Saturday, March 26, 2011

$16.4 Million Cable Bill?

   That is a lot of pay-per-view and/or on-demand movies.

Daniel DeVirgilio went to pay his cable bill at Time Warner and the payment was rejected because the company had calculated that his past due amount was some $16 million.

   Of course, Time-Warner made the usual apology and said that the issue would be resolved.

    This outrageous bill is not the worse billing mistake to happen. There have been much higher billing mishaps in the past, though not by Time-Warner.

While the dollar amount of DeVirgilio's billing ordeal makes it among the more egregious in recent memory, the kings of all billing mishaps have to be  a Texas man and a New Hampshire man in who received quadrillion-dollar credit card bills in 2009. The former, Jon Seale, received notice that he owed a 17-figure sum that totaled almost 2,000 times the national debt: 23 quadrillion, 148 trillion, 855 billion, 308 million, 184 thousand and 500 dollars. The other, Josh Muszynski, was charged 23 quadrillion after buying a pack of cigarettes at a gas station.     Yahoo News

    I’m on the way out the door to go do so boating on this nice 83 degree day here in the state of stupidity so there will not be much posting done by me. Have a good day everyone!

This Is YOUR American Taliban

Another Walker Confidant Busted

by Leftwing Noise Machine        Fri Mar 25, 2011

Proving once again that the only way the Tea Party knows how to help people is to commit assault, another political confidant of Wisconsin Governor Scott “Pinkerton” Walker suggested bodily injury as the best way to defeat public employee unions (the other one was Walker himself, but he only “considered” the idea, wistfully). 

This time it was Carlos Lam, a deputy prosecutor from nearby Tea Party Occupied Indiana, whose notion of law and order includes faking an attack on Walker to win the hearts and minds of cheeseheads.

In an email discovered by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Center Journalism following an open records request, Lam advised Walker to stage a “false flag operation” ( jargon that apparently Cam got from watching too many episodes of "Burn Notice"), which involved hiring a goon to attack Walker, blaming the attack on unions, and thus gaining sympathy to the ogre-like governor.

Machiavelli Cam is not.

In his own inimitable words, Cam theorized the following (no doubt while rubbing his hands together and laughing sinisterly):

"If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions….Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic….Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam."

You have to love the “God bless”. 

Cam resigned, and Nixonlike, Walker denied any knowledge of this plumbers-op conspiracy.  But at this point nobody believes a word he says.  God bless him. 

Weirdly, Lam is the second Indiana Tea Party prosecutor to lose his job suggesting that somebody assault somebody as the Zen of politics.  The other was Jeff Cox, who longingly wondered whether the best way to defeat Wisonsin's uppity workers might involve the judicious use of "live ammunition" against them.

God bless the Tea Party.

Full story here:

                         Original Post

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday Satire

   Well hell, it has been another one of those dumb/stupid weeks as far as politics go. Not the mention the hypocrisy of the GOP when it came to President Obama deciding to help the citizens of Libya by providing them with a little air support. Where were the out-cries when Bush invaded Iraq without congressional approval. The GOP American Taliban should be bitch-slapped and so should their Democrat members who are crying.

  Time for a little humor.

Jay Leno:

"It's one humiliation after another for Moammar Gadhafi. First his own people started rising up against him, then his compound was bombed, and now he's getting beaten up by the French."

"The Pentagon says that U.S. operations in Libya are limited and have a definite end date. I don't believe that. We still have troops in Germany."

"Sarah Palin visited Israel. As if the Jews have not suffered enough."

"Germany has pulled its forces out of NATO over Libya. When the Germans don't want to fight and the French do, the whole world is upside down."

"Obama said we will send economic aid to Libya to help the Libyan people reach their dreams. And if that works, they’ll try it here."

"We're fighting three wars now. Imagine how many we'd be fighting if President Obama hadn't won the Nobel Peace Prize."

Conan O'Brien :

"According to reports, Khadafy is surrounded by an elite corps of female bodyguards, all of whom are virgins. In a related story, today Charlie Sheen invaded Libya."

"On a trip to Israel, Sarah Palin asked the Israelis why they're apologizing all the time. They responded saying, 'Because we told everyone Tina Fey was coming.'"

