Thursday, December 31, 2009

Depressingly rare journalism

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A friend clued me into this, but I've been saying for years that Democrats have to respond to this kind of Cheneyite bullshit by saying over and over and over again that the Republicans always lie. Always.

Note to reporters on the penis-bomb

The penis-bomb fizzle in Detroit (there's a phrase I never imagined writing!) points up the utter failure of U.S. intelligence agencies. Abdulmutallab bought his ticket with cash and didn't check a bag! His own father had reported him directly to the Nigerian embassy. Our Nigerian embassy.

Systems fail, though. All systems.

What I'd like to see as follow-up to this good factual story from the New York Times is a way for me to assess whether this was a rare failure due to imperfection or a symptom of systemic failure. That requires numbers:

  • How many reports are the intelligence agencies sharing?
  • What proportion lead to actions (beyond entry into a database that "serves as holding area for cases that need more research")? And, no, 1700 visas revoked in eight years doesn't seem like a lot to me.
  • What proportion of similar fact patterns to this attack elicit a no-fly order? A pat-down order? Some other protective act, where here there was none?
Who's going to report that story?

Update: An attempt at context, though I want details on the firehose intel is drinking from, and Ackerman ignores the behavioral markers - cash and no carry-on.

Update (1/9/10): Hey, my Google alert tells me the Wall Street Journal has linked to me. With such a pithy title, too, espethially if you lithp!


Here's a slash at Darth Cheney with a light saber:

To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.

Don't wait

Ezra Klein lays out the case for Senate rules reform - specifically, of course, a drastic weakening of the filibuster. Then he goes off the rails:

[A]ttract Republicans to the project by phasing the filibuster out six or eight years in the future, when we can't predict which party will initially benefit.
No, there's already too much delay. When the new Senate is seated on January 3, 2011, change the rules by majority vote.

Stop running away from partisanship. The Republicans don't. Smack 'em down and show America what you can accomplish, Democrats. They'd do it to you. They've prepared to do it in past Congresses. Beat them to the punch.

Rush has a heart

Who knew!

I don't wish the man dead. Off the air, sure, but not dead.

Just imagine, though, the application of the Republican Le Chatelier's principle to Rush's chest pains. In response to every economic act - and especially the economic acts of the government - conservatives claim:

  • Those who need help deserve what they got, whether it's the result of sex or business conditions or mere proximity to a social problem.
  • Offering help only encourages more wrong behavior.
This reflects their own introspection into their character, I think. They know that they look to exploit rather than thank every helping hand, so they assume that everyone else must, as well.

Since that's how Rush would take it (and take it and take it), I wouldn't want to encourage more corpulence, smoking, drug abuse, and bile from Limbaugh. Even though I don't wish him dead, I'm not wasting any sympathy on him. After all, that would just encourage him to have a full-blown heart attack.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More things only a Republican could believe

Click image for full Tom Tomorrow/Salon cartoon. You won't be sorry.

Part the first is here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stop playing nice

It's more important to Jim DeMint (R-Ft. Sumter) to be a dick about unions than to secure Americans against terror threats:

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, has been holding up the confirmation of Erroll Southers to be TSA chief, in an effort to prevent TSA employees from joining a labor union. Southers is a former FBI special agent and counterterrorism expert.
But is he chastened in the least about his role? Nope, he doubles down on the labor hatred:
"I hope this incident will lead the President to re-think this policy and put the interests of American travelers ahead of organized labor."
Not ahead of organized management, mind you, just ahead of labor in any form.

In the best of leaders, it takes serious self-esteem to be a national politician, but this degree of immunity from conscientious self-assessment is world-class demagogue.

Meanwhile, any deliberative body that permits a single member to block an appointment is seriously broken. It once worked, but in the end it has encouraged continuous temper tantrums from Republicans who cherish the rights of their privileges without any of the concomitant responsibilities to their fellow members, much less to the country.

One party is determined to make this country ungovernable. If that means thwarting the will of the majority, they have no problem with that. If it means failing utterly to grapple with any problem other than the politics of power, that's what they learned from their Republican forebears.

The time is long past to stop treating the Republicans as colleagues. At best, they are cage-fighting adversaries, at worst enemies of the republic.

Update (12/30): Yesterday, DeMint was proud of his obstruction. Today, he's out with a "new" story: It's the Democrats' fault. Hint: It's their fault they didn't give him his way.

Law - who needs it?

Another Republican finds the law dispensable if he's hysterically afraid enough.

Murder by numbers

New Yorkers just aren't killing each other the way they used to. In trying to understand why, I've run into the major puzzles of America and murder.

The national rate of murder in America has been rising while that of nearly all our friendly rivals in Europe has fallen dramatically (PDF) over the past several centuries. New York's current rate of 6 murders per 100,000 people per year is pretty much average for America as a whole, quite an accomplishment for a large city, but it's six times the norm in Europe.

Gun possession, measured as the number of households owning at least one gun, has actually decreased over the long term. Handgun ownership, though, has increased dramatically. Is that the explanation?

If so, it's only part of the explanation, since even neglecting the majority of 2009 New York murders that were indeed committed with a gun, New York's murder rate is still more than twice the European rate.

Maybe we're just meaner than the rest of the so-called civilized world.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Elephantiasis of the brain

Click image for full Hap Pitkin/Boulder Daily Camera cartoon.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shorter meme

Click image for full Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle cartoon.

Parenting a 2-year-old

Click image for full Tom Toles/Washington Post cartoon.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A little slow

Parker Griffith is no longer a DINO. Good riddance!

Finally he's found a home among the Republicans. What took him so long?

(h/t Lawyers, Guns, and Money)

Martyring little Abdulmutallab

This terrorist wannabe set off an incendiary device inside his pants between his legs. It may have taken balls to try what he tried, but here's hoping he has burned through his lifetime supply.

Kudos to the passengers for not standing idly by.

None dare speak its name

Well, none in the big media, anyway:

The breach of "journalistic objectivity" comes not from calling this conduct what it is, but from refusing to do so -- from obfuscating what took place by using soothing euphemisms and according equal deference to the plainly false denials of those who did it...
Torture, war crimes, atrocities. The Bushists did them all in our name. The national media refuse to hold them criminally accountable. The Democrats refuse too.

