The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 9th – What goes down outside the economy

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — The day after a giant tsunami set off the continuing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate. (read full story at the NYT)

This comes as no surprise at all. While we have lost track of the story during the turbulent times of non-existing governmental due diligence and the ensuing market meltdown, this story will stick with us. For hundreds, if not thousands of years. What really happened comes to light in bits and pieces now. Radiation is sky high, high enough to be lethal in the broken reactors. The goal is: Avoid making the Headline. Fact is: Great parts of Japan, including the Tokyo area have become hazardous to live in. Psssht just don’t tell the people.

If you have the time, just listen into this: There is no safe level of radiation.

This is our open thread. What’s on your mind outside of the markets today?

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314 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 9th – What goes down outside the economy

  1. Politico has the Morning Joke crowd disturbed with this.

    Obama plan: Destroy Romney

    Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s re-election campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.

    I’m no crack political strategist, but if an opponent has obvious flaws, isn’t the best time to expose them after it’s too late to change horses? Don’t help the RNC vet it’s next candidate in the primaries. Make his opponents do all the work first.

    The onslaught would have two aspects. The first is personal: Obama’s re-elect will portray the public Romney as inauthentic, unprincipled and, in a word used repeatedly by Obama’s advisers in about a dozen interviews, “weird”.

    The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm which was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs. Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the great recession – a sort of political Gordon Gekko.

    I can supply the bumper sticker slogan for this one: Romney, Serial Job Killer

    I’m just not convinced Romney is going to be the Republican nominee.

    • If Romney’s shot down, there may be Bachmann and the Obama campaign guys may think she’s a push over.

    • I find this “ferocious personal attack” statement suspicious. I volunteered for the 2008 campaign and the instructions were very clear… no personal attacks. As a matter of fact, the volunteers were instructed to NOT trash the opponent. That is why I find it odd that Obama would change his tactics this time. Barack Obama is intelligent and he is skillful in campaigning. He doesn’t need “ferocious personal attacks” to disable his opponent.

  2. CONTRACT FOR THE AMERICAN DRE M
    “I HAVE A DREAM. IT IS A DREAM DEEPLY ROOTED IN THE AMERICAN DREAM.”
    – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963 March on Washington
    We, the American people, promise to defend and advance a simple ideal: liberty and justice… for all. Americans who are willing to work hard and play by the rules should be able to find a decent job, get a good home in a strong community, retire with dignity and give their kids a better life. Every one of us – rich, poor or in-between, regardless of skin color or birthplace, no matter their sexual orientation or gender – has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is our covenant, our compact, our contract with one another. It is a promise we can fulfill – but only by working together.
    Today, the American Dream is under threat. Our veterans are coming home to few jobs and little hope on the home front. Our young people are graduating off a cliff, burdened by heavy debt, into the worst job market in half a century. The big banks that American taxpayers bailed out won’t cut homeowners a break. Our firefighters, nurses, cops and teachers – America’s everyday heroes – are being thrown out onto the street. We believe:
    AMERICA IS NOT BROKE. America is rich – still the wealthiest nation ever. But too many at the top are grabbing the gains. No person or corporation should be allowed to take from America while giving little or nothing back. The super- rich who got tax breaks and bailouts should now pay full taxes – and help create jobs here, not overseas. Those who do well in America should do well by America.
    AMERICANS NEED JOBS, NOT CUTS. Many of our best workers are sitting idle, while the work of rebuild- ing America goes undone. Together, we must rebuild our country, reinvest in our people and jump-start the industries of the future. Millions of jobless Americans would love the opportunity to become working, tax-paying members of their communities again. We have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis.
    To produce this Contract for the American Dream, 131,203 Americans came together online and in their communities. We wrote and rated 25,904 ideas. Together, we identified the 10 most critical steps to get our economy back on track and restore the American Dream:
    A
    1. INVEST IN AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE.
    Rebuild our crumbling bridges, dams, levees, ports, water and sewer lines, railways, roads and public transit. We must invest in high-speed Internet and a modern, energy-saving electric grid. These investments will create good jobs and rebuild America. To help finance these projects, we need national and state infrastructure banks.
    2. CREATE 21ST-CENTURY ENERGY JOBS.
    We should invest in American businesses that can power our country with innovative technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal systems, hybrid and electric cars, and next-generation batteries. And we should put Americans to work making our homes and buildings energy efficient. We can create good, green jobs in America, address the climate crisis, and build the clean energy economy.
    3. INVEST IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. We should provide universal access to early childhood education, make school funding equitable, invest in high-quality teachers, and build safe, well-equipped school buildings for our students. A high-quality education system, from universal preschool to vocational training and affordable higher education, is critical for our future and can create badly needed jobs now.
    4. OFFER MEDICARE FOR ALL. We should expand Medicare so it’s available to all Americans, and reform it to provide even more cost-effective, quality care. The Affordable Care Act is a good start and we must implement it – but it’s not enough. We can save trillions of dollars by joining every other industrialized country – paying much less for health care while getting the same or better results.
    5. MAKE WORK PAY. Americans have a right to fair minimum and living wages, to organize and collectively bargain, to enjoy equal opportunity and to earn equal pay for equal work. Corporate assaults on these rights bring down wages and benefits for all of us. They must be outlawed.
    6. SECURE SOCIAL SECURITY. Keep Social Security sound, and strengthen the retirement, disability, and survivors’ protections Americans earn through their hard work. Pay for it by removing the cap on the Social Security tax, so that upper- income people pay into Social Security on all they make, just like the rest of us.
    7. RETURN TO FAIRER TAX RATES. End, once and for all, the Bush-era tax giveaways for the rich, which the rest of us – or our kids – must pay eventually. Also, we must outlaw corporate tax havens and tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Lastly, with millionaires and billionaires taking a growing share of our country’s wealth, we should add new tax brackets for those making more than $1 million each year.
    8. END THE WARS AND INVEST AT HOME.
    Our troops have done everything that’s been asked of them, and it’s time to bring them home to good jobs here. We’re sending $3 billion each week overseas that we should be investing to rebuild America.
    9. TAX WALL STREET SPECULATION. A tiny fee of 1/20th of 1% on each Wall Street trade would raise tens of billions of dollars annually with little impact on actual investment. This would reduce speculation, “flash trading,” and outrageous bankers’ bonuses – and we’d have a lot more money to spend on Main Street job creation.
    10. STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY. We need clean, fair elections – where no one’s right to vote can be taken away, and where money doesn’t buy you your own member of Congress. We must ban anonymous political influence, slam shut the lobbyists’ revolving door in D.C. and publicly finance elections. Immigrants who want to join in our democracy deserve a clear path to citizenship. We must stop giving corporations the rights of people when it comes to our elections. And we must ensure our judiciary’s respect for the Constitution. Together, we will reclaim our democracy to get our country back on track.

    Found at Huffingtonpost I just don’ want to link to there.

  3. The scope of the scandal involving Japanese nuclear power plant reactor meltdowns continues. Over the last couple of days, revelations have come out that Japanese authorities withheld information about the extent and severity of the radiation leak.
    UNBELIEVABLE!

