From Pine View Farm

January, 2012 archive

Herpetophobia, Republican Style 0

Jay Bookman puts his tongue firmly in his cheek to theorize about why all the Newt-Hate:

Bob Dole, John McCain, Ann Coulter, Elliott Abrams, Tom DeLay, Charles Krauthammer … they’re all coming out with harsh and in some cases bitter attacks against Newt Gingrich.

I can only think of one explanation: They’re all liberals who are trying to sabotage the former speaker because they’re terrified at what Gingrich would do to President Obama in a debate. And they’re doing everything they can to prevent that calamity.


Spill Here, Spill Now, Put a Lid on It 0

Not a lid on the spill, natch. A lid on the facts about it (emphasis added).

On the day the Deepwater Horizon sank, BP officials warned in an internal memo that if the well was not protected by the blow-out preventer at the drill site, crude oil could burst into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 3.4 million gallons a day, an amount a million gallons higher than what the government later believed spilled daily from the site.

The email conversation, which BP agreed to release Friday as part of federal court proceedings, suggests BP managers recognized the potential of the disaster in its early hours, and company officials sought to make sure that the model-developed information wasn’t shared with outsiders.

“Outsiders” such as the U. S. Coast Guard, for example.


Same Scam, Different Name 0

Every time I hear of a new effort by Republicans to keep voters from the polls, I remember hearing my Daddy talk about paying his poll taxes.


The Candidates Debate 0

Daniel Ruth reports on a Florida debate. A nugget:

Do you ever get the feeling this whole nominating process is about as dignified as Steven Tyler doing his waterboarding version of the national anthem? It’s not that the candidates may advocate positions I may not agree with. That’s part of the political process. What irks me is that these pols think we’re all a bunch of gullible half-wits.

Does anyone honestly believe Freddie Mac paid Newt Gingrich $1.6 million to provide history lessons?

More at the link. It gets better.



Francis Bacon, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.


Droning On 1


The Navy, in collaboration with Northrop Grumman, is testing a drone that will fly and make decisions without a pilot. There’s nothing that could possibly go wrong with this scenario.

So far they insist that the drone will not make lethal decisions on its own, but you know it’s only a matter of time. Am I the only one who thinks that every single Northrop employee should be forced to watch all of the Terminator movies several times over?

The link to the L. A. Times news story is at Thoreau’s place.


Twits on Twitter 0

Selective twits:

The social network Twitter is facing a storm of criticism from users, after revealing that it has implemented a system that would let it withhold particular tweets from specific countries.

The company has insisted that it will not use the gagging system in a blanket fashion, but would apply it on a case-by-case basis, as already happens when governments or organisations complain about individual tweets.

Much more at the link.


Vitamin S 0

More nutty Republican theatre:

Via Brendan.


Protect Our Vote (Sticky) 0

Rally at the Bell Tower to preserve the franchise, sponsored by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, keynote speaker.

When: 9 a. m., January 31.

9th and Franklin Streets
Richmond, Va. (map).

More Info: Call 757-287-0277 or email

View the announcement (jpg).


Dustbiters 0

I forgot to tune into the FDIC last night to see the parade of fiscal responsibles being honored for their acumen at destroying jobs, money, and trust(s).

I shall recognize them now for their mastery of the universe.

These banks are now blanks:


Brain Pain 0

Listen to this episode of Radio Times, which explores the complexities of the U. S. Income Tax code, including (and this is the part that pains) the rationales for the favoritism to the rich over the poor and the middle class.

It will make your brain hurt.


Arizona Parodies Itself 0

See Delaware Liberal for details on Arizona’s latest move in its attempt to become the Alabama of the Southwest.


The Bully Pulpit 0

In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jay Bookman considers Newt the Gingrinch’s performance in the most recent episode of Survivor: Wingnut Studio Republican media circus debate. A snippet.

At heart, Gingrich is a bully who backs down when confronted. He likes to challenge members of the media in public, safe in the knowledge that their profession does not allow them to return fire. He is well-skilled at creating and then dismantling strawmen. And he is supremely confident when he senses that he has succeeded in intimidating his target.

But when the critical moment comes, he deflates. As speaker, he shrunk from Bill Clinton, to the point that his aides and lieutenants didn’t want to have them in the same room lest a passive Gingrich agree to too much. In these debates, once Romney decided to fight back aggressively, Newt has repeatedly retreated. In the previous debate, he was left speechless and flustered by a pressing Romney, and apparently he still hasn’t recovered his bluster.



Nicholas D. Kristoff:

Random violence is incredibly infectious.


Cliches that Come to Life 0

“So much money he can’t count it all.” TPM:

Thursday afternoon, the LA Times reported that Romney’s tax returns listed 23 funds and partnerships that did not appear on Mitt Romney’s personal financial statements — the disclosure forms candidates are required by federal law to file with the Federal Elections Commission.

Details at the link.


Spill Here, Spill Now, Weasel 0

Buccaneer Petroleum loses a round in its attempt to weasel out of its contracts.

Oil giant BP has lost its attempt to shift over $15 billion of costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill onto contractor Transocean, increasing the possibility BP may have to foot the entire $42 billion clean up bill.

A U.S. federal judge on Thursday said BP must uphold a clause in its contract with Transocean Ltd that would shield the Swiss-based driller from compensatory damage claims related to the 2010 disaster.

That means London-based BP may have to shoulder alone compensation claims brought by the likes of fishermen and hoteliers whose livelihoods were affected by largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

However, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier left open the possibility that Transocean might still have to pay all or part of any punitive damages and civil penalties imposed by the U.S. government under the federal Clean Water Act.

I notice that BP is now a Swiss company. Guess they wanted a new hideout.


A Day in the Mitt 0

Via Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog.


The Facebook Frolics Files 3

Fed app with it all.

The FBI is seeking to develop an early-warning system based on material “scraped” from social networks.

It says the application should provide information about possible domestic and global threats superimposed onto maps “using mash-up technology”.

Absolutely nothing could go wrong with this.

Also, pigs, wings.


Update from the Foreclosure-Based Economy 0

Foreclosures continue to work their magic.

About 302,000 new homes were sold last year. That’s less than the 323,000 sold in 2010, making last year’s sales the worst on records dating back to 1963. And it coincides with a report last week that said 2011 was the weakest year for single-family home construction on record.


A key reason for the dismal 2011 sales is that builders must compete with foreclosures and short sales—when lenders accept less for a house than what is owed on the mortgage.


Goo-Goo-Googling Eyes on You 0

The ACLU takes a look at Google’s new privacy policy.

If you ever log in to Google (Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Plus, YouTube, or anything else Googly), you should read it.

Kudos to Google for explaining in plain English that you can check in, but you can never leave.