Random Monday Morning Links

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  • Vice President Cheney says that if the president does it during wartime, "as a general proposition," it's legal. And of course, we're currently in a "war on terror" defined broadly enough to ensure it'll go on in perpetuity.
  • A cool $1.6 billion of federal bailout money thus far has gone to pay the salaries, bonuses, and perks for the executives who put the banks in the position of begging for a bailout in the first place.
  • Schadenfreude: The Oregon prosecutor who made national headlines last year by charging two seventh-grade boys with felony sex abuse for swatting the behinds of their female classmates now faces assault charges of her own. She allegedly punched her husband in the face.
  • In Afghanistan: "As U.S. coalition tries to stamp out opium, farmers turning to pot."
  • Passenger Twitters this weekend's scary plane crash in Denver. Best tweet: "You have your wits scared out of you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't even get a vodka-tonic. Boo"
  • American Express cuts customer's credit line because, "Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express."

NEXT: Did You Double Your Pleasure?

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  1. Let us hope that Afghans shoot to kill any soldier boy who messes with their land, including their drug farming/production.

    I wonder if J sub D has the same attitude about soldiers who participate in the WOD as he does with cops?

  2. Scadenfreude?

    Me?

    Neverrrrrr!

  3. I especially like this one:

    The records detailing last year’s pay packages show that personal financial advice was among the executive perks. Wells Fargo of San Francisco, which took $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money, gave its top executives up to $20,000 each to pay financial planners.
    -AP

    Similar packages for others.

    These are the guys whose expertise and financial acumen is so extraordinary the need to retain them dictates nearly limitless compensation. But they have to hire somebody to tell them how to invest their personal wealth.

  4. Col. Jerry O’Hara, a U.S. military spokesman, said using a school as a drug warehouse “is an attack on the future of all Afghanistan.”

    Next you’ll be seeing an ad over there with a young Afghan girl with her burka hiked up and a lumberjack delivering her a donkey punch, with the caption “30 rupees for sex isn’t normal. But on pot it is.”

  5. Cheney is a MORON in every sense of the word. is it January 20th yet?

    Jess
    http://www.privacy.de.tc

  6. Next you’ll be seeing an ad over there with a young Afghan girl with her burka hiked up and a lumberjack delivering her a donkey punch, with the caption “30 rupees for sex isn’t normal. But on pot it is.”

    “I learned it from watching you, mufti!”

  7. On Fox News Sunday today, host Chris Wallace asked Vice President Cheney, “if the President, during war, decides to do something to protect the country, is it legal?”

    That’s some hard-hitting journalism, Chris.

    “As the greatest admistration ever, everything your administration has done has been great; would you say that’s an accurate depiction of the greatness of your adiministration? If you would please remove your trousers, I’d just like to express my personal heartfelt gratitude, sir.”

  8. Next you’ll be seeing an ad over there with a young Afghan girl with her burka hiked up and a lumberjack delivering her a donkey punch, with the caption “30 rupees for sex isn’t normal. But on pot it is.”

    More like some teenager with bright-red eyes shelling out huge amounts of cash at a counter, with the caption “350 afghanis for naan isn’t normal. But on pot it is.”

  9. Yeah, I knew that afghanis is the currency there, but it almost did not read right. Forgive me.

  10. “More like some teenager with bright-red eyes shelling out huge amounts of cash at a counter, with the caption “350 afghanis for naan isn’t normal. But on pot it is.””

    winnar!

    it’s interesting/weird how the credit card companies seem to – with varying degrees of severity – be flipping the hell out. that story above is quite, quite strange. you’d think they’d be loathe to step anywhere near a line that could be read as “you shop where poor people shop” or something along those lines.

  11. “As U.S. coalition tries to stamp out opium, farmers turning to pot.”

    I imagine they’re having a very tough time, and I can’t blame them at all for wanting to just chill at the end of the day.

  12. “Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express.”

