BP’s “Dudley Do-Wrong” In Action

October 26, 2010

(I was overdue to sneak in a “boomer” reference, by the way.)

“Worst Persons” (Christine Flynn of Wisconsin forged docs to try and get herself out of jail but misspelled the judge’s name – what a charming character; Idaho Gov. Butch Otter stages a “town hall” event at a library in Jerome and doesn’t tell anyone, including the people who booked the library for a wedding reception (huh?); but Bob Dudley of BP, Tony Hayward’s replacement, gets the “Worst” nod for this – how about a big, heaping, steaming glass of STFU?)


Monday Mashup Part One (10/25/10)

October 25, 2010

  • 1) The Bucks County Courier Times basically copped out yesterday in the matter of an endorsement for the PA-08 congressional race, writing one column supporting Patrick Murphy and one column supporting Mike Fitzpatrick (here). And as you may have guessed, the “endorsement” of Fitzpatrick basically consisted of “he’s not Patrick Murphy.”

    If, God forbid, this district is ever represented in Congress by a Republican again, I will watch to see if an editorial endorsing both candidates is ever forthcoming (with the Dem endorsement basically being that he/she is not a Repug). And I’m sure I won’t see it.

    And get a load of this in the “pro-Mikey” screed…

    Rather than stand on his own record since January 2007, Murphy’s strategy has been to berate Fitzpatrick for his performance in Congress in 2005-06 and has even bashed him for his service as a county commissioner well over a decade ago.

    Memo to the Courier Times editorial board: is there some statute of limitations out there beyond which a candidate cannot be criticized? If so, I don’t know of it.

    And keeping up with that theme, we have this from Courier Times reporter Gary Weckselblatt, who, as far as I’m concerned, has been carrying water for Mikey throughout this campaign (noted in a particularly astute Letter to the Editor here).

    Today’s article tells us, in part, the following…

    AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has been the biggest outside spender in the 8th by purchasing $628,000 worth of radio ads.

    Their theme has been to hit Fitzpatrick for “giving himself a $20,000 raise” while he was a Bucks County commissioner. In actuality, the $20,000 came over a 10-year period as part of annual cost of living adjustments.

    Give me a break, people!

    How many of us have jobs in the public sector where we are awarded annual COLAs of $2 grand? And that doesn’t even take yearly raises into account!

    And get a load of this from the pro-Mikey editorial…

    More importantly, we’re not sold on the Democratic program for the nation. Give the Dems credit for averting an immediate economic disaster. But their game plan has come at an enormous financial cost that most people can’t begin to fathom. Unemployment remains high. And the centerpiece of the first half of Obama’s term in office, health care reform, was so badly botched that many Democrats who supported it, Murphy included, have shied away from it as they seek re-election.

    Oh yes, click here to find out how much Murphy has “shied away” from health care reform (and if you support him, click here to help elect our congressman for another term).

  • 2) Staying with the Courier Times, Rob Ciervo, running against Steve Santarsiero for the latter’s PA-31 House seat, laid it on thick as follows today (from here)…

    This year (Steve) joined with the Democrat majority to borrow $600 million to fund pork barrel projects like $10 million for an Arlen Specter library and $20 million for a luxury spa and golf resort in Chester County.

    This is a typical trick from “Republic” Party candidate “Self” Ciervo, blaming Steve for appropriations to other districts in this state (the last time Ciervo wrote something for the Courier Times, he blamed Steve because the Philadelphia school district received a bigger appropriation than the Pennsbury or Council Rock school districts in Bucks – sorry I cannot locate the link).

    I’m sure that, given the chance, Ciervo would hold his breath and turn blue if an appropriations bill for Bucks County wasn’t passed aside from one for the rest of the state, thus creating more gridlock for him to complain about.

    Also (from Ciervo’s column today)…

    Contrary to what you might have read elsewhere, I voted against building two new township buildings in Newtown Township and voted against taking on any debt to do so.

    Really? Not according to this letter.

    Update 10/27/10: In response to Mr. Booth, I think this criticism is bogus, but I’ll allow it anyway.

    And as noted here, Ciervo sought a tax increase for the preservation of open space in Newtown before he bothered to complete a report on the subject (Steve has favored municipal cooperation within Bucks which, while cheaper, also makes a lot more sense).

