Send her back! Send her back!

Anti-immigrant governor admits grandparents were illegal immigrants | The Raw Story

Oh, wait.

"In those days, the law was very different," she added, saying many people came to the United States without papers back then.

So OK then.

But wait. I thought Republicans wanted to go back to the way they were. So then...

I give up.

I'm no dietician (what, this is surprising you?) but...

...I think one of the reasons tuna fish is good for you is that it's not very fatty, which is precisely the reason we have to mix it up with big blobs of mayo to make it edible. I don't do that very often because the tuna is so expensive. But I did today. Yum.

"President Scrooge Has No Clothes"

...From a sign on the commons this morning. And no, I didn't walk across the street to take a picture. Who knows how long these shoes will have to last.

Take that, ya commies

U.S. experts eye Cuba oil plans after BP spill | The Raw Story

A group of US experts led by a former top environment official has visited Cuba to gather information on the communist country's Gulf of Mexico oil exploration plans, according to state media.

U.S. wants to be sure Cuban oil drilling in the gulf doesn't screw up like, well, never mind...

Slackers, that's what they are

Nikki Haley: ‘I so want drug testing’ for jobless benefits | Raw Replay

Gov. Nikki Haley (R) told the Lexington Rotary Club Thursday that she wants South Carolinians to undergo drug screenings before they can receive unemployment benefits.

Maybe we should drug test everybody who gets government money for any reason. Like governors.

Sort of like London during the Blitz

Obama: U.S. stronger 10 years after September 11 attacks | Reuters

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Saturday the United States was stronger 10 years after the September 11, 2001, attacks and Americans would "carry on" despite continued threats against their safety.
 Stiff upper lip, and all that. Pip pip.


Two Decades of Spills - Graphic - NYTimes.com

Since 1990, more than 110 million gallons of mostly crude and petroleum products have spilled from the nation’s mainland pipeline network. More than half of it occurred in three states — Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana — where more pipelines exist.

(Click the link for the excellent graphic.)

Why not just deport all the unemployed too? Another problem solved!

Obama Administration Nears Its Millionth Deportation - National - The Atlantic Wire

With the Congressional budgetary battle and debt ceiling debacle of 2011, one issue that been put on the back burner in Congress is the illegal immigration. That of course doesn't mean the Obama administration forgot about it. In fact, his administration is nearing its one millionth deportation.


The Trib, it seems, is not much impressed

The wrong stimulus - chicagotribune.com

We view as sincere — and not just self-protection — Obama's effort to help those who are out of work. But we've witnessed the failure of Keynesian stimulus programs to dent this nation's jobs crisis. This is the wrong time for a president to tell Americans, "I'm from the government and I'm here to spend."


iPhone Photo: Phil Compton

In fact I might say strike three

You Get What You Pay For « The Baseline Scenario

Standard & Poor’s downgrade of United States government debt last month has been much debated, but not enough attention has been devoted to the fact, reported last week by Bloomberg News, that it continues to rate securities based on subprime mortgages as AAA.

In short, S.&P. is suggesting that these mortgages are more creditworthy than the United States government – a striking proposition.


Nice find by our Midwest bureau

By the excellent Carl Hiaasen...

Questions to make Cheney’s head explode - Carl Hiaasen - MiamiHerald.com

Click. You have to read the whole thing.

Hey, everybody's back from vacation now

The Confusing Thing About 'Unconfirmed' Terrorist Attacks - National - The Atlantic Wire

Last night, reports of a "credible," "specific," "unconfirmed," and "uncorroborated," threat of a terrorist attack that officials say there is "no certainty" of ever having been planned continue to dominate this morning's headlines....

But it's all because of too much federal regulation, right?

Undernews: Great achievements of Rick Perry


Great achievements of Rick Perry

From Freak Out Nation:

Texas Ranks #1 in population living below the poverty line ( 17.2 % ).

Worst environmental record in the United States

Ranks #1 in illiteracy

Ranks # 1 on the poorest gun regulations in the US and highest per capita gun murder rates in the US

Ranks #1 with the highest real estate taxes per $1,000 value of a home in the United States

Ranks #1 in the lowest high school graduation rate

Ranks #1 with the highest interest rates “pay day” companies can charge

Ranks # 1 in those making below minimum wage

Ranks 50th ( dead last ) in Teacher Pay

Ranks # 1 (26.5%) who lack health insurance

Ranks # 1 (20.3%) of children who lack health insurance

Ranks # 1 in the highest per capita executions in the world

Ranks # 50th in $ spent for Medicaid for the poor and children

Ranks 50th ( dead last ) in $ spent on its citizens

Ranks # 1 in the # of food insecure children.

