Saturday, November 05, 2011
Top Ten Cloves: Possible new fees banks will start charging
News Item: Banks likely to try range of new fees
10. The Kardashian Charge - Get divorced after 72-days, fees, fees, fees ...
9. Don't have your own Deposit or Withdrawal Slips? ... Just rent one of the banks, for a fee
8. ATM's will have "Coin Slots" (like old public pay phones) if you want to use them
7. HuffPo Model: You can work at the bank, not get paid salary - and get charged with a fee
6. Need to speak to the Bank Manager? ... You can book time with him, for a fee ...
5. Fee for just walking into the bank
4. Don't have a pen to write out deposit/withdrawal slip? ... Bank has one, for a fee ...
3. The Jeopardy Fee; You didn't phrase your transaction request in the form of a question
2. Car loans, instead of based on amount/time/years/, will be based on cars' weight
1. Groucho Marx Fee - Don't know the Secret Word, it will cost you a $100 fee
(Image courtesy of Tom Priest at "In a Nutshell")
Will Oremus: Fee-Market Capitalism - Bank of America learns it has to be more subtle about screwing its customers.
Lauri Apple: More Banks Scrap Debit Card Fee Idea
Even The S.E.C Thinks Goldman Sucks!
Cross posted on The Garlic: All The Cloves Fit To Peel
Does the Tea Party want its Wall Street back?
The Tea Party was founded on a sense that something ephemeral had been stolen by someone and that a movement was needed to "take the country back." Occupy Wall Street is now getting the media attention the Tea Party believes is rightfully theirs, and the perceived slight can only inflame the movement's sense of victimhood. They didn't just lose a country as they knew it. Now they've lost coverage on CNN too.
But the idea that the Tea Party, aligning itself with Republicans and fiercely critical of Democrats and the Obama Administration, could also think that its critique of Wall Street makes sense is bizarre.
"Moondance" and the coolness of autumn
Late one night, about this time of year, the DJ and I got talking about songs that reminded us of autumn. We realized pretty quickly we couldn't think of many.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Photo of the Day: Bay de Verde, Newfoundland and Labrador
It is hard to explain Newfoundland and Labrador to Americans. Hell, it's hard to explain it to Canadians if they've never been there.
Labels: Photo of the Day
A post on the Kardashian-Humphries divorce, the saddest event in American history
People will get sick of Kim Kardashian eventually, because her career is predicated on novelty and her primary talent (being hot, which she is) is transitory. After one possibly staged marriage fails, she becomes the Kim who cried wolf. E! is not exactly in the business of building lasting careers. Rumors that Kris H. was "cast" in order to ensure Kim underwent her first marriage before the dreaded age of 30 have yet to prove true or false, but faked relationships are as old as Hollywood itself (they are as old as 1853). The endless Kardashian family spectacle serves to take focus off the real issues by distracting us with shiny ass-shaped lures. And as long as we continue to pay attention, we lose. Because we all tuned in to her stupid wedding special and allowed her to be a star, Kim Kardashian is the 1 percent and we are all bottom-feeders.
Shame on Cain
That's right, Mr. Cain, you're a victim, but I doubt we can agree about what you're the victim of. If you bumble and fumble and contradict yourself about political stances in some strange pantomime of someone who might have reasonable solutions to real problems rather than doggy treats thrown to the barking mob: if you elected to join the minstrel show hoping to win over the racists and rednecks with a little soft shoe and a big grin: if you thought slashing jobs at a pizza chain made you eligible to tell us how to run the world, why sure, you're your own victim but most of us are too tired of it to be saintly and forgive you.
But a "high tech lynching?" Don't make me laugh, and besides Clarance Thomas made that trope a dopey joke a long time ago. You're just the rude, crude and blatantly phoney burlesque of a candidate to dress up accusations of sexual harassment in stylish credibility and denying things we know that you know or breaking into a song isn't going to convince mama that those porn mags under your mattress belonged to someone else. Talking about lynching in this context is like digging up all the real victims and lynching them again.
Labels: Herman Cain
Why so pessimistic, Nate Silver? Isn't Obama still the favorite?
It is early, and almost no matter what, the election will be a losable one for Republicans. But Obama's position is tenuous enough that it might not be a winnable one for him.
