Sunday, October 31, 2010
skippy's music club
down the penrose lane
more @ penrose on politics!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
skippy's saturday nite music club
tpm has some great pics of choice signs found on the mall today
plus this one of uncle sam
more proof right-wingers need spell check (or at least proof-readers)
oddly enough, some media pundits (marc cooper) thought the comedy show was political-content free. imagine that.
how big was the rally? take the source w/a grain of salt, but mtv sez 250,000, viacom sez 200,000.
even an editor for the atlantic, who was there, sez it was bigger than beck.
rally 'round the comics, boys
the city's infrastructure appeared to have a hard time coping with the influx. green and yellow line metrorail trains were so packed as to be unboardable, and many rally-goers chose to walk to the mall. some attendees chose a more unusual mode of transportation: a 70-foot-long, 30-foot-tall copper-colored dragon on wheels. the vehicle, favored by anti-nuclear-weapon activists from the counterculture festival burning man, echoed down irving street. along 14th street nw, people held signs reading, "free the gays," "the sky is falling" and "i am holding a sign." scores of people dressed in wigs and costumes. one man dressed as abe lincoln. another as a tea party activist (tea bags dangled from his hat's brim).
jill of brilliant at breakfast gives us her thoughts:
if journalism hadn't completely blown its credibility on stories like whitewater and gary condit and shark attacks, while carrying the bush junta's water on iraq, a bunch of people in bathrobes making use of this new technology called the internet couldn't have replaced the increasing triviality and utter horseshit dished up by so-called news outlets.
and of course, the right wing heads are a'splodin'
Friday, October 29, 2010
skippy's friday nite music club
Just Out of Curiosity...
what can brown explode for you; or, when you absolutely, positively need to blow it up overnight
the two packages were intercepted at different locations, one on a ups plane at the east midlands airport near nottingham, england, and the other at a fedex facility in dubai. officials provided no detail on the kind of explosives found.
"the size and shape of the printed circuit board are typical to a handset cell-phone-type device," said olivier clerc, the head of application engineering for a wireless phone parts manufacturer, who provided an analysis of the circuit board shown in a photograph obtained by cnn.
a similar package was discovered in dubai, in the united arab emirates, the law enforcement source said. sources in the uae described the package as an explosive device with "sophisticated" wiring. it is believed to be a printer, the sources said. the uae general authority of civil aviation issued a statement saying the package was to be shipped on a fedex cargo plane.
both packages were bound for the united states, "specifically two places of jewish worship in chicago," obama said.
"initial examination of those packages has determined they do apparently contain explosive material," he said...
a u.s. official said it is likely that the material used was petn -- a highly explosive organic compound belonging to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin -- but said testing is ongoing to reach a definitive conclusion.
also, the right wing is having an orgasm.
starring anthony perkins as glenn beck
kibbles n' bits
if you're in dc for tomorrow's rally to restore sanity, here's a list of some after parties
a nebraska man waterboards his girlfriend out of jealousy
and sarah palin's facebook page is pwned!
scorecards here, get your scorecard, you can't tell your vandals from your murders w/o a right wing violence scorecard!
big polluters spend big money to convince us to let them keep polluting
gottalaff brings us the "don't stomp on me" t-shirt
are we sure it wasn't christine o'donnell? relatives of man arrested for threatening dem senator say he was "under spell that glenn beck cast."
The Hallowe'en Movie to See
(via Smart Bitches) Sadly, I can't find the Carol Burnett version, which was even scarier, since it kept Ms. Poppins in character.
mad about republican supporters
tweet of the day
Thursday, October 28, 2010
skippy's music club
forward into the past
no, we're not talking about star trek ii, iii and iv (the wrath of kahn, the search for spock, and the voyage home, respectively), three really great films which involve a contiguous time line for three different, yet compelling, adventures.
we are instead thinking about the great back to the future franchise. the 25th anniversary of bttf is this year, and universal has released a special blu-ray disc box set of the movies to celebrate.
of course, several cable channels are re-running all three films to acknowledge the watershed mark of this ingenious story. and you can't peruse any sci-fi blogs without running across an essay about marty, doc, biff and jennifer jason leigh.
