OK, does this count as foreign aid then, or not?

Kucinich on U.S. Bailout of European Banks: We Cannot Continue to Throw Money Down the Bank Hole | NationofChange

“The Fed has found tril­lions and tril­lions of dol­lars for banks through TARP and Quan­ti­ta­tive Eas­ing Episodes 1, 2 and 3.  Now they fig­ured out a way to bail out yet an­other set of banks - this time in Eu­rope."

And now a word from Captain Obvious

Obama Says U.S. Still Hurting From Wall Street Crisis of 2008 - Bloomberg

President Barack Obama, urging Congress to pass his jobs plan, said the economy is still struggling three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

And, Lehman Brothers Holdings? We're blaming all this on Lehman Brothers Holdings? Sucks to be them.

Where has all the money gone

Advice on Debt? Europe Suggests U.S. Can Keep It - NYTimes.com

Financial officials from the United States, once called “the committee to save the world” after the Asian crisis in the 1990s, now find themselves uttering apologies for the harm caused to the world by the 2008 financial crisis...

On an autumn morning walk

IMG_0373, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Disaster capitalism on the fast track

Jeb Bush to lead for-profit disaster response company | The Raw Story

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) managed several hurricanes and natural disasters during his two terms as the state's executive, but now he is preparing to respond to storms from the helm of a for-profit company instead of from within the governor's mansion.

Bush's newly created firm, Old Rhodes Holding LLC, joined forces with O'Brien's Response Management to form a for-profit disaster response company, the Maritime Executive reported.


It's not just about needing more jobs

For Jobs, It’s War - NYTimes.com

Three out of four of those below the poverty line work: half have full-time jobs, a quarter work part time. Only a quarter do not work at all.



Are you kidding me?

A frost advisory! Really? Tonight?

Storm Cloud

Photo: Phil Compton

Slackers: They're everywhere you look

Blaming the jobless for unemployment - Maine news, sports, obituaries, weather - Bangor Daily News

The world is truly topsy-turvy when the governor of the state starts blaming people who don’t have a job for unemployment.

But that’s exactly what happened last week. Gov. Paul LePage, after a photo-op meeting with business owners in the state, took aim at workers. He said that Maine has 21,000 job openings and 24,000 people who are unemployed.

The problem, LePage said, is that our workers don’t have the skills necessary to take any of those jobs.

Never mind the recession, the housing collapse, offshoring and the fact that many of the folks who are unemployed live hours from where the jobs Gov. LePage touts are.

Unemployment is the fault of workers, who don’t have the right skills.


Yeah, what's with that anyway?

The Sideshow September 2011 Archive

The real threat to Social Security is in Obama's payroll tax cut, which even right-wing Democrat Ben Nelson recognizes as an ugly scam: "I wish I could (support it),' he said. 'But all you're doing is taking money that otherwise would help Medicare and Social Security.'" And even Pete Sessions - yes, a right-wing Republican - called the payroll tax cut "a horrible idea"! So, yes, Obama is actually more right-wing than Pete Sessions!.

Thank you, Atlantic, I was just thinking the same thing myself

When the President's Away, the Journalists Will... Talk About 'Optics' - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

The cliché: It's that time of year again -- time for a president to go on vacation, the opposition to criticize him for it, and the media to roll out a peculiar word: optics. When used in the political sense, optics means a vision of how one is perceived by the electorate. On the topic of President Obama's trip to Martha's Vineyard, Michael Muskal at the Los Angeles Times says "Still, there is the question of political optics, which has annoyed even some liberal critics." "Others say the optics aren’t good if the president is traipsing around a place with yachts and multi-million dollar homes," says Jena McGregor of The Washington Post. "Going to Martha's Vineyard, he might have a problem in the optics, the playground of celebrities, being in a rich person's home," says The Boston Globe."

WTF optics? The aromatics of that word are just not good.

Forget drilling: Dig!

U.S. Can’t Track Tons of Weapons-Grade Uranium, Plutonium | Danger Room | Wired.com

But according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), issued late last Friday afternoon to little fanfare, thousands of pounds of highly-enriched uranium and separated plutonium remain. American officials may never get a chance to ensure its security.

