The Watering Hole: Friday July 15, 2011 – Srsly?

The already shaky European economists are staring in disbelief, but fascinated, too, at the slowly unfolding trainwreck in Washington. Let us see what they say:

The Economist

“WE HAVE a system of government in which everybody has to give a little bit.” So said Barack Obama at the start of this week. But parse that sentence. Does the president mean that America already has a system in which everybody has to give a little bit? Or does he mean only that it ought to have such a system? It is not too much to say that the country’s economic well-being hangs on the answer. (read more)

More here and here and here

The Guardian

Move over Nero: legislators on both sides of the Atlantic seem as if they can hardly summon up the energy to fiddle while their economies burn. In Europe, a chronic lack of co-ordinated action early in the financial crisis means the very survival of the euro is now in serious doubt. In the US, the crisis is potentially more serious: if Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on a deficit reduction plan by the 2 August deadline for raising the debt ceiling, the world’s largest economy will be in default.(read more)

The Independent

Washington’s rancorous deficit-reduction talks resumed yesterday amid dire warnings from Wall Street and open rifts in the Republican leadership – but with no sign of a deal to raise the government debt ceiling and avert an unprecedented and potentially disastrous default by the United States government.(read more)


A dangerous game is being played by politicians in America. Republican negotiators are refusing to raise the cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the government in Washington can legally borrow. The United States hit its $14.3 trillion “debt ceiling” in May and the Obama administration has been juggling the finances since to continue to pay the daily bills. But on 2 August it will run out of room to do that. America will have to default on some of its due payments.(read more)

Meanwhile we Europeans have our own problems. So has Rupert Murdoch 😀

This is our Open Thread, What do you think and what else is on today?

229 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Friday July 15, 2011 – Srsly?

    • Hi 5th! I was lurking my system decided to update its numbers without taking any hints from me, so I have to wait it out. How are you doing?

  1. That picture is so funny. Looks just like my recently departed cat Niki. The first time I saw that picture, the caption was ‘Ceiling Cat is watching you masturbate’.

    When I fall asleep too early, I get up and roll the DVR back and watch Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel on their last repeats. I skip O’Donnell for Keith and Hartmann’s The Big Picture. Last night it was storming and 51 minutes into Rachel the cable company interrupted for a weather alert, and wiped out the saved portion of her show, so I didn’t get to see it until this morning.

    I think it’s funny that Lawrence O’Donnell spent half his show claiming the President could veto a compromise debt ceiling bill at 11pm on August 1st, and Congress could still pass a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase before midnight, and Rachel opened her show explaining that having not yet passed an increase, could result in a downgrade of our bond status at any time.

    • HoR – do you know where I can watch Keith Olberman on the Internet? I don’t have TV service anymore.

      Speaking of TV – some friends of mine are suppose to be on American Pickers on Monday, the 18th. He collects and fixes old Volvos.

    • Both Lawrence and Rachel were correct. Yes, Congress could wait till the last minute to act appropriately — even as late as 11:59 PM on Aug. first — to pass a one sentence bill. And yes, well prior to that and in anticipation of possible default, the US bond status could be degraded.

      No conflict there.

      I suspect, in fact, that there’s a reasonably good expectation that both will come into play, that IF bond status is degraded, then the likelihood of the House passing that one sentence bill on a timely basis increases dramatically. Alongside will be, of course, the standard Republican wordplay that will blame Obama for the whole mess — kinda like if Bonnie and Clyde had blamed Teddy Roosevelt for …. etc.

      Really, the only thing that will save the Republicans now is if Obama scissors his presidential cojones and concedes to the bluster.

      • So I’m back. I decided to have some food along with the coffee. Then I got stuck reading overheard in New York:

        Woman loudly playing Angry Birds: Got it!
        Friend: I’ve never seen anyone play that game before. My phone’s old and whack. (she leans over)
        Friend: Why do the pigs have hats? Protection, so it makes them harder to kill?
        Woman loudly playing Angry Birds: Yep.
        Friend: So in that regard, kinda like a condom then.
        Woman loudly playing Angry Birds: Thank you for that image.
        Friend: Corrupting minds since ’86, yo.