    Also (returning to Ciervo’s column again)…

    If (Steve) had done what he actually promised, such as eliminate wasteful spending and make our state competitive for job creation, I might not be running for state representative at all.

    From Steve’s web site (here)…

    Since taking office in January 2009, I have been working to bring jobs into the Yardley-Newtown area while fighting to protect the jobs that we already have.

    Earlier this year I succeeded in getting a major international marketing firm to relocate to Lower Makefield, bringing with it over 200 jobs to our community. At the same time, I fought the New Jersey Legislature over its proposal to require that all New Jersey public employees live in the Garden State. As a result of my efforts, New Jersey lawmakers finally agreed to exempt current employees from the new rule, saving over 3,000 families in the Yardley-Newtown area from having to choose between their jobs and their homes.

    But we need to do more.

    That’s why in a second term I will work to create a system of tax credits to small businesses to help them expand and create more jobs. Those credits will compliment the bill that I proposed this year – and which was passed and signed into law in July – that will make more credit available to small businesses as they grow.

    I also will work on a series of targeted tax incentives to attract biotech and alternative energy companies to Pennsylvania. These incentives will include the creation of “Green Enterprise Zones” designed to offer tax abatements to companies in the alternative energy and green technology sectors who pledge to stay in Pennsylvania for the long haul and create jobs for Pennsylvanians.

    Finally, when the economy begins to improve and revenues to the state pick up, we need to continue previous efforts to lower the corporate net income tax rate to help make Pennsylvania more competitive with other states. At the same time, we should phase out the corporate stock and franchise tax for the same reason.

    Ciervo also criticizes Steve for not “stand(ing) up to the special interest groups like the teachers union,” though, as the Courier Times noted in it’s editorial endorsing Steve today…

    We disagree with the Democrat on teachers’ right to strike, which he supports, although Santarsiero makes a strong case for a negotiation process that would start earlier and end with arbitration, with teachers barred from striking if they do not accept an arbitrator’s decision, and a district’s state money held in escrow if the school board does not accept the arbitrator’s decision.

    Another thing…let’s not forget that Ciervo is another “teabagger” in these parts (here), and also, let’s not forget the following (here)…

    Mike Gallagher, a Newtown Township Supervisor, was recently arrested and charged with a DUI. Not only is Gallagher still a Newtown Township Supervisor, he is being supported by follow Republican Supervisor Rob Ciervo in his decision to remain on the [board], which oversees the Newtown Township police force.

    Also, as noted in the comments, Gallagher tried to threaten the arresting officer, though Ciervo continues to support Gallagher (just another case of Repug “do as I say, not as I do” self-entitlement run amok).

    Please click here to support Steve and keep Ciervo in Newtown for as long as the township wishes to tolerate his presence.

  • 3) Finally, this story tells us the following…

    ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rallied Republican candidates in Florida on Saturday by pillorying President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms and economic policies — and she also used her speech to plug her new TV reality show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

    I don’t have much to say about this, except the following:

    I double-dog-dare Palin to come up here and make an appearance for Pat Toomey!

    Particularly since, as noted here, “No-Corporate-Tax Pat” is backing away from Palin’s protégé “Yes Wiccan!” O’Donnell here, saying in part the following…

    Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Toomey said he does not agree with O’Donnell’s idea that states should not be bound by the First Amendment’s prohibition on establishing a religion.

    “This is nothing that I’ve ever spoken about or agreed with,” Toomey said.

    However, as noted here…

    In a question on the separation of church and state, Toomey tried to clearly demonstrate that he understands the First Amendment separation of church and state _ an issue in O’Donnell’s race _ but went on to suggest that it shouldn’t be used to ban all involvement between religion and government.

    As an example, he said parents of children in poorly performing public schools should be able to send their children on the public dime to private schools whether or not they have a religious affiliation.

    It really isn’t a good idea for Toomey to talk about school issues anyway, seeing as how, as noted here…

    Toomey pioneered dangerous interest rate swaps “In the years that Toomey ran sales and trading at Morgan Grenfell, the company brokered a number of interest rate swap deals with municipal governments (called “local councils”) in the United Kingdom. (Although Toomey was based in New York, he also managed the firm’s derivatives business [11] in Tokyo and London.) In the UK, municipalities are generally funded by the central government. But under Margaret Thatcher, their funding had become sharply limited, and many were searching for alternative, off-the-books methods of funding their operations. Morgan Grenfell and other derivatives dealers stepped into the breach, brokering deals with and between various municipalities. Interest rate swaps-where the two parties in effect bet on whether interest rates are going to go up or down-were especially popular. Many of these deals were in effect loans-the councils would receive large sums up front and pay them back over time based on interest rate differences. Of course, if the interest rates went the wrong way, you could end up owing far more than you initially anticipated.”

