s skippy the bush kangaroo: March 2009

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

skippy's tuesday nite music club

never let it be said that complaining doesn't get results!

a few weeks ago, we groused about the tendency of some music acts to disable embedding by request on youtube. we cited the fray and ingrid michaelson as our most recent finds that we couldn't share w/you, our beloved readers.

then recently, ingrid's management team @ secret road (headed by the wonderful teri) wrote to us:


saw your post about the embedding issue with ingrid’s video. i’m assuming it was the video for “the way i am.” it used to work fine and we’re not entirely sure why it was disabled. ingrid isn’t on a label, she has her own company, cabin 24 and all of her videos can be embedded. here is a new link to use...

thanks for pointing this out to us and hope you can include her some other time.

we will be honored to use ingrid's video tonite, teri! thx so much for keeping such a sharp eye out for your client's interests, because, as we've said before, it's in the artists' interests to get their music spread around!

w/o further ado, here's

ingrid michaelson - the way i am

thx tons, teri! and good luck to ingrid!
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 7 comments

happy birthday, mr. walken

i hope you misbehave.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:45 PM | 1 comments

better late than b.a.d.

andy worthington, whose blog documents all things guantanamo, sent us an email recently asking to exchange links, even tho he was late for blogroll amnesty day.

what can we say? our policy, as everyone should know by now, is that we will happily link to anyone who links to us.

so we suggest anybody w/an interest in the dark gulag of torture this country has set up stop by and check out andy's blog.
posted by skippy at 5:31 PM | 1 comments

legalized rape in afghanistan?

guess our little well dressed puppet president hates women.
afghanistan's president, hamid karzai, has signed a law which "legalises" rape, women's groups and the united nations warn. critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in august.

in a massive blow for women's rights, the new shia family law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman's right to leave the home, according to un papers seen by the independent. - the independent
i say let's send mavis leno over as special ambassador to talk some sense into karzai to change this law.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:48 AM | 1 comments

you know what?

if homosexuality is a disease, then heterosexuality must be a friggin' plague.

just sayin'...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:44 AM | 9 comments

Monday, March 30, 2009

skippy's monday nite music club

hanging doll - hope springs eternal

get out your black eyeliner and faux-nineteenth century funeral clothes! it's goth metal @ its best!
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

let's look in the "way back" machine

and see part of the problem with gm's problems. and it's not necessarily about the cars.

from march 2, 2007 - salon.com

back at the dawn of the automobile era, banks generally refused to loan money for such things as buying a car. it wasn't considered prudent. this was frustrating to companies such as general motors, which naturally wanted as many people as possible to have the wherewithal to purchase cadillacs and oldsmobiles and pontiacs and chevrolets. so gm decided to solve the problem by, in effect, becoming its own bank. in 1919 gm created the general motors acceptance corp., a financial arm of gm that specialized in offering credit to car buyers and allowing them to buy on installment plans.

gmac was a huge success. so much so that, over the years, it gradually expanded its operations, becoming a significant bottom-line contributor to gm's profits. in 1985, gm's execs decided, hey, if we're loaning money to our customers to buy cars, why not go ahead and loan them money to buy homes as well? gm promptly purchased two large mortgage lenders and instantly became the second largest mortgage bank in the u.s.

along the way gmac also became an early player in the world of "structured finance" or derivatives, by taking the income streams generated by all those car and mortgage payments and turning them into bonds, through the process known as "securitization," which it then sold off to investors. all very state-of-the-art, all very emblematic of the career arc of the modern american corporation.

...on thursday, gm shook up wall street by announced that it was delaying filing its 2006 annual report by a couple of weeks. the reason, said analysts, had to do with gmac's significant exposure to the ever-popular subprime lending debacle. like so many other players in the mortgage business in the last few years, gmac's home lending subsidiary, rescap, apparently got pretty deep into making risky loans to homeowners with bad credit, and now is paying the price. - salon.com
bad auto sales plus subprime mortgates and derivatives...gee...how many scandalicious bad business decisions can you roll up into one.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:35 PM | 2 comments

palin = failin'

you can't keep a good blogger down! fresh from her 'outing' by alaskan state rep. mike douchebag doogan, akmuckraker over @ mudflats comes back w/a vengence!

she tells us about the latest hays research poll in which maggie o'connell's popularity falls even lower than it has been:

let’s look at palin’s approval index over time. the approval index is measured by taking the “very positive” percentage and subtracting the “very negative” percentage. rasmussen uses the approval index to measure presidential approval in a daily poll. with the assistance of the mudflats chart wizard “anonymous number cruncher” we can enjoy the following:

and just for fun, let’s compare these new palin numbers with those of senator lisa murkowski:

approval rating: (very positive and somewhat positive)

murkowski 71.6% palin 59.8%

approval index: (very positive minus very negative)

murkowski 25.2 palin 13.7

i think the numbers tell us who alaska’s real golden girl is.
it's good to see mudflats is blogging as strong as ever!
posted by skippy at 5:53 PM | 2 comments

mad about republican math

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 5:48 PM | 2 comments

with gm's future looking cloudy....

Originally uploaded by D-Lyte.

is the sun going down on my ability to get parts for my beloved saabi?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:47 PM | 3 comments

red, white and no big blue

ibm hates america. it plans on swindling it.
as ibm was firing thousands of american workers last week, the u.s. patent and trademark office published big blue's application to copyright a computerized system that calculates how to offshore jobs while maximizing government tax breaks.

in their application to patent a "method and system for strategic global resource sourcing," five hudson valley ibmers describe how it weighs such plans as "50 percent of resources in china by 2010," against such factors as labor costs, infrastructure and the "minimum head count to qualify for incentives." - timesheraldrecord

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:24 PM | 1 comments

note to the blowdried talking heads

don't get your panties all in a twist over a moderately small earthquake in earthquake "country"...perhaps you should report on the "bigger picture" of earthquake swarms or, well, the activity on the "ring of fire."

perhaps, ask gov. "what's his name" jindal about funding geological services. that should get you a good comedic response.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:46 AM | 0 comments

the perfect storm

pension benefit guaranty corporation...the unsung casino gambling highroller with americans future at stake...is heading for financial drowning in red thanks to new "gambling"...i mean "investment" strategies.

just months before the start of last year's stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.

...now, they warn about a "perfect storm" scenario in which the agency's fund plummets in value just as more companies go into bankruptcy and pass their pension responsibilities onto the insurance fund. many analysts say it is inevitable that the agency will face significantly increased liabilities in coming months.