  4. According to Rachel last night, yesterday’s stock market plunge in the US was -6.66%.

    Uh oh, the Antichrist has arrived, looks like. Now, that’s gotta be the ‘outside the economy’ influence to end all ‘outside the economy’ influences! Wouldn’t it be nice for the world if all the global shysters got raptured and only nice folks (like us here, for example) got ‘Left Behind’? Keeping fingers crossed! :wink:

      • Thanks. I bought meself a bottle of 21 year old Glen Spey cask strength to go with it. That gives me a 50% yield. Won’t get that elsewhere nowadays. **hic**

        (No not really, I bought it for Hubby it’s our anniversary today. 15 years, if you don’t count the other ten “living in sin”)

  5. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the Japanese government to have operated with any great efficiency in the first few days of this disaster, notwithstanding the various real time resources at their disposal and the contingency plans and systems that had been developed. Having to deal effectively with Fukishima AND all the other effects of the tsunami would have been very complex and very difficult—and such was the scale of the disaster and the combination of effects that any given action or inaction could have exacerbating consequences that might easily and quickly be amplified and collectively in hindsight whatever actions/inactions taken could easily be construed as a ‘conspiracy’ of action instead of being a series of parallel actions as it were.

    However, this section of the article stands out to me:

    Some advisers to the prime minister argue that the system was not that useful in predicting the radiation plume’s direction. Shunsuke Kondo, who heads the Atomic Energy Commission, an advisory body in the Cabinet Office, said that the maps Speedi produced in the first days were inconsistent, and changed several times a day depending on wind direction.

    “Why release something if it was not useful?” said Mr. Kondo, also a retired professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tokyo. “Someone on the ground in Fukushima, looking at which way the wind was blowing, would have known just as much.”

    Mr Kondo’s argument reflects an interest in finding discrete data on which to base discrete courses of action, e.g. If the wind is blowing in one direction, evacuate people in the opposite direction.
    The fact that the direction kept changing is useful information! . With no obvious consistent direction available to avoid the radioactive plume surely the only ‘solution’ then is still to get as many people as you can as far away from the concentrations of radioactivity as possible—after all as the winds carry the radioactive matter they also distribute it over wider and wider areas in relation to distance, reducing the concentration,
    If any direction was as good or bad as any other, than the only reasonable mitigating action is for everyone to simply get as far away from the concentrated radiation source as possible, as quickly as possible.

    The government had initially resorted to drawing rings around the plant, evacuating everyone within a radius of first 1.9 miles, then 6.2 miles and then 12.4 miles, widening the rings as the scale of the disaster became clearer.

    Well duh! Radii! Omni-directional! Standard procedure!

    Mr Kondo’s argument is ridiculous. If his attitude expressed in this article was his attitude as an adviser to the cabinet during this disaster then he seems to have rejected the Speedi option as useless because it didn’t support the option he most desired—-to find a course of action that required the least amount of effort to execute.

    I can appreciate the government’s disaster mitigation system being disrupted and unsatisfactorily coordinated initially, but after a couple of weeks it does appear they made a real effort to create a new system not to mitigate the actual effects of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, but the effects the disaster might have on their own political survival, and of course, they are only making the situation worse.

  6. Off Topic: Just a thought from the excellent Capitalism video posted yesterday:

    Did anyone else find it interesting to hear that one of the reasons to get Americans to buy homes in the 1930’s was because, they believed, homeowners, who were union members were less likely to go on strike.

    Think about that for a minute.

    Basically, they make it easier for the average American to purchase a home, with the thought that they would become less likely to go on strike against their employer. What else over the years has the government done or passed, with the sole intention of making Americans apathetic, content and passive, by dangling the mythical American dream in front of our eyes?

    • People with nothing to lose are more likely to take to the streets.

      Now, as more and more families get tossed out onto the streets, as more and more families see everything they’ve worked for taken away the instant one parent loses his or her job, as more and more of everything is transferred to the rich, armed revolution becomes more and more likely.

  7. In my opinion, the rating houses, who in reality are paid by Wall Street, are in collusion with the corporations and the republican party to destroy Obama.

    Not that Obama has done anything of late to gain any sympathy, but now the republicans will use the following issues before the 2012 presidential campaign:

    * Our downgraded US credit rating (Obama’s fault)
    * High unemployment continues (Obama’s fault)
    * No job creation (Obama’s fault)
    * Raising taxes (Obama’s fault if and when the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire)

    The players above are pushing hard to put the republicans back into complete control of our government and most likely they will succeed. The democrats will lose the senate and possibly the White House in 2012 and the final push for a corporate oligarchy will be in place.

    We are living in dangerous times in our country today and so many in America don’t even understand what that danger is.

    • And for those who scoff at the thought of Mitt Romney beating Barack Obama in 2012, think again.

      The 4 points I listed above will not only energize the right but they may also
      be the deciding factor in independents and democrats to not vote in 2012.

      Evangelicals and fundamentalists will have no problem voting for Mitt Romney if it means getting rid of the black, socialist Muslim from Kenya in the White House.

      There is a reason why Romney has been laying low lately. The GOP know that he is their only hope right now to defeat Obama. He may have a lot of baggage (Romneycare) but with a republican controlled government, the right will forgive him for that and Obamacare will be quickly dismantled, along with social security, medicaid and medicare.

      • I’ve reached the admittedly low, low point of saying that if the American electorate is actually STUPID enough to turn the government back over to the right wing, then both the people and the country itself (and there is a difference in those two aspects) deserve the smashing they’re both going to get. The ‘bottom’ 98% will soon find themselves forking over what little they have left to the top 2%, and all in return for what may or may not prove to be even a subsistence existence. The top 2% will enjoy their power and their wealth, residing as they do well above the fray and the rubble, and all will be well for them because, as Dubya pointed out “way” back in 2003, once the full consequences of history are finally revealed for all to see, “We’ll all be dead.” So no worries.

        Watching as one’s nation of birth commits suicide is not much fun, but given the shortcomings of the human species as a whole plus the unimpeded view through the eye of recorded history, the process is as predictable as it is inevitable. Nothing’s new under the sun.

        “In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.” ~Voltaire (1764)

        • frugal, the big corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash right now. They do not invest, they even park it at the Fed for low interest rates, they’re not invested in the markets, they are just waiting. Waiting until a Republican President needs a economic miracle so the Republican reign can be cemented. Then they’ll invest, provide as many “feel good” jobs as necessary to fix the “Democratic” problem and even make some money in the bargain. Right now the private sector is starving the President out.

          I need a sip of that single malt…on second thoughts make it a gulp.

          • I agree, EV. And the corps can do just that without penalty because they are, in effect, a de facto government entity, empowered both by their financial resources AND by the US Supreme Court. In fact, and curiously enough, the President of the United States is, at this point in time, the weakest of all major entities in the government, and the probability is that the trend will continue until a genuine and pure fascist is finally “elected” to that office.

            I’m about to suggest, in fact, that the name of the US Capital be changed, that Washington D.C. be renamed Weimar D.C. Might as well play the game all the way.

          • That book has the most fitting end that I have ever read. And it still is true today.

  8. On a more local note here in SE VT, a disgruntled co-op employee just shot (and apparently killed) the store manager a little while ago … we’re all kinda in shock at the moment …

      • Thanks, EV … people are leaving work early, checking on their loved ones … the vibe is pretty somber, as we are a co-op also … so so sad …

      • Ev, I’d not be too quick to judge the violence as “mindless.” We’ve seen before how enduring bullying for too long can lead to this kind of outbreak (Columbine, anyone?).

        And, right now, the system protects the equal-opportunity bully. (mind you, I’m not talking about the store manager – we don’t have any facts to go on one way or the other – I’m just pointing out a flaw in how we go about our business). If someone bullies another based on race, creed, religion, gender, or some other “protected” class, then the victim has recourse in the courts. If someone bullies everybody, then the victim(s) have no recourse other than to find another job.

        In a tight job market, that’s not always possible. So the victim must endure the treatment, living in a nightmarish hell of economic slavery. For some, the stress is so great they get to a point where they cannot get out of bed in the morning. For a few, they decide to rid the world of their tormentor.

