Daily Archive: 01/08/2011

Jan 08 2011

Wildcard Throwball Weekend: Saturday

Today’s games are both on NBC and represent the end of this season’s Throwball schedule for them.  The early game at 4:30 pm pits the Who ‘Dats @ Seahawks, the late one at 8 pm features the Jets @ Bolts.

Now since I don’t care much about Throwball (the season is half over by the time the Series is), I make my post season picks based purely on sentimentality and loathing.  Take the Who ‘Dats, they had another tough year down on the bayou what with BP spewing up Billions of Barrels of Crude through a combination of incompetence and greed and the Obama administration is still busily covering it up, so I’m rooting for them.

Sorry Seahawks.  Have a Grande Mocha Latte on me (I’ll have a double Redeye, black as my soul).

As for loathing, there’s no easier team to hate than the Bolts.  Over Irsay?  I don’t think I’ll ever get over Irsay, Elaine.  The Jets also have the virtue of playing in the Tri-State Area which appeals to my inner Doofenschmirtz.

This is a live blog (for both games) which means I’ll kinda sorta be paying attention while I’m actually doing something else entirely and if I do impart some useful information you can console yourself with the knowledge that it’s just an accident.

Jan 08 2011

Random Japan

OFFICIAL OVERSIGHT

A woman in Fukuoka sued Google after she discovered that the company’s Street View service showed a photo of her underwear hanging on the veranda.

LDP lawmaker Hiroshi Nagai found himself in hot water after ordering Prince Akishino and his wife to sit down during a ceremony marking the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Diet.

It was reported that a fire sergeant in Hiroshima had been driving emergency vehicles for the past 14 years even though he didn’t have a driver’s license.

The mayor of Utazu in Kagawa Prefecture was rebuffed in his plan to work for the entire year without a salary. Instead, the city council offered to halve his pay for the next two years.

A junior high school teacher in Aomori Prefecture was in trouble with the education board after posting a list of “foolish” students in the school corridor. Then doing it again.

Jan 08 2011

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

For Seafood on a Budget, Just Add Pasta

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Health experts keep telling us to eat more fish, but fish can be expensive . If you love seafood and you’re trying to eat more of it, this week’s pasta dishes provide a solution. The amount you’ll need is about half what you’d buy if you were serving seafood on its own. Even better, most of these dishes also incorporate vegetables, making for perfect one-dish meals.

And they’re easy: Usually the fish accompaniment takes no more time to make than it takes to boil the pasta water. Most of this week’s recipes call for fresh fish and shellfish, but you can also use canned varieties high in omega-3 fats, like sardines, smoked trout and smoked herring.

Pasta With Beet Greens and Tuna

Penne With Arugula and Clams

Fusilli With Swordfish or Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Linguine With Red Clam Sauce

Spaghetti With Mussels and Peas

Jan 08 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Dylan Ratigan: Free Market Fraud

At first glance, the December jobs report seems to be a step in the right direction. An unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, the lowest level in 19 months. And a president, happy to boast about another 103,000 jobs being created last month.

However, renowned economist Peter Morici points out two important caveats. For one, 260,000 Americans simply dropped out of the labor force in December. They are out of work, yet no longer counted as unemployed by the government. And secondly, 103,000 jobs is nowhere near the number of jobs we need to be adding each month. To bring unemployment down to 6 percent by 2013, businesses need to hire an average of 350,000 new workers each month.

Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who continues to defend his Quantitative Easing (aka money-printing) program, couldn’t ignore the writing on the wall during a Senate hearing Friday morning. “If we continue at this pace”, said Bernanke, “we are not going to see sustained declines to the unemployment rate.”

Daphne Eviatar: Is Proxy Detention the Obama Administration’s Extraordinary Rendition-Lite?

Shortly after taking office, President Obama announced he’d close CIA prisons and end abusive interrogations of terrorism suspects by U.S. officials. But the Obama administration has notably preserved the right to continue “renditions” — the abduction and transfer of suspects to U.S. allies in its “war on terror,” including allies notorious for the use of torture.

