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Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 05:44 PM PDT

I Endorse Al Franken for President!

by LunkHead

For most of the past year, the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger was considered a done deal, and all the only question was in the details.

Not any more:

When it was announced a little more than a year ago, it felt to many like a sure thing.

After all, government regulators had approved Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011. Comcast had an army of registered lobbyists, more than 100 strong, in Washington alone. The company’s chief executive, Brian L. Roberts, golfed on Martha’s Vineyard with President Obama. Its executive vice president, David L. Cohen, hosted three fund-raisers for Mr. Obama, two at his home in Philadelphia, raising a total of more than $10 million.

But now the $45 billion Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is dead. Comcast is folding, in anticipation of regulators rejecting the deal.

The two people most responsible for stopping this deal are Senator Al Franken, and comedian who is smarter than all the pundits combined" John Oliver, whop popularized the term, "Cable Company Fuckery."
For opponents of the merger, it helped that net neutrality was no longer such an esoteric concept to the American public. In June, an unlikely individual, John Oliver of HBO, devoted a lengthy segment to the subject that quickly lit up the Internet, attracting more than eight million views. (“The only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are ‘featuring Sting,’ ” he said of net neutrality.)

One of Mr. Oliver’s primary targets of ridicule was Comcast. He showed a graphic of the speed of Netflix videos on Comcast before and after it had negotiated a deal for faster service with the cable provider, comparing it to a “mob shakedown.”

Over the months, the chorus of critics of the Comcast deal grew, and grew louder. When the merger was announced in February 2014, Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, was its lone outspoken critic in Congress. Earlier this week, five other senators joined him in urging the Justice Department and the F.C.C. to block the acquisition.

Since Oliver is ineligible for the Presidency, Al Franken is the obvious choice.

I know that Franken has expressed no interest in running for President, but I think that we should draft him.

Discuss

Jon Stewart made the joke about Oklahoma passing Sharia Law (at bottom of post), when the state lege replacing a state issued marriage license with a clergy issued marriage certificate.

Think about this for a second though.

If clergy are simply issuing marriage certificates as a part of their religious duties, then it is likely that any attempt to regulate the conditions violates the Constitution.

What this means is that various sects who support polygamy as an article of faith, such as certain fundamentalist LDS and Muslim sects, could issue legally binding documents for plural marriages, and it appears that other states might be required to recognize these certificates. (Loving v Virginia)

Oklahoma may have just put the state behind Sharia marriage, and become a destination polygamous compounds.

So, is this a schadenfreude moment, or an outrage moment?

Discuss

The TV comes one, and there is an ad for a tax prep company (rhymes with Hackson Jewett), and it has a recording Pete Seeger singing "I've been working on the railroad" to this company bragging about how many branches they have in Walmart.

It's a good thing that he was cremated, or he would be spinning in his grave so hard it would cause earthquakes!

It appears that this was done with the permission of his estate, but still, what the fuck?

Discuss

Once again, The Onion explains all we need to know about incoming House Whip Steve Scalise (R-Praetoria) speaking to a white supremacist group:

Look, I'm not a hateful person or anything–I believe we should all live and let live. But lately, I've been having a real problem with these homosexuals. You see, just about wherever I go these days, one of them approaches me and starts sucking my cock.

Take last Sunday, for instance, when I casually struck up a conversation with this guy in the health-club locker room. Nothing fruity, just a couple of fellas talking about their workout routines while enjoying a nice hot shower. The guy looked like a real man's man, too–big biceps, meaty thighs, thick neck. He didn't seem the least bit gay. At least not until he started sucking my cock, that is.

Where does this queer get the nerve to suck my cock? Did I look gay to him? Was I wearing a pink feather boa without realizing it? I don't recall the phrase, "Suck my cock" entering the conversation, and I don't have a sign around my neck that reads, "Please, You Homosexuals, Suck My Cock."

.....

You get the picture.

Is it just me, or does the distinguished gentleman from Dixie* sound an awful lot like Bruce Heffernan, who penned the immortal prose above?

Discuss

I have not read the whole summary yet, but it appears that it was all about a bunch of people torturing because they had problems feeling inadequate, and so they tortured people, and got no good intelligence, just to feel like big men.

And John Brennan is STILL saying that torture worked.

Seriously.

I am appalled.

Yo!  Dick!  Ever heard of Viagra?!?!?!?!?

But of course, everyone will keep their jobs, and their security clearances.

Discuss

He calling for "Holy" Joe Lieberman to replace Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has offered President Obama some unsolicited advice on who to pick to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Cruz, who in two years would like Obama’s job, decided former senator Joe Lieberman, the Democrat turned Independent from Connecticut, would be a perfect choice.

“One strong option would be former Senator Joe Lieberman, a member of the President’s own party with deep experience and unshakable commitment to the security of the United States. I urge the President to give him full and fair consideration for this critical position,” Cruz said in a press release.

Seriously.  Ted Cruz is just fucking with us now.

I also need to correct something.  When I said that John Boehner was actually a post plastic surgery Andy Kaufman, I was wrong.

Clearly, it is Ted Cruz.

Trolling is a very basic part of Republican discourse, and no one has mastered it like "Tailgunner" Ted Cruz.