Jimmy Fallon:

"A man in Texas used his obituary to ask for donations to anyone running against Obama in 2012. And then his ghost was offered a nightly show on Fox News."

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Cagle Cartoons

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

American Taliban Governor Rick Scott…

   ….has announced a new policy which will be drug testing for new applicants seeking employment in state agencies controlled by the governor’s office. There will also be random testing of those currently employed.

    A similar rule was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge back in 2004, but Scott mouthpiece Brian Hughes  says that lawyers have told Scott that he has legal ground to do this.

   Scott also wants recipients of unemployment and welfare to be drug-tested, which a Senate committee has moved forward in bill form.      Source

     Let me get this straight. Governor Scott cuts back on education funding, destroys jobs that would have been provided by the light-rail system that he killed off, and this piece of shit wants to now spend money on testing out of work citizens applying for unemployment and/or welfare benefits? Wonder how much that is going to cost the less fortunate in Florida because it sure as hell will not be the richer residents or the business community, neither of which pay much in taxes, if anything.

   By the way. I do favor drug testing new hires before giving them jobs with the state. Maybe Scott should add alcohol testing as it seems to be even more of a problem than dope does.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuberculosis Strain Will Infect 2 Million…

  ….people between 2011 and 2015 according to World Health Organization TB expert Mario Raviglione who also says that hundreds of thousands from around the planet will die from what is called a multi-drug resistant form of the illness unless  more of an effort is made to come up with some way to contain  this MDR-TB. Source

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glenn Beck Rumor..

... going around on Wednesday that American Taliban recruiter/cheerleader/racist pig Glenn Beck may be wanting to start his own cable network if he leaves ( gets canned ) the Fox News Channel at the end of his contract, which is at the end of 2011.

Beck's contract with Fox News is up in December, and both sides are, as an earlier Times report put it, "contemplating life without" each other. The New York Times reports that Beck has been thinking about starting his own channel for over a year.
Okay, as is usual when blogging through Blogger's website, the links to this story aren't visible, so just copy and paste in your browser, the following

Those Tax Cuts For Business: Highest Profit Margins, No Jobs

   At is nice to know that corporate America had its highest profit margins in 18 years which will bring about bigger dividends for the shareholders, but, where are all of those jobs that the Republicans keep promising that those tax cuts will bring?. Overseas, where else?

  Here's a snapshot of just how bad business has it in America.

Margins will climb to 8.9 percent in 2011, the highest level in at least 18 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on non-financial companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index through March 11. Greater profitability combined with dividend cuts during the credit crisis have pushed earnings to 6.53 percent of the gauge’s price, or 3.5 times more than its payout rate, close to the record 3.6 multiple in January.

A total of 95 companies led by Aetna Inc. (AET) and Carnival Corp. have raised dividends as the fastest economic expansion in six years and five straight quarters of earnings growth increased confidence among chief executive officers. Of the 380 that pay dividends, 378 are forecast to maintain or increase them, according to data compiled by Bloomberg using options prices, profits, management statements and peer comparisons.

  Things are going so well for the business climate that many corporations are even buying back their own shares of stock after a decline in the past few years.

Analysts say S&P 500 profits will rise 16 percent this year and surpass $100 a share for the first time in 2012, helping persuade executives at companies from CBS Corp. (CBS) to Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to boost payouts. U.S. companies increased stock buybacks in 2010, making it the fifth-biggest year for share repurchases since at least 1985, according to Birinyi Associates Inc. With $76 billion announced, February was the best month for buybacks since December 2007.

Read more..

Elizabeth Taylor Dies At Age 79


LOS ANGELES - Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen life was often upstaged by her stormy personal life, died Wednesday at age 79.She died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks, publicist Sally Morrison said.

Republican Governors Not So Well Liked

   Just browsing the net and came across this bit about  Michigan Governor  Rick Snyder and his most rapid fall from grace among the states voters.

   Over the last few weeks we've found that voters in Ohio and Wisconsin have quickly soured on their new Republican Governors, John Kasich and Scott Walker respectively. But Michigan's Rick Snyder wasn't like Kasich and Walker. He campaigned as a moderate and won by 18 points in a state bluer than either Ohio or Wisconsin while his counterparts were just squeaking by in their races. You would think that even if Snyder's popularity has fallen after two months in office it hasn't fallen as far as Kasich and Walker's.
   Think again. Snyder actually now has the worst numbers of this new trio of GOP Governors, with only 33% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. And despite his overwhelming victory last fall voters now say that if they could do it over they'd pick Virg Bernero over Snyder by a 47-45 margin. Snyder's current status is definitely emblematic of the adage that the higher you climb the farther you fall.