one of the most amusing, however, is found on gawker, where kristina lucarelli muses about 14 things that back to the future part 2 got right about living in the 21st century (and 5 that haven't).
kristina points out that when marty mcfly travels from 1985 to see his future self in 2015, steven spielberg and bob zemeckis correctly predicted such culture and scientific phenomenae as flat screen tvs, handheld electronic computer devices, obsession w/3d sequels, video conferencing and self-lacing sneakers. she also mentions that real flying cars and real hoverboards are actually in the works as you read this.
one of our favorite future faux-pas, however, is also mentioned: everybody faxes everything all the time. as soon as the 1990's rolled around w/the internet, we found this prediction of bttf ii to be quaint. also, unfortunately, the prospect of queen diana of england was sadly never realized, but who could blame zemeckis for getting that one wrong?
but hey, it's still a rousing great film, and the trilogy is one of the funniest every made. skippy had the pleasure of seeing all three back-to-back-to-back at the los angeles premiere of bttf iii at the (now defunct) cinerama dome.
is skippy getting smarter?
in our clever, snarky way, we recently mentioned that ratings for both fox news and nascar were down double digits, and we labeled the post "is america getting smarter?"
several of our readers and friends pointed out that it was a false equivalency. personally, we just thought it was a joke, but our critics were absolutely correct, there is no reason or justification for assuming that nascar fans are a priori fox news watchers and visa versa.
we apologize for assuming, because when we assume, we make an ass out of us. or something.
so sean, kulkuri and jack k, you are absolutely right. (they also presented some cogent theories on why espn lost viewers for nascar.)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
one more, for old time's sake...
is america getting smarter?
ratings for the first four chase races in 2010 were down 27 percent compared with last year. the decline is enough of a concern that top espn and nascar executives met in charlotte last weekend to come up with ways to reverse the trend.
it's a drop-off that has caught network and property executives off guard, and it has led them to analyze viewership patterns to pinpoint reasons for the decline.
as of last week, no one had a clear answer.
"the simple fact is that people just are not tuning in," said julie sobieski, espn's vice president of programming and acquisitions. "we're looking at everything to find out why." - nascar.com
is obama shifting on marriage equality?
birther alan keyes ordered to pay court costs of all defendants (including the prez)
rand paul changed his mind; he will keep the campaign donation from the guy who stomped the moveon.org member earlier this week
odds n' ends
john boehner is sceduled to campaign w/nazi-re-enactor rich iott
kentucky police consider more arrests in rand paul stomping incident; meanwhile, the original stomper wants an apology from the stompee
104 repubbbs in congress want to privatize social security
and remember to watch obama on the daily show tonite! (hey, jon, where do you turn to when you want hard-hitting news?)
mad about the alphabet in politics!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
skippy's tuesday nite music club
tweet of the day
how could paul watch that video and not say to the police "hey, you might want to check out this profitt guy"?
if we only had a working news media, this would be a great question to demand that rand paul answer.
great moments in political advertising
don't tread on me...but let me tread on you
greg sargent reports that the stomper has been identified as rand paul bourbon county coordinator tim profitt. the lexington police have released this statement:
tim profitt w/rand paul, in happier times
the moveon member, lauren valle, was hospitalized briefly, and released with diagnosis of a concussion and sprained arm.
lauren also expressed the view that the attack was premeditated.
here's more, different footage of the incident (including rand paul getting out of his car going to the debate)
meanwhile, barefoot and progressive points out that a full-page ad supporting rand paul in the herald leader contains (among others) the endorsement of tim profitt, the man identified as the stomper.
those darn teabaggers! w/joe miller's "security squad" unlawfully detaining a reporter (w/handcuffs!), and christine o'donnell's staff pushing a reporter down into a chair, it's becoming more clear just exactly what the baggers stand for (and what color their shirts are)!
