Monday, July 26, 2010

Arizona Madness - The Totalitarians Continue

Tom Emmer - Fool Me Twice...

Minnesota GOP Gubenatorial Candiate Tom Emmer has finally started in with his campaign advertisements, and as expected, it's the same tired, out and (imho) highly discredited saw of "lower taxes and the rich will give you good jobs."

Emmer talks about 'job killing taxes" and "pro-growth tax cuts" in a clip that could have been played in 1983 or 2003, nothing changes, tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts for all ills - it is the only policy position on which the GOP seems consistent.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the Avalanche of Violence

Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida likes to make sensational comments to make his point.  He can fairly be accused of intemperate speech - as can many Republicans in the House of Representatives, and not a few from either side of the aisle in the Senate as well.

Earlier this week Grayson was covered by Fox-News-almost.  As an apparent direct result of his statements, tamer than many, and the subsequent coverage those comments received on Faux, it appears that Mr. Grayson has received death threats at his office.

Lightning DOES Strike Twice in the Same Place

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Update to the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Affinity Scam, Part 6: No Honor Among Thieves, The Defandants Begin to Turn on Each Other

He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Robert Frost

The feeding frenzy has begun among the participants in the Affinity Scam Ponzi scheme that my colleague Pen and I have been chronicling here on Penigma.  It was inevitable that the alleged crooked participants in this massive swindle, this rapacious fraud, would sooner or later begin to turn on each other as the pressure was applied by the victims and their lawyers, by the receiver charged with recovering as much of the money as possible, by the SEC and CFTC, and by the US Attorney's office.  It is what the pressure is intended to do.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sniff Test

This week I've spent three days in Washington, D.C. Each day was well above 100 degrees, with a humidity so thick visibility was no more than a couple of miles. The air hangs over the city like a dirty brown blanket, trapping pollution and the smells of the city, reflecting them back to the street to remind us all of what the air would smell like if a soft breeze didn't so often carry them away.

This reminder of what a modern city in 2010 creates, air quality warnings, brown-outs and rolling black-outs as power grids are taxed to the breaking point to provide the energy needed to keep us in our air conditioned houses, out of the oppressive atmosphere. We drive to work, shelter in our offices, burn our coal to create the power, further turning the skies brown, and then we...

Deny it has any impact.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

With the Kind Permission of the Artist, Ed Stein

Thank you Mr. Stein!

Please Check Out the Latest Addition to Our Blog List, a brilliant editorial cartoon site.

I think you will enjoy all of Mr. Stein's body of work on his site.

Just click on the link; it works! It's right there, between Democratic Underground, and Find Law, on the left of the page.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The World Did Not End After Any of These Events, despite dire predictions about what would happen to the world as we know it:

from the New York Times, This Day in History, July 5th

-1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act, which allowed labor to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining.

-1946 The bikini made its debut during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris. (trivia - this first French bikini was designed by a man, an automotive engineer not a fashion designer, named Louis Reard; this was what it looked like - DG)

-1948 Britain's National Health Service Act went into effect, providing government-financed medical and dental care.

(Some of us even think these were changes for the better!)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cannibalizing Democracy

While sailing recently with a 'more conservative than me' friend of mine, he commented that he felt the model the Irish Government played in helping Ireland become a much more economically well-off land was a good model to adopt, whereas the model the Germans and French followed was a poor idea.

His complaints with the French and German models were (among other things) that their anti-immigration policies, given their low native birth rates, would ultimately be their undoing. They both saw falling tax bases while continuing to spend in ways they should not.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On the Shoulders of Giants

If you haven't read it recently, this is a good time to revisit this document.


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

What Do You Know? A 4th of July Weekend Quiz - 30 Questions

A special thank you to the
as the source for this quiz.

What do you know about the American Revolution?

The American Revolution and Its Enduring Legacy:

1.Is the Bill of Rights part of:
A.the U.S. Constitution
B.the Declaration of Independence
C.the Gettysburg Address
D.the Articles of Confederation
E.Don’t know

Friday, July 2, 2010

Panther, Panther Burning Bright, in the Politics of the Night

collegiate Bill and Hillary;
the logo of the original Black panthers, founded 1966

"The force of what was called Panther rhetoric or word mongering resided not in elegant discourse but in strength of affirmation (or denial), in anger of tone and timbre. When the anger led to action there was no turgidity or over-emphasis. Anyone who has witnessed political rows among the Whites will have to admit that the Whites aren't overburdened with poetic imagination."
- Jean Genet
French political activist, wanderer and petty criminal,
poet, author, avant-garde playwrite, essayist
1910 - 1986

I came across this little gem on earlier today:
It turns out, this is not the first time someone has tried to use a false accusation linking the Black Panthers to a powerful political figure as a discrediting tactic.

It was also tried with Hilary Clinton, back on January 24th, 2008.

I offer this in support of my claim about racism and racist fears, and attempts to manipulate an unwitting or too-trusting political base on the right with it. This time the story was about the original Black Panthers; Hillary was their contemporary, a law school student at Yale.

The intentionally-false-story went:

"Hillary's main extracurricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent," ......

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition?

"people should fight against tyranny for their God-given rights."
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, CPAC
(Conservative Political Action Convention)
The title of this post is from a piece of music dating back to the attack on Pearl Harbor and our last formal declaration of war. The music is from a song by Frank Loesser back in 1942, based on a perhaps apocryphal saying by chaplain Howell Forgy, on the U.S.S. New Orleans during the attack. The song describes a 'sky pilot', a fond slang term for clergy, putting down his Bible and manning a gun turret. I selected this title because it was a popular combination of religion and politics, and history.

This post is not about any one of those, exactly, but like the title, it intertwines religion, politics and government, and history together. Sometime back my most-of-the-time friend and frequent critic, KR, sadly banned from Penigma for failing to follow our rules (including not trying to post while banned) accused me of being an atheist, for not stipulating to the concept that our rights as citizens derive from God, a statement I have heard often from the more extremely religious factions on the political right.

On This Day

from the online issue of the New York Times
On July 2, 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared
over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight at the equator."

Rest in peace Amelia Earhart, rest in peace Fred Noonan, wherever you are.

Ms. Earhart, the example of your courage and competence as a pilot, despite whatever may have happened to you in the Pacific preventing your successful return to the United States completing your flight, you continue to be an inspiration to women and girls after you, that we can aspire to the same adventures and accomplishments as our male counterparts. God bless you, and may we someday solve your mystery (sooner than later please), Amen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

To our Canadian Readers, we at Penigma wish you a very safe and happy celebration on this Dominion Day, July 1st, 2010.

Legislative Update from Congress, June 2010 Wrap-up

Oberstar Oil Spill Liability Bill Clears Committee
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Washington DC – Sweeping legislation to prevent future oil spills and hold oil companies like BP accountable passed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today by a wide bipartisan margin. The legislation introduced by Congressman Jim Oberstar, who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, eliminates the $75 million liability cap and holds oil companies 100 percent responsible for the costs of cleaning up oil spill damage. The Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 5629) also makes a series of reforms to prevent future oil spills.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 6:20 PM, updated July 2, 2010
House Bill Reforms Wall Street and Ends “Too Big to Fail” Banking

Washington DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to rein in Wall Street, end taxpayer bailouts of big banks, and create a consumer financial protection bureau to act on behalf of consumers.