A culture that cannot stomach calling acts by their well-known names is in deep trouble.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Teabag Christians pray for death

Listen carefully (around 0:15) and you will hear that this prayer group prayed for Sen. Robert Byrd to die so that the current tepid health insurance reform wouldn't pass a procedural vote in the Senate. The caller explicitly states that they got the message from wingnut Sen. Tom Coburn to hold their prayer vigil:

The degree to which Mr. Byrd’s condition looms over the proceedings was underscored Monday when Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, outraged Democrats in a floor speech by declaring that "what the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote."
He didn't explicitly call on Byrd to die. He left that for wingnut bloggers - and eager Christianists. Is the Christianity of forgiveness and mercy passé?

Second thoughts (5:32 p.m.): I was out finishing my Christmas shopping, which I always delay to the last minute because I'm a serious procrastinator, not because of my lack of faith. Somewhere in the ebbing commercial frenzy of excess, I came upon enough hope in my normally justified pessimism about political Christians to rethink this a little.

Surely this call was spoofing the American Taliban. Surely the bar for what can be called Christian is not so low. Surely the weeping over the invented, supposed death of James Inhofe was a tip-off that this couldn't be real.

Even so, both Sen. John Barrasso and the C-SPAN news host didn't respond at all to the claimed death prayers. Trust me when I tell you that a Democrat in that position would be pilloried for weeks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Artificial Christmas tree

Liberal media bias is a bullshit article of faith not representative of the real world. It's evergreen because it's fake.

A survey conducted by the liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, which focused on the first two weeks of February 2003, found that of 393 people interviewed on-camera for network news reports about the war, just 17 percent of them expressed skepticism about the looming invasion. This at a time when polling showed that approximately 50 percent of Americans had doubts about the planned war. And according to figures from media analyst Andrew Tyndall, of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC, and CBS from September 2002 until February 2003, almost all the stories could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, or the State Department. Just 8 percent of the television news reports were of independent origin.
The fundamental source of existential danger to the American republic is the hardy ability of a large portion of the population to believe obvious lies.

(h/t Atrios)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Going wingnut

Republicans have real opportunities in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they are determined to go even harder right. Charlie Crist isn't wingnut enough, so they'll give Democrats a better chance to win a Senate seat in Florida. Maybe they want us to have to deal with another conservadem.

You can usually tell when the party out of power really, really wants back into power. They move to the middle. Today's insane Republican Party clearly hungers for power, but they are unwilling to compromise at all.

That unwillingness to compromise is dangerous for any democracy.

Things only a Republican could believe

Click image for full Tom Tomorrow/Salon cartoon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bearing grifts

Click image for full David Horsey/Seattle Post-Intelligencer cartoon in color.

Journalistic follow-through on Visorgate

There are hundreds of substantive stories the press could cover. Mostly, journalists give them no attention at all. At best, they're one and done.

What do reporters (on TV, especially) get to the bottom of? Stupid, idiotic reactions to non-stories that any ignorant celebrity-watcher can relate to. I hope this mild reaction from John McCain to Visorgate puts an end to that particular waste of everyone's time.

"Oh, it's fine. Sarah said she wanted to be a little bit incognito," McCain said when asked about the incident on "Fox News Sunday. "I don't blame her. I understand that."
I don't care that Sarah Palin's explanation of why she did it is the most obvious bullshit since ... the last time she opened her mouth.

But have no fear, there will be other inconsequential stories. Hey, the press asked Bill Clinton whether he wore boxers or briefs (what, no commando option!?). Think of the multiple choice questions they could ask Palin. Thong? That would get all the conservative men back to fantasy - if they ever left.

Update (12/22): Joan Walsh points me to Salon's review of the bullshit stories that give journalists good wood for their tabloids.

Shorter Human Events

Dick Cheney was the best we could do in another awful year for conservatives. We couldn't go with the hysterical weeping of Glenn Beck.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Compromise to the right

The fundamental assumption of big media is that compromise always comes from the left as a gift to the so-called center, which in these troubled times is way over to the right on economic issues:

Now ideology — an uprising on the Democratic left — is smacking the pragmatic president in the face.

Stung by the intense White House effort to court the votes of moderate holdouts ..., liberals are signaling that they have compromised enough.

The White House scrambled Thursday to tamp down the revolt...
Ideology was already smacking President Obama in the face. The conservative Democrats may claim that they have no ideology, but that's bullshit. Their pro-corporate reflexes - not to mention anti-abortion reflexes - have been vividly on display, but somehow Sheryl Gay Stolberg hasn't noticed it.

Moral hazard

Click image for full Bruce Beattie/Daytona Beach News-Journal cartoon.

Looking for a list to port

Click image for full Mark Streeter/Savannah Morning News cartoon.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More low comity

"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," replied [blessed Al] Franken.
Keeping the verbose, self-important Joe Lieberman (IINO-CT) from finishing yet another whiny, self-flattering speech on the Senate floor was only a slap on the wrist. Reid should throw Lieberman out of the caucus – and out of his chairmanship.

John McCain of course leapt to Lieberman's defense. Those two ought to get a room.

But answer me this: Has McCain ever objected on the Senate floor to Tom Coburn's Dr. No act? Has it ever occurred to him that Coburn's constant hamstringing of the Senate is far more low comity than shutting off Lieberman's at the end of his time? I know it deprives him of the heroin of ego gratification that a captive audience gives him, but everyone else in the world knows when to shut up.

Update: It's all so much bullshit, a non-story trumped up by the screamers in the media.

Visor not advisor

I have no esteem for Sarah Palin - and not much left for John McCain - but this big scoop of her turning a campaign visor into something she could use in normal life seems too trivial even for CNN's usual adolescent fanzine approach to Palin. Maybe CNN thought she was wearing an advisor on her head.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Low comity

The Republican caucus repeatedly offers the Democratic caucus the back of the hand, yet Democrats continue like an abused spouse or child to cling to the fantasy that there's comity in the Senate.

There isn't. Stop pretending and implement Democratic policies. Reduce the Republicans to the snarling whiners they are.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bigot of Binghamton

Moderating comments discourages comments. It's intended to discourage comments. So why did I turn it on? Don't I want comments?

Sure, I want to hear from you. Nearly all of you. I have no problem with conservative comments, not even with blithering wingnut comments. I just give them the back of my rhetorical hand.

Since October, however, I've been the target of a racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic asshole who won't go away. He calls himself Deer Crusher. He's more a Bambi Suck-off. (You do remember that Bambi was a male fawn, don't you?)