    Toomey’s interest rate swaps were dangerous and risky. “During the campaign, Toomey has referred to the products he worked with [12] as “non-risky” “common derivatives,” different from the “toxic” mortgage-backed derivatives that some believe caused the financial crisis. “That’s not true,” says Michael Greenberger, a professor at the University of Maryland and former CFTC official. “It just so happens that the 2008 meltdown involved credit default swaps, but interest rate swaps and currency swaps can be as risky as anything else. These swaps are very, very risky.”

    Toomey’s interest rate swaps cost Pennsylvania (schools and local) communities millions. “Toomey’s defense ignores the recent history of interest rate swaps, which led to fiscal problems for many American towns, cities, and states across the country in recent years. The US never had a House-of-Lords-type decision forbidding municipalities from making these sorts of deals. So just as Morgan Grenfell had in the ’80s, US banks pressed local governments to agree to swap deals to bring in extra revenue. And this time, many of the banks allegedly paid kickbacks [13] on the deals. (The kickbacks are the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.) In Pennsylvania alone, 107 school districts reportedly [14] entered into swap deals-”gambling with the public’s money,” according to the state’s auditor general. Some have since paid millions of dollars to Wall Street banks to get out from under the deals. Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Missouri, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon all recently lost money on similar swap deals, according to the [14]Wall Street Journal [14].”

    Click here to help elect Admiral Joe Sestak to the Senate next week, and thus send Toomey back to Wall Street, who I’m sure will greet him with open arms, and probably a blank check as well.


  • A Tune For Sean Bielat

    October 24, 2010

    Even though at least Bielat is a major in the Marine Reserve, this still qualifies as a moment of idiocy (though it does give me an excuse to embed this video – wonder if Bielat takes it seriously?).


    “Dem Campaigning 101” With Tom Perriello

    October 23, 2010

    The representative from Virginia shows how it’s done (more here and here).


    “Worst Persons” On “Countdown” (10/20/10)

    October 22, 2010

    Worst Persons” (Perhaps the world’s stupidest shoplifters, Dustin Marshall and Lindsey Scholl, are busted when he leaves his wallet and driver’s license in the old pair of pants he leaves in the Walmart (of course) dressing room; The “Beckoning” and Flush (“I Want Him To Fail”) Limbore tie for runner-up with criticisms of Obama’s appearance, which is funny when you consider their own – nice floating graphic of the OxyContin man himself; but Georgia State Rep Calvin Hill gets top “honors” for trying to stop health-related education in public schools, when, as it turns out, he also owns a company that sells kinky sex gadgets, as Think Progress tells us here – yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I know that I will be comforted by my cock ring and warming KY jelly…oooh, yes I know I’m just a filthy, unkempt liberal blogger)


    Thursday Mashup Part One (10/21/10) (updates)

    October 21, 2010

  • 1) I swear, every time I think our corporate media can’t get any stupider (here)…

    Yesterday, several news outlets reported that White House aides had scrapped a planned presidential tour of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the spiritual center of the Sikh religion. The reason for avoiding the temple, according to unnamed sources: Head covering. As the New York Times explained, “[T]he plan appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires, while visiting the temple.” (It was previously reported, in India, that Obama would likely visit the shrine.)

    Obama, according to unnamed sources, did not want to stoke the false impression among many of his constituents that he is a Muslim, even though the Sikh religion is distinct from Islam. I was skeptical of the reports when I read them, given the scant sourcing, so I emailed two officials at the White House. I did not hear back.

    So, of course, Michael Scherer of Time contacted White House spokesman Robert Gibbs and claimed that – aha! – I got a “non-denial denial,” so there must be something to Obama not wanting to wear a head covering.


    Of course, some presidents can visit places of religious worship and wear such ornamentation with no problem and some can’t (because, you know, no one will ever associate Dubya with rumors that he’s really a closet Kenyan Marxist who won’t show us his Hawaiian birth certificate).