        Some folks are trying to pass legislation to protect the victims of bullies, but they are facing an uphill battle. The U.S., it seems, has a perverse love of bullies.

        (I have to get off my soapbox now and get to work.)

        • BnF, I fully agree about the bully issue. I should have added that inside a shooter’s mind and soul must be a dark and scary place. I know most suffer through a lot until they finally break out.

  9. There’s a new Palin, born three months after Track’s marriage, in Palin tradition (McGinniss scooped). Paternal grandma is uncharacteristically silent. And Mercede Johnston upgrades her reputation with a September center-fold in Playboy. Maybe that’s her way of trying to stop the grandmother of her nephew announcing a run for the presidency. Good luck with that. Also:

    “According to Mercede, Bristol Palin sent a text message to Levi during her pregnancy that read, “Ever since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I prayed to God you weren’t the father.” She added that her brother did not like Bristol to drink, as it made her “more promiscuous.”

    Levi’s book comes out in September too. I’m sure you can’t wait.

    • You mean Levi didn’t deflower the Palin virgin?

      Wow, that’s shocking. :roll:

      Levi’s sister is named “Mercede?” Not Mercedes?

      • … they didn’t teach her in school or home… she may have thought more guys had had their chance, while she was passed out.. gross.

        • So many girls don’t understand just how vulnerable they are when they’re blind drunk, which is something that concerned me when I was in school (and now). They actually seem to think that the guys they know wouldn’t take advantage of the situation, and they may be right, but college parties are full of guys these girls don’t know.

          Bristol’s parents didn’t teach her about sex education, they didn’t teach her self respect, they didn’t teach her personal values, and they didn’t even teach her to be careful with her own body and future. Despicable.

          • Zooey, I used to be drunk in my time, badly. But even when I was falling down loaded I never forgot to make sure the bedroom door was locked or another (more sober) female was around me. I honestly don’t get the blokes. To take advantage of a helpless drunk girl amounts to rape if you ask me.

    • I can surmise from other blogs that there are arguably as many people on the political left who have quite enough of the Palins and consider any further mention of them only feeding the media beast and the Palins’ narcissism instead of starving it, as there are those who are comfortable providing further publicity about them in order to turn that publicity against them (and then there’s just the fun to be had).

      Both seem valid approaches, but whether one will have a greater effect than the other I don;t know. What I do know is that Palin is a corporate media invention and it is the corporate media that has maintained her profile—last month Palin featured on Newsweek’s cover to tease its readership that Palin might run for office, when a years worth of polling she wasn’t even supported in that ambition by a majority of Republicans, let alone a general majority,

      I’d hazard that continued exposure, by examination, of the Palin orbit does no ‘harm’ as the public has spoken as it were, and the corporate press continues to ignore reality. Where continued exposure may do some good is in the continued accumulation of negatives that increasingly overwhelm the contrived positives promoted by partisans and the corporate media—notwithstanding the old aphorism that at least bad publicity is still publicity, There’s only 360 degrees in a a complete spin, after all, and its the same for a helix,

      It also better, overall, I think, not to forget and to keep reminding ourselves and others why Palin and her ilk came about and what their purpose and place really is and what they represent—which is how easily a meal of utter shit can be sold as a delicious, nutritious sandwich.

      • I have no idea who “Mercede” is; today’s the first time I’ve seen the name. Not interested, either. Playboy centerfold? As meaningless as if Sarah herself was that. Or Bristol. And I wouldn’t buy it then, either.

        I don’t understand the fascination with worthlessness.

    • Barney Franks, on Rachel’s show, points out that we could and should cut $250 billion PER YEAR from Defense. I couldn’t agree more, but would try to double that to half a trillion per year and STILL spend more than China and Russia combined. Reinvest that here to both cut the deficit AND rebuild infrastructure/create jobs.

      • Barney Frank on Morning Edition (paraphrased): “Don’t ask me a complicated question and then give me two seconds to answer.”

        Even the knobs at NPR want everything to be reduced to sound bites. NPR used to think their audience was intelligent and curious enough to sit through actual discussions.

        • NPR even is doing the ‘he said, she said’ *balanced* journalism. Their reporting on the SP downgrade was puerile – well the GOP says and the Dems say – but nothing about what the report *actually* said.

        • That was before the Bush Administration put people in charge that insisted on “fair and balanced” reporting.

  10. Ruh roh. Conservative Christians using their brains? WTF?

    But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.”

    • .

      ..argued that the whole point of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection was to undo Adam’s original sin..

      That being the case – why the rituals of confession a/o baptism?
      Baptism is supposed to ‘wash away original sin’ – if Christ took it for everyone, why would these rituals be needed?

    • Venema says … it’s clear that modern humans emerged from other primates …

      Hmmm.

      evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years…

      Twenty years. Hmmm. That would be roughly coincident with George W. Bush’s appearance on the public stage. Hmmm.

      humans emerged from other primates…

      Ah. I think I get it. :wink:

  11. A House Republican says he wants President Obama impeached — he’s just not sure why! As long as the ensuing gridlock stymies President Obama’s agenda, it’s the right thing to do.

    Pressed by Tea Party activists angry that he voted for the debt limit deal, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) said he wouldn’t vote to raise the debt limit again and said he’d be happy to see President Obama impeached for…something.

    “It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up,” Burgess said. “No question about that.”
    [...]

    • Ah Texas, well the tying up is an unfortunate turn of phrase huh? He forgot to add “.. and then we’ll drag him a few miles down a Texas forest trail behind a pickup truck….”

    • .
      This smells a bit like TREASON. Doesn’t it?

      Could this be the modern equivalent of Strange Fruit (lynching).

      Doesn’t surprise me Burgess is from TX.

    • Translation: As long as the White House nigger is having to deal with petty teabagger bullshit, no one will noticed how fucking pathetic I am.

    • They have nothing else to do. They certainly don’t plan on passing any legislation that might help the country.

    • I skimmed the first page of comments. Minnesota used to be a fairly liberal state, the place that sent Humphrey and Mondale, also Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone to the US Senate. Now it sounds as though it’s peopled mainly by whack job wingnuts. Wha hoppen?

      • Well? The resurgence of fundamentalism has something to do with it. The fact that “conservatives” are more likely to be outraged about these kinds of stories has something to do with it. The naked racism prevalent in rural Minnesota has something to do with it. Mostly though, it’s just trolls being trolls.

        A couple weeks ago one of the posters tracked down eleven comments, under different names, that featured the same misspelling of the word “incompetent”. It has also been noted that the “liberals” tend to show up in greater numbers after normal business hours. Also, since the Strib is the biggest paper between Chicago and Seattle, a lot of our Reichwhiners are from out of state. There was even one who recently commented about the 35W bridge falling into “a lake”.

      • Judging by the lack of reasoning skills I think they already have but just not serious enough to stop autonomic functions. They rage without the benefit of reason.

  12. Nebraska AG Jon Bruning Compares Welfare Recipients To Scavenging Raccoons

    Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, a frontrunner to win the GOP nomination against Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), compared poor people to scavenging racoons in a speech this week. [...]

    In the attached photo, Bruning is wearing a red and white jacket with a large ‘N’ on it. That plus the story reminded me of the time a decade or two ago when Arizona State stomped highly ranked Nebraska in an early season football game. After the game, when asked by a reporter what he thought about several derogatory pre-game quotes from Nebraska fans and players concerning ASU’s chances, ASU quarterback Jake Plummer said he wasn’t surprised, not at all. “They also think the ‘N’ on the Nebraska helmet stands for ‘knowledge’,” he said through unforced grin.

