Worst Week Ever

Hope next week is better.

A little more light on privatized intelligence

The Washington Post has added a new feature on the subject named Top Secret America.  It has stories as well as interactive features to see where companies and agencies are located, who they contract with, etc.  The way this stuff has expanded over the past decade is extremely creepy and almost never really reported on.

A major reason for concern about it is that necessity is not what’s driving its growth:

In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials – called Super Users – have the ability to even know about all the department’s activities. But as two of the Super Users indicated in interviews, there is simply no way they can keep up with the nation’s most sensitive work.

“I’m not going to live long enough to be briefed on everything” was how one Super User put it. The other recounted that for his initial briefing, he was escorted into a tiny, dark room, seated at a small table and told he couldn’t take notes. Program after program began flashing on a screen, he said, until he yelled ”Stop!” in frustration.

“I wasn’t remembering any of it,” he said.

Underscoring the seriousness of these issues are the conclusions of retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who was asked last year to review the method for tracking the Defense Department’s most sensitive programs. Vines, who once commanded 145,000 troops in Iraq and is familiar with complex problems, was stunned by what he discovered.

“I’m not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities,” he said in an interview. “The complexity of this system defies description.”

The result, he added, is that it’s impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities. “Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness and waste,” Vines said. “We consequently can’t effectively assess whether it is making us more safe.”

Another good resource is Spies for Hire, which has some information on the activities of some of the major contractors.

I’ll see if I can find more interesting stuff to post about this now that I have some more substantial background to work from than scattered news stories. For now,  I’ll leave you with another recent one: Police Video Shows ProPublica Photographer Detained in Texas (includes video)

Drain Clogs – 07-06-2010

We’re getting threatened again, this time by our old pal Helene. You remember her? Her husband invented everything ever.

One thing he didn’t invent was a way to have us not make fun of her, thus she’s gone tattling to Dreamhost (our webhosting company) and “the property government authorities” – Looks like the jig is up! So here is her comment in full (found in the above link)

Hi Frankie,

You caught me. Bet I had you going for a minute didn’t I?

In any event, I have contacted Dreamhost and the property government authorities about your posts. I’m sure you will understand since you love our government nowadays and would love to be a part of their enslavement.

Boots. Shaking.

In the future world of 2010, rogue debt collecting companies can destroy your life with nothing more than a piece of paper.

Remember when Anthem Blue Cross decided to raise rates a ridiculous amount and pretty much got the Health Care Reform passed because of it, then backed off? Well, they’re gonna raise the rates again!

Republican John Oxendine paid his former campaign manager’s consulting firm to dispatch Christian teenage volunteers from TeenPact door-to-door promoting his bid for Georgia governor. But I’m sure this is all in the up and up, except for the fact that the group TeenPact is a non-profit with tax-exempt status that isn’t suppose to be doing that and can be fined and stripped of their status.

Wanna cover the BP oil leak and not go exactly where BP tells you to go? Pay $40,000 and go to jail! FUBP.

Who is lamer? Sharron Angle for sending a cease-and-desist letter to the Reid campaign after they quoted her old campaign website (full of crazy stuff) or Harry Reid for his campaign complying with the cease-and-desist letter?

Real Patriots sue the fire department

A Republican a member of an all-white country club? Shocks of shocks!

Riots in the USA! Yes, Puerto Rico is part of the USA, even if it isn’t a state.
Check out this awesome excessive force action!

Remember the Anonymous Tarp Wife who whined about being embarrassed because her husband’s crappy company destroyed the economy of the entire planet? Well, she’s Liz Peek, and now she thinks she can give financial advice. I’m no expert, but I have a feeling she’s completely and utterly wrong about everything.

Living wages are cool, unless you’re a jerk. Hey, there are lots of jerks in New York!

This WND dude used to love America more when it was a fictional country. But what do you expect from the author of Liberals: America’s Termites or It’s A Shame That Liberals, Unlike Hamsters, Never Eat Their Young. I think he needs a longer book title.

Cartoon of the Day:

Dumb Conspiracy Theories – The Soros-BP Shuffle

The internet is awash with ridiculous conspiracy theories, because many people on the internet have some sort of mental issues. Shocking news, I know. What is fun is reading some of the conspiracy theories, because they are usually more interesting than the latest schlock on the shelves at Borders. Thanks to the magic of Resistnet, we got the ultimate BP oil conspiracy from poster Edmund Goodwin:

Goal: For George Soros to get richer and to force the establishment of his commie New World Order…

George Soros is the ultimate devil in conspiracy theories lately. It’s like the right is completely oblivious to the fact there are many many multi-millionaires who give money for political causes. In fact, since many of these people pushing the Soros hate work for Foundations and Think Tanks bankrolled by rich families like Scaife, Coors, and Olin, one can only conclude they are turning Soros into a boogeyman on purpose. Because they are.

