And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
"Republicans have very decidedly not agreed to any kind of tax reform that raises federal revenues. This is the whole crux of the debate. They have never agreed to anything other than revenue-neutral tax reform."
— Kevin Drum, saying what should be printed in the maximum size possible, laminated in armor-strength plastic, and posted on the wall of every news agency large and small. Every single news outlet gets this simple, straightforward fact utterly and completely wrong every single time they venture here. Wishing hard and clapping louder will not make the GOP sensible. Neither will acting as though they want a “sensible” deal when they have made no such overtures, large or small.
Reporting this as though both parties are equally at fault is doing The Republic no favors.
"[The Hastert] rule is completely dead. The Democrats now effectively control the floor because nothing ‘big’ will come to the floor without knowing in advance that lots of Democrats support it. That gives the Democrats tremendous power in a body where the minority is not designed to have much power."
Unnamed Republican Aide, likening the appropriate and intended function of the House to “tremendous power.” How we can have an MSM that drones on and on about “reaching across the aisle” in the face of a reality that includes a de facto rule stating that nothing moves unless it will pass with only majority votes is and long has been beyond me.
Even still, former Speaker Hastert’s own reaction to the weakening and even ending of his “rule” is all the more telling:
Maybe you can do it once, maybe you can do it twice, but when you start making deals when you have to get Democrats to pass the legislation, you are not in power anymore.
So, then, making a deal at all is tantamount to surrendering all power. Breathtaking.
Dear media, please read and understand every word of this before your next utterance re: Aaron Swartz:
MIT operates an extraordinarily open network. Very few campus networks offer you a routable public IP address via unauthenticated DHCP and then lack even basic controls to prevent abuse. Very few captured portals on wired networks allow registration by any vistor, nor can they be easily bypassed by just assigning yourself an IP address. In fact, in my 12 years of professional security work I have never seen a network this open.
In the spirit of the MIT ethos, the Institute runs this open, unmonitored and unrestricted network on purpose. Their head of network security admitted as much in an interview Aaron’s attorneys and I conducted in December. MIT is aware of the controls they could put in place to prevent what they consider abuse, such as downloading too many PDFs from one website or utilizing too much bandwidth, but they choose not too.
At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network. The JSTOR application lacked even the most basic controls to prevent what they might consider abusive behavior, such as CAPTCHAs triggered on multiple downloads, requiring accounts for bulk downloads, or even the ability to pop a box and warn a repeat downloader.
Aaron did not “hack” the JSTOR website for all reasonable definitions of “hack”. Aaron wrote a handful of basic python scripts that first discovered the URLs of journal articles and then used curl to request them. Aaron did not use parameter tampering, break a CAPTCHA, or do anything more complicated than call a basic command line tool that downloads a file in the same manner as right-clicking and choosing “Save As” from your favorite browser.
Aaron did nothing to cover his tracks or hide his activity, as evidenced by his very verbose .bash_history, his uncleared browser history and lack of any encryption of the laptop he used to download these files. Changing one’s MAC address (which the government inaccurately identified as equivalent to a car’s VIN number) or putting a mailinator email address into a captured portal are not crimes. If they were, you could arrest half of the people who have ever used airport wifi.
The government provided no evidence that these downloads caused a negative effect on JSTOR or MIT, except due to silly overreactions such as turning off all of MIT’s JSTOR access due to downloads from a pretty easily identified user agent.
I cannot speak as to the criminal implications of accessing an unlocked closet on an open campus, one which was also used to store personal effects by a homeless man. I would note that trespassing charges were dropped against Aaron and were not part of the Federal case.
These facts are just not that complicated. Do us and yourselves a favor and look into them. Understand them. Then report.
Can we please at least agree that vaguely worded letters sent to the President do not constitute a legislative proposal? Or did the CBO start scoring letters that are 90% vacuous talking points; add to that the fact that these very empty talking points were soundly crushed by plebiscite just weeks ago?
Likewise, slightly less vague details provided on background do not a serious proposal make. These details are provided on background precisely so they may be disavowed at any moment. This is not “Boehner’s Proposal.” It is bullshit. But, even then, the GOP proposes extracting from the backs of the poor, elderly, and infirm a dollar value less than half of what Obama attains by slightly inconveniencing the very rich. Apparently this fact was not worth noting, background or otherwise.
Our media entertainment complex finds none of this worth noting. Math is hard and so very boring, but can’t we at least admit the vacuity and shady sourcing of this “plan” when reporting it? Apparently not.
"It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan. It’s even more amazing to see them pass along Republican outrage that Obama isn’t cutting Medicare enough, in the same matter-of-fact tone they used during the campaign to pass along Republican outrage that Obama was cutting Medicare.
This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans insisted that anyone who said they wanted to cut Medicare was a demagogue, because I’m more than three weeks old. […] I realize that the GOP’s up-is-downism puts news reporters in an awkward position. It would seem tendentious to point out Republican hypocrisy on deficits and Medicare and stimulus every time it comes up, because these days it comes up almost every time a Republican leader opens his mouth. But [journalists are] not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day."
