Reason Morning Links: Photoshop, FOIAs, and the Rivers of Babylon


As a Friday bonus, here's Laurel & Hardy enjoying what those Palestinian festival-goers could not:


NEXT: Friday Funnies

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  1. I suppose the failure of the climate bill to move forward is a good thing for the time being. Maybe they’ll have time to read the bills they already passed now.

  2. It took me two minutes to read the Farah article. Now I feel dirty.

    1. I can’t tell if he was being serious or being facetious to call out the now dormant anti-war movement.

      1. I don’t think he was being facetious so much as he was born without a sense of irony.

      2. Doesn’t Code Pink still protest the wars.

        I’m pretty sure they do, but they get no press these days.

    2. Actually, I bet he watched Restrepo. That’s the kind of thing that turns a neocon into a dove.

    3. Well at least he admits he was wrong about the wars. How many warmongers would admit that?

      1. He’s not admitting he was wrong about the war. He’s saying the Obamanites are a bunch of fucking pussies who are too soft on the wogs.

        Presumably the Bushites were too, since the current conduct of both wars is either the same as or more vigorous than before.

    1. Ah nice, the gift keeps on giving.

    2. Salon’s Rebecca Traister agreed Olbermann regularly displayed his contempt for women. “Olbermann has a terrible record of going out of his way to talk about young, attractive women he believes to be stupid in grotesquely dismissive and oversexualized terms.”

      So Olbermann’s a new wave feminist?

      1. How else would you talk about them?

        1. Talk instead about fluffy, fluffy pussies Kittehs.

      2. Traister’s one of the web’s original idiot feminist jokes.

      3. Un-possible! Liberals NEVER engage in harmful stereotypes or bigoted behav… um, never mind.

      4. Ha, people who are jealous of or can’t attain young, hot women (or men) tend to speak badly of them. It’s sour grapes.

    3. I wonder if Ezra Klein will be tonight’s “worst person in the world”?

    4. Blogger Lindsay Beyerstein said maybe the time was now to take down Olbermann. “When we liberals were fighting for political survival after 9/11, it was important to be disciplined and to pick our internal battles very carefully. Now that the Democrats are in charge and progressivism is ascendent, we can afford to demand more from our leaders.
      “We can certainly afford to smack down Keith Olbermann when he spouts misogynist garbage,” she said.

      It takes a special talent to cram that much stupid into four sentences. I’m just thankful that I’m not in that alternate reality she apparently inhabits, the one where Keith Olbermann is “one of our leaders.”

      Also, Olbermann was a pompous blowhard who had some real issues with women 25 years ago, when he was just another local TV news sports guy in Boston. How is it that some people are only now picking up on it? You have to try pretty fucking hard to be that oblivious.

      1. Just like when Clinton had his little escapades, leftist women are willing to sacrifice their principles to support their partisanship.

    5. Journoherpes

      This shit just won’t go away.

    6. Olberdoodle is a raving fucking moron. He makes Beck look sane and Oreally look like a Rhodes Scholar.

    7. I kind of agree with the Journolisters on this one. Olbermann is the Hannity of the left. I think it is funny that they have to transform their intuitive understanding that the guy is a partisan hack a-hole into accusations of misogyny, but I suppose thats how their minds work: when you don’t like somebody, you figure out which officially oppressed class they can be pitted against, and then you release the accusations.

      1. Plus this reminds me of Mencken quote, which I hope I’m not just remembering from Hit & Run:

        Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

  3. The nutroots are apparently angry that they didn’t get their pony.

    “But as Netroots Nation, a conference of 2,100 liberal activists, opened here Thursday, it was clear that anger among some prominent progressives is still raw — and it could imperil some Democrats this fall.

    Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos blog and an organizer of the first such annual conference five years ago, said he and his followers are disinclined to help Democratic candidates simply to preserve the party’s big majorities.

    “There’s a lot of Democrats I’ll be happy to see go,” Moulitsas said in an interview. “I’ll celebrate when Blanche Lincoln is out of the Senate. There is a price to be paid for inaction and incompetence. We’re not getting much done with 59 [Democratic senators], so if we’re down to 54, who cares?”

    … Moulitsas’s views were echoed by other progressive leaders who spoke on panels Thursday.

    The panelists gave voice to lingering disappointment over Halter’s failed bid. Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, had particularly harsh words for Bill Clinton, whose full-throated endorsement of Lincoln is credited with helping her win.