Ranks 49th ( the 2nd lowest ) in Medicaid $ given to nursing homes

Ranks 2nd highest in teen births

Ranks #2 with the highest home insurance rates

Ranks #2 with the highest sales ta

Ranks 49th in $ funded for the mentally ill

Ranks #1 with the highest overall pollution rate

Ranks #1 in adults under correctional control

Ranks #1 in adults under probation


Hacking away at the payroll tax might be a good start

Benefits Programs Face Bipartisan Effort to Cut Them - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — In a significant shift driven by bipartisan concern about the looming long-term debt, Republicans and Democrats are no longer fighting over whether to tackle the popular entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — but over how to do it.


In case you missed the Republican debate last night, here is...

The MSNBC Republican Debate In 45 Seconds - YouTube



Posted by Picasa

Why do these little cars always make me think of roller skates?

Posted by Picasa

Worth a thousand words

Obama job speech: US unemployment by state mapped | Datablog | News | guardian.co.uk

As Obama gives his job speech, we've mapped the official data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the percentage of people unemployed.

The map is here.


From the Guardian, a list of the best British spy novels ever...

Who are the master spy novelists? | Books | guardian.co.uk

...here's one guide to the nine lives of the British spy, from the beginning of the 20th century – arguably, the source of the modern spy story – to the present...

And from Project Gutenberg, four of them free:

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Baroness Orczy)

The Secret Agent (Joseph Conrad)

The Riddle of the Sands (Erskine Childers)

Thirty-Nine Steps (John Buchan)

The more things change...

Rick Perry's Galileo Metaphor Is Totally Backwards - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

"Just recently in New Hampshire you recently said that weekly or even daily scientists are coming forward to question that human activity is behind climate change," John Harris from Politico asked the governor of Texas. "Which scientists have you found most credible on this subject?" Perry only named only one scientist: Galileo.

It was a metaphor to be sure, one meant to illuminate the idea that it took a while for science to agree that the Earth spins around the sun, instead of the other way around. "Galileo got outvoted for a spell," said Perry, in attempting to argue that the issue of climate change remains "unsettled." But what Perry fails to realize is the fact that the scientific community actually agreed with Galileo. It was the clergy who outvoted him, accusing him of being a heretic....


Just pointing out

Ron Paul:

It isn't authorized in the Constitution for us to run a welfare state.

Constitution (Preamble):

In order to...provide for the general welfare...


Ron Paul is, as he reminded us all last night, a physician. Can you imagine that smirky little troll sticking his finger up your butt?

I thought you could.

Who woulda thunk

New jobless claims rise to 414,000 last week | Reuters

(Reuters) - New U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week...

Everything looks better in the rear-view mirror

Debating With the Stars - NYTimes.com

It is the genius of the Republican Party in recent decades that it continually selects candidates who make the ones who went before appear better. Remember how great George H.W. Bush seemed once we’d lived with his son for a while? And I have a strong suspicion that whoever the nominee is this time will make us yearn for the magic that was W.

Well, hey, if the investors are ready that changes everything

Analysis: Markets have hope but Obama speech may change little | Reuters

(Reuters) - After learning the economy added no new jobs in August, investors say they are ready for bold ideas from Washington to put people to work.


New to our Work Avoidance List

Superhero Database | Superheroes, Villains, Teams and Superpowers


Everybody's doing it now: The jobs con

Oil-funded study: More drilling would add 1 million jobs | Reuters

(Reuters) - The United States could create more than one million jobs by 2030 by expanding offshore drilling, limiting federal regulation of shale gas development and quickly approving a Canadian oil sands pipeline, according to a study commissioned by a major oil industry trade group.

Look over there! Oil! Oil!

There Are a Bunch of Missing Surface-to-Air Missiles in Libya - Global - The Atlantic Wire

So, here's something to be terrified of: a ton of shoulder-mounted missiles are now missing in Libya and no one quite knows who has them right now.

Rebranding is the thing this year

Undernews: Taser may rebrand itself as Xf

You know, it's a damn shame when someone dies after getting fried by a taser, but can't everyone just focus on the positive aspects of electrocuting people?

