Thursday, July 10, 2014

SAR #14189

America needs to choose a stable and internally coherent governing ideology for a while.Ed Kilgore.

Don't Look Now, But: The parent company of Portugal's largest bank, Espirito Santo, has “delayed payments” on its short-term notes while an independent audit found "irregularities” in the bank's accounts that indicate the bank cannot make its bond payments. Holy Ghost, indeed. 
Next Up: Citi is nearing resolution with the Justice Department on its massive fraudulent mortgage operations. At best, the Citicorp will pay a negligible fine (as little as $7 billion which is a fraction of their illegal gains) and no one will go to jail. That's also the worst since no one will go to jail - despite years of intentional mortgage fraud that ruined the lives of millions and tanked the economy. No bonuses were harmed in making this settlement.

No State Left Behind: Kansas is refusing to release information on student scores on statewide reading and math tests, nor how individual districts or schools did. Science? They don't study science in Kansas.

Teaching Point: Gordon College, a small right-wing Christian college in Massachusetts, claims it has the right to discriminate in its employment practices against anyone it wishes as long as God tells it to. Or something like that. It's all about religious freedom, Hobby Lobby, national security [really] and sex. Especially the sex.

Penny Saved: What if the guy next door said he was tired of paying taxes and was going to become a citizen of a country where he could pay nearly no taxes. Not that he was moving, he was just going to stop paying taxes and claim he didn't have to any more. He was going to stay right there across the street, sharing our water, highways, Medicare, police protection, parks, schools, and other other public services – some that are available to him but not to you- but he was no longer going to pay his part of the taxes that make them available. Your neighbor can't do this, of course. He's a 'real' person. But corporations can, because they are 'legal' persons. And if they don't want to pay taxes here, they pretty much don't have to. And pretty much, they don't.

Roses: Demonstrators outside a Hobby Lobby store chanted “A craft store is not a church.” Which is self evident; a church is a place where 13-year-olds are beaten and made to dig their own graves and a pastor rapes little kids. Because sincerely held religious beliefs...

Yes, But... An fireman in Ohio has come up with a device that children can quickly deploy to barricade a classroom door against an armed invader. Or which the armed invader can deploy to keep the SWAT team out.

Party Poopers: Wal-Mart's CEO has been joined by the CEO of The Container Store in refuting the party line about poor retail sales being stalled by 'the weather' and suggesting that the slowdown in retail business is real, and really bad. 
Crime And Punishment: OSHA has fined Freedom Industries $11,000 for poisoning a West Virginia river that supplied water to over 300,000 people and cost local businesses about $61 million. The fine is academic, of course, because the owners declared bankruptcy as a dodge to avoid financial responsibility for their crimes.

Dominoes!: Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban has been ruled unconstitutional (implementation delayed while the politicians waste taxpayer monies in hopeless appeals). Indiana, which is also going through the appeals charade, says that it will not recognize any same-sex marriages performed while the last rites are performed on the unconstitutional statute.

Thought Experiment: What if there was a contraceptive device that was 100% effective, that could be used for long periods of time and could be stopped if you wanted to get pregnant? What if it was an implant, regulated wirelessly? What if the government or hackers or – god forbid – the Republicans or Microsoft could control it? What could go wrong? 
Porn O'Graph: The map is the territory.

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