The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 29, 2011: Hump Day

Hot coffee. The lawsuit that became the poster child of the “Tort Reform” movement. And by “Tort Reform” I mean “Protect the Culprit” movement.

For that is what “Tort Reform” is all about. It is about preventing a jury from awarding full damages to the victim of someone else’s wrong-doing. It is about limiting the damages insurance companies have to pay, with absolutly no requirement they pass any savings on to their policyholders.

We, the people, have voted in favor of “Tort Reform.” In California, the voters passed an initiative capping medical malpractice claims. In various states, voters have elected representatives committed to capping damages.

Capping damages. Limiting the amount the wrong-doer has to pay, regardless of the harm s/he causes. Their victims are left without sufficient means to pay for needed medical care and necessary services. Victims are forced to turn to Medicaid, placing the burden on taxpayers. On taxpayers – not on the person who caused the harm.

Why? Because corporations spend millions to convince us to vote the way they want us to. And they succeed.

Watch “Hot Coffee.” Be informed. Spread the word.

This is our Open Thread. Feel free to comment on this, or anything else that’s on your mind. And be advised, there may be brand new threads below this one during the day. You’ll miss them if you don’t go look.

223 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 29, 2011: Hump Day

    • I haven’t bought anything from McDonalds for decades, but not because of any coffee lawsuits. It’s because NONE the crap they sell is edible to begin with.

      Over the last several decades — probably stretching back to the years immediately following the Second World War — one of the MAIN political thrusts has been to enable corporate power in every way possible. The hot coffee incident is probably no more than one brick in the wall, but that point alone gives it significance.

      For a really fascinating discussion of the corporate-enabling process currently picking up speed, check out Rachel’s show from last night, particularly the first two segments “starring the Koch brothers and Howard Dean, resp.

      We live in freaky times.

      And I wouldn’t eat at McDonalds if they paid me, AND/OR if they served only iced coffee.

      • When traveling, we will use McDonald’s restrooms because they are usually clean. We choose not to eat at McDonald’s unless it is the ONLY place with open and we are starving. It that is our only choice, we order salads and yogurt.

  1. Blame the victim.
    This seems to be the prevailing sentiment in our society since Ron Raygun took his dementia to the whitehouse.
    I had to study that case when I was in law class.
    McDonalds kept their coffee intentionally hotter than a normal batch of brewed coffee because they claimed that customers liked it that way.
    As a serious bean junkie, I can say with some authority that McDonalds coffee is gutterschwill and hot coffee is undrinkable.

    • Sorry, separating the tort refrom issue from the incident – stuffing a boiling hot liquid into your crotch is simply stupid. Everytime some clown doesn’t use common sense…. its always someone elses fault, never their own – Americans and the ‘twinky’ defence.

      That’s why my vacuum cleaner handbook warns me never to stick the pipe into any of my orifices or for me to put any of my parts into its…. you know that some whack job did that, sued and won a huge amount of money – suing someone is part of the American dream, like drive in hamburger places and cinemas, shopping malls and 100 channels of crap on the TV.

      /moving to Canada rant off

  2. The Greek Parliament voting on the “Austerity Measures” (aka. “EU’s Big Fat Greek Extortion Scheme”) package that is required from them to get yet another bail out from the EU. If they vote “YES” Greece’s squares will erupt in violence. If they vote “NO” international financial markets will erupt in sell offs. I prefer the latter. Let the real culprits take the heat. But that’s just me.

      • It did. And there was violence in the streets. My daughter will be in Greece next week on a school trip. Some of the parents are concerned. I know that the organization she is traveling with will keep her safe, but in some ways, I wish that she will be able to see the protests and ask me questions about them later when she gets home.

        When she was little, we were in downtown Seattle during the WTO protests, but she was too little to remember. We got caught in a parking garage while the riot police in their black boots, gas masks, billy clubs and riot gear marched in 4X4 formation in the fog of acrid tear gas that they were using to move back the people on the street.

        • Ll, don’t worry too much about your daughter. The staff who oversees the trip will shunt them away from the actual riots. One or two blocks down he road they won’t even realize there is something going on. I agree with you, she should at least somehow see what is going on. Albeit, from a safe distance.

  3. If you watch “Hot Coffee” be prepared to get very pissed off and alarmed at the skill in which the corporations, through the republican party have usurped and corrupted our justice system and our Judges. If George W. Bush was successful at anything while president, it was tort reform.

    • The other thing that he was successful at, was to load up all of the regulatory agencies with industry insiders so that they serve the industry that they are supposed to be regulating instead of the general welfare of the public.

  4. Cost of war since 9/11? At least $3.7 trillion, study finds.

    It’s so nice to know that during our economic downfall, the military industrial complex, Wall Street, the banks, big business, the oil industry and multinational corporations and the wealthiest Americans have all been doing great, while the middle class is disappearing and being asked, a long with the poor to sacrifice even more.