DC/BS is clearly a loser with nothing better to do than spam my comment threads with ugly vicious crap (e.g. "Race mixing = nigger in a bottle." or "My real name is Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz and I'm a jew communist. I eat Gentile babies and floss my filthy teeth with nigger pubic hair.") . And this is the same guy who said, "Sorry people but racism no longer exists in America." Guess he can't stand to look in the mirror. Can't say I blame him for that.

He has spammed here even on Saturday nights; who would date such a pea-brained dickless shithead! The upside of that, of course, is that this cretin won't breed and pass his bigotry on to another generation, as his father probably did. (Hey, maybe his mother left his father for a kind and intelligent black man!) The downside is that Bambi Suck-off has nothing better to do than seek out any attention he can get, no matter how negative. His is a personality type that will often descend to violence.

Because he shows up at times when normal people have something else to do, probably involving socializing (shudder!) with other y'know people, I know that he gets his Internet access in Binghamton, NY. Yep, there are bigots everywhere.

So, if you're out there reading and lurking and you're not Bambi Suck-off, please feel free to comment. Unless you're a soulmate of the bigot of Binghamton, I'll publish your comment, and I'll try to get it done quickly.

I may bitch slap you for stupidity too, but that's rare, and there you'll be with your name up in pixels anyway.

Update (12/22): In his on-going whining ineffectual attempts at harassment, BS claims that I was mean to him from the start. You be the judge.

Yet after all this time, the best he can do is call me an asshole. Which is basically where he started - along with 'communist' and a host of other playground epithets not worthy of a 12-year-old.

Lalala, not listening

The shroud of Turin is a fake, proven so by radiometric dating. This story, even though it's skeptical, fails to mention this proof. Instead, it merely points out how different the 2000-year-old shroud (not of Jesus) is from the forgery.

These new facts won't change many minds, if any. We live in an age when many people are immune to new learning. Nothing can convince them to change their beliefs. Nothing. They chose what they believe. They didn't reason about it. They won't reason about it now.

People like this have been common throughout history. I don't have evidence (and could be argued out of this belief), but I don't think there's any reason to believe that unreason is significantly more represented in the population now than in other eras.

The difference, I think, is that unreason is now a market, a segment of the population that will self-identify and provide access to its assets for the harvesting of profit. The prevalence of stupidity may not have changed, but its influence has grown markedly because mass marketing has given way to narrow, segmented marketing.

And, of course, stupidity is not that narrow a demographic.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Insurance principle

CIGNA, whose Senator scuttled the last vestiges of reform in health care "reform", just sent me an explanation of benefits. There's quite a little bit of corporate bullshit in that misnomer. For one thing, it's not about a benefit. For another, it's not an explanation. It says, as cryptically and indecipherably as possible, that the previous EOB that didn't abuse the word 'benefit' was wrong, that I would indeed have to pay $3400. I suppose non-explanation of non-benefit would be too ... honest.

I'm sure it was just coincidental that this happened within a month of my signing up again for another year of their health insurance.

Hint: The Democrats (my Democrats) are not going to change this at all. I can't wait to see their bullshit EOB.

Updated 12/16.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Threat of immigration

Beauty matters. Maybe it shouldn't matter as much as it does, but there's no doubt it overwhelms the brains of many men. We evolved this way. We want symmetrical women with fertility markers - fatty tissues in all of the right places and none of the wrong ones.

Women want to think that beauty doesn't also overwhelm their brains, but it does, although in less direct ways. Feminine beauty can overwhelm the brains even of heterosexual women. If you don't believe me, look around the check-out aisle at the supermarket.

Nativist conservatives especially despise one aspect of the current ethnic mix that is America: the browning of beauty. The racists are nostalgic for a white bread age they'd be more comfortable in. It won't come again, except maybe in Idaho. (By the way, anytime you hear "white bread," what it really means is white-bred.)

One top contender for the western standard of a beautiful woman is a Latin American mestiza (catching up, by the way, with the tall dark and handsome Latin lover - women are always ahead of men on social change). And the olive-skinned (euphemism alert!) women don't have to pass any more. Nativists want to know how in the ever-loving, blue-eyed world this happened!

Fox "News" knows about this change. They act on their knowledge. How many bottle-blonds do they put on screen? And I'm not talking honey blonds. Platinum, baby!

In fact, even Sarah Palin is a concession to the demographic tide - brunette and brown eyes - minority outreach! Though of course she does have creamy Caucasian skin.

Image from Boston Proper used at reduced resolution under Fair Use - link provided does not constitute an endorsement. The bonus joke here is that "Boston proper" once represented all things white and stuffy and conservative.

Gone but not forgotten

Click image for full Tom Tomorrow/Salon cartoon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Palin by comparison

If the media is soooo sure that we need more attractive women in our news, Sarah Palin doesn't cut it, compared to, say, Monica Bellucci.

Click image for attribution and CCA Sharealike 2.5 license. This post is licensed under the same terms.

Grinch politics

Shorter Thune: "If the Dems will just cut to the bone and forget stimulating the economy, we Repubs can blame them for the ensuing depression. Yahahaha!"

Planning for the future

Click image for full Dan Wasserman/Boston Globe cartoon.

Follow the money

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Yes, Virginia, there is a real health care reform

Click image for full Nate Beeler/Washington Examiner cartoon.


Click image for full Mike Keefe/Denver Post cartoon.

Throwing cold water

In an old western, the Republicans here would get slapped in the face to stun them out of their consistent hysteria. But the Democrats are too gentle. Way too gentle.

Click image for full Matt Davies/Journal News cartoon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another portent of doom

In other alleged news, Dan Quayle offered to troubleshoot Tiger Woods's sex life in exchange for a round of golf.

If we get the media we deserve - and I regretfully think we do - America may be too decadent to save.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Decaying empires hire mercenaries - and pay dearly.

They pay in self-respect, not just in filthy lucre.

Oh, and of course, we should call them by their name. Contractors? Feh.

Inability to adapt

Click image for full Steve Artley cartoon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Avuncular insanity

Dick Cheney continues to be held in high regard by CNN and the rest of the Fox-driven media - when he should be held in a high security correctional institution. Despite his proven willingness to lie and inability to distinguish truth from falsehood, CNN still thrusts his propaganda statements forward without any disclaimers other than his own.

The vice president also said Obama has implemented "radical" far left policies even though he campaigned as a conventional Democrat.