  With Michigan being such a blue state, one has to wonder how much booze the Democrat voters drank before they went to the voting booths to pick a Republican Taliban member as their next Governor.  All that they had to do was to look down south towards Florida to see what happens when Dem voters pick Republicans to run a state.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jon Stewart: America’s New War

  Leave it to Jon Stewart to have something funny, yet true, to say about our war in Libya. The video is in 2 parts.

Ronald Reagan: The Myth Is Still A Lie

The Whitewashing of Ronald Reagan

by tmaertens      Sun Mar 20, 2011          Original

A Gallup poll taken in 1992 found that Ronald Reagan was the most unpopular living president apart from Nixon, and ranked even below Jimmy Carter; just 46 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Reagan while Carter was viewed favorably by 63 percent of Americans. 

This was before the Hollywood-style re-write of Reagan’s presidency that created the fictional character portrayed during Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration. The campaign was led by Grover Norquist and his “Ronald Reagan Legacy Project,” along with corporate-funded propaganda mills like Heritage and AEI that underwrote hundreds of flattering books to create a mythic hero and perpetual tax-cutter.  They singled out Reagan’s 1981 tax cut that lowered top marginal rates from 70% to 28% as the basis for the campaign, leaving out the inconvenient reality that he subsequently raised taxes eleven times, according to former Republican Senator Alan Simpson who “was there.”

The plutocrats idolize Reagan because he cut taxes on the wealthy -- on income, capital gains, interest, and dividends -- and increased taxes on working people, including raising the self-employment (SECA) tax rate by 60%.   Mark Hertsgaard (On Bended Knee: the Press and the Reagan Presidency) called it arguably the “single greatest government-led transfer of wealth in history, and in the direction of the top two percent;” the number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third under Reagan. The result is an enduring, entitled class of individuals who believe that work should be taxed, but wealth should not, and probably, like Reagan that ‘The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.’  They control the Republican Party. 

Their revisionist history makes Reagan into a small-government fiscal conservative, but he actually grew the government by 53% (Mises Institute), increasing military expenditures by 27% and creating another new department, Veterans’ Affairs.  He never submitted a balanced budget and ended up tripling the national debt to $3 trillion. His S&L bailout cost 2.4 times more to fix (relative to GDP) than Bush’s financial crisis.  The Washington Post reported in Reagan's last year that "In less than a decade, the world's largest creditor nation has become its leading debtor….”

Did Reagan end the Cold War?  Immediately after the Berlin Wall fell, a USA Today survey found that only 14% of respondents believed that.  Historians mostly credit forty years of “Containment” by eight U.S. presidents.  As Tony Judt’s Postwar concluded: “…Washington did not ‘bring down’ Communism – Communism imploded of its own accord.” I served in the USSR during perestroika and glasnost and later, in Russia after the breakup, and can attest to that; Gorbachev tried to reform a repressive, dysfunctional system and lost control of the process.

What is virtually unknown in this country is that Reagan’s bellicose rhetoric and saber-rattling led the U.S. to the brink of a hot war with the USSR in 1983 (Google “Abel Archer”).

Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act, which he said he would have vetoed, and publically supported the South African apartheid regime, a policy that Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu declared to be "immoral, evil and totally un-Christian." This sympathy for racists was not an anomaly: Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign was announced in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a city with no connection whatever to the governor of California but infamous for the murder of three civil rights workers. His speech there lauding states’ rights was dog-whistle politics to die-hard anti-integrationists, a continuation of Nixon’s racist Southern Strategy.  His 1980 campaign against a Cadillac-driving welfare queen from Chicago’s South Side (i.e., Black woman) was more of the same. 

Never mentioned in the current hagiography is that he amnestied 3 million illegal aliens; that among his most important advisors was an astrologer (Joan Quigley) whom Nancy consulted daily about major decisions; and that he regularly fabricated stories, including about personally “liberating” Nazi concentration camps (he never left California).