    Ah. Now I get it! :wink:

    • .
      The brilliance continued –

      Just like welfare recipients all across America. If we don’t send them to work, they’re gonna take the easy route.

      ummm – recall that your Repugnant party ran on “jobs, jobs, jobs” then just as quickly said – forget about the jobs!

      There ARE NO jobs you blithering cockroach Bruning.

    • Once you start thinking of people as vermin it becomes easier to imagine exterminating them.

      • Correct. The Nazis made some very notorious films using exactly this effect. It’s so very disgusting i would have scratched his eyes out, had I witnessed it.

  13. Nothing to do with the usual subject matters, but I have these questions to ask of all Zoo critters.

    What is the largest attachment your particular e-mail system allows you to receive?
    How much total e-mail storage are you allowed? 1 GB? 10 GB?
    Are you able to accept a file of 700MB? 1 GB?

    I may have a specific purpose in asking. You all may have a reason to know the specifics of how large an individual file you are allowed to receive and/or how much temporary storage your e-mail system permits.

    Take your time, it isn’t urgent, but it could be interesting and useful to know. .

  14. I use my ISP’s email as opposed to stuff like Gmail or Yahoo or Hotmail. My provider’s individual account username (up to ten allowed) storage limit is a mere 55MB, but that’s not an issue for me because I have it set so that each message downloads to my hard drive within minutes after it’s received. The only emails that stay with the provider are the ones the provider weeds out and holds in the trash bin. It seldom errs, so I have to clean it out every day or two.

    Largest downloadable file? I have no idea, although I assume anything larger than 55MB would present a problem.

  15. .
    Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after a jury deliberated for only 30 minutes.

    The polygamist sect leader was convicted last week on two counts of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old who were his “spiritual wives.”

    Jeffs will now know what a “spiritual wife’s” ‘duties’ are … prisoners have their own ‘ethics’ – child molesters don’t fair well…

    • He’ll quickly learn what NOT to do if he should happen to drop the soap in the prison’s community shower. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving SOB.

    • I have a feeling that his “life” will be very short in prison, those type of pervs don’t last very long in prison.

  16. In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, six in 10 of those surveyed say members of the joint panel established in the debt-ceiling negotiations should be willing to reach an accord, even if it means making major compromises. Just over a third say the members should stand firm on principle, even if doing so blocks an agreement.

    While a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents endorse doing what it takes to reach an agreement, supporters of the Tea Party disagree: 53% say they want committee members who will stand on principle no matter what.

    My own emphasis added, but in this story about a USA-Today poll, it would seem the Tea Party is pretty much the “My Way Only” Party.

      • It’s sooper dooper double secret, but these teabaggers know, man.

        Nobody is fooling them, except the voices in their heads. ;)

      • Gilbert, AZ. I know it well. It was a little tiny wide spot in the road, surrounded by farms back in the sixties. In the 80’s, we did a fair amount of ag business with certain of the large farms. Then in the 90’s the population exploded and farmland turned into urban sprawl, “they” ‘took away the farms.’ And throughout all of that, the town — south of Mesa — remained strongly Mormon.

        I’m not surprised the place is a teabagger haven, i.o.w. But it is hilarious that McCain was chastised for never having heard of “agenda 21.” I’m sure no one else with a functioning brain has either, and that says more for McCain than I intended!

      • I just happened upon the website teapartytribune.com. Now i have to wash my eyes with soap.

  17. Sometimes one just has to laugh at ‘em. One of the Reichwiners has boldly proclaimed that new fuel standards are “social engineering”. They keep reminding me of that great, repeated, line form “The Princess Bride”.

    “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

  18. On October 15, 2002

    President Bush Hosts Conference on Minority Homeowners­hip

    “We are here in Washington­, D.C. to address problems. So I’ve set this goal for the country. We want 5.5 million more homeowners by 2010 — million more minority homeowners by 2010. (Applause.­) Five-and-a­-half million families by 2010 will own a home. That is our goal. It is a realistic goal. But it’s going to mean we’re going to have to work hard to achieve the goal, all of us.
    . . . And so what are the barriers that we can deal with here in Washington­? Well, probably the single barrier to first-time homeowners­hip is high down payments. People take a look at the down payment, they say that’s too high, I’m not buying. They may have the desire to buy, but they don’t have the wherewitha­l to handle the down payment . . . I’m proud to report that Fannie Mae has heard the call and, as I understand­, it’s about $440 billion over a period of time. They’ve used their influence to create that much capital available for the type of home buyer we’re talking about here.”

    • .
      They need to keep an Eagle’s eye on Waukesha Election Board

      We must always remember the ‘found votes’ from
      Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus

      • Indeed. That’s why huge turnouts are our only hope. If red state elections are close enough to steal the Reichwhiners will steal them. I’m very proud that Minnesota did such an excellent job with the Franken vs Coleman race, and that I can include myself among the 312 who put Franken over the top, but I’m not sure we would see the same outcome after we installed our current GOP controlled legislature. The local trolls still insist that “Franken stole the election” even though We The People were able to watch the whole recount unfold on line.

      • She might be able to affect the District 8 race. Part of that district is in the NE corner of Waukesha County. She can’t help the other five races though.

        • Hooda said she’s out of the loop in this election. I couldn’t find anything about it online, but it may be the case that one of her deputies is heading up this election. All they have to worry about now is the deputy being a toady of Nicklaus.

  19. Fox wants us to doubt Obama. Therefore we should resist the urge.

    Progressives who make up the president’s base have long harbored doubts about his commitment to some of their causes, pointing to his hesitant positions on gun control and gay marriage, his lack of progress on immigration reform and his willingness to negotiate away Republican demands like last year’s short-term extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

    Obama also has made the left jittery by talking about entitlement reform. He said Monday that a new bipartisan committee tasked with finding deficit savings should take on the tax code as well as programs like Medicare.

    Look, I’m not saying we don’t have reasons to have our gripes. But this is the right-wing playbook. They want us to bash Obama. We can’t let the right win.

    • Obama also has made the left jittery by talking about entitlement reform.

      It’s not just the left, 70 % of Americans believe in Social Security and Medicare… the rest are delusional. It’s that 70% that are nervous about SSI and Medicare “reform” — and they aren’t all liberals…

  20. Little Eric is so proud of being referred to as “Obama’s Nemesis” in the national journal that he sent a link to the article to his constituents.

  21. An excellent comment from TPM’s post about the moron who compared welfare recipients to racoons:

    So many here seem really in tune with the very clear racism that is used in the rhetoric of certain politicians. But remember, when thinking about our President, and the things that he’s trying to accomplish, that he’s battling that racism, too. Obviously, there are a lot of good people in this country that believed in Equality–that’s why Obama won. But there are still a ton of Americans , and many that are in Congress, who never believed Obama would be elected because of his skin color, and now that he has been their singular goal is that he leaves office in disgrace. Judging from comments here, it seems like none of this would surprise any of you. That’s all the more reason to circle the wagons and back this President. He has had to walk this “bipartisan” line because he tries to make policy with people who want him to fail, and because some Dems feel like they aren’t getting everything, they abandon him, too. Then, he’s forced to make concessions so we don’t lose everything. Repubs try to make it look like he sold out, and lots of Dems seem to fall for that, even though it’s obvious if you really have your eyes open that the Pres is doing his best and he NEEDS us beside him. Think about it. If someone came in and robbed your house home invasion style, and during it all, you managed to save a few valuables and protect your kids, would you expect blame for losing some of your things, all of the kids’ clothes, maybe suffering an injury? That would be ridiculous, and it’s equally so that people are not seeing how much more President Obama and true Dems could do for us all if we presented a united front of support…

    • If I knew what the guy stood for and he demonstrated such, I’d be more supportive. But he doesn’t seem to stand for anything but ‘bi-partisanship’ – whatever that means.