(thx and a tip o'the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the majority of the links!)
oooh, that's scary, keeds!
to come where no man has come before
michelle malkin's accusations of massiv voter fraud in arizona turn out to be...wait for it...baseless
meg whitman endorses jerry brown
let the right-wing heads a'sploding begin: univsion beats nbc, fox, in 18-54 demo
true colors: rand paul supporters curb-stomp moveon.org rep @ kentucky debate:
don't ask, don't tell, or else the meeting is off
the email notes that the meeting has been moved from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then warns participants to stick strictly to a discussion about legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and to steer clear of any mention of the current courts cases now being litigated.
“obviously this meeting has gotten out. we are expecting the content of the conversation today to be off the record and to help us figure out how to move forward with the lame duck session.
also as previously mentioned, there can be no discussion of current court cases or legal strategy or counsel’s office will end the meeting. the focus is repeal and the lame duck session. this is also a non-partisan meeting where we want everyone’s help.”
Monday, October 25, 2010
skippy's monday nite music club
less cowbell: southeastern conference to penalize mississippi state for noise violations at games
ousted repubbb fesses up: gop using racism to tar obama
"mean" jean schmidt talks about abortion to first graders
top european polluters are funding the tea party
fox news viewship plunges 21%
and that's the way it is: rachel maddow awarded the walter chronkite faith & freedom award
monday morning catch up
colorado senate race is all tied up
mike pence promises "no compromise" if the gop wins
joe miller keeps another reporter from entering one of his events
just a reminder, extending the bush tax cuts would cost $767 million a day for 10 years
california: boxer ahead of fiorina 50% to 42%, brown crushing whitman 52% to 39%
the economist: how obama's excessive caution has hurt him on dadt
tea party ranks still rank w/racism
three repubbbs spend almost a quarter of a billion dollars on their campaigns
Sunday, October 24, 2010
skippy's sunday nite music club
just a little thought
environmental news stories sunday
new jellyfish tells tale of global warming. - a new species of jellyfish found off israel’s coast the summer poses no threat to bathers but should serve warning to the countries bordering the mediterranean sea about the dangers posed by global warming and damage to the environment - media line
can the military go green with jet fuel? the f-15 eagle is the latest jet fighter to receive the alternative fuels treatment, flying october 22 on a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel and an alternative—in this case made from specially processed animal fat: beef tallow bio-jet fuel - scientific american
food safety: from mexican farm, to costco, to your plate. - american concerns about food safety in imports have created a whole new ethic among mexican farmers eager to sell in the us - christian science monitor
cholera outbreak in quake-hit haiti claims 200 lives with 2,000 more ill... and it will get worse. - the first cases of cholera have been detected in haiti's capital, port-au-prince, and the epidemic spreading in the region will get worse, according to health experts - london daily mail
water champion. - maude barlow, longtime chairwoman of the council of canadians, is a hero to the left, a tireless campaigner for social justice, environmental causes and globalization issues - edmonton journal
cruise ships cutting fumes. - black smoke trails from the carnival fantasy as the crew fires its diesels to set out of charleston harbor. the smoke and its stink are a focus of neighborhood and environmentalist concerns about pollution from cruise ships - charleston post and courier
apple snails are slowly creeping our way. - dumping specimens from an aquarium, whether it's the apple snail or the northern snakehead, is a reckless act that can have serious consequences - nola picayune
ensure what you buy doesn't harm the lives of others. - british retailers are increasingly aware of the hidden costs of cruel and unsustainable practices in food and clothing industries. conscientious shoppers have driven those changes. the same pressure must be applied to wood and paper products - london guardian
jane goodall on hope, inspiration and oilsands. - we have to find answers to three problems that seem insoluble. one is the sheer growth of human populations. two is crippling poverty where people destroy the environment and cut down trees to grow a bit more food. and thirdly, our unsustainable lifestyle. all of us in this room have more than we need - calgary herald
cop10: a meet to save life on earth? - the next time someone asks you what biodiversity is, try this: "it's about your life, life on this planet, and about what we're doing to this planet with our eyes open." - japan times
