Archive for May, 2011

May 30, 2011

Eric Cantor: “Help for Tornado Victims Needs to be Balanced With Tax Cuts for the Wealthy”

by Ben Hoffman

On Sunday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reiterated his position that disaster relief funds for the tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri must be balanced with tax cuts for the wealthy,” Cantor said on CBS’ Face the Nation.

“We live in a country where everyone is equal,” Cantor said. “We are all going through tough times and we should not be singling out people just because their lives have been decimated by an act of nature. If we’re going to hand over 100s of thousands of dollars to tornado victims, that needs to be offset by more tax cuts for the wealthy. It’s only fair.”

The House Republican leader is the first to push for tax cuts for the wealthy as a stimulation for aid related to the disaster that has already claimed over 100 lives. Democrats slammed the Republican leader, saying it amounted to “ransom.”

Rep. Billy Long, who represents the district impacted by the disaster, said Tuesday that he is pushing for federal emergency funding.

“Shock and disbelief best describe the reports from those fortunate enough to have survived the tornado in Joplin,” Mr. Long said in statement after touring the disaster area. “It is comforting to see the strong response from our local, state, and federal authorities and to see the surrounding communities come together and offer assistance during this difficult time.”

Right-wingers responded to Long’s comments with claims of “socialism” and warnings of “big government.”

“It’s time we got rid of the nanny-state,” ranted one right-winger who wasn’t affected by the tornadoes.

Note: This post is a parody.

May 29, 2011

Right-winger arrested for masturbating on a plane

by Ben Hoffman

A Florida man faces a $5,000 fine after he allegedly masturbated on a United Airlines flight late last week while shocked passengers looked on in disbelief.

According to reports, 25-year-old Kyle Pierce was taken into custody shortly after United Airlines Flight 340 touched down in Denver on May 19. The flight flew in from Spokane, Washington.

A teenage passenger sitting next to Pierce first alerted flight attendants after she witnessed the unsettling scene unfold before her eyes.

“I heard a noise and looked over and saw his penis,” the 18-year-old woman told investigators, according to the criminal complaint. “He was holding up a picture of Ronald Reagan with one hand and masturbating with his other. His penis was very small.”

Studies have shown that right-wingers have smaller than average penises.

Pierce was taken into custody immediately after landing.

“I was flipping through a magazine and came across an article on Ronald Reagan,” Pierce explained. “They had a picture of him wearing a cowboy hat. I just couldn’t help myself.”

Right-wingers around the country rallied to his defense. Several groups have organized a “Free Kyle” campaign and are expected to protest at some of the Memorial Day celebrations.

Note: This post is a parody.

May 27, 2011

Crazy right-winger arrested in Madison, Wisconsin: Planned to kill an abortion doctor

by Ben Hoffman

Ralph Lang, 63, faces federal charges after he was arrested Wednesday night when his gun went off in his motel room not far from the Planned Parenthood clinic that he planned to attack Thursday.

Lang told a Madison police officer at the Motel 6, 1754 Thierer Road, that he had a gun “to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies,” according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Lang said he planned on shooting the clinic’s doctor “right in the head,” according to the complaint. Asked if he planned to shoot just the doctor or nurses, too, Lang replied he wished he “could line them up all in a row, get a machine gun, and mow them all down,” the complaint said.

The complaint charged Lang with attempting to injure, intimidate and interfere with people providing reproductive health services. Lang is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Lang told officer Angie Dyer he was going to go to Planned Parenthood when it opened Thursday, find out who the doctor was who performed abortions and shoot the doctor in the head.

Lang said he had been in Madison with a gun last week, but was having “spiritual struggles” and was not “100 percent in sync with God” so he did not shoot anyone.

Read more…

These right-wingers are crazy. They think God tells them to go out and murder people. George W. Bush thought God told him to invade Iraq and as a result, 100s of thousands of people died.

The ruling by Judge Harry A. Jefferson of Federal District Court yesterday to deny right-wingers the right to vote was 100% correct. We need a little sanity in government if we want to preserve this great nation.

May 26, 2011

Arizona has the right idea for the illegal alien problem: Go after the businesses that hire them!

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law that imposes harsh penalties on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

The 5-to-3 decision appeared to endorse vigorous state efforts to punish employers who intentionally hire illegal workers. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts on behalf of the court’s five more conservative members, said that Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia had recently enacted laws similar to the one at issue in the case.