That’s because the U.S. can’t track or fully account for 5,900 pounds of “weapons usable” nuclear material that it once shipped overseas.

But wait, let's ask Ron Paul. The free markets will take care of this, right? Anyway, we knew the risks...

OK, forget digging. Just don't get sick. You might get Ron Paul for a doctor.

It's supposed to get to 34º tonight and, wait, this too?

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Drill baby drill

Undernews: Gas drilling gives Wyoming worse smog than Los Angeles

USA Today - Rural Wyoming, known for breathtaking vistas, now has worse smog than Los Angeles because of its boom in natural gas drilling.


'Hope and Change' Still Good for Something... - Politics - The Atlantic Wire



I don't know how I managed to avoid reading The Scarlett Pimpernel all these years but I've read it now and it's quite a tale. 

Treat yourself.

Maybe it was Orwell after all

Major discovery: a purpose of the war in Afghanistan - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

At least we can now see the very important purpose of the war in Afghanistan: we stay until there's nobody left who hates us and wants us gone, then we triumphantly depart.

The war machine

White House Weighs Limits of Terror Fight - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s legal team is split mover how much latitude the United States has to kill Islamist militants in Yemen and Somalia...

The debate...centers on whether the United States may take aim at only a handful of high-level leaders of militant groups who are personally linked to plots to attack the United States or whether it may also attack the thousands of low-level foot soldiers focused on parochial concerns....



As a public service...

Heidi Klum Deemed Most Dangerous Celeb in Cyberspace - NYTimes.com

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Supermodel and TV host Heidi Klum was named on Thursday as the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace, inviting malware and viruses to flourish on computers.


Undernews: General complains of White House pressure on congressional testimony

The four-star Air Force general who oversees U.S. Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

"Cascade of human and mechanical errors"

BP Shortcuts Led to Gulf Oil Spill, Report Says - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — BP, running weeks behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget in trying to complete its troubled Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, took many shortcuts that contributed to the disastrous blowout and oil spill there last year, federal investigators concluded in a report released on Wednesday.

(But of course nothing like this could ever happen with a pipeline from Canada.)

We're Number One! Or un-one. Whatever.

Undernews: U.S. has weakest labor protection of any developed nation

AFL-CIO - University of Missouri-St. Louis Associate Professor Kenneth Thomas reviewed numbers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and found that in 21 categories, U.S. workers are more vulnerable than workers in any OECD members (rich industrialized democracies) or even the so-called growing BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China…to being fired unfairly, to not getting severance pay, to getting the least notice on mass layoffs or being fired, to being stuck on a mouse wheel of temporary positions.

I'm thinking movie

Nicolas Cage: Naked Guy Broke Into My House, Ate Fudgesicle

"It was two in the morning. I was living in Orange County at the time and was asleep with my wife. My 2-year-old at the time was in another room. I opened my eyes and there was a naked man wearing my leather jacket eating a Fudgesicle in front of my bed..."

Let's see her cards

Bioethicists Offer $11,000 for Medical Proof of Bachmann's 'Mental Retardation' Example | Crooks and Liars


Minnesota, the state that holy-rolled Michele to DC, is trying to redeem itself. Local bioethicists are calling Bachmann's bluff:

A University of Minnesota bioethicist is offering $1,000 for medical proof that a woman’s daughter suffered mental retardation from the vaccine for human papillomavirus virus, a story that was told by Rep. Michele Bachmann after Monday’s debate.


Bachmann has come under fire from the medical community for suggesting the vaccination for the HPV virus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer, is linked to mental illness.


Steven Miles, a U of M bioethics professor, said that he’ll give $1,000 if the medical records of the woman from Bachmann’s story are released and can be viewed by a medical professional.


His offer was upped by his former boss from the University of Minnesota, Art Caplan, who is now director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. Caplan said he would match Miles' challenge and offered $10,000 for proof of the HPV vaccine victim.


Yep. That's $11,000 to produce this mother and verify her claim.


Lowering the bar until it disappears

Certain "progressive" blogs have taken to applauding Obama because he has – reportedly – decided not to trash Social Security and Medicare. 

What? What?