So what would you do if you were a large, well-organized group of committed communists? Well, besides give each other Nobel “Peace” Prizes? Remember Mandella, Arafat, Obama?

So Edmund Goodwin hates Nelson Mandella now. How dare they end apartheid! Those muthafrakkers!

Look south to commie Venezuela and Hugo. How about Brazil? China is a communist country, as is North Korea. The commies need to break America financially, and break the American people’s spirit, so kill jobs as quickly as possible and spend our tax money as quickly as possible.

So George Soros wants to get richer (capitalism) by doing communism. And Brazil is brought up for no reason. What is the conspiracy to bankrupt America? Get ourselves involved in stupid wars that drain our funding so a certain Commander in Chief and pretend to be a fighter pilot with a big codpiece? Nope, the real conspiracy is much deeper than that…

How? Hmmmmmm… Deny the largest oil company in the world (BP) shallow drilling. Make them drill way far out where it is deep. Let them slide past tough inspections. Make sure the emergency shutoff valve a mile down has a dead battery. Shut off the alarms. One spy on board required.

We’ll use BP, force then to violate safety regulations thanks to a spy.

But I’m getting ahead of my story. First, they need some bodacious nut case to help out. Kim Jong Ill of North Korea, maybe. But how to contact him without being noticed by the sheeple? Send a couple of innocent young ladies (who speak Chinese and are sort-of journalists) across NK’s border. They’ll get arrested.

Asian women can’t be real journalists! Because their slanty eyes prevent them from seeing the truth that only round-eyes can see. But Asian people are sneaky, unlike Real Americans, and also speak Chinese, just like the North Koreans but also unlike Real Americans, who only speak Real American.

Then send Bill Clinton to NK to personally intervene with KJI and “rescue” the girls. Whilst there, he can propose a deal about nukes and small submarines. KJI’s sub can cause an “accident” to an oil rig. The oil spill will be horrendous. Then make sure it IS NOT STOPPED so the spill will eventually wipe out most jobs and businesses along the Gulf coast. Meanwhile, KJI can begin to attack South Korea with impunity and play with nukes (except for the obligatory bluster).

So the plan is to have Bill Clinton and Kim Jong Ill (Kim Jong Il’s sick brother) torpedo and oil rig (which is also being sabotaged by a spy at the same time) via a magic submarine that can somehow get into the Gulf of Mexico undetected in a giant conspiracy to take down Bubba Gump Shrimp and also let North Korea sink a South Korean ship and also nuke South Korea, spoiling the release of Starcraft 2 later this summer.

The spill will make BO’s Cap & Tax easier to pass in Congress. That, in turn, will rapidly kill people’s spirits and their bank accounts as well. Cloward & Piven again and again!!! Then Obama loans Brazil’s Petrobras oil drilling company billions of our tax dollars to drill even deeper than BP was doing! Meanwhile, George Soros has (only just days before) coincidentally invested HUGE amounts of money in Petrobras. Boy, was he lucky! For a very rich guy to get even richer off our tax money— woo hoo!

Obama is sooo evil he is doing a conspiracy to destroy drilling so he can give a company money to continue drilling! It’s the ultimate ploy. Also Soros gets rich because who ever heard of rich people getting richer? The ultimate plan! It makes perfect sense, except for the part where you bother to think about any of it. We get a Cloward Piven namedrop as well, another thing no one ever heard of until Glenn Beck decided that liberals were doing it and suddenly every Wingnut with a keyboard is a Cloward Piven expert.

Nightmare? Conspiracy theory? Truth? You decide. But we need to get our military home so they can defend this nation from “all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC.”

We must bring the troops home so they can stand around on oil rigs looking for spies and secret submarines!

Oh, I forgot to add that this scenario above also facilitates the nationalization of BP !!! Stay tuned.

How are we going to nationalize a company from another country? Stay tuned, another completely ridiculous theory will be printed soon…we hope! Maybe he can work the greys and reptilians into it!

Drain Clogs – 06-18-2010

Teabaggers are trying to take down Chris Matthews in an effort similar to what was done to Glenn Beck’s sponsors. FreedomWorks chief Dick Armey is also telling candidates not to go on MSNBC, but that’s less of a spiteful attack on Matthews and more of a fear that their nutball candidates will actually say things they believe and scare off voters.

“Buy solar. Get a gun.”

The Red Cross has been fined $21 million since 2003 over crappy blood screening, including the latest $16 million fine. Oh, and they also sell blood, which you probably didn’t know.
Disclaimer – I give money to the Red Cross disaster funds

Mother Jones has the 10 most ridiculous Congressional oil spill quotes.

