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World’s dumbest woman

Oh my God. She’s so fucking stupid, I can’t even get mad at her. She’s nuts:

Sara smile

Monte Montgomery and Daryl Hall:

Why you should care

Matt Taibbi:

If you’re wondering why you should care if some idiot trader (who apparently has been making $100 million a year at Chase, a company that has been the recipient of at least $390 billion in emergency Fed loans) loses $2 billion for Jamie Dimon, here’s why: because J.P. Morgan Chase is a federally-insured depository institution that has been and will continue to be the recipient of massive amounts of public assistance. If the bank fails, someone will reach into your pocket to pay for the cleanup. So when they gamble like drunken sailors, it’s everyone’s problem.


Activity like this is exactly what the Volcker rule, which effectively banned risky proprietary trading by federally insured institutions, was designed to prevent. It will be argued that this trade was a technically a hedge, and therefore exempt from the Volcker rule. Not only does that explanation sound fishy to me (as Salmon notes, for Iksil’s trade to be a hedge, this would mean Chase had an equally giant and insane short bet on against corporate debt, which seems unlikely), but it’s sort of immaterial anyway: whether or not this bet technically violated the Volcker rule, it definitely violated the spirit of the law. Hedge or no hedge, we don’t want big, federally-insured, too-big-to-fail banks making giant nuclear-powered derivatives bets.

When will Obama ‘evolve’ on jobs?

MoveOn.org lives inside a liberal bubble where no one acknowledges how little leadership and passion the president has shown on most progressive issues, especially the ongoing disaster of unemployment in this country. More here.

Happy Mother’s Day

From Trayvon Martin’s mother:

Takedown

Via Media Matters, Tweety does a really good takedown of right-wing anti-gay hatemonger Tony Perkins. Oh Tweety, if only you treated the rest of your far-right guests like this! Barney Frank also does his usual great job:

During the May 10 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews invited Tony Perkins – president of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council (FRC) – and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) to discuss the issues of same-sex marriage and adoption.


Perkins’ presence on MSNBC isn’t surprising – the hate group leader has become a regular guest on the network over the past several months, and has typically been treated as a credible, uncontroversial political figure, especially on Hardball.


On Thursday, however, things were different.


For nearly 15 minutes, Matthews, with the help of Frank, grilled Perkins on his views on homosexuality, marriage equality, and same-sex parenting. Matthews challenged Perkins’ anti-gay misinformation, held him accountable for past statements, and demonstrated how out-of-the-mainstream his extreme positions really are:

This is exactly the kind of interview that major news outlets should be conducting when dealing with someone like Perkins.


Instead of sitting idly by while Perkins peddled his anti-gay talking points, Matthews forced him to defend his positions under serious scrutiny. It’s how responsible news anchors should strive to treat guests who have histories of promoting misinformation, and it’s what audiences should expect to see when watching a serious political discussion.

Union buster

Isn’t that nice!

Madison – A filmmaker released a video Thursday that shows Gov. Scott Walker saying he would use “divide and conquer” as a strategy against unions.


Walker made the comments to Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks, who has since given $510,000 to the governor’s campaign – making her Walker’s single-largest donor and the largest known donor to a candidate in state history.


The filmmaker has done work on Democratic campaigns and gave $100 in 2010 to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s challenger in the June 5 recall election.


In the video shot on Jan. 18, 2011 – shortly before Walker’s controversial budget-repair bill was introduced and spawned mass protests – Hendricks asked the governor whether he could make Wisconsin a “completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work.” The Republican donor was referring to right-to-work laws, which prohibit private-sector unions from compelling workers to pay union dues if the workers choose not to belong to the union.


Walker replied that his “first step” would be “to divide and conquer” through his budget-adjustment bill, which curtailed most collective bargaining for public employee unions.


Documentary filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein, who says he captures both sides in his work, videotaped the conversation that Walker had with Hendricks and Mary Willmer-Sheedy, a community bank president for M&I Bank. The filmmaker was recording what Willmer-Sheedy and others in Janesville were doing to try to create jobs in an area hard hit by the shutdown of its General Motors plant and related businesses.