The challenge to the Arizona law that was the subject of Thursday’s decision was brought by a coalition of business and civil liberties groups, with support from the Obama administration.

They said the law in question, the Legal Arizona Workers Act, conflicted with federal immigration policy.

The decision on Thursday turned mostly on the meaning of a provision of a 1986 federal law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which said that it overrode “any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who” recruit or hire “unauthorized aliens.”

The question was whether Arizona was entitled to supplement the penalties in the 1986 federal law with much tougher ones of its own. The state argued that the phrase in parentheses — “other than through licensing and similar laws” — allowed it to suspend or revoke the business licenses of repeat offenders. Critics called that provision of the state law a “business death penalty.”

Read more…

May 26, 2011

Judge finds right-wingers unfit to vote

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that right-wingers are not mentally competent to vote, affirming accusations of sane people around the country.

The ruling by Judge Harry A. Jefferson of Federal District Court dramatically changes the political landscape in America.

Before the judge’s decision, right-wingers disrupted the hearing with outbursts about socialism, communism, and fascism that seemed to have no contextual relevance. It was found that most of them didn’t know what those words meant. That prompted deputy marshals to order the right-wingers out of the courtroom. Several complained that their First Ammendment Rights were being violated.

It remains possible, legal experts said, that prohibiting right-wingers from voting could have Constitutional issues. “Our goal has always been and always will be allow all sane people to vote,” said Benny K. Mount, a United States attorney, speaking to reporters outside the courthouse. “Allowing insane right-wingers the right to vote, however, is not what our founding fathers had in mind for our country.”

Right-wingers looked haggard and confused after the decision. “The judge is obviously a Marxist,” commented one. “Sarah Palin will save us. She’s really smart,” remarked another. “Where is the Denny’s,” asked another.

Note: This post is a parody.

May 25, 2011

Political influence and the housing crisis

by Ben Hoffman

A recent update to a continuing study finds a link between bailouts and the lobbying of the financial industry.

A recent study by Deniz Igan, Prachi Mishra, Thierry Tressel, three economists at the International Monetary Fund, suggests that implicit subsidies and a lack of regulation helped make it possible for lenders to offer lower rates on mortgages that were increasingly likely to default.

The study by the I.M.F. economists found that the heaviest lobbying came from lenders making riskier loans and expanding their mortgage business most rapidly during the housing boom. The loans originated by those lenders were, by 2008, more likely to be delinquent.

Most important, lobbying meant access to tax dollars. The lenders lobbying more heavily were 7 percent more likely to receive bailout funds, received larger amounts of those funds, and enjoyed a 27 percent greater increase in their market capitalization in October 2008, the month the bailout program was announced.

Read more…

May 25, 2011

New date for Apocalypse

by Ben Hoffman

According to Harold Camping, May 21 was an “invisible judgement day.” It happened but it was just low key. Rather than evoking huge disasters to signal the Apocalypse and six months of hell on earth, God instead will throw a huge party on October 21, full of massive earthquakes and other disasters.

“I was afraid no one would notice,” God said this morning. “It’s only been two months since my earthquake generated the tsunami that wreaked havoc in Japan. I’ve unleashed tornadoes on southern U.S. states decimating several cities and I’m not through with those disasters yet. An Apocalypse at this time might not even make front page news, so why bother?”

Harold Camping made a fortune by capitalizing on the fears of religious nuts and this gives him more time to rake in the money. There’s good money to be made preaching fear and hatred. Just look at the wealth Sarah Palin has amassed in the past few years.

May 25, 2011

Chrysler pays off government loans – Fiat to take control by decree

by Ben Hoffman

Chrysler paid off their loans of $7.6 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments six years ahead of schedule. While that lets the public off the hook for much of the 2009 bailout, the repayment was made possible by long term private financing of $3 billion, debt securities worth $3.2 billion, and additional credit of $1.3 billion.

Fiat plans to add a new fuel efficient car — currently called the Fiat 500 — to the Chrysler line, which should be ready for production some time next year at a plant in Illinois.

It resembles a cross between a VW Beetle and a Mini Cooper. Gas mileage is rated at 30 MPG city and 38 highway with a five-speed manual transmission. Not bad, but most of the savings will be for city driving. New Honda Accords get 34 MPG on the highway with a lot more comfort.