      • On a golden parachute.

        Resigning may be a PR stunt on her part, to try and look less evil when she goes before the committee. .
        Or maybe she’s being flipped and this is a negotiated act..
        Or she’s decided to flip and resigning is a ‘good faith’ gambit signalling that she’s ready to ‘plea bargain’.

    • Brooks:

      At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.
      Rupert’s wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.I would like to thank them both for their support.

      Gotta love the pride and the “right reasons” ! Brooks is obviously a criminal having approved and maintained illegal activities for years. Interesting that she says Rupert “guided” her. Was she just being obsequious, or is she subtly trying to put some of the blame on Rupert and James? . Hmmm. .

        • NO kidding. They’re in overdrive. But the silly thing is, as much as their targets left traces in cyberspace, they did as well. You cannot undo anything you’ve done in cyberspace. If one wants to find FOX out, one will. And I am sure there will be some who will want to badly.

          **searching for the popcorn and a beer**

  2. EV, tell me what you know about exhaust blown diffusers! LOL! Just kidding!

    i was reading yesterday that after screwing with the rules for Silverstone, now they are changing the rules back to the way they were. Does the FIA ever not screw up?

    • HoR, they’re clueless. I was, as could be expcted, angry about Silverstone. Webber is not long for Red Bull anymore, they just seem to hate his guts. But me, I love a rebel. There’s talk about Kimi coming back. I wonder who’ll pick up Webber though. Noone at F1 likes a rebel 😦

      • Rumors of Raikkonen replacing Webber at Red Bull denied

        Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, along with a team representative, is denying that Kimi Raikkonen will return to Formula One in a Red Bull machine replacing Mark Webber next season.

        Webber came under scrutiny this week after some speculated that he had ignored a team order during the British Grand Prix to maintain his third place position behind his teammate, point’s leader Sebastian Vettel. However Webber did indeed maintain his position and finished third behind Vettel in second. Webber’s contract with Red Bull is set to expire at the end of this season. But team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told German media that Webber’s seat is secure.

        I don’t think Webber violated team orders, but he did prove that only team orders kept him from passing Vettel at the end of the race. That’s by far not the first time a ‘number two’ driver has done that and it won’t be the last!

        • HoR, Webber was furious and there was this lame explanation by Horner “we didn’t want another Turkey”, so Webber had to stay back. he could have passed Vettel and grudgingly didn’t and told the bosses off afterwards (according to usually well informed Austrian TV that is). I would love to see him stay, however, just because for the first time in his racing career he has the second most decent car (we know who gets the most decent). Btw, the mechanic’s face when he realized Hamilton had bolted without the bolt was priceless.

          • Are you referring to Button leaving without his right front wheel nut? He made it to the end of pit lane where he had to park it. I felt sorry for him having that happen at his home GP. I wouldn’t have felt as sorry if it had been Lewis.

  3. (aah, cofeeeee!),

    So the money market value if the Euro get’s dragged down by the weaker economies of its subscribers, but that effect is mitigated by the stronger economies supporting the weaker ones.
    (We have the same thing in the US, where the wealthier States transfer some of their incomes through the Federal Gubmint to support the poorer states).
    This is as it should be, as it has to be as none of the eurozone states are going to achieve a universal persistent economic parity by virtue of their geo-political differences.
    The best that can be done is to find common ground on broad economic policies and then just accept and adapt to the remaining differences and circumstances as they arise

    It appears to me that there is a common characteristic of the PIIG countries that has contributed to the present wailing and gnashing about the Euro and that is that they all appear to have adopted economic strategies more radical than those of the majority Eurozone nations, and are now suffering the consequences—and that economic philosophy appears to me to have been acquired from the untrammeled capitalism of the US—For example, Ireland: which wholeheartedly embraced the Chicago school “free-market” mythology of minimizing proportional taxation. That idiotic scheme produces a boom of private economic activity in the short term, but greatly diminishes the governmental income (which is meant to be re-distributed) in the long term. because the private sector then protects their quick and dirty profits from taxation.
    The result then is that the private concerns begin to disproportionately control the money supply and get to dictate monetary policy according to their specific interests, not those of the common weal. .