    • That’s awful. It’s also interesting how someone determined to avoid what he considered to be the confines of religion took something else and turned it into a religion that narrowed his philosophy of life in exactly the same way.

    • The irony is that it sounds like she’ll be O.K. while DINO (Dad in name only) is probably headed for a cardboard box under an overpass because he’s too selfish to build any good will. Though I suppose it’s also possible that his daughter will be able to find it in her heart to take pity on the poor fool.

      • No, thank goodness. I think…

        He does get mail from the teabaggers, but I haven’t had the nerve to approach the Ayn Rand question. I couldn’t take an answer in the affirmative.

  22. Jon Huntsman to make a major announcement on Wednesday.

    Oh! Oh! Maybe he’s running for president!

    Oh wait…

  23. I may have mentioned this before but; I have tremendous contempt for the “librul media”. Today’s case in point is the recall elections in Wisconsin. Our largest local paper, the biggest between Chicago and Seattle, has a story about the elections but has disabled comments. To be fair; they do screen comments about everything but sports and they might just not have the manpower to handle the load on a story that’s guaranteed to be contentious but I think I would rather see them close comments on less contentious issues and let the fur fly on a story that could be very profound.

  24. pRicky continues his struggle with his epic stupidity…

    From TP:

    Rick Santorum turned more than a few eyebrows on Monday when he explained his opposition to same-sex marriage by holding up a napkin and observing that it was not a paper towel. On Friday, during a meeting with the Des Moines Register, Santorum relied on a similar metaphor to prove why society can’t “redefine” marriage: water is not beer. “It’s like saying this glass of water is a glass of beer. Well, you can call it a glass of beer, but it’s not a glass of beer. It’s a glass of water. And water is what water is. Marriage is what marriage is,” he said.

    • OK, now I get it. Now I hate all the homos, because they’re neither beer nor napkins. Or is that backwards? Sideways?

      I just wish that someone, somewhere will yell, “What about King David?”

      Morans.

    • I wonder if these freaks even realize that there are other cultures in the world. In many cultures a marriage is not considered a marriage without a dowry. One case that stuck with me was an African culture that had a minimum dowry of two cows or six goats going to the father of the groom. If any of the livestock died before a child was born then the marriage would be annulled. Guess what, Ricky. There are people on this great and wonderful world who would say you are living in sin if your Daddy didn’t get livestock in return for you taking responsibility for your “wife”. Even if there’s a Heaven you, your wife, and your children won’t go there unless your father in law comes clean with the livestock!

      • It’s creepy how much he reminds me of my nephew — in looks.

        He’s a hard core repiggie too, but I haven’t seen him in several years, so I’m not sure of his level of sense — common or otherwise.

    • I tried marriage once and didn’t like it a whole lot. I’m not at all sure what its utility really is, what the “meaning” is other than a handful of legal tidbits that can be a pain in the ass upon dissolution. I can understand the legalities, they’re there to protect against the human tendency to not always act with honor, with honesty, with gentleness and caring.

      That explains why cats don’t seem to feel the need to marry, I suppose, or how it is that individuals in certain species (including H.sapiens, btw) can truly mate for life even with no ceremony or paperwork necessary. Perhaps it also explains why Mrs. Santorum probably finds the technicalities of the formal arrangement useful. But what it all has to do with water, beer, paper, cloth, or gay, or hetero I have no fucking idea.

      Were Adam and Eve married, btw? Did she wear white on that day? Who handled the … erm … organ? (oh, umm, never mind)

    • .
      The water may not be beer –
      there are religions that have stories of jeezus turning water into wine.

  25. From TPM:

    Fond Du Lac City Clerk: WI Recall Voter Turnout Here Will Be Between 70% And 80%

    Wow!! Go Wisconsin!!

  26. Question: Could it be that one of the main reasons why corporations and big business are sitting on their profits is because of the January 21st, 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United ruling?

    We are told they are sitting on their record profits because of uncertainty of this and uncertainty of that but is it really to horde all of their profits so that they can use them to pump into the elections, as they did in November 2010?

    In Wisconsin it has been reported that in the 6 recall districts, mostly rural areas, $40 million was brought in from outside interests.

    • $40 million for 6 state rep recall elections? That is a staggering sum of money to pay for an election!

    • Just to conflate the two issues: since corporations are now people does that mean that a merger between two companies with male owners are “same sex marriages” and, therefore, illegal?

    • On a more serious note: Have you heard any of the GOP attack ads? One that I heard was all about (evil) unions.

      “When the (evil) union thugs took over the Capitol the democrats left town. Now the (evil) unions and their Democrat(sic) allies are attacking Wisconsin’s democracy. The (evil) unions want to run Wisconsin for their own profit”. And on and on.

  27. I adore Wisconsin. My favorite childhood memories are of vacationing in the Rhinelander area, renting a cabin on a lake, fishing with Dad, and eating those fish for dinner the same night. We swam on the beach, took the little rowboat that came with the cabin out on the lake, and just enjoyed the sights, smells and sounds of that gorgeous place. Wisconsin smells great. I miss that.

    Even when our destination was my grandmother’s house in Michigan’s U.P., Wisconsin still was thrilling for me. We always stopped at the Dairy Queen in Oconto, sat by the river and one time, saw whitefish leaping out of the water. Years after we were grown, my sister and I stopped at that Dairy Queen on our way up to see the folks, and we found a stray Labrador retreiver who no one had claimed. He was about six months old. We took him and drove the remaining 100 miles with a big happy dog in the car…and he turned out to be the dog my Dad loved more than any animal he had ever had.

    Door County — spent many weekend there in the 70s and 80s, and it is paradise. Especially in the fall. I miss the forest preserves and the water. Wisconsin in summer is so beautiful. So my hope today is that the people of Wisconsin realize what a mistake they made last November and set things right. I anxiously await the election results. Wisconsinites deserve much better than what they’re getting.

  28. This is so funny. A group of anti fascist has sold a t-shirt with a nazi parole on a right wing event. It sold like mad. After the first wash, however, the logo disappeared and a message sayin: “you can get out of right wing extremism, too” appeared. So brazen :lol:

    • Much more original than merely selling t-shirts that say, “Keep the government out of my Medicair”, to retired teabaggers.

  29. In News you may have missed:

    Congress is getting rid of the Congressional pages. Seems they don’t have much to do anymore with electronic mail and faxes. Not to mention access to people like Mark Foley.

    And … The Obama administration may allow Arctic drilling. Yeah, how’s that Gulf oil spill and remnants of the Exxon oil spill working out for people?

  30. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/cnn-poll-grand-old-party-downgrade.php?ref=fpblg

    How does the GOP define itself? As reckless, fanatical, self-absorbed and prepared to upend the global economy in order to defend ideological absolutes. Hence the new polling, showing the Democrats with equal favorable and unfavorable ratings and the Republicans with a negative 22 percent. The GOP is where the Dems were only last November.

    They only have 33 percent national favorable ratings, which means Independents have all but abandoned the brand.

  31. Nothing really new here but it’s a good read on Batscat Shelly.

    http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/weird-things-michele-bachmann-believes

    It also reminded me of something from way back in my youth. While studying the abolition movement i recall reading that the abolitionists actually proposed the best way to free slaves. In simple terms; it was a lifetime employment contract. I guess that kinda shoots down Shelly’s belief that slave owning “Founding Fathers” wanted to free their slaves but were too worried about their well being in a hostile economic environment.