  • 2) Next, it’s time for more propaganda from The Doughy Pantload (here – first the following is from Greg Sargent’s blog at the Washington Post that Jonah Goldberg links to in his post)…

    The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll came out this morning, and there’s no sugar-coating it: The poll has some very grim results for Democrats. In the 92 most competitive House districts, the GOP’s lead among registered voters is 14 points.

    But what may be even worse are the numbers that show how bad the “enthusiasm gap” remains, with less than two weeks until election day.

    I would only say in response that the issue isn’t really one of Dem non-enthusiasm, but one in which there is typical Dem enthusiasm for a mid-term election – however, Repug enthusiasm is off the charts because, now as ever, they never had a desire from Day One to work with Obama and the Democrats and now see their chance to hurl us back into the ‘90s, with Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, and more investigations than you can imagine (oh, and by the way, defunding government and rolling back all the good that has been accomplished over the last two years in particular…also, what else would you expect from a poll involving the Murdoch Street Journal?)

    (Also, I don’t mean to imply that Democrats don’t have to continue trying to counter the Repugs on this up until the moment the polls close on November 2nd, because we do.)

    Now, I give you J. Goldberg…

    First, I’ve never had a problem with using fear in elections, if it’s rational and accurate. But I’m not the one who elevated “playing on our fears” to some sort of cardinal sin.

    Oh really?

    In response, I give you the following here (and from a conservative blogger, by the way)…

    The emotional state of conservatism now coupled with the hyper partisan atmosphere in the country (and the already excessive ideological nature of the opposition to Obama) is a combination that afflicts the reason centers of the mind and is proving to be a block to thinking logically. What is there to “fear” about Obama and the Democrats? They are proposing the same liberal crap that the left has been promoting for more than 30 years. We have fought them before using reason and logic. What is so different now?

    And when it comes to an absence of reason and logic (to say nothing of not being “rational or accurate”), I give you Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” noted here, in which he argues basically that Hitler was a “man of the Left,” even though “there exist about a million nearly epileptic quotes from Hitler and [Josef] Goebbels and other Nazis expressing their luminous hatreds of liberalism and of communism.”

    I respect Greg Sargent, but I wish he would bother to “look inside the numbers” a little more on this.

    The bottom line – it all comes down to GOTV, as noted here.

  • 3) Finally, I give you some true hilarity from Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao here…

    The Senate’s top Republican says President Barack Obama and a more-Republican Congress could join to pass laws on trade and spending policy and make changes to the health care overhaul if the administration listens to voters on Election Day.

    “I can’t believe he’s going to continue to ignore the wishes of the American people if his party has a very bad day Nov. 2,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “If he pivots and wants to work with us, obviously I’d be happy to talk to him.”

    Too funny; as noted here from January 2009…

    “As Republicans look for common ground,” McConnell says. “Some will no doubt accuse us of compromise. But those who do so will be confusing compromise with cooperation. And anyone who belittles cooperation resigns him or herself to a state of permanent legislative gridlock. And that is simply no longer acceptable to the American people.”

    So what did McConnell produce from then until now? As noted here from last March…

    We are now in the 111th session of Congress, and it appears that a new record will be set once again. To date, there have been 76 motions filed to end filibusters, resulting in 40 votes on cloture, and 40 instances of it being invoked. If we project these numbers to the end of the 111th session of the US Senate, that would result in a record number of cloture invocations, and near record levels of motions along with actual votes.

    There is more. Wes Rackley documents that while only 3 Bush nominees have been held up more than 3 months during his first year, 63 Obama nominees have been subjected to delay tactics, leaving important posts left unfilled.

    So, whenever I hear about McConnell pledging “cooperation” with Obama or any other Democrat…well, I think the following pic is a sufficient response:

  • Update 1 10/22/10: And this makes McConnell an even bigger liar than he is already.

    Update 2 10/22/10: My bad for not realizing that the true leader of the GOP was calling the shots on this all along (here – h/t Atrios).

    Update 3 10/25/10: The truth at last (here)…


    Going After Meg Whitman With An Attitude

    October 21, 2010

    Hey, Dan Onorato for PA Governor Campaign – watch and learn (almost too late, but not quite).


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