    “It’s tough to see someone you’ve believed in betray you in a big way,” Green said of the former president. “We need to pick our heroes. . . . I think it would be sad if we went through this entire conference without calling out Bill Clinton for what he did.”…..tdown.html

    1. Their tears are–dare I say it?–yummy.

      1. Also sweet.

      2. I almost feel sorry for Obama. You can’t win with these people. Nothing short of everything they want will satisfy them. And even then they wouldn’t do it because when their policies failed they would blame everyone else for not implementing them right.

        1. They’re discovering the lumps of coal at the bottom of their Christmas stockings. So sad. (sniff)

          1. HEY…GET OFF MY HANDLE!!!!

            IN THE FACE!

        2. The first thing the believers do when they gain any power is conduct purges of the demi-faithful. Except for libertarians, who hold them daily. And you, tovarich have failed to tow the lion this week.

          1. For stating such a dismissive view of libertarians Brett, you are expelled. turn in your decoder ring…

            1. Aw, man, I just polished it. I can be purer, I promise.

              1. Is “polishing the decoder ring” some euphemism I don’t want to know about?

                1. I’m pretty sure we don’t bother with euphemisms around here…

                2. Ever been to South Beach, kid?

                  1. I’m taking my talents there, in case you didn’t know already.

              2. Well, ok. But you have to take a bong hit for penance…

                1. Take care of THIS.

                2. “Polishing the decoder ring” — I think that’s a great euphemism for those Journolist posts that turned into masturbatory, self-righteous froth. Like Tony/MNG on climate change threads: “Oh look, Tony’s polishing his decoder ring again”.

                  Bong hits for Jesus penance: No wonder libertarians are always off the reserveration

                  1. Let it be added to the lexicon, along with “tow the lion.”

                    1. Thats fine, for all intense and porpoises.

                    2. Fine. I have to: +1

                    3. a good friend says “all intensive purposes.” And those things that get you on the highway are “excess ramps.” Sigh.

                    4. Yes, I like “all intensive porpoises” myself.

                      I actually got a memo once in which the writer used “all intensive purposes”.

                      “By in large” is another one I’ve seen, but I remember not where.

                    5. Does she drink expresso and wear silk stalkings?

                    6. The leopard may change his shorts, no?

                    7. Let’s settle down, meow!

        3. Exactly. That call out of Clinton was hilarious and speaks directly to your point. Like Clinton owed Green anything because Green idolized Clinton. The disconnect is staggering.

          1. And money talks and bullshit walks. These clowns threw everything they had at Lincoln and they couldn’t even win with Democratic primary voters much less the public at large. Maybe they should worry a little more about convincing a few people and a little less about whining about how betrayed they feel.

            1. In their defense, they only believed they could win becuase they were buying bogus polls.

              1. And the biggest irony is that they’re getting their panties in a bunch over a Senate seat that is probably going to flip to the Republicans, and where Lincoln has a better shot at preventing the flip.

                “We want someone who is pure enough to REALLY get their ass handed to them.”

          2. It’s even more baffling that Greene somehow ended up idolizing Clinton in the first place. Clinton’s presidency was the epitome of New Democrat style centrism and triangulation. He’s flipping out because Bill Clinton is supporting a candidate who is distinctly Clintonian in her politics. Just how little attention have these people been paying?

        4. Yeah not at all like conservatives, who can tolerate phony wars and torture just as long as their guys stay in power.

          1. Jesus, Tony. All the months have you been here and yet you still haven’t figured out where you are?

            1. I’m talking to John!

              1. He has my sympathy.

          2. Yes, so glad the Dems have fixed it so there are no more phony wars or calls for assassination of American citizens.

            1. In fairness to Tony, 60 soldiers and marines died in Afghanistan last month. I would hardly call Obama’s war phony.

              1. You are referring to the bipartisan, undeclared and therefore unconstitutional wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Regardless of the death count, which is tragic, the wars are illegal monstrosities. The only sane and legal recourse is immediate withdrawal.

                1. I could have sworn that the congress debated and authorized both. They keep sending money too.

    2. “There’s a lot of Democrats Republicans I’ll be happy to see go,” Moulitsas many GOP voters said in an interview. “I’ll celebrate when Blanche Lincoln Chaffee is out of the Senate. There is a price to be paid for inaction and incompetence. We’re not getting much done with 59 [DemocraticRepublican senators], so if we’re down to 54, who cares?”