In the video, Hendricks told Walker she wanted to discuss “controversial” subjects away from reporters, asking him:


“Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions -”


“Oh, yeah,” Walker broke in.


“- and become a right-to-work?” Hendricks continued. “What can we do to help you?”


“Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill,” Walker said. “The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer. So for us, the base we get for that is the fact that we’ve got – budgetarily we can’t afford not to. If we have collective bargaining agreements in place, there’s no way not only the state but local governments can balance things out . . . That opens the door once we do that. That’s your bigger problem right there.”


The entire conversation was not released Thursday with a video trailer of the documentary, but Journal Sentinel reporters were allowed to view the raw footage, in which the governor goes on to talk about curbing liability lawsuits and government regulations.

Bully

Isn’t it amazing? This incident was so brutal that it still haunts the memories of most of the participants — just not Mitt Romney. Apparently it just slipped his mind, just one more “boyish prank.” I could do some armchair analysis of the type of personality that is so lacking in empathy at such an early age, but it would only be conjecture. So I’ll let the incident speak for itself.

We’ve all known Golden Boys who felt entitled to do whatever they wanted, and so rarely suffered consequences. We’ve also known their enablers, who were often just as scared of these bullies as their victims were, and who carry the weight of their inaction with them.

Phillip Maxwell, an attorney in Michigan, confirmed to CBS News that the incident with John Lauber is accurately described in The Washington Post piece. Maxwell was one of the Post’s four on-the-record sources. A fifth asked not to be named. Maxwell says the only thing not accurate is that the Post reporter said the incident occurred in a dorm room, but it happened in a common room.


“Mitt was a prankster, there’s no doubt about it. This thing with Lauber wasn’t a prank. This was, well, as a lawyer, it was an assault. It was an assault and a battery. And I’m sure that John Lauber carried it with him for the rest of his life,” Maxwell told CBS News.


The Post’s article details Romney’s teen-age years spent at Cranbrook, a prestigious prep school in Michigan, and focuses on the many pranks played by the future presidential contender. Several were harmless but others are remembered as cruel, insensitive or frightening to the victims.


Maxwell, who is not a Republican and wasn’t planning to vote for Romney, says “this isn’t a politically motivated thing for me. I got asked questions by [Post reporter] Jason Horowitz and I responded honestly to him. I didn’t decide to bring this thing up. But I think it probably is relevant.”


“I’ve carried this story with me a long time. It was very disturbing. I think that view is shared by everyone involved in it,” Maxwell says. “It just was a black mark on my character that I didn’t stop it.”


The hair-cutting incident, according to The Washington Post, was confirmed by five of Romney’s classmates who described the event as “senseless, stupid, idiotic” and “vicious.” Candy Porter was the victim of a well-known prank in which Romney and his Cranbrook friends posed as cops, complete with fake siren and badges, and pretended to bust some friends and their dates. Porter told the Post she was “terrified.”


Romney was also remembered as having shouted “Atta girl!” when another closeted gay student tried to speak up in the classroom.


Romney said he did not recall that incident. “You know there are a lot of times, my guess is at a boys’ school when one of the boys do something and people say ‘hey atta girl,’… I had no idea that he was gay,” Romney explained when asked about the comment. He again apologized for having offended anyone, saying no harm was intended.


When Kilmeade asked if The Post’s article was meant to show that he grew up in an intolerant environment, Romney was quick to say during Thursday’s interview with Brian Kilmeade that he did not, and he pointed out that the sexual orientation of the people referenced in the story was not known when they were all in high school. “I had no idea that this person might have been gay,” Romney said, “and the article points out I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks in high school and some may have gone too far and for that I apologize.”


“I had no idea this person might have been gay.” Really, Mittens? First of all, I don’t believe it. Nope. A group of adolescent boys who didn’t notice that another boy committed the crime of being “different”? Second, even if I did believe it (which I don’t), I’d point out that your reaction to someone’s harmless differences was to impose your own values on them.


You’re not a nice person, Mitt Romney. You’re mean, you lack empathy, you don’t seem to care about anything unless it affects people who are Just Like You.


That’s not what we need in the White House. Not now, not ever. Christ, it’s bad enough to have a president who brags about drone attacks. But you? You’re even worse.

Finally?

It’s not as if we haven’t heard Harry Reid make noises about filibuster reform before. But it sure sounds like he’s angry enough to actually do something this time:

An angry Harry Reid took to the floor Thursday and demanded changes to the Senate’s hallowed filibuster rules, siding with junior Democrats who have sought to substantially weaken the powerful delaying tactic.
It’s a risky move for the Senate majority leader, who could find himself in the minority in a matter of months and need the filibuster to block the GOP’s agenda. But Reid — who struck a “gentleman’s agreement” last year with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to preserve the filibuster from an effort by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff. Merkley (D-Ore.) to water it down — signaled he is now on board with their effort given the gridlock in the Senate.

“If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight,” Reid said on the floor. “These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong — or most of us, anyway. What a shame.”

Reid added: “If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rules, because it’s been abused, abused, abused.”

Reid’s comments came after he tried to quickly pass a House-passed bill aimed at reauthorizing the Export-Import bank. Republicans objected, asking for votes on five of their amendments. Reid filed a cloture motion, setting up a test vote for Monday evening to begin debate on the measure.

It takes 60 votes — and time-consuming cloture motions — to overcome a filibuster, a tool that has been employed with growing frequency by both parties over the years.

[…] Udall and Merkley were calling for the rules to be changed through a circuitous process by 51 votes, a move they called the “constitutional option” but that critics dubbed the “nuclear option.”

Instead, Reid and McConnell agreed to a series of small rules changes and a general agreement to make the Senate more efficient without changing the filibuster.

Of course, this is Harry “Collegiality” Reid. It’s also possible he’s just blowing smoke to get his way on the current matter. But let’s hope he means it this time.

It’s not as if we haven’t heard Harry Reid make noises about filibuster reform before. But it sure sounds like he’s angry enough to actually do something this time:

An angry Harry Reid took to the floor Thursday and demanded changes to the Senate’s hallowed filibuster rules, siding with junior Democrats who have sought to substantially weaken the powerful delaying tactic.
It’s a risky move for the Senate majority leader, who could find himself in the minority in a matter of months and need the filibuster to block the GOP’s agenda. But Reid — who struck a “gentleman’s agreement” last year with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to preserve the filibuster from an effort by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff. Merkley (D-Ore.) to water it down — signaled he is now on board with their effort given the gridlock in the Senate.
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More stupid right-wing Catholic shit

This is just plan silly:

All second baseman Paige Sultzbach wanted to do was play in her school’s state championship baseball game tonight.


But because she is a girl, that won’t happen.


Sultzbach is a freshman at Mesa Preparatory Academy, which had been scheduled to play Our Lady of Sorrows Academy in tonight’s Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship at Phoenix College.


But Our Lady of Sorrows, a fundamentalist Catholic school in Phoenix that lost twice to Mesa Prep during the regular season, chose to forfeit the championship game rather than play a team fielding a female player.


Our Lady of Sorrows school officials would not comment, but Sultzbach’s mother, Pamela Sultzbach, said her daughter and the rest of the team received the news after Wednesday afternoon’s practice.


“This is not a contact sport, it shouldn’t be an issue,” Pamela said. “It wasn’t that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it’s that (they believe) that a girl’s place is not on a field.”


Paige played softball and volleyball in junior high, but because Mesa Prep does not have a girls softball team, she decided to try out for the boys baseball team, with the coach’s encouragement.


From early on, Paige tried to blend in, her mother said. When the coach referred to the kids as “guys and gals,” Paige spoke up and said that they all wear the same uniform, so the coach should just call them all guys.


Her teammates have stood up for her.


During Mesa Prep’s two previous games with Our Lady of Sorrows, Paige didn’t play out of respect for the opposing team’s beliefs, but that wasn’t going to be an option this time, Pamela said.


“We respected their school rule … but she took it hard,” Pamela said. “She didn’t like it and neither did her teammates. They went out and played the best they could because they wanted to prove a point.”


Our Lady of Sorrows is run by the U.S. branch of the Society of Saint Pius X, a group of conservative, traditionalist priests who disagree with the reforms of the Vatican II Council in the 1960s and broke with the Catholic Church in the 1980s.

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