It's his friggin' job not to trash Social Security and Medicare. And I'm supposed to get all goody goody hooray because he's doing it? 

Dude, that is some thin gruel.

The spoils

The 2 Billion UBS Incident: 'Rogue Trader' My Ass | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

In the financial press you're called a "rogue trader" if you're some overperspired 28 year-old newbie who bypasses internal audits and quality control to make a disastrous trade that could sink the company. But if you're a well-groomed 60 year-old CEO who uses his authority to ignore quality control and internal audits in order to make disastrous trades that could sink the company, you get a bailout, a bonus, and heroic treatment in an Andrew Ross Sorkin book.

Go shopping

Let’s Get Real on Jobs | NationofChange

You know what’s wrong with the Amer­i­can econ­omy, Bucko? You, that’s what.

...CEOs say that they won’t start hir­ing until you con­sumer slugs get out there and spend, spend, spend.


So not just the $5,000?

The Bachmann Chronicles - NYTimes.com


Rick Perry supports abstinence-only sex education in all Texas public schools. He doesn’t think kids should be taught about condoms. How many of you really think he would leap to the cutting-edge front of the war against sexually transmitted disease by inoculating 12-year-old girls simply because, as he put it, “I am always going to err on the side of life.”

Let me see a show of hands.



New York City photos by Charles W. Cushman reveal 1940s life in the Big Apple | Mail Online

Charles Weever Cushman’s pictures are even more impressive today, as they were taken on pricey colour Kodachrome and look far more recent than they actually are.

(The pictures are here.)

Wikipedia on Kodachrome:

During its heyday, many Kodak and independent laboratories processed Kodachrome; by 2010, one Kodak-certified facility remained: Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas. On 14 July 2010, it was announced that the last roll of Kodachrome to be manufactured was developed by Dwayne's for photographer Steve McCurry on assignment for National Geographic. The 36 slides will be permanently housed at the Eastman House in Rochester, New York and most of the pictures have been published on the Internet by Vanity Fair magazine.

Dwaynes Photo announced it would cease Kodachrome processing on 30 December 2010. However, the company received such a large quantity of film during December 2010 that processing continued until 18 January 2011.



Whenever those mean old Republicans get you all confused by saying such mean old things you don't have to think, just...

Get the facts. Fight the smears. — AttackWatch.com | Join Attack Wire Today

Join Attack Wire—and help stop the attacks on the President before they start.

Or, you could just take the blue pill, that would work just as well.

And speaking of messaging...

Undernews: Poorly planned field trip of the day

President Obama is visiting a small North Carolina manufacturing company that has outsourced half its workforce to Costa Rica...to tout his new proposal to create jobs in the United States.

The Chicago way

Editorial: Rahm earns F for using f-word - Chicago Sun-Times

It’s time for Rahm Emanuel to go up to the chalkboard and write 100 times:

“I will not go around saying ‘f--- you’ to people I hardly even know.”

Really Sun-Times? In Chicago?

(News item from our Midwest bureau)

And you thought you could ride a bike?

Like this?

(From our ever-alert Midwest bureau)

Words I am going to really, really, incredibly grow to hate by this time next year


Vaccine Maker Gave Rick Perry $30,000 Plus a Whole Lot More - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

Rick Perry's attempt...to mandate...vaccines


Is White House really backing away from push for full jobs bill? - The Plum Line - The Washington Post

Sperling’s assertions do suggest that the White House doesn’t have its messaging ducks in a row

Social media

OK, that's two words but I'm gonna hate it twice as much.

Stupid poor people just don't know when they're well off

Study dismisses poverty, but try telling that to the poor - The Washington Post

As the fortunes of middle-class Americans continue to dwindle, some might be wondering what it’s like to be poor. A study released this year by the Heritage Foundation argues that living in poverty isn’t as bad as most of us imagine. Indeed, from the way poverty is portrayed by the conservative think tank, you’d think that the average poor person was actually living large.

“Poor children actually consume more meat than higher-income children consume, and their protein intake averages 100 percent above recommended levels,” wrote Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, authors of the study...



That much, huh?

Robert Reich (How to Create More Jobs By Lowering Wages: Texas and America)

...governors have as much influence over job growth in their states as roosters do over sunrises.