    Ireland really went overboard on this, and now their economy is shit. Same with Iceland
    The UK adopted American economics to a lesser degree, was burned less than Ireland but still took the inevitable hit.
    Germany did NOT follow the economic fad because Germans just seem to sober and smart—ever since the EEC was formed, and for as long as I can remember, Germany always had the most stable currency, because they had the most consistent monetary policy.
    The US is in the shit too because of course the we’ve had ten years of supply-side economics and cooked books and the transfer of wealth from the public domain to the private, where the banks and Wall Street now dictate to the national economy—the result being that the national economy now consists of assets and liabilities, whilst the private corporate economy has most of the cash and can dictate the terms by which that cash may be used, so they control the money supply and the pace of the economy.

    The LAST thing the EU should do is get all jittery over the strength of the Euro. It’s not the Euro and the EU economic concept that’s the problem, it’s the failure of these few member nations to appreciate the necessity of caution and stability for long term economic growth–it’s their desire to have their cake and eat it.

    • I recall reading an article about Ireland, their financial woes and the austerity measures they are implementing. Interestingly part of their down fall was artificial increases in property values, much like we had here.

      But the interesting part of the article was when I learned that Ireland has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Western Europe and when their government officials explored raising corporate taxes, Google threatened to move elsewhere….talk about corporate blackmail against a government.

      • There you go. case in point.
        It’s a redux of the old company-town system of the Industrial Revolution (prevalent in China today). Corporations have been given more leverage than ever over the last ten years,.

    • 5th quite correct. The crisis hit the most corrupt and the most market-liberal countries, us commies, we’re fine. And supposed to bail those idiots out.

    • Try a Vietnamese coffee:

      Brew up two full strength espressos
      In a tall glass add a large tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk
      Add the espresso and mix
      Pack the glass with crushed ice and stir.

      one or two of these things will have you crawling the ceiling like spiderman.

      • Thanks Vinylspear, I will have to try that sometime but for now I’m stuck with my Arabic “Breakfast blend” coffee beans…

        Allllllllllllllaaaaaaaaahhhh! 😉

    • While Medicaid, food stamps and WIC can be referred to as ‘entitlements’ because when you’re poor enough, you qualify for them, thus you’re ‘entitled’ to them, we need to refer to Social Security and Medicare as ‘Earnedtitlements’ because you pay into them from your paycheck, thus, you ‘earn’ them.

      The Democrats need to add one more argument to their opposition of raising Medicare eligibility age. Quite often, the major breadwinner in a household has the job that provides the health insurance, and can’t retire because the spouse is younger and won’t have coverage for years.

    • Sign seen on I-5 just south of Centralia, WA this week (proving that any asshole with money can say what he wants anywhere, anytime):

      “Should people receiving entitlements be allowed to vote?”

      This is wrong on so many levels that the ignorance required to ask this question is staggering. I’ll go with this one: felons in prison have their right to vote suspended (and *sometimes* restored after they have served their time – to wit – Florida, 2000 and 2004!), are we saying that receiving social security, or medicare or medicaid is an equivalent to a *criminal* act?

      F***ing brown shirts

        • Last time it was “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” – you know the one. Big Uncle Sam and a huge white board on the N side of the highway.

      • If I was loaded, I’d put up an adjacent one that would read:

        “Should people NOT receiving entitlements be allowed to vote?”

        I would accept no liability, however, for the projected increase in car crashes. Insurance companies are paid to worry about that shit, I’m not. 🙂

  4. Someone else may have said this before but isn’t it funny how social security, medicare and medicaid are labeled as “entitlements” with the implication that the people who receive these entitlements are a drain on society but corporate welfare is called subsidies, tax credits, grants….

    • Time to start calling them all entitlements:

      1. Big Oil company citizenry rape entitlement
      2. Big Pharma grandma-f***ing by prescriptions entitlement
      3. Big Food piss-off-home-Jamie-Oliver-we-need-more-fat-diabetic-kids entitlement

      Any others?