      Those fucks are going to learn what the GOP learned quite recently, even partial loyalty is better than no loyalty at all and letting the other side get back in charge. But perhaps this is just another example of how neither side is really different from the other. It’s all about having enough votes to push YOUR brand of equally stinky shit onto the people in the middle.

  4. Any day now, the Progressives will declare reggae to be a racist genre for containing Zionist ideas.

    1. This Bad Brains song doesn’t mention Zion (unlike many of their other songs), but it does prominently feature a leading Jewish actor…

    2. Then they had better trash Kumbaya too!

    3. Reggae already gets a pass on some serious homophobia, but given that their knowledge of it stems entirely from their reggae phase in college (ie when they bought a Bob Marley greatest hits CD and smoked a lot of pot for a semester), I doubt it will become an issue.

  5. This, despite President Barack Obama’s statement that federal workers should “act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation” under FOIA, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s assertion: “Unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles have no place in the new era of open government.”

    In the new era of open government, CYA and spin control is still the primary function of every federal agency, it’s just that now people know about it.

    1. You obviously don’t understand what constitutes a “necessary” bureaucratic hurdle.

      1. All of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.

        Did I get it right?

        1. Yes.

    2. At least they’re open about their desire to withhold info until they’ve had a chance to see how they’ll get cudgeled for their misdeeds.

      It’s sort of like Steve Smith posting pictures on Facebook of him raping people — he’s still raping, but at least he’s TRANSPARENT about the rapage.

    3. Open government? Now?

      What a fuckin’ laugh riot. Oh, me sides are hurtin’ from all this levity!

  6. Career employees were ordered to provide Secretary Janet Napolitano’s political staff with information about the people who asked for records ? such as where they lived, whether they were private citizens or reporters ? and about the organizations where they worked.

    It is nice to see that some things in Washington never change. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud.

  7. From the if you think the government’s problems are bad, wait until you see its solutions department:

    As a result of the new financial reform bill, ratings agencies are refusing to let their ratings be used in bond registration statements, which is a legal requirement, causing the shutdown of the asset backed bond market.

    1. I swear this bill will be Smoot-Hawley II: Electric Boogaloo.

      1. Something, Anything II: Electric Boogaloo

        Now THERE’S some old-school board posting lingo; it’s like being in the late nineties all over again, except the pop music has gotten even suckier.

    2. Not to worry, the Law of Unintended Consequences will be repealed in the Lame Duck session in December.

    3. For those of you who don’t have a WSJ subscription:

      Ford Motor Co.’s financing arm pulled plans to issue new debt, the first casualty of a bond market thrown into turmoil by the financial overhaul signed into law Wednesday.

      Market participants said the auto maker pulled a recent deal, backed by packages of auto loans, because it was unable to use credit ratings in its offering documents, a legal requirement for such sales. The company declined to comment.

      The nation’s dominant ratings firms have in recent days refused to allow their ratings to be used in bond registration statements. The firms, including Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, fear they will be exposed to new liability created by the Dodd-Frank law.

      The law says that the ratings firms can be held legally liable for the quality of their ratings. In response, the firms yanked their consent to use the ratings, hoping for a reprieve from the Securities and Exchange Commission or Congress. The trouble is that asset-backed bonds are required by law to include ratings in official documents.

      The result has been a shutdown of the market for asset-backed securities, a $1.4 trillion market that only recently clawed its way back to health after being nearly shuttered by the financial crisis.

      1. This should be the biggest story right now. The media is just ignoring it. This really will shut down the economy. It is tragic comic that Bush and later Obama spent trillions of dollars trying to avoid a shut down of the credit markets. And now Obama, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank have accomplished through the stroke of a pen what the worst financial collapse since 1929 couldn’t.

        1. Let’s just hope that the ratings agencies don’t chicken out under SEC pressure. They will. But if they don’t, the resulting chaos will be delicious.

          1. the resulting chaos will be delicious.

            This is true but I feel bad for thinking this. It’s like having a moment of glee when you can say “I told you if we walked down this alley we were going to be shot and killed, and here we are.”

