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FERC to impose $500 million fine on JP Morgan, $453 million on Barclays

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co., accused of using improper trading tactics in California and Michigan, is considering paying a fine of at least $500 million to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to reports Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

The reports came one day after FERC slammed London's Barclays Bank with a $453 million fine for shady electricity trading behavior in California and three other Western states. Barclays issued a statement Wednesday vowing to fight the fine.

The fines are related to market manipulation in electricity prices in the 2006-2011 period.  The WSJ reports that the fine to JP MOrgan could be asa big a $1 billion.

WASHINGTON, DC –Snark News International – In a sudden and almost cataclysmic burst, tens of thousands of marriages across the United States were destroyed.  In what one formerly married woman described as a "devastating and horrible shock that came out of nowhere!"

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Snagged form a friend's Facebook feed.  I have no idea who the original creator/author is.  It speaks for itself.



On Tuesday it will be exactly Ten Years since the US invaded Iraq.  To support that "anniversary", theCost of War Project at Brown University has released its latest, most comprehensive on the financial and human costs of the Iraq War (Which I need not remind everybody was justified on extremely false pretenses, esp. regarding Al Qaeda and WMDs)

Here are some of the findings:

Direct War Deaths: 189,000

This includes 134,000 Civilian Deaths, almost 4,500 US military deaths, more than 11,000 allied deaths, 36,000 Opposition deaths, and various others including Journalists and humanitarian workers.

800,000 to 1 million Iraqi children have lost at least one parent

2.8 million still displaced from their homes

Incredible amounts of Environmental Damage. (For example the US military in 2008 in Iraq used as much oil as 1.2 million cars on the road that year)

We have already spent over $2 Trillion and after 40 years of tacked on interest charges ist will be almost $ trillion

Future medical and disability costs for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will be between $600 million and $1 Trillion.

Over 106,000 wounded and 745,000 disability claims.

I could go on annd on and on and on and on.....but I recommend just going to the site and checking it out for yourself, it is extemely comprehensive. Such tidbits such as...

The effect on families

The effect on refugees

The effect on the profiteering of many American companies


OK, so we are all very serious people and there is a lot of important stuff to talk about. But it is Friday and we need to relieve ourselves with some good-hearted guffaws.  SO leave your best, or worst in the comments below and come back throughout the day to grab a smile.

Go below the failed orange captcha for a grin or a groan.

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The subsidies for wind energy, known as the Production Tax Credit, was set to expire in 2012.  That meant that any wind project that were not online by the end of this year would be denied the credit that has helped make wind energy one of the fastest growing and most vital electricity generation sources for our planet and even our fiscal security. And besides that there were tens of thousands of jobs at risk in building the parts, developing and constructing the wind farms.  This is a BFD and it was clothed in uncertainty the entire year.

Thankfully there is at least a one year extension.  And there is an even better wrinkle.  While wind projects needed to deliver energy by the deadline, now a wind project just needs to begin construction by the end of 2013 to be eligible for the tax credit.

I realize that this fiscal cliff deal has raised emotions quite a bit, but this is an unequivocal success no matter what you think of everything else.


"Irony" here while appropriate, would also reduce the sheer disgusting and sad nature of this whole affair.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

He went on to call for an armed police officer to be stationed in "every single school" across America to prevent further mass shootings, as critics tried to point out that armed law enforcement officials might not be the panacea the NRA thinks it is.

But before they could finish their sentence, the counterargument made itself as news broke of a mass shooting event in Pennsylvania with multiple casualties, including state troopers.

According to local reports out of Blair County, at least four people were killed and five more were injured in a shooting spree near Altoona. The gunman is said to be among the dead, and at least two state troopers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.


2012 Campaign Contributions by the NRA in the 2012 election cycle

Matheson, Jim (D-UT)    $6,950
Dingell, John D (D-MI)    $5,000
Ross, Mike (D-AR)         $5,000 (GONE)
Barrow, John (D-GA)    $4,950
Holden, Tim (D-PA)    $4,950 (GONE)
Shuler, Heath (D-NC)    $4,950 (GONE)
Chandler, Ben (D-KY)    $4,000 (GONE)
Bishop, Sanford D Jr (D-GA)    $3,650
Critz, Mark (D-PA)    $3,500 (GONE)
Hochul, Kathleen (D-NY)     $3,000 (GONE)
Kissell, Larry (D-NC)    $3,000 (GONE)
Michaud, Mike (D-ME)    $3,000
Ryan, Tim (D-OH)         $3,000
Schrader, Kurt (D-OR)   $3,000
Altmire, Jason (D-PA)     $2,500 (GONE)
Baca, Joe (D-CA)         $2,500 (GONE)
Cardoza, Dennis (D-CA)    $2,500
Peterson, Collin C (D-MN)    $2,500
Cuellar, Henry (D-TX)     $2,000
Kind, Ron (D-WI)         $2,000
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC)     $2,000
Rahall, Nick (D-WV)     $2,000
Walz, Timothy J (D-MN)     $2,000
Higgins, Brian M (D-NY)     $1,000
Lujan, Ben R (D-NM)     $1,000
Owens, Bill (D-NY)    $1,000

Manchin, Joe (D-WV)     $4,500

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Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM PST

Yeah, This Makes Sense

by Gangster Octopus

Three children were killed and one suffered permanent brain damage.