    • As you don’t have any pressing problems right now, this is the senible thing for the House to do 😆 What jerks. (My passing familiarity with English could come up with some more words, but I’m a lady)

  5. Breaking news banner on Reuters

    BREAKING NEWS: Obama says if debt ceiling is not raised that could lead to effective tax increase for all Americans

    Eat that teabags!

  6. “Why Aren’t You Seeing Harry Potter?”

    That’s what Conor Friedersdorf got asked when he paid to see an Orange County showing of The Undefeated. He was the only person in the theater. This is amazing stuff in the bastion of SoCal Republicanism:

    “Shortly before the end of the film, a young couple entered, walked to the back row, started making out, then interrupted their session and left (spoiler alert) as Andrew Breitbart, who made one of several guest appearances, started talking about eunuchs”

  7. Somewhat lighter-hearted news item over here from Austria.

    Austrian man delcares that a pasta sieve is ‘confessional headgear’

    Although I did read in the article that: “After receiving his application the Austrian authorities had required him to obtain a doctor’s certificate that he was “psychologically fit” to drive.”

    I bet nobody else ever gets a psyche eval when they put ‘Catholic’,’Baptist’, ‘Joe Smith’s Msyogyny Cult’ in the Religion column – maybe they should.

    • Yeah, saw that yesterday.
      Religious types shouldn’t be allowed to drive at all, in case they decide it’s all in god’s hands and let go of the steering wheel.
      Seat-belts, turn signals, headlamps and brakes also demonstrate an illogical ( in Christian terms) and thus blasphemous lack of faith in God’s protection and guidance.

  8. Hi Terry, I posted this a couple of days ago.

    I was elated that he made it through the bureaucracy.

    “Our only dogma is the rejection of dogma”

  9. Quote of the Day:

    “I agree with John that Obama misspoke when he cautioned Eric Cantor, ”don’t call my bluff.” But was it because he meant to say, “don’t call my bet,” thinking he has a winning hand, or because he botched the metaphor, not understanding poker? Poker, after all, is a quintessentially American game, with origins going back to the 18th century and which reached its modern form in the mid-19th on river boats plying the Mississippi and its tributaries. There is so much about this country and its character that seems alien or unfamiliar to the president.” – John Steele Gordon, Commentary.

    Don’t bother with link:

    • “There is so much about this country and its character that seems alien or unfamiliar to the president.”

      Nice. Racism comes in so many disguises..

    • Link:

      A French game named “Poque” and a German game named “Pochen” became very popular in the 17 & 18th centuries, both developed from the 16th century Spanish game called “Primero” which involved three cards being dealt to each player. Bluffing, or betting high stakes whilst holding poor cards to deceive opponents, was an integral part of the game. Primero dates back to 1526 and is often referred to as “poker’s mother” as it is the first confirmed version of a game directly related to modern day poker.

      French roots, Louisiana purchase—NOT a “quintessentially American game”. TYPICAL EPIC FAIL, 😀

    • Considering that “World Series of Poker” runs on a sports network, Gordon may be right about the fucked-up priorities of the US these days. What is most telling is that he references the golden age of poker taking place prior to the Civil War and in the Deep South. So maybe not “quintessentially American” but rather quintessentially Confederate and un-American.

    • I disagree that Obama misspoke. I have heard many comments about “bluffing” in relation to the debt ceiling issue. I see the President’s latest bet, “Get to work on the legislation or I’m going to start badmouthing your party all over the Country”. In saying “Call my bluff”, the president was taunting his opponents who think he is bluffing. What’s the probability that, behind the closed doors, someone at table said aloud at some point, “You’re bluffing”?

      There is nothing to say to the “players” that believe the President has the winning hand, they’ll fold rather call the bet.

    • I knew what the president meant, but I thought somehow it seemed a little awkwardly phrased. As a poker player myself, I’ve had people say “I think you’re bluffing.” To which I do reply “Then, call my bluff.”

      It’s not an admission that I’m bluffing. It’s really just short-hand for saying “Call me, if you think I’m bluffing.”

  10. A French game named “Poque” and a German game named “Pochen” became very popular in the 17 & 18th centuries, both developed from the 16th century Spanish game called “Primero” which involved three cards being dealt to each player. Bluffing, or betting high stakes whilst holding poor cards to deceive opponents, was an integral part of the game. Primero dates back to 1526 and is often referred to as “poker’s mother” as it is the first confirmed version of a game directly related to modern day poker.