Silver's key assumption is that Obama's approval rating is likely to hover around 43 percent, where it currently stands. Obama is an incumbent presiding over a terrible economy. That is typically a recipe for doom. On the other hand, the terrible economy started under his predecessor, whom large numbers of Americans continue to blame. What's more, the opposition party remains wildly unpopular, with a majority of Floridians recently saying they believe Republicans are deliberately sabotaging the economy...
Obama has a chance to have his approval rating rise simply by drawing a sharp contrast against the Republican nominee. In other words, incumbent approval rating isn't something that's independent of the opposing candidate. Voters may shape their view of the incumbent by making a comparison.
I'm going to say the selection of any single Republican makes him the favorite again.
Romney says he's been "as consistent as human beings can be"
"I've been as consistent as human beings can be," the presidential candidate said in a meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire's Seacoast Media Group. "I cannot state every single issue in exactly the same words every single time, and so there are some folks who, obviously, for various political and campaign purposes will try and find some change and try to draw great attention to something which looks like a change which in fact is entirely consistent."
Herman Cain threatens legal action even as sexual harassment story gets bigger and bigger
Herman Cain flatly denies the most serious allegation facing him – that he made an unwanted sexual advance toward a female employee at a work event – but POLITICO has learned new details making clear there were urgent discussions of the woman's accusations at top levels of the National Restaurant Association within hours of when the incident was alleged to have occurred.
The new details – which come from multiple sources independently familiar with the incident at a hotel during a restaurant association event in the late 1990s – put the woman's account even more sharply at odds with Cain's emphatic insistence in news media interviews this week that nothing inappropriate happened between the two.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
This day in history - November 3, 1913: The United States introduces an income tax
Labels: This day in history
11/02/2011 -- The Great Palindrome
Today might not seem any more special than yesterday or the day before, but it is a once-in-10,000-years event. Nov. 2, 2011, written out numerically, is 11/02/2011, which on its own makes it a very rare eight-digit palindrome date, meaning that it can be read the same way frontward and backward.
But, as one scientist has found, there's much more to this date that makes it truly one of a kind.
This century features a relative wealth of eight-digit palindrome dates; today is the third date so far, and there will be nine more. In fact, we live in a relative golden age of palindrome dates: Before 10/02/2001, the last eight-digit palindrome date was Aug. 31, 1380 (08/31/1380).
"Eight-digit palindrome dates are very rare, and are clustered in the first three or so centuries at the beginning of a millennial, and then don't show up for 600 to 700 years, until they appear as a cluster in the next millennium," said Aziz Inan, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland who crunches palindrome dates in his spare time.
"If you look at the date as a number, 11022011, it has very special properties," Inan explained. "It is the product of 7 squared times 11 cubed times 13 squared. That is impressive because those are three consecutive prime numbers. No other palindrome date, up to A.D. 10,000, is like that.
"Not only that, if you write it out as 72 x 113 x 132, you'll notice that even the superscript power numbers – 232 – are a palindrome."
What's behind the improving polling results for President Obama?
President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters' eyes almost across-the-board," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release. "He scores big gains among the group with whom he has had the most problems - whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive."
He also leads all GOP challengers outside the poll's margin of error, beating Romney by a 47-42 margin and Perry by a 52-36 margin, and leading Cain and Gingrich by double digits.
When Congress stalled on the jobs package, the President moved on to “We Can’t Wait,” a series of executive orders that he says will help alleviate some of the economic hardship, from new rules on foreclosures to helping with student loan debt.
Rick Perry is certainly not a talker, on this much we agree
So here he is trying to make that weakness into a strength in a new campaign ad that will air in New Hampshire after having previously run in Iowa.
Sex, lies, and Herman Cain
This is one of the actions in America that is the reason why people don't get involved in politics," Mark Block, Cain's campaign chief of staff, said in an exclusive interview with Fox News' "Special Report." "The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable."
"Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology," Block added.
Herman Cain is pretty sure that the attacks on him coming this week are racist. But he can't prove it.
It's just a sense he has. And it's a growing theme from his friends.
On Fox [Tuesday] night, Cain sat for yet another interview following the Politico story that threatens to upend his candidacy. And he seemed more than willing to stand behind his PAC, which called the sexual harassment allegations a "high-tech lynching" Tuesday.