— Michael Grunwald writing for Swampland because such things just aren’t said in the polite company of mainstream journalism or even journalistic criticism like that on offer at Reliable Sources. Still: Huzzah. That anyone says it, even a lowly blogger out here on drugs, is a small victory. And, just as he concludes, it will take people screaming about this, every day, for decades, because that’s exactly how the GOP has done it since the late 70s. And it’s worked out pretty well for them.
Precisely. Add a guy pulling a curtain across while saying “nothing to see here” and Mittmentum in the background, handing out footballs to everyone on the field and you’ve got yourself some commentary.
"The proposition that Barack Obama was actually saying — literally — that business owners don’t build their own businesses doesn’t make a lick of sense. Unless, that is, you’re already convinced that he believes this, and only now has he finally tripped up and admitted it. In that case, it makes all the sense in the world. And what does this contempt for business owners translate into, policy-wise? An increase in the top marginal tax rate from 35% to 39.6%. Apparently this is the rallying cry of today’s socialist revolutionaries."
— Kevin Drumtouching on just how hard it is to deal with what Paul Krugman calls “invincible ignorance.”
The ultimate wages of absolute epistemic closure on the modern GOP unfortunately extend far beyond simply causing them to nominate national embarrassments like Christine O’Donnell every now and again and into actual peril for the Republic.
The two political factions officially have their own “facts.” One of those factions has a 24/7 news organization, the most popular such outlet in the country, dedicated to using anything and everything as “indisputable evidence” of their set of facts; when usable material doesn’t show up on a given day, they resort to creative editing and outright fabrication. That’s what’s happening here. Obama made comments about infrastructure; creative editing makes it into a comment about business in America. Next thing you know, the Boston Globe runs a story on their front page implying there is no empirical evidence (e.g. the text of Obama’s speech as delivered); therefore “GOP says Obama hates business; Democrats say otherwise…” and no conclusion about the veracity of the claims is made or even implied. Unacceptable.
Research has repeatedly shown that once this inaccurate information such as this is “out there,” there’s just no stopping it. Primacy always wins. Even people who know the information in question is false in hindsight have difficulty accepting the “new” and correct information.
How then does Obama “prove” he isn’t a secret socialist? When did he stop beating his wife? These and other questions will plague us until the non-FOXnews contingent of the American media wakes up, realizes there’s no there there, drops this view from nowhere approach that gives us only unusable he-said-she-said nonsense, and starts thinking and acting critically (but without malice, obviously) in all dealings with figures public and semi-private. Short of somebody utterly and unexpectedly disrupting the media as it stands today, I see no other way out.
Supposedly this is a compelling cartoon that shows how ‘crazy’ those public sector unions are.
Indeed, but the failure here is in getting the message into the head of Joe Private Sector that he’s the one getting the raw deal and the answer to that is most definitely not making sure that everyone has all benefits stripped from their job too.
The GOP and their media enablers have spent over two decades convincing him that, in fact, he shouldn’t be getting any benefits and neither should anybody else, regardless of whatever contracts those parties have entered into. Unless and until Unions and The Democrat figure out that it will require a similarly sustained, unyielding, and focused message to undo any of that, nothing will change. And, assuming the staus quo prevails or worsens, sooner or later, everyone will end up losing pensions, health care, weekends, limited hours, paid vacations, and anything else they can pry from a working populace all too eager to hand over anything and everything for a simulacrum of a chance at actual advancement. You know, lotteries and such.
But, man, think of the efficiencies our Galtian overlords will have achieved. That will be something to see.
Kent Brockman: But first, a look at the local holiday that was called distasteful and puerile by a panel of hillbillies, Whacking Day! In a tradition that dates back to founding father Jebediah Springfield, every May 10th local residents gathered to drive snakes into the center of town and whack them to snake heaven. [footage plays] After exposing Alger Hiss, Honorary Grand Marshal Richard Nixon goes after another deadly hiss.
[Nixon accidentally repeatedly strikes a person holding a snake down for him.]
Nixon: Is Whacking Day over? [everyone boos] Thank you. Thanks for coming out.
Worth noting that the “scandal” eating up several days worth of Congressional hearings cost American taxpayers $823,000. That’s Thousand, with a “t.” Particular interest seems to focus on a single party that cost $1960 dollars. Two thousand dollars.
Bonuses paid post-bailout in AIG’s godforsaken Financial Products Division? $168 million.
Total USG investment in AIG alone: $180 billion. With a B.
That’s just for AIG and really just for one division of AIG. The whole shooting match there on Wall Street was measured in trillions of dollars.
These and other gross mismatches in outrage brought to you by Feckless, the official messaging arm of The Democrat. Well played, boys. Should government money be wasted? Of course not. But let’s keep a sense of scale and focus the outrage on the truly outrageous.