Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why Don't They Just Watch The Jetsons?

When I first descried this article the other day, I thought, "Oh my, someone at the Pentagon has some unhealthy childhood baggage", perhaps, more depressing, with possible Oedipal strings, related to the horrible program, 'My Mother The Car'.

Pentagon’s Flying Car Program Takes Off

The Pentagon’s far-out research agency has unveiled more details of their plan to create a shape-shifting, multi-purpose car.

Flying cars have been tried before, dozens of times. And a few of the efforts have even succeeded. But the Pentagon concept is several steps ahead existing vehicles, like the Terrafugia Transition, which is more like a light-weight plane that can, by folding up its wings, operate on land. The Transition also needs runways for takeoff and landing, and can’t fly in harsh weather.

And, in what could either mean revolutionary progress or massive failure, this initiative has out-there military agency Darpa behind it. In January, the agency, who’ve been toying with the flying car idea since at least 2008, hosted a proposal’s day workshop for their new Transformer (TX) project. At the time, details were sketchy: Darpa wanted a “morphing vehicle body” that could operate largely autonomously, reducing the chance of human piloting error in high-risk war-zones. Plus, the agency’s initial documents noted, a hovering car would be able to cruise over obstacles and avoid areas rife with IEDs.


It’s a lofty plan, albeit one with a relatively small budget: Darpa’s allotting around $55 million to the development and testing of prototypes.

Holy Cow!

They got "around $55-million to play with?

This has to go down as another classic, over-spending, fraud waste by the Pentagon.

Just show'em an episode, or two, of 'The Jetsons'!

They can't back-engineer this?

The Jetsons Tv Intro

They can order it on Amazon for only $29.49, plus, free shipping, with Amazon's "Super Saver Shipping"

Paging Bobby Jindal!

Mother Nature sure has been racking up the bonus points lately.

Devastating earthquakes in Haiti, and Chile (and, last week, again, in China) ... Flooding Spring rains here in the USofA ...

And, now, an exploding volcano in Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull, blanketing the better part of a continent with nasty ash;

Volcanic ash: Europe flights grounded for third day

Millions of air travellers are stranded as thousands of flights are being cancelled for a third day.

The disruption from the spread of ash would continue into Sunday, European aviation agency Eurocontrol said.

Airlines are losing some £130m ($200m) a day in an unprecedented shutdown of commercial air travel.

"Forecasts suggest that the cloud of volcanic ash will persist and that the impact will continue for at least the next 24 hours," a statement from Eurocontrol said at around 0830 GMT.


The UK extended its ban on commercial flights until at least 0700 local time (0600 GMT) on Sunday.

Many other countries, from Ireland to Ukraine, have either closed airspace or shut key airports. In northern France and northern Italy, airports are shut until Monday.

So, we hear you whisper quizzically, what's this volcano in Iceland have anything to do with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal?

Does he speak Icelandic?

Well, for one, we're not calling on him (yet), to perform an exorcism on Eyjafjallajökull.

Rather, just another reminder of how, in giving the PartyofNoican Rebuttal to President Obama's first SOTU address, Jindal pooh-pahhed funding of volcano monitoring;
Jindal, among other distortions, dissed the monitoring of volcanos;

While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C

For the want of a talking point ...

It was only delicious irony, just less then two-months later, Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted.

News tonight has that scientists don't really know how much longer Eyjafjallajökull is going to spew the heavy-duty ash - could be days, weeks, or, even months.

I don't believe it has happened yet, but if this does drag on, you can plan that some Right Wing Freak Show Flying Monkey, Teabagger, or Faux News will find a way to blame this on Obama, the Democrats, mock Climate Change or, incredulously, tie it in to how the government is taking over healthcare (we can, perhaps, count on our seminal Ignorant Dolt, Michele Bachmann for that)

Bonus Links

NYT: Air Travel Crisis Deepens as Europe Fears Wider Impact

Ron Beasley: Volcanoes and History

The Lede: Video of Volcano Spewing More Ash

The Lede: One Word: Eyjafjallajokull

Too Perfect! ... Jindal Jabberwocky II

This Date ... On The Garlic

17 April 2009... On The Garlic

Roland Hedley, Star Journalist

18 April 2008... On The Garlic

Charlie and George Go To A Debate ...

17 April, 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The White House Easter Egg Roll

Garlic Poll - Bush Declassifying Results

Friday, April 16, 2010

Even The S.E.C Thinks Goldman Sucks!