    • ip, yes and that’s the same globally. The Greek Parliament has voted “Yes” on the austerity bill. That will leave the rich off the hook. The bill only claims that Greece will put “more effort into collecting taxes”. The tax increases mentioned are VAT and will hit the poorest the most. And the privatizations will put Greece’s assets into the greedy hands of the corporations at a bargain price. I’m utterly disgusted.

      **head meet desk**

      • I am still one who firmly believes the crash of the world economies and the austerity measures being implemented was all planned. I know many here aren’t religious but what is happening world wide economically, weather wise and climate wise, is almost biblical.

        To me it seems like things are being done purposely to crash the global economy, which will result in mass riots and chaos and then out of nowhere, a world leader will rise from the ashes and have all of the answers and solutions, and the man I’m speaking about isn’t Jesus Christ, although he will eventually claim to be after performing many miracles and many people, Christians included will be fooled by this man.

        I don’t know…It just seems to me we are headed for the perfect storm, for something like this to happen. But unlike many Christians, I don’t believe “this man” will come from the EU, I believe he will come from the USA.

        *Expects the Zoo regulars to roll their eyes*


        • I think Winston Churchill referred to it as the “high cabal.” As he said back in the late thirties or early forties, “I fear that ill winds and The High Cabal shall determine our fate.” That basic concept was also mentioned by FDR himself in 1933 when he wrote to US Army colonel E.M. House and said, “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

          It’s a real problem, and will very likely, as you suggest, bring us all down. Again, check out Rachel’s last night’s segments on the Koch brothers — they come across quite readily as drivers of today’s “high cabal”, of that “financial element in the larger centers [which] has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

          And the Kochs are, of course, nothing more than the tip of the iceberg. Wherever there are people, there’s gotta be a predictable of Koch-style genetic contamination, an apparent Y-chromosome aberration. I call it the Pasture Bull Syndrome.

        • I think it’s more like this myself:

          Much to his Mum’s and Dad’s dismay, Horace ate himself one day

          I think that a Malthusian catastrophe is coming soon (within next 20-30 years) brought on by Peak Oil, Peak Food and climate change and this is the preliminary grab of the remaining resources before the real panic starts…

          .. I’m torn between giving my children what I had as a child, a happy, worry-free childhood – and getting them ready for what I hope won’t happen – but can’t see avoiding.

      • Tax increase were VAT – the most regressive of all taxes. The Greeks got screwed – hope they turn over some cars and hang some shipping tycoons if they get their hands on them.

        • TtT, they are setting fire to the finance ministry

          Fromm BBC:
          1605: Jon Sopel BBC News Fires have been lit in the bottom of the Finance Ministry, with the aim presumably that the place will have to be evacuated. Around the square you can hear the stun grenades going off and there is tear gas as well.

          • Argentina survived telling the IMF to f*** off, pity the Greek people don’t have similar representation. When your government fails to represent you… well then there’s only one way to solve that problem.

            We need to follow this story much more closely – it could be a very interesting summer.

            • You can follow the news here

              Another tidbit and the man is right, too:

              1617: Prof Roderick Beaton, King’s College, London The greatest danger facing Greece is not so much default – Greece has actually defaulted twice in the last two centuries and recovered. I think the real danger will be this kind of social collapse. The pictures that we’re seeing this afternoon are really disturbing.

              You can only fool the people so far…

            • The IMF is a tool of corporations used to take public-owned assets and give them to corporations – finito Benito.

  5. From stodgy old England, home of Wimbledon, this tidbit from the ‘who overstarched my Fruit-of-the-Looms?’ department. The Wimbledon CEO, a fellow named Ritchie, said women players should grunt less, that tournament officials “would prefer to see less grunting . . . we believe it is helpful to reduce the amount of grunting.”

    Grunting women. Hard to imagine why they feel they must … umm … grunt when they hit the ball. A girl thing, probably. Wait. Guys do it too? Yeah but they’re men. Men grunt.

    Long live the Queen, etc.

    • An occasional grunt is probably OK, but a bunch of them (led by Sharapova who is a complete turnoff when she grunts) grunt *all* the time – its just an affectation to put off the opponent.

      • But it’s ok when guys grunt, apparently.

        Grunting at Wimbledon doesn’t bother me — no tv to watch it on even if I was interested. Still, I do have to chuckle.

        How do the French feel about women grunting at the French Open?

    • Pull in that fat f*** who ran Massey and hand him over to Jesse Ventura and a waterboard for an hour or maybe more.

  6. Over at one of the threads below, someone (sorry too lazy to find their name) posted a link to an article at Truthdig by John Dean who writes that there is a way to remove Clarence Thomas from the Supreme Court.

    One paragraph that says it all to me today was this:

    If anyone needs proof, please examine the reporting of Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, authors of “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas,” which sets forth the case against Thomas with an abundance of clear and convincing evidence (not to mention the evidence corroborating Hill that Joe Biden, then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, withheld).

    So why would the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee….a democrat, withhold key evidence from the hearing? Unless Joe is a corporatist too? I mean he was one of the movers and shakers who pushed the new bankruptcy reform bill back in 2005.