"He got elected as a liberal Democrat, but conventional in the sense of falling within the parameters of the national Democratic Party," Cheney said. "He's demonstrated pretty conclusively now during his first year in office that he's more radical than that, that he's farther outside the parameters…of what we've traditionally had in Democratic presidents in years past."

If Cheney thinks President Obama has moved far to the left, ol' Darth has lost his mind. The reason Obama has been a disappointment is that he is not even close to liberal enough. A few opportunities Obama has passed up to be liberal:
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq - are we still there?
  • Nationalization of insolvent banks
  • Single-payer health care
  • A firm end to the Bushist monarchist view of executive branch power
  • Prosecution of the rife and rank crimes of the Bushists
  • Progressive taxation
Where exactly has Obama been liberal? He's been a mainstream Keynesian. Is the borrowing what Cheney objects to? As if he never borrowed a trillion dollars for a war of choice... But then Cheney's particular political talent has always been able to say frankly insane things as if they made sense.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Still not as popular as Al Gore

CNN is still giving the love to Sarah Palin with the headline "CNN Poll: Palin's popularity on the rise". (Juvenile jokes left as an exercise for the reader.) But here's the money paragraph:

"Palin is still not as popular Al Gore [sic] and remains more unpopular than Joe Biden, but her favorable rating is much higher than Dick Cheney's," adds [CNN Polling Director Keating] Holland.
All because to quite a number of men, she's a MILF - or that exceedingly narrow category PILF...

Better look out if the Republicans run Carrie Prejean!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tory teabaggers

The tea party "movement" has been an astroturf effort from the beginning. Here's my evidence: My lovable liberal email address is on their list. How did it get there? A human teabagger wouldn't put me on their email list, though a webbot harvesting email addresses for a PR firm wouldn't care about my opposing ideology as it tried to pump up the appearance of a big movement.

There's more evidence. I get teabagger email from state organizations in many different states. Since I stopped reflexively deleting the teabagger email, I've heard from:

  • Colorado - via Blue Sky Factory - multiple times
  • Arkansas - via the same email server - multiple times
  • Texas - yep, same server - multiple times
  • Ohio - uh-huh (previously had no idea where the hell Zanesville is, not to mention local wingnut "Coach" Dave Daubenmire)
  • New York - multiple times
  • and a Virginia/Tennessee two-fer
All these far-flung organizations just happen to have the same email provider and list.

Of course, CNN continues to imagine that it might be possible that the teabagging organizations are really grassroots eruptions of popular sentiment:
Some Tea Partiers have voiced anger and concern over whether the powerful groups are "astroturfing'' what is supposed to be a grass-roots coalition -- the idea that the movement is being organized by old-fashioned GOP bigwigs to promote their agenda.
It's plainly obvious that they're centralized exploitations of the passion of wingnut ignoramuses. But CNN won't tell its readers the plain truth. CNN has to pretend its own ignorance in order to split the difference between, in this case, corporate conservatives and teabaggers.

It's maddening to try to get news out of our media. I imagine it's a lot like reading Pravda in the Soviet days.

Losing my religion

Who needs justice?

Click image for full Pat Bagley/Salt Lake Tribune cartoon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One panel Keynes

The simplest, most obvious fact that Republicans have to blind themselves to in order to remain blissfully ignorant of economics that acknowledges the incompleteness of the free market.

Click image for full Matt Davies/Journal News cartoon.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Obama's war

Barack Obama stepped up and decided for ... muddling through in Afghanistan with a bonus 30,000-soldier* deployment.

The Republican response to President Obama's escalation in Afghanistan is, as usual, full of bullshit. There's just nothing Obama could have said that would have pleased them. They want an exit strategy sometimes. Sometimes - now, for instance - they don't.

That's not what's important, though. What's important is the escalation and whether it's a good idea or a bad one. Mostly it seems like splitting the difference, playing down the middle, and it's hard for me to believe that's the right way to make good decisions. It seems like triangulation, and we all know how well that worked out for Bill Clinton.

I'm still trying to figure out what I think about this policy change. My reflex is against it, but on the other hand, this was the justifiable war the Bushists fought - y'know the war against the actual people who attacked us on 9/11. The question, really, is whether we can still hope to accomplish anything commensurate with the blood and treasure we'll have to spend there.

And, of course, Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan, to which the Bushists allowed him to escape.

Anyhow, more to follow...

* Yes, I know that Marines want their own noun that they don't have to share with the Army, but they're soldiers too. Kick-ass soldiers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Enraging truth

Could we please finally try liberalism? Goddammit!

Doesn't look like it...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

American royalties

Sarah Palin, million-seller. That ought to help with the legal bills and maybe leave something over for wardrobe.

Meanwhile, an investment tip: Bullshit futures are trending sharply upward.

Yes, this is a corollary of P.T. Barnum's famous maxim.

Beware, however: This could be the next bubble in the economy. And the wicked hangover from decades of overconsumption of bullshit will leave a bad taste.

Democrats have to do something

... to get bullshit coverage like yet another CNN ticker item on the draft Cheney "movement".

If I put up a cheesy draft Kerry site and issued a one-page press release, would anyone in big media cover my T-shirt business? I seriously doubt it.

Of course, Democrats have to do something, too, and they don't seem to be.

Global harming

Why bipartisanship is a bad idea...

Click image for full Tom Tomorrow/Salon cartoon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

How are you adjusting?

Click image for full Stephanie McMillan cartoon.

Walked unmolested

On or around December 16, two days after writing his will, bin Laden and an entourage of bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area. Most analysts say he is still there today.
Complete Bushist incompetence, excused and covered by lies from Dick Cheney... Anyone surprised by that?

The horse is gone, and we're still trying to close the damn barn door.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Memories of ancient civilizations

Print's not dead, but at this point blogging is ordinary.

Shopping Amazon the past two days, I noticed even more variety of its wares. Sex toys? Yep, though I bet they don't ship to Alabama. They're fulfilling orders now that they once left to partners. Why? Servers fulfill Kindle downloads automatically, and Amazon is really good at filling orders.

Click image for full Doonesbury by G.B. Trudeau.

Catching Roadrunner

Followers ... follow.

Click image for full Chan Lowe/Sun-Sentinel cartoon.

Isaac Newton, if you ask me

Believers see what they want to see, unconstrained by skepticism or reasonableness. God works in mysterious ... spray starch.

