Archive for November, 2011

Barney: Flaming A-Hole

Well, I’ll be bent over a sawhorse and buggered till I cry uncle.

Umm… don’t ask me why I react to this random act of journalism that way:

The morning after his retirement announcement, Rep. Barney Frank scored an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, gaining the opportunity to act as an elder statesman in front of a TV audience of millions. Instead, the Massachusetts Democrat chose to quarrel with the interviewer.

“You said that your district has been redrawn in a way that would make it more difficult for you to win reelection,” host Savannah Guthrie said.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t running because I was afraid I couldn’t win,” Frank retorted.

Guthrie asked for his response to those who take his retirement as a sign that the Democrats won’t win control of the House in 2012.

“I wish we could talk substance sometimes in the media,” Frank complained. “I know that’s against, kind of, apparently, the rules.” He went on to say that “I have decided not to serve until three months before my 75th birthday. I guess I don’t understand why that is so hard for people to grasp.”

The amiable Guthrie tried again. How does he feel about the worsening tone in Washington?

“Well, you exemplify what I think is a change in the tone,” Frank said. “You’ve managed to ask all sort of negative questions. .?.?. It’s ‘gotcha’ journalism. It’s ‘gotcha’ politics. And it does lessen our chances to get things done.”

The interviewer gave it a final attempt. Does Frank “feel any responsibility for your own role in, kind of, that tone that we do see in Washington?”

“Well, congratulations,” Frank said with derision. “You’re four-for-four in managing to find the negative approach.”

It was a chance for the nation to see what so many in the Capitol had seen up close over the years: That Barney Frank, liberal lion, gay pioneer and respected legislator, is also one mean and ornery S.O.B.

Cut him some slack you say? That’s just one interview?

No question, Frank is one of the smartest on Capitol Hill and probably the most colorful. But he is also one of the most notorious bullies, known for berating staff, alienating allies and causing aides to cower in fear of his gratuitous and frequent browbeatings.

The stories are legendary: making a young network employee cry when he scolded her for trying to un-rumple him before a TV appearance; demanding that an aide “answer the [expletive] question” before giving him a chance to respond; asking a woman escorting him to a Chicago meeting, “Why do you care what kind of flight I had?”

The invective poured forth with great fluency. He asked critics: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” When the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim asked a question Frank didn’t like, he replied, “What is this, some kind of idiotic contest?”

If Barney’s colleagues in the Massachusetts Democratic caucus indeed did you-know-what him up the you-know-what, it’s probably because they thought the fat [bleep] deserved it. Local scribe and radio host, Howie Carr, reported he had heard that John Olver, whose “retirement” from the House (coerced suicide is closer to the truth) solved the problem of Massachusetts losing a seat in the House, was livid that Barney had decided to bow out. If Barney had let his intentions be known earlier, Olver might still have a district to run in.

What an entitled, selfish little prick. (That’s être, not avoir.)

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The Occupiers Are SO November

First Amendment rights! Yeah!

They are the 99%! Woo-hoo!

Fight the power! Right on, right on!

GTFOH! Huh?

Occupy Boston is bracing for a hearing tomorrow at which the city will argue it should have the right to evict demonstrators at the Dewey Square tent city.

In a 200-page document filed yesterday in Suffolk County Superior Court, the city argues that the protesters have the right to free speech but do not have the right to live on public property.

“(Mayor Thomas Menino’s) position on Occupy Boston has not changed,” his spokeswoman, Dot Joyce, told the Herald this morning. “The city will continue to argue that it needs to have the ability to do what it needs to do to protect public safety without the restraints of having to go to court. We do not believe the city should be handcuffed.”

A judge last month barred the city from doing anything to evict Occupy Boston until Dec. 1.

Hasta la vista, baby.

From the Gob:

In their filing, city officials say they have visited the encampment numerous times since its creation and have now concluded it is a danger to public safety, a threat to public health, and a fire hazard that poses a threat to occupants as well as responding firefighters.

“It is my opinion that the camp, in its current condition, provides an environment that can facilitate the spread of viruses and communicable diseases,’’ Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, wrote in an affidavit.

“Further, the condition of the camp, transient nature of the campers, and lack of an identifiable or accountable person to consistently employ health and safety measures can result in the spread of serious and potentially life threatening illness among the campers,’’ she wrote.

She added, “These health hazards will not abate if the current conditions are allowed to persist.’’