    The new bankruptcy bill made it harder and more expensive for the average citizen to erase all of their debt while making it easier and less expensive for corporations to file for bankruptcy to erase all of their debt and to also wipe out employee pensions.

    This is just more proof that we have one political system in this country with two wings that serve the same master. Think corporate influence over government was bad 1,2,3, 5 10, 20 years ago, just wait, the Citizens United decision will be the end of our democracy.

    • Yup IP, fine comment – anyone else believe that Biden or Obama are on *their* side when the corporations come knocking?

      Weiner was on the trail of Thomas too, until his willy got the better of him

  7. New study on the real, monetary, cost of Bushco’s wars. Considering that they have been using the $1 trillion figure for years I’m not surprised that it’s much, MUCH, more. I wonder which FAUXhound wil be the first to blame President Obama for spending too much in Iraq and Afghanistan? They’re already bitching about the cost of our Libyan adventure.

  8. Sorry….mwmuse, thanks for the excellent link to John Dean’s article at Truthdig! Sadly as Dean points out nothing will be done to remove Thomas. The democrats don’t have the balls and the republicans will fight it tooth and nail. Controlling the courts is the key to the fascist movement taking place at record pace in our country.

  9. Pete, I’m not defending that corrupt phuck Issa, but I bet many of our politicians from both sides have money tied to Goldman Sachs. Just like many of our politicians have money tied to the war industry and businesses who outsource American jobs overseas. Which is why we are seemingly always at war and nothing was or is being done to stop the massive exodus of American jobs being lost overseas and nothing is being done about unfair trade agreements. We have been sold out.

    • I almost threw up when the other day I heard Ezra Klein say that people don’t get into politics to become rich because they can make more money in the private sector.

      There may be some truth to this but where else can a person go to pass laws that will greatly benefit themselves or those who fund their political campaigns?

      Ezra almost made it sound like these poor politicians sacrifice so much monetarily just for the honor of serving in the government. Never mind the high paying gigs many of them get as lobbyists once they leave government, or the nice fees they get at speaking engagements or the money they make for writing books and allowed to freely promote their books on political talk shows.

      • Cenk had Ezra Klein on MSNBC the other day. And then ripped him a new one on TYT. Apparently Klein’s comments on the debt ceiling, were just simple corporate talking points “and he’s supposed to be *progressive*” said Uygur.

        They are all at it.

    • I maintain that “ISSA” is an acronym for “Idiotically Stupid Shitheads of America” — in which context, the name is not at all partisan, but is obviously embracing ‘Issans’ everywhere.

  10. All kinds of important shit going on in the world, but this is what MSNBC wants us to watch:

    Watch live: Follow the trial of Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter


    • Stewart said it right when he cock-punched Wallace on Fox the other week:

      Its all about sensationalism its not bias or ideology.

      They used to call it “Bread and circuses”

      • It’s just about all my dad can talk about when I see him. He looked at me like I was nuts because I didn’t know anything about the case, other than there had been a missing child and she’d been found dead.

        Having no teevee machine is wonderful. 😀

    • Of course….It’s not about news and being informed about important issues or stories. It’s all about entertainment, the dumbing down of America. As Robert Kennedy Jr said on the Tavis Smiley show last week “We are the most entertained people in the world and the least informed.”

  11. Guys, I have to run. I’ll be back maybe later. Oh, and by the way, just so nobody else is confronting me with my German chancellor:

    1628: German Chancellor Angela Merkel It is an important step on the one hand for the future of Greece, but on the other hand also for the stability of the euro.

    I used to admire her, sort of…

    • Merkel’s letting Greece burn down to save the Euro and the German economy… its a survival instinct. And meanwhile the arsonists are safely esconced back at GS on Wall Street and in Brussels

      Yeah, me too.

      • My understanding is that the Greeks have spent decades destroying their own economy through corruption and incompetence at every level. I’m not ready to pipe up a tear for them now when they’ve had ample opportunity over the years to turn things around.

        • Good point, gummitch, but the Greek people, like you and me, did not destroy the economy, but they’re the ones who are expected to suffer greatly for it.

        • I agree with that, they cooked the books on the Maastricht criteria and thanks to Goldman Sachs continued to cook the books. It served everyone’s agenda’s just fine, the power brokers in Greece (the shipping magnates), the bought off politicians and the Brussels mandarins whose pan-European Caliphate was the end goal.

          My sympathy lies with the people on the street who have been sold down the river.

        • And we would kill for the retirement age and benefits they get. They should check out how we get screwed and stop whining maybe.

          • Shayne, we have a different point of view in Europe maybe about what kind of social safety net we should have. And we are fighting hard against the notion that the way things are in the US constitutes a role model. Believe me, all the “reforms” they are talking about have just that in mind. Take all vested rights from us and, most of all, the money that is frozen in the government budgets and private accounts for the purpose. So they can redirect he funds into the ever greedy financial markets and from here right into he pockets of those on top. I rather wish for a better situation for you than a lesser for the Greek.