If they’re smart, they’ll expand the Jeep line to offer models comparable to Subarus.

May 24, 2011

Jesus summons wave to remove Linsay Lohan’s bikini top – cops a feel

by Ben Hoffman

Jesus, frustrated from his inability to create Armageddon yesterday, decided to have some fun with the nubile young actress Lindsay Lohan. He sent a wave crashing over Lindsay, removing her bikini top, as she cooled off in the Miami surf. And despite clutching her arms across her chest, she could not stop her assets from spilling out.

The troubled actress, who’s currently serving 480 hours community service for stealing a necklace, gasped when she felt the hand of Jesus upon her.

May 24, 2011

Violent storms kill 6 in Oklahoma and Kansas – Tornadoes hit Texas

by Ben Hoffman

EL RENO, Okla. — Violent thunderstorms roared across middle America on Tuesday, killing six people in two states, with several tornadoes touching down in Oklahoma and high winds pounding rural Kansas.

Several tornadoes struck Oklahoma City and its suburbs during rush hour, killing at least four people and injuring at least 60 others, including three children who were in critical condition, authorities said.

In Kansas, police said two people died when high winds threw a tree into their van around 6 p.m. near the small town of St. John, about 100 miles west of Wichita.

Read more…

May 24, 2011

Democrat Kathy Hochul wins upstate New York Congressional race

by Ben Hoffman

Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican candidate Jane L. Corwin in an upset today. The open seat was in one of New York’s most conservative districts.

Corwin is a strong supporter of Paul Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare, and that came back to bite her. The Republican plan to address the huge deficits are to cut popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare. They’re destined to suffer huge losses in next year’s election. Read more…

May 24, 2011

The hazards of small government: speculators manipulating oil prices

by Ben Hoffman

On Tuesday, federal commodities regulators filed a civil lawsuit against two obscure traders in Australia and California and three American and international firms. The suit says that in early 2008 they tried to hoard nearly two-thirds of the available supply of a crucial American market for crude oil, then abruptly dumped it and improperly pocketed $50 million.

The commodities agency says the case involves a complex scheme that relied on the close relationship between physical oil prices and the prices of financial futures, which move in parallel.

In a matter of a few weeks in January 2008, the defendants built up large positions in the oil futures market on exchanges in New York and London, according to the suit, filed in the Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.

At the same time, they bought millions of barrels of physical crude oil at Cushing, Okla., one of the main delivery sites for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for American oil, the suit says. They bought the oil even though they had no commercial need for it, giving the market the impression of a shortage, the complaint says.

At one point they had such a dominant position that they owned about 4.6 million barrels of crude oil, estimating that this represented two-thirds of the seven million barrels of excess oil then available at Cushing, according to lawsuits.

This type of oil is also the main driver of prices of the futures contracts, and their actions caused futures prices to rise, the authorities say. “They wanted to lull market participants into believing that supply would remain tight, the agency said. They knew that as long as the market believed that supply was tight and getting even tighter, there would be upward pressure on the prices of W.T.I. for February delivery relative to March delivery, which was their goal.

The traders in mid-January cashed out their futures position, and then a few days later began to bet on a decline in oil futures, with Mr. Wildgoose remarking in an e-mail about the “inevitable puking” of their position on an unsuspecting market, the federal lawsuit says.

In one day, Jan. 25, they then dumped most of their holdings of West Texas Intermediate oil, and profited by the drop in futures.
The traders repeated the buying and selling in March 2008, and were preparing to do it again in April but stopped when investigators contacted them for information, the suit says.

In the last few years, the commission has settled a handful of cases of manipulation in the natural gas market. In 2007, it settled charges for $1 million against the Marathon Petroleum Company for trying to manipulate West Texas Intermediate crude oil in 2003.

The agency brought an action similar to its latest case in 2008, asserting that Optiver Holding, a proprietary trading fund based in the Netherlands with a Chicago affiliate, used a trading program in 2007 to issue rapid-fire orders to manipulate the crude oil market. That case, which is pending, involved allegations of manipulation of futures contracts for light sweet crude, New York Harbor heating oil and New York Harbor gasoline.  Read more…

May 24, 2011

Netanyahu states criteria for peace – Palestinians refuse to talk

by Ben Hoffman

Mr. Netanyahu said that the Palestinian leader must do what he has done: “I stood before my people and I said, ‘I will accept a Palestinian state.’ It’s time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, ‘I will accept a Jewish state.’ ”

Abbas demands a return to the 1969 borders and Obama has also called for the same criteria. Obviously, Israel could never agree to those terms.