            1. In fifty years we’ll look back and laugh, LAUGH!

              1. Don’t know about laugh. Gibber maniacally maybe.

            2. Or, if you like, you can short this financial ETF, or buy long-term put options on it.

          2. Is this going to prop up US government debt a little more from its already insane level?

        2. No, they just have to wait a little while until they figure out which regulators they need to send the booze and the hookers to in order to avoid problems later on down the road.

      2. Is Obama and the Democrats really this stupid or are they actually trying to kill the economy? Any move they make screws the economy and they pretend that what they are doing is great for the country.

        1. “Is Obama and the Democrats really this stupid or are they actually trying to kill the economy?”


        2. It worked for FDR. Fuck things up, say the resulting chaos is the best case scenario, “imagine how bad things would have been if we hadn’t acted”, then push for the power to fuck things up even more to “fix” the problem they created.

    4. Idiots. Economically illiterate idiots.

    5. The Iron Law: Forseeable consequences are not unintended.

      1. Exactly. Why don’t these clowns issue a manifesto to help us understand their “thought process”?

      2. Why would any sane investor put any stock in that which a ratings agency publishes? Just as why would any sane business person use and rely upon that which a credit reporting agency publishes?

        1. They’re lazy idiots? Just spitballin’ here.

          some are a bit more honest: a Chinese ratings agency recently downgraded US Treasuries.

      3. Theory of political relativity:

        If they are too stupid to foresee the consequences even if others are smart enough, then the consequences are unintended for them.


      Tip of the iceberg.

    7. I mentioned this at the beginning of the week. This is not how you go about a summer of recovery.

      I don’t think this administration could be any more clueless about how markets and business actually works. I think they get all their information from a pop-up book they keep in the oval office drawer.

      1. Was it called How Now, Brown Mao?

        1. Yellow would have been a better adjective due to the rhyme but I understand your reluctance.

  8. What are the odds on 1) the “climate bill” being rammed through after the election and 2) Rangel getting ousted?

    Given the Dems’ exhibited chutzpah, I’d say 1) high and 2) 50-50.

    1. Rangel will have fallen on his sword–“for the good of the party”–by Monday.

      1. We’ll see. He’s getting long in the tooth. May want to “spend more time with his family”.

      2. I don’t know. That would take some humility.

      3. You’re going to really piss off the Bandit if you keep riding his handle.

        1. I don’t know…that’s the most action he’s gotten in years…

          1. Regardless of the truth of the above statement this noob is still camping my handle. He even has the appropriate l’accent aigu. Alt codes are the domain on me and starburst guy. Plus, he doesn’t even include poorly crafted non-clich? clich?s…in bold.

            I’m taking my talent to South Beach

    2. Agree with you wholeheartedly on 1) (especially the chutzpah) and no idea on 2).

      1. I’m hearing that the time constraints make it unlikely that a climate bill will be passed during a lame duck session — that if there is such a session, they’re more likely to devote it to something like card check. We’ll see.

        1. Also Jessee, don’t the appointed Senators from WV and Illinois lose their Senate seats as soon as the election to replace them is certified? Unless it is an Al Franken recount, that happens before a mad duck session can meet. If the Republicans win one or two of those seats, it makes it well neigh impossible to do much in a mad duck session.

          1. No, I think the default is that appointed Senators keep their seat until their term is up in January, unless the laws in that state specifically states that the appointee’s job ends sooner.

            From Wikipedia:

            “Mid-term vacancies

            The Seventeenth Amendment allows governors, with the approval of their legislature, to appoint temporary senators until either a special or regular election takes place. The official wording provides that “the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.” Some states, as stated above, provide for a special election to fill a Senate vacancy.”

            1. a retiring senator or rep would sometimes resign between the election and the swearing in of the new person so that the governor could appoint the new person and advance his/her seniority for purposes of committee seating. Doesn’t happen if the winner and retiree aren’t of the same party.

  9. BP promises to stop photoshopping spill images

    Who the fuck gives a shit if they photoshop images or not? I would like an honest answer to that. It ain’t like they’re Reuters.

    1. Gotta keep this story alive somehow, there’s no good news for the party organs to report, and the peasants still have torches, pitchforks, and pissed-off attitudes.

      1. Joseph Farah has no shame.

        He is certainly allowed to change his mind. But he has to make me believe he has changed his mind. He has to convince me. And he’s convinced me of nothing except that he’s devoted to political expediency.