    Excuse the fuck out of me, American Express, but what the fuck is wrong with Bennie’s Home of the Porno Stars?

  13. I can’t blame them at all for wanting to just chill at the end of the day.

    I’m with joe. This is a Leno headline for the subtler crowd. Good stuff.

  14. 2 1/2 tons of marijuana found in Afghan school

    And I thought my high school had alot of slackers.

  15. ” you’d think they’d be loathe to step anywhere near a line that could be read as “you shop where poor people shop” or something along those lines.”

    That’s like being surprised when a rancher shows little concern for the self-esteem of his cattle.

  16. Let us hope that Afghans shoot to kill any soldier boy who messes with their land, including their drug farming/production.

    I wonder if J sub D has the same attitude about soldiers who participate in the WOD as he does with cops?

    libertymike, you will note that I have never wished for the death of LEOs, even the asshole SWAT drug warriors. It’s one of those morality thingees.

    If a soldier volunteers to wage war on plant growers, or is detailed the task and subsequently re-enlists, my respect for them would be similar. I despise the War on Drugs Sanity in all of its forms.

  17. As a bankruptcy attorney, I know a lot of credit companies are godless whores (I tone down my rhetoric in polite company) but but are we really going to whine about them dropping credit as well as when they give too much credit? I’m not sure why this is such a problem. Its not like he doesn’t have six other card offers in his mail this morning.

  18. In Afghanistan: “As U.S. coalition tries to stamp out opium, farmers turning to pot.”

    The very best marijuana I’ve ever sampled* was allegedly Afghani weed. That includes Northern California sinsemilla, Thai and Hawaiian.

    * For DEA lurkers – Experimental use only and the statute of limitations has long since expired. You can go back to busting chemo patients.

  19. I wonder, if combat was on US soil, would Cheney think it’s legal for the government to force people to put the troops up for the night?

  20. A friend of mine would like to support struggling Afghan farmers. Does anyone know where I…I mean…my friend can score some (non-taliban) Afghan pot?

  21. American Express could cut my credit line by 70% and it’s still more than I would ever use.

  22. “””2 1/2 tons of marijuana found in Afghan school””””

    Relax, it is for the prom.

  23. “I wonder, if combat was on US soil, would Cheney think it’s legal for the government to force people to put the troops up for the night?”

    As I’ve learned from watching the omnipresent commercials for the sure to be insipid “Frost/Nixon,” when the president does it, it’s not illegal.

  24. American Express could cut my credit line by 70% and it’s still more than I would ever use.

    My AMEX Gold technically has no limit. This guy must have had Blue or OPTIMA. They have limits because you can carry a balance on them. On the regular AMEX (Green, Gold, Platinum), you have to pay in full each month.

  25. Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at U.S. PIRG, a Washington-based consumer organization, said companies are telling consumers that “everything you have known for years is no longer true.”

    And with the mention of PIRG, I immediately tuned out and took American Express’s side.

  26. My credit card company keeps raising my limit. Just a few weeks ago, they raised it again. I’ve not gotten anywhere near it since I was 18 and used it to fund a Spring Break trip. Now it’s so high that I think I use about 20% of the available credit at most.

  27. American Express has been doing this for a long time. Obviously they are talking about the revolving credit product and not the charge product, though even the charge products have an unknown limit.

    The rumor has always been that AMEX uses a first purchase analysis and when you first get your card you should break it in at Starbucks. That will shield you from future CLDs and help with CLIs. If you use your new AMEX card at Walmart you are doomed to never getting a CLI and possibly having your account shutdown.

  28. I’ve had my AmExp card for twenty years, so this is purely hypothetical: how do you suppose they’d react if you ran right out and used your shiny new card to buy a large-caliber handgun and a few thousand rounds?

  29. The stupid credit card companies keep raising my limit. I could buy a house at this point.

    Why? Because I keep flipping debt from one introductory rate to another.

    “Thank you so much for costing us money. We’ll be sure and report to the credit ratings agencies that they should raise your score more. Which will then allow us to raise your credit limit again.”

