Thursday, March 31, 2011

Really brings it home

When you zoom in on this map of Japan and see how many farms, and towns, and land ... have been irradiated....

*edited: changed radiated to irradiated. One is the emission of light, the other 'is the process by which an item is exposed to radiation.'

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Republicans love America

And hate everything in it. Everything.

Sometimes taxes are necessary

Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times discusses California's Governor Brown's tax proposal:
We're not talking about peanuts. The average hit for those taxes is $260 per person each year, or $1,040 for a family of four. But what's the cost of not extending them?

It would be huge, and it's not just liberals who are saying so. After looking at what the effect would be on education, healthcare and public safety, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the extension as long as the deal includes future spending caps and pension reform.

California is, in fact, a relatively high-tax state, though not the highest. In 2009, the combined state and local tax burden was 10.6% of personal income, as opposed to the 9.8% national average. As my colleague George Skelton pointed out earlier this month, state general fund spending has dropped by billions in recent years, with next year's spending per $100 of personal income projected to be the lowest since Ronald Reagan was governor.

Not paying their fair share of the tax burden

WASHINGTON---With federal income taxes due in a few weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent allied with Democrats, on Sunday released a list of ten big profitable U.S. companies paying little or no taxes. Sanders wants to close the loopholes that make this tax avoidance legal. Some people call the income tax system with generous loopholes for big companies corporate welfare or corporate entitlements. As Congress returns to work this week--after yet another break--to negotiate over big budget cuts--with social safety net programs facing reductions--Sanders is pushing for corporations to pay more of a fair "share."

The Bernie Sanders Ten, per release....

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

What kind of liberal are you?

Question 1: Which bumper sticker would you most likely put on your car?
  • Spill, Baby, Spill - How's That Whole Offshore Drillin' Thing Workin' Out For Ya' Now?
  • Democrats: Cleaning Up Republican Messes Since 1933
  • Canoe Naked
  • Insurance Companies Are Republican Death Panels
  • Evolution Is Just a Theory . . . Kind of Like Gravity
  • May the Fetus You Save Be Gay
Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Take the quiz at Political Humor

Saturday, March 26, 2011

News worth not pulling your hair out

Zack is 17-year-old high school senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School. What sets him apart from his peers – and why we’re making him this week’s Skeptical Ninja – is his tireless efforts in ridding creationism from Louisiana’s science classrooms.

He’s already won a victory. His efforts have helped convince the Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to buy biology textbooks that accurately teach the theory of evolution, despite powerful forces on the opposing side.

News worth pulling your hair out over...

DEAR GOD. WTF?! Top Bush-era GITMO and Abu Ghraib psychologist is WH's newest appointment.

What's inside a Japanese quake grab bag?

American workers got what they deserved

A quote from Bob Herbert's last column for the New York Times:
Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.
Why we need to watch the Japanese radiation leak patterns carefully.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I think the Mayans messed up

And it should be 2011 that the world ends. Or at least unravels. Or idiots take over....


Radiation from Japan reaches California... just a little bit.

The 'small government' Republicans would like to make the IRS the uterus police.

The NRA goes off half-cocked.

The reason the neocons were begging Obama to attack Libya. Wait for it.....Surprise!! Oil.

Washington DC doesn't give a fuck about the jobless.

Ann Coulter declares that radiation is good for you... which explains everything about her.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Letting him have it:
Protesters who marched at the home of Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) were met with something of a surprise on Saturday. Mrs. Hopper appeared at the door and informed them that Sen. Hopper was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, WI with his 25-year-old mistress.
And adding insult to injury:
Blogging Blue also reports that Mrs. Hopper intends to sign the recall petition against her husband. The petition has already been signed by the family's maid.

Poor poor babies.

U.S. millionaires say $7 million not enough to be rich


6 intense minutes of the tsunami in Japan. (via facebook)

Volcanoes erupt in connection with the earthquake.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


So... do we still change our clocks for daylight savings?

The earthquake-cum-tsunami packed such fury that it has moved Japan's main island, Honshu, by about 8 feet. It's also caused the Earth's axis to wobble by about 4 inches – something that experts say will lead to the shortening of the day by 1.6 microseconds, or just over a millionth of a second.

These very tiny changes happen because of changes in the speed of rotation of the Earth as surface mass gets shifted around in earthquakes, says Patrick Dasgupta, professor of astrophysics in Delhi University.
Daylight savings time.

And though I grew up saying 'daylight savings', it is actually daylight saving.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another reason to avoid Kansas

USDA okays rice modified with human gene to be grown on 3,000 Kansas acres

Screaming and running in circles works too...

What to do Before and During a Tsunami

The following are guidelines for what you should do if a tsunami is likely in your area:

Turn on your radio to learn if there is a tsunami warning if an earthquake occurs and you are in a coastal area.

Move inland to higher ground immediately and stay there.

Stay away from the beach. Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in. If you can see the wave you are too close to escape it.

CAUTION - If there is noticeable recession in water away from the shoreline this is nature's tsunami warning and it should be heeded. You should move away immediately.