Just think of this as one big reality show and it starts to make a little sense

Obama is the Best Republican President Since Lincoln | Crooks and Liars

Historians agree the best Republican President was also the first: Abraham Lincoln. Who’s second runner up? Which President has represented Republican values best? Easy. President Barack Obama.

(The author no doubt meant to write "first runner up." –Ed.)

And secession is apparently off the table, at least for now

Undernews: Who said Perry isn't a federalist?

From the Texas Statesman: "Three days after fires started to burn in Central Texas, Gov. Rick Perry today expressed frustration that federal firefighting support, including equipment from Fort Hood, has yet to make its way to the firefighters....

And now a word from the Massholes

Rick Perry's Free Market Paradise vs. My Socialist Hellhole of Massachusetts | Crooks and Liars

You've probably heard quite a bit about the "Texas Miracle" in the press a lot and I'm sure you'll be surprised to know that it's a longhorn-sized pile of poop.

It's true; you can try it yourself

"No thanks. Go to the website." | Corrente

I just love it that before you get to the actual content, if any, at whitehouse.gov you've got to click through one of those obnoxious "Gimme your email" screens.

Airport Car

iPhone Photo: Phil Compton

Da Chicago way

Kass: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium - chicagotribune.com

I figure the president from Chicago — with all those City Hall types crouching around him — will revert to a tried-but-true, big-city Democratic machine political solution:

Print oodles of federal money and throw it at powerful interest groups. And which groups?

The bridge contractors and asphalt kings and the road builders, the heavy equipment renters of bulldozers and the no-necks who buy and sell concrete for America's highways.

...here's hoping that investigative reporters start knocking on the door of Illinois Republican and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to see a list of the colorful subcontractors.


Standard & Poor's may have to downgrade Mother Nature

Another loss-making event could scare investors: S&P | Reuters

(Reuters) - Increases in the frequency and severity of natural disasters, in addition to the fact reinsurers are trading below book value, have made investors unwilling to inject capital into struggling reinsurers in the event of another loss-making event, Standard & Poor's (S&P) said on Tuesday.

Woohoo! Make that a double ketchup then

Service sector growth picks up in August: ISM | Reuters

(Reuters) - The pace of expansion in the services sector unexpectedly accelerated in August...

Preemptive surrender? Because it worked so well last time?

Obama Mulls Tax Cuts Beyond Republican Plans - Bloomberg

President Barack Obama may press Congress for tax cuts that would exceed his past proposals as well as some of the offerings from House Republicans to strengthen his hand in talks on measures to boost the U.S. economy, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Let's you and them fight

U.S. pulls back from lead role in conflicts: IISS | Reuters

(Reuters) - A war-weary United States will increasingly look for regional solutions to regional problems, playing a secondary "enabling" role in conflicts similar to the one it played in Libya, an influential think-tank said on Tuesday.


Special report: The secret plan to take Tripoli | Reuters

British operatives infiltrated Tripoli and planted radio equipment to help target air strikes and avoid killing civilians, according to U.S. and allied sources. The French supplied training and transport for new weapons. Washington helped at a critical late point by adding two extra [non-hostile] Predator drones to the skies over Tripoli, improving NATO's ability to [non-hostilly] strike.


The man with the golden voice and the tin ear

Obama lays down new challenge on jobs | The Raw Story

"I don't know about you, but I'm not scared of tough times," said Obama...

And neither would you be, Bunky, if you had his absolutely free health care plan and his very excellent pension plan and lived in his great big free house, complete with his world-class kitchen staff and, of course, grew your own tomatoes in a garden out back. Not to mention...no, never mind. You would not be one bit scared.



Photo abstract: Phil Compton

Save the poor, poor banks

European Markets Tanking as Eurozone Anxiety Continues - Business - The Atlantic Wire

The biggest problem, The Street declared, was the lack of hiring, with unemployment helping to sap global demand. The only possible outcome might be more action from the Federal Reserve, including a possible third round of its "quantitative easing," intended to inject more money into the world financial system.


The spin we're in

Obama Better Give One Hell of a Speech | The Nation

Consider these facts:

The number of employed Americans in the summer of 2011 was 139,296,000.

The number of employed Americans in summer of 2004 was 139,556,000.

So there are 260,000 fewer people working today than when George Bush was in his first term as president. Yet, the US population grew during the period from 2004 to 2011 by almost 20 million—from 292,892,000 in July 2004 to 312,150,000 today.


"I will not race to the top."