Photo credit for small clip: Grant Morris/AP Photo/The Eagle-Tribune


This is appalling example of unfair, regressive taxation:

[A] generous tax break for hedge fund managers, private-equity specialists, and venture capitalists ... has long been a target of tax equity advocates, who say it unfairly enriches high-earning financiers. Partners in those sectors of the investment industry enjoy a 15 percent tax rate on much of their profits, which are treated as capital gains, instead of the 35 percent rate they would pay if their earnings were taxed under normal income rules.
This vast and ugly loophole could only exist in a system bought and paid for by the interests of wealth. Haven't we bought the financial system back many times over by now?

It's time for pitchforks, metaphorical ones at least.

Why is this?

There could be lots of maps like this one from the New York Times on food stamp nutritional support:

The now solidly Republican and always conservative South is anti-tax as an article of faith, but it suckles lustily at the teat of the federal government. The liberal states, which not coincidentally are the states with strong educated upper middle classes, subsidize the states whose political heroes so often call us un-American.

So what's the problem? Is it that we're willing to feed your black people?

(This graphic, by the way, is great, an example of how informative Internet journalism could actually be. Click on the thumbnail and play around with the app; there's a lot there to learn.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

God is great

Tonight, I heard again the commonplace expression, "God is great." In Arabic, it would be "Allahu akbar."

I didn't think it was a marker of terrorism. I didn't mistake it for anything but a culture-specific assertion of faith, an attempt to bring religion into the public sphere.

I heard it - in English - from Tim Tebow after Florida smacked down Florida State. It was a Christian statement of faith - one of many he makes in the opportunity of his celebrity, including a Bible verse on his eye black.

Of course, of course, Islamic terrorists use this expression. The cause of this effect is that they're Islamic, not that they're terrorists.

Maj. Nidal Hasan may well have been a terrorist. Or possibly he just went postal because he was a frustrated failure who couldn't stand his deployment orders. Nonetheless, the fact that he reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar" is not proof of anything other than his religion.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lessons of Nam

Slow-learning wingnuts want to draft Cheney. At least they've learned that he won't volunteer.

Hey, you think I could get a story on CNN by the mere act of building a web site about a prominent Democrat? Would it have to be as cheesy and ridiculously thin and incompetent as this? No, not even then?

What if I just sell T-shirts?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Outrage, fine

... but no censorship. Google shouldn't be picking and choosing what we can see, and they already allow each of us to choose to exclude offensive images.

"The beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google, as well as the opinions of the general public, do not determine or impact our search results," it says.
The American answer to offensive speech is more speech.
"I am absolutely disgusted by this picture, but the Internet has thousands and thousands of offensive images. Should Google get rid of all of them? Where do you draw the line?" [Jerry Wright of Hoboken, New Jersey,] ... said by phone.
Other countries have different answers.
"There is no way to defend this heinous incident," Alheli Picazo of Calgary, Canada, told CNN by phone. "People often claim their right to free speech to mask blatant racism and insulting bigotry, and always seem to get away with it. When it comes to issues of discrimination, hiding behind free speech just doesn't cut it."
I greatly prefer our ironclad First Amendment guarantees.

Update (11/26): Clarity in the first paragraph.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slandering Teilhard

I've been following the Juxtacomm v. Ascential et al patent saga for years, especially for the past year on Vincent McBurney's now-silenced blog. Some pretty harsh things have been said on all sides, especially by the self-appointed defenders of management but also by various factions of shareholders. I've said some pretty harsh things, too, mostly to those same shills, though little if any of it related to their alleged very tiny penises.

I back down from nothing!

This suit was bullshit from the beginning. Its standing resulted from a commonplace failure of the US Patent and Trademark Office to know its ass from a hole in the ground where it comes to software. Patent 6195662 should never have been granted due to plain prior art. In nearly all its claims, it wasn't novel. Where it was novel (data bags and separate handling of some aspects), it was obvious. Anyone who ever coded an extract, transform, and load (ETL) tool - and I worked on more than one - would know that.

Now Teilhard management has apparently announced to their shareholders that they will pursue slander lawsuits against people who have hurt their widdle feewings in the blogosphere. I say "apparently" because, as is the case with everything Teilhard does, they try to keep it as closely held as possible, and I don't have access to their shareholder announcements.

Wow! The people you begged to invest in your lawsuit, now you're suing?! Because they've been impatient for you to fulfill their perception of your pitch promises... Because they've gone years expecting, rationally or not, a dividend just around the corner and they've yet to see even a thin dime. Go read a Yahoo stock chat board for comparison. You think you've been slandered? Get a grip. Criticism comes with this gig.

My advice to Teilhard management: Take off the pull-ups, put on your big boy underwear, and try to sleep through the night without wetting the bed or suing your mommy for your night terrors.

Of course, Teilhard management is mainly threatening to sue the company's own private shareholders, which certainly suggests a different agenda. Unless otherwise convincingly explained, I'd say their agenda is not the recovery of their so-called reputations but instead the suppression by fear of debate, dissent, and organization by concerned shareholders.

In the U.S., we'd call this a SLAPP suit, and it would be grounds for rapid pre-discovery dismissal in some jurisdictions. Canada has a similar law, maybe better than the typical American patchwork. Anyone who would use lawyers as bullies deserves to be slapped down.

You can have my First Amendment when you pry it from my cold dead mouth.

Previous Teilhard posting.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The lone Republican answer

Tax cuts! Economy's great? Cut taxes. Economy sucks? Cut taxes. And devil take the hindmost. If that's the hindmost half or more, so be it. That's Scott Brown's predictable panacea.

Typically, Brown ignored a key inconvenient fact: In fact, Massachusetts unemployment dropped by a record amount last month, and he still claims it's going up. Is he ignorant of this or just too committed to the wrong claim to give it up?

I've met Brown. He was out collecting nominating signatures, and he went off on an argumentative tangent when I told him I couldn't give him mine. Hey, I'm a registered Democrat, and the Town Clerk - a friend of mine - would have to strike my name from a Republican's petition.

I wasn't impressed with Brown's demeanor.

Making a difference

Click image for full Doonesbury by G.B. Trudeau.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Faith and proof

The Shroud of Turin is a proven fake. Proven. It's not a coincidence that the face looks like a 14th century painting. That's exactly what it is.

Faithful believers simply cannot be dissuaded from a story they like. No amount of scientific evidence is adequate.