For one thing, Israel would have to cede much of its land to the Palestinians. Israel is a tiny country and doesn’t have the ability to give up land that it won in the wars with Arab countries, who were also the agressors. It has already given up a great deal of land, such as the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace, which never materialized.

Palestinians also want to be able to return to the land in Israel that their grandparents and great grandparents lost when they fled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Israel fought for its independence much like the original U.S. colonies fought for our independence. Never before in history has a country been asked to give back land won in a war in where the other side was the agressor.

Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. Palestine is just a name given to the region by Romans after years of battles and finally the decimation and explusion of the Jewish people into diaspora.

Israel was a country from 1200 B.C.E. until about 136 C.E. when it was conquered by Rome and renamed Palestine.

Palestine became simply a region with no distinct borders. From the mid 1850s, there was great migration of Jews back into the sparcely populated region. They they developed the land, drained the swamps, and made the region inhabitable.

In 1920 after WWI, Palestine became a Brittish mandate. It’s borders under British rule had various configurations. In 1947, the U.N. offered the Arabs and Jews in Palestine a plan to partition the country into two independent states. The Jews accepted the offer but the Arabs turned it down. In 1948, the Jews fought for their independence when Palestine was attacked by seven Arab countries. The Arabs of Palestine fled to the West Bank and Gaza strip, expecting a quick defeat of the Jewish people. Much to the surprise of everyone in the world, the Jews won and the State of Israel was born.


May 24, 2011

In search of a crime: Rep. Patrick T. McHenry(R) accuses Elizabeth Warren of lying

by Ben Hoffman

Republicans are desperately trying to destroy the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, since it represents the interest of the people and not corporations. Today North Carolina Rep. Patrick T. McHenry(R) accused Elizabeth Warren of giving misleading testimony at a March hearing and of lying about her agreement to testify this week. McHenry is chairman of a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee.

The controversy is over advice Warren gave to officials of the Treasury and Justice Departments about their investigations of fraud among mortgage-servicing companies and about their settlement discussions with the companies. The Republicans were trying to entrap Warren into answering a trick question with a “yes” or “no” answer so they could prosecute her for lying.

Republicans represent corporations in America — not the people — and they’re doing everything they can to dismantle prosecutions of those involved in the collapse of our economy. Here’s a little background on Patrick T. McHenry…

In an effort to bolster his own national security credentials […] Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) gave away intelligence information […] that could have aided Shi’ite militias and/or other terrorist organizations in targeting the Green Zone. Read more…

Use of PAC funds

On April 16, 2008, Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call revealed that McHenry used funds from his PAC, “More Conservatives”, to fund the defense of former aide Michael Aaron Lay’s voter fraud charges incurred during McHenry’s 2004 race. McHenry gave Lay $20,000 to pay legal bills on voter fraud charges brought while Lay worked for him. These expenses were labeled as “Legal Expense Donation”, according to FEC reports. Lay agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement, which stipulated he complete 100 hours of community service and pay $240.50 in court fees and $250.00 in community service fees to have the charges dismissed. Lay, an employee of the 2004 campaign, lived in McHenry’s home in Cherryville which also served as the campaign headquarters during the 2004 election, was indicted for voter fraud in McHenry’s election, allegedly voted illegally in two separate instances.

Countrywide donations
McHenry has also been called out by the Center for Responsive Politics’ Capital Eye, who found evidence that McHenry had been taking money from Countrywide Financial, a company now involved in the subprime mortgage crisis. McHenry took $5,500 from Countrywide’s PAC, and served in an investigation into CEO payout fraud, of which one of the target companies was Countrywide Financial itself.

Read more…


May 24, 2011

Mubarak to be prosecuted for killing protesters

by Ben Hoffman

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will be prosecuted for the killing of unarmed protesters during the 18 day revolt that forced him from power. Mubarak has been under detention while recovering from a heart attack in a hospital near his home in Sharm el-Sheik. Mubarak’s sons will also face charges of corruption. They are in jail along with dozens of others connected to the Mubarak regime.
Read more…

In a related story, George W. Bush attended a Rangers-White Sox Game and was nearly hit by a foul ball.
Read more…