    French colonials imported the game to the new world when they arrived in Canada. Their beloved poque was the national card game of France and from the beginning of the 18th century, when a hardy group of French-Canadian settlers founded New Orleans, it spread from the state of Louisiana up the Mississippi river and then throughout the whole country.


    Unsurprising EPIC FAIL by John Steele-Gordon of commentary magazine. .

    • While I have never been much for playing poker, I have indulged from time to time and always found one of the most satisfying gambits to be when you convince your opponent that you are bluffing when, in fact you aren’t. It’s much easier to do when said opponent is the arrogant egotistical type.

      • My favorite winning hand occured during a game of 7 card stud. I had queens full in 5 cards. All seven players called to get their 7th card, which gave me knowledge of 31 cards, my three hole cards and 28 face up on the table. From that I was able to determine that I had a lock. 😯 From the cards I could see I saw that there was no possibility for kings or aces full, that no one could have 4 of a kind or a straight flush.

        Two other players had lesser full houses, in addition to one flush, one straight, trips and 2 pair. The betting was spirited after the last card was dealt. with 5 raises in a row, then 2 calls, then more raises and calls. I pretended to keep looking at my hole cards while proclaiming I had the winning hand. The “friendly” 25-50 cent, dollar last card game became tense. After 4 players dropped the 3 of us left agreed to $5 raises. I made the last raise and finally got called, by the player who had 10’s full There was close to $700 in the pot, about $200 was my betting.

        That was in 1970, about this time of year, Damn, that was 41 years ago, which makes me old now, damn it. I was a decent chap back then too, I bought a round of drinks for my benefactors! 😀

        • That’s a relatively high number of good hands for one round. If I’d had the 10’s full I would have probably ridden it to the end with you as well. However… After 2-3 raises, I would have probably just called you; and not let it get quite to $700. 🙂

          It’s definitely fun to “play” your opponents when you know you have the winning hand.

      • Indeed. The look on their face is priceless. When you casually (and reluctantly) flip over the winning hand (which you knew you had all along).

        I’ve seen people get downright angry at that.

  11. Quote of the Day:

    “For some reason, the public, the media, keep going over this, again, and again, and again. It’s too much. We should move on,” – media consultant Robert Dilenschneider, speaking with a sycophantic Steve Doocy in what was apparently the first time Fox News has addressed the News Corp hacking scandal. The propaganda in the segment is something to behold.

    (This is over at TP too)

    • Interfering in a murder investigation – “We should move on”
      Spying on a sitting UK Chancellor – “We should move on”

      Yes, nothing to see here, of course.

      Yes let’s move on to waterboarding Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Rebekah what’s-her-face and extracting the criminal confessions we know to be there…. Jesse Ventura? Come on down…

      /suspension of habeas corpus and laws against torture implied by my comment off

    • Summarizing the video clip over on TP:

      -It’s a hacking scandal. So what we need to focus on is hacking itself. Other companies have been victims of hacking, so we need to put an end to the hacking and why are we all so collectively vulnerable to hacking.

      -The media is just piling on. Murdoch apologized. This should just be over.

      -Citigroup got hacked. Why isn’t the media following this the same way. The Pentagon got hacked. Shy isn’t the media following that story.

      -We have major problems in the country, and we’re talking about this.

      -This took place over a decade ago.

      The story here isn’t that hacking is a problem. It’s that the MEDIA DID THE HACKING! And the irony meter shot off the scale with Fox complaining that the media is focusing too much on one story.

      For them to try to deflect this into a “hacking is bad, we should focus on that” and to try to even remotely equate what NewsCorp did vs. companies being the victims of hacking is just laughable. Yet they kept a straight face through it all. Someone call the Emmy’s. These two deserve it for this performance.

      • Right-on, zxbe/
        The tack that Steve Douchebag is taking is “hate the sin, not the sinner”, a carefully calculated trope used by the authoritarians whenever they get caught doing something beyond the common pale.

