April 2010

haha – I hadn’t seen the cover of Pepe Escobar’s book about Obama before…

catnip - 7 April 2010

This, from a reviewer:

The author asks at the beginning of the book if perhaps the Obama administration is going to be just a way to tamp down the rage of progressives to keep them from true change-making activism.

Prescient.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

marisacat - 7 April 2010

Very funny! As I recall, Pepe fell hard for Obama, so much so I had to stop reading him… reminds me to take a look at Asia Times……………….

22. marisacat - 7 April 2010

Daddy doesn’t love Karzai. I guess…………….. [snicker]

White House Refuses to Say If Karzai is U.S. Ally

April 06, 2010 1:52 PM

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today continued his criticism of the comments by Afghan President Hamid Karzai — and when pressed, Gibbs refused to say if Karzai was an ally of the U.S.

Speaking to Afghan lawmakers over the weekend, Karzai suggested he might have to join the Taliban himself if the United States does not stop “meddling.” Gibbs called Karzai’s most recent comments “troubling,” “confusing,” and “untruthful.”

So ABC News asked: “Is Karzai our ally?”

Gibbs’ response: “Karzai is the democratically elected leader of Afghanistan.”

“That’s not what I asked,” ABC News noted. “Is he our ally?”

Said Gibbs: “There are times in which the actions that he takes are constructive to governance. I would say that the remarks he’s made I can’t imagine that anyone in this country found them anything other than troubling.

“So our position on this, Jake, is that when the Afghan leaders take steps to improve governance and root out corruption, then the president will say kind words,” Gibbs said. “When leaders need to hear stern language from this administration about the consequences of not acting, we’ll do that as well.”

– jpt

Tapper, full text…

23. marisacat - 7 April 2010

nuuuu

LINK

……………….. 8)


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