conservationist warns next big extinction will be man's fault. - richard leakey, one of the world's most famous paleoanthropologists and a conservationist, will speak in houston on thursday at the progressive forum, to discuss the possibility that human proliferation will cause the next great extinction - houston chronicle
severe drought afflicts brazilian amazon. - the brazilian government has announced $13.5m in emergency aid for amazon regions hit by the worst drought in decades. environmental groups say severe droughts are likely to become more frequent in the amazon as a result of global warming, putting further strain on the rainforest - bbc
what’s eating lake erie? - by surface area, the great lakes comprise the largest body of fresh water in the world. but for the past few years a green toxic algae has been blooming in one of the great lakes - lake erie. scientists now say it's just one of a number of toxic algae threatening the lake - living on earth
altered shoreline raises future risk. - a sea wall to hold back the rising waters of puget sound could be the next major alteration in the long history of olympia’s changing downtown shoreline. - olympia olympian
call for scotland to ditch its 'addiction' to oil and coal. - jonathon porritt, a former high-level government adviser and a star of the environment world, has condemned the scottish government for backing new oil and coal developments which will produce huge amounts of climate pollution - glasgow herald
fears for nuclear safety on clyde as mod emergency centre faces closure. - fears are growing for the future of a nuclear emergency co-ordination centre in scotland that helps deal with the aftermath of submarine accidents such as that off the isle of skye on friday. - glasgow herald
'overpopulation of tehran will cause ecological ruin.' - tehran’s population is several times higher than its ecological capacity, resulting in ailments to residents from pollution, an environmental consultant warned. tehran has an ecological capacity for three million residents but now about ten million people are living in the metropolis, he warned - tehran times
syncrude to pay $3m in penalties for dead ducks. - syncrude canada will have to pay a total of $3 million in penalties for causing the deaths of 1,600 ducks in a tailings pond at its northern alberta oilsands mine - canadian press
cost of drinking water going up. - central 0hio residents will pay more for their cities to remove pollutants from their drinking water. new health standards from the u.s. environmental protection agency that take effect in 2012 and 2013 call for tighter limits on two types of water contaminants that build up in water mains and pipes - columbus dispatch
odds n' ends
the 'u.s.' chamber of commerce is fueld by foreign oil
kevin drum shows us that california business's corporate tax has decreased by almost 50% in the last two & a half decades
latest latimes/usc poll shows jerry brown leading meg whitman by double digits; boxer over fiorina by 8
and gawker uncovers the vast left-wing conspiracy to disenfranchise world wide wrestling fans
Saturday, October 23, 2010
skippy's saturday nite music club
tweet of the day
juan williams/1986: "common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who's a danger to me"
this 'n that
one socarolina paper thinks the question of nikki haley's supposed affair is a big deal
here's the 51 funniest job listings on craig's list
from the dept. of well, duh! sarah palin has no idea what's coming her way
the christian scimonitor sez abe lincoln wouldn't fit into today's gop
from the pot calling the kettle black dept: fox news accuses npr of bias
one of clarence thomas' former lovers speaks out
matt taibbi has a new book out
take a peek.
Friday, October 22, 2010
skippy's friday nite music club
quote of the day
(tip o' the kangaroo tail to bad tux)
the courage campaign
quote of the day
and they wonder why the u.s. is hated
what have we become? why are we turning a blind eye to the horrifying reality?
a grim picture of the us and britain's legacy in iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of american military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
almost 400,000 secret us army field reports have been passed to the guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website wikileaks.....the new logs detail how:
• us authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• a us helicopter gunship involved in a notorious baghdad incident had previously killed iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
• more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. us and uk officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities. - the guardian
shark attack on the central coast
based on the initial investigation, lucas mckaine ransom (dob 12/05/90) of romoland, ca was boogie boarding on the break line about 100 yards off the beach with his friend when a shark suddenly pulled ransom under the water. ransom suffered a massive wound to his left leg and appeared to die shortly thereafter. - edhat
horrifying end to a bright life just beginning. our condolences to lucas' friends and family.
stuff n' nonsense
let's review clarence thomas' ethics record, and it's not a pretty sight
who's afraid of progressive power?
