Friday, May 23, 2008

Nation's Poorest 1%

Now Controls Two-Thirds Of U.S. Soda Can Wealth

WASHINGTON—A report on growing disparities in the concentration of U.S. aluminum-can wealth, released Tuesday by the Department of Commerce, revealed that 66 percent of the nation's recyclable assets are now held by the poorest 1 percent of the population.

According to the sobering report, the disproportionate distribution of soda-can wealth is greater than ever before, and has become one of the worst instances of economic inequality in the nation's history. Data showed that over-salvaging of cans by a small and elite group of can-horders has created a steadily growing and possibly unbridgeable gap between the rich and the mega-poor.

"Although our nation's upper middle class actually consumes the most beverages, a staggering percentage of these cans wind up in the hands of a very few," said economist Cynthia Pierce, who worked as a consultant on the three-year, $14 million government study. "It's a troubling trend. And as a tiny fraction of the population continues to maintain its stranglehold on redeemable can wealth, it's a trend that shows no sign of slowing."

friday reads

New GI Bill Passes in Senate

Senate Republicans broke in large numbers from President Bush and his would-be Republican successor on Thursday, handing Democrats critical victories on domestic programs.

Twenty-four Republicans defied the president and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, by supporting a massive domestic-spending plan as part of the emergency war-spending bill. That included a $52 billion veterans’ education benefits package opposed by the White House that has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.

The 75-22 vote ensured the Senate could overcome a presidential veto on a $165 billion war-funding package tied with the domestic-spending initiatives, which also includes a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits and a delay of Medicaid rules.

A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in American taxpayer money spent by the United States Army on contractors in Iraq has found that almost none of the payments followed federal rules and that in some cases, contracts worth millions of dollars were paid for despite little or no record of what, if anything, was received.

Grits for Breakfast: Many unanswered questions linger about the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup

For His Treatment of Children in the ‘War on Terror,’ Bush Is a War Criminal

Tomdispatch: Michael Schwartz, The Loss of an Imperial Dream

Juan Cole: Will Sistani Declare Jihad on US?

U.S. home prices fell a record 1.7 percent in the first quarter and the number of workers on jobless benefit rolls held at a four-year high, underscoring the economy's woes, data on Thursday showed.

Dan Froomkin on the battle over the Farm Bill
Add another chapter to the ignominious history of the Bush-era Congress. After seven years of going belly up on such defining issues as the war in Iraq, torture and taxes, the House finally gets up the gumption to override President Bush on a major piece of legislation. And what is it? A pork-laden, subsidy-filled $307 billion giveaway piled high with election-year goodies for everyone.

Yesterday's farm bill override wasn't a rebellion against Bush. It was a massive expression of self-interest.

Oh, and Congress couldn't even do it right: A whole section of the 673-page bill never made it to the White House, so the bill Bush vetoed wasn't the one the House overrode. Congress will apparently have to do it all over again.

No wonder Congress's job-approval ratings are even lower than Bush's.

Nude in SF strikes again !

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

Shoulders - Trashman Shoes
Trashman Shoes (1992)

Russian Spy Camera - You Are a Vulture
Russian Spy Camera
You Are a Vulture (2006)

The Prostitutes - Get Me Out of Here
The Prostitutes
Get Me Out Of Here (2006)

Sinéad O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra
Sinéad O'Connor
The Lion and the Cobra (1987)

Okkervil River - The Stage Names
"Title Track"
Okkervil River
The Stage Names (2007)

Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque
Teenage Fanclub
Bandwagonesque (1991)

The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
"Woke Up New"
The Mountain Goats
Get Lonely (2006)

"Sad Sad Song"
Tilly and the Wall
Sad Sad Song 7" (2003)

The Foundry Field Recordings - Fathers as Robots
"Dancing Lights/Slow Machines"
The Foundry Field Recordings
Fathers as Robots EP (2003)

Audrey - The Fierce and the Longing
"Big Ships"
The Fierce and the Longing (2008)

Bonus Tracks:

Sort Sol - Everything That Rises, Must Converge
"A Knife for the Ladies"
Sort Sol
Everything That Rises, Must Converge (1987)

Miou Miou - La La Grande Finale
"Le Chaos"
Miou Miou
La La Grande Finale (2006)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2008

(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued a subpoena to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for testimony about the politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman's case. Yesterday, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, sent a letter to the committee expressing that Rove would not agree to testify voluntarily, per the committee's previous requests.

"It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests," Conyers said. "Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters."

Separately, Chairman Conyers recently received a letter from DOJ's Office of Professional Responibility (OPR) indicating that the office has opened an investigation into allegations of selective prosecution of Siegelman and others.

(h/t Crooks and Liars)

Jane Martin - Ambulance Nurse

thursday reads

World food prices are likely to stay high and volatile for the foreseeable future despite some record crops this year, according to a report published today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Chris Floyd - Out-Foxing Fox: Times Totes Water for War Crime Spin

Congress overrides Bush's veto of the Farm Bill 316-108.

Scott Horton: "No Torture. No Exceptions."

OMG! Beware: Men in Dresses

Dave Neiwert - Bushvilles: The Latest Fashion In Meltdown Housing

John McCain to unleash 101st Fighting Keyboarders - Concern Troll Division

Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 pens)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

wednesday reads

U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay allegedly softened up detainees at the request of Chinese intelligence officials who had come to the island facility to interrogate the men -- or they allowed the Chinese to dole out the treatment themselves, according to claims in a new government report.

Ray McGovern: Attack Iran and Trash the Constitution

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Irony Man

Sam Adams, a child of poverty, an openly gay man and a self-professed policy wonk, will be Portland's next mayor.

Enforcement on Steroids: Homeland Security's Emerging Immigration Police State

Moscow prepares for the English invasion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

tuesday reads

Highway Robbery

Another Bush Fantasy Shattered

Some of the most senior British former generals and Nato commanders urged the government yesterday to agree to a total ban on cluster bombs, describing them as "inaccurate and unreliable".

Britain's economic woes are forcing people to abandon animals in unprecedented numbers as desperate families struggle to cut costs by dumping their pets. Animal sanctuaries say they have been overwhelmed by the number of animals delivered to them in recent months as the credit crunch continues to bite and the cost of living rises sharply. They fear that the situation could become unmanageable if the downturn continues.

Paul Krugman: Stranded in Suburbia


“When we find ourselves believing that killing a man makes us more of a man, but loving a man makes us less of a man, it’s probably time to reexamine our criteria for manhood.”
(h/t Feministing)

A new study shows that regular masturbation can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

teeter totter

teeter totter
Originally uploaded by Anomalie

monday reads

Tomgram: Mark Engler, How to Rule the World After Bush

Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption.

Anti-immigrant mob violence in Johannesburg.

VA struggles to gear up to care for female veterans.

Matt Taibbi: If Cheney & Co. Had Really Plotted the 9/11 Attacks ...


Some 75,000 dead-enders flocked to Portland’s waterfront Sunday to watch Barack Obama speak, while the remaining population of Portland (estimated to be 493,000 hard-working salt-of-the-earth white Americans) stayed away in droves. Thousands stood on the lawn, dozens watched from their elitist boats and from the bridge stretching across the Willamette River.

Portland pix

Fuck You Time Warner

"Chitty Chitty Gang Bang"