"the worst case scenario is coming to pass," said mark ruloff, a fellow at the pension finance institute, an independent group that monitors pensions. he said the agency leaders "fail to realize that they are an insurer of pension plans and therefore should be investing differently than the risk their participants are taking."

the pension benefit guaranty corporation may be little-known to most americans, but it serves as a lifeline for the 1.3 million people who receive retirement checks from it, and the 44 million others whose plans are backed by the agency. - boston.com
remember all those airline bankruptcies awhile back...they shifted their pension funds onto the government through this agency....and those pilots that are so crucial to saving lives...their retirements rely on this agency.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:30 AM | 2 comments

environmental news stories

to start off the work week...for those of you so fortunate to have a job.

an obscure agency under fire. the agency for toxic substances & disease registry finds itself at the center of a congressional investigation, facing repeated criticisms for its willingness to please industry by downplaying the public health effects of exposure to environmental contaminants. - chemical & engineering news

kalamazoo river cleanup slowed by chemical company's bankruptcy protection.
be patient: that’s the message from federal regulators to stakeholders pressing for the cleanup of hundreds of thousands of pounds of sediment and soil in the kalamazoo river. the river is contaminated with pcbs. - michigan messenger

new hampshire issues first climate plan. new hampshire's first climate action plan calls for "a new way of living," beginning immediately, to reduce carbon emissions blamed for global warming, and preparing the state for the warming the authors say is already under way. - ap

global warming could cripple winter sports in b.c.: report. as canada prepares to host the 2010 olympic winter games, a new report warns global warming poses a real threat to the continuance of winter sports and canada’s cultural identity. - vancouver sun

bay area spice plant linked to salmonella outbreak. the state health department has issued a consumer alert warning about spices used by asian restaurants manufactured by a bay area plant that have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in central and northern california. - sacramento bee

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:12 AM | 1 comments

question of the day...

is it just me, or has the artwork the culture ghost produces become even more interesting and... well, more culture ghost-like, for lack of a better term... than it was before he started his chemotherapy?

'cause this is good stuff...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:28 AM | 3 comments

Sunday, March 29, 2009

skippy's sunday nite music club

spoon - i turn my camera on
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

sham wow ka-pow

seems vince the sham wow dude will be soaking up some legal billage.

he's probably better known to you as the shamwow guy, the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers. shlomi, 44, was arrested last month on a felony battery charge following a violent confrontation with a prostitute in his south beach hotel room. - smoking gun
but wait...there's more....news of other pitchmen. discovery channel has a new show coming out starring two other pitchmen. i'm sure they'll be a hit in a different way than vince.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:32 PM | 4 comments

quote of the day

chrisb, commenting over @ balloon juice on the story that pat boone is now making robocalls for repubbb jim tedisco:

was he covering robocalls made by little richard and fats domino?
posted by skippy at 4:23 PM | 1 comments

hey klavan! take the "suck my cock" challenge!

we started to write a whole essay on why we didn't need to take andrew klaven's limbaugh challenge, but got weighed down by all of klavan's strawmen, false binaries, ad hominem attacks, and just plain insults (here's a clue, andrew: you want someone to seriously consider what you have to say, you may not want to call them names so much).

klavan dares liberals to "open" their minds and listen to rush limbaugh for an hour for several days in a row. we were stuck trying to figure out the best way to explain why, knowing all we know about limbaugh and his approach to entertainment (we shan't dignify him with the word "politics"), we don't feel it necessary to listen to an entire program of his.

we finally remembered a line from the stand-up comedy of our good friend buzz belmondo, that goes a little something like this:

people are always trying to get me to eat things i don't like. they say, 'you don't like eggplant? well, you haven't tried it the way i fix it!' they don't understand, to me that's like saying, 'you don't like shit? well, you haven't tried it the way i fix it!'
in truth, the reason we don't listen to rush is the reason we can't read klavan's piece without getting frustrated: there's no real facts, logic or processes involved, simply (as we stated above) strawmen, false binaries, ad hominem attacks and insults.

we just don't like to eat shit the way limbaugh fixes it.

[ed. note: thanks and a tip o' the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the link.

and since it dilluted our demand for no ad hominem attacks from klavan, we ourselves refrained from pointing out that his last name sounds like jerry lewis going crazy..."hey pretty lady it's a klavan!"]

addendum: mustang bobby, over @ the reaction, is actually more erudite (and less vulgar) than we on this subject.
posted by skippy at 2:39 PM | 11 comments

environmental news stories sunday....

just a few to make your day....

shampoo in the water supply triggers growth of deadly drug-resistant bugs. fabric softeners, disinfectants, shampoos and other household products are spreading drug-resistant bacteria around britain, scientists have warned. detergents used in factories and mills are also increasing the odds that some medicines will no longer be able to combat dangerous diseases. - london observer

will nafta exterminate canadian pesticide bans? a battle brewing over cosmetic pesticides between one of north america's biggest chemical companies and canadian lawmakers may end up re-shaping the future of canada's environmental policies in the years ahead. - toronto ctv

prosecutor accuses macy's of stalling investigation of tainted jewelry. - macy's department store has refused to give prosecutors the names of customers who purchased children's jewelry made with potentially toxic lead, according to an official with the los angeles district attorney's office. - latte times

satellites and google earth prove potent conservation tool. armed with vivid images from space and remote sensing data, scientists, environmentalists, and armchair conservationists are now tracking threats to the planet and making the information available to anyone with an internet connection. - yale environment 360

farm bug found in hospitals. a deadly new form of mrsa is believed to be spreading from farm animals to human for the first time. the bacteria already has been found in hospitals abroad. experts believe excessive use of antibiotics in factory-farmed animals may be behind its development. - london sunday express

groves abuzz this year. to call it a honeybee glut might be an exaggeration, but this year the ever-shifting balance between kern's almond groves and the bees that pollinate them does seem to have tilted in favor of the trees. - bakersfield californian

speaking of the little bumbly buzzy boys.....the buzz in washington d.c. is that not only is the first lady bringing an organic "victory" garden to the whitehouse....she's bringing in the bees!
going organic in the white house was easy. both bubba's and w's kitchens did that with purchases from local farms and a nearby organic market. but homegrown fare, like what first lady michelle obama hopes to produce with her new spring vegetable garden on the south lawn—now, that's more complicated. and not just because crops have to be planted and tended. washington isn't really known for its population of
honeybees, the buzzy bugs needed for pollination. so—you guessed it—the first-ever white house beehive has been installed. - - usnews

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:08 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, March 28, 2009

skippy's saturday nite music club

jerry jeff walker - gettin' by
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

as phil collins would say: su-su-pseudononymous!

blue girl, red state, who was key in getting the libby letters released to the public, waxes affirmative on pseudonomity here and here.

addendum: the immoral minority has several reactions from the alaskan blogger community on the mudflats/doogan affair.
posted by skippy at 7:30 PM | 0 comments


to our buddy dday, who is now helping steve & hilzoy over @ washmonth!
posted by skippy at 7:07 PM | 0 comments

we can assure you that skippy is a male

in an unfortunate waste of legislative time, alaskan rep. mike doogan has "outed" akmuckraker, the writer of the great alaskan blog mudflats. over @ the sideshow, avedon carol sums up the fiasco pretty succinctly:

it was all bound to go wrong once a local elective official responded to e-mails by pretending that constituents who wrote to him had no legitimate business with him. but when alaska blogger akmuckraker of the mudflats suggested that mike doogan's intemperate and ill-mannered response was out of order, doogan apparently seethed with a lust for vengeance, and has since devoted his time to finding out the identity of this "unaccountable" private citizen. and so in the fullness of time akmuckraker received the following e-mail:


i am reliably told that you are the anonymous blogger who writes mudflats. i am planning to reveal this in the enews i send to my constituents tomorrow, and am writing to let you know this and offer the opportunity to comment.