        1. I’m not sure why this ended up in this subthread.

        2. How is he any different than the people who claimed under Bush that Afghanistan was a good war and that the invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the needed war in Afghanistan yet now claim we need to get out of Afghanistan? Do those people have to convince you that they are not now just acting for political expedience or were acting as such then?

          And beyond that what difference does it make? You can make the right argument out of bad motivations. If you find his objections to Afghanistan convincing, they are convincing regardless of why he is making them.

          Sorry to make ape week tough on you.

          1. Threadjack: John, just a few minutes ago as I was pulling into the office parking lot, I heard Glenn Beck play the audio of Luke Russert asking some tough questions of Charlie Rangle. The House Ways and Means boss told Russert that “you’re young and you just want to make a name for yourself.” Rangle added, “NBC was a channel that had some respect.” Russert had identified himself as being with CNBC.

      2. The Old Issue

        Rudyard Kipling

        “Here is nothing new nor aught unproven,” say the Trumpets

        “Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed,
        “It is the King–the King we schooled aforetime!”
        (Trumpets in the marshes–in the eyot at Runnymede!)

        “Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger,” peal the Trumpets,
        “Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall,

        “It is the King!”–inexorable Trumpets–
        (Trumpets round the scaffold at the dawning by Whitehall!)

        “He hath veiled the Crown and hid the Sceptre,” warn the Trumpets,
        “He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will.
        “Hard die the Kings–ah, hard–dooms hard!” declare the Trumpets,
        (Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill!)

        Ancient and Unteachable, abide–abide the Trumpets!
        Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings
        Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets–
        Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings!

        All we have of freedom, all we use or know–
        This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

        Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw–
        Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law–

        Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing,
        Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King.

        Till our fathers ‘stablished, after bloody years,
        How our King is one with us, first among his peers.

        So they bought us freedom–not at little cost–
        Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost.

        Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
        Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed.

        Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure,
        Whining “He is weak and far;” crying “Time shall cure.”

        (Time himself is witness, till the battle joins,
        Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people’s loins.)

        Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace,
        Suffer not the old King here or overseas.

        They that beg us barter–wait his yielding mood–
        Pledge the years we hold in trust–pawn our brother’s blood–

        Howso’ great their clamour, whatso’er their claim,
        Suffer not the old King under any name!

        He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
        Set his guards about us, as in Freedom’s name.

        Here is naught unproven–here is naught to learn,
        It is written what shall fall if the King return.

        He shall take a tribute; toll of all our ware;
        He shall change our gold for arms–arms we may not bear.

        He shall break his Judges if they cross his word;
        He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.

        He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
        Watchers ‘neath our windows, lest we mock the King–

        Hate and all divisions; hosts of hurrying spies;
        Money poured in secret; carrion breeding flies.

        Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
        These shall deal our Justice: sell–deny–delay.

        We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse,
        For the Land we look to–for the Tongue we use.

        We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
        while his hired captains jeer us in the street.

        Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
        Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.

        Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
        Laying on a new land evil of the old–

        Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain–
        All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.

        Here is naught at venture, random or untrue–
        Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

        Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
        Step for step and word for word–so the old Kings did!

        Step by step and word by word: who is ruled may read.
        Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed–

        All the right they promise–all the wrong they bring.
        Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King!

        1. Please don’t ever do that again.

        2. This is why I don’t own a castle.

        1. What the fuck? Why’d this go here? Fucking cockbreath.

      3. As of this writing, the commenting threads appear to be in a state of extreme discombobulation.

        (If this comment shows up as a reply to someone else, I will totally lose my shit.)

      4. Beer to be sold in dead animals

        The beauty of the free market is finally realized. Huzzah!

        1. That is way beyond fucked up.

      5. More news from post-racial America:

        Decisions on which car dealerships to close as part of the auto industry bailout ? closures the Obama administration forced on General Motors and Chrysler ? were based in part on race and gender, according to a report by Troubled Asset Relief Program Special Inspector General Neal M. Barofsky.”



        1. i broked it i apolgoize

          1. i broked it i apolgoize

            There will be plenty of time for recriminations later but for now let’s everyone just try not to freak right the hell out like I am right now.

            1. It was Vilsack, he jumped the gun again.

          2. Warty, you have to do a bong hit for penance.

        2. This is obviously a failure of capitalism. Can we call the Unicorn Patrol to fix this?

        3. If I could really get my head between my knees, I might never leave that position.

      7. I suck at teh infernets…
        Try this again

        and if that fails…..imals.html

        1. Holy cow! SF’s influence is running wild today.

          LEARN TO LINK!