        • I swear my face went into Lewis Black gyrations watching that clip. My thought-bubble was screaming “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?”

          It really defies all belief.

          Nothing would please me more at this moment for the outcome of this is that Murdoch is reduced to nothingness (in terms of wealth of influence) and that Fox gets caught up in the scandal too and shuts down. And Doocy gets a job as a greeter at Walmart.

    • Also from TP :

      …the prime minister of Australia has expressed interest in launching Australia’s own investigation. PM Julia Gillard told the National Press Club today that she is “shocked and disgusted” at allegations of improper information gathering by Murdoch’s British tabloids and predicted a “long debate about media ethics in this country.”

      Really this isn;t just about the malfeasance and amorality of one media company , it’s about the power and effect that transnational corporations run by megalomaniacs have can have on national politics and the social, political and economic conditions that the common man or woman is subjected to without consent or even representation, without ordinary accountability or recourse. ( I could also point out/argue that Murdoch’s media empire and the Catholic Church .are of the same cloth, only the hats they were distinguish them in minor detail).

  12. My current fave comment at Wonkette on the Palin vs Potter movie thread:

    SpurningBeer :

    ‘l’ll have you know that Sarah was an adept student of Defense Against the Dark President when she was in junior college. Expellio Obamus!

    • (perfect)

      The unraveling of the Wasilla Wailer.

      Wonder which brilliant assistant saw fit to have her movie debut at the same time HP’s final episode.

      • I am thrilled to hear that, in the middle of the Republicon bastion that Orange County is, the Quitter/Victim/HalfTerm BarbieFailure can’t draw a single person who would pay money to see her ridiculous self promotion scam.

      • Hi Ebb!
        Certainly there was plenty of notice of the Potter release date.
        Palin’s media consultants of course had to deal with the predictable summer comedy/date movie/blockbuster season—in which case the smart move wuld have been to release in October which would resonate somewhat as being next to November, the traditional election month, even though not in an election year.

        BUT there was surely the temptation of releasing close to July 4, and then there’s the possible assumption that as the rubes paid for Palin’s vacation, they’d double down on a fakumentary about her on the reasonable premise that her fans have no higher critical brain functions, and besides something had to fil the gap between her quitting her bus vacation/campaign tour and her inevitable announcement in the fall that she will fight for Real America by steering clear of the boxing ring itself as her real talent lies in selling t-shirts, taking bets and lobbing rhetorical chairs at the real contestants whilst stuffing her faithful gawkers’ tax-protected cash into her pockets.

  13. My favorite line of the day. Hell, maybe the week. From Washington Monthly:

    A senior administration official recently noted those who simply choose not to believe any of the warning related to the debt limit. “These are the kinds of people who get eaten by bears,” the official said.

  14. All the far-right religious groups with “Family” in their name are going apeshit ever the California “teach gay history” law. If the Psychochristians are going to whine anyway; let’s give them something to whine about. It’s far past time for history classes to forcefully state that the only mention of religion in the Constitution is exclusionary and that the Founding Fathers very carefully set up our code of law so that religion has no legal standing. You can teach whatever you want in your homes and churches but stop giving preferential treatment to any religion in public schools.

    • California should secede from the Union. As one of the top “donor” states in the nation, California receives back on $.71 for every dollar paid to the Feds, and yet is facing massive budget deficits year after year.

      They should just keep that money, balance their own budget, implement their universal healthcare plan and environmental protections, fund reproductive choice and get busy with gay rights.

      Let the 20+ Red Welfare States that Cali currently subsidize manage on their own without them being forced to accept the demonic liberal California cash which keeps them afloat year after year…

      • I have a better idea, let all the Fox News states go and take all that pond life with it – the ones that sponge up the money from CA and the rest of us.

    • Wow, now I have to choose what is more creepy. Bachmann calling gays barbarians, who need to be disciplined or calls children barbarians who need to be civilised. Whichever it is, his man is the ultimate cynical misanthrope and a sick control freak on top of that. Sums up into a really nasty personality and hopefully revelations in the future that put an end to his farce of ahis wifey’s candidacy. Chances are, there will be something boiling to he surface soon, personalities like that are pathlogic, they always think they get away with just about anyhing. He’s creepy, really creepy.