mike doogan
akm doesn't tell us of a reply to this astonishing message, but mine would have been, "why? are you hoping one of them will throw a brick through my window? that i or a member of my family will be fired from a job? that someone will harass my kids at school? what purpose does this serve, and is it what your constituents are paying you to do?"
we are most disturbed by this. we followed (and linked often to) mudflats during maggie o'connell's veep campaign last year. we sincerely hope this turn of events will not slow akmuckraker down (or otherwise disrupt her life. we do admit, we always thought that ak was a guy. imagine our surprise!).

along w/gov. palin deriding bloggers for exercising their legal rights in alaska, rep. doogan seems to think that being in government doesn't mean that you are accountable to the citizens that got you there; apparently alaskan officials think the reverse: do what we say or else!

and, as avedon points out, doogan is a democrat.

remember, dems can be morons, too.

here's an idea: why not email rep. doogan and let him know how inappropriate it is for a government official to be wasting time invading a citizen's privacy, simply because they disagree w/the official's public platforms?

addendum: big tent armando, over @ talkleft, points out that a couple of guys named alexander hamilton and james madison (and may we remember to add john jay, as well) were all into this pseudononymous thing. tim f. @ balloon juice echoes the sentiment.

and we found that the supreme court, in mcintyre v. ohio elections commission (1995), was, too:

"under our constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. it thus exemplifies the purpose behind the bill of rights, and of the first amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation -- and their ideas from suppression -- at the hand of an intolerant society."
we're guessing that 'anonymous paphleteering' and blogging could be construed as the same.

but we're not lawyers.

double addendum: liberty grape, commenting @ balloon juice, also provides us w/the more important email addys:

by the way, if you want to really express your outrage, you should write an email to the democrats with the real power, the minority leader and minority whip. there email addresses are rep.beth.kerttula@legis.state.ak.us, rep.david.guttenberg@legis.state.ak.us ...

if you want to really spread the word, you should email the joint committee on legislative ethics. their emails are representative_john_coghill@legis.state.ak.us,
posted by skippy at 5:30 PM | 3 comments

remember tonight...8:30 p.m. california time

turn out the light.


earth hour began in sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. in 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. global landmarks such as the golden gate bridge in san francisco, rome’s colosseum, the Ssydney opera house and the coca cola billboard in times square all stood in darkness.

in 2009, earth hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. vote earth is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. a call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to vote earth during earth hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday. -

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:36 AM | 4 comments

Friday, March 27, 2009

skippy's friday nite music club

kenny wayne shepherd - blue on black

live @ the n'awlins house o' blues...
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

california congresscritter darrel issa to the first lady

"just shut up and look pretty."
california congressman darrell issa has introduced a bill to restore honor to the white house by prohibiting michelle obama from doing any substantive work. - jezebel and think progress
personally i think mrs. obama should personally introduce whackadoodle car alarm congresscritter darrel to one of her "guns" via a good uppercut.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:10 PM | 3 comments

why newspapers are dying out

via kevin drum, here's a screen shot of today's actual print edition of the latimes (we know it to be true, we looked at our own copy, and voila! the mistakenly-included printers' nomenclature was there, big as 48 point day).

we especially like the explanation under matt lauer's ugly mug.
posted by skippy at 6:58 PM | 2 comments

no brown-nosing

think progress is reporting that ups will no longer sponsor the bill o'loofah show:

in response to our stop supporting the o’reilly harassment machine campaign, ups told us yesterday that it was investigating whether to continue supporting o’reilly’s show. “we are sensitive to the type of television programming where our messages and presence are associated and continually review choices to affect future decisions,” spokeswoman susan rosenberg told us.

today ups announced it will stop advertising on o’reilly’s show. here is the statement ups emailed out just moments ago:

thank you for sending an e-mail expressing concern about ups advertising during the bill o’reilly show on fox news. we do consider such comments as we review ad placement decisions which involve a variety of news, entertainment and sports programming. at this time, we have no plans to continue advertising during this show.
yay! this is in response to tp's response to bill o'reilly's producer stalking, ambushing and harrassing amanda terkle whilest she was on vacation.

we are hoping spocko is reading this. he lead the way in free market response to yellow journalism.

you can help out by adding your own notes (which we highly advise, so as to not appear like astro-turf) to the emails that thinkprogress will send to all of o'loofah's sponsors. fill out the form here.

addendum: via commentor bluebirdofunhappiness @ huffpo, why not email ups and thank them personally?
posted by skippy at 6:02 PM | 2 comments

Another not miracle

So this little girl fell into a sinkhole and wasn't killed because she landed on a pipe, which kept her from dropping another 16 to 20 feet into the hole. Her mom's take? ""She's got an angel watching. She has too." If I had an angel that let me fall into a sinkhole and I barely escaped with my life, I'd ask for a new angel. What, the angel couldn't have opened up the sinkhole before that kid fell into it?

This story reminds me of that skydiver woman who did a 50 MPH face-plant in a parking lot and lived. She claimed she was saved by a miracle and her god was looking out for her. Um, her god slammed her face first into a parking lot at 50 MPH. Her god hates her. A god who liked her would have opened her parachute properly.
posted by DBK at 9:22 AM | 5 comments

mad about dick cheney's email

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 1:38 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, March 26, 2009

skippy's thursday nite music club - rip dan seals

dan seals, aka england dan (brother of jim of seals & croft) died @ age 61. ew.com:

sad news for country music fans: daniel wayland seals, the texas-born, cma-award-winning singer who piled up 11 no. 1 songs between 1985 and 1990, passed away yesterday after a battle with mantle cell lymphoma. initially known to pop fans as the "england dan" half of england dan and john ford coley, who had a no. 2 single in 1976 with the soft-rocking classic "i'd really love to see you tonight," he went on to forge an impressive solo career in nashville.
here's dan and his partner john ford coley w/their biggest hit:

england dan & john ford coley - i'd really love to see you tonite

rest in peace, dan seals.
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

who needs the onion when you've already got the gop?

seriously, we're not making this up...the repubbblicans offered up a budget alternative today with no actual budget in it. (don't beleive us? here's the real thing, a quick-loading pdf file. it's quite unintentionally hilarious!)

the ploy was so transparent, that even the media noticed it.

via hilzoy, this fark thread has some interesting alternatives which are just as substantial.
posted by skippy at 9:43 PM | 1 comments

snark and the city

we try to live by the adage that beauty is only skin deep. but ugly goes all the way down.

tho we don't condone making fun of people's looks, we must needs point out the plethora of repubbblicans on the boston phoenix's list of the top 100 unsexiest men of 2009. such as:

#94 house republicans john boehner & eric cantor (scum and scummer)

#85 rick santelli (market downer)

#71 john mccain

#68 david zucker (plane wreck)

#61 dick cheney

#56 jonah goldberg

#50 john thain (executive washroom attendant)

#44 ron christie (cubicle gooding jr.)