Other inconvenient facts about Reagan have disappeared into the memory hole: he provided aid to Saddam Hussein after his unprovoked attacked on Iran and despite Saddam’s known use of chemical weapons; he funneled money and arms to the Islamist mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan who later morphed into al Qaeda; his sending Marines ashore in Lebanon led to the deaths of 241 Marines; and, he invaded tiny Grenada on the flimsiest of pretenses.

Reagan illegally traded weapons to Iran for American hostages (which led to more Americans being kidnapped) and repeatedly lied about it.  On March 4, 1987 he finally admitted he had lied. He diverted the profits of this criminal trade to illegally fund the murderous, drug-running Contras in Nicaragua ("The moral equal of our Founding Fathers") and lied about that, too.  Eleven of his co-conspirators were nonetheless convicted, making a total of 138 Reagan administration officials indicted for various offenses, according to Richard Reeves, making it the most corrupt administration ever. 

The public gave Reagan a pass, however, probably because they thought he was too dense to understand what an impeachable offense was; even his official biographer Edmund Morris calls him an "apparent airhead" who depended heavily on his staff.  Margaret Thatcher echoed the claim: "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."  Richard Pipes, the conservative historian and a senior NSC official under Reagan wrote: “RR is totally lost, out of his depth, and uncomfortable. All of this--both the substance and human conflict--is above and beyond him.”

No corporate-funded whitewash of Reagan’s presidency can change those historical facts. 

(A version of this, by the author, appeared in the Mankato (MN) Free Press.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

News Channels Going Down Hill…

   … which is not a major surprise to anyone with cable t.v. If you are one of those FoxNews watchers, you are pretty much programed to their kind of news, or to be more precise, commentary. The sad thing is that both of the other top cable news channels have resorted to the same format of interrupting real news events ( Presidential speeches, news conferences,...) in order to get a half-assed lame word or two from the desk-jockey at the studio or from some reporter with nothing better to do. Journalist from other countries have taken notice of our reporters turning into commentators.

El País, Spain
The Decline of News
Channels in the U.S.

By Antonio Caño
Translated By Amy Carruthers
14 March 2011

Edited by Sam Carter

Spain - El País - Original Article (Spanish)
Barack Obama had just begun to explain today in Arlington (Virginia) the measures that the United States had taken to help Japan when the channel, MSNBC, decided to cut the transmission of his speech in order to show one of their commentators, Richard Wolffe, so that he could analyze the North American reaction to the Japanese tragedy.
I have nothing against Wolffe, a brilliant journalist who knows Obama well, having written two books about him since he became president. But this time, neither he nor the public had the chance to listen to what Obama was going to say about Japan. Even if a copy of the speech had been given to those responsible for the transmission prior to its airing, there would have been an ethical obligation and a basic level of caution to wait for the president to speak the words before judging them. But the most serious problem of all is that the viewers are deprived of the precise facts, of the statement itself, of the exact words that should lead to subsequent judgment, not only by the journalists, but also by the citizens.
This isn’t a problem limited to MSNBC. CNN and Fox News, its main rivals in the form of 24-hour news channels, also interrupted Obama’s speech, both probably following the guidelines of audience ratings that indicated a drop when the words of the president replaced those of the studio commentators. After the reference to Japan, Obama was going to speak about education, a subject that the analysts never tire of repeating with regards to its huge importance for the future of the United States. None of the channels broadcast it.
This example is only a symptom of a widespread phenomenon that began to occur several years ago in American news broadcasting: the marginalization of facts in favor of commentaries. The same happens in other countries and in other forms of media; the opinion is imposed on the information, and at times it is simply substituted.
This formula was first demonstrated successfully by Fox, whose innovation of the American television outlook using an abundance of commentators and analysts with an unmistakable ideological hallmark served to create a solid fan base: Of viewers or, more likely, activists, I can’t say which.
Since last year, Fox’s audience has surpassed that of CNN and MSNBC combined. It was therefore inevitable that the latter two copied the format used by their competition. NBC’s sister channel tried, at the same time, to become a type of ideological response to Fox and strengthened its primetime with a series of commentators who helped to observe the current events from the sidelines. CNN tries to remain reliably in the center, but it has also resorted to showing people and opinions that take time away from the news.
The recent result of this is that when the public needed to know what exactly was happening in the Arab world in serious situations, they tuned in to Al-Jazeera, and they would have done the same thing for the earthquake in Japan if Qatari television covered the Far East with the means available to the Middle East.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly lamented a few days ago that Al-Jazeera has had to take the place left by North American channels by doing simply what they used to do and have stopped doing. The universal success of CNN was based on the freshness of a station that told what was happening and how it was happening.
Now, apparently, facts are no longer selling. A foolish escalation of opinion-based journalism, encouraged by the possibilities that new means of communication present, has devalued the news as a form of journalism that must be presented in a precise manner, balanced and free from commentaries. The old rules of confirmation by two sources and the contribution of dates and background are being substituted by more shocking words and bold judgments. And news channels are resignedly becoming endless talk shows.