Oh boy, the old saying of "If you want to dance, you gotta pay the band", is playing a medley of waltzes (we'll have to wait, to see, if they are death marches) for the banking/investment firm/giant vampire squid company Goldman Sachs.

It's not a good thing, when your company is in a headline like this - "U.S. Accuses Goldman Sachs of Fraud in Mortgage Deal".

Here's the press release from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission;

SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud in Structuring and Marketing of CDO Tied to Subprime Mortgages

Washington, D.C., April 16, 2010 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter.

The SEC alleges that Goldman Sachs structured and marketed a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) that hinged on the performance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Goldman Sachs failed to disclose to investors vital information about the CDO, in particular the role that a major hedge fund played in the portfolio selection process and the fact that the hedge fund had taken a short position against the CDO.

We like the way Stephen Gandel, at the Curious Capitalist blog, put it;
So there you have it. Finally, the financial crisis gets its first major fraud case. Investment banks created complex securities that increased the risks of in the financial system. Most then held on to the securities because they didn't know what they had. Goldman instead came up with an elaborate scheme to lay off the risk on unsuspecting investors. Either way, Uncle Sam had to come in a clean up the mess. As the SEC says, in selling something they knew was worthless, Goldman was no different from the medicine man of old. It's a fraud as old as time.


Last: So are hedge funds more to blame in the financial crisis than we thought? It certainly looks that way. When the hedge funds went before Congress a year or so ago, they were praised--Paulson included. Now it looks like Paulson masterminded a trade that cost the government tens of billions of dollars. I would hope his next Congressional meeting will be less pleasant.

Now, if you remember, back last October, we added Goldman Sach Advisor Brian Griffiths to our Ignorant Dolt roster, for a taste of playing us for suckers, defending paying fat cats like really really big fat cats, or, as John over on Gawker described;
Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach is quite the Christian apologist for wealthy people; he wrote a book called Morality and the Marketplace and has thought long and hard about how to reconcile the teachings of Jesus Christ with the relentless drive to acquire money. He's done pretty well with it. But wasn't there something about camels, and heaven, and rich men? And if Jesus wants Goldman Sachs employees to get multi-million-dollar taxpayer-financed bonuses, why are the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel launching a shareholder movement to get Goldman to reign in its compensation packages? We guess that, for the fabulously wealthy who go for the whole heaven/hell thing, it makes sense to enjoy as many Amber Lounge after-parties as you can squeeze in while you're in this world, because the one that awaits doesn't really have much to offer.

The McClatchy Newspapers, who, if you recall, were on-the-money, from the get-go, about the Bush Grindhouse lying us into war, has also been the dog-on-bone with Goldman Sachs;

“It appears that the financial ‘protection’ provided by Goldman and described in the SEC complaint may have been more akin to the kind of protection provided by organized crime,” Hurley said.

McClatchy Newspapers, in a series published in November about Goldman’s role in the subprime lending disaster, found that Goldman sold more than $40 billion in mortgages in 2006 and 2007 while secretly betting on a housing downturn that would sink their value. It’s unclear whether any of those transactions have drawn SEC or Justice Department scrutiny, but a Senate investigations panel has been examining them.
Here's two of those articles referenced;
Goldman takes on new role: taking away people's homes

Investors could only lose in Goldman's Caymans deals

Goldman's response to the SEC charges is a yawner - "The SEC’s charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation."

Ah, Felix Salmon, you want to step up here and talk a little about that "Goldman reputation";

Goldman’s reputation in tatters

Goldman talks ad nauseam about how everything it does it does for its clients, and how any profits it ultimately ends up making are just a result of being “long-term greedy”. But if it attempts legalistic hair-splitting about how its behavior in the Abacus case was technically not illegal, it’s just going to end up looking even more culpable in the eyes of its clients. Goldman, if it was behaving honorably here, would have been open about the whole truth of what was going on. It would have revealed Paulson’s role in structuring the deal to IKB and other investors, and it would have revealed Paulson’s short position to ACA. Instead, it played IKB and ACA for suckers. And that’s just not the kind of behavior that Goldman likes to think that it engages in.

Goldman, as you might extrapolate out their resounding statement, is going to set up a fall guy for this, however, when you read Annie Lowrey's, from the Washington Independent, analogy, you see she goes all Denzel Washington on Goldman, explaining like we're all four-year-olds.

Yves Smith, over on Naked Capitalism, helps her out;
Oooh, things are starting to get interesting.