  12. Bullshit of the Day:

    SARAH PALIN: “I said, ‘you remember Bristol, what we talk about on the fishing boat, stays on the fishing boat.’ I don’t know what she said. I’d have to watch it myself. So, I don’t know what she said but, no I’m still thinking about it.”

    GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS: “She said you’ve definitely made a decision.”

    PALIN: “Well, I am still thinking about the decision and a lot goes into such a life-changing, relatively earth-shattering type of decision and still thinking about it.”

    • I hope that whatever Palin is saying about (what I’m assuming is) her decision on whether or not to run for president, if it contradicts what Bristol knows she says, that Bristol come forward and tell the truth. Right wingers really, really hate it when you tell the truith.

      You know, if Superman really did stand for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” doesn’t it seem pretty likely that he would have hated the Republican Party, and conservatives in general?

  13. A friend posted this on their FB page:

    “Kids these days must wonder why Spock didn’t just download a tricorder app to his communicator.”

  14. The Real Story Behind Glenn Beck’s Hellish Outdoor Movie Nightmare

    Did you hear? Glenn Beck got jumped by a pack of ravenous urban liberals last night! Or did a drunk person just accidentally spill wine on his wife? You be the judge.

    • Nope, if it was me, I’d cock-punch him, I’m not in a civil mood Wrt scum like him. I’d live up to the headline.

    • I am surprised to learn that Beck has a family. I pictured him living alone like someone’s creepy uncle.

    • The problem is that Beck has a giant platform to get his story out, and the klutz who spilled the wine doesn’t.

      This will be the next big troll storm — LIBERALS ATTACK!!!!

        • “What would make someone be so full of hate? … This is the first that I’ve seen much of that. It kind of takes you back,” she told THR. “It makes you want to reach out to some of these folks and say, ‘What’s your problem? And what was the problem? And what is the problem?'”

          Does anyone believe that a narcissistic control-freak like Palin (who is so much into herself that she recently trademarked her name) hadn’t seen these clips before?

        • “There’s never really a venue that absolutely lets somebody set the record straight,”

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t she employed by one of those venues? Doesn’t she have her own show on at least two networks? (FNC and TLC?)

          • You are indeed correct. All she’d have to do is set the record straight. Yet every time she does, she then cries even louder that she’s a victim of gotcha questions. Even if you asked her “Would you like to set the record straight” she’d shift uncomfortably in her chair and stall for time, and then accuse you of asking a gotcha question.

            (Ultimately, she makes more money by not having the record straight.)

    • I am sooooo tired of these fabulously wealthy people of great privilege whining about how “everybody hates me”.

      Also, doesn’t Beckyboy have body guards and a pistol on his hip at all times? Is the great blowhard saying that he’s impotent to protect his family from a wine-sipping “librul”?

    • Wrapped it up quite nicely – and precisely.

      The press conference was quite underwhelming to say the least.
      Truly, Obama should just go for the single term and get something done for this country – kick ass, make a mark! Instead he just seems to be placating the Repugnant Party (in hopes that he can make a return to the WH).
      Unless he’s making backstage moves to improve this country – we are doomed. His words are not reassuring to this voter.

      • What’s the point in being in the WH if you are treating the experience like a paid house-sitter until the real owners return?

      • Not only is he placating the repugnant party but he is also placating Wall Street, US Chamber Of Commerce, well you know what I mean…

        He has no back stage moves. In the back of my mind I held hope that maybe he if he won a second term, he would come out swinging and go all Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt all over the banks and the corporations collective asses. I must disappointing admit that I do not see a glimmer of those two in Barack. He’s just not a fighter or confrontational or vocal, he just gives inspiring, hopeful speeches, while seemingly too eager to bend over for the mean republicans and corporate interests.

  15. From the “Boo, freakin’, hoo” file.

    I was switching the station on my radio to listen to the Twins’ game and I caught a few seconds of some Reichradio show. A lady had called in and I stopped when I heard “conservative women”. I was saddened to hear the rest.

    “Conservative women can’t even praise the Founding Fathers without the liberal media attacking them”.

    Then I twisted the dial before I heard any more batshit on that subject. The Twins are up 1-0 in the 8th.

    • Conservative women are free to praise the founding fathers as much as they wish, but if they don’t know who those men were this liberal is free to make fun of them.

      • Exactly. I also object to the word “attack”. Repeating one’s exact words and pointing out inaccuracies is not an “attack”. It’s just reporting and any writer for a high school paper could tell them that. Of course, then they would whine that said high school student journalist was “attacking” them.

  16. We can bitch all we want to about President Obama, but think about who you will vote for in November 2012? Obama? Bachmann or Romney or some other Republican that will be on the ticket? Will you stay home and not vote? Not voting didn’t work out too well in Pennsylvania and several other states.

    • I’ve never skipped an election – not even local; So I won’t be one of those. True- the choice would have me vote Obama.

