Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Last Call

Someone's been playing a few too many games of Deus Ex.

Earlier today, someone claiming to be associated with hacker group Anonymous posted two documents on Pastebin: one outlined a Mission Impossible-esque document heist from PriceWaterhouseCoopers' Tennessee offices, which allegedly netted Mitt Romney's much-coveted tax returns; the other demanded a ransom of a million dollars — in Bitcoins — that could be paid to either expedite or prevent their release.

The plan seems kinda well thought out, actually.

Romney's 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied.

A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney's tax returns before 2010.

Except for one, tiny, insignificant detail.

We are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding improper access to our systems. We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question.

Mitt's kinda under their protection these days.  That includes blackmail, folks.  Good luck hiding from them, guys.  You're going to need it.  PS:  even if you release them, thanks for making sure that the Romney camp will say "You can't prove these are real."

Advantage, Mittens.  Good technical minds on these hacker cats.  Awfully ignorant of politics.  They are high-fiving each other at Romney HQ over this one.  Also, won't take Breitbart more than tomorrow to accuse the Obama administration of being behind this, making it a top story on Drudge, making sure the press asks every Dem they can find "Hey, did you authorize this?" and this becomes "Obama's Watergate" in the winger press for...eternity.

Romney doesn't have to lift a finger to win this hugely.  Jesus.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Because GOP rich assholes are probably boring you by now with just how rich and assholey they are, we're gonna switch gears and go with some From The Land Down Under.

The world’s most wealthy woman is warning that firms are in danger of having to abandon iron-ore mining in Australia if wages are not cut, pointing out that African miners are “willing to work for less than $2 per day.”

In a video recently posted on the Sydney Mining Club website, 58-year-old Gina Rinehart — who has amassed a $18 billion fortune through iron-ore prospecting — said that Australia could be more competitive by emulating Africa.

“We must be realistic, not just promote class warfare,” the billionaire explained. “Indeed, if we competed at the Olympic games as sluggishly as we compete economically, there would be an outcry.”

The evidence is unarguable that Australia is indeed becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export- orientated business,” she insisted, adding that “Africans want to work. Its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day.”

Under current exchange rates, $2 a day in Australia is worth about $2.04 in U.S. dollars. 

Yeah, you know what would make America and Kentucky really competitive?  A maximum wage for coal miners of $2 a day.  I'm sure that would play GREAT here in Friends Of Coal country.  Well, for the owners.  Not so much the workers.

Of course, isn't this the "logical free market endpoint" according to Republicans of where the union-free American worker needs to go and should come to expect from his/her bosses in the future?  "Maximum competitiveness in a global economy?"

We already pay teachers, firefighters, cops, civil servants "too much".  We have to break those unions so we can reduce their wages down to where the rest of us are, stagnant in real terms for 40 years. With no unions, and no minimum wage laws, employers can hire for whatever they want.

Great idea, huh?

Why Fight It?

Over at Washington Monthly, Ed Kilgore dismantles the "argument" that only Mitt Romney (and getting rid of President Scary McBlackguy) can end partisan gridlock, and by "argument" I mean Ramesh Ponnuru's latest ton of fecal matter.  Kilgore rightfully sees shades of Goldwater redux:

So as a cap to four years of political hostage-taking, a final general election pitch from Republicans this year is to hold the next four years hostage as well: give us total power to begin implementing our agenda and start dismantling this silly, expensive New Deal/Great Society system and this European-style progressive tax code, or nothing at all happens. We’ll get our way eventually, so why not get started now?

This will be a seductive argument for certain elements of the “centrist” MSM commentariat. There’s a big piece up at Politico this very morning about how disillusioned political reporters are about the viciousness and pointlessness of this election cycle. When will the gridlock end, they implicitly ask, and the wondrous Washington romance of movers and shakers moving and shaking return? Before long, we’ll hear ostensibly “neutral” voices making the case for one-party government—Republican one-party government, as it happens—as an oasis of clarity and productive activity after all the nasty divisiveness we’ve experienced. For the history-minded, it may even start sounding a bit like the famous fatigue of the European elites about the weakness and pettiness of parliamentary democracy during the 1920s. 

Kilgore is right on the money.  Eventually any "centrist" position always returns to "Republicans must have total control over everything, it's easier that way."  Why fight them?  Why even try to?  Surely the Village minions have given up.

Centrists are people who believe the natural order is complete Republican control of government, but can't admit they are Republicans because of the lunatic currently destroying the party.  Ergo, they need the rest of us to surrender because if we stop fighting them, they'll turn into normal people who want a governable country rather than a religious fundamentalist work camp.

You buy that?