A number of journalists and commentators (yours truly included) have taken issue with the fact that some dealers (most notably Goldman and DeutscheBank) had programs of heavily subprime synthetic collateralized debt obligations which they used to take short positions. Needless to say, the firms have been presumed to have designed these CDOs so that their short would pay off, meaning that they designed the CDOs to fail. The reason this is problematic is that most investors would assume that a dealer selling a product it had underwritte was acting as a middleman, intermediating between the views of short and long investors. Having the firm act to design the deal to serve its own interests doesn’t pass the smell test (one benchmark: Bear Stearns refused to sell synthetic CDOs on behalf of John Paulson, who similarly wanted to use them to establish a short position. How often does trading oriented firm turn down a potentially profitable trade because they don’t like the ethics?)

Back, last August, we pointed out how being noted for your greediness, wasn't, necessarily a good thing in "Survey Shows Name Should Be "Goldman Sucks", and then, December, added some more reasons.

They looted Main Street (and, possibly, Greece), so, it's nice to see, even belatedly, the S.E.C., finally, getting a glove, and getting into the game.

Bonus Links

Ezra Klein: Three questions about the Goldman fraud filing

Choire, at The Awl - Goldman Sachs SEC Lawsuit: "The CDO Biz is Dead We Don’t Have a Lot of Time Left"

Gregory White: Here Are The Financial Companies That Got Screwed By Goldman's Alleged Fraud


Scarecrow: SEC Sues Goldman Sachs; US “Shocked, Shocked,” to Find Wall Street Fraud

Dealbook: S.E.C. Inquiry May Widen, Khuzami Hints

John Nichols: Will SEC Crackdown on Goldman Spur Senate Action?

This Date ... On The Garlic

16 April 2009... On The Garlic

From The "You Never Know" Department

16 April 2008... On The Garlic

Boy, And We Thought Russert and Williams Sucked

Know Thy Pope

16 April 2007... On The Garlic

Chopped Garlic ... Of Virginia Tech ... The Right To Bear Arms ... And Barry Crimmins

His Fly Is Down and Nobody Wants To Tell Him ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Last Bounce

Regular readers of The Garlic know that we pay attention to, and often, riff, on obituaries.

We've had some good ones, such as Stockholm Opera conducter, Sixten Ehrling, Marcel Marceau, Ingmar Bergman, and Baseball pitcher, Don Nottebart.

Today, we add another - George Nissen, the inventor of the trampoline.

I suppose we could riff that they will double-somersault the casket into the grave, or, that the final epitaph would be "BOING!"

We don't know if there is some ritual, or ceremonial platitude, they would give someone who invented the trampoline, so, we'll call it "The Last Bounce'

George Nissen, Father of the Trampoline, Dies at 96

One by one, the trapeze artists topped off their routines by dropping from their high-swinging bars into the net stretched below, then rebounding into somersaults, to the roar of the crowd at the traveling circus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And one child in the stands began to wonder: Hey, what if there was a contraption that made it possible to keep on bouncing and flipping?

George Nissen, 16, who was a member of the high school gymnastics and diving teams, was soon tinkering in his parents’ garage, strapping together a rectangular steel frame and a canvas sheet. Though not as springy as he had hoped, he called it a bouncing rig. That was in 1930.


Then, in 1937, Mr. Nissen and two friends formed a traveling acrobatics act called the Three Leonardos and began performing across the Midwest and Texas and then in Mexico. It was there that he heard the Spanish word for diving board, el trampolin.


Mr. Nissen, who devoted his life to promoting and manufacturing the trampoline, once renting a kangaroo to bounce with him in Central Park, died last Wednesday at a hospital near his home in San Diego. He was 96.

“And at the banquet before the competition he would do a handstand,” Mr. Normile said. “It became a tradition.”


“The last time I saw him there was in 2006,” Mr. Normile continued. “He did one of those kind of yoga headstands where you’re on your head and elbows. That was only four years ago; he was 92.”

Dwight Normile for International Gymnast Magazine: Trampoline Inventor George Nissen Passes Away

Inventer of the Week Archive - George Nissen

Fascinating facts about the invention of Trampoline by George Nissen in 1935

Breaking ... Obama To Launch "Clunkers For Nukes"

In a bombshell announcement this morning, President Obama, following up on his successful Nuclear Security Summit, said that an agreement was reached last evening with the other participating 47 countries, and a new "Clunkers for Nukes" program will be launched.

"Legitimate governments, rogue players, terrorists, they're all eligible to turn in their nuclear weapons, or materials, and have their choice of a pre-owned automobile," stated White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, at an unscheduled briefing this morning.