      The reality – the 2000 election had many who voted, for the first time in their lives, that will probably not return to the ballot box. Then where are we? Obama can’t continue to be seen as not with the people. The President needs to start asserting – showing he does care what happens. His acquiescing to the Repubs isn’t helping.

    • If you can tell me it makes a difference which party is in office – because I sure as heck don’t think DADT and Bin Laden adds up to whole heck of a lot of differentiation.

      Bush tax cuts? Still there
      Afghanistan – twice as many troops – even after the drawodnw than Bush
      Iraq – check
      Guantanamo – yup stil there
      Health care – wow now *everyone* has to pay the insurance companies
      Energy subsidies – still there

      What other promises *has* the man kept?

        • I looked at the top 25 – some disturbing things in there:

          Ending torture – *in the works* – WTF?
          Warrantless Wiretaps – “stalled” – huh the Patriot Act was *extended* unchallengde
          Health Care – sure, but since many of the provisions are due to start in 2014 *and* its still a for-profit system – really ‘Promise Kept’ – bullshit
          Reduce OIl consumption by 2035 – ‘in the works’ – really?

          Of those top 25 – 20 of them are ‘in the works’, ‘stalled’, ‘compromise’ or ‘broken’. Health care and Improved Financial Regulations (what about the prosecutions, eh?) are 2 of the 5 successes.

          And who thinks that McConnell and Boner are going to let any of the others proceed?

          Politifact loks a little too rosy to me, in that bed of roses, I smelling a lot of bulls***

    • I’ll never vote for anyone other than the whomever is the furthest to the left on the ballot. Period. Obama is NOT a wingnut, and even as a centrist, while he’s a hundred miles to the right of me, he’s still at least a hundred miles to the left of anyone on the Republican list of hopefuls.

      And staying home is not an option: I first registered to vote in late 1963, and I’ve not missed a general election since. Obama has my vote in 2012, iow.

    • We saw what apathy can do in the election last November.
      We must stand behind Obama, push him to go farther, and make demands on him, but we must vote for him and all the Democrats.
      The ruin foisted upon the people and the naion by the GOP must be halted.
      I thought Obama’s presser today was pretty good — for all those millions who barely keep up with the news – they heard Obama call out the repugs for being like lazy children, for being reckless with the economy for short term political gains. He reminded people that he cut taxes on the middle class, that tax cuts on the rich must be eliminated, and congress must present jobs bills for him to sign. And he reminded half-listening people that the republicans are playing with fire if they don’t raise the debt-ceiling

  17. Bullshit of the Day II:

    “I think she dresses a lot like my mom. But a lot, a lot of women have done that the last few years. I do think it’s odd, you know, seeing people with red blazers with their hair up with glasses. I don’t know if she’s wearing glasses but you want to be hummmm, do you think that people don’t notice you’re dressing like my mom?” – Bristol Palin. talking about Michele Bachmann.

    • According to Seaman, Lennon was a closeted Republican and fan of St. RonnieRayGun!

      The commenters on that story are quite the read – praising Lennon for having finally reached reason becoming conservative in his old age. The adage of young, dumb and liberal; old, wise and conservative peals in the posts.

      (nearing 60 and really, really glad the ‘conservative’ bug hasn’t bitten. Lennon was only 40 when he died – those posters considered that ‘old’)

    • I’m sorry, but I find that guy’s remarks wholly unbelievable. I do not for a nanosecond believe that, just before he died, John Lennon had turned conservative. I think the guy is just trying to make a buck.

  18. Bullshit of the Day III:

    “But you know, there’s never really a venue that absolutely lets somebody set the record straight. I mean, there are so many false narratives about me, about Todd, about our kids, about my record, about my team that has worked so hard together, that there’s never gonna be a way to absolutely set the record straight,” – Sarah Palin.

    Medical records proving her maternity of Trig would be a pretty definitive way of resolving that issue, wouldnt it? So why won’t she? Just put them on Facebook or send them to a friendly news editor. Story over.

    • The funny part is that the current Air Force One(s) were ordered by Saint Ronny, entered service for Daddy Bush, and aren’t do to be replaced until, at least, 2017.

      BTW, Every U.S. President since FDR has had a “corporate aircraft” for a very good reason. The Secret Service and military don’t trust a private company, who might cut corners for cost or have a political motive, to maintain and operate the President’s transportation. It’s the same reason the President has a limo rather than calling a cab or even jumping in his own car.

  19. So if the end game of our Overlords is to turn America into a third world country, where we are all paid third world wages, where corporations, banks, etc, etc, have total control over our laws, our government, our economy, our justice system, foreign and domestic policy, our election’s, our airwaves… what point do you think the dumbest of the dumb in this country will finally wake up and recognize what the hell has happened to our country?

    • He manipulated, almost effortlessly, Bushco into transforming our home country into an, indisputably, criminal nation. Bushco used Bin Laden to turn a whole generation of U.S. service members into war-criminals. I haven’t served, myself, but I will carry some guilt to my grave. The world may forgive us in several decades but many will never forget.