Witness what a thin tissue of bullshit suffices to overturn definitive radiocarbon dating:

[Barbara Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives,] asserts that the words include the name “(J)esu(s) Nazarene’’ - or Jesus of Nazareth - in Greek. That, she said, proves the text could not be of medieval origin because no Christian at the time, even a forger, would have mentioned Jesus without referring to his divinity. Failing to do so would risk being branded a heretic.
This fails on level after level. Frale's opinion of what a forger would do in no way answers to the word proof. A "Princess Bride" rejoinder is tempting.

But even Frale's rationale - fear of heresy - is utterly unconvincing. The forger was concocting a holy relic for, no doubt, profit. He was already a heretic. He was already a mortal sinner. He would have been at great pains to make a convincing forgery. The people he was trying to fool weren't such naifs as Frale; they would have noticed the contemporary usage that she claims a forger would have been too afraid to avoid, and that very usage would have clued them to the forgery.

The press, of course, is ever pleased to purvey more bullshit to the credulous in its audience. They're happy to push Frale as a researcher and only in passing to note that she's a historian, that she has no qualifications to dispute the science.

Click image for details on public domain image.

Update (5/8/2010): Here's a story in much greater detail that shows how obvious the so-called shroud is actually a painting. (h/t Pharyngula)

Too little, too late

Nearly a year ago, Paul Krugman said that the $800 billion stimulus wouldn't fill the gap in aggregate demand. His colleagues are catching up.

Optimistic assumptions in turn contributed to producing a package that if anything is too small, analysts say. “The economy was weaker than we thought at the time, so maybe in retrospect we could have used a little bit more and little bit more front-loaded,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, another financial analysis group, in St. Louis.
Now, finally, there's an expert consensus that we ought to reup for more. Yeah, experts and another half a trillion dollars would buy us the stimulus we needed in the first place. Unfortunately, the Republicans and the Senate Blue Dog Democrats are immune to experts and would rather have Hoovervilles than fix the problem.

Actually, the Republicans gain as America loses, and they're o.k. with that. The Blue Dog Dems? What do they get? Do they put keeping their own jobs ahead of keeping millions of their constituents employed? Or are they just not very smart? Only if the stimulus succeeds wildly are they likely to retain their seats, yet they dither like a bunch of pullets headed for the plucker.

Friday, November 20, 2009


They call themselves pro-life, but their votes against stem cell research are pro-death. We should call them out on that.

The bait not taken

A couple of days ago, I received an odd email about Juxtacomm v. Ascential. Unless my correspondent (who, again, could be totally innocent) spoofed his email header, his ISP is in Calgary.

The redacted text is:

My name is __________ and I am a medium investor in Teilhard. I have noticed that you have posted quite a bit in the blogs, past and present and seem to be quite knowledgeable in the industry. I seem to recall that you work(ed) for one of the defendants in the original group. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions?

Let me know if you have the time. I would really like to call you rather than email, so if it is possible, let me know how to get in touch and the best time to call.

Thanks in advance.
Innocent enough on first blush, but after all that Teilhard management has done to suppress open communication about their company, I don't think I was clinically paranoid to think twice. Colloquially paranoid? Sure.

This could still be innocent. I just don't know what questions I'd be willing to answer I haven't already posted about. At this point, the suit's over, and it's hard to see what I might have to offer privately.

I'll tell you this: No way I'm going to have a phone conversation that might expose me to caller ID. But I'm also not going to email back. There's just too much information in a mail header, especially if I were foolish enough to email while inside the corporate firewall (yes, the corporate address is visible even if you're mailing from the web interface of a personal account).

Has anyone else received an email like this?

Previous Teilhard posting.

Duhbya in an up-do

With all the media foofaraw over Sarah Palin's expensive new ghost-written book, the liberal blogosphere has been all over the map trying to read the tea leaves about her future. The consensus is that, if she has a future, America as a success doesn't.

It's that if that divides our opinions. The cockeyed optimists (still!) among us imagine that there's no way we could actually elect such a simmering crock pot of vanity, resentment, undeserved and unearned self-esteem, and sheer blunt uneducability.

But I remember that this country was stupid enough to re-elect Duhbya (even if we weren't actually stupid enough to elect him in the first place). And she's a lot better looking than Duhbya.

Palin-Cheney 2012. Ouch.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Connecting the dot

Singular. The FBI looked into Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan correspondence with a radical Islamic cleric. Good. They should have. It was certainly alarming on its face.

Many Republicans, including Joe Lieberman, already have a diagnosis for why the FBI didn't make waves about it, and they don't even know what the FBI found:

[Fran Townsend] expressed concern that “political correctness,” and fear of intruding on Major Hasan’s free speech rights, may have interfered with the sharing of information earlier this year, when an F.B.I.-led counterterrorism team examined his e-mail exchanges with Anwar al-Awlaki, a well-known radical cleric, but found nothing amiss.
By political correctness, Bushists like Townsend mean observance of legal and Constitutional rights. Free speech? Who needs it!

I know they object to having to abide by the law of the land, but that email correspondence is the single dot they have to connect to a conspiracy that coddles soldiering while Muslim. It doesn't seem like a web of failure.

The Walter Reed fitrep (or unfitrep!) might look like another dot, but it's a garden variety personnel matter. In addition to being undeniably Muslim, Hasan was a really bad psychiatrist, and there's no denying that that is another possible motive for his crimes.

The magic lie

The Velvet Revolution began with a lie, so the New York Times says:

On Tuesday, thousands of Czechs marched through the streets here, to the sound of wailing sirens and the growls of police dogs, eerily replicating a nonviolent student march on Nov. 17, 1989, in which the police rounded on demonstrators and rumors spread that a 19-year-old university student named Martin Smid had been brutally killed. Scores had indeed been violently beaten. But no one, in fact, had died.


“Until that day, there had been a deal between the Communist regime and the people: ‘You shut up and we will take care of you,’ ” [Jan Urban] said. “But the moment people had the impression that their kids were being killed, the deal was off. As a journalist, I am ashamed of the lie because it was a professional blunder. But I have no regrets because it helped bring four decades of Communism to an end.”
Wingnuts are looking everywhere for the lie that will bring liberalism down. They send around emails that Snopes refutes but could never kill off in the fevered fear-driven conservative imagination. None of the lies they allege that Barack Obama has told are cited. They are all bullshit intended to appeal to people who will eagerly believe them without proof.