the flags of many nations made out of the foods of many nations
repubbb house candidate calls for violent revolution if gop loses
repubbblicans love that failed stimulus
fired npr analyst juan williams had on-record history of sexual harrassment
Thursday, October 21, 2010
sure the gop doesn't want regulations on their business, but one christian activist is calling for regulation of homosexuals
is it hot in here, or are we crazy? no, it's hot in here, if by "here," we mean the arctic circle
and boy, who would have ever guessed that we'd see the day where galifianakis has more pull in hollywood zack than mel gibson?
don't ask, don't act like a hypocrite
ted thinks the obama admin. doesn't have to appeal the injunction against don't ask, don't tell:
"it happens every once in awhile at the federal level when the solicitor general, on behalf of the u.s., will confess error or decline to defend a law," said former george w. bush administration solicitor general ted olson, who is leading the legal challenge of california's ban on same-sex marriage. gov. arnold schwarzenegger and the state attorney general have both declined to defend the law in court.
"i don't know what is going through the [obama] administration's thought process on 'don't ask, don't tell,'" olson said. "it would be appropriate for them to say 'the law has been deemed unconstitutional, we are not going to seek further review of that.'"
[district court judge virginia] phillips' ruling in "don't ask, don't tell" follows a decision by federal district judge joseph tauro who separately ruled this year that the defense of marriage act "plainly encroaches" on the right of the state to determine marriage." the administration has also appealed the decision in that case.
"they are not obligated to defend," said belkin of the cases. "they already defended and failed."
this 'n that
from the dept. of well, duh! the gop blocks a bill to curb outsourcing
michele bachman voted against healthcare for the 9/11 workers
and former gop natl chairman frank fahrenkopf has endorsed harry reid
and the other thing
fox news ratings down double digits
too bad she's not a witch, maybe some magic could help christine o'donnell to be able to name a single sitting democratic senator
and we agree w/open left, this new jerry brown ad is brilliant!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
we are so pooched
a mineral not only essential to farming, but also to life on earth is running out, and scientists currently are at a loss as to what to do about it.
the mineral is phosphorus, which, as the london times reported two years ago, is being “mined, used and wasted as never before.”
to say that phosphorus is critical both to farming and life in general is no understatement. phosphorus serves a critical metabolic function in plants and animals, helping organisms store and use energy for growth and reproduction. without it, food production would be impossible.
phosphorus is equally as critical to humans, aiding both our metabolism, respiration and building strong bones.
“plants take it up, we ingest the plants or we ingest animals that ingest other plants,” says charles mitchell, an alabama cooperative extension system agronomist and auburn university professor of agronomy and soils who has followed the growing crisis for several years.
how serious is the phosphorus shortfall?
“there are estimates we have as little as 50 years left in the current phosphate mines,” says mitchell. - western farm press
adios juan williams
npr has terminated its contract with juan williams, one of its senior news analysts, after he made comments about muslims on the fox news channel. - nytimes
various and sundry
repubbb candidate for wisconsin gov, scott walker, gets admonished for malfeasance as executive overseeing the county's mental health hospital in a letter from a employee therapist under his "leadership"
more on the koch bros. funding the right wing movement
thanx & a tip o'the kangaroo tail to susie madrak for this story about the circus owner who gave his wallabies ecstasy (not funny, one died! poor baby!)
and rip happy days dad tom bosley
great moments in fact checking
(see the original ad here)
let's not vote on the 800 lb. gorilla in the room
“it’s very easy in the course of a campaign to run against deficit spending as this abstract monster, but when you are actually in power, you have to propose actual policies and follow through on them and that’s something they are much less willing to do,” said john irons, an economist at the economic policy institute, a liberal-leaning washington research group.
“everyone is saying there’s hard choices, there are tough decisions to be made, but not one is actually telling the voters how they would make those tradeoffs,” mr. irons said. “no one is saying, ‘here’s what i would cut.’ the boehner plan is clearly in that vein.” - nytimes
which witch is which?
elvira's not a witch
new foreclosure rule from ny courts
'sluts r people, too' ad in vegas causes a stir
10 reasons why not to tax the rich, and why they're all bad (the reasons, not the rich, altho...)
and does christine o'donnell know how to spell? her own name???