Race has been a big part of the conservative pushback to the Cain story — yesterday, Ann Coulter summarized that response with her "our blacks are better then their blacks" line.
And then it fell to Cain to pick up the torch and accuse his opponents of racism. So he did, though he made it clear that he couldn't prove a word of what he was saying.
Trying to understand the Cain phenomenon as an expression either of racism or of anti-racism is a dead end. Cain's appeal is the expression of a particular variant of white racial victimization. In this world view, color-blind conservatives are endlessly smeared as racists, while liberals are actually violating the true precepts of the civil rights movement. Obama won election largely or entirely because of his race, through explicit or implicit blackmail against whites, who either voted for him to prove they weren't racist, or shied away from attacking him for fear of being called racist. Cain's candidacy offers the promise of upending this dynamic, or even reversing it.
Cain and his defenders, like actors in a theatrical tragedy, are falling prey to the very evil they labored against: the propensity to assign political identity by race and to invoke race to shield one from personal responsibility. Cain is in trouble because he didn’t handle a past claim that even a political novice would know would come to light.
The question of whether the Herman Cain sexual harassment story will hurt his presidential campaign sort of misses the point that there is no Herman Cain presidential campaign. There are certain things you do when you run for president. You try to raise a lot of money. Cain is not doing that. If you can't raise a lot of money, you campaign heavily in early primary states, trying to get some early success that can snowball into later primaries. Cain isn't doing that, either. You hire a staff of political operatives. You at least pretend to know something about world affairs. You try to attract as many people as possible to your events. Cain, by contrast, frequently charges admission.
Cain is executing a business plan. It's an excellent plan. The plan involves Cain raising his profile as a conservative personality, which he can monetize through motivational speaking, book sales, talk shows, and other media. Cain's selling point is that he's a black conservative who can capitalize on the sense of white racial victimization that has mushroomed during the Obama era.
That Depends On What The Meaning Of "Is" Is
More right-wing terrorism: Four men arrested in Georgia plotting to kill government officials
Four Georgia men who were part of a fringe militia group were arrested on Tuesday in what the Justice Department described as a plot to use guns, bombs and the toxin ricin to kill federal and state officials and spread terror.
The men, all aged 65 and over, were recorded telling an F.B.I. informant that they wanted to kill federal judges, Internal Revenue Service employees and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to court documents.
Remember how Ann Coulter proclaimed, with a straight face, that all political violence in this country "comes from the left"?
Yeah, I spit seltzer all over my screen when I saw that, too.
That's total bullshit. Violence in this country has always come from the right wing and 'twas ever thus. Well, except for that Revolution we had back in the late eighteenth century. That was a left-wing production. Something that a lot of people forget about that time -- even back then the south was a problem, and it was prone to employing terrorism to further it's aims. Read up on the Revolution in the Carolinas and Georgia. They had a treasonous history before they fired on Ft. Sumter, and those strains of Confederate treason still run deep.
So you wanted proof that Republican priorities are all out of whack?
President Obama invoked God on Wednesday as he criticized Congress for voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.
"That's not putting people back to work," Obama said. "I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work."
Obama called on Congress to approve his jobs package.
"There's no excuse for 100 percent of Washington Republicans to say no," Obama said. "That means Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Republican voters."
Obama continued: "The American people are with me on this."
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Finding Keith Olbermann
2012 presidential debate schedule is released
The first presidential debate will be Oct. 3 at the University of Denver, followed by one on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. The final debate is scheduled for Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The vice presidential debate is set for Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
Doubling Down On The Silly
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Before Stewart, there was Carlin
No money, no ideas: Ed Rollins on Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann has "run out of money and ideas" and can no longer expect to win in Iowa, her former campaign manager told ABC News on Monday.
Ed Rollins, who left the campaign in September, said the Minnesota congresswoman had backed off earlier comments by her campaign that Iowa was a "must-win" state because she lacked the finances, campaign structure, and ideas to win the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
"She's still saying the same things she said in the first the debate. There's no substance. She says, 'I'm going to repeal Obamacare.' But she's been saying that from Day 1. I told her: That's your Tea Party speech, now you have to say what you’re going to do next."