"We have an overstock situation," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

"We're swimming in used cars ... We lost count, we have so many."

Last year, the Obama Administration instituted a "Cash for Clunkers" program, in an effort to stimulate the economy, and, according to administration officials, was quite successful.

Gibbs further explained, that the "Clunkers for Nukes" program will be scaled, in favor of the client.

"We're offering one car, for every ten-pounds of nuclear material, be it simple, unaltered plutonium, or enhanced, weapons-grade plutonium. It's projected, some potential clients could walk away with three, four, possibly even, five cars with their trade-in."

Gibbs would neither confirm, or deny, that President Obama, in a Rose Garden ceremony, would, symbolically trade in an two old American nuclear warheads, for cars that would be saved for his daughters, when they reach the appropriate age.

News of the "Clunkers for Nukes" program reached the Middle East, as Al Jeezera is reporting that Osama bin Laden is planning on releasing a new audio tape, indicating he is looking for a 1965 Cadillac, and may reach out to U.S. officials.

Bonus Riffs

Top Ten Cloves: Great Things About Obama Taking Over General Motors

What's Good For Tesla Motors ...

Retro Garlic: Is Chrysler Now Adopting The HuffPo Business Plan?

This Date ... On The Garlic

14 April 2009... On The Garlic


14 April 2008... On The Garlic

Robert Reich: "Old Politics ... Old Media Are Irrelevant Now"

Retro Garlic: We Knew They Would Come Around

14 April 2005... On The Garlic

Minutemen Heading To Wisconsin Cat Hunt; 'Can't Shoot Illegal Aliens', Says Leader

Hooters Applauds FDA Breast Implant Vote; Opens Doors For More Woman To Become 'Hooter Girls'

Top Ten Cloves: Tax Deductions People Will Try To Get Away This Year

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Haley Barbour Cloud

While the subject matter surrounding this corpulent former RNC Bag Man is, wholly, worthwhile, the less I have to do with anything to do with Haley Barbour, the better.

Just hearing his name, or seeing him on television gives to excogitate, on whether to head for a second shower-of-the-day (possible, a third, if we, unfortunately, crossed paths earlier).

His name brings to mind the devastating riff Barry Crimmins used to perform, in which he said that the only way to properly view Haley Barbour was "kneeling in a bed of potatoes with an apple in his mouth."

So, after our previously successful, "A Eric Massa Cloud", we give way to the highlights of this growing, sorid mess.

A Haley Barbour Cloud

The GOP's southern strategy lives on ...The Ghost of Bobby Lee ...Miss. Confederate History Month ignores slavery...

In fact, it is possible that accidentally truer words have never been spoken. Bigotry, wrapped in scripture, deep fried in coded language and served with a side of potato salad, sweet tea and near-hysterically belligerent denial has been a Southern delicacy for as long as I can remember, and these Republican good ol' boys and girls just ain't Ever ... Ever ... Ever ... giving up Momma's home cooking...
Confederate History Month: Mississippi Learnings... Southern Discomfort ......Neo-Confederate History
It’s been almost 150 years since the Civil War ended and Confederate symbols have not gone away despite the fact that more and more people are realizing that the regime they represent is not some noble Lost Cause, but an illegitimate nation created to deny any rights to an entire race...
Haley the Barbourian and the Invisible Empire ...Neo-Confederate History...So you think slavery wasn't at the heart of the Confederacy… ...Haley's vomit ...
What "doesn't amount to diddly" is the revisionist notion -- which Confederate History Month celebrations perpetuate -- that the Civil War was about something other than slavery. The "lost cause" diehards insist that the treasonous rebellion was a fight over freedom or the Constitution or states' rights. But the "right" that was being fought over was the ability to own human beings, compel their labor, buy and sell them as if they were livestock, exploit them sexually and torture or kill them if they tried to escape ...
Haley Barbour's Racist Connections ...racist Council of Conservative Citizens ...Sons of the Confederacy Claim Tea Party Movement as Kindred Spirit ...Secret Proclamations?

Well, It Is Oklahoma, After All

If this news was coming out of, just about, any other state, then, it would be worrisome;

Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia

OKLAHOMA CITY – Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.


State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, a Republican candidate for governor who has appealed for tea party support, said supporters of a state militia have talked to him, and that he believes the citizen unit would be authorized under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

It prompted Driftglass to issue a Flash!News!Alert!;
At this moment, somewhere in America, a drunk is abso-fucking-lutely sure that one more vodka-and-Red-Bull will solve all his problems.