Discuss

So that she can run against Andrew Cuomo for Governor of New York, and take that corrupt corporatist hypocrite down.

Discuss

When Matt Taibbi left First Look, and the rollout of the publication he was creating, The Racket, he took one hell of a story with him:

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore.

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'"

......

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank's mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she's kept her mouth shut since then. "My closest family and friends don't know what I've been living with," she says. "Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview."

This is a big story, it goes on to show how the DoJ clearly had no intention of prosecuting. (Big surprise)

This is a story that has had to develop over months, and it comes out a week after he leaves Omidyar's media operation?

If I were a publisher, I would move heaven and earth to make sure that it came out in my publication, and it appears that Taibbi was sidelined for 11 months and that the output that came from this period is now coming out on other platforms.

I think that it was doomed from the start.  Matt Taibbi said that The Racket would, "publication focusing on financial and political corruption," while Omidyar described it as a , "Digital magazine with a satirical approach to American politics and culture."

I am also quite credulous of the concerns Paul Carr, who has long believed that The Racket was compromised from the beginning, because Omidyar did not want Taibbi going after his friends and business partners in finance.

The short tenure of Marcy Wheeler at Firstlook, which ended as Wheeler made revelations regarding how Omidyar (and CIA) supported organizations were hip deep in the coup in the Ukraine, ends further credence to Carr's concerns.  (Though Wheeler maintains that there was no connection between her leaving and her reporting on the Ukraine).

What concerns me is what this means to The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald's current journalistic venue.

I do not believe that Greenwald could be bought off, but I do believe that he could be sidetracked for months, much as Taibbi was, if some of the rocks he is turning over reveal the actions of some of Pierre Omidyar's friends in the intelligence community.

Discuss

I'm not sure what the terms are, but I am laying claim to March 15, 2015, for obvious reasons.

I propose that half the pot go to some appropriate charity.

Still, I am not sure the full rules, amount of buy in, what constitutes "Starting Impeachment Proceedings", what happens if Republicans never start proceedings (yeah, right) etc.

Discuss

Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:50 AM PDT

Jan Brewer Pulls a Cuomo

by LunkHead

No, I am not referring to her giving the governor of New York a hand job, get your head out of the gutter.

Instead, I mean that she has fired the guy she brought in to fight corruption in state politics: (edited to add link)

Jan Brewer caught the Arizona political scene by surprise this week when she fired the man who has been cleaning up the corruption in her administration for the last two years.

Brian McNeil was appointed by the governor to serve as Director of the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) on November 1, 2012. He had a long history of service in the state government, including previous stints in both Brewer’s and Fife Symington’s administrations. His agency, ADOA, is responsible for providing support services to the state government and includes the Department of Human Resources.

Director McNeil is a military man who is known to hold employees to high standards. He spent over twenty years in the military, including two tours of duty in Iraq, and is still a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Seems like a great fit for a conservative state government, right? Well, that depends on whether you’re talking about what conservatives say or what they do.

....

Last year, McNeil investigated Jesse Hernandez, a political appointee with no relevant experience who Brewer put into the position of Chairman of the Board of Executive Clemency — to the tune of $84,000 a year. The investigation resulted in nine allegations against him. The most egregious was offering his equally unqualified co-worker/girlfriend a raise of $21,000 a year. Hernandez resigned on the heels of the investigation.

First, it should be hammered on before the elections by the Dems in Arizona, and second, I'd like to make "Pulling a Cuomo" a meme, much in the same way that Santorum came to have the meaning of, "The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."
Discuss

OK, as we all know, if you get a National Security Letter (NSL) from the FBI, you are prohibited about talking about it to pretty much everyone except (possibly) your lawyer.

Well, I was thinking about the intersection of NSLs and the whether Mickey Kaus blows goats.

I know that, for example, if a lawsuit that revolved around whether or not Mickey Kaus provided oral pleasure to Capra aegagrus, and there were a question as to whether on a certain day Mr. Kaus had "blown the whistle" on certain members of the family Bovidae, and I were called to testify as to my observations, I would demand to be subpoened.

The reason that I would demand a subpoena is because if I testify under legal compulsion, I cannot be sued for slander, because my testimony was compelled.

It's an old legal principle that subpoenas indemnify a witness.

So disposing of the questions about Mr. Kaus (spit otr swallow?), my important question is:

If a library or ISP is the target of a subpoena from a civil case to answer the question of whether or not they have received, or complied with, NSLs, does that subpoena indemnify the recipient of the FBI demand?
Basically, would they be indemnified in the same way that one would be in the Kaus suit?
Discuss

Tue Oct 07, 2014 at 02:34 PM PDT

Pope Cited for Traffic Violation

by LunkHead

He was being driven to an official event, and Francis persuaded the driver to let him drive, since it had been a while.

Well, his holiness might have been speeding, and a motorcycle cop pulled him over.

The cop looked at him, and went back to his bike.

He called his supervisor that, "He had a major problem."

His supervisor asked, "What is the problem?

"I pulled over someone..."

"So?"

"I pulled over a big fish ..... A really bif fish."

"You mean like the Prime Minister?"

"Bigger."

"Bigger? How can someone be bigger than that?"

"I don't know, and I don't know who he is, but the Pope is his Chauffeur."

Discuss
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