The ultimate death panel

All done in the name of religion.
Woman Forced To Watch Her Baby Die Because Nebraska Anti-Abortion Law Prohibited Doctor From Acting

Mexico will be the new test site for high fructose corn syrup

Mr. Mills of Credit Suisse says that A.D.M., Tate & Lyle and Corn Products International all have had big sales increases of high-fructose corn syrup in Mexico, largely offsetting their United States declines.

In a reversal, manufacturers are replacing the sugar in Mexican soda and other beverages with the less-expensive high-fructose corn syrup. In Mexico this year, consumption of the sweetener is expected to be up by a whopping 50 percent, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

In St. Ronnie's very words:

"Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." Ronald Reagan,1980


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Quote to remember

Everyone is focused on Wisconsin, but I'd say that Florida is ground zero for Republican mismanagement. In 2012, I'm pretty sure that the Republican presidential candidate won't even want to be seen with most of the GOP governors that were elected in 2010.

Because watching furry animals play in snow

Is wonderful.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Monday Monday...


Blog sprinkles


Phila of Bouphonia's Friday hope blog.

Blackwater(Xe) gets to stay in Afghanistan.

A satisfying answer to idiot racism.

Excellent graphic of the tax breaks and budget cuts....

We owe our hands to rocks.

Krugman continues to scare me:
Yes, we need to fix American education. In particular, the inequalities Americans face at the starting line — bright children from poor families are less likely to finish college than much less able children of the affluent — aren’t just an outrage; they represent a huge waste of the nation’s human potential.

But there are things education can’t do. In particular, the notion that putting more kids through college can restore the middle-class society we used to have is wishful thinking. It’s no longer true that having a college degree guarantees that you’ll get a good job, and it’s becoming less true with each passing decade.

So if we want a society of broadly shared prosperity, education isn’t the answer — we’ll have to go about building that society directly. We need to restore the bargaining power that labor has lost over the last 30 years, so that ordinary workers as well as superstars have the power to bargain for good wages. We need to guarantee the essentials, above all health care, to every citizen.

What we can’t do is get where we need to go just by giving workers college degrees, which may be no more than tickets to jobs that don’t exist or don’t pay middle-class wages.
The story of an abortion provider.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Why Wisconsin matters

From Chris Hayes' article:
The other problem is that our system is responsive only to voices at the top of the social pyramid—the bankers and businessmen who are raking in record bonuses and the professional upper middle class, which is recovering much faster than the nation as a whole. In a 2007 paper titled “Inequality and Democratic Responsiveness in the United States,” Princeton political scientist Martin Gilens analyzed 2,000 survey questions from 1981 to 2002, looking for the relationship between public opinion and policy outcomes. He found that “when Americans with different income levels differ in their policy preferences, actual policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent but bear little relationship to the preferences of poor or middle income Americans.”

There is only so much social distance a society can take. The social science literature shows that as social distance increases, trust declines and aberrant and predatory behavior increases. The basic mechanisms of representation erode, and the social fabric tears. “An imbalance between rich and poor,” Plutarch warned, “is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”

It’s against this backdrop of creeping dissolution that the word “union” takes on a renewed power. That’s why the struggles of the protesters in Wisconsin have resonated so profoundly. In banding together to oppose Republican Governor Scott Walker’s power grab, the students, teachers, cops, firefighters and neighbors have willed themselves to shrink the social distance those in power are cynically using to pit constituencies against one another. Walker exempted cops and firefighters from his bill’s radical limits on collective bargaining, but they joined the protests anyway. “An assault on one is an assault on all,” proclaimed Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Association president Mahlon Mitchell.

It’s in Wisconsin and across the Midwest that union members like Mitchell and his allies are showing us the antidote to the social distance that threatens the core of American democracy.

Michael Moore saves America

(h/t to Steve Bates)

Making the rounds on Facebook

This one by Dave Abston: "Quote of the Day: “We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, 2011? No, Der Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, 1932.

Governor Scott Walker's lies

20 and counting.

Republicans have no right to whine

About the deficit after they insisted upon giving billions in tax cuts to the rich. It's like shooting your parents and then asking for mercy from the court because you are an orphan.

A note to Senator McConnell

Federal employees are Americans. They pay taxes. And they vote.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Republicans on the loose...

South Dakota teeters on the edge of an actual theocracy.

Doubting Clarence Thomas.

How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us

Scott Walker is a Kochhead.... And more from Jim Hightower:
The Birchite billionaire Koch brothers and Walker, their gubernatorial hatchet man in the Badger State, have unwittingly done a tremendous favor for our country's progressive movement. Thanks to them, America's workaday majority has been awakened. With eyes wide open, middle-class working folks everywhere now have their attention riveted on Wisconsin, where a plutocratic, autocratic conspiracy between uber-wealthy corporate elites and obsequious GOP politicos has raised its ugly head for all to see.
Boehner is against net neutrality. Is the man 'for' anything ... besides cutting taxes?


This answers that question...