Wingnuts see themselves as heroic. They see themselves as guardians of the values that made the past so much better than the present. But it's fear that drives them.

The Times gets the interpretation of the story wrong. A single lie, no matter how motivating, won't have a butterfly effect on a political system. The Czechs and Slovaks - like all people in the Soviet Bloc - had already known for decades that communism was a system of lies. Their countervailing lie may well have broken the camel's back, but history had already prepared them to change. The police brutality alone might well have been enough.

Wingnuts who hope their lies will bring a reactionary sea change in America make four characteristic mistakes:
  • The U.S. is badly polarized (thanks to them), but it is not prepared for a mass movement to their side. Maybe they want another civil war, some in order to "correct" the results of the first.
  • Wingnuts are targeting their lies at their base, even though they think they're targeting people they might persuade.
  • The sheer volume of wingnut lies and deceits is so large that they have no credibility left. They "know" that they're righteous - God tells 'em, I guess - but we perceive them as habitual liars who are unconcerned with truth and only care about attaining the power that the Bushists so thoroughly abused.
  • The Velvet Revolution was a liberal revolution, not a conservative one. The fact that wingnuts can't tell the difference between liberalism and the political views farther left doesn't mean there's no difference.
Update (11/25): Digby smacks Rush on this.


Newly elected Republican governors Christie and McDonnell just couldn't fit Sarah Palin into their schedules. They would have, honest, but they wrote their schedules in cuneiform on stone tablets four months in advance.

They are counting on Palin's supporters to believe such obvious bullshit. I guess if anyone would, her fans would.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can't alienate the asylum

Even though Republican Bob McDonnell ran to the center to win the governorship of Virginia, he is a bona fide fundie social conservative, a wolf in sheep's clothing. So it's not surprising that Pat Robertson and he are political associates.

Of course, Robertson only has a short half-life before he says something truly, smarmily insane. I'm not sure this was it:

“Islam is a violent, I was going to say religion, but it's not a religion. It's a political system,” Robertson said. “It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination. That is the ultimate aim.”
He's just jealous!

It is pretty silly for a man who exploits his own religion for profit and who aspires to Christian theocracy in the United States to criticize Islam for its theocratic scripture and its many theocratic institutions. Or has he suddenly become an advocate for the separation of church and state? As if.

However, the CNN item belies its own headline. In fact, McDonnell did disavow Robertson's remarks:
When asked if he believes Islam is “a violent political system,” McDonnell said no, but he did not condemn Robertson.
He just didn't disavow the man, although he tried to pretend Robertson was just another obscure supporter, one of fifteen thousand donors. Giggle.

Even though CNN's headline helps McDonnell with his fundie supporters, Robertson could be the gift that keeps on giving. At some point, he'll give that insincere smile of his and say something really nasty. Will the press notice? I wouldn't hold my breath.

No liberal could get this coverage

Rudy Giuliani, who holds no position of importance in any organization, said something critical of Barack Obama. O.K., fine, he once executive officer over New York City on 9/11, and it's much bigger than many states whose Republican governors get attention waaay out of proportion with the population they represent. So maybe Giuliani's opinion is news.

Now, though, he's going to repeat his criticism on an RNC teleconference. Maybe there's some slow news day on which that would be news.

But there is no day when news is so slow that the mere announcement that Rudy's going to disagree again with Obama in the future is news. Only a Twitter twit would think otherwise.

Mark Preston mush think that his job is the regurgitate every damn press release he gets - as long as it's from a Republican. No Democrat (well, maybe a pretend Dem) could ever get coverage like this. Ever. From anyone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wiener dawgs unite!

Click image for full Joel Pett/Lexington Herald-Leader cartoon.

A dose of Mao with your morning smack

Not funny at all, but right on point...

Click image for full Rex Babin/Sacramento Bee cartoon.

(Mao? And then the Great Leap Forward...)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our media at work

Personality and, hopefully, whiffs of scandal trump everything.

All that stuff about beliefs and records? They'll mention it in passing:

Capuano has compiled one of the more liberal voting records on Capitol Hill. He voted against the authorization to invade Iraq, opposed the Patriot Act, and is opposed to the death penalty. He has also been a consistent supporter of abortion rights, gay marriage, and tenants rights. [--Michael Rezendes]
But it's not important to the rest of the infotainment.

Lawyers in Juxtacomm v. Ascential

Had a few spare minutes at lunch six or seven weeks ago to Google up a few links related to this case and found that lawyers are beginning to tout their participation. At the time, I decided not to help the plaintiff by posting this, but that's moot now.

Here are a few of the items I found:

Akin Gump for the plaintiff you all know about.

The most interesting item is from CA's lawyer:

While this matter remains ongoing, CA was able to settle during discovery for an amount that was very beneficial to CA.
Hmm. CA owns InfoPump, which IBM was arguing as prior art. I guess the Teilhard management shills have to believe this guy's lying when he says "very beneficial."


I'm sure there will be more to follow now that this case has concluded.

Lest you think only Vincent McBurney and I believe the prior art arguments, here's yet another technical source who's mystified by Teilhard's patent trolling success so far.

Previous Teilhard thread.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Maybe we can

Click image for full Joel Pett/USAToday cartoon.

Going Vogue

Strike a pose...

When I snark about the wingnut Madonna, I don't mean that she's like the (alleged) virgin, although both Sarah and Mary were preggers when they eloped. Maybe that's the source of her inflated sense of self-worth!

Click image for full Joel Pett/Chattanooga Times Free Press cartoon.

No no no

Click image for full Joel Pett/Lexington Herald-Leader cartoon.

Ironclad rule

While it's not news that the Bushists lied morning, noon, and night, it's always useful to have the details. The professional media have little to no interest in uncovering them.

By now, no one who covers politics for a living should ever take at face value what a Republican says. They lie, smear, bullshit, and distort. It's what they do.

Lots of smart people work in media, yet it's obvious after many years of failure that the media is institutionally incapable of learning the simple ironclad rule that no Republican talking point is trustworthy.

Hell, the media shouldn't trust the Democrats either, even though Democrats are significantly better about telling the truth. The media's useful job - though not what publishers and editors actually hire staff for - is to question and verify or falsify the assertions of all people in power.

Yeah, I know. I'm living in the past. The media hasn't done that in at least thirty years.