      8. This thread is all fucked on my IE8 browser. Abandon thread!

        1. Thx, Solanum. I posted it on another thread.

      9. I generally think Webb is a crapweasel. But this is quite an article.…..09408.html

        1. Didn’t Webb also recently talk about the need to look into police tactics?

        2. Wow. The left is going to go batshit insane when they read that, from a fellow democrat no less.

      10. Dont worry neocons, Farah will be screaming for more arab blood again, as soon as there’s a Republican in the White House.

        1. Define “neocons”.

        2. If you read the article, you’d see he’s “screaming for more arab blood” now. Well, not arab at this point, he does seem to want afghan blood by the bucketful, though. But since arab today passes for “wogs we really hate” in modern american being precise on these things is pointless.

          He just thinks Obama (and the American people too, apparently) are great big pussies who aren’t prepared to kill on a grand enough scale.

          1. And, as we all remember from Vietnam, that whole “destroying the village to save it” thing works every time.

            1. It worked for New London, CT.

      11. The wages of a few generations of the welfare state.

        “The less they work, the happier they are,” observed Vittorio di Giola, owner of the Caffetteria Vicky, a favorite haunt of Fiat workers on the Viale Alfa Romeo, Pomigliano’s main drag.

        That view was acknowledged by some workers, union officials and even the town’s mayor, Raffaele Russo. “There are those who don’t miss a chance to miss work,” Mr. Russo said.
        Just last month, Fiat erected large television screens inside the factory when Italy played in the World Cup to encourage employees to come to work, said Mr. Nacco, the longtime worker there. Still, some people did not show up. “And Fiat was paying us to watch the game,” he said.…..3fiat.html

        A true must see picture.

        And here is the article.……html?_r=1

        1. “He wants to impose American-style standards,” Nello Niglio, a factory worker, said of Mr. Marchionne’s requirements to work longer hours and cut back on absences. “But too much work is going to kill our workers.”

          Money quotes from John’s cited article.

          That’s right Guido, we work 24hr shifts and are heavily armed psychopaths.

          1. “That’s right Guido, we work 24hr shifts and are heavily armed psychopaths.”

            Nah, just the libertarians.

        2. It’s hard to believe that they once ruled most of the known civilized world, isn’t it?

        3. Key phrases “20% lower productivity” and “organized crime”. I assume there’s been a 20% increase of productivity in the “protection” sector then? Damn Dagos.

      12. The wages of a few generations of the welfare state.

        “The less they work, the happier they are,” observed Vittorio di Giola, owner of the Caffetteria Vicky, a favorite haunt of Fiat workers on the Viale Alfa Romeo, Pomigliano’s main drag.

        That view was acknowledged by some workers, union officials and even the town’s mayor, Raffaele Russo. “There are those who don’t miss a chance to miss work,” Mr. Russo said.
        Just last month, Fiat erected large television screens inside the factory when Italy played in the World Cup to encourage employees to come to work, said Mr. Nacco, the longtime worker there. Still, some people did not show up. “And Fiat was paying us to watch the game,” he said.…..3fiat.html

        A true must see picture.

        And here is the article.……html?_r=1

        Damned threaded comments.

      13. “We want someone who is pure enough to REALLY get their ass handed to them.”

        Now, *that* sounds like something straight out of the Libertarian Party playbook.

        1. ERROR! ERROR!

          How the fuck did that happen?

      14. Keep in mind that as BP contemplates bankruptcy (and you can be sure they are), they will be looking at their American subsidiary, which can declare bankruptcy all on its own. BP itself doesn’t have to, and won’t, declare bankruptcy.

        The issue really is whether going into a Chapter 11 structured workout is a better venue for segregating assets to cover the spill liabilities. It might not be a bad venue to use if they want to argue for the liability cap that protects them from a big chunk of those liabilities.

        1. They would also have to factor into that cost/benefit analysis the fact that the current administration doesn’t give a shit about rule of law as it applies to bankruptcy (among other things).

      15. I will try this again.

        Best picture ever.…..3fiat.html

        1. That is rather funny.

      16. Wow, the rivers of Babylon are jsut way too cool.


      17. Off topic(s), but I must say the story behind this link makes me say “God bless Jim Webb”.…..09408.html

        1. Good article, except one point of contention: “The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history.” Don’t tell the Native Americans.