  15. On Hinton’s WSJ resignation, NYTimes:

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Friday, July 15, 2011 — 4:28 PM EDT

    Les Hinton, Publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Says He Is Resigning

    Les Hinton, the chairman of Dow Jones, announced his resignation on Friday, joining Rebekah Brooks, the embattled chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper operations, in the exodus of top officials from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

    Mr. Hinton, a long-time confidant of Mr. Murdoch, ran News International, the British publishing subsidiary of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation from 1997 to 2005, during the time when the phone hacking that touched off the scandal took place.
    The departure of Mr. Hinton and Ms. Brooks began a day of stepped-up damage control by Mr. Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation, who on Friday released a copy of an apologetic note to be published in all British newspapers over the weekend. He also visited the family of a murdered 13-year-old girl, Milly Dowler, whose voice mail was hacked by reporters at The News of the World while she was still listed as missing.

    Read More:

    • Hell, now what will come out about what WSJ did? I said so Tuesday. It would be naive to think the scandal was restricted to the UK. If FOXnews went down, just before he election season. Oh the irony!

      • I’ve also been wondering…

        How did Jesse Watters know where to find Amanda Terkel away from her home or workplace? I suppose he could have followed her, which is disturbing and creepy in and of itself, but wouldn’t it have been easier to just intercept calls and/or emails detailing her plans?

        • That’s an interesting thought, pete.

          I always assumed he just followed her for several days and finally got lucky, but given the phone hacking it seems more likely that he knew he only had to follow her that day.

          • I saw her name on a byline and the thought just occurred to me. I’ve also been thinking I should track down her contact info and plant a suggestion that she might want to pass on her side of the incident to law enforcement, if she hasn’t already done so. If nothing else, I think a lot of people would feel great pleasure knowing that that smarmy little creep, Watters, was spending a few hours being asked very pointed questions by people who carry guns as part of their job description.

        • Pete, you’re onto something here. We should have a brainstorming here at he Zoo about all those things. Sudden retirements, changes of mind, changes of votes, stuff like that. Wkileaks stuff and, yes, Valerie Plame kind of cases.

  16. I haven’t gotten anything but form letters from my Representatives so I’ve sent this off to Senator Sanders. If you think it’s a good idea and have a Representative or Senator in mind, please steal it and pass it on.

    Good day, Senator Sanders.

    I’ve been asking this question of my lawmakers and not getting any live replies. Perhaps you could answer for me, if time allows.

    Why not propose a tax hike on those who can afford it the most but couple it with a tax credit for those who actually hire people?

    Hire a gardener? Get a credit. Hire a maid? Get a credit. Hire three workers for your small business? Get three tax credits.

    It would seem to me that such a proposal would pull the teeth from arguments that we can’t “tax job creators” and also demonstrate that the GOP is not willing to make any concessions even if they include a strong incentive to create jobs.

    Thank you for your consideration. I’m truly grateful for the work you do in these troubled times.

  17. Connersville toddler killed in accidental shooting
    Police said a two year-old-boy was shot to death in the head by his 5-year-old Thursday night.

    The parents shouldn’t grieve, however. Their 2nd amendment rights are still alive and well.

    Read rest here.

    • Well, thank goodness their rights are intact. Remember, guns don’t kill toddlers, 5 year olds with access to stupid parents’ guns kill toddlers.

      Those poor kids.

      • As my Reichtarded cousin would say, “You can kill people with baseball bats too. Should we regulate baseball bats?”

        He gets mad when I say, ‘sure, sounds good to me.’ But then he gets mad if all I do is fart, too. There’s no dealing with a Reichtard.

    • Thank goodness Indiana passed a law earlier this year allowing guns in most public places. I hope it includes schools. If one five year old is packing Mommy and Daddy’s heat, the other kids must be able to defend themselves.

      More guns is always the solution.

  18. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit right up front that I don’t have a penis.

    But, if I did, I think I’d be getting a bit of a stiffy over the rapid fall of Ole Rupert and the international outrage that continues to escalate!