Although the Obama administration in 2009 promised to monitor more closely the treatment of suspects it turned over to foreign prisons, the disturbing case of Gulet Mohamed, an American teenager interrogated under torture in Kuwait, casts doubt on the effectiveness of those so-called “diplomatic assurances.” It’s also raised questions about whether the “extraordinary rendition” program conducted by the Bush administration has now been transformed into an equally abusive proxy detention program run by its successor.

Glenn Greenwald: Daley is a reflection, not a cause

Few things interest me less at this point than royal court personnel changes.  I actually agree with the pro-Obama/Democratic-Party-loyal commentators who insist it doesn’t much matter who becomes White House Chief of Staff because it’s Obama who drives administration policy.  Obama didn’t do what he did in the first two years because Rahm Emanuel was his Chief of Staff.  That view has the causation reversed:  he chose Emanuel for that position because that’s who Obama is.  Similarly, installing JP Morgan’s Midwest Chairman, a Boeing director, and a long-time corporatist — Bill Daley — as a powerful underling replacing Emanuel isn’t going to substantively change anything Obama does.  It’s just another reflection of the Obama presidency, its priorities and concerns, and its overarching allegiances.  

There’s a section of my forthcoming book about the rule of law which examines the direct causal line between the vast number of Wall Street officials in key administration positions and the full-scale exemption from accountability which financial elites enjoy even for the most egregious lawbreaking.  When you compile all of those appointments in one place, the absolute stranglehold large-scale corporate interests exert over virtually all realms of government policy is quite striking.  But it’s nothing more than what the economist Nouriel Roubini meant when he told the makers of the 2010 documentary “Inside Job” that Wall Street has “captured the political system” on “the Democratic and the Republican side” alike, or what Simon Johnson describes as “The Quiet Coup”:  “The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against” elite business interests.

Jan 08 2011

On This Day in History January 8

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 8 is the eighth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 357 days remaining until the end of the year (358 in leap years).

On this day in 1877, Crazy Horse and his warriors–outnumbered, low on ammunition and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves–fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana.

Six months earlier, in the Battle of Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse and his ally, Chief Sitting Bull, led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer (1839-76) and his men. The Indians were resisting the U.S. government’s efforts to force them back to their reservations. After Custer and over 200 of his soldiers were killed in the conflict, later dubbed “Custer’s Last Stand,” the American public wanted revenge. As a result, the U.S. Army launched a winter campaign in 1876-77, led by General Nelson Miles (1839-1925), against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains.

On January 8, 1877, General Miles found Crazy Horse’s camp along Montana’s Tongue River. U.S. soldiers opened fire with their big wagon-mounted guns, driving the Indians from their warm tents out into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to regroup on a ridge and return fire, but most of their ammunition was gone, and they were reduced to fighting with bows and arrows. They managed to hold off the soldiers long enough for the women and children to escape under cover of the blinding blizzard before they turned to follow them.

Though he had escaped decisive defeat, Crazy Horse realized that Miles and his well-equipped cavalry troops would eventually hunt down and destroy his cold, hungry followers. On May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse led approximately 1,100 Indians to the Red Cloud reservation near Nebraska’s Fort Robinson and surrendered. Five months later, a guard fatally stabbed him after he allegedly resisted imprisonment by Indian policemen

Jan 08 2011

Six In The Morning

He’s Back And No It’s Not Arnold  



Iraqi cleric urges resistance to U.S., Israel after return from exile

NAJAF, Iraq – A powerful cleric whose fearsome militia once battled Americans urged followers Saturday to resist the United States “with all means” in his first public address in Iraq after four years in exile.

Addressing an adoring crowd of thousands, Muqtada al-Sadr also called on the newly formed government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to make sure all U.S. forces leave Iraq by the end of the year as planned.

And he warned that “we have the political means” to reject that governmentif it does not provide security and services to its citizens.