          1. Aren’t the tribes sovereign nations? So natives did not suffer at the hands of “their own government” but at the hands of the U.S. government and terrorists such as the 7th cavalry.

            1. I don’t think 7th Cavalry inflicted much suffering. At least not after 1876.

        2. Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.

          “Still in need” means what? People whose votes he needs every six years?

        3. Off topic(s), but I must say the story behind this link makes me say “God bless Jim Webb”.

          Does this mean we get to call him a Nazi now?

      18. *BLAM*







        STOP RESISTING!/b>





        1. You suck at police work. No one shot the dog.

          1. The ricochet got it.

      19. Be advised: THREADED COMMENTS SUCK.

      20. Sherman, set the Wayback machine to November, 2006.

        Although she has faded into obscurity, this is Nancy Pelosi speaking on her party’s victory.

        “The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,”

        Four years later she lost her position as Speaker of the House.

      21. Our despicable, loathsome president tells Louisianans to just go on welfare, while they hold rallies begging him to allow them to go back to doing their jobs.

      22. You know, Hardy was supposed to be a comically fat man, but he looks pretty svelte by our current corpulent standards.

        1. Actually still a fattie.

      23. Sorry, folks for this personal aside, but this is a rare and glorious day:
        I was just given an assignment to fly to Huntsville, Ala. to attend adult space camp, after which I’m tasked with proceeding to the Lynchburg area to experience the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.
        My ride may be dying, but I’m ridin’ it to the end!

        1. How the fuck did my gloating above end up where it is?

      24. Sweet merciful jebus. What happened to this post?

      25. Healthcare reform is un-Constitutional even under the taxing power, or so argue Steven J Willis and Nakku Chung, professor of law at the University of Florida in this exhaustive paper. From the abstract:

        “Willis and Chung demonstrate how I.R.C. ? 5000A ? the HEALTH CARE ACT penalty ? is an unapportioned Capitation Tax, violative of U.S. CONSTITUTION ARTICLE I, Section 9. As they demonstrate, the “penalty” is ? at least on its face – a tax. To be a Constitutional tax, it must be an Excise Tax, an Income Tax, or a proportional Capitation Tax. Through the process of elimination, they demonstrate the penalty is none of these.

        Others convincingly demonstrate the “penalty” is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. They argue the “penalty” is indeed a penalty and not a tax. Willis and Chung pick up where that argument leaves off: if that argument fails and the Court finds this is a tax, it is an unconstitutional unapportioned Direct Tax.

        Despite being labeled an Excise Tax by Congress, the penalty is unlike any existing Excise Tax because it applies to the failure to act by an individual. Existing failure-to-act Excise Taxes differ because they apply to entities which have chosen to partake in particular activities. The provision thus fails the historic requirements of an Excise Tax, namely that it apply to an activity, transaction, or the use of property. The tax also fails the traditional “pass-on” nature of Excise Taxes. If the Court were to approve it as a uniform Excise Tax, the Direct Tax apportionment requirement would be eviscerated.

        The penalty similarly fails the 16th AMENDMENT definition of an Income Tax. Not only does it appear not to tax income, it fails to operate as an Income Tax, and it fails the 16th AMENDMENT realization requirement long accepted by the Supreme Court. Willis and Chung dismiss – as unrealistic academic dogma – arguments for ignoring the realization requirement. They acknowledge, but refute, academic arguments criticizing the Pollock and Macomber decisions, as well as arguments for ignoring the CONSTITUTION’s Direct Tax apportionment requirement.”

        1. God, I hate threaded comments.

    2. I think it’s rather tacky of them to be photoshopping the pictures, but as I still fully expect BP to go into bankruptcy by the end of the year it’s low on my list of concerns about BP.

      1. Why on earth is BP going to go into bankruptcy? Despite Maconda, BP still pulls down revenue in the ~300 billion range. 20 billion of liability is nowhere near enough to force BP into bankruptcy. That’s what BP made in profit last year. I think they can take the hit and move on.

        1. Unless it’s expedient for them to declare bankruptcy and flog off the liability on to the gov. If the Chicago gang takes most of that 20m – what will the Gulf folks and their resident politicians get?