Ferrer said that during site visits, she had seen unsanitary practices used for the storage of food, spotted some occupants defecating in the Dewey Square shrubbery, smelled the pungent odor of human urine and failed to find anyone who would take responsibility for upgrading conditions.

City Fire Marshal Bart Shea said many of the tents used by occupiers are made of flammable materials and that the attempt to “winterize’’ the encampment has increased the fire risk because occupiers have draped flammable tarps onto the already risky tenting materials.

He also said that the ropes used to secure the tents are installed in a haphazard manner, increasing the risk of injury to responding firefighters who may be tripped up by the ropes as they rush to help someone, especially in the dark of night.

The drumbeat of criticism continued from the city Inspectional Services Department, which warned of a rat infestation and noted that there is no clean water supply, bathrooms, or safe handling of food.

Boston police reported spending $750,000 in overtime and having to intervene for minor and major matters 87 times since Oct. 7 when a Bank of America branch was vandalized.

Police said in their report that they have made multiple arrests for alleged drug dealing, stepped in to quell arguments between occupants, and have had to investigate a verbal assault on a female Coast Guard member who was sworn at and called a barnyard epithet when she walked past Dewey Square.

Ready for the punchline? I can barely type through the tears:

Meanwhile, the brief on behalf of Occupy Boston maintains that the encampment itself provides a model of the kind of community for which protesters are pushing.

A sh*t-stained, p*ss-soaked fire-trap of a community. For all. Hahahahahahaha!!!!

If only—hahahahahahaha!!! Sorry, it’s just—hahahahahaha!!! I can’t—hahaha—help my—hahahahaha—self.

Oh boy, that’s better.

Just two questions. One, where we these grave and myriad concerns before? They weren’t pooping, peeing, dealing drugs, and harassing people before—when the politicians cuddled up next to these maggots? The politicians have grown tired of these brats. Any concerns for Constitutional rights were just a front. If the Occu-poopers could blunt the effect of the Tea Party, they served their purpose. When they no longer did, line the useful idiots up against the wall and shoot the mf-ers.

Question number two: what was the barnyard epithet? Here sooie? Hey, Rhode Island Red? Get along little doggie? What?

Besides, what unsanitary practices?




PS: Others have observed that if anyone else tried pouring that slop into the sewer (most of which empty straight into the Charles River or Boston Harbor), they’d be paying off the fine until doomsday.

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Dow Up 400 Points, Obama Down 24%

according to Rasmussen

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 19% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -24 (see trends).

Seventy-one percent (71%) believe it will take at least three more years for the housing market to recover. Overall, just 27% expect the economy to be stronger in a year while 48% expect it to be weaker. Two-out-of-three Americans believe the economy is still in a recession.

So, what do you think guys? Is the economy getting better or not?

- Aggie

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It’s Overestimated!™

Remember how the Commerce Department overestimated 3rd quarter growth by 25% (not 2.5% growth, but 2%)?

Such overestimation is apparently not a bug, but a feature—this time by the Labor Department—and by almost the same percentage!

The rebound in U.S. nonfarm productivity growth was not as strong as previously estimated in the third quarter, while wages declined for two straight quarters, supporting the Federal Reserve’s views of moderate inflation pressures.

Productivity increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate, the Labor Department said on Wednesday, a downward revision to its previous estimate of 3.1 percent.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, being revised down to a 2.6 percent growth rate. The revision reflects a much slower gross domestic product growth pace during the July-September period.

Subdued wage growth supports the Feds contention of a low inflation environment, despite high food prices. This should give the U.S. central bank more room to tackle stubbornly high unemployment and spur economic growth.

Oh yeah? How? By overestimating job growth by 25%? It just might work.

I smell a rat. A clean and articulate rat, with optional Negro dialect, but a rat.

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Democracy 2, Fascism Nil

The Democracy score is actually a lot higher, but fascism—this time of the liberal variety—gets shut out again:

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was invited to speak at an event celebrating a new solar power facility near Colorado Springs. After ten minutes of various introductory speakers the Governor came to the podium. Immediately a crowd of occupiers interrupted his remarks. As you’ll see, this continued until someone in the crowd had an idea:

They may have been shouted down this time, but like good little fascists they’ll be back. And they won’t let a little thing like a vote stop them.

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Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day

And Tuesday is IDSPP:

The United Nations on Tuesday continued to demonstrate it is not an honest broker in the Israeli-Arab conflict as senior UN officials marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that a Palestinian state was “long overdue,” in an official statement released by his office.

“The need to resolve this conflict has taken on greater urgency with the historic transformations taking place across the region,” Ban said.