It's one thing for the Teabaggers looking to build an army, but having a nitwit local legislator buying into their idiocracy ...

The always mirthful Will Bunch, at Attytood weigh in;
If it's scary, why are you doing this? What's alarming is that several lawmakers are on board with this proposal, although reading between lines it looks dubious it could actually pass the state legislature and become law, especially since -- and I'm not sure how this could have happened -- the governor of Oklahoma is a Democrat. Still, you never know what can happen when an idea gets rolling. It seems to me that if the citizens of Oklahoma think Washington is overextending its power, there are other solutions -- at the ballot box in 2010 and 2012, for example. Has Oklahoma City, of all places, forgotten what happened the last time somebody there stood up to claim he was not rolling over for the federal government?

As we alluded to above, deeply concerning, it were another state, other than Oklahoma.

See, Oklahoma was in the news, for profound dubious reasons, back in September of last year - which we took due notice of;

Yeeow! Ayipioeeay! ...You're Not Doin' Fine, Oklahoma!

Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.

The survey was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day on Thursday.


"They're questions taken from the actual exam that you have to take to become a U.S. citizen," Dutcher said.


About 92 percent of the people who take the citizenship test pass on their first try, according to immigration service data. However, Oklahoma students did not fare as well. Only about 3 percent of the students surveyed would have passed the citizenship test.

Something tells me, if it ever got to the point, where they would have to draft a bill for this, they are likely to run into some problems, maybe things like spelling, proper puncuation, who actually is the President ...

The PartyofNoicans are doomed.

They think they own the Teabaggers, but the Teabaggers hate them ...

Sarah Palin is playing both sides of the fence...

And the Teabaggers keep topping themselves, on how delusional, how out-of-touch that they are.

What a country!

That Be A Lot of Moose Meat!

Or: Nice Work If You Can Get It

When all the other governors around the country see this report, don't be surprised if we see a mass exodus, a run of abdications across the land, all heading to the same money trough as Mommy Moose;

Sarah Palin Has Earned an Estimated $12 Million Since July

Since leaving office at the end of July 2009, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has brought in at least 100 times her old salary – a haul now estimated at more than $12 million -- through television and book deals and a heavy schedule of speaking appearances worth five and six figures.

That conservative estimate is based on publicly available records and news accounts. The actual number is probably much higher, but is hard to quantify because Palin does not publicize her earnings.


Palin appears to select audiences that are likely to provide a warm welcome. In February, Palin coupled a paid speech to the Daytona Chamber of Commerce with an appearance at NASCAR's Daytona 500 and a local book signing, and was welcomed with cheers of "We love you, Sarah!" In the past nine months, she has stopped in to address the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, the Complete Woman Expo, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, and the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference, among others.
But wait, she's not all that greedy;
She did not charge fellow Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann for an appearance at a fundraiser in Minnesota last week, for instance. And she has indicated that she will not collect fees for speeches at certain charitable functions. At the same time, a report in the Hamilton Spectator quoted organizers who said she would be paid "in the ballpark" of $200,000 to speak at a fundraising dinner for the Juravinski Cancer Center and St. Peter's Hospital outside of Toronto.

She doesn't charge our seminal Ignorant Dolt, the batshit crazy Michele Bachmann, but she soaks the caretakers who are treating cancer victims?

Yep, sure sounds like rock-solid Republican values there.

This winking at the Teabaggers is really payin' off.

Summertime is coming, The Wasilla Whiz Kid could probably hit, five, maybe six, county fairs, per-state, per-day.

All the organizers have to do is announce she'll be there and, bang, they know they'll have a few scores-of-thousands Teabaggers lining up, wrapping around the Funnel Cake stand.

Gottalaf, over on The Political Carnival could only eek out "Jesus wept. Wonder how much of it was money to just go away..."

And, Doug Mataconis, on Below The Beltway offered;
Like I said, no wonder she quit.

It certainly worked to her advantage financially — and it’s a lot less responsibility than, you know, actually doing something.

Who ever thunk a losing VP candidate, half-term Governor, winking, Know-Nothing, Ms. Ya'Bet'cha, GOP Clothes Horse could be so profitable?

Take it away, Billie Holiday!

Billie Holiday - Nice Work If You Can Get It

This Date ... On The Garlic

13 April 2009... On The Garlic

You Were Cool, Mark Fidrych ... You Were Way Cool ...

Ay Mi Cuba

13 April 2008... On The Garlic

Barry Crimmins Is Giving Away The Store!