        2. There’s a big difference between revenue and profits, taking in 300 billion a year doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to cover your costs, especially at the size BP is. Also, the 20 billion is just the slush fund, it doesn’t include the money BP has spent already cleaning up the oil and it doesn’t save them from future liabilities. Nor does it cover the huge hit that BP’s shares and public image have taken, which will likely cost them a large portion of their profits. Making a profit last year doesn’t mean they can make one this year.

          1. Didn’t the government save them money by preventing them, and everybody else, from cleaning anything for weeks? Obama will be demanding they pay the money they were saved any day now.

            1. Yes, it a way they were saved money from that, but the oil they’ve been allowed to clean up has still cost them a good amount of money. Also, I think Obama’s busy golfing this week.

              1. No wonder he can’t suck it up with a straw. He packed golf stuff instead.

          2. Again, profit is on the order of 20 billion net. Gross, it’s like 45 billion. Oil is a fungible commodity. Somebody will buy it from BP if BP don’t need it for downstream operations. The idea that BP won’t make a profit (independent of spill costs) is ludicrous.

            Share price is completely irrelevant to the health of the organization, especially one that pulls in as much cash as BP does. BP would have to have several years of amazing losses before they file bankruptcy. The spill just won’t do it. It’s not a large enough incident to shut BP down. People are not used to thinking in the terms of scale when dealing with supermajors like BP and Exxon-Mobil. The damage to BP would have to be on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars to force them into bankruptcy. That just isn’t gonna happen.

            Also, I hear from some people part of the deal with the 20 billion they gave the administration was to buy off some unspecified amount of liability and push it onto the feds. If that’s indeed the case, they sure as hell won’t need to file bankruptcy.

      2. Pretty harmless photoshops. I don’t think any of them could be called misrepresentations. They ‘shopped out some decks so it looked like the chopper was in the air, tweaked the saturation so you could see what was on a screen, and dubbed in some screens so a wall of monitors didn’t have blank spots.


        1. Um, yea, what RCD said.

      3. From the account I heard on the news, the photographer added images onto the monitors that were blank at the time of the shoot. It is another “big nothing” story.

        Or it could be a “jackboot on the throat works, just not that quickly” story, depending on how they want to write it.

        1. I’ll clarify. I mean it’s “rather tacky” in the same way that it’s “rather tacky” for 20-something starlets to go panty-less in short skirts* when they’re going to get fall down, pass out drunk. It’s bad form but not particularly news worthy.

          *I don’t have a problem with 20-something starlets going panty-less in short skirts, it’s just that it’s not the most advisable thing to do if you’re going to get trashed.

          1. It’s tacky when they get all uppity about us staring at their exposed cooter once they start falling down, THAT’S the tacky part.

            1. Fair enough.

      4. It goes to their credibility. Faked photos are a form of lying, which is counterindicated when you’ve fucked up this badly.

        1. Faked photos are a form of lying if they are misleading. I don’t see anything misleading in the ‘shops we’ve seen so far.

          1. I think it’s genuinely on the stupidity part of the transparency scale. If you want to show a picture of what the room looks like, just take a picture. I mean, I don’t — I mean, I think you could probably write an entire encyclopedia on some of the mistakes that have been made by the company in trying to do certain things and trying to complicate the simple.

            We asked for several days for cameras to be put on at the site, to make that available — make that footage available. Again, I think the resistance on that, Photoshopping people and screens into photographs, is stupidly complicating the simple.

            1. I hate this fat, pig-joweled fuck.

      5. Dunno ’bout you, but I find lying to advance your own interests a just a wee bit immoral, whether it’s a business, a government fumctionary, the news media or my fucking brother-in-law doing it.

        1. Fucking threaded comments. The above was in response to this.

          1. it also speaks to a deep-seated institutional retardation. not only are they doctoring photos significantly, but for insignificant ends.

          2. Dunno ’bout you, but I find lying to advance your own interests a just a wee bit immoral…

            I just can’t get myself worked up about what I see are essentially harmless lies from corporate marketing. Sometimes, in fact, telling the truth isn’t always a positive thing.

            You look really nice today, btw.

            1. Yes, I’ve never been able to give an honest answer to “does this dress make my ass look big?”

              1. I would be like, “Yes, how is that a bad thing?” Small butts, like small breasts, are gross to me.

                1. Oh dear.

                2. I’m thinking that if someone has asked that question, she’s not going to want to hear and answer like that, zoltan.

              2. try, “It’s not the dress”

              3. “That dress makes your ass look less fat.”

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