#31 ron prentice (prop hate)

#27 michael steele (disturb your enthusiasm)

#18 joe the plumber (plungebob dumbpants)

#11 bobby jindal (page boy)

#7 jim cramer (crock broker)

of course, there are a fair number of dems on the list, too, including blogojevich, madoff, john edwards, obama's cabinets, both the almost-was and final answer; and there are quite a few guys that are just plain irrelevant, like the freecreditreport.com guy or the shamwow guy (or chris matthews).

but we rejoice in the number one pick for the unsexiest man of 2009: rush limbaugh (jabba the nut)!
posted by skippy at 8:24 PM | 2 comments

but i thought texans believed

climate change wasn't real and didn't affect them.....

texas insurers suffer record losses, officials seek climate answers. hurricanes clobbered texas insurers last year, draining reserve accounts and igniting a full-blown debate in the legislature about the state's ability to address rising risks related to climate change. - climate wire

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:09 PM | 3 comments

teleprompter vs. no teleprompter

you see this one coming a mile away, but it's still hilarious...

(tip o' the kangaroo tail to digby for the youtube!)
posted by skippy at 6:20 PM | 1 comments

dear executives: please fellate us until we ejaculate down your throats

richard blair @ the all-spin zone replies to the aig exec who threatened to quit over the bonus fiasco:

dear mr. desantis:

i read your resignation letter to aig ceo edward liddy, which was published in the new york times on my birthday, 3/24/2009. having just turned 55, and being currently unemployed and living check to check, i thought you might be interested in my reaction.

the sense of entitlement that you express is absolutely astounding, and beyond the logical comprehension of a lifelong prole such as myself. you state:

i take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to a.i.g. i can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am i being paid to do so. like you, i was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and i agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid…
excuse me if i don’t choke up with sympathy, mr. desantis. i have no doubt that during your “11 years of dedicated, honorable service”, you were very handsomely rewarded for your efforts, both in salary and past bonuses. i haven’t even googled your name, but i imagine that you live in a very nice home in a prestigious zip code, and that you hold title to at least one or two other vacation homes in equally toney neighborhoods. you probably drive multiple high end, imported vehicles, have multiple tax-sheltered bank accounts and financial instruments, and have never had to make the choice between feeding your family or paying the electric bill or cutting your pills in half to stretch out a medication prescription. it’s probably also safe to assume that you have a hired staff to attend to your family’s many needs and routine, mundane household chores...

if you feel i’m alone in my lack of compassion for your situation, you might want to check out political cartoonist david rees’ opinion:

pay me $700,000 a year, or however much the aig guy whining in today’s new york times made, and you can threaten me with death all goddamn day. because do you have any idea how much money that is??? hell, i’ll let you throw rocks at me. i’ll let you poison my soup. you can slash my tires and spray-paint my driveway. and once i get all that money, i’m totally paying off some student loans and fixing the garage roof and buying some new pants. because that’s an insane amount of money.
exactly. the problem w/wall street (and most of the gop) is that they are totally disconnected from the rest of us and the reality we are forced to live in on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis.

so when we hear about gazillionaires angry because they can't continue to scam money out of the very system they themselves broke, pardon us if we don't cry.

[ed. note: left i on the news, who knows how to spell his sex acts, points out that the correct word is 'fellate,' not 'fellatiate,' which is what we originally had in our headline. we will remember this the next time it comes up.

and yes, we meant to say that.]
posted by skippy at 1:14 PM | 8 comments

mad about the laughter police

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 1:43 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

skippy's wednesday nite music club

three days grace - animal i have become
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

we need a better way

to inspect our nation's food. like...duh.

our 100-year-old food inspection system is not aging gracefully. despite a century of improvements, consumers are still playing russian roulette when it comes to the food they eat. even today, one in four americans —- 76 million people —- endures a food-borne illness and 5,000 people die each year.

this year’s peanut meltdown alone has killed nine people, sickened thousands and shaken consumer confidence in food safety. reports of the filthy conditions at peanut corporation of america sound more like upton sinclair’s 1905 “the jungle” than a 21st-century food facility. health inspectors and former employees described roaches, mold-covered walls and a rat dry-roasting in the peanuts. - ajc

the food safety system is "plagued with problems," said jeff levi, executive director of trust for america's health, which released the report in conjunction with the robert wood johnson foundation. - latte times

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:46 PM | 1 comments

canned over a tuna sandwich

just think of all the food that is thrown out on a daily basis at stores everywhere....everyday....can't something be done to feed people instead of wasting food?

ralph reese, 57, of queens, new york, set aside one tuna fish sandwich from 30 unsold ones, that he tossed into the trash. when a supervisor asked him why the sandwich was on the counter, reese said he planned on eating it. the supervisor threw the sandwich in the trash and two days later reese was fired for misconduct, meaning reese couldn't apply for unemployment benefits. - walletpop
there is one california politico, sen. jenny oropeza, who is trying to do something about it....but the california restaurant association keeps getting in the way.
at a time when record numbers of people are losing their homes, unemployment is rising and a growing number of families are in need, california caterers, hotels and restaurants throw out roughly 1.5 million tons of perfectly good food every year, according to the state integrated waste management board.

...state sen. jenny oropeza (d-long beach) tried to take a small step toward remedying this last year with legislation that would have imposed the modest requirement that caterers inform clients they have the option of donating uneaten food to charity.

that bill, sb 1443, was shot down by the california restaurant assn., which argued that any such requirement would be troublesome for its members.

so now oropeza is back with a new bill, sb 35, that she says is once again intended to remedy the problem of all that food going to waste. - latte times

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:47 PM | 3 comments

while ceos and wall street watch their destruction

of the country....there are some americans trying to save it....one town at a time. no million dollar bonuses....no 8 figure paychecks....just love of country....love of community....love for their fellow americans.
north dakota is in a race against time as residents try to shore up huge sandbag levees ahead of massive flooding expected to hit this weekend. forecasters predict the red river's waters will crest at 41 feet by early saturday, exceeding record levels set in 1997. - abc

the blustery, bitter cold weather wednesday may have hampered traffic, but it didn’t seem to slow down flood-fighting efforts.