      • No, bin Laden didn’t have that sort of power. BushCo took the circumstances and used them to enact their wildest dreams. Remember, John Ashcroft said as much after 9/11.

  20. Dana Loesch becomes more of a Reichwing creature with each passing day. She intends to keep associating “American Girl” with Batscat Bachmann just to piss off Tom Petty and “libruls”. We were talkiing about this yesterday and, the more I think about it, the more I think this is an intentional campaign strategy.

    It follows a pattern. First a candidate will use the music, without permission, of someone they know will object. Then the owner of said music objects. Then the whole Reich-wing echo chamber gets to whine about how much the “librul elites” hate said candidate.

    Once is a mistake. Twice is a coincidence. The countless times that this has happened is a campaign strategy.

  21. News Corp sells Myspace, ending six-year saga

    News Corp has sold Myspace for $35 million, a fraction of what it paid for the once hot social media site even as a new generation of web-based start-ups is enjoying sky-high valuations.

    Specific Media, an online advertising company, will acquire Myspace in a deal that caps a tumultuous period of ownership under Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which swooped in to buy Myspace for $580 million in 2005.

    Schadenfreude just doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word. This would be a riches to rags story that should only happen to the most vile and evil individual, if he didn’t still have too many riches remaining.

  22. A new study shows Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan will do little to reduce health care costs, Bloomberg News reports.

    The study, authored by Bloomberg Government, claims that key health care provisions in Ryan’s budget are ineffectual in terms of cutting costs, according to the report.
    But according to Bloomberg, the study shows Ryan’s plan will drive up costs to both beneficiaries and the government alike by curbing the assistance that goes to the wealthiest seniors. Increased expenses and limited returns for the top 8 percent of beneficiaries gives them an incentive to opt out of Medicare altogether, reports Bloomberg, in turn forcing those in lower income brackets to make up the difference.
    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that while Ryan’s plan would dramatically reduce federal spending on health care, total health care costs would skyrocket. By 2022, alleges the CBO, overall health care costs under the plan would be a staggering 34 percent greater than they would be as Medicare currently stands, and would rise to 40 percent by 2030.

    As former Director of the OMB Peter Orszag puts it in a piece for Bloomberg, “health-care costs would not be reduced on the backs of seniors; they would be raised on the backs of seniors.”

  23. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) called the recent scandal in which state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed another justice around the neck an “extremely serious” matter. Walker noted that the state is investigating it and said it would be inappropriate for him to “prejudge” Prosser. “But what I hear, if it’s true, obviously is extremely serious,” Walker said.

    • “But what I hear, if it’s true, obviously is extremely serious,” Walker said.”

      Yes, Walker it is serious – take him off duty until that investigation is complete.

  24. The most important part of today’s Sixth Circuit decision upholding the Affordable Care Act isn’t what the court said, although the court’s rejection of this utterly meritless challenge is quite significant. The most important part of today’s decision is who made it.
    Judge Jeffrey Sutton is a George W. Bush appointee and a former law clerk to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

    • It’s easy to forget that some of the political appointees are honorable and competent. Even Cheney, Rove, and Goodling couldn’t have ensured 100% lockstep obedience to the Reich-wing agenda.

  25. Uh oh, Ezra Klein reads the debt limit tea leaves:

    “The best advice I’ve gotten for assessing the debt-ceiling negotiations was to “watch for the day when the White House goes public.” As long as the Obama administration was refusing to attack Republicans publicly, my source said, they believed they could cut a deal. And that held true. They were quiet when the negotiations were going on. They were restrained after Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl walked out last week. Press Secretary Jay Carney simply said, “We are confident that we can continue to seek common ground and that we will achieve a balanced approach to deficit reduction.” But today they went public. The negotiations have failed.”

    • If the negotiations have failed, then the Republicans are going to have to decide, do they pay the Chinese or do they send granny her Social Security check? Guess the patients will be thrown out of the nursing homes because there will be no money to pay for their care. Republicans… the real death panels.

      • My hope is that Republican Death Panels turn out to be Republican Suicide Panels. Same thing, basically, but properly focused.

        Still, however, I don’t understand the absolute dearth of public and political outrage. There should be rioting in the streets. At least. And no Republican should ever again find an electoral majority, even with all the new “voter fraud” laws in place to help them.

    • Perhaps my biggest disappointment about President Obama and other Dems is their failure to acknowledge a simple, and easily verified, truth. Even before the President was sworn in the “conservatives” have refused to negotiate in good faith on any issue. There is not, and never has been, any bipartisanship.

      For the first year of Obama’s term it was the Senate GOoPers. Over 400 bills passed by the House were killed in the Senate. I lost track of how many appointees were blocked by “secret holds”. And yet? No one, with a major market, dared to broadcast and/or print the word “obstructionism”. A few good people, Bernie Sanders and Anthony Weiner being prominent examples, dared to say it but no one who doesn’t seek out “alternative” news sources ever heard it. The President seemed to avoid the word altogether.