The sense in which the media once had a liberal bias: Conservatives oppose change, and learning from a truthful source what has actually happened often provokes demand for change. A media that is anything other than the defender and handmaiden of power looks liberally bias to conservatives.

(h/t Atrios here and here)


It's clear that I need to be reading Dan Wasserman's cartoons a lot more often:

So, I've added Wasserman to one of my blogrolls.

Update: If you still haven't had enough Sunday comics, editorial cartoonists were on fire this week. The Boston Globe's Ink Tank feature is filled to the brim with wry hilarity.

The young apprentice

Click image for full Jack Ohman/Portland Oregonian cartoon.

Lessons lost in history

Republicans and their propagandists think you deserve your unemployment. Democrats, including President Obama, aren't making the political case for adequate stimulus.

Click image for full Bruce Plante/Tulsa World cartoon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More non-new Republican press release journalism

A Republican says no to a Democratic proposal.

Tory tea party

An American Teabagger named Nigel is going to burn Nancy Pelosi and his own Congressman in effigy. Wasn't it his English tea that Sam Adams and friends tossed into Boston Harbor? Nigel's going to all this effort for what he estimates will be a hundred people, so he was probably going to get 40 before CNN picked up the story. Now, every screw-loose malcontent in southern Virginia and northern North Carolina will show up.

Maybe these angry people can now understand that burning something is in fact the expression of a political opinion. Offensive yes, they're trying to be offensive. Reminds me of flag-burning. Offensive yes, but Constitutionally protected and ought to remain that way.

At least Nigel Coleman is not wearing a hood and burning a cross out in the forest, I'll give him that.

Teilhard to shareholders: Drop dead

Since I'm not a shareholder (blissfully), I haven't seen yesterday's long-awaited release from the Teilhard gang, but it must've been a doozy. After holding every tiny piece of information tighter than the Kremlin for two years or more, they chose glasnost and opened their books to their shareholders. As if.

Instead, more stonewalling. They are not disbursing any of the vast sums they still want the world to think they squeezed out of the defendants with whom they settled. They are not revealing whether those sums are indeed vast or paltry or somewhere in between. They are basically only saying no comment, go away, we don't have to care in the least what you think.

They could easily have said this two weeks ago. What they finally burped up puts the lie to the management shill claim, made on Vincent McBurney's blog, that they had to be careful to get their release right.

Teilhard management and the friendly board on which management occupies fully half the seats have decided that they hold all the cards, and they're playing those cards close to the vest. Three guesses whose interests they're looking out for first!

I can think of three scenarios that would explain this behavior, and both are bad for shareholders:

  1. They're going to cream as much of the settlement money off the top as they can for the simple purpose of enriching themselves to the greatest degree possible under law.
  2. It's really essential to extracting money from the remaining 200 (ha!) defendants that they keep secret how little their patent settlements were actually worth from the big guys.
  3. They plan to leverage their winnings from the Eastern District of Texas casino to purchase more "undervalued" patents to troll in court.
Anyway, it looks like crumbs and bread ends for the people who financed this whole patent-phishing expedition.

Previous post on Juxtacomm v. Ascential et al here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Teilhard v. Teilhard

Here's another open thread for the furious controversy related to JuxtaComm v. Ascential, et al, over whether Teilhard management is screwing its shareholders or not. The previous unsuccessful thread is here.

Vincent McBurney has closed his latest blog post to comments, and the concerned shareholders don't have their shit together enough to have much of anything to show at their domain.

Meanwhile, I've been having some fun on Vincent's site:

Pete, everyone can judge from what we write respectively which one of us is an {orifice that emits farts}.

For your own benefit, you might reread what I wrote. I didn't make a claim about the correct result of patent review. I only made objective statements about what the USPTO has done and on what grounds.

InfoPump, among other products, is prior art. It's undeniably prior, and it's undeniably relevant. If JuxtaComm was aware of it, JuxtaComm acted in bad faith in omitting it. (The past defendants dropped that contention; another defendant may nonetheless press it.) InfoPump is undeniably not mentioned in '662. Undeniable if, that is, you've actually read '662...

Now, the PTO has to judge whether the newly discovered prior art invalidates '662 (discovered in the legal sense). Of course I think it does, but I didn't say that in my answer to RMB. You just can't read well enough to have understood that without detailed explanation.

And then you laughed at your own juvenile joke! Great. Why not patent fart jokes and sue Howard Stern?
This was in answer to CuriousPete's (though IncuriousPete would be more accurate handle) response to this objective content.

I also gave comfort to the management shills, though I wish I hadn't had to:
If TH management is going to take 35% and AG is going to take 10% of a total settlement of US$200 million (plus or minus $50 million), yeah, it looks as though outside shareholders are getting screwed. If.

It looks as though they're getting a pat on the head and thanks for the use of your money; we don't need it anymore 'cause we're RICH!

But there's not much evidence for any of that yet. That, of course, is the problem. The plausible reason for there not being much evidence - the ongoing legal maneuvering - is over. In fairness, I'm sure TH needs some time to get their announcement right even if it's totally above-board. The end of this week is really not too late.

I'll freely admit I don't know Canadian law on business organization, but from general principles, it looks to me as if the outside shareholders are just waking up to the possibility (not yet a known fact) that they were screwed from the get-go.

Here's the even worse problem they have: From the sketch that's available, it looks as though TH management and their friendly board crossed the Ts and dotted the Is. Their grab (alleged grab) looks blessed by the formalities. Where investors went wrong (if they did) was investing in a company with such a management-heavy board, which they then counted on to protect them from management's sense of its own entitlement!

That could mean they have to prove securities fraud in the sale, based on remembered statements about all the bobbies that would come rolling in from the big dumb suckers in charge of the world's largest software companies. But I'd bet all investors had to sign a disclaimer that the text of the purchase agreement was all the buyer could rely on, that anything else was forward-looking statements blah blah blah.

Which means that I think the outside investors are going to be out of luck, and this blog's management shills, despite being obviously some of the nastiest people in Alberta, are going to win this controversy.

(By the way, I doubt TH management sent the shills. If TH did that, their shills would be trying to foster calm discussions, instead of roiling the waters with stridency, bile, and demands that everyone not stoned on Kool-Aid STFU. In short, they would have been more like Steelhard the First. But no...)
Last, I have comment moderation turned on for reasons that have nothing to do with this case.

Update: Made this easier to Google by including the name of the case.