“it’s a typical north dakota spring day,” said fargo resident lee hoedl
as he took a break from sandbagging to warm his hands by an outdoor fireplace. “green grass one day, snow the next.” - grand forks herald

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:30 PM | 1 comments

random thought of the day...

ya know, we have like a thousand different religions, creeds, faiths, cults, whatever. and the adherents of every single one of them claims that they have the right answer, and everyone else is flat out wrong.

i wouldn't know who has the right answer -- the more i look into the "god's will" question, the less i understand any of this whole business. but i can tell you one thing: if i were god, there wouldn't be a thousand different religions. there would only be one -- and everybody would call it their own.

i'd make sure of it.


posted by Jim Yeager at 8:02 AM | 6 comments

if i ran the zoo

money to take toxic assets off of the banks' books would come out of executive bonuses first. taxpayer money, if it was used, would be to buy assets and not the bad debts. corporations that violated the public trust would be disbanded and all assets of their executives and board of directors that were responsible would have their ill gotten gains confiscated.


posted by George at 12:00 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

skippy's tuesday nite music club

little feat - dixie chicken

from the midnite special, with: bonnie raitt, emmylou harris & jesse winchester.
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 6 comments

trash talk

from trash.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:14 AM | 2 comments

this is *sooo* sad...

i was doing the thing i do at the print shop this evening, and at one point, i looked toward the back of the machine and saw one of the other operators standing there, his arms outstreched with his hands upon one of the paper roll packages for the press i'm on, and him starting down at the package. i think to myself, "just what in the hell is he doing back there?" so i go over to ask him.

he points at a specific part of the the label on the package -- the part that read, "made in brazil."

i look at him and say, "you have GOT to be yankin' my f*&k@%' chain."

then, for the icing on the cake, he pointed to the port destination listed on the label: baltimore, maryland.

so let me get this straight: there are no paper mills left in virginia, or anywhere else in america, it would seem, so we have to buy our stock from brazil. and then we have to ship it thousands of miles north up the atlantic ocean -- past virgnia, for christ's sake -- to baltimore, and then have a trucker pick it up and drive south for four or five hours to henrico county.

this weekend, i picked up a new utility knife because i broke my last one. as luck would have it, i ran out of spare utility knife blades around the same time i broke my knife, so i bought some new spares, too. the knife is a craftsman, and the blades are from allway tools -- and both are american-made, baby.

and now i'm using them to cut open paper rolls made in brazil.

this is one more reason why i'm glad i torpedoed mockingbird's medley. i was angry about the direction this country was heading when it counted four years ago -- so angry that 2005 is pretty much a blur to me now, whereas 2004 is a lot clearer to me. i don't see the point in being angry anymore. i just cut open the brazilian paper rolls and use them. i listen to people who are furious about the direction this country is headed these days and i ask them, "where were you four years ago?" (very good hint: one mall or another, buying foreign crap they never needed in the first place.)

and you know what else? i've read ayn rand's "atlas shrugged." unlike a lot of the people who've been trashing that novel of late, i actually enjoyed it -- it just didn't turn me into an objectivist zombie, or a faux libertarian with delusions of grandeur. and i'm beginning to wonder whether or not john galt had the right idea...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:30 AM | 9 comments

mad about brit hume

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 1:53 AM | 2 comments

Monday, March 23, 2009

skippy's monday nite music club

garbage - why do you love me

live @ glastonbury...shirley has her way w/a blow up doll...definitely a rockin' performance
posted by skippy at 5:51 PM | 2 comments

the big o you need to know?

not obama...not oprah...its ogallala.

the ogallala aquifer: saving a vital u.s. water source. - the ogallala aquifer, the vast underground reservoir that gives life to the fields of the midwest, is disappearing. in some places, the groundwater is already gone. and scientists say it will take natural processes 6,000 years to refill the reservoir. - scientific american

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:34 PM | 5 comments

welcome to

the 2009 depression


posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:12 PM | 3 comments

no doubt redoubt

is rumbly. where's governor "what's his name" jindal?

alaska's mt. redoubt volcano, which had been in a tempestuous mood for two months, erupted sunday night at 10:38 p.m., sending an ash cloud 50,000 feet above sea level.

the alaska volcano observatory recorded four more large explosions during the night. tina neal, a geologist with the us geological survey, said that "so far the major population centers in south-central alaska have been spared any kind of dusting of ash." - latimes

the avo staff also warned authorities at the drift river oil terminal -- on the western shore of cook inlet downriver from the volcano -- that mud flows and flooding from melting glaciers might be headed their way.

cook inlet pipe line company, which operates the terminal, said early this morning that it had begun shutting the facility down. - adn

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:51 AM | 4 comments

The magician's trick

Anyone else starting to think that the AIG bonuses are the Anna Nicole Smith of political news coverage? A distraction that gets lots of attention, but really small potatoes in light of what is really going on? The giveaway? The pundidiots won't let go of it. When a pundidiot like Howard Fineman keeps jabbering about it, you know that discussing it any more is a waste of time and somebody just wants attention.
posted by DBK at 7:32 AM | 4 comments

totally pointless question of the day...

what is your current ringtone?

mine is led zeppelin's "four sticks." because i love the way that song rolls, that's why.

your turn...


posted by Jim Yeager at 5:30 AM | 10 comments

Sunday, March 22, 2009

skippy's sunday nite music club

divinyls - boys in town
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

roos on the run

wouldn't you know it...the story is from "toulouse"
vandals set loose 15 kangaroos from an australian theme park in southern france, sparking a major search operation, with three marsupials still on the loose on sunday. - afp

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:10 AM | 4 comments

"happy" world water day

ok...maybe take the "happy" out of that statement.....
there’s a word out there getting a lot of use, and it’s not “bailout.” in case you missed the news or you’ve just forgotten, the word is “drought.” and like our sagging economy, many hydrologists say we should just get used to it, because it might be sticking around for a while. - ventura county star
on this water awareness day...stop by our bloggy buddy aquafornia and read some more "dry" stories.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:01 AM | 0 comments

el-i-ot....phone home

well...spitzer didn't really "phone home", but gave an interesting interview over at fareed zacaria's gps.
in an exclusive interview, eliot spitzer talks to fareed zakaria about the economic crisis and the scandal that led to his own resignation as governor of new york state. spitzer conducted his own in-depth investigation of aig when he was attorney general of new york state and says that while so much attention is focused on the aig bonuses, we might be missing even bigger problems. - cnn

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:38 AM | 2 comments

environmental stories sunday

because these stories probably won't be above the fold in your newspaper.

large agriculture operations add billions to our economy but what price are we paying?
merced county may be a bucolic place filled with flowering almond orchards, but some of the worst pollution in the county is connected to the very industries that are at the heart of the area's economy. - merced sun-star

hazards in the water for colorado. - more than 150,000 people in colorado drank from water supplies last year that violated public health standards. - denver post

salmon and culverts at heart of legal battle between tribes, washington state.
a monumental lawsuit is pending in washington state, as 19 tribes prepare for a courtroom debate over highway culverts that keep salmon from reaching their spawning grounds - kitsap sun.