    In a sane world, I’d be on a blacklist.

  30. joe is certainly in a jocular mood today, what with his post @10:23 and his Baghdad shoe salesman spoof.

    In a sane world, I’d be on a blacklist.

    So much truth. So very much truth. 😉

  31. joe, good liberals don’t seek to profit at others’ expense. Maybe a re-examination of your core principles is in order.

  32. “Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express.”

    This is totally crazy. They are dropping people from 20K to $1500 limits. Some cards are jacking the rate while lowering the limit which screws your credit score.

    What I really want to know is if AMEX feels they have a grip on which stores people shopping at have a high rate on not paying. Why doesn’t AMEX take it on themselves stop allowing their cards to be accepted at those locations. Or does that make to much sense and not mesh with their bullshit excuse? Amazing.

  33. I was curious to know if the card was shut down for shopping at Wal Mart or Neiman Marcus.

    We are unlikely to ever know the real reason. While there is a good chance they screwed up, if instead it is some store or combination of stores he is using that is an indicator, or something in the guys credit history that set off alarm bells, Amex cannot explain.

    Under any circumstances, Amex should be free grant the amount of credit they want.

    joe, good liberals don’t seek to profit at others’ expense. Maybe a re-examination of your core principles is in order.

    It is okay to take advantage of big businesses, they are not made up of real people.

  34. joe, good liberals don’t seek to profit at others’ expense. Maybe a re-examination of your core principles is in order.

    Absent fraud, gaming the system set up by money lenders is hardly a violation of liberal principles. Or conservative or libertarian either.

  35. Re: the Amex story, sounds like they need to tweak their model to more heavily weight repayment history, and not ding people for shopping at Walmart if they continue to pay on time and their debt levels don’t rise beyond an unmanageable amount.

    And the savvy PR move would seem to be to contact this guy, tell him that they’ve examined his account based on his complaint, that the human examining his account agrees that he deserves a higher credit line and has overriden the computer model and has restored his credit line, and that they’re very sorry it happened and that they’re taking a look at the computer modeling to reduce the possibility of this from happening to anyone else in a similar situation.

  36. joe, good liberals don’t seek to profit at others’ expense. Maybe a re-examination of your core principles is in order.

    I’d say redistribution of wealth is seeking to profit at other’s expense, and thus a core principle of modern liberalism. Along with denying that said redistribution is profiting at someone else’s expense, because it is for the poor, even if the “poor” include non-poor Wall Streeters and Big 3 execs and UAW members with 6-figure total compensation packages.

  37. According to convertunits.com, 2 1/2 tons is equal to about 2,267,962 grams.

  38. “I wonder, if combat was on US soil, would Cheney think it’s legal for the government to force people to put the troops up for the night?”

    It would, in fact, be legal, if Congress authorized it. The Third Amendment allows non-consensual quartering of troops in homes in time of war “in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

  39. “Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express,”
    I find that impossible to believe. Me and the other super pathetic losers, who can ONLY get sex by paying for it, who patronize “Yum Ye’s house of nude, slippery tantric massage” are super diligent about not… stiffing (er, not in the literal, but metaphorical sense) the employees, lest we never …come again.

  40. “””It would, in fact, be legal, if Congress authorized it.””””

    That’s a big if and if it was not authorized, would the government do it anyway. I say they would.

  41. TrickVic-

    Commerce Clause.

    It covers everything.

  42. “I wonder, if combat was on US soil, would Cheney think it’s legal for the government to force people to put the troops up for the night?”

    It would, in fact, be legal, if Congress authorized it. The Third Amendment allows non-consensual quartering of troops in homes in time of war “in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

    Yeah, but they wouldn’t need legislation. It would just be couched as your “patriotic duty,” something good to do to “support the troops.” Anyone crying foul would be subjected to such social ostracism and official scrutiny as to make it practically an act of rebellion to insist on one’s Constitutional rights.

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