Cavett and Rich Take On Petraeus and Crocker

Maybe He Should Try Monster.Com ...

New Additions To The Garlic

13 April 2007... On The Garlic

Chopped Garlic: "Emails? We ain't got no emails! We don't need no emails! We don't have to show you any stinking emails!"...

13 April, 2006... On The Garlic

Happy Holidays!

13 April, 2005... On The Garlic

Sesame Street Goes Dark Over Dispute; Cookie Monster, Count Balks At Planned Healthy Foods Slant

Rumsfeld Stumps In Iraq For Statehood; Warns Corruption, Civil Strife Could Derail Efforts

Top Ten Cloves: President Bush's Suggestions To Israel On The Gaza Withdrawal

Monday, April 12, 2010

Retro Garlic: Apple's 'Cha-Ching" App

On SNL Saturday evening, Seth Meyers, during Weekend Update, noted that Apple released the iPad, "proving the theory that people will buy something to find out what it is."

We already riffed on the new iPad, and it's been nothing short of a tsunami of coverage since it was launched (you can go to the archives of Techmeme to catch up).

So, last Friday, another one pops up, in the NYT, from author Steven Johnson, giving Apple a "wink-wink-slap-on-the-wrists", for not playing nice in the iSandbox, with application developers, but then goes on to extol, heaping glowing hosannas, on Apple, for their "one-click-purchase", and for their genius of creating the AppStore

Rethinking a Gospel of the Web

Over the last two years, however, that story has grown far more complicated, thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone (and now iPad) developers platform — known as the App Store to consumers.

The App Store must rank among the most carefully policed software platforms in history. Every single application has to be approved by Apple before it can be offered to consumers, and all software purchases are routed through Apple’s cash register. Most of the development tools are created inside Apple, in conditions of C.I.A.-level secrecy. Next to the iPhone platform, Microsoft’s Windows platform looks like a Berkeley commune from the late 60s.


Those of us who have championed open platforms cannot ignore these facts. It’s conceivable that, had Apple loosened the restrictions surrounding the App Store, the iPhone ecosystem would have been even more innovative, even more democratic. But I suspect that this view is too simplistic. The more complicated reality is that the closed architecture of the iPhone platform has contributed to its generativity in important ways.

The decision to route all purchases through a single payment mechanism makes great sense for Apple, which takes 30 percent of all sales, but it has also helped nurture the ecosystem by making it easier for consumers to buy small apps impulsively with one-click ordering. People don’t want to thumb-type credit card information into their phones each time they download a game to distract the kids during a long drive in the car. One-click purchase also supports lightweight, inexpensive apps, the revenue from which can support small software teams.

Consumers are also willing to experiment with new apps because they know that they have been screened for viruses, malware and other stability problems as part of the App Store’s approval process.

All hail the AppStore!

The Retro Part of this comes from, just over a week ago, our post, "iToy";
iPad isn't a computer, as much as it is an enlarged iPhone, minus the calling features, a technological piece of catnip, designed to have all the little MacKitties rub up against it, and then pull out their wallets at Apple's Citizen Kane-level domination ambitions, the AppStore.
We might have had the wrong reference there.

It's not Citizen Kane market domination Apple is after, but rather, to become the new millennium's Microsoft.

Instead of a PC on every desk, it's an iApp on every device!

And, there's only one super information highway to travel - you have go through Apple to get it.

All hail the AppStore!

All hail the AppStore!

Bonus Riffs

Paul Carr: I Admit It, The iPad Is A Kindle Killer. I Just Wish It Weren’t Going To Kill Reading Too

Michael Arrington: Just Because I Loved My Etch-A-Sketch Doesn’t Mean The iPad Will Save Newspapers

Hiawatha Bray: The iPad’s value? It’ll depend on its apps

Erick Schonfeld: Is Steve Jobs Ignoring History, Or Trying To Rewrite It?

Giving Hackers A One-Stop Shop? ... Priceless!

"MasterCard is back! The keeper of the light! All hail MasterCard! All hail MasterCard! Oh MasterCard can you see by the dawn's early light..."

Grand Central Station Locker Creatures

I suppose, we can wonder if they will up the interest charges on items purchased in their store.

I mean, setting up their own mall, the skeptic in me has thoughts of this is, somehow, related to skirting the new regulations governing the Credit Card Slimeballs

MasterCard Set to Open an Online Shopping Mall

Through a new partnership with an Internet company that specializes in personalized shopping, MasterCard is set to introduce a Web shopping mall on Monday that it says can pinpoint with considerable accuracy what its cardholders are likely to purchase.