57 varieties of sweet water fishes on verge of extinction in s region. at least fifty-seven indigenous varieties of sweet water fishes, particularly small ones, are on the verge of extinction throughout the southern region. - dhaka new nation

rubber ducks dropped into greenland's jakobshavn glacier to track ice flow. to keep track of climate change, scientists around the world employ some of the most sophisticated devices and machines found in the 21st century. still, sometimes scientists just need a rubber ducky. - palm beach daily news

trudie styler: why i had to use my celebrity to try to save the rainforest. - the film producer, champion of ecological causes and wife of Sting, talks about the environmental outrage at the heart of her new screen project, and why - as a frequent flyer - she dismisses carbon offsetting as 'a crock'. - london observer

after yucca mountain: america's homeless nuclear waste. every year, the nation's 104 nuclear plants create about 2,200 tons of nuclear waste and stow it in storage containers beside cooling towers across america. - salt lake tribune

virginia health department recalls oysters from certain mississippi waters. the virginia department of health today is notifying all shellfish dealers and food distributors in virginia that oysters harvested from a section of mississippi's gulf coast have been linked to an outbreak of norovirus. - richmond times dispatch

farm yields more containers. federal and state investigators found three more containers saturday in their search for illegally buried farm chemicals, waste oil and furniture in a local vineyard. - yakima herald republic

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:52 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, March 21, 2009

skippy's saturday nite music club

elvis presley - suspicious minds
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

quote of the day

yellowdog, commenting over @ kevin drum's mojo blog on a thread about taxing the aig bonuses:

the biggest myth of our time is that wall street powers the economy. workers power the economy. wall street rapes it.
posted by skippy at 5:02 PM | 3 comments


shouldn't have "personhood"
washington mutual's holding company is suing federal regulators for billions of dollars, saying the fire sale of the bank's assets to jpmorgan chase violated its rights. - ap

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:53 PM | 2 comments

matt taibbi calls it like he sees it

we're so pooched. we've been had. this "crisis" was by design.
...people are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. the reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. they cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations. - rolling stone.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:34 PM | 1 comments

quote of the day - bonus edition

doug, writing @ hey jenny slater on the literary value of atlas shrugged:

i speak from experience here, for i've had the misfortune of running into a few rand devotees in social settings, and to call them dipshits would be an insult to both dip and shit.
posted by skippy at 1:24 PM | 2 comments

tucker vandelay

jaimison foster of media matters gets to the heart of what's wrong w/tucker carlson's ad hominem attack on jon stewart. foster first compares carlson to george castanza on seinfeld, when george took months to come up with and to rehearse a snappy comeback to someone he had argued with ("hey, the jerk store called, they're out of you"). then foster gets to the pith of the proceedings:

carlson began last friday, telling politico: "jim cramer may be sweaty and pathetic ... but he's not responsible for the current recession. ... his real sin was attacking obama's economic policies. if he hadn't done that, stewart never would have gone after him. stewart's doing obama's bidding. it's that simple."

it was only a few sentences, but carlson managed to get two things wrong. nobody is saying jim cramer is "responsible" for the current recession; they're saying he and cnbc and other media didn't do enough to expose problems earlier. and stewart has been criticizing cramer for at least a year, so carlson's claim that he is only doing so because cramer attacked president obama's economic policies is demonstrably false.

carlson must have liked the "sweaty and pathetic" line; he came back to it during an appearance on cnn's reliable sources on sunday: "cramer was craven and sweaty and pathetic. ... but jon stewart, let's be honest, this was a partisan attack. he went after cramer the moment cramer criticized obama's budget. that was the mortal sin. that's what kicked off this entire feud." ...

of course, the real problem isn't that carlson's attacks on stewart seem overeager and contrived, it's with the merits of his case. he's wrong or lying about the details of the stewart-cramer war of words. in (falsely) challenging stewart's motives, and in defending cnbc from criticism nobody is making, carlson is downplaying the problems with, if not defending, cnbc's reporting. and his contention that jon stewart, rather than cnbc, fails to meet the appropriate standards of journalism, shows an extraordinary lack of perspective. maybe he'll come up with a more compelling critique of stewart soon. we can be sure he'll keep trying -- just like george costanza.
posted by skippy at 10:39 AM | 1 comments

mad about bushie negotiators

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 4:08 AM | 1 comments

gone too toon

due to copyright questions, the blue herald's right wing cartoon watch is disbanding for now. here'e their last episode for the time being...
posted by skippy at 1:15 AM | 4 comments

Friday, March 20, 2009

skippy's friday nite music club

stan boreson - i just don't look good naked anymore

we can relate...
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 5 comments

is a tapper the same as a twitter?

markkraft, commenting @ thinkprogress on the jake twitter episode has this to say about jake's abc blog:

today, i posted a comment to tapper’s political punch blog, making it clear that i had previously posted thoughtful, yet critical, comments to his blog, not resorting to any name calling… only to have my comments taken down for no apparent reason.

i linked to this article and asked if he could comment on it, and clarify his policy on what is and isn’t acceptable criticism… and within three minutes, my comment was deleted from his site.

so… i reposted, letting the audience know my first post appeared to have been “accidentally” deleted.

… and then he manually stripped out the link to this article.

class act, jake.
over @ tpm (also blocked by jake), david kurtz relates one of tapper's tweets about obama's "special olympics" comment on the tonite show (which by the way, was a throwaway line that the audience didn't seem to care about, so why should all the wingnuts? don't answer, we know: because they're winguts). apparently, tapper twittered this tweet:

am trying to imagine the reaction if president bush joked that his bowling skills recalled the special olympics. 3 am- we just landed in dc about 6 hours ago from twitterberry
gee, jake, we know what the reaction would have been, because awol made a joke quite similar in tone if not intent:

true, awol was talking about the death of thousands of american military personnel (not to mention tens of thousands of iraqis), and not the bowling abilities of differently-abled people, but you must admit the disregard for human experience is there.

and the reaction? well, as you can see, all the washington correspondents thought it was just damn hilarious! wow, nothing's funnier than total disdain for those less fortunate than you!

if you're a repubbblican, that is...

(tip o' the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the links on this story)
posted by skippy at 9:20 PM | 0 comments

remember, "twitter" is the verb for "twit"

we just now started following jake tapper on twitter just so we could block him.
posted by skippy at 7:47 PM | 2 comments

our condolences.

chuck butcher of chuck for... has suffered a tragic loss. pls. stop by and wish him well.
posted by skippy at 7:20 PM | 4 comments

not so tweet news

the song may be coming to an end for our birds.

one-third of us birds are endangered, says conservation report, - energy production deriving from wind, ethanol and mountain-top coal mining is contributing to steep drops in bird populations, a u.s. government report found- ap via the guardian
birds are a priceless part of america’s heritage. they are beautiful, they are economically important—and they reflect the health of our environment. this state of the birds report reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. - state of the birds report
for some amazing bird photos...may we suggest you visit our bloggin' rachel ray lovin' jim fletcher, photography extraordinaire.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:13 AM | 2 comments

kangaroo blogging friday

While you are at the store, pick up a bag of kangaroo
Originally uploaded by alumroot
orphaned roo version
more furry fun over at the modulator's friday ark.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:27 AM | 0 comments

marilyn coyne's last dance

from the boston globe:

NORTH READING - Marilyn Coyne survived the Depression with little food and no heat in her parents' flat in Portland, Maine. She married and sent four kids to college. She saw her husband and one of their children die. And, in November, after three years of fighting breast cancer, she was told by a doctor that she had months to live.

In hospice care and losing weight in recent weeks as the cancer crept through her body, she confided to a hospice volunteer that she had a last wish, something that recalled summer nights of her childhood and joy with her husband. She wanted a final square dance.

Yesterday, her wish came true. Coyne donned a floral skirt, a crimson petticoat, and a red peasant shirt, and walked to the center of a nursing room social hall, where nine professional square-dancers, dressed in cowboy shirts and calico, waited for her.