Ban said a solution to the current impasse must be found that results in two states based on the 1967-lines with Jerusalem as their shared capital.

What’s to negotiate? That’s the Arab bargaining position. But then, Ban is impressed with the Arabs, and not so much with the you-know-whos:

Ban praised the accomplishments of the Palestinian Authority, claiming that the Ramallah government is “institutionally ready to assume the responsibilities of statehood.”

He did not address the ongoing corruption probes that plague the government of PA prime minister Salam Fayyad or that the PA is dependent on foreign aid and on the verge of fiscal insolvency.

Instead, Ban called on both sides to return to direct negotiations, while at the same time adopting PA rhetoric that Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem constitute a “major obstacle to peace.”

I guess this is what you have to expect on a day set aside by a discredited organization to celebrate a fictional people. And it’s only a day (no different from any other at the UN).

But this is sickening any day of the week:

Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967″ condemned Israel as a rights violator and occupier.

“Every year, on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we are reminded of Israeli authorities’ invidious schemes to permanently empty Palestine of Palestinians.

“This prolonged human catastrophe must be brought to an end once and for all,” a statement said.

A Final Solution, Mr. Falk?

Here are our archives on Richard Falk. I hope you didn’t just eat.

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Barney, Barney, What’s the Hurry?

Take a seat, stay a little while. Can we get you something. Soft drink? Pillow?

If you thought Rep. Barney Frank was bad, his likely replacement is worse. Rep. Maxine Waters is Congress’ most anti-bank member — unless she owns stock in one, that is.

Waters is in line to take over from Frank on the powerful Financial Services Committee when he retires next year. On financial issues, the California liberal is even left of Frank, who was the chief architect of the disastrous banking overhaul bill bearing his name.

“As the next most senior member of the committee, I hope to use my experience to continue and expand his work in the committee,” Waters said. “I will continue to champion practical regulations.”

Really? As a key member of the Dodd-Frank conference committee, Waters authored the “practical” rule of requiring every bank regulatory agency to create an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.

Really, a whole office? Wouldn’t just a desk or maybe a bureau have done?

Of course, I have no problem with the inclusion of anyone. But it was government meddling in banking affairs (namely the extortionist tactics used to make banks lend to bad credit risks) that created the mortgage mess and led the banking system to the abyss. If I thought Maxine “Love-That-Dirty” Waters was smart enough, I’d suspect her of torpedoing the system on purpose. I think Barack Obama is smart enough—and devious enough. Portraying the financial system as racist, corrupt, and failed, he can rebuild it in his own Marxist image.

As I said, Waters isn’t that smart. Her interests lie closer to home:

Despite Fannie’s and Freddie’s demise, Waters has no regrets. She lobbied to exclude them and their government-mandated affordable housing charter from the “sweeping financial reforms.” And she got her wish.

She also got another wish: a provision exempting minority-owned banks from the new oversight.

Quite interesting. Because at the same time she got that little gem added to the bill, she was under investigation for steering federal bailout money to a troubled minority-owned bank in which she and her husband held a large financial stake.

Good girl.

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One Way To Measure The Success Of Obama’s Programs

Look at the increase in students receiving meals at the public schools.

Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program. Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth.

The Agriculture Department has not yet released data for September and October.

“These are very large increases and a direct reflection of the hardships American families are facing,” said Benjamin Senauer, a University of Minnesota economist who studies the meals program, adding that the surge had happened so quickly “that people like myself who do research are struggling to keep up with it.”

This is a NY Times article, so remember that you only have 20 free visits. The gist of the article is that in every state of the nation, the numbers of children receiving free and reduced cost meals has skyrocketed. In one district in Kansas City, they now serve dinner, along with breakfast and lunch.

Perhaps you thought I was being snarky when I suggested that the increase in free school meals is a way to measure Obama’s successes? You might think it is a measure of his failures? That could be true, but ask yourself this: Will the parents of these children be more likely to vote for him again, because they are dependent on more government programs now, or will they be more likely to vote for the other guy?

- Aggie

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Arab Math

Two-fifths equals 100%:

The Muslim Brotherhood’s list leads in initial counting of results from the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary election, with about 40% of party-list votes, a party source said on Wednesday.

It remains difficult to assess the precise impact of such a result on an election that will take six weeks for voting to be complete and uses an extremely complex system for allocating seats.

Basil Adel, whose party is part of the Egyptian Bloc, which includes liberal and other parties, said the bloc’s list had secured 20 to 30% of votes counted so far in Cairo.