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
skippy's tuesday nite music club
the joe "arrest the press" miller fiasco gets murkier: two of his "security guards" are active duty military, acting against regulations
sure, the chattering classes clutched their pearls and got the vapors over senate candidate jack conway's "aqua buddha" ad denigrating opponent rand paul, but strangely enough, it's working
and don't count russ feingold out just yet, either
if you're in ny this weekend, why not join in the march against hate (and against fox)?
and here's stephen colbert walking off of the set of "the view"
tea for toomey
toomey's support has remained stagnant over the last 2 months while sleestak's has gone up 10 points from 36% to 46%.
there's joy in sleestak's camp today!
sleestak and supporters
suddenly the gop isn't listening to our vets
we understand that organizations may have "a reasonable accounting method" to separate funds into their general operations budget. however, the prohibition on foreign nationals indirectly contributing to u.s. elections should require additional scrutiny in the case of organizations such as the u.s. chamber of commerce, where even segregated funds within their general operating budget could be said to indirectly finance their campaign work, given the volume of such activity as a percentage of their overall expenditures. [...]
given the unseemly amounts of funds being poured into campaigns, we ask that you move expeditiously to require full disclosure of the funding sources of the u.s. chamer of commerce. their actions present a clear and present danger to our democracy by shielding the electorate from the identities of foreign influences that are lurking behind the u.s. chamber of commerce's massive campaign spending.
"our military veterans, who served to protect the constitution of the united states, are concerned that foreign money could be used to influence our policies and buy seats in the house and senate," said lorin walker, vetpac vice president and treasurer. "the chamber's actions compromise the very rights for which our military men and women put their lives on the line.
mad about slaps
gop family values: repubbb legislator who crusaded against college sex ed owns sex toy company
whoops! did joe miller's private security company let their license expire?
Monday, October 18, 2010
skippy's monday night music
don't ask, don't appeal
phillips, who ruled dadt unconstitutional in september, wasted no time in rejecting the government's position that ending the policy immediately would be an undue burden on the military, calling the arguments "vague" and "insufficient."
assistant u.s attorney paul freeborne asked the court for a five-day administrative stay so the government can pursue an appeal of phillips's injunction with the u.s. court of appeals for the ninth circuit. he argued that a "precipitous implementation" of an injunction against the 17-year-old policy will have a significant negative impact on military readiness.
but phillips said there were "significant failings" in the evidence submitted by the justice department after she issued the injunction last week. though the government declined to enter any of the evidence it had submitted in fighting the log cabin republicans' suit against "don't ask, don't tell" in court last july — instead relying solely on the legislative history of the statute — justice department attorneys submitted a declaration to the court last week from a top pentagon personnel official who warned against any abrupt change in the policy.
arrest them all and let joe miller sort 'em out
local virginia gop chair david bartholomew sent around a pretty racist email joke, which basically is "my dog is black, lazy and don't know who his daddy is, so he's getting welfare." funny, huh? apparently gop house candidate scott rigell didn't think so and is now calling for bartholomew's resignation
can't get to dc for the stewart/colbert rally? find a local one
and oh, the future of 1950, as seen from 1925!
no cracker jokes, please
superior court judge geronda v. carter said the opening statements could begin as early as tuesday.
west is charged with beating and kicking tashawnea hill as she walked out of the morrow restaurant on sept. 9, 2009. hill's 7-year-old daughter watched as west assaulted her mother while yelling racial slurs, police said…
if convicted, west could face a decade in prison. at one point monday morning, west was escorted from the courtroom to another part of the courthouse under heavy police protection.
the attack occurred as hill and her daughter were leaving the restaurant and west was walking inside. hill told west to be careful after the door almost hit her child, police said.
west became enraged and then attacked the woman, morrow police capt. james callaway said.
does the foster care system bully gay kids?
speaking of joe "arrest the press" miller, apparently the fairbanks mayor (at the time) was about to fire miller over miller's use of borough computers for personal campaigning
and we agree w/kevin, let's not bother reading any news item that begins with these words
skippy looks at books: the monster
michael hudson has written the monster: how a gang of predatory lenders and wall street bankers fleeced america--and spawned a global crisis (it will be on sale oct. 26...you can pre-order here).