It had been a decade since she last clasped hands with a partner, but as music played, the elfin Coyne deftly followed the dance caller's instructions of allemande left, promenade, and do-si-do. After five minutes of swinging her partner, and singing along with "She'll Be Com ing 'Round the Mountain," Coyne let her thin, 82-year-old frame fall into a padded wooden chair and took a deep breath.

"That," she sighed, "was wonderful."

entire story well-worth reading.

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posted by Carnacki at 7:43 AM | 2 comments

mad about distraction

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 4:08 AM | 2 comments

and did someone bury a shovel at the same time?

essaress sends us this tidbit: stolen bulldozer buried at golf course...

a golf course in weatherford had a heavy duty hazard. a bulldozer reported stolen a decade ago has been found buried under a fairway...

detective tyler farrell with the tarrant regional auto crimes task force said a former golf course worker recently contacted authorities. the person had noticed part of the bulldozer while fertilizing part of the course.
we suppose someone stashed it there in case they needed help getting out of the sandtrap...
posted by skippy at 2:10 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, March 19, 2009

skippy's thursday nite music club

zeptepi - the end

from our buddy essaress...
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

a.i.g. hates america

they have no shame.

while the american international group comes under fire from congress over executive bonuses, it is quietly fighting the federal government for the return of $306 million in tax payments, some related to deals that were conducted through offshore tax havens. -nytimes
where do these folks have their corporate charter? time to pull it.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:24 PM | 3 comments

quote of the day

our good buddy dday over @ digby's digs:

the sense of entitlement to a system that rewards them regardless and shovels massive amounts of money and power in their direction. heck, we learned today that 13 bailed-out companies owe $220 million in back taxes and lied to congress about it. of course they did. that's the system they've created - protections for their corporate bottom line, riches for them personally, crumbs for everyone else. reaganomics basically set this in motion 30 years ago, and the system has been in place for so long that any alternative path is like the true forms on the outside of the cave instead of the shadows on the inside we think represent reality. but the public knows intuitively that they've been getting a raw deal for decades, and the bonuses are only a small part of the story.
the whole piece is quite worth reading, we'd recommend it.
posted by skippy at 8:34 PM | 1 comments

cramer v. cramer

be amongst the thousands, including several prominent economists, to sign the fix cnbc! petition (a wholly-owned subsidiary of crooks&liars).
posted by skippy at 7:47 PM | 2 comments

6 years later....

and the water still isn't drinkable in baghdad.

baghdad's water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion. ihsan jaafar, iraq's director of public health, said the water had been bad for years, but that it now carried cholera, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis and other diseases. - mcclatchy newspapers.
yep. we've been in iraq 6 years.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:51 AM | 8 comments

$10 million to upgrade executive office

of bailout recipient citibank's headquarters.
citigroup inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for chief executive officer vikram pandit and his lieutenants, after the u.s. government injected $45 billion of cash into the bank. - bloomberg
we're the pooch in this s*** the pooch scenario.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:41 AM | 5 comments

jpmorgan chase wamu gets bailout funds

promptly outsources jobs to india.
on a day when aig remained the no. 1 target of populist wrath from both parties, 43 house democrats dashed off a letter to jp morgan chase ceo jamie dimon, blasting the bank's plan to spend $400 million on expanding its indian it workforce. - talking points memo

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:24 AM | 1 comments

down the penrose lane

posted by skippy at 3:06 AM | 2 comments

mad about aig bonuses

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 2:58 AM | 0 comments

environmental news

that you might have missed.

coming soon: 'sustainable water' certification. a couple of years from now, beer, cola, rice, breakfast cereal, cotton t-shirts and many other goods may come with a new logo: a label which says the water used to make this product came from a sustainable source. - afp

who owns colorado's rainwater? according to the state of colorado, rainwater cannot be collected and should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow into surrounding creeks and streams to become the property of the people and agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways. - latimes

what jellyfish can tell us about climate change. an east stroudsburg university professor has studied a delicate sea creature off japan's coast, and shed new light on how climate change is disrupting the ocean's food chain. - stroudsberg pocono record

islands disappear in india. as islands in eastern india disappear under rising seas, residents are losing land, homes, and farms. - national geographic news

anger as shell reduces renewables investment. royal dutch shell provoked a furious backlash from campaigners yesterday when it announced plans to scale back its renewable energy business and focus purely on oil, gas and biofuels. - london times

taking the climate change fight to the sheep paddock. western australian scientists are aiming to put climatefriendly sheep on the menu, by breeding varieties that belch less methane than conventional flocks. - perth west australian

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:19 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

skippy's wednesday nite music club

before there was borat, there was...

zlad - elektronik supersonik

only thing can stop us is flat tire...
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

more failure bonuses on the way

this time from the flopsy failure twins, fannie and freddie.
fannie mae plans to pay retention bonuses of at least $1 million to four key executives as part of a plan to keep hundreds of employees from leaving the government-controlled company.

rival mortgage finance company freddie mac is planning similar awards, but has not yet reported on which executives will benefit. - ap
if anyone takes a "bonus" when the businesses are bankrupt and faltering, they have hate america. simple as that. they know the country can't afford paying them these massive amounts of money and if they take it...they place greed over country.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:10 PM | 1 comments

rip natasha richardson

photo: tv guide

in a shocking and tragic development, actress natasha richardson has died from an apparent head injury sustained on a skiing trip. latimes:

natasha richardson, the luminous british actress from one of the world's great acting families, whose performances ranged from the highbrow drama "the handmaid's tale" to the lightweight comedy "the parent trap" and the tony-winning broadway production of "cabaret," died wednesday. she was 45…

richardson suffered a devastating brain injury in a skiing accident monday at mont tremblant, a luxury resort in canada. the actress was taking a lesson on a beginner's run near the bottom of the ski area and was not wearing a helmet in what first appeared to be a minor accident.

she initially reported that she was well, but soon started to complain of a headache. hours after the fall, the star of a number of acclaimed stage plays -- including roles in "anna christie," "a streetcar named desire" and "closer" -- slipped into unconsciousness, and she was transported tuesday from a montreal hospital back to new york, where she was surrounded by family and friends.
natasha richardson was always a delight to watch onscreen, and came from a long line of amazingly talented show biz royalty in england. her father tony richardson was the famous director/producer (tom jones, a taste of honey), and everyone knows her mother vanessa redgrave.

tho she never was the star in her movies, ms. richardson was always a supporting actor that could be counted on, and often stole the show from those she was supporting (see: maid in america, the parent trap). onstage, she won both the tony award and drama desk award for her performance as sally bowles in the sam mendes production of cabaret.

natasha richardson was married to liam nisson, and they had two little sons. we offer our heartfelt condolences to the family.

the world is a little darker tonite. rip natasha richardson, taken from us far too soon.