      • Indeed. My sincere hope is that she lasts long enough to lose her seat but is defeated by Mittens in the primaries. Mittens may have a greater chance of winning the general election but I am most assuredly not willing to take the chance that the “librul media” may manage to get her elected. It’s only a tiny bit hyperbolic for me to say that electing Batscat as president would probably force me to step in front of a bus. I fear I’m too old to try and live through such a horrible occurrence.

  32. David Bohrman, New Current TV President, Says Network Will ‘Transform Itself’

    TV news veteran David Bohrman, who took over Monday as the new president of Current TV, says the network will be undergoing a major transformation in the near future.

    First comes primetime. Bohrman acknowledged that Rachel Maddow — who just re-upped with MSNBC — won’t be following Olbermann to the network. He said he plans to sit down with Olbermann in New York next week to get the ball rolling on finding other primetime hosts.

    Well, they already have Shuster. Who else should they hire? What time slot would you put them in?

    • I suggest they bring in Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, Cenk Uygur and Bill Moyers!!!!!! Please!!!!!!

      • .
        I could listen to Bill Moyers for hours on end. The very softened Texas drawl espousing intelligent conversation. A man of logic and stature!

    • I’d just like it if Comcast included them in the basic digital lineup. Throw out one of those stupid jewelry channels and make room for some actual information.

  33. Ryan Lizza eyes Batshiat’s Christianism:

    “[Bachmann's recommended Historian] J Steven Wilkins has combined a Christian conservatism with neoconservative views and developed what is known as the theological war thesis. This is an idea that says the best way to understand the Civil War is to see it in religious terms, and [that] the South was an Orthodox Christian nation attacked by the godless North and that what was really lost after the Civil War was one of the pinnacles of Christian society. This insane view of the Civil War has been successfully injected into some of the Christian home-schooling movement curriculums with the help of [Wilkins]. My guess is this is how [Bachmann] encountered the guy at some point. … She recommended this book on her website for a number of years. It is an objectively pro-slavery book and one of the most startling things I learned about her in this piece.”

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/139084313/the-books-and-beliefs-shaping-michele-bachmann

  34. Sigh… This is what we are up against.

    tveedinnerAug. 9, 11 4:35 PM

    “mnjoe5078: I agree with Thoney. You don’t get it. I’d rather send money to Arabs than allow the government to decide what car/truck I drive, light bulb to use or foods to eat. You may enjoy having government make decisions for you, but this country is based on individual liberties and freedoms.”

      • Yep. And I’ll bet $100.00 to a stale doughnut that he is perfectly comfortable with the government telling people that they can’t marry. and/or raise kids with, a person of the same sex or abort a fetus.

        • Clearly you are not “acquainted with all internet traditions.”

          Morons (mis)spell the word “moron” as “M-O-R-A-N” on their signs. Zooey is mocking them…

          • Clearly – hey is that a wallaby and does he say ‘no’ to usingTasmanian opium?

            • Full on kangaroo…. Met him in Australia a few years back… I’m not sure what his stand is on Tasmanian opium. I’ll ask the tasmanian devil…
              :-)

    • He’d rather send money to the Arabs? What about all that creeping Sharia?

      As someone who drives a truck, all I want is something that will haul what needs to be hauled in the most efficient and economical way possible. Of course I’m using mine to haul stuff, not as a penis substitute.

    • “You may enjoy having government make decisions for you, but this country is based on individual liberties and freedoms.”

      Do you stop your vehicle at red lights and stop signs? At railroad crossings? Do you not make a right turn on red when a sign is posted forbidding it?

      Yeah, then shut the fuck up, John Wayne.

    • I wonder how his boss feels about his individual liberty and freedoms in his workplace? I mean, if he decided to exert his individual freedom at work and stand around with his finger up his … err… nose, if his boss not have something to say about his individual liberty?

    • Now they done it! One of the trolls, a different one, called me a liar because I told him that my electric bill went down when I switched to CFLs. I’m being very careful to phrase my reply in terms that won’t get me banned again. Since “fuckhead”, “shitbag”, “asshole”, and the “C” word are out? I’ll see if I can get “punk” past the censors.

      Sigh… I should know better than to argue with stupid trolls but there are some people who are actually receptive to thoughts from the cause and effect universe inhabited by sane people.

  35. To Infini-Tea And Beyond: ‘Tea Party In Space’ Aims To Stop NASA’s ‘Socialism’

    An offshoot of the South Florida Tea Party called “Tea Party In Space” is looking to break apart the government’s socialist takeover of the final frontier.

    Andrew L. Gasser launched Tea Party In Space in June as a way to “bring fiscal responsibility” into the space program, he told TPM Tuesday. He called the group, which was formed in conjunction with the South Florida Tea Party, the first “issue-specific” tea party in the country.

    Gasser explained that the group aims to bring the free markets into the space program, because right now, he say, there is only the government — which amounts to socialism. “It is socialism when you have the government coming down and saying, ‘this is what we want to build, and this is how we want you to build it,'” he said. [...]

    • Somehow I suspect the tea-partiers aren’t really rocket scientists.

    • “‘this is what we want to build, and this is how we want you to build it,”

      I thought this was what a manufacturing contract looked like….

      … and what happened to all those yo-yos building their sub-orbital boy toys?

      I’m with Outstanding – these people couldn’t find their own moon with both hands, let alone land someone on it.

      • The funny thing is that the only private space flight project that’s had any success hired all of it’s top rocket scientists away from NASA and foreign space agencies. Heck! Even the simplest of rocket engines are heavily dependent on military/government technologies. It really does take the resources of a country or countries to invade space in any meaningful way. and even Bill Allen and Richard Branson can’t change that.

    • “It is socialism when you have the government coming down and saying, ‘this is what we want to build, and this is how we want you to build it,’”

      Uh, guys (and gals), when they put that red stamp on the print that says ‘Flight Hardware’, that’s important! That literally means ‘no acceptable deviations’! :D

  36. From FauxNews:

    Bachmann Newsweek Cover Goes for Insult But Gets Criticism in Return

    Rep. Michele Bachmann has declined to get into the scrum with Newsweek over its cover story of the presidential candidate called “The Queen of Rage,” accompanied by an unflattering photo of the Minnesota Republican, but others are calling the magazine out of bounds in its depiction.

    “Others”? Like, oh maybe FauxNews and his mouth-breathing audience? LGF has a link to some of the other Newsweek photos and that crazed stare is clearly not limited to one photo.

      • Look, Tina Brown is trying to sell magazines.

        And how quickly we forget the relentless coverage of Howard Dean’s “YEEEAAAH!” moment.

    • Two problems.

      1. It’s not biased to call a crazy person “crazy”. Insensitive? Perhaps. One could go with disturbed, sanity challenged, or psychotic if one is worried about being PC. But, then again, SaudiFAUX “News” says it’s evil to be PC so I think I’ll stick with “crazy” when I’m trying to appease censors or I’m unsure about my company.
      2. I’ve never seen a picture of Batscat Bachmann where she didn’t look crazy. I think the obvious conclusion is that she looks crazy because she’s fuckin’ crazy.

        • About that photo of Bachmann

          The National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill said that the cover of the magazine’s latest edition is “sexist” and referred to a simple test by the group’s founder Gloria Steinem to explain how they determined that conclusion — would the magazine do the same to a man.

          “Who has ever called a man ‘The King of Rage?’ Basically what Newsweek magazine — and this is important, what Newsweek magazine, not a blog, Newsweek magazine — what they are saying of a woman who is a serious contender for president of the United States of America…They are basically casting her as a nut job,” O’Neill said to The Daily Caller and NOW confirmed to FoxNews.com on Tuesday.