Jan 08 2011

Ibanez

You know, what’s really discouraging about political blogging for me is how often you have to repeat yourself about obvious, undeniable facts (as a fer instance pasted over there on the right is Stephen’s take on BillO and whether the tides are explicable by a little something Sir Isaac Newton liked to call THE LAW of Gravity, because it’s not just a suggestion you see).

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Banks and Securities Holders can no longer claim title to property unless they can produce a mortgage and a statutory chain of transfer for the note.

This not a new concept, Stare Decisis is CARPENTER V. LONGAN, 83 U. S. 271 (1872), which means that it’s not easily appealable.

This exposes the Banks to severe financial losses in the Trillions of dollars.

First of all, there is no reason for someone who owes a mortgage to continue to make payments if clear title can’t be shown.  The value of all that paper those photons and electrons and derivatives is exactly zero.

Secondly, the Banks are going to be forced to honor their contracts with the big Mortgage Backed Securities holders who won’t be rolled as easy as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Barack Obama, and buy back their fraudulent paper for more Trillions.

And finally (for the purposes of this piece at least), there’s the Hundreds of Billions they owe in title transfer fees (tax fraud) and fines.  Smart States are going to start tapping that you betcha, though it really falls in the rounds.

Felix Salmon writes about this and seems disappointed that another financial crisis is inevitable, but it is.

The legal craziness that this decision sets in motion is going to be huge, I’m sure. Anybody who was foreclosed on in Massachusetts should now be phoning up their lawyer and trying to find out if the foreclosure was illegal. If it was – if there was a break in the chain of title somewhere which meant that the bank didn’t own the mortgage in question – then the borrower should be able to get their deed, and their home, back from the bank. This decision is retroactive, and no one has a clue how many thousands of foreclosures it might cover.



Going forwards, every homeowner being foreclosed upon will as a matter of course challenge the banks to prove that they own the mortgage in question. If the bank can’t do that, then the foreclosure proceeding will be tossed out of court. This is likely to slow down foreclosures enormously, as banks ensure that all their legal ducks are in a row before they try to foreclose.

This decision won’t be appealed: the state law seems pretty cut-and-dried, every judge who’s looked at it has come to the same decision, and there’s no conceivable grounds for the US Supreme Court to take on the case.

What’s more, courts in the other 49 states are likely to lean heavily on this decision when similar cases come before them. The precedent applies only in Massachusetts for now, but it’s likely to spread, like some kind of bank-eating cancer.

If a similar decision comes down in California, which is a non-recourse state, the resulting chaos could be massive. People who are current on their mortgage and perfectly capable of paying it could simply make the strategic decision to default, if and when they find out or suspect that the chain of title is broken somewhere. They would take a ding to their credit rating, but millions of people will happily accept a lower credit rating if they get a free house as part of the bargain.

It’s not so much that the law and the facts are against them as that there are so many tables to pound on that they’re starting to look like tobacco lawyers.  If there are similar rulings (and it’s hard to see why not) in Connecticut, New York, and California then we could be looking at an entirely different political and economic landscape.

And one in which Republicans will pay the price, because the Vampire Squid doesn’t care which stone it squeezes to get its blood just as long as it’s red.

Jan 08 2011

Prime Time

Some premiers.  No LoDo (and there was much rejoicing).  No in my time period but also of note is the Series Premier of Young Justice League.  Despite being listed as new, it’s the same one I’ve already seen where they find the Superboy clone at Project Cadmus.

You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

Later-

Dave hosts Regis Philbin, Hannibal Buress, and No Age.  

Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think every thing you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned- Tyler.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Jan 08 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Taliban attack kills 17 at Afghan public bath

by Nasrat Shoaib, AFP

Fri Jan 7, 10:25 am ET

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – A Taliban suicide bomber on Friday assassinated a police commander and killed 16 others at a public bath in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, the deadliest attack in months.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing. Policemen, who are generally less well protected than soldiers in Afghanistan, are common targets in the Taliban’s nine-year insurgency against its Western-backed government.

The marketplace attack underscored the perilous security in parts of the southern province of Kandahar, the Taliban’s spiritual home, despite being the focus of the US-led military strategy to reverse their momentum.