    Couldn’t happen to a meaner or uglier person.

    • One should be able to deduce from your moniker that you are of the fairer gender, but…
      You could have an absolute clitoral orgasm over the downward spiral of Mudrock and company, and that would be just fine.

  19. It could be worse. Victoria Jackson could be running for office. And some morons would vote for her and further encourage her to say the most blindingly stupid/insane things imaginable. Actually, stupidity/insanity of that level is unimaginable to a sane person. One has to wait for her to cook it up.

  20. Wow! I almost forgot how idiotic right wing trolls are. I was just reading the latest on Rupert Murdoch at MSN and decided to read the comments….Wow! Too bad I can’t figure out why I can’t register at MSN, I’ve been in the mood to unleash on ignorant teabaggers.

    I miss the trolls….


    • The comments at the Strib provide all the troll scat I can handle and I still don’t feel much need to directly engage any of them. I did have the satisfaction of getting a couple replies on a climate change thread. I provided a link to a good source for debunking deniers. Of course, one he said that he would never read a blog by a bunch of “far-left elitist America haters” while the other just blathered some nonsense about Al Gore and snow storms in January..

  21. Ghak!

    Scott Walker was on PBS Newshour and said “we have to put people back to work”. It didn’t occur to anyone to ask him how many jobs his policies have eliminated. Also no mention of the 9 Republican state Senators facing recalls or the red herrings run by the GOoPers in the primaries.

      • I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they have gone down the toilet but they are not what they once were. They still put out a better product than most anyone else but they are so afraid of giving ammunition to those who call them “librul media” that they are rarely confrontational with Reichwhiners. It began when they started having corporate sponsors, got worse when Bill Moyers retired, and fell another notch when Jim Lehrer retired.

        I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and mention that Walker was there with the Governor of Delaware, who’s name escapes me, to discuss the effect of the debt limit mess on states but I still think it would have been a good opportunity to ask Walker a couple pointed questions.

  22. I’m going to miss all of the freedoms that the socialist, pinko commie, liberals are taking away from me each and every day. 😉

      • Shhhhh….I was purposely misleading everyone and distracting them away from the fact that we are Nazi Marxists.

        PS: Even we fall for the label game which helps the overlords, who love when the words communist, socialist, terrorist and Marxist get thrown around, because it truly distracts and misleads everyone from the true enemy…the fascists.

  23. Yep…I’ve noticed the republicans have been suddenly and ironically getting up on their soap boxes and asking where the jobs are?

    They do realize that they have been in charge of the House, where bills are created since January 2010 and not one of them have brought a jobs bill to the floor. Instead they have been pouring all of their energies into culture wars while trying to thwart the president at every turn.

    I just hope the public is able to see through this massive shitload of lies and propaganda from the republicans as we get closer and closer to November 2012, because the airwaves will be flooded with political ads across the country like never before….I just hope the DNC and the DCCC are aware of this?

  24. I don’t think anything is going to come of this. The evil Empire will still exist, most likely in the hands of an even eviler Son or perhaps a Saudi Prince with ties to terrorism.

    But can you imagine the Hannity’s, O’Reilly’s, Limbaughs and Becks of the world if this had been George Soros instead of Rupert Murdoch, the right would be demanding the death penalty.

    • In time they will replace the now defunct tabloid newspaper with a new one.

      One evil weed is pulled and another one pops up in its place…

    • A “Green fascist” — what the fuck is that?

      I really do wish the Reichtards from whichever global jurisdiction would at least do one thing: study up on the meaning of certain words (and in some cases, also learn how to spell them). Interesting, I guess, how it is that true fascists are the first to erroneously call most everyone else fascists, but frankly I get sick of that crap after awhile. Of course, there was the classic teabagger sign a couple of years ago, the one that pointed out that Obama was a “Marksist-Facist” — 0 for 2 in the spelling department, 0 for 1in the knowledge department. Typical nutcase.

      “Green fascist” — at least someone spelled it right.

      • Since I’m neither stupid nor insane I seldom make an attempt to translate. That being said; my guess is that they just hear a scary word, put an “ist” on the end of it, and apply it to anyone they can’t understand.

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