But dude, as long as it has Wi-Fi what could possibly go wrong?

Audi's New Driverless Car Has Wi-Fi, Lacks Door Handles - Technology - The Atlantic Wire

Just unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the snub-nosed hatchback is designed to take over driving duties in heavy traffic...


The CNN tea party debate in 75 seconds | Raw Replay

Missed the CNN Tea Party debate Monday evening?

Yes I missed the great debate, I mean. My wireless router went out Monday evening – a miracle! – and I was spared. There was, however, a price for this salvation: I spent most of yesterday screaming great obscenities at the router known as Topaz before just giving up and installing, instead, an old router (Emerald) which had been sitting on the shelf for a year or so and was scheduled to be given away tomorrow (not so much now), and then perusing the technical docs online and deciding a factory reset of Topaz was in order, which reset, after more great obscenities and reconfiguration finally put Topaz back online. Emerald is now turned off but still plugged in, waiting, and I can now swap out routers in three seconds flat. &%^)$%%#

So then, having swapped routers twice in as many days, I decided to print out a short (2-item) list of the relevant passwords for the convenience of others who use the same router and when I went to print it – we're talking four short lines of black ink on white paper here – the printer refused to work because it was out of friggin' light figgin' magenta ink. WTF? I hate color printers. I am never going to buy another one. Never. From now on it's either black-only printers or quill friggin' pens. Or I will take my file to somebody else's house and print it there. I'm not too proud. 

And the printer still won't work because the printer won't recognize (WTF is recognize?) the brand friggin' new friggin' light friggin' magenta cartridge I put in. 

So then, quill pen.


And you were expecting...?

Undernews: Cantor voted for $120 billion in public works for Iraq and Afghanistan, but opposes any for U.S. schools

Think Progress - Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) voted for over $120 billion to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, funds that were used to construct and repair schools, roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure.

Now, Cantor is opposing President Obama’s proposal to spend $30 billion to modernize 35,000 American schools.


Sock puppets for Obama

Obama Campaign Seeking Social Media Staffers | techPresident

First data, now tweets: President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is seeking "social media copywriters."

This is probably not a Union job.


Who's got the whipped cream?

876.5-lb. pumpkin at the Franklin County Fair. Imagine the pie.

(H/T Michael)
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Question: What could they possibly do to give Life Savers a "new look"?

Hint: Nothing.
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From our Free Markets file

Video Game Companies Reaping Giant Tax Breaks

The New York Times reports that due to the video game industry’s loose definition — somewhere between software development, entertainment and online retail — allows it to cash in on big tax breaks and other incentives....

Mom and Dad [help] foot the bill for companies that have whole departments devoted to making heads explode more realisticly.


Listen up, Shakespeare fans: The video's the thing

Hulu - Hamlet - Watch the full movie now.

Hot Hollywood star Ethan Hawke (TRAINING DAY) is joined by Julia Stiles (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) and Bill Murray (LOST IN TRANSLATION) in a hip, thoroughly contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare's epic story of passion, betrayal, and revenge! The president of the Denmark Corporation is dead ... and already his wife is remarried to the man suspected of his murder! Nobody is more troubled than her son, Hamlet (Hawke). Now, after this hostile takeover, trust is impossible, passion is on the rise, and revenge is in the air! Also featuring Kyle MacLachlan (ONE NIGHT STAND), Liev Schreiber (SCREAM 3), Diane Venora (THE INSIDER), and Sam Shepard (THE PELICAN BRIEF) in an outstanding ensemble -- the power of Shakespeare's timeless words is matched by the stunningly modern look and feel of this widely acclaimed, highly entertaining big-screen event!

Hot Hollywood star or not, this production of Hamlet is well worth your time.

But keep the government out of your health care

Is Manufacturing Falling Off the U.S. Radar Screen? - NYTimes.com

In Dow Chemical’s case, thanks to a $141 million federal grant, roof shingles that generate solar power are rolling out of a pilot plant near Dow’s headquarters in Midland, Mich., and a full-scale factory is under construction nearby. The government is also paying nearly half the cost of building a $362 million Dow plant in the Midland area, whose “clean” rooms will soon produce batteries for electric cars.