© 2010 Watching America and All Rights Reserved

AT&T Buying T-Mobile…

   ….for $39 billion from Deutsche Telekom, a German company, for both cash and stock. Of course, this deal will need regulatory approval which should be no problem as AT&T can buy the okay for the purchase.

   When approved, AT&T will be the biggest U.S. wireless carrier, ahead of Verizon, the current champ. AT&T will pick up some 34 million new customers and revenue will jump from the current $58.5 billion in 2010 up to an estimated $80 billion.


"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive.

"It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced... capabilities to more than 294 million people.

"Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more."

According to data from comScore, AT&T held a 26.6% market share of US mobile subscribers in December 2010, while T-Mobile accounted for 12.2% of the market. Verizon, meanwhile, accounted for 31.3%.

The deal will give AT&T a big boost in its rivalry with Verizon, which recently started selling the Apple iPhone with an end to the AT&T monopoly.

Analysts said the deal also helps AT&T in the so-called 4G sector offering more advanced wireless services.

"AT&T has been under attack for not being able to match the network capacity of larger rival Verizon," said MG Siegler of the technology blog TechCrunch.

"And when they won the majority of the bids for the open spectrum in 2008, Verizon also had a clear path to the future. Now AT&T is taking another path: buying T-Mobile."

  Isn’t that just peachy? AT&T gets bigger while their customer services goes even farther down the toilet. Also, they may say no, but you will be paying more for half-assed service and less than steller service plans.

  I have been a customer of AT&T, and even though their local customer service was great, the people on the other side of the phone, when using “ 800 “ service, was the pits. Not to mention that I had 2 AT&T towers, one on each side of me, less than 2 miles away and I had to hike up a hill to get service.

   The monopoly continues to grow once again. Let us wait to see what Verizon does in response.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday’s Satire: Jokes And Cartoons

  The only good things about being in Florida at this time of the year is the great weather that we are having. In the Tampa area, it is supposed to be 85, which does not hurt my feelings in the least.  I am not hanging out at home today because I have a boat that is going back in to the water in less than an hour so I will be out doing the test run on it, and maybe even some fishing.

   That being said. There will more than likely not be much activity at this site until later this evening. If something important comes up and I do not have fish scales on my hands, I’ll post something.

   Enjoy the day where ever you happen to be!

   Here comes some late night humor for your enjoyment.

Jimmy Fallon:

"In a speech Obama said women earn 75 cents for each dollar a man makes, to which Sarah Palin said, 'Have you met Todd?'"

"Hillary Clinton visited Egypt today for the first time since the uprising. When asked why she went, Bill Clinton said, "Believe me, if anyone can stop an uprising, it's Hillary."

"Washington, D.C. is the most socially networked city in the country, which is why you could hear in the Senate today, “All in favor vote 'like.'"

Jay Leno:

"President Obama told middle school students that he was always in trouble in the 8th grade. In fact, he was once sent to the principal's office because he said the dog ate his birth certificate."

"Tea Party candidate Michele Bachmann said the Revolutionary War started in New Hampshire when it really started in Massachusetts. Interesting that a woman who believes so strongly in states rights can't get her states right."

"Today is the Ides of March, the day on which in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by 60 Roman Senators. That could never happen today. We can't get 60 Senators to agree on anything."

"Life expectancy in the U.S. has risen to a new record of 78.2 years. The bad news is, the average age a person has to work to before they can retire is now 78.3 years."

Cagle Cartoons

Copyright © 2011 Universal Press Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate