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Tsunami

In Japan after 8.9 earthquake in Japan last night. Hawaii also hit, West Coast expecting tsunami:

My astrologer friend Richard, who predicted the time and place of Hurricane Katrina (he’s been right so many times, I don’t even keep track anymore), is predicting more earth/weather/tidal extremes next week, when the moon’s orbit is as close as it gets. Astrologers have been preparing for major earthquakes because Uranus just changed signs, as it does every seven years.

Stupidity

Let me ask you something: when you have a mortgage, student loans, car loan and credit cards, but you’re making more than enough to make those payments, do you declare bankruptcy? Of course you don’t.

And that’s why Paul Ryan IS A FUCKING NUMBNUTS. Oh, did I say that out loud? The only reason this man is a “rising figure” is because the rest of Congress is too stupid and/or morally bereft to know/admit how full of shit he is, and our president is too ineffectual to rebut him:

WASHINGTON — House Republicans will “lead with our chin” and offer politically explosive cost curbs this spring on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and perhaps Social Security, the party’s point man for curbing crippling budget deficits said Thursday.

Even then, Rep. Paul Ryan acknowledged, the government’s budget still won’t balance for quite some time.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, the Wisconsin lawmaker and chairman of the House Budget Committee said the House Republicans’ budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 will propose fundamental changes to Medicare and Medicaid, the giant health care programs that cover 100 million Americans and whose combined costs rival the defense budget.

Ryan offered no specifics, saying details are still being hashed out.

Ryan, 41, a rising figure in the GOP, has been tasked with both schooling the 87 new Republican freshmen on the brain-numbing intricacies of the budget and devising a plan to wrestle the deficit under control. Both are big challenges.

“I see a willingness to embrace big things, I see a willingness to tackle the problem,” Ryan said, describing the sentiment among Republican freshmen elected on a wave of concern about the growing scope and reach of government.

“When you walk people through just how deep this hole is … it really does leave a lot of jaws dropping,” he said.

It’s just the motion

Richard and Linda Thompson from the 1982 classic “Shoot Out The Lights”:

The Confession

Laura Nyro, from “Eli & The 13th Confession”:

Yoo hoo, Marylanders

Doggies looking for homes!

Nightime

Big Star:

Union bride

Aww, I love this story!

Blueprint for a takeover

Wisconsin Republicans lied while the Koch brothers schemed.

Our new role model is Texas

Safe drinking water — or recall?

Pennsylvania has come under fire lately as pollution from drilling in the Marcellus Shale threatens water resources across the state. But instead of ratcheting up oversight, Gov. Tom Corbett wants to hand authority over some of the state’s most critical environmental decisions to C. Alan Walker, a Pennsylvania energy executive with his own track record of running up against the state’s environmental regulations.

Walker, who has contributed $184,000 to Corbett’s campaign efforts since 2004, is CEO and owner of Bradford Energy Company and Bradford Coal, which was once among Pennsylvania’s largest coal mining companies. He also owns or has an interest in 12 other companies, including a trucking business and a central Pennsylvania oil and gas company.

Walker was Corbett’s first appointee—he chose him to lead the Department of Community and Economic Development in December, before taking office. Now, as Corbett stakes much of the state’s economy on Marcellus Shale gas drilling, a paragraph tucked into the 1,184-page budget gives Walker unprecedented authority to “expedite any permit or action pending in any agency where the creation of jobs may be impacted.” That includes, presumably, coal, oil, gas and trucking.
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See no evil

Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A months-long investigation into abusive mortgage practices by the Federal Reserve found no wrongful foreclosures, members of the Fed’s Consumer Advisory Council said Thursday.

During a public meeting attended by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and other regulators, consumer advocates on the panel criticized federal bank regulators for narrowly defining what constitutes a “wrongful foreclosure.” At least one member of the panel voiced concerns that the public would not take the Fed’s findings of improper practices seriously, since the wide-ranging review did not find a single homeowner who was wrongfully foreclosed upon.

The Fed’s findings seem to support claims from the banking industry, which has admitted to sloppy practices but has maintained that the homeowners whose homes have been repossessed were substantially behind on their payments. The Fed’s report has not been released to the public.

All 50 state attorneys general joined together last fall to probe banks’ foreclosure practices after several companies halted home repossessions when improper paperwork practices — like the so-called “robo-signing” scandal — came to light. The law enforcement officers have said they’ve found banks violated numerous state laws. State and federal officials are considering a large-scale settlement with banks and mortgage servicers that could include penalties totaling up to $30 billion and requirements to modify more distressed mortgages

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