Cartoon of the Day:
Enjoy the new comic Microman! It is Joe the Plumber approved. Buy it now, because this Teabagger gravy train won’t last after Obama is out in 2016.

Drain Clogs – 06-17-2010

Will the Department of Education crack down on for-profit colleges? Probably not, or at least not much.

Congressional candidate and teabagger hopeful Bill Randall (in NC-13’s primary race) has decided that the Federal Government and BP conspired to create the oil spill.

Maybe that’s why actual Congressman Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologized to BP’s CEO during hearings today. I am sure it is entirely a coincidence that Barton gets lots of campaign contributions from BP and other oil companies…
He has since apologized for his apology after getting blasted from both the right and left. That’s a lot of apologizing.

There is legitimate criticism of Obama’s recent speech, and then there is this garbage
Someone got paid to write this, and Paul J.J. Payack got paid to say it. Millions of other Americans are jobless.

Obama’s gutting reform to protect CEO pay! WOOOOoooOOOoOO!!
Oh, wait… that sucks! BOOOOOooooOOOOOooOOO!!!!

Cartoon of the Day:

Drain Clogs – 06-16-2010

The GOP is so proud of Rand Paul and Sharron Angle it is hiding them so they don’t become the new face of the GOP.

BP agrees to a $20 billion victims compensation fund. I will go out on a limb here and say it won’t be enough.

Crazy lady Michelle Bachmann is already screaming that the fund is a “redistribution of wealth”

YahooNews comments gave us this gem:


Dracubama is a new one.

And this:

BP should have told that freaking IDIOT!!! of a worthless President,
to go and F@#& himself along with the rest of his cronnies. When will
a company stand up and tell this administration, and tell them we’re not doing anything
anymore, and if you clowns keep on we’ll close up shop here in the Sates,
and go elsewhere to another country How you like that.

I think it would be hilarious if BP tried that, because the only response is to seize all American BP assets by the Federal government, which would be awesome. Too bad Obama would never do that.

BP is still barring access to the beaches.

Meg Whitman has now donated $91 million of her own money to run for CA governor. And she’s running as a fiscally responsible candidate.

World-o-crap takes down RenewAmerica’s Paul Craft

Real Patriots are squatters, apparently. I knew about this story by itself, but now that it is part of some sort of wingnut scam network it has taken a whole new twist.

Cartoon of the Day:

Drain Clogs – 06-07-2010

A man who admitted he leaked the Wikileaks Iraq tape that showed US troops killing civilians has been arrested. That makes much more sense than punishing the troops who murdered civilians!~

Helen Thomas has announced her immediate retirement as fallout from her recent very controversial comments over Israel.

In a story that broke Friday and I was too lazy to add to the Drain Clogs that day, an AZ school wanted to change faces on a mural at the school so they were lighter shades. The kids in the mural were actual students at the school. This prompted outrage, and now the mural will stay as it is and a jerkoff radio host who started the whole mess got fired.

SPLC goes over the three main groups behind the AZ SB 1070 law – FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA

BP has hired Dick Cheney’s former campaign press secretary. That will make America love you just as much as we love Dick Cheney!

Nothing can go wrong here!

The most powerful man in this arid stretch of southern Afghanistan is not the provincial governor, nor the police chief, nor even the commander of the Afghan Army.

It is Matiullah Khan, the head of a private army that earns millions of dollars guarding NATO supply convoys and fights Taliban insurgents alongside American Special Forces.

In little more than two years, Mr. Matiullah, an illiterate former highway patrol commander, has grown stronger than the government of Oruzgan Province, not only supplanting its role in providing security but usurping its other functions, his rivals say, like appointing public employees and doling out government largess. His fighters run missions with American Special Forces officers, and when Afghan officials have confronted him, he has either rebuffed them or had them removed.

Cartoon of the Day:

Drain Clogs – 5-14-2010

Maine teabagging idiots got it in their heads the teacher who operates the classroom they were renting for space was a commie so they trashed the place like any mature patriotic American would do!

Obama has approved assassinating an American citizen. BOOOOO! to Obama.

The INAFJ (I need a freakin’ job) folks are astroturf from Breitbart.TV

The oil leak is 10 times what was previously thought. but nevermind that, the BP CEO sez that it is only a teeny-weeny itty-bitty smidgen of oil!

Cartoon of the day:

Drain Clogs 3-7-10

CrroksandLiars has a breakdown of how Freedomworks’ new scam for BP looks awfully familiar to fans of Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, and Indian Casino lobby scams.

Machete’s trailer has caused Wingnuts to go insane. Or more insane.

School for Disabled Forces Students to Wear Backpacks That Deliver Massive Electric Shocks

If you can think of a better name for this that doesn’t involve the word “round-up” leave it in the comments!