      Now? With the House and the courts and many statehouses and the major press/media outlets in the hands of “conservatives” they have embarked on a relentless campaign to stifle any hope we once had of a speedy recovery from Bushco’s disastrous rein.

      It’s hard to say how much is from a lack of messaging and how much is the complicit corporate press/media. The day that Anthony Weiner resigned, Nancy Pelosi issued a brilliant statement, laying out exactly what the GOoPers have been up to, and the “librul media” cut the feed as soon as she said she wouldn’t talk about Weiner’s wiener. No one heard the truth. It’s discouraging as Hell but we can’t let the good ones quit. The stakes are too high.

      We need to get after Democratic lawmakers. Send emails, send letters, call their offices, and even send them contributions if we can spare a dollar or two. But we need them to act. Unfortunately, given the current state of affairs, it’s pointless to even try and influence their votes. We need them to lay it out and affirm that the GOoPers are not acting in good faith and they need to say it every time they’re in front of a mic and keep saying it until, probably by accident, it actually makes it on the page or on the airwaves. Their votes are utterly pointless before the 2012 election so we need to solicit their voices. Our only chance is that a few of those voices make it past those who phrase the debate.

  26. I’m no constitutional scholar, but it seems to me that the alleged “debt ceiling” is an unconstitutional construct. The 14th Amendment, Section 4, clearly states:

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

    To my mind, that means that if the government issues a Social Security check to someone after the beginning of August (when we supposedly hit that ceiling), and the money had been previously authorized by Congress, it would violate the Constitution for any bank to refuse to cash that check. If one did, it would literally amount to questioning the public debt.

    • it’s worth remembering that the debt limit is statutory law, which is trumped by the Constitution which has that little known provision you mentioned, Section 4 of the 14th Amendment.

      In the event that congress’ dithering and game of chicken makes default impossible to avoid, Obama should order the secretary of the Treasury to simply disregard the debt limit and sell whatever securities are necessary to raise cash to pay the nation’s debts. They are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States and preventing default is no less justified than using American military power to protect against an armed invasion without a congressional declaration of war.

    • The local paper had to disable comments on this story. The Bachmann worshipers were saying things like; “at least some Medicaid goes to Christians”, and then the thread got scrubbed.

      • That is disgusting.

        I don’t begrudge anyone Medicare or Medicaid, but it seems clowns like those commenters certainly resent that non-Christians (their particular brand of Christian, that is) receive any sort of benefit, whether they paid into it or not. Apparently, if one is not a ‘proper Christian,” then you can suffer and die for all they care.

        Every Critter and Zooster is more “Christian” than those sick fucks.

  27. Besides the astoundingly moronic ‘abortion makes you smoke pot’ bullshit, here’s this from an Ohio Rep:

    REP. RON YOUNG: I’m afraid in 1973, the Supreme Court took a different tact [and didn’t consider life.] If fetuses had been allowed to vote, if they had formed a voting block and they were organizing in front of the court house that day, the vote probably would have been much different.

    Did anyone else just get a really gross visual of a giant blob-like thing trying to ooze into a voting booth?

    Yeah, me neither. 😯

    • That fool needs to learn his American history. In 1971, the Constitution was amended to allow 18-year-olds the right to vote. And that was so that they could exercise their right to vote out the assholes sending them off to war in Vietnam. Old enough to die for your country was considered old enough to vote. How the fuck could something not even born vote, let alone grasp the issues even as (anti)-intelligently as today’s right wing does? If fetuses could vote, then wouldn’t everybody be able to vote? How would their older brothers and sisters vote if they knew they could get rid of the sibling that will take their parents’ attention away from them?

      I can’t stand it when a right-winger posits an impossible premise to make an argument. It’s entirely meaningless.

      Also, the vote on Roe v. Wade was originally going to be against abortion rights, but Justice Harry Blackmun, assigned by Chief Justice Berger to write the opinion, changed his mind after consulting with his doctor friends at the Mayo Clinic. He was persuaded by the facts about fetuses in the womb. He understood that a being that couldn’t olive outside the womb needed no special protection,since it couldn’t live outside the womb anyway! That was the beginning of his turn toward being a complete Liberal near the end of his career.

        • I read it in “The Brethren” by Bob Woodward. Fascinating book, and a good insight into how things work at the Supreme Court. Justice William Brennan had been trying to help “turn” Harry. When a defendant in a case tried to get his murder conviction overturned because the prosecutor waved a shotgun on front of the jury, except it wasn’t the same gun that was actually used in the murder, just the same model, because they did not have the murder weapon, Harry Blackmun voted against granting cert, and William Brennan, not wanting to offend the new justice he was hoping to influence, also voted against granting cert. The man’s conviction stood. (I’m not saying he was innocent of the murder, just that his trial was not conducted fairly. If prosecutors can’t produce the actual murder weapon, then why should they be able to emotionally influence a jury with some other weapon?)

