Under The Radar: WTF

(1 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Some of this is just really depressing. Where is this country headed?

  • From Michael Moore: The Forbes 400 vs. Everybody Else

    According to the most recent information, the Forbes 400 now have a greater net worth than the bottom 50% of U.S. households combined.

    In 2009, the total net worth of the Forbes 400 was $1.27 trillion.

    The best information now available shows that in 2009 the bottom 60% (yes, now it’s 60%, not 50%) of U.S. households owned only 2.3% of total U.S. wealth.

    Total U.S. household net worth — rich, middle class and poor combined — at the time the Forbes list came out was $53.15 trillion. So the bottom 60% of households possessed just $1.22 trillion of that $53.15 trillion, less than the Forbes 400.

    Thus the Forbes 400 unquestionably have more wealth than the bottom 50%.

    By contrast, in 2007 the bottom 50% of U.S. households owned slightly more wealth than the Forbes 400; the economic meltdown has hurt the bottom more than the top. (And in fact, in 2010 the net worth of the Forbes 400 jumped to $1.37 trillion.)

  • From TPM: Republicans Move To Strip Detainee Authority From Holder And Future Attorneys General

    Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are teaming up with Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to write legislation that would take decisions about trying detainees out of the attorney general’s hands and hand that power to the secretary of defense.

    In the wake of the White House’s new executive order allowing Guantanamo detainees to be held indefinitely, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) unveiled legislation that would, among other things, affirm the military’s right to detain, hold and interrogate detainees at its discretion without Department of Justice or Attorney General Eric Holder involvement.

    What digby said about the above:

    Are these guys under the misapprehension that the Secretary of Defense doesn’t serve at the pleasure of the president, exactly as the Attorney General does? What’s the point of this?

  • From the New York Times: AARP Sues U.S. Over Effects of Reverse Mortgages

    Reverse mortgages, which pay older homeowners a regular sum against the equity in their house, are supposed to shield borrowers from economic upheaval. But the popular loans have become tangled up in the real estate collapse.

    AARP, the seniors’ organization, filed suit Tuesday against the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which regulates reverse mortgages. The suit asserts that policy changes by HUD are pushing older homeowners into foreclosure.

    The case was filed in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia by the AARP Foundation, the organization’s charitable arm, and the law firm of Mehri & Skalet on behalf of the surviving spouses of three homeowners who had bought reverse mortgages. All three are facing eviction, the suit says.

    “HUD has illegally and without notice changed the rules in the middle of the game at the expense of vulnerable older people,” said Jean Constantine-Davis, a senior lawyer at the AARP Foundation.

    This is happening with a Democrat in the White House?

  • Don’t blame me. I voted for the madam.

    From libbyliberal at Corrente:

    Now NY Guv Cuomo Declares War on Brain-Damaged Babies (I kid you not!)

    Cuomo wants to put a $250,000 lifetime cap on medical compensation for brain injury to a child caused by medical malpractice. This may sound like a lot of money, but in the course of a lifetime, medical bills being what they are and what they will undoubtedly climb to, it is very likely far from adequate.

    But now is the time to screw anyone and anything for profit or political expediency. This is how things are in Obamaworld, continuation of Bushworld. Profits over people. Profits over helpless little people — very little people. Obama has made it safe and stylish for the Democrats to be as much outright bastards as the Republicans. Obama has his catfood commission. Cuomo has his “Medicaid Redesign Team” including some strong-willed, well compensated industry lobbyists. Familiar playbook?

    How low can these corporate pimped ones go? It seems bottomless.

  • I’m not surprised at this either considering Obama has thrown American women under the bus.

    From votermom at Corrente:

    What Having A Misogynist-In-Chief Means

    White House throws Afghan women under the bus

    A senior U.S. official involved in Afghanistan policy said changes to the land program also stem from a desire at the top levels of the Obama administration to triage the war and focus on the overriding goal of ending the conflict.

       “Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities,” said the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy deliberations. “There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

    Afghan women are pet rocks. Time to toss them aside so Karzai can woo the Talibanistic to his side.

    After all the hand wringing Obama loyalist did about “what will happen to the women if we leave now?, what back wrenching excuse will they have for Obama now?

  • So much for democracy in Iraq.

    From the New York Times:

    Iraq Shuts Office of Protest Organizers

    BAGHDAD – Two political parties that led demonstrations in Baghdad over the past two weeks said Monday that security forces controlled by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki had ordered them to close their offices.

    The actions, which the government said were merely evictions, came amid growing concerns that Mr. Maliki’s American-backed government is using force and other measures to stifle dissent in this fragile democracy, where tens of thousands of demonstrators have seized on the upheaval sweeping the Arab world to rally for government reforms and better services.

    Officials for the Iraqi Nation Party and the Iraqi Communist Party said in interviews that dozens of armed security forces had come to their offices here Sunday, two days after another round of demonstrations.

    Though the parties do not have any seats in Parliament, they are outspoken critics of Mr. Maliki’s government. They called the evictions illegal efforts to weaken them.

  • From Jason Linkins at HuffPo: Mike Huckabee Seeks Clarification On Whether His Mau Mau Uprising Comments Were Dumb Or Not

    Over at Mediaite, Mark Joyella runs down the highlights of an interview that presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee gave on Sirius Radio’s POTUS channel, in which he responds to last week’s nonsensical Kenya-Mau Mau Uprising bleatings by…well, I was going to say “by continuing to put his foot in his mouth,” but that’s not exactly what he’s doing. Would that he had! Then, the noises he made would have sounded more like “MMMMHHUUNNGGGH GGHHHHLLLEEEGGHHH,” punctuated by choked inhalations.

    If Huckabee did spend the next three days gnawing on his own metatarsals, I’d be inclined to say he would “win the week.” Instead, Huckabee offered up some more excuse making. Apparently now it’s everyone else’s fault, for evaluating his remarks in context!

       On the reaction to his comments on Kenya, Huckabee says they “ranged from-this guy is so dumb he doesn’t know that Barack Obama grew up in Indonesia not Kenya-all the way to the other extreme…well, I can’t be both. I can’t be the dumbest guy in the room and the smartest guy in the room at the same time.”

    Is there really anybody dumb enough to say “Huckapoop” is the “smartest guy in the room”?

  • Heh. W doesn’t like the press.

    From Think Progress:

    In Unprecedented Move, Bush Bars Media From Covering Desert Town Hall Speaker Series Speech

    President Bush spoke at the Desert Town Hall speaker series in Southern California yesterday and banned all media from covering the event. The former president even barred representatives from two of the events’ sponsors, a local CBS affiliate and The Desert Sun, who were scheduled to moderate the question and answer period. A Desert Town Hall official said he didn’t recall such a request being made by any of the event’s previous speakers, which have included Tony Blair, ret. Gen. Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice


      • TMC on March 11, 2011 at 6:24 am

      Good Fricking Grief!

      Maybe they should have read a history book or, if they were too lazy to to that, ask the British or the Russians.

      Putting Afghan Plan Into Action Proves Difficult

         ALAM KHEL, Afghanistan – If the American-led fight against the Taliban was once a contest for influence in well-known and conventionally defined areas – the capital and large cities, main roads, the border with Pakistan, and a handful of prominent valleys and towns – today it has become something else.

      I am seriously concerned about the ability of the military commanders to come up with a coherent plan to defend the US.

    1. facing disrespect in their post-government legal careers for their handling of detainees during their service as AG, bet Secretaries of Defense (especially those who are not lawyers) don’t have to worry about a respectable (or disrespectable) legal reputation affecting their post-government careers (livelihoods).    

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