The site, called MasterCard Marketplace, relies on technology developed by Next Jump, a New York company that monitors customer behavior from thousands of retailers and uses the data it gathers to help merchants tailor their product offerings.


Some privacy advocates, meanwhile, say the technology makes them uncomfortable.

Anita L. Allen, a law professor who studies privacy issues at the University of Pennsylvania, said that as consumers gave up more private information for short-term gains, “In the end, we turn into citizens who live in a world where we have no control over our own data.”


But some privacy experts question the growing use of customer data on sites like MasterCard Marketplace, even if people divulge it willingly.

Joseph Turow, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said that hiding the identity of customers from merchants was not enough.

The type of profiling done by sites like MasterCard Marketplace, he said, often leads to “social discrimination,” in which people are lumped into categories they may find objectionable. He said companies rarely explained to people how they were categorized.

All this means is, should you shop there, you will soon, thereafter, be bombarded with spam emails, extolling all the great items on sale.

And what about security?

If they are measurable, I would bet this story has been bookmarked by scores-of-thousands of hackers, from the Russian Mob, to acne-covered teens, twitching there fingertips hovering over their keyboards, virtually hyperventilating, just waiting to crack this puppy.

Being in debt-bondage to MasterCard .... Priceless!

Bonus Business Riffs

Neiman Marcus Sells Self Through Catalog ..."Almost Threw Away Book In Recycling", Says Buyer

Visa Ends Triple Crown Sponsorship But Keeps Derby ...Cites Pending Use of Child Jockeys As Means To Increase Brand

GoldenPalace.Com Rumored To Win Lunch With Buffet for $351G's ...Funds Go To Charity; Extra's Included Oracle of Omaha Being Tattooed With Casino Logo

Hooters Applauds FDA Breast Implant Vote ...Opens Doors For More Woman To Become 'Hooter Girls'

Coming Soon, On "Film At 11"

This Date ... On The Garlic

12 April 2009... On The Garlic

Christ Slept Here: A Tale of Easter

12 April 2008... On The Garlic

Obama Minister Wants To Nuke Small Towns!

Top Ten Cloves: Things About The Rocket Scientists' Party, Yuri Night

12 April 2007... On The Garlic

So It Goes ... R.I.P Billy Pilgrim

12 April 2006... On The Garlic

Breaking News - Rice Grilled; Shouting Match With Bolton; U.N Questions Rice On Iran Intentions; U.S. Urges ‘Strong Steps”; Council Presses Secretary If Adding To “Thousands Of Errors” Or Starting New Tab

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard While Iran Was Enriching Uranium

12 April 2005... On The Garlic

Garlic Exclusive! Bush Moves On Making Iraq 51st State; DC Ignored; Puerto Rico Bumped Back To 52nd 'Unofficial' State

Top Ten Cloves: How Ambassador-Nominee John Bolton Really Feels About United Nations

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Power comes from lying ... Lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you ... Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you get them by the balls

Senator Roark, from “Sin City - That Yellow Bastard

Well, the Oxymoronpalooza ended this weekend, otherwise referred to by the MSM as the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, and, not to anyone's surprise, there was more red meat tossed about then at a month full of Texas barbecues.

That would the Texas that hasn't - yet - seceded from the Union.

They forgathered in New Orleans, and true to the PartyofNoican coda, they managed to completely avoid making any mention, not just something compassionate, or heartfelt, none-zero-zilch, comments about the city The Bush Grindhouse let drown.

No doubt, the Café du Monde must have been off-limits, lest any of the slimebags be caught being "French" by some tourist Teabagger, surely creating a litmus test, and, likely, a career-killer.

You had the volcano-denier, the only open-publically-elected exorcist, Governor Bobby Jindal, whining about the PartyofNoicans feelings being hurt, because people call them names.

And, there was Diaper-Boy, Senator David Vitter, pumping up Mommy Moose, and the Teabaggers, urging the PartyofNoicans to walk hand-in-hand with, that they're getting a bad rap too, while whipping up a little smear against the President.

Of course, a red-meat-mashing wouldn't be complete without the Village-of-the-Damned Cheney daughter, Liz, doing her part to "Keep America Safe", much in the manner of her father, delivering, essentially, an off-the-shelf NeoNitWit speech;
Below the fold, more excerpts from Cheney's speech.

When it comes to foreign policy, it looks increasingly like there are three pillars to the “Obama Doctrine” – (1)Apologize for America, (2)Abandon our allies, and (3)Appease our enemies.