        • You can also read about how Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali) almost went to jail for refusing to report for active duty during the Vietnam War on religious grounds. The SCOTUS was going to rule against him, but one of Justice John Harlan’s clerks gave him a copy of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. The book changed Harlan’s mind and he was able to persuade another justice to switch votes. Until the book came out, Ali had no idea how close he had come to going to prison.

      • Yep prior to 1971 you could drink alcohol, die for your country, but not vote. Now you can vote, die for your country, but no beer for you. Doesn’t make sense to me. It’s also a damned shame that I’m too old to conceive again, as I think it would be fun to show up at the polls and demand my fetus’s right to vote. Heck, maybe I could get the little sucker on the ballot.

        • Ever since this country was founded, we have been illegally depriving people their right to vote – delaying their franchise for nine months past the day of their conception and the commencement of their full legal rights as citizens of these Untied States.

  28. Sheesh…what a day of crazy from the crazies.

    SO, for the comedy relief portion of the day, my weird brain went looking for this:

  29. Last night on the Ed Schultz show Scott Keyes of Think Progress was on. Now I don’t want to sound too critical but in his discussion with guest host Al Sharpton, Keyes talked about Goldman Sachs outsourcing thousands of jobs overseas and touched on Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein and his past comment that he was doing Gods work.

    Keyes went on to say, I’ve read the bible and I don’t remember it mentioning anything about outsourcing millions of American jobs…..I was like WTF! He totally missed the point
    and should of instead said “I’ve read the bible and I don’t remember mentioning that gaining massive wealth and profits while destroying millions of lives through deception was part of Gods work”

    One more thumbs down for Think Progress.

    • Keyes must’ve been flustered to be on TV so he decided to be snarky and went “full wingnut.” You never go “full wingnut.”

  30. Last night Scott Keyes of Think Progress was on The Ed Schultz show. He and guest host, Al Sharpton were discussing Goldman Sachs outsourcing thousands of jobs overseas.

    Keyes then brought up the comment Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, made when he said he was doing the work of God. Keyes went on to say that he has read the bible and he doesn’t remember anything in the bible that says you should outsource American jobs….I was like WTF?

    Scott Keyes dropped the ball and came across as a little whiner with that comment. What he should have said was “I’ve read the bible and I don’t remember ever reading anything in the bible that says we should amass great wealth for ourselves through corruption and deception while destroying lives of so many others in the process.”

    I give Scott Keyes a big thumbs down for his performance last night.

  31. As Wayne pointed out above, rather than caving to GOP extortion, the Obama administration should just keep paying the bills in the event the debt ceiling is not raised. We have obligations that were lawfully enacted and I simply don’t see how Congress could do anything to stop the bills from being paid.

      • I’m thinking we should just ship everyone and everything back from Iraq and Afghanistan. “Sorry. no money, we’ve got to go home.” I doubt it would make much difference in the security of either country in the long run. It might also be fun to tell the freaking frackers, the drill baby drill folk, and the morons that blow up mountains that are nearly as old as god that the office which issues permits is closed, as are our rather meager inspection teams. Sorry, you’ll have to wait til we reopen for business.

      • It can’t. I believe that would violate the 27th Amendment. Then again, technically speaking, annual pay raises violate the 27th Amendment,and I believe that as taxpayers we have legal standing to sue to get this to stop. Perhaps our lawyer friends could answer that one.

        • it’s late, I’m tired, but I think the way they voted the pay raises it doesn’t violate the 27th amendment. and likely the Supremes would say it’s a political question and kick the ball down the street.

    • Continuing to pay the bills after the debt ceiling is hit is akin to continuing to write checks after you’ve exhausted your overdraft limit.

      It would be a bad thing. Imagine, if you will, Social Security checks bouncing; checks to small businesses that provide services and goods to the government bouncing, and, worst of all, checks to Blackwater (Xe) bouncing…those guys have the firepower to do something really, really ugly.

  32. I’m off to bed but I forgot to fill you all in on my news.

    We are not having a barbeque this weekend because of the holiday but, as of today, we have $160.00 in the pool. Due to the great response we might be able to swing every week but I don’t want to run low and get stuck for that last Saturday of the month. Angelina, the gal who everyone agreed should handle the cash, had a fantastic idea. Since we can do the burgers and dogs (with buns), and/or chicken for under a hundred bucks; we’re going to pitch the idea of starting our own little community food shelf with anything extra we take in.

    At the next tenant meeting we’ll propose that we should buy canned and dry goods with extra donations so that any family who really needs a meal during the week can have it for the asking and, possibly, even maintain a small emergency fund for a gallon of milk or whatever. We don’t want to make any unilateral decisions but, considering the response so far, I think that the idea will be accepted. If it doesn’t fly and the donations keep comming in we can always do up a rare feast for Labor Day weekend.

    So? It was another pretty good day. G’night, good people.

  33. Michele Bachmann’s Sad Campaign Song Situation

    Neither Walking on Sunshine nor an American Girl

    Then, Katrina Leskanich announced that she wasn’t cool with Bachmann’s “misuse” of Katrina and the Waves’ hit song “Walking on Sunshine”:

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