addendum: reader henri sends us to this online memorial for natasha.
posted by skippy at 5:39 PM | 6 comments

you don't get a second chance to make a first impression

mark kleiman was among the cadre of socal bloggers who met w/sf mayor gavin newsom on his journey towards becoming governor. mark was impressed:

my immediate take wasn't positive: newsom is tall, thin, elegantly dressed, elegantly coiffed, and quite good-looking in a conventional gq sort of way. he looks rich, self-satisfied, and not overly intelligent. i'm not sure what the masculine form of the word "bimbo" might be*, but that was the thought that came to mind.
then he started to talk, and i changed my mind in a hurry.

first point: the california budget process is busted. and the state is damned near busted, now having managed to fall below louisiana as the state with the worst bond rating. good. as far as i'm concerned, acknowledging that fact out loud is the basic eligibility requirement for a gubernatorial candidate.

second point: san francisco has its budget under control, with a rainy-day fund. newsom fixed the multi-hundred-million dollar structural deficit he found, and didn't let it stop him from doing a bunch of expensive stuff that needed doing. that's obviously going to be his central campaign pitch: fiscal competence that isn't just fiscal competence but relates to programs people care about. no idea how accurate his claims are, but he made them convincingly (albeit without saying what, precisely, he has sf spending less money on than it used to).

which leads into: the two-thirds rule for passing the budget sets up a "tyranny of the majority" and has to go, and the only way to get rid of it is via a state constitutional convention that would also get rid of some of the other barnacles on the budget process: not just the set-asides, but holy prop 13 as well. california is a rich state with the eighth largest economy in the world, and it shouldn't be run as a third-world country. "the bar is so low that everyone is complimenting themselves on putting together a midnight deal, as if that was the job we hired them to do."

okay, now he has me completely.
he had us at "whether you like it or not."

posted by skippy at 4:53 PM | 3 comments

In the Village...

Settle in. This is a long one.

I've been reading Somerby (The Daily Howler) and Digby (Hullaballoo) for years as they've tracked the peculiarities of what they call "the Village", the coterie of Washington insider journalists and pundidiots who support and protect one another and support and protect the politicians and personalities they cover, often to the detriment of the people who go to them for news and information. It is only in the Village that George Bush, the son of a US vice president, scion of a well-moneyed family, connected up the whazoo, product of a prep school and Ivy League education, is painted as a populist. It is only in the Village that the late Tim Russert, a man whose show was described by Dick Cheney's staff as a friendly, easily manipulated forum, could be regarded as a tough interviewer. In the Village, you can paint Representative Gary Condit as Chandra Levy's murderer, destroying his career in the process; when the real murderer confesses years later, you blow it off, pretend you were right to accuse an innocent man of murder, and you won't hear one word of criticism from any other Villagers. In the Village, you can be wrong about everything, but once you're in, you're in for life. When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dying day.

A couple of years ago, when I was still producing vast numbers of articles for the now defunct Blanton's and Ashton's web log, I was invited, along with many other bloggers, to a "summit" at NBC news. Intrigued, knowing nothing about what they wanted to discuss, I attended, along with several other bloggers I knew from the New York/metropolitan area. I won't go into a lengthy discussion of what transpired. I wrote about it at the time, as did the others with whom I attended the session, but one thing I never mentioned was the shrimp.

The shrimp?

Prior to the summit getting underway, we bloggers were treated to some of NBC's largesse. We were feted with deli platters and cheese platters, cookies and cakes, and a much ballyhooed platter of shrimp. I mean a much ballyhooed platter of shrimp. NBC staff mentioned it several times during the course of the evening. If you got into a conversation with an NBC staffer, you could be sure he or she would ask if you'd had the shrimp. During the big group discussion (the actual "summit"), which took place in Conan O'Brien's studio, with the web loggers sitting in the audience, the shrimp was mentioned a couple of times as well. Oddly enough, the bloggers didn't bring it up, but the NBC people were certain to mention it again and again.

After the general discussion I found myself talking to an executive producer at NBC. The first thing he said to me, after I'd introduced myself, was, "How did you like the shrimp?"

I've thought about that evening quite a bit over the years but it was only today, as I pondered again the remarkable behavior of the Villagers, that the sundry bits and pieces floating around in my brain converged to produce some clarity as to what all that shrimp business, and the Village itself, was about. To give you a handle on those sundry bits and pieces, there are two incidents you need to hear about. First, throughout last year's presidential election campaign, reporters fawned all over John McCain like they were in love, replaying again and again the Village script that McCain was a maverick, ignoring how McCain had voted with Bush time and again on an agenda that was disastrous for the United States, and mentioning, frequently, how McCain had thrown a barbecue for the press. The barbecue: that's the key.

Second, though my recollection is a teensy bit fuzzy, rendering the precise quote perhaps off by a few words, the gist is accurate, so I recall for you a quote from a book I used to own. If I get the time, I'll see if I can find someone with a copy of the book and look it up. The book in question is David Halberstam's "The Summer of '49", which describes the 1949 American League pennant race between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. At one point Halberstam quotes Joe DiMaggio as he expresses his disgust with sports writers. "Look at 'em, " DiMaggio says contemptuously, "I can buy any one of them for a five dollar steak and a bottle of wine," meaning he could take a reporter to dinner and that's all it would take to get that reported on his side. A five dollar steak and a bottle of wine. Feed them a meal.

That's what the shrimp was about. That's why NBC thought we would all be bought off and become their BFFs, because if you put a shrimp platter out for the NBC news crew, you buy them forever and they become your BFFs. When those disparate stories converged in my mind, I understood how you can own the Villagers: buy them dinner. That's all you have to do. Buy them dinner. They are as cheaply bought as that.

So when you read Somerby and Digby and contemplate the cozy little Village and its inhabitants, keep that in mind. These people aren't ideological, they are bought. They can be bought for a steak dinner and a bottle of wine. If any of you are thinking of running for office, keep that in mind.
posted by DBK at 6:24 AM | 8 comments

mad about bushie spinmeisters

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 2:51 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

skippy's tuesday nite music club

here's one for the ages, kids...

ray charles, jerry lee lewis, fats domino, paul schaffer, ron wood, some other guys - boogie & jambalaya
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

retention bonuses?

guess they didn't work...but they were given the money anyway.
...new york attorney general andrew cuomo confirmed in a letter to congress that this year, after receiving federal bailout money, aig paid 73 employees bonuses of more than $1 million each.

cuomo also wrote that 11 of the employees no longer work for the company. the largest bonus paid was $6.4 million; seven other people also received more than $4 million each. - cnn
if they weren't retained...they don't need the bonuses.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:22 PM | 1 comments

remember how congresscritters said drugs made overseas

were dangerous and that's why americans shouldn't be able to get drugs from overseas? well...guess bob dole and all those moldy oldy men need to quit their viagra. it's made in ireland.
the apparently insatiable demands of the world for viagra has brought a rare prosperity to ringaskiddy - population 370 - for it is here that a key ingredient of the drug is made in the town's pfizer plant.

most of the farmland around ringaskiddy was handed over to american chemical companies some time ago. pfizer was the first, in 1969, and now dominates the village's skyline as much as the cork-to-swansea car ferryport. - the independent
happy st. paddy's day...hope your "spirits" rise to the occassion.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:56 PM | 1 comments

down the penrose lane

posted by skippy at 4:53 PM | 2 comments