I think she stopped short of advocating the building of those 1950's "Fallout Shelters".

Mommy Moose was there, fresh off her Bachmann-Palin Overdrive (and her little joust with the President), perhaps, using the event as an early dry run at her candidacy in 2012.

Or not;
There was nothing about the speech that necessarily indicated one way or another whether Palin would run for president in 2012. She's not doing anything that looks like preparing a national organization, but she's so well-known that she wouldn't have to. Her political outfit, SarahPAC, did hand out little packets of Alaska-made caribou and reindeer jerky to every delegate ("An Alaskan Snack from SarahPAC!" the label read, along with invitations to follow her on Twitter and Facebook). And there were a few Palin buttons around the room.

But it's not entirely clear she'd have the whole thing sewn up. As the delegates filtered out of the hall afterwards, I stopped one woman randomly, figuring her own Palin button meant she was a big fan. True enough, she was. "It was awesome," she said, identifying herself only as Loretta from east Tennessee. "She's wonderful. She thinks the way America thinks, she knows what we want, and she's not afraid to voice it... We need change, but we can't afford Obama's change -- he's killing us." Palin, she told me, would bring the right kind of changes -- jobs, prosperity, God back in our country. "This is a Christian country, it's not a Muslim country," she said. "We have Muslims here, and they are welcome here. But we as Christians have rights, too." Obama, she insisted, is a Muslim (which is why she wouldn't tell me her last name or exactly where she lives). So surely, Loretta would be voting for Palin if she ran in two years? "I don't think she's ready," she said. "I love her. I don't think we're ready for her as president yet... I think she still needs to educate herself a little more on foreign policy."

Well, she got to do a lot of bad jokes, bash the President, and it doesn't matter if she just took the stage and started reading the Louisiana phone book, the Teabaggers love her - emphatic period.

Last, but not, least, we saved the best for last.

This was, truly, almost, breathtaking.

The former Speaker of the House, the man who put out a "Contract On America", Newt Gingrich actually used the gathering to display that Einstein's theory on insanity, was accurate.

Steve Benen was in awe, describing it as "PARTY LIKE IT'S 1995", while Al Giordano billed it as "Supervillain Newt Reveals His Plan for World Domination!".

See, Newt wants to bend the river, turn around this nonsense of being "the Party of No", to becoming the the "Party of Yes".

Yes, that is, to shutting down the government (again);
But the plan that Gingrich got the most applause from, as he tried to rally a few thousand GOP activists to say "yes," involved... just saying no in a different way. "When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, stage one of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any more," he said. "The Congress doesn't have to pass the money. If EPA gets no money, it can't enforce cap and trade."


In other words, shut down the government. Which, of course, worked out very well for Gingrich the last time he tried it.


If that sounds familiar, it's probably because that was the agenda Gingrich carried into power after the 1994 election. It turns out the "party of yes" concept isn't actually about working with the White House to get anything done; it's about finding new ways to sell the same old GOP policies without looking stubborn in the process.

While the crowd lapped it up like happy soup, Jed Lewison, over on the Daily Kos, stuck a pin in Newt's balloon;

Teabaggers of the world: Newt is lying to you
Moreover, if Gingrich were serious, the GOP would be shutting down the Federal government now. Whether or not we like it, the fact remains that Republicans in the Senate could filibuster appropriations bills today. They don't need to win the fall elections to stop appropriations bills. Yet they are not following Gingrich's strategy because they know -- as Gingrich proved in 1995 -- that it is political suicide.


I suppose if the GOP were to essentially dismantle the Federal government, stopping the Social Security Administration from sending out checks and blocking Medicare from paying claims that they could also stop the subsidies. But if you believe the GOP will actually go that far, I've got a state in Bob McDonnell's Confederacy to sell you.

Newt's pledge may sound good to the teabagging Republicans. But they should also know this: They. Will. Never. Do. It. Didn't do it in 1995. Won't do it in 2011.

To add some more spice, Make-Up Mitt Romney won the Straw Pole (by one vote, over Ron Paul), and he wasn't even in attendance.

With this level of idiocracy being bandied about, the Midterms are sure gonna be fun.

Newt, Romney, The Wasilla Whiz Kid...

It's going to be like the blogosphere having an intravenous feed of shit you just can't make up.
Somewhere over the rainbow
skies are blue
and the dreams...that you dare to dream
really do come true

Take it away, Eva Cassidy!

Eva Cassidy - Somewhere Over the Rainbow