I will not Race to the Top! I will stop, like a good samaritan and lift hurting children out of the dark” – John Kuhn #SOS « Transparent Christina

Texas superintendent says it.


Photo abstract: Phil Compton

The real question is, where did all that money wind up?

9/11: Chronicle Of A Catastrophe Foretold - Americas, World - The Independent 

On an investment by al-Qa'ida generally calculated at no more than $500,000, the American outlay sparked by the events of 11 September has almost equalled the amount spent by the US, in real terms, during the Second World War. According to a recent study by Brown University, the total figure stands at an unimaginable $4trn.

And, for extra credit, exactly how much economic stimulus did it provide? For whom?


A long, long way to go

10 Eye-Popping Labor Day Stats | Mother Jones

280,000: The number of jobs the American economy needs to add each month to fill its 11.3 million-job deficit by the middle of 2016.

35,000: The average number of jobs the economy actually added in the past three months.

0: The likelyhood anything is going to get done about this any time soon.

(That last is mine. Read all of Mother Jones's stats here.)


Must be that tropical stuff again

It's warmer than it ought to be this time of year but that's not the problem. The problem is the humidity is off the chart. It's like walking through a body-temperature pea-soup fog. A person could work up a sweat just sitting still. I'm not in any rush for winter to arrive but just dialing this down a notch or two would be fine with me.

Why spoil a perfectly good three-day weekend?

Do not read this until Tuesday:


One from Column A, one from Column B


Undernews: Where the action is

Saturday marked the final day in the two week-long marathon of tar sands pipeline protests outside the White House. In all, 1,252 scientists, authors, farmers, activists, students, grandmothers, indigenous people, religious leaders -- you name it -- were arrested out in front of Barack Obama's residence.

But Al Gore wasn't one of them. Just saying.

(My bold.)

But "peeling away" a few independent voters might not be such an easy thing...

Is Election 2012 the GOP's to lose? What Obama could do. - CSMonitor.com

[Obama] doesn’t need to win over Republicans or the tea party to win reelection; he just needs to peel away enough independent voters to get to a bare majority.

...for a guy who can't even say no to smog.

So this might be a flaw in the plan?

Robert Reich (Why Equality is the Real Cause of Our Ongoing Terrible Economy)

Pump-priming works only when a well contains enough water.

But none of this heavy-duty military armament is falling into the hands of anybody really, really bad, right?

Exclusive: abandoned Libyan missile: a gift to militants? | Reuters

(Reuters) - When Muammar Gaddafi's soldiers fled this corner of a field outside Tripoli where they were camped, they left behind their army fatigues, a can of Brut deodorant -- and a Scud tactical missile.

Oh, wait.

Days later, the Soviet-made rocket, loaded on its launch truck and pointing toward the Libyan capital, is still sitting under the eucalyptus trees where they left it. The motley rebel forces who overthrew Gaddafi two weeks ago have set up no guard to prevent anyone taking it away or looting it for parts.

Maybe the bad guys will be content with just looting the art. Again.

From our ever-popular Work Avoidance list...

The Peeling Paint WebCam

Through the wonder of the world wide web, digital imaging and quirky homemade
software you can now actually watch paint peel LIVE from the comfort of your home or office.

Something in the air

Is 12,000 Lives Worth a Re-Election? Because People Have to Breathe This Crap | Mike the Mad Biologist

12,000 dead people. Every year. That is the point, not the economic policy. For fuck’s sake, we invaded the wrong country after terrorists killed 3,000 people, not 12,000. We could save thousands of lives, prevent tens of thousands of hopsitalizations with the stroke of a pen. Actually, that’s not correct. President Obama could prevent this....

(I've never been really clear on how polution saves jobs but maybe if you count undertakers...)

Not much inspiration here

Tough economic climate as Obama seeks 2nd term  | ajc.com

Obama's prospects aren't entirely grim, however. The GOP, heavily influenced by the tea party, may nominate someone so deeply flawed or right-leaning that, Democrats hope, Obama can persuade Americans to give him a second chance rather than risk the alternative.

Dowd on Obama

One and Done? - NYTimes.com

You know you’re in trouble when Harry Reid says you should be more aggressive.

Oh oh

Why You Should Root for Oregon Football : Lawyers, Guns & Money

Root for Oregon football. You know it’s the right thing to do. Rooting for other teams is like voting Republican. And rooting for Washington is like hugging Dick Cheney.