Adel, who is a member of the Free Egyptians party co-founded by Christian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris, said the Brotherhood’s list had secured about 40 to 50 percent of the vote in Cairo, while the list of the ultra-conservative Islamist Al-Nour party had 5 to 7% of Cairo’s votes.

This will take a while to figure out, but with the Cairo returns showing perhaps a 50%-20% lead for the ‘Hood over the democratic-leaning parties, I think we can see where this is heading. Or beheading.

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Huh…

A couple of days ago, I asked when an explosion is not an explosion.

The answer is becoming clear… as mud:

The explosion earlier this week that Iran said was at a uranium enrichment site actually damaged a nuclear plant and was far from accidental, The London Times reported Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted Israeli intelligence officials as saying that satellite photos revealed extensive damage from the explosion at Isfahan, near Tehran. The Israeli sources, so far unconfirmed, added that smoke was seen pouring out from a conversion plant and that it was clear that the blast was not accidental.

The government-controlled Fars News Agency had claimed that the explosion was caused by a military exercise, after having initially denied any incident took place.

Two week ago, an explosion at a military base that killed a top general and 16 others also resulted in extensive damage, according to published satellite images.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security told The New York Times, “It was pretty amazing to see that the entire facility was destroyed. There were only a few buildings left standing.”

So, there was an explosion, the Persians now admit. And they took Aggie’s advice and termed it the military equivalent of an industrial accident.

I wonder if the mullahs are thinking what I’m thinking? That if explosions can happen at this or that military base, then they can happen anywhere. I mean, if they just happen, who knows where they’ll happen next?

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Wishing We Could Be More Like Europe… Not.

They’re so sophisticated. And they have so much leisure time!

Estudias o trabajas?” When young Spaniards gather around the bars and patios, that’s their traditional icebreaker line: “You study or work?” In the past year, it’s become almost mandatory to answer, with a self-effacing smirk: “Nini.”

It is half a joke, for nini is a way of saying “neither-nor,” and NINI is the Spanish government acronym for “Not in education or employment” – that is, lost to the economy.

But it’s not really a joke, because now almost everyone is NINI. The under-30 unemployment rate in Spain has just hit 44 per cent, twice the adult rate. Italy also has passed the 40 per cent mark, and Greece has gone even further. If you count all the people who’ve given up looking, it means the number of people between 20 and 30 who have any form of employment in these countries is something like one in five.

Cogitate on that for a minute. In Spain, 44% of people under thirty are unemployed. Similar reality in Italy and Greece. Can you even imagine??? As they say in parts of the Midwest: Can you feature that?

I often feel a bit sorry for young adults in America. Half of them are working 60+ hours per week because employers are intentionally hiring too few people, and the other half are in yoga classes. But they still have some opportunity to grow and they come from a culture which encourages entrepreneurship. The typical European looks to the government for everything. If their system fails, I’m not sure they have the skills to re-create a thriving society.

- Aggie

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Can You Guess Which Modern President Has The Lowest Poll Numbers At This Point In His Presidency?

Obama?

Score!!! You guess it! He’s lower than Jimmah…

President Obama’s slow ride down Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.

Since March, Obama’s job approval rating has hovered above Carter’s, considered among the 20th century’s worst presidents, but today Obama’s punctured Carter’s dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama’s job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter’s 51 percent.

Back in 1979, Carter was far below Obama until the Iran hostage crisis, eerily being duplicated in Tehran today with Iranian protesters storming the British embassy. The early days of the crisis helped Carter’s ratings, though his failure to win the release of captured Americans, coupled with a bad economy, led to his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980.

According to Gallup, here are the job approval numbers for other presidents at this stage of their terms, a year before the re-election campaign:

– Harry S. Truman: 54 percent.

– Dwight Eisenhower: 78 percent.

– Lyndon B. Johnson: 44 percent.

– Richard M. Nixon: 50 percent.

– Ronald Reagan: 54 percent.

– George H.W. Bush: 52 percent.

– Bill Clinton: 51 percent.

– George W. Bush: 55 percent.

What’s more, Gallup finds that Obama’s overall job approval rating so far has averaged 49 percent. Only three former presidents have had a worse average rating at this stage: Carter, Ford, and Harry S. Truman. Only Truman won re-election in an anti-Congress campaign that Obama’s team is using as a model.

The Iranian problems are eerily duplicated, eh? I don’t think so. I think that appeasement invites aggressive behavior. Both Carter and Obama are wimps.

- Aggie

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