Lawn Darts were banned outright in the USA and suggested that they be destroyed.

The Consumer Protection sued the makers of Buckyballs because 12 kids swallowed the powerful magnets and suffered injuries.  The manufacturers discontinued making them

Children are shot many times over in their classrooms, shoppers are shot in malls and movie theaters, and other isolated incidents result in gun deaths in the thousands every year, but trying to get even reasonable restrictions and regulation on the assault weapons is like pulling teeth.




The time was years and years ago...because this is what happens when we are told not to talk about it...

h/t to dave1042 who put this in a comment.

Were discussions necessary then?

 September 1999 - a gunman opened fire at a prayer service in Fort Worth, Texas, killing six people before committing suicide.

October 2002 - a series of sniper-style shootings occurred in Washington DC, leaving 10 dead.

August 2003 - in Chicago, a laid-off worker shot and killed six of his former workmates.

November 2004 - in Birchwood, Wisconsin, a hunter killed six other hunters and wounded two others after an argument with them.

March 2005 - a man opened fire at a church service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people.

October 2006 - a truck driver killed five schoolgirls and seriously wounded six others in a school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before taking his own life.

April 2007 - student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before shooting himself, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States after 2000.

August 2007 - Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed in “execution style” by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys. A fourth student was shot and stabbed.

September 2007 - A freshman student at Delaware State University shot and wounded two other students at a campus dining hall.

December 2007 - a 20-year-old man killed nine people and injured five others in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska.

December 2007 - a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.

February 2008 - a shooter who is still at large tied up and shot six women at a suburban clothing store in Chicago, leaving five of them dead and the remaining one injured.

February 2008 - a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five students and wounding 16 others before laying down his weapon and surrendering.

July 2008 – A former student shot three people in a computer lab at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona.

September 2008 - a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people in Alger, Washington, leaving six of them dead and the rest two wounded.

October 2008 - Several men in a car drove up to a dormitory at the University of Central Arkansas and opened fire, killing two students and injuring a third person.

December 2008 - a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opened fire at a family Christmas party in Covina, California, then set fire on the house and killed himself. Police later found nine people dead in the debris of the house.

March 2009 - a 28-year-old laid-off worker opened fire while driving a car through several towns in Alabama, killing 10 people.

March 2009 - a heavily-armed gunman shot dead eight people, many of them elderly and sick people, in a private-owned nursing home in North Carolina.

March 2009 - six people were shot dead in a high-grade apartment building in Santa Clara, California.

April 2009 – An 18-year-old former student followed a pizza deliveryman into his old dormitory, and shot the deliveryman, a dorm monitor, and himself at Hampton University, Virginia.

April 2009 - a man shot dead 13 people at a civic center in Binghamton, New York.

July 2009 - Six people, including one student, were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University, Houston.

November 2009 - U.S. army psychologist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 dead and 42 others wounded.

February 2010 – A professor opened fire 50 minutes into at a Biological Sciences Department faculty meeting at the University of Alabama, killing three colleagues and wounding three others

January 2011 - a gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery in Tuscon, Arizona, killing six people including a nine-year-old girl and wounding at least 12 others. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured with a gunshot to the head.

July 2012 - Masked gunman opens fire at midnight cinema screen of new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 and injuring 58. Suspect James Holmes is arrested by oplice and awaiting trial.

August 2012 - Gunman kills six people at Sikh temple in Wisconsin before being shot dead by police. Suspect is named as white supremacists Wade Michael Page.


You see, Obama want's to raise the MARGINAL RATE on you income above $250,000.  but on your income below $250,000, he wants to keep the Bush tax cuts, which saves you $5,000 if you are single and $8,000 if you are married.  This is NO MATTER how much more you make than $250,000.

Now the Republicans want to extend the tax cuts, sure,so you get even more money.  But they are risking that you get NOTHING, so that you can get a little more.  In fact, it isn't until you reach about $400,000 that the monetary benefits that the GOP wants you to have EQUAL the amount they are putting at risk.

$5,000 for certain, that could happen TODAY, or risking getting nothing for a little more? A little more if you are, wealthy but maybe not obscenely wealthy.  If you are obscenely wealthy than it is probably worth it. In other words if  you are part of the 0.5%.

Just food for thought

Nearly 3 billion people in the developing world cook food and heat their homes with traditional cookstoves or open fires. 2 million premature deaths occur every year due to smoke exposure from these methods. Women and children are the most affected
This is from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is an aid organization with an express sole purpose: To foster the adoption of 100 million clean cookstoves by the year 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that exposure to smoke from the simple act of cooking is the fifth worst risk factor for disease in developing countries, and causes almost two million premature deaths per year – exceeding deaths attributable to malaria or tuberculosis.

This is not just a worldwide health concern, it is an environmental one as well. These open stoves generally burn biomass, wood,for example, which produces black carbon and methane which help contribute to global warming.  Additionally the use of these biofuels can lead to increased deforestation.

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