Elderly Man Attacks Daughter / Caregiver

NEW YORK (AP) — A man hurled acid in his daughter's face in a gruesome attack that sent her into a street screaming for help as her skin peeled and her clothes disintegrated, police and witnesses said.
As his 49-year-old daughter sat on his couch in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, Jerome Lynch abruptly left the room, returned with a cup of what she thought was water and doused her with it, she later told a cousin, according to the Daily News.
Then the corrosive burning started, and Darlene Lynch ran outside as her clothes disintegrated and her skin fell from her face, witnesses said.
"You could see the smoke coming off her body," Clarissa Shakespeare told the newspaper. "Everyone was just traumatized and scared. Her skin looked like melting wax."
Bystanders poured water on the victim, helped pull away her clothes and covered her with a sheet, witnesses said.
Her 69-year-old father was arrested on an assault charge. Information on his arraignment and lawyer weren't immediately available Sunday.
It is clearly time for this gentleman to live under professional care.  I have taken care of both patients and relatives with dementia, and it never gets better.  For his own safety, and the public, he has to be watched around the clock.

I pray for that poor woman.  I've been burned by a very mild acid, it hurt like hell for a long time.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be burned by a strong acid that may have taken my eye.  Her suffering must be incredible, and even if she makes it she will forever bear the scars inflicted by her own father.  There's no win there for her, ever.

Saving The World... You're Doing It Wrong

Detroit police are investigating why a murder suspect had to turn himself twice before he was arrested.
The 36-year-old man walked into a fire station two hours after he allegedly shot four people at a party early Saturday morning, police said in a statement. Two of the victims died, while the other two were seriously wounded, police said.
The suspect, who was not identified, told firefighters at 3:20 a.m. Saturday that he was connected to the shootings, police said.
Fire fighters called the Detroit Police Department, but they were told all available officers were on high priority runs and that no one would be able to be dispatched to the station, ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit reported.
The suspect left the fire station and went to a police station where he was taken into custody.
Police Chief Ralph Godbee said the department would conduct an administrative investigation to determine whether the situation was handled appropriately.
I am making an educated guess that it was not, in fact, handled appropriately.  Why?  Because a guy killed a couple of people, tried to save the public from himself and was sent on his way to get to the cops.

What if he had stopped along the way?

What if, figuring out he had nothing left to lose, he decided to stop somewhere else and take out more frustration?

The freaking murderer was the one who ended up doing the right thing at the end of this story.  So yeah, I think it's safe to say you can start with the assumption that it was not handled appropriately.

Hello, Hotel Hell

Dear various members of the press assigned to scary hotels at the Democratic National Convention:

Welcome to Charlotte, assholes.  Via Wonkette:

There is a crisis, in Charlotte, that outweighs all other crises in America — including “the gaffes” — right now: the DNC assigned reporters to a bunch of shitty motels and they’re unhappy. And how does the Democratic platform address this? What about the Republican platform? Not a mention, proving once and for all that this is the most unserious presidential race we’ve ever witnessed. Now your Wonkette, which is first and foremost a Rich Person’s Blog, made accommodations at a palatial, 17th century French-style estate with a stable of 400 dancing horses. Maybe if these others reporters ever got off the welfare and got jobs for once in their pathetic lives, they could live the Wonkette 1% life, too. For now, let’s read tragic descriptions from the National Review of the squalor that we, as a nation, have allowed our proud national political reporter class to all die in.

Conservative man of letters John Fund has long been a champion reporter of the common man’s struggle for acceptable living standards. Say there’s a tyrannical slumlord keeping your building well below code. Well, John Fund would head out on the first flight, just to shake that man’s hand.

But nothing could have ever prepared him for the stories he’s hearing now from colleagues at the National Review, who were assigned to a Charlotte dump and immediately fled for the warmer waters of South Carolina.

My favorite part:

The Knights Inn was the worst hotel I have ever seen, and I’ve stayed in many bad motels in my life. Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot. And this was in the early afternoon. The room itself was dirty, full of other people’s stuff, etc.

Y'all have never been to a Knights Inn before, have you?  Sucks having to put up with what us schlubs have to on a regular basis, ya know.  Holy crap, if you guys have to eat at a Hardee's or something you might INSTANTLY DIE.  Hell, there are BLACK PEOPLE in Charlotte.  You guys are in trouble and stuff.

Man, political reporters are pussies.  What did you want, a Hampton Inn?  Do I look like I'm giving away rooms at the goddamn Hampton Inn?  Get the hell outta here.

Kicking Castro And Taking Names

Here's some of the amazing speeches at Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.  San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro became the first Latino to give a convention keynote address:

Michelle Obama talked about family, and the middle class in her speech praising her husband and making the kitchen table pitch for four more years:

More speeches below the jump.


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