          Well… in this case she actually is a nut job.

        • I’m not sure. “Inane” and “vacuous” both assume that the person is more stupid than crazy. They seem more appropriate for those, like Palin, who haven’t even mastered their native language.

    • Who wants to cast her in a bad light more, the Left, or the establishment Republicans?

    • Brings to mind a quote:

      “The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.” ~P. J. O’Rourke

      He forgot to mention that Republicans also blame each and every one of their failures on the Dems, an understandable overlook since that pretty much has gone without saying for multiple generations already.

    • Fat chance they will mention that Bush never bothered to honor returning caskets and certainly never to spend time with their grieving families. Even for purely political purposes, he couldn’t be bothered.

      • You beat me to this comment. Although Bush did bring the families to the White House for photo ops. Just ask Cindy Sheehan.

      • Actually, Bush did meet with some ‘gold star’ families, and visited with some severely injured combat vets (amputees and burn victims)–and joked about his ‘injuries’ from falling off his bike.
        But to my knowledge he never greeted any of the fallen when they came home in their coffins, and supported the banning of the press from those occassions.
        And of course he signed-off on the cutting of VA benefits without even saying a word.

    • The function of the smear is for FOX to keep their viewers attention on Obama so they can avoid the ‘economic’ news that S&P ( worthless though they are) have pointedly criticized the Teabaggers and that the GOP has hit historic disapproval ratings—all because of the economic crisis THEY created out of whole cloth on top of their disastrous borrow, spend and slash Reaganomics of the past decade. . .

  37. Reid picked Max Baucus for the ridiculous super committee? Arrggghhhh!!!!

    Patty Murray is going to have to kick some sense into both Baucus and Kerry.

    FSM help us.

  38. Last night was CNN’s latest flail at increasing primetime ratings.

    Anderson Cooper’s AC360 gets better ratings as a repeat than he did live against Keith, Lawrence and Billo. 540k at 8pm edt versus 714k at 10pm, in overall viewers, and 140k versus 310k in the 25-54 demo. If those numbers hold, it’s going to be hard for CNN to move Erin Burnette into the slot after Piers Morgan, and push the AC 360 repeat back an hour.

    • I think CNN is toast or, at least, on the way to being the irrelevant little brother of SaudiFAUX “News”. It seems like they have been reduced to passing on a slightly less vile version of the FOX talking points. Hosting a right-wing hack and a Tom Clancy wannabe to try and press the claim that Iran is responsible for shooting down a helicopter in Afghanistan just seems, like you said, desperate.

  39. Lessons from this weekend’s Afghan helicopter crash

    Joshua Foust uses the recent helicopter crash in Afghanistan to remind of the grim reality:

    “[A]s shocking and as sad as the loss of 30 American troops is, the fundamental strategic picture of the war hasn’t changed. Nearly 50 troops have died in Afghanistan so far in August; while that’s high, 65 ISAF troops died in June. The number of soldiers killed says very little about their effectiveness: In war, fighting can be hard with many dead but ultimately serving some purpose. The real scandal in Afghanistan isn’t that Americans are getting killed. The real scandal is that we don’t know why we’re there.”

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/voices/lessons-from-this-weekends-afghan-helicopter-crash/10950/

    • The US stayed in Afghanistan because it provided the backstory to greenlight the invasion of Iraq.
      As Rumsfeld said “there are no good targets in Afghanistan”
      Obama has kept the US in Afghanistan as a means to finish off the hunt for Bin Laden.
      NATO bought in to the ‘importance’ of Afghanistan out of pressure from the Bush regime needing some cover for their neocon goals. NATO members now have to be able to leave Afghanistan before the US, so that they can tell their publics it was THEIR decision to leave, rather than the US departing and them following the US lead ( as they had done at the beginning).
      The nation-building meme was always a farce and there’s no interest in pursing it anymore nor is there the means to even make a half-arsed attempt.
      It’s all just treading water now, with a vain hope that something will come along or something that can be found that will somehow ‘justify’ the effort ( or rather lack thereof). That’s what the redirection from Iraq to Afghanistan is all about. It’s a last ditch attempt to do SOMETHING and it’s too fucking late.

    • It looks like they are pretty much in sink with the AP site but there’s still just a few hundred votes counted. In this day and age it’s probably best to have, at least, two sources in order to see if any irregularities pop up; especially in FitzWalkerstan.

    • I’m hoping the Republican districts report early, and the Dem districts are delayed by long lines of people who got in line before the polls closed, and gutted out standing there to get to vote.

  40. Taking a step back from the conflicts and outrages of the day…

    I can detect movement of embryos in my Scooter Blenny eggs. I can’t get too excited because I’ve reared eggs this far before with no greater success but I’ve added a fungicide that I got from a fellow fish breeder. Considering that people with far greater resources have failed I won’t let myself get too hopeful but I might have the luxury of extra time and my attention to detail might pick up something others have missed.

    At least this time my nursery contraption, made from a novelty desktop waterfall and some tupperware, isn’t leaking. I really do have to get a digital camera so I can simply post pictures. The dang thing is pretty ingenious if I do say so myself.

    • The best of luck to you, pete, for your potential fish family. :)

      Although, as I’ve heard from the whacky right, your “embryos” are more accurately called “people.”

    • Oh house, re your first comment, the Destroy Romney article in Politco—a few observations:

      “ferocious personal assault…dramatic and unabashedly negative….slashing, personal campaign…Obama’s high command…the onslaught…”.

      Yeah, ummm….that totally sounds like Obama’s style, doesn’t it? Of course it doesn’t. Duh!

      Actual identified quotes are normal calm analyses of fact—not “personal” attacks. Romney has flip-flopped, right wing Fundies have a problem with his religion and his “Obamneycare” etc. Of course those are going to be highlighted. Obama and his team aren’t going to make any claims against Romney that are utter bullshit, like the claims the right makes of Obama, or for that matter like Rove made about McCain in the 2000 Bush/McCain battle for the candidacy.

      It also stands to reason that personality and character WILL feature, because it ALWAYS features in a General Election—-and of course the criticism of Obama’s presidency has been intensely and insanely personal, and Romany’s going to be tempted to play with those because of the Teabaggers.

      This article is just trying to generate some pre-fight buzz. It’s not illuminating, its initial tone is calculatedly hyperbolic compared to the named sources rhetoric, and though in the body text it doesn’t do Romney any favors, it’s the headline that grabs the attention of other dimwits in the media ever keen to maintain politics as a WWE drama.

  41. petelngh on August 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm said:

    I think CNN is toast or, at least, on the way to being the irrelevant little brother of SaudiFAUX “News”. It seems like they have been reduced to passing on a slightly less vile version of the FOX talking points. Hosting a right-wing hack and a Tom Clancy wannabe to try and press the claim that Iran is responsible for shooting down a helicopter in Afghanistan just seems, like you said, desperate.
    —————————————
    Haven’t you heard? Obama had the helicopter shoot down to cover up the truth of Bin Laden’s non death, death. ;)

  42. Three WI races called for repigs, and one for the Dem.

    Anyone remember how many seats the Dems needed to change the balance of power?

  43. Weakest to safest Republican according to TPM:
    Kapanke
    Hopper
    Olsen
    Darling
    Harsdorf
    Cowles.

    Results so far: 11.33 pm EST

    Kapanke Clear loss
    Hopper marginally losing, recount seems likely.
    Olsen Quite close win
    Darling losing by ten points at 43% reporting
    Harsdorf Very Comfortable win
    Cowles. Very Comfortable win.