here's an excerpt from the introduction:
glover was new to the mortgage business. he was twenty-nine and hadn't held a steady job in years. but he wasn't stupid. he knew about financial sleight of hand—at that time, he had a check-fraud charge hanging over his head in the l.a. courthouse a few blocks away. watching his coworker, glover's first thought was: how can i get away with that? as a loan officer at ameriquest, glover worked on commission. he knew the only way to earn the six-figure income ameriquest had promised him was to come up with tricks for pushing deals through the mortgage-financing pipeline that began with ameriquest and extended through wall street's most respected investment houses.
the wayward behavior didn't stop with drugs. glover learned that his colleague's art work wasn't a matter of saving a borrower the hassle of coming in to supply a missed signature. the guy was forging borrowers' signatures on government-required disclosure forms, the ones that were supposed to help consumers understand how much cash they'd be getting out of the loan and how much they'd be paying in interest and fees. ameriquest's deals were so overpriced and loaded with nasty surprises that getting customers to sign often required an elaborate web of psychological ploys, outright lies, and falsified papers. "every closing that we had really was a bait and switch," a loan officer who worked for ameriquest in tampa, florida, recalled. " 'cause you could never get them to the table if you were honest." at companywide gatherings, ameriquest's managers and sales reps loosened up with free alcohol and swapped tips for fooling borrowers and cooking up phony paperwork. what if a customer insisted he wanted a fixed-rate loan, but you could make more money by selling him an adjustable-rate one? no problem. many ameriquest salespeople learned to position a few fixed-rate loan documents at the top of the stack of paperwork to be signed by the borrower. they buried the real documents—the ones indicating the loan had an adjustable rate that would rocket upward in two or three years—near the bottom of the pile. then, after the borrower had flipped from signature line to signature line, scribbling his consent across the entire stack, and gone home, it was easy enough to peel the fixed-rate documents off the top and throw them in the trash.
at the downtown l.a. branch, some of glover's coworkers had a flair for creative documentation. they used scissors, tape, wite-out, and a photocopier to fabricate w-2s, the tax forms that indicate how much a wage earner makes each year. it was easy: paste the name of a low-earning borrower onto a w-2 belonging to a higher-earning borrower and, like magic, a bad loan prospect suddenly looked much better. workers in the branch equipped the office's break room with all the tools they needed to manufacture and manipulate official documents. they dubbed it the "art department."
also of interest is a huffpost piece hudson wrote: boiler rooms and foreclosure mills: a brief history of america's mortgage industry
a former employee with one of the nation's largest lenders testifies that he signed off on 400 foreclosure documents a day without reading them or verifying the information in them was correct.
ex-employees of a law firm that serves as a "foreclosure mill" for major lenders describe a workplace where speed -- not accuracy or justice -- trumps all. "somebody would get a 76-day foreclosure," one recalled, "and then someone else would say, 'oh, i can beat that!'"
shocking stuff. but surprising? not for anyone who's been tracking the recent history of the mortgage machine. just about every corner of america's mortgage industry has been blemished by significant levels of fraud over the past decade.
the monster will also be available as an ebook.
apparently joe miller wants to repeal the first amendment, too
according to hopfinger, miller’s security team pushed him and he pushed back because he felt his personal space was being invaded. he says guards detained him and accused him of trespassing, although the town hall was a public event held at a public building.
miller security guard william fulton said in a statement sunday that he was responding to hopfinger’s actions.