    So Darling looking like close but clear ‘upset’ (currently losing by 2 points) ,
    Olsen challenged but safe.
    Hopper tighter than hoped-for I guess.

    Looks like the Dems will get two out of the three, and Hopper will turn into a bunfight, over a few hundred votes.

    • What I am seeing is the Democrats winning 3 of 6, at least if things hold as they are now. I don’t know if absentee ballots are in this count, though.

        • From Sheboygan news at 3 PM today:
          “County clerks are also reporting impressively high absentee ballot requests for today’s recall elections.”

          Harsdorf’s and Cowles’ districts were the ones where Dem voters received bogus-dated absentee ballot applications courtesy of American For Prosperity
          ( The Weekly Standard actually reported that!), but these two were rated safest R- seats, and the reported winning margins are high.

      • Now Darling Pasch at 68% reporting with approx 46,000 votes counted, so that makes DIstrict 8 just about the largest of the districts ( 60,000 approx), but so what? The speed of counting should be much more in line with the rest of them—District 18 had approx 56,000 votes and that one was settled 100% 20 minutes ago. .

        • Well it’s Milwaukee… and I can imagine just normal bureaucratic logistics could be holding things up there.

          The part there that concerns me is 1/11 districts reporting from Waukesha. That’s the area that has had the mysterious “appearing” votes in the recent past.

          My take is Republicans are trying to figure out how many votes to “find” to offset the inevitable Dem lead out of Milwaukee proper.

  44. 11:59 PM: A BIG chunk of Republican votes just came in from Waukesha County. Big pick up for Darling (R). That will put Darling into a clear lead and then it’s going to be down to remaining votes in Milwaukee.

    The county with the infamous county clerk.

    This bitch better not win.

  45. what the F? Darling Pasch just went to 79% reporting and suddenly a 2 point lead for Darling, where at 68% it was Pasch in the lead by that margin.
    Of course there can be a surge for one candidate or the other, but the slowness of the count compared to the other districts seems…..well… why so slow? and why the apparent jump in speed? Is that due to reporting being a bit slow/not updating? Or something else?

  46. If the number of votes per district is evenly divided (which it probably isn’t), and the spreads hold (which for Milwaukee is likely), then I think Darling prevails, 51/49%. (36848/35111).

    If, however, the vote counts for the unreported districts is relatively high compared to those that have already reported, then Pasch is still in it.

    It’s going to be a photo finish.

  47. Hmm, so I thought Hopper was going to be the closest, but Hoppers loss seems clear enough to avoid any recount ( though of course….you know…).

    • .

      ( though of course….you know…)

      It’s WI – home of the unscrupulous Repugnant Party.

  48. Of course Waukesha has one unreported precinct (imagine that) which could have anywhere from 1 to a billion votes suddenly “found.”

    • This stinks. If the DOJ doesn’t swoop in and investigate this, I swear, I will just lose all confidence in our election system. This woman clerk in charge of this last county (Waukasha sp?), is so clearly dirty. I’m shocked that she didn’t get nailed after the last election for state supreme court. What she did wreaked to high heaven.. I’m sorry this is being allowed to happen again on such an important election.

  49. 12:16 AM: State Dem chair Mike Tate claims “tampering” in Waukesha vote count reports that put Darling (R) over the top. This is the same county and clerk who generated such controversy in the recent Supreme Court election in Wisconsin. And she does seem to have some very archaic methods of reporting votes. But I have yet to see any evidence of irregularities tonight. The state party says in a press release that “in the next hours we will determine our next course of action.”

    • This county clerk should not be ALLOWED to have her “archaic methods of reporting votes.”

      Anything she ever does since the Supreme Court mess is suspect. And rightfully so.

        • I guarantee you she will come up with JUST ENOUGH votes to avoid a runoff vote. The win of course will be for the Republican. Perhaps she will find the extra ballots in the spare bedroom..

    • Of course the Dems are keen to contest al the way and I don’t much of how the claim has been delivered. Could have said “well that was quite a shift and interesting timing. given the recent history it;s worth looking at.” rather than just claiming “sitting on votes”

  50. What also seems suspect to me is the overall precincts in is over 80%, but the breakdown data isn’t being updated. Wonder why?

    • So in 10 minutes it appears to ahve gone from 80 to 82%. but it went from 68% to 79% (when Darling took the lead)

      8,39 —- 63% with Pasch in the lead 51-49
      9,04—-68% Pasch 51-49
      so in about 25 minutes, +5 in reporting, no change in lead,
      9.17 —79% Darling 51–59
      ln about 15 minutes, +11 in reporting, complete reversal in lead Darling 51 Pasch 49
      9.27 —80% reporting,Darling at 53 (+2 points) after a +1 reporting in 10 minutes?

      • I can’t see the people of Wisconsin allowing this to happen again. I just don’t see it. Whether left or right, win or lose (honestly), election integrity—confidence in our election system—is the basis of democracy.

        Of course, that is the idealism of us ‘average’ American folk. Rich folks merely need to buy the elections by hook or by crook. (usually by crook..)

      • Now at 9.54
        82% reprting, Darling still at 53% no change from 9.27
        that’s +2 reporting in 27 minutes.
        compare to 8.39 to 904 time frame and reporting rate.

  51. .
    They need to halt the counting in Waukesha County –
    get a Federal officer in there to cease ALL ballots.
    This is all wrong – allowing this to happen a second time

    Damn the Repugnant Ones.

  52. .
    The numbers don’t seem to be changing – still at 82% counted…
    Something smells like, very ripe, Limburger cheese

  53. From TPM:

    As of just after 12:30 on the east coast it’s looking like Sen. Alberta Darling (R) is pulling out a win in Wisconsin’s 8th senate district. If so, that means that state Democrats picked up two recall victories but fell short of the three needed to take control of the senate.
    We should have official word shortly.

    I’m so sad and discouraged. I think I need to go to bed.

  54. .
    There was such hope this county would have gone legit this time.
    We may have to ask the UN to send observers for any future votes.

  55. So in ten minutes it wetn from 82% reporting to 84% and +1 point for Darling.

    There was a significant shift in the reporting rate (+11 in 15 minutes ) and a perfect reversal in the winning/losing split
    Then everything slowed down to the more common slow rate of change in reporting and lead.

    That just strikes me as weird.

      • From the Menomonee Falls Patch:
        12:22

        Mark Maley-Patch:
        For the political junkies who are still with us, here’s where we stand in the 8th District.

        The AP is reporting the following: Darling (R) 34,840; Pasch (D) 29,821
        AP says there are 12 wards in Milwaukee County not reporting and one in Ozaukee County

        Our own calculations show: Darling (R) 38,749; Pasch (D) 33,666.
        We believe we have all results except for one ward in Mequon.

        Either way, Darling has a 4,000 to 5,000 lead in this race. But things are fluid as the Democrats are making allegations about the vote count and Pasch is refusing to concede.
        Stay tuned

      • .
        Bring in the UN to observe ALL elections in the U.S.
        We are becoming that third world country we used to worry about!

  56. .
    The reply button ran out…

    This Waukesha bullshit will either energize Dems into the streets, or discourage us onto the sofa.

    I prefer the first…

    The expenditure of time and energy will probably cause the dems to step back and try to figure how to fight the damn corruption. Then take to the streets, again.

  57. [This from FB]

    Citizens action at Darling’s office
    Today at 10:00am – Tomorrow at 12:00am
    Location
    N88 W16621 Appleton Avenue, Suite 201, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

    There is election fraud in this state! Go to her office! Protest this outrage!

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