“the dispatch reporter repeatedly pushed a camera into the face of mr. miller,” fulton said. “he continued to aggressively pursue him. i told the reporter several times that he needed to stop and that he was trespassing, he ignored me. he then proceeded to stalk mr. miller and even shoved an individual into a locker. based upon this trespass and his assault, we detained him and escorted him from the premises.”…
hopfinger says he waited for about half an hour in handcuffs for police to show up. no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.
but it probably goes beyond that. probably to the lawsuit hopfinger and others in the alaskan press have filed:
the anchorage daily news filed papers in fairbanks superior court friday to join a lawsuit filed by the fairbanks daily news-miner last week. the alaska dispatch has filed a separate suit asking for miller's employment records.
the news organizations are interested in documents that contain the details of miller’s departure or allegations of misuse of borough property.
miller called the request a violation of his privacy. but the alaska dispatch’s attorney says that the requests relate to miller's performance as a government employee, not his private life.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
skippy's sunday nite music club
environmental news story sunday
the colorado river runs dry. - dams, irrigation and now climate change have drastically reduced the once-mighty river. is it a sign of things to come? the river has been running especially low for the past decade, as drought has gripped the southwest. could climate change reduce the flow another 20%? - smithsonian magazine
amazon drought emergency widens. - brazil has adopted emergency measures to deal with one of the amazon region's worst droughts in decades. a state of emergency has been declared in 25 towns as key waterways and rivers are left completely parched, the amazonas state government said on saturday - al jazeera
asia facing worsening water crisis: adb. - asia is facing a worsening water crisis that threatens to curtail food production while taking an increasingly heavy toll on the region's economies, the asian development bank said tuesday - afp
poison in the water. - bowen in north queensland is still in shock over the destruction of millions of dollars worth of contaminated tomatoes. a single criminal act has raised concerns about food security and higher prices for consumers - australia abc
epa faulted for not disclosing coal ash's recycling risks. - the environmental protection agency's inspector general reported this week that the epa had improperly used an official website to promote ways of recycling the waste that's left over when power plants burn coal, commonly known as coal ash - mcclatchy
synthetic chemicals pose growing threat to global water supply. - synthetic chemicals that damage the human reproductive system are creeping into the world's water supply. scientists say the chemicals, once waterborne, can quickly spread throughout the globe - deutsche welle
big oil u. - it's no secret that big oil wields a lot of power in washington. but oil giants are also spending big on campus, too—to the tune of $880 million. in the past decade, oil companies gave millions to support energy research at ten of the top american universities—producing "potentially compromised" research, the center for american progress argues - mother jones
canada declares bpa toxic. is the us next? - bisphenol-a has become a litmus test for how people view environmental health and the risks of common household chemicals. canada has already banned bpa in baby bottles, and this new listing will likely bring an end to food-related uses for bpa, in bottles and possibly cans as well - time magazine
digital publishing not only saves trees – it impacts a whole chain of unsustainable practices. - 30 million trees are cut down annually for virgin paper used for the production of books sold in the u.s. alone - toronto sun
strong constitution, weak tea
the list goes on. most tea partiers claim that the 10th amendment, which says “the powers not delegated” to the federal government are “reserved to the states,” is proof that the framers would’ve balked at today’s bureaucracy. what they don’t mention is that james madison refused a motion to add the word “expressly” before “delegated” because “there must necessarily be admitted powers by implication.” in last week’s delaware senate debate, o’donnell was asked to name a recent supreme court case she disagreed with. “oh, gosh,” she stammered, unable to cite a single piece of evidence to support her constitution in exile talking points. “i know that there are a lot, but, uh, i’ll put it up on my web site, i promise you.” angle has said that “government isn’t what our founding fathers put into the constitution”—even though establishing a federal government with the “power to lay and collect taxes” to “provide for the common defence and general welfare” is one of the main reasons the founders created a constitution to replace the weak, decentralized articles of confederation. in 2008 palin told katie couric that the constitution does, in fact, guarantee “an inherent right to privacy,” à la roe v. wade, but added that “individual states…can handle an issue like that.” unfortunately, palin’s hypothesis would only be viable in a world without the fourteenth amendment, which gave washington sole responsibility for safeguarding all constitutional rights. then there are the proposed amendments. in the current congress, conservatives like michele bachmann have suggested more than 40 additions to the constitution: a flag-desecration amendment; a balanced-budget amendment; a “parental rights” amendment; a supermajority-to-raise-taxes amendment; anti-abortion amendment; an anti-gay-marriage amendment